FEAR 2 just got a little bit bigger, unfortunately the key to this review is in that first statement. Fear 2 Reborn, unlike the previous expansions to the series, is DLC at a very reasonable price of £5.99, the question is this a healthy young baby or should this one have been an abortion?
Fear 2 reborn takes place at an unspecified point in the time line where Replica soldiers are fighting the security from Armstec and for the first time in the series your not playing one of the good guys. You control Foxtrot 813, a replica solider that is about to have a very bad day, soon after you arrival a strange voice rings in your head and suddenly the whole world is against you. From here on in expect no surprises from the engine or the gameplay, its the same S***, different day.
My major complaint about Fear 2 originally was the lack of Paxton Fetal, he complimented the scariness of Alma with his madness and strange foresight of events. After being killed in the first game and returning in ‘Extraction Point’ claiming that nothing makes sense, Reborn’s story of Paxton Fetals reawakening seemed an obvious was of bringing this great character back in, unfortunately it was just that, from start to finish Reborn is predictable and lack luster.
The game looks and controls the same as one might expect, so if you enjoyed Fear 2 you should enjoy the gameplay brought in here. The HUD has had some changes to represent your Replica persona, but apart from that close combat and slow mo are once again at your disposal. Reborn also suffers from a lack of variety in the weapons department, even missing out weapons that were in the original campaign, but it does this because of Reborn’s biggest flaw.
The game is short, painfully so. Soon diving back into the ruined city to once again face Alma and the horror around me it was over, over in an hour and a half to be precise. The story progression is almost absent with any player who has been involved in the series knowing the eventual outcome from the second you purchased the game. Alma is present, but her actions are unexplained and left for you to decide, which feels almost like she was there just to make an appearnace and remind you its a Fear game. To be honest the DLC feels like an idea someone had that simply didn’t get the time it deserved in development to bring it up to the quality of the previous expansion (we ignore Perseus Mandate).
On the good side, the levels flow well, the objectives give you a sense of involvement and Fetel is once again the creepiest SOB you will ever meet in gaming. Fear 2 was a joy to play (with possibly an iffy ending) and the DLC continues the line of great combat mixed with horror, well after you get past the first section anyway. The problem I am still considering while writing this review is that the DLC is only £5.99, what consists as long enough and of a high enough quality to score DLC that is so cheap. The problem is I find myself wanting more, I would have happily paid a higher price and had more content. It’s like ordering a burger on its own because it’s cheaper when you really wanted a Big Mac meal.
Fear 2 Reborn is not a bad purchase if you know what your getting, but I can only recommend it to hardcore fans of the series, those who hadn’t played the original game and expansion will just be lost in a plot that can only be put together by those who understand every aspect of the story. Fear 2 Reborn is a case example of DLC that should have been developed as a separate entity and suffered for it. As a huge fan of the series I hope to see more coming from Monolith, but with some meat to it next time.