This past week and a bit has seen me hit part of The Backlog in an interesting way. Inspired by a recent comfort play of Second Sight, which was developed by Free Radical, and some replays of The Darkness (developed by Starbreeze Studios, though the sequel is being developed by Digital Extremes), I actually tried restarting F.E.A.R. again. Second Sight left me wondering, “Don’t I have a bunch of games about people with abilities that I have yet to complete?”. F.E.A.R. was one of them. F.E.A.R. was developed by Monolith before they were acquired by Warner Bros.
From looking at my media Backlog, it becomes quite apparent that there are plenty of games that I have started only to never complete. Part of this is to do with my “gaming literacy”. Due to the fact that I only really started playing games from when I was 13 years old, I’ve spent the last 11 years playing catch up when it comes to understanding how to play more “hardcore” titles. The only genres that my “gaming literacy” still sucks at are puzzlers and platformers.
Several years ago, the likes of F.E.A.R. left me feeling frustrated as I couldn’t quite grasp how it was asking or suggesting that I play it. But, dozens of FPS and third-person shooters and survival horrors later and this past week or so has found that I can now speak the lingo of F.E.A.R.
Whilst everyone was enjoying the Easter weekend, I was getting lost in the game and enjoying it quite a lot. As someone said to me on Twitter, the first game in the series does have a Half-Life feel to it. But only the first game. It wasn’t long before I was part way through and realised that I would need F.E.A.R. 2 to keep company and so I bought a cheap pre-owned copy online in-between April and May’s million Bank Holidays.
All too soon, F.E.A.R. was over and so was F.E.A.R. 2, but I’d completed them to the best of my ability and hadn’t pursued achievement hunting. Driven by the need to consume more games by Monolith, I had a quick check through the Backlog and realised that I had Condemned sitting around on my shelf. Again, another game that I had found difficult to play.
Yet when I re-started Condemned, I quickly found myself enthralled with a game that was edgy, well written and had some lovely voice acting. Sure, it looks a little dated now, but it is still fantastic. And with my recent acquisition of theories surrounding the nature of serial killers, it tickled my intellectual fancy a little too.
Half-way through the game I realised that like with F.E.A.R. I would need its sequel post haste. After checking online and having the speediest Amazon Marketplace delivery I have ever experienced, Condemned 2 was waiting for me to boot up on Thursday night when I finished Condemned.
Still in my playthrough of Condemned 2, the differences between it and the first game are not bad. It shows that they wanted the title to evolve in how it was played. My only disappointment with the game is that they made the protagonist, Ethan Thomas, seem a little younger than in the first game. It still works, but the character seems to lack a maturity that he had in the original.