Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bringer Deck

(edited april 2)

Won an auction that filled us up on Prismatic Omen, so I figured I'd map out a green-based 5 color deck without the instant win bullshit of coalition victory or door to nothingness.  only lacking about a dozen cards right now. 

Bringer Deck   60 cards


4 prismatic omen
4 joiner adept
4 nature's lore
4 search for tomorrow
2 rampant growth
2 viridian emissary

WHOMP!   20

4 bringer of the black dawn
4 bringer of the blue dawn
4 bringer of the red dawn
3 maelstrom archangel
1 legacy weapon
4 thornweald archer


4 crystal quarry
16 forests

Thursday, February 10, 2011

FEAR 2 Review

Game:  F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
Year (s):  2009
Company:  dev.  Monolith Productions,
            pub.   WB Games
Engine:  Lithetech Jupiter EX with modified Havok physics
Type:  First-Person Shooter, Horror
What I Paid:  NA, Christmas gift
Game Time:  8 hours, on normal difficulty, first time through


FEAR 2 starts near the end of the first game, and continues onward.  You do not play as the Point Man from the original, but as Beckett, another FEAR operative with a separate FEAR team.  As a result, you do not have the Slow-Mo ability at the beginning of the game.  The story is told through cut scenes, radio chatter, and intel items (correspondence) scattered throughout the game.
Alma is back with a vengeance.  The plot delves deeper into the history of Alma, the Replicas, and other Armacham schemes unknown in the first game.


For using the same engine as the first, this looks a hell of a lot better.  It's more on par with Gamebryo, or even Source.  Lighting effects seemed to either be more prevalent, or used more effectively.  Textures are not so flat, and all in all, it's a big improvement over the first game for visuals, and that made me happy.


Hey!  A voice actor that did some of the no-name NPC's in Half Life 2 voices a minor character (Keegan) in FEAR 2!


On normal, the combat was easier than the first, and a hell of a lot of fun.  The player can carry four weapons (plus grenades) and up to three medkits.  The "lean around corners" option has been cut, but on a positive, you can knock over tables and other objects to use them for cover.
All enemies except for the UAV are back!  Ghosts are less dangerous but much creepier.  A bigger, badder version of Replica power armor debuts as both an enemy and a badass vehicle.  In two occasions, you get to man a turret.  Replica forces now include clearly defined snipers and one APC battle.  Heavies take less  of a beating to dispatch.  Black Ops teams, creatures that crawl on any surface, and a freaky enemy that uses the dead like puppets round out the baddie roster.  And oh, at times, Alma will pounce on you, and you'll have to punch her off. 
There is no quick saving, but there are auto-saves after about every firefight.  This makes the game more immersive, so I fully support it.


As far as horror, there are some fantastic sequences, and the ghosts look better.  However, I didn't find it as scary as the first.  I think this is because when you start FEAR, you don't know what the hell is going on, where as in this, you do to some extent.  Also, possibly explainable because Alma is free, the horror is, generally, less suspense-oriented and more violence-oriented.

Expansions / DLC

FEAR 2: Reborn was released in September 2009.  This was made by Monolith, so it is canon.  In it, the player assumes the role of a Replica soldier commanded by Paxton Fettel.  The mission is to release Fettel's spirit from where it is being contained.  Alma and other Replica forces fight you on this the whole way.  I have not played this, but it's only ten dollars, so it's only a matter of time.

Final Thoughts

This game might not have been very long, but it was a blast.  It basically incorporates the hyper-fun, lose-track-of-time urban combat a la Half Life 2 with the lighting effects and  violent horror appeal found in Doom 3.  I liked FEAR, I love FEAR 2.

F3AR (FEAR 3) is due to be be out May 2011.  Unlike the previous core games of the series, the developing group is Day 1 Studios, who ported FEAR to consoles and created familiar-sounding games including Missile Command and MechAssault.  One interview states that acclaimed horror director John Carpenter is involved in the development.  There are five or more trailers you can find, which show that the player will control both the Point Man and the ghost of Paxton Fettel in tandem to kick ass.  I'm disappointed Monolith isn't the developer, but nonetheless, I'm looking forward to this coming out.