FEAR 2: Reborn – DLC review

You are a number, not a free man

FEAR 2 is its own metaphor: the baddies are ‘Replica’ troopers: generic cloned soldier dudes. And in this freshly-forged set of new single-player levels, which you can purchase online, you get to play as one of these generic replica troopers. Number 813, to be precise. Oh dear, they’re leaving it wide open for satire, aren’t they? It’s almost too easy.

Fortunately, all is not as it might seem. Rather than playing a mindless drone the whole time, you go renegade, shooting your replica chums during a hallucination. You then go running off to have some more psychic freak-outs. Ultimately you are driven to find Paxton Fettal and release his trapped soul from a magic box. Yes, really.

And that means shooting dudes with automatic weapon, shotguns, and rocket launchers. While there are moments of tension, such as when you must take on ‘heavies’ at close quarters with grenades and prox mines, the unexciting floatiness of combat remains, and detracts enormously from being able to engage with your situation.

There are, however, some lovely attempts at visual design both in the spookiness department and in ideas such as the exploration of a knocked-over skyscraper. Arguably Reborn is simply a pale extension of a shooter that was already set in gloomy, detail-starved environments, but it does have its own little thrills. Given what you can buy in the bargain bins of PC gaming for a few bucks these days, we would suggest that Reborn isn’t worth the money. You’ll race through it in no time, and you can get the bundled multiplayer slo-mo patch for free.

Oct 14, 2009

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