E3 - Rights issues may not hinder F.E.A.R. sequel

It gets a little trick and I don't have all the details but from what I know, the name controversey of the F.E.A.R. franchise breaks down like this: the franchise name and the intellectual property (IP) rights belong to two separate parties. The game's developers, Monolith, own the IP rights, which allows them to revisit the world and characters of the original, while that game's publisher, Vivendi, owns the name F.E.A.R., which means they can continue to make games using the F.E.A.R. name but it cannot be in any way related to the first title. Oh, but they can make an expansion pack to the original F.E.A.R. if they want to, which they are.

Confused? Yeah, so am I, but what isn't confusing is that T.T.S.T.F.E.A.R.T.S.D.H.A.N ("the true sequel to F.E.A.R. that still doesn't have a name" -- how's that for an anacronym?) looks pretty promising. Details are still sparse and the members of the dev team who were present had their lips sealed but we were treated a demo that demonstrated a lot of polish. A lot hinges on the final name of the game, which is still being determined via an ongoing contest -- once that's done, they'll start releasing hard details (this explains why this article has no images, by the way) but what I do know is this: the game will release sometime in 2008 and it seems to picks up *spoiler alert* right after the helicopter crash that ended the first title. Alma, the supernatural antagonist, is back to wreck more havoc on the world and it's your job to stop her.

The demo consisted of a run through of the first level, and from what I saw, it's clear that the game is going to closely follow in the footsteps of the original. The look and feel of the game is largely the same, though I saw some clever new tricks like the ability to shove aside obstacles and flip them over to dynamically create cover. The action is still the same brand of in-your-face gunplay with the sweet slo-mo ability mixed into the fray. One tactic that the person demoing the game utilized to great effect was the change-up grenade toss which involves chucking a nade at your foes, then activating the slo-mo. The resulting explosion looks as if it's taking place underwater and the way the bodies fly around is equally impressive and satisfying.

It looked to me like it was just more of the same but that's not a bad thing as F.E.A.R. was one of the better FPS games to come out in recent years. I personally would love a chance to step back into that world and the demo gave me every reason to be optimistic. We'll see if Monolith can hit the jackpot twice but I'll hedge my bets and say this one is going to pan out.

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Tenacious Moses

GamePro (online)

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