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F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

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F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is a first-person shooter psychological horror video game for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. It is the second game in the F.E.A.R. series and is followed by F.E.A.R. 3. Developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Games, it was released for all platforms in February 2009. In September 2009, Monolith released a single-player DLC pack, F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn. In March 2015, both the base game and Reborn were made available on In November 2021, the F.E.A.R. franchise, including Reborn, was added to Microsoft's backward compatibility program, making the games playable on the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Project Origin ignores the events of both TimeGate Studios-developed expansion packs for the original game (F.E.A.R. Extraction Point and F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate), which are now no longer considered canon to the F.E.A.R. universe.

Project Origin begins thirty minutes prior to the conclusion of the original F.E.A.R., with the player controlling Michael Becket, a Delta Force sergeant. Sent to take the president of Armacham Technology Corporation (ATC) into protective custody, things go awry when Point Man destroys the Origin Facility, and Becket and his teammates are caught in the blast. Waking up in a strange hospital that is seemingly under attack by an ATC black ops squad, things become even more complicated when Alma Wade, now free from her confinements, begins to show a keen interest in Becket.

In making Project Origin, Monolith looked at the reception of the first game, specifically what was popular and what was not. With this in mind, they set out to correct the two most frequently criticised elements of the original; monotone and repetitive environments, and lack of enemy variety. At the same time, they attempted to enhance the game's most lauded elements; the combat mechanics and enemy AI. By making Alma a more central presence than in the first game, they also hoped to enhance the horror elements of the original.

Project Origin was generally well received by critics, although it was felt to be inferior to the first game. Common points of praise included the combat mechanics, sound effects, mech sections, graphics, and enemy variety, with some critics also lauding the level design and voice acting. Less enthusiastically received were the plot, cover mechanics, horror elements, some of the gameplay changes from the original (specifically the removal of the lean function), and multiplayer. Several critics also felt the game took too few risks and was little more than a generic, albeit well-made, shooter.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is a first-person shooter with gameplay broadly similar to the original F.E.A.R.[4][5][6] The player's arsenal includes a handgun, assault rifle, submachine gun, shotgun, automatic shotgun, sniper rifle, nail gun, rocket launcher, laser carbine, flamethrower, and pulse rifle.[7][8] Each weapon differs in terms of accuracy, range, rate of fire, armor penetration, damage, and weight.[9] Only four different firearms can be carried at any one time.[10] The player also has access to four different types of projectile - frag grenades, incendiary grenades, shock grenades (electricity-based), and proximity mines.[11] The player can carry five of each type, and can carry all four at once (allowing for up to 20 projectiles), but only one type may be equipped at any one time.[9][10] Players can also "cook" grenades before throwing them; setting them off but holding onto them for a moment before tossing them. An on screen meter tells the player how much time is left before they detonate.[9]

Multiplayer mode features an experience levelling system and all game modes feature a customisable load out, with the player free to choose their weaponry, grenades, and armor.[23] In the original release of the game, there were nine maps; six were general purpose and supported all game types except Armored Front, the other three supported only Armored Front.[24] In September 2009, a patch added SloMo Deathmatch as an additional game mode. This game type features a reflex power-up, which only one player can carry at a time, and when it is fully charged (it charges when it is being carried) that player can activate it and give themselves a considerable speed advantage over opposing players. However, whoever is carrying the power-up will have a bluish glow and will be permanently visible on all players' mini-maps.[25]

Dropped at Aristide's penthouse, the team are immediately attacked by an ATC black ops squad, and from the commencement of the mission, Becket begins to experience hallucinations involving Alma Wade. In Aristide's apartment, Becket uncovers hints of an ATC project called "Harbinger", which seems to involve himself and his teammates.[27][28] Files list each team members' "Paragon Review Scores" and "telesthetic potential", with Becket's scores higher than anyone "aside from the Origin Prototypes." Moments after Becket finds Aristide, Point Man blows up the Origin facility, with the shockwave knocking Becket unconscious.

Reborn begins with Paxton Fettel speaking about his prediction of a coming war from the original game; "The war has begun just as I dreamed it would, just as I foresaw. Dreams are all I have now, dreams of death, of blood and fire. Of her. The time has come to awaken; to be...reborn."

The game is set concurrently to Project Origin. As Becket and his squad mates are tracking down Snake Fist at Wade Elementary, in a different part of Fairport, ATC Security has launched an attack against Replica Command Post Sigma, and additional Replicas have been called in. The game begins with the Replica designated Foxtrot 813 dropping to a location near the command post and taking control of an EPA. He fights his way through ATC forces but no sooner has his mission begun when he starts to have problems with his radio feed and video display. He eventually makes it to Sigma and tries to correct the problems with his equipment. As he ascertains that the interference is originating at the blast site of the Origin facility, he is pulled into a hallucinatory realm by Paxton Fettel, where he is attacked by corrupt Replicas. Upon killing them, Fettel tells him, "Do you see You are different from the others. They are meaningless now. They are ghosts. You must set me free." When 813 returns to reality, he finds that he has killed his Replica teammates. Replica command then issues an order for all Replicas to shoot 813 on sight.[37]

The game was announced by Monolith Productions in February 2006. Monolith had been purchased by Warner Bros. Games in 2004, after development of the original F.E.A.R was already underway and a publishing deal had already been struck with Vivendi. By 2006, although Monolith and Warner owned the rights to the F.E.A.R. intellectual property and characters, Vivendi (who had published the first game under their Sierra Entertainment label) still owned the name "F.E.A.R." As a result, any non-Vivendi game set in the F.E.A.R. universe could use the characters and events from the original game, but could not be called F.E.A.R. At the same time, any non-Warner game set in the F.E.A.R. universe could not use the characters and events from the original game, but could be called F.E.A.R.[39][40] In May 2006, Vivendi announced that an expansion pack for the first game (F.E.A.R. Extraction Point) was being developed by TimeGate Studios. The press release clarified that the plot for the expansion had been approved by Monolith and was in line with their own plans for a full sequel.[41][42]

In December 2008, a few months before the release of what was now known as Project Origin, Monolith officially confirmed what had long been suspected; despite the initial reports that they had approved the story for both Extraction Point and a second expansion, F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate, and that that story was in line with their own plans for the sequel, in fact, that sequel would ignore the events of both expansions and instead serve as a canonical follow-up to the original game.[44] Lead artist Dave Matthews explained that the expansions

Speaking to CVG, he reiterated, "[TimeGate] took the story in a direction that we didn't intend. We look at Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate as an alternate universe, a 'what could have been', and because of that it doesn't necessarily diminish the story that we were trying to tell. F.E.A.R. was about Alma, F.E.A.R. 2 is about Alma, and we wanted to continue the story the way we originally intended."[45]

In relation to the console versions of the game, Monolith had been unhappy with the console ports of the original game, which had been handled by Day 1 Studios, with Matthews stating, "we feel they didn't do everything that they could of achieved."[54] As a result of their disappointment with these ports, Monolith determined to develop all three versions of the sequel simultaneously, with no lead platform from which the others would derive. Matthews explains,

In a July 2008 blog post on the game's community page, Matthews explained that the team had divided the first game's elements into three categories based on fan reaction; the good (combat mechanics, atmosphere, AI, graphics), the bad (too many interiors), and the ugly (a monochrome palette, lack of enemy variety, repetitive environments).[19] With this in mind, one of Monolith's main goals with Project Origin was to successfully tackle the biggest criticisms of the original game - the bland and repetitive environments, and the lack of enemy variety.[56] Co-lead designer John Mulkey explained that "variety" in a general sense was one of their main guiding principals as they strove for "more visual variety, more variety in enemies and in gameplay experiences."[57] 59ce067264


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