By Shawn Elliott 07/12/2007 This is a preview from E3 2007. To see all our coverage, screens and videos from the show, check out 1UP's E3.1UP.COM hub page.
What's the game about: Rainbow Six-style special operatives once ago go ghost busting in Monolith's unchristened F.E.A.R. sequel. More of the same horror-flavored first-person shooting with a handful of refinements, "F.E.A.R., too" opens in a hospital moments after the mushroom cloud crowns "the Auburn area" (see F.E.A.R.'s finale). Known only as the Point Man, players awaken under the scalpel of surgeons who seem normal one minute and appear as specters the next -- smooth incisions become gouges and shovel skin. The scene closes when devil doll Alma appears and we rise from the Frankenstein table ready to off our one-time allies.
What we like: Enhanced mobility and the option to create provisional cover compliment F.E.A.R.'s whip-smart A.I and unmatched close combat -- firefights unfold from distances no further than 15 feet. Monolith staff at the controls often vaulted obstacles, and overturned stretchers to emphasize the features' utility. A new incendiary laser (a la Akira) sears white hot lines into whatever it passes in its hunt for flesh, and sets fellow F.E.A.R. troopers ablaze. (New A.I. behavior encourages human torches to extinguish themselves in water where it's present, and fire dance to death when it isn't.)
What we dislike: Critics bemoaned the first F.E.A.R.'s repetitive and bland environments, and here we are in&a hospital. One quick-tease trailer featured a twilit city street and underground black-science bunker, but I'm wondering whether Monolith is really responding to bad press. And while shock-and-awe elements showcased today -- a Gollum-like flesheater lopes across walls and leaps into the player's face -- kept the audience on tenterhooks, Monolith overused similar devices to the point of dullness in the original shooter.