F.E.A.R. Extraction Point

After winning numerous awards and crafting the best 3D shooter since Half Life 2, one would think that the folks at Sierra would have a real challenge following up the success of F.E.A.R.

Thankfully, Timegate Studios has stepped up to the challenge with F.E.A.R. Extraction Point.

Picking up where the first game ended, players are once again in the boots of the First Encounter Assault Recon (F.E.A.R.) point man as he attempts to regroup with his team following a helicopter crash.

At first all seems quiet as the enemy troops have become inert following the loss of their leader Paxtel and the streets are eerily quiet and empty. Things changes when Paxton appears to you in a vision and the troops mysteriously start to awaken. With your destruction being their primary goal the hunter has become the hunted as players must make their way through heavily fortified enemy locales to reach an extraction point where they can be taken to safety.

Along the way through such locales as a church, construction area, hospital, and subway, players must battle against overwhelming forces to safely reach the extraction point. Being a F.E.A.R. game, there are numerous supernatural moments such as appearances by Paxton, Alma, and demons which often get your nerves on end as you know that something is coming just around the next corner.

The add on pack advances the story without answering any of the lingering questions form the original game. Alma is loose and still as deadly as ever, yet at times goes out of her way to help you, and seems to plea for your help in visions.

Paxton also speaks of a pending decision you have to make which plays into the conclusion as well as paves the way for future installments of the game.

Thankfully the game is just more than a few levels as the designers have thrown in some nice wrinkles such as new enemies and weapons. One such enemy is a deadly phantom that moves quickly in and out of the shadows and is only seen by their glowing eyes and transparent outline. When they appear, I find it best to hug the wall and spray heavy caliber ammunition until they go up in a cloud of debris. There are also some new enemy troops that brandish some impressive weapons and move very quickly when engaged. I found using the slow motion ability and charging directly at them to be a useful way to dispatch them.

The new weapons are nice as there is a dual pistol option, a heavy chain gun that cuts bad guys to ribbons and a laser pulse weapon that fires a sustained beam to fry an enemy.

Graphically the game looks and plays the same as the original and has solid sound effects which ad to the atmosphere of dread and impending doom.

If there is any fault with the game is that it is much shorter than the full game as I was able to complete this outing in about 5.5 hours.

The multiplay is also solid with several servers and game types for players to embrace. Fans who loved the multiplay of the original will not be disappointed.

While not as groundbreaking as the original, Extraction Point is a worthy addition to the F.E.A.R. series that will keep fans gripped and help pass the time until the next offering in the series.

4.5 stars out of 5.