FEAR Extraction Point

Thursday 21 September 2006
As the barrels begin to slow, no longer spewing vapour-hot metal into the room, you begin to assess the damage. Like that lobby scene, the joy is in the pause after the carnage.

The concrete pillars are cracked, showing the metal underneath. A crumpled drinks can is spinning on the spot, the only noise in this echo chamber. And then there are the corpses: ten, maybe 15 dead replicants, slumped or sprayed against the walls.

With FEAR: Extraction Point, Vivendi promise more. More levels, more story, more ghouls, more men to shoot, and many, many more rounds per second. More of what FEAR was really good at: slow-motion combat in claustrophobic settings, fights that made you feel like a superhuman warrior.

That ruined train station just described is the result of their new weapon, the immensely phallic, ridiculously fun mini-gun. It's a six-barrelled, lead-spewing death wand: hold your finger down, walk forward, hit the slow-motion button: the bullets still pump out, but you can see the trail of every one, carving through concrete and body armour.

You walk forward so slowly, still firing, an unyielding monster. Even when you're alone, the bads turned to mulch, you still fire, because you don't want that moment to end. Or, to put it another way: we really like the mini-gun.

Alma, the demon child from the first game, has crashed your escaping helicopter. You have no option but to flee, through streets, sewers and subways.

Your cloned trooper and walking robo-men foes have been joined by poltergeists: nearly invisible ghosts that leap out, scratch at your face, and scatter the furniture.

They're almost impossible to keep track of - unless, again, you activate the slow-mo and watch for movement in the room. Jumpy warriors will find themselves emptying clips into innocent tins of paint or creaking floorboards.