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Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix – Consumer Guide

Brad Gallaway's picture

According to the ESRB, this game contains: Animated Blood & Gore, Animated Violence, Suggestive Themes

Parents—under no circumstances are you to buy this game for your children, no matter what they say or do to try and convince you. First of all, this game is too difficult for anyone who isn't old enough to buy his or her own games, and the multiple instant-deaths and restarts will probably frustrate most children who aren't prepared for it. More importantly, the themes and tone presented are extremely mature and not at all suitable for children. The game contains multiple scenes of graphic violence, featuring large amounts of blood, dismemberment and killing in cold blood. There are also a few healthy doses of sexual innuendo, as well as some undressing/underwear scenes and one instance towards the beginning of the game which appears to show a nonstandard type of "pleasuring device" in action. While I personally enjoyed the content of the game immensely, it's quite clear that it is inappropriate for children, plain and simple. Parents, now that you've been warned against buying this title, please stop writing and calling Joe Lieberman—there are adults out there who enjoy this type of game and don't want to see them driven off the market.

Gamers in general get a bit of a mixed bag. The gameplay present doesn't break any new ground or have much in the way of innovation. It's pretty much the same overused Resident Evil-style engine with a few twists—including some amazing FMV usage in the backgrounds—but its approach to intellectual content and character is one of the few that genuinely capture a darker, more mature and sophisticated feel. For this feature alone it comes recommended, but be warned that most of the enjoyment here is from the dialogue, characters and cinema scenes, rather than how the game actually plays.

Fans of the first Fear Effect should buy this game with no hesitation whatsoever. The same magnetic cast of guns-for-hire return, and newcomer Rain Qin proves herself to be a worthy addition. The gameplay is largely unchanged, though on the whole it struck me as slightly easier overall, which is not necessarily a bad thing. If you enjoyed Fear Effect, Fear Effect 2 is a second helping of the same sweet stuff. (As a side note, Eidos is offering Fear Effect FREE to people who buy Fear Effect 2, only charging for postage. How great is that?)

Fans of survival horror or third-person action fans will feel right at home in Fear Effect 2, and although it's technically not "survival horror," it's close enough to appeal to the same group of players. The control setup and game structure are basically the same, as there are plenty of puzzles and things to shoot. If you have a craving for this type of game, it's an excellent choice with a ton of style, to boot.

Hearing-impaired gamers aren't left out for a change since Kronos has added the option to have subtitles on or off during cinema scenes. This option should be in every game since little things like this make life easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved. Thank you, Kronos—the extra effort is definitely appreciated.

Category Tags
Platform(s): PlayStation  
Developer(s): Kronos Digital  
Publisher: Eidos  
Genre(s): Adventure/Explore  
ESRB Rating: Mature (17+)  
Articles: Game Reviews  

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