A Guru's review.
Primary Test System:
Athlon 64 FX-55
DFI Lanparty NF4 SLI-DR
2GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer
2 x XFX 6800 Ultras (SLI)
Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro
Logitech Z680 5.1 Surround Speakers
Recommended System Specs:
Pentium IV 3ghz, 1GB of RAM, Geforce 6600 or Radeon 9800pro Direct X9 compliant graphics card, 5.0GB Hard drive space, Direct X9 compliant Sound Card, Windows X64, XP or 2000.
Publisher: VU Games
The gaming world has been pretty quiet of late, with few releases worthy of note over the summer months. However, the autumn brings us a period reminiscent of a London bus timetable. I.E. nothing for ages and then they all come along at once. Still, at least thats where the similarity ends, as thankfully games arent all bright red, dirty or have a distinct similarity to a can of sardines when they eventually do turn up. Whats more, with a bit of luck the end results are a lot more satisfying than being shoved on to a mobile tin can and squished against some stranger who smells as if he hasnt bathed for the last month
Luckily for the gurus out there, thats where my rant about London transport ends for the day (just dont let me get on to the trains!) for there are more important matters to attend to. The first game to appear on the timetable is Monoliths F.E.A.R. a game that has had us both in a state of excitement and enduring a cold sweat at what lies within the confines of that seemingly harmless DVD. As we alluded to in last months preview, F.E.A.R. is the first notable attempt in a year at toppling the crown of valves epic Half-Life 2; a game that also seemed to have some similarities to busses where time keeping is concerned, although none at all when it comes to a rewarding experience. What we looked at then seemed extremely promising but have Monolith come up with a classic, and should we all be searching for a spare pair of pants?
F.E.A.R. or First Encounter Assault and Recon, sets you as a Special Forces agent part of an elite squad of soldiers trained to deal with X-Files style supernatural happenings beyond the capabilities of the ordinary Special Forces. You are called into action when a rather unsavory character called Paxton Fettel manages to escape, and take control of various facilities with the aid of psychically controlled army of soldiers. Fettel obviously had a traumatised childhood, his parents never having taught him proper table manners as he feasts hand to mouth on various poor unsuspecting victims. This is where you come in. Along with the support of the rest of the F.E.A.R. team, and standard spec-ops soldiers (who dont really seem to last all that long) your primary objective is to intervene and eliminate Fettel.
The theory being, stop Fettel and you stop his forces. Now, this would be as easy as it sounds had the people at Monolith not decided to equip Fettels team of operatives with probably the best AI around. These guys are capable of thwarting your every move with excellent environmental awareness. They call to each other, give instructions and warnings, take cover, jump over obstacles and through windows. They even pull over objects and swing desks across your path when no cover is readily available. Neither do they just charge headlong into the fray.
F.E.A.R. is the first notable attempt in a year at toppling the crown of valves epic Half-Life 2; a game that also seemed to have some similarities to busses where time keeping is concerned, although none at all when it comes to a rewarding experience. What we looked at then seemed extremely promising but have Monolith come up with a classic, and should we all be searching for a spare pair of pants?
As many of you will be aware, F.E.A.R (or First Encounter Assault & Recon for short) involves a rather mysterious looking girl in a red dress, a man with an unappetising taste for human flesh, and some rather flashy action set pieces al la' The Matrix. All of this is brought together by one of the best game engines around. There has been a great amount of talk surrounding this game of late, and as we here at Guru 3d aim to please, it was decided we would take a quick pre-release look at both single player and multiplayer aspects of this game, with some preliminary testing and benchmark results, to give you an idea of just what to expect, and whether your brand spanking new 7800GTX will be just as scared of that Girl in the Red Dress as you!