As many of you will be aware, F.E.A.R (or First Encounter Assault & Recon in short) involves a rather mysterious looking girl in a red dress, a man with an unappetizing taste for human flesh and some rather flashy action set pieces aka The Matrix. All of this is brought together by one of the best game engines around.
F.E.A.R. makes its cinematic pretensions clear from the start. As soon as the credits roll, and the music starts, you are treated to the full works. The camera pans across scores of troops locked 'n' loaded and ready to hunt you down, all seemingly linked to 'Paxton Fettel', a strange kind of guy with extraordinary psychic powers capable of controlling battalions of soldiers and a habit of feeding off any poor unfortunate innocents - presumably to aid his powers of concentration. It doesnt end there, after a short briefing at F.E.A.R. HQ you are sent off to hunt down Fettel equipped with reflexes that are 'off the chart'. These reflexes are put to excellent use, with a slow motion effect like that of Max Payne, or the before mentioned Matrix. But here, it is oooohhhh so much more satisfying thanks to the outstanding environmental effects. Sparks fly everywhere, as chunks of masonry are blasted from the walls and blood splatters from your latest victim. The physics are just great, with boxes sent flying, shelves tipped over, and objects hurtling towards your head. And the explosions, well, the explosions just have to be seen, and what's so great about this is you can witness it in all its glory in slow motion.
Let me confirm to you that based on this, F.E.A.R. will have you shaking on the edge of your seat, if not falling off it. The tension is brought to just the right level with key moments that will make your heart leap. Play the demo and you will see what I mean. The key to this, is the girl. Without revealing anything significant, lets just say that she could take on the whole of Mars for creepiness.
Image Quality setting:
4x Anti Aliasing
16x Anisotropic Filtering
Soft Shadows Disabled
F.E.A.R. has a built in test which we used to measure performance, you should try it yourself, it's actually really fun to look at and compare with our results. Yet F.E.A.R. after all this time still is a tough title for the graphics cards; especially when you configure it to maximum image quality. This game is heavily pixel shaded and shows some dark and creepy effects.
Again 4xAA and 16xAF were applied here. All settings to high, no soft shadows. Slightly slower performance, yet again, very close to the two 200 USD cards performance wise.
Frontlines: Fuel of War
This is a game that's got a couple of big ambitions. The first is to provide a large-scale multiplayer experience along the lines of Battlefield: Modern Combat. That means in addition to running around on foot, you can jump in and control a variety of vehicles on the battlefield. However, it also wants to add what Battlefield sorely lacks, which is a compelling singleplayer experience. Perhaps the most impressive level is a completely war-torn cityscape that has gutted skyscrapers everywhere. Even more startling is that you can actually get into some of these towering husks, which gives you an incredibly high perch. While that might seem a bit unfair, keep in mind that there are many ways for other players to get at you, such as the remote-controlled air drones that can fly up and shred you with guns or rockets.
Frontlines: Fuel of War is a great title we recently added to our benchmark suite. That's good performance, in-game everything possible image quality wise is maxed out. The card is slightly faster than a 4850 yet slightly slower than the 9800 GTX+ graphics card.
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