This is likely the hardest column I have had to write in my time at Game Industry News. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, I am not ending my column. You are stuck with me until the day I finally eat one cheese curl too many and buy the farm. No, this has been a particularly hard month. My column was initially delayed after my dog and an accident with the leash gave me a concussion (number 9 for those playing the home game). Then, on the 23rd, I learned one of my closest friends died in a car accident and left his three kids behind. I’ll be honest, I have not felt any urge to game, but I have obligations.
I decided that I wanted to do a look back on the F.E.A.R. series, which stands for First Encounter Assault and Recon, as a celebration of my time at Game Industry News. F.E.A.R. 3 was the first console game I had ever reviewed for Game Industry News (previously only playing 3DS titles) and looking back, it was bad. Readers, I should not have been hired by this amazing company after the poorly written mind vomit that was my review. Nevertheless, the staff stuck with me and allowed me to develop and become the average writer I am today. Those long nights of hosing me down outside while beating me with a dictionary and leaving severed thesauruses on my pillow really helped drive the point home.
So why the F.E.A.R. series, and why a celebration column?
Well, readers who didn’t ask me anything, I noticed there was a publisher’s sale where I got all five F.E.A.R. titles for under ten dollars, and I couldn’t pass it up. I waited until my friend came over to do a load of laundry before I started talking about my time at Game Industry News. See, I am really good at finding the points when I have a captive audience and take full advantage of it. I realized I never wrote a column at my ten-year mark. Now I am closing in on 13 years (give or take six months) and decided to kill two birds with one column.
It couldn’t be as easy as I’d had hoped as it said that F.E.A.R. was not controller compatible. Which was odd since I first played it on console. Lucky for me, playing 7 Days to Die has at least given me exposure to playing with a keyboard and mouse. The other issue I had was that I don’t think this game was optimized well. I placed my gaming laptop on its cooling pad and boosted the settings. The frame rate started at 64, and then every five minutes would just drop until it hit about eight frames per second. I was essentially playing a high intensity slideshow.
Also, shooting slow moving zombies is one skill set, and fast-moving soldiers are another. I was struggling a lot with the controls and the frame rate. Outside of that, the gun play was pretty good considering the age of the game. It had that right amount of catharsis, and the sound engineering was great. It was also nice to play the original F.E.A.R. where they did some poltergeist-like stuff before they pulled off the sheet and just went with a generic shooter.
I may troubleshoot and try again or hope the first expansion is more user friendly for us console dweebs. I have not played either of the expansions so that will be new for me. The F.E.A.R. series has a special place in my heart for helping to start my career at GiN and giving me something interesting to play as someone who enjoys horror and shooting games. Hopefully, I will be better off for my next column. Until then, I’m going to mourn and survive the holidays. Let’s all dominate 2024, each and every one of us.
And no, I still have not beaten the boss of Final Fantasy XIII.