I must admit to a healthy amount of skepticism surrounding F.E.A.R. 2. After all, at E3 2007, Warner Brothers was showing off Project Origin, which was developed by Monolith, the developer of the original F.E.A.R. At the same time, Sierra, the owner of the F.E.A.R. IP, was showing F.E.A.R. 2. A few months ago, when Activision closed down Sierra, Warner Bros. picked up the IP and rebranded Project Origin with the F.E.A.R. 2 name.

Now, I was excited to hear that Monolith would be continuing their work on this franchise. I’ve always loved their work in the past (No One Lives Forever, Tron 2.0, F.E.A.R., and Condemned, to name a few), and I have high hopes for their future releases as well. Still, I held my enthusiasm in check pending the arrival of the PC Demo of F.E.A.R. 2.

Well, it arrived shortly after lunch today. After a quick download (1.76 gigs – about 35 minutes from FileFront here), I jumped right right in. I was quickly rewarded with the type of gameplay one would expect from a F.E.A.R. title: gunplay with slo-mo and a variety of specialized grenades.

On the hardest difficulty, the demo is still fairly simple to complete. There’s only about 25 minutes of gameplay, but what is there is all the tension, fun, and goose-bump inducing interludes that you’d expect. Nothing gets the heart rate up quite like having a flash of light reveal a zombie-like female stalking you and eventually grabbing you, only to vanish again.

Combat remains virtually unchanged. You kill a variety of Replica soldiers, all of whom seen genetically enhanced to take massive amounts of damage before succumbing to your assault. Of course, you’ll get a chance to peruse a wide range of weaponry, including shotgun, submachine gun, assault rifle, rocket launcher, sniper rifle, and even a handheld laser gun. They even toss in the powered-armor mech suit that has been featured so prominently in the trailers.

All in all, this demo is just a small taste of the game, but I have to admit that it has assuaged a lot of my trepidation about F.E.A.R. 2. Now, I’m looking forward to the game’s release on February 10th with anticipation instead. Hey, isn’t that what demos are all about?

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