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Cold Fear

Cold Fear is not your usual lumbering horror-fest. Dispensing with an exhaustive inventory and minimising puzzles, this is an in-your face nautical terror blaster with the tension heightened by the intervention of a particularly violent storm.

The storm can sweep you and your enemies off ship and causes all manner of naval machinery to become dangerous slapstick pendulums, endangering yourself and your evil mutant pursuers.

More importantly, it causes a constant - and impressively tense - roll on the ship that means almost every encounter is a struggle to maintain a lock on your target.

Cold Fear is wrapped up in a plot that involves morally deficient biological experimentation to further the military ambitions of a shady cartel.

Naturally, it features a host of Russkies, mutants, mercenaries, mad doctors and shifty CIA directors. Success in the game requires a steady head shot and, by the looks of things, plenty of bursting into rooms as expiring colleagues/comrades utter their dying but clue-filled words.

The dark, partially flooded ship is an atmospheric and chilling setting with plenty of sealed doors and wooden floorboards for mutants to burst out of. Puzzle-wise, items you need are well highlighted and it's exploration rather than exercising the grey matter that propels you forward.

The controls can be slightly clumsy and the plot conceited but we clocked three pad-crushingly scary moments in the opening salvos of what should be a very solid title indeed.

Cold Fear is out for Xbox, PS2 and PC on 4 March

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