When is it time to put a series out to pasture? My vote is when there is nothing left for a story to say, which was exactly three quarters of the way in to the first F.E.A.R. Regrettably the publisher never consulted Yours Truly, therefore we now have a second expansion pack (“Stand Alone!”) bearing the pretentious title Perseus Mandate that further explores one of the most monotone digital worlds crafted since the Amiga.


The game lacks personality from the top on down. You play another faceless, nameless guy who can shoot and jump kick spooks and specters yet is choosy about which doors he can open. Also, while it may still seem scary on paper to have a little girl in a red dress slicing and dicing bad guys by staring at them the thrill is gone. The first game had moments of terrifying scale, yet the latest expansion pack feels more like a “greatest hits” album than the stand alone product it bills itself as. So the question becomes, did I like anything about it?


Truthfully, not a lot. I especially failed to find the joy of sacrificing 7 GBs worth of hard drive space for a derivative and ultimately pointless waste of an afternoon. While there may be a few solid jolts scattered throughout, it feels as though you end up searching through a haystack for five needles while 10 shiny new ones beckon you from a near-by shelf.

My computer died a painful death earlier this year, and only recently was it restored. In doing so, I opted to pack in some serious firepower. So what

The sound effects are where the F.E.A.R. series made its name and the top-notch quality remains front and center. The sound of the fuzzy radio signal continues to be a potent scare tactic, despite simultaneously removing any doubt as to whether or not something creep will happen in the next 30 seconds. The voices and disparate effects scattered throughout each mission keep the tension ratcheted up to an 11, but another key to quality sound design is knowing when and how to use silence. The game may not be quiet for very long, but when it is it becomes genuinely frightening.


A few new monsters appear and the oil pit one is by far the freakiest. You

The control scheme is the same as in every first-person shooter available, though being on PC results in the additional benefit of being able to re-map the keys to whatever you want. Want to fire weapons using the P key? Knock yourself out. As it stands, the mouse is your standard fire-and-forget tool, the space bar jumps, and the shift key launches bullet time. One thing to keep in mind is the HUD because when you swap explosive weapons, it isn

The point of this expansion pack features the exact same setup as the first game only this time you

The expansion pack brings about another six hours or so of gameplay to the table, but why bother? If repetitive, bland, lifeless environments are your bag, then here

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