For those who grew up through the PlayStation 1 era, it was hard not to at least be vaguely aware of the Fear Effect series. Despite their genre roots lying in survival horror, awkward camera angles and all, their mix of stylish comic-style visuals, cornball sci-fi/supernatural espionage stories (with zombies, sometimes) and famously tacky ad campaigns helped the series stand out.
On March 6th, the series officially returns as Fear Effect Sedna, from Studio Sushee. Despite being a true sequel set four years after the PlayStation original, it’s metamorphosed into a real-time-with-pause squad tactics game somewhere along the way.
According to the Steam store page, the familiar and silly blend of sci-fi and mythology continues in this game, despite its shift to a slightly more serious-looking perspective. The classic spy team of Hana, Rain, Glas and Deke are on a globe-trotting mission that will apparently take them a little bit off the beaten path, from Hong Kong, through Greenland and into the spirit realm of Inuit mythology.
The higher camera angle and greater freedom of control will at least open up new possibilities. Rather than just running or fighting your way through problems, Fear Effect Sedna promises a blend of proper stealth, squad combat and puzzle-solving, and the titular Fear Effect will come into play in providing buffs and debuffs to characters in stressful situations.
In a nod to the original Fear Effect, it seems that screwing up certain events will result in grisly death cutscenes, a couple of which can be seen in the tail end of the trailer. How very 90s. Personally, I don’t think anything will ever top the largely bloodless slapstick brutality of Tomb Raider Legend’s QTE failure animations, but the ball is in Sedna’s court.
While we’ve heard no new news regarding it lately, it seems likely that Fear Effect Reinvented – a modern remake of the original game – is still in development, and should be out sometime this year as well.
Fear Effect Sedna will be available on March 6th, and is set to cost £16/$20, and you can wishlist it on Steam now if you want a heads-up when it launches.