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Certified PS1 banger Fear Effect is getting a digital Steam release

Good news for people with good taste

Hana guns down some bad dudes in Fear Effect
Image credit: Square Enix

Fear Effect, a horror action PS1 game from the year 2000 that I have incredibly fond memories of, is getting a Steam release next year, by Limited Run Games in collaboration with Square Enix. The news comes as part of the controversial (more on this in a bit) company’s digital LRG3 event. You can watch the full thing here, and the Fear Effect trailer below.

If you’ve not played Fear Effect, you’d be forgiven for assuming from the trailer that it’s a standard fixed-camera action game. But its real beauty lies in influence from both survival horror and cinematic platform games like Another World and Flashback. As you switch between characters in your gang of ne’er-do-wells at set story moments, solving puzzles and combat encounters, new screens offer up insta-death setpieces that need to be carefully considered then perfected. Fail, and you'll often be treated to one of the game's dozens of unique death animations.

As a consequence of said death scenes and many others, Fear Effect came on four discs. I distinctly remember starting a lending chain with two of my mates where one would complete one disc then lend it on to the next. This was logistically irritating but I did not mind. I simply wished more people to play Fear Effect, altruistic videogame paragon that I am. I cannot take full public responsibility for the game coming to Steam, although I can write *wink wink* and let you decide who the real hero is here (disclosure: I had nothing to do with it.) The closest thing we’ve had to the series on PC for many years now is Fear Effect Sedna, which emulates very little of what was good about Fear Effect and its sequel, Retro Helix.

Elsewhere in the LRG3 showcase, we got trailers for Beyond Good & Evil - 20th Anniversary Edition (25th June!), a new edition of Fighting Force (Fighting Force!), and a new trailer for Clock Tower: Rewind, alongside several others.

Before you throw any money at Limited Games, though, it’s worth highlighting some recent controversy around the company, who primarily offer special edition re-releases of older or indie games. Earlier this year they apologised for shipping faulty CD-R’s of the 3DO game D. The company has also been criticised for creating somewhat of a for-profit walled garden, antithetical to game preservation through promoting scarcity, alongside various other quality control issues. However, it’s also worth noting that a lot of bad blood against the company has been drummed up by right wingers unhappy with them for letting go of a social media manager accused of transphobia last year.

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