View Full Version : F.E.A.R. - a better half-life sequel than hl2?

10-23-05, 06:34 PM
Before you vote, read the argument. :)

Games play differently for different people, so this is my definition of hl1 gameplay. Basically you were stuck in a research base, trying to get out, and you had to fight past a lot of special ops on the way. There were zombies and headcrabs and aliens that spat green goo at you, but the fun of hl1 was coming up against those clever AI squads. Most of the game was either offices, labs, or for the most part just grey concrete areas. There were those xen levels, but they were always considered the low point of hl1. I used to grin when i got to a new area and faintly heard that radio chatter, i'd check my ammo, and try to scope out where they were. you got a really intense firefight every time, and if you went back to your savegame, it played differently the next time. And then you had the mysterious gman sightings every now and then too. But what made hl1 so much fun to play, for me at least, was the great squad AI and combat, and the well designed areas you fought them in. There hasn't been a game since to get back to that kind of great gameplay. When you weren't fighting, you were wondering about the mysterious gman and what was going on in this game's universe.

so onto fear. Most of the time you're in a research building, in either offices, labs, or mostly concrete areas of some sort. alma/fettel sightings are just like seeing the gman, try to catch up with them and they're gone. But the big reason it feels more like a hl sequel than hl2, is the squad combat. Again you're in these everyday environments, and you hear a faint radio chatter up ahead, you get the same feeling as with hl1. you'll check your ammo, decide on your approach weapon, try to spot the first guy. You know these guys will talk to each other, and flank you, and try to flush you out, if you hit them they'll limp, and if you get the upper hand you see them turn tail and run. You get the same intense dynamic firefights, and if you reload your save, the situation will play differently. The environments and combat feel just like hl1's, only updated to 2005 in effects and presentation. All that's missing is the oh so familiar "fire in the hole!", although you do get "frag out!" now, heh.

To me the gameplay feels like the first natural sequel to half-life, fighting the same great dynamic and intelligent squads, in the same kind of environments, with similar weapons, and a few new twists (slowmo, more destructable environment). It's the first game to reproduce and then build on what made half-life so much fun, for me. And the storyline to some extent felt the same as hl1, you know very little of what's going on in this game universe, people want things hushed up, larger unseen forces at are play.

don't get me wrong. I enjoyed half-life 2. But none of the combat reproduced the half-life1 gameplay. The weapons all felt 'loose', like they didn't connect with anything properly, the bullet spread was all over the place. The AI was challenging, but you never felt like you were facing the same kind of squads from the first game; you rarely got flanked, they didn't communicate very much, to me they came across as waves of individual baddies, and not cohesive units. The character and story development made it feel like the half-life universe, unmistakeably, but the actual gameplay felt like some other company had been asked to make the sequel and took the game in their own direction. Half-life2 was a great game, they got all kinds of gameplay in it, everything except the original's combat. Remember the e3 video, of that squad chasing you, that later turned out to be scripted, that's what i expected of hl2, great squad combat. And it seems like fear delivered what was seen in that e3 video from 2003. guy's moving world objects for cover, kicking in doors, coming through the windows, calling for backup, chasing you down, flanking you, always communicating with each other.

Anyway, i'm interested to hear anyone elses opinion on this. :)

10-23-05, 07:20 PM
Good food for thought! I enjoyed a bit of hl2's combat, but always wondered what the buzz was all about. The ai seemed on par with hl1 but...maybe I just bought into the hype. Now F.E.A.R. comes along and I get everything I expected from hl2 and then some. The combat is very tight, I love the weapons balancing, and I loved the fact that I was killed because I underestimated the bad guys by a long shot, not just cuz they could take a lot of hits. Awesome!

10-23-05, 07:48 PM
I agree with the idea that the combat/enemy and even weapons in FEAR are much more in the vein of HL than HL2. HL2 (in my opinion) was much more run&gun than the original. FEAR and HL seem to have simular pacing to me.

Good dicussion BTW!

10-23-05, 07:56 PM
I really dont know what is so great about the damn AI in fear...
I mean, most of the time I throw one grenade, than set out with a shotgun and slaughter every on of them. Hell, I can sit in one place and shoot them as they come for me. Whats even worse, when they go through their little animations, like crawling or going down a ladder or something, its easy to kill them. They are stupid.

Common, one gut knocks down a friggin closet or something, than crawl under it towards me. I stand infront of him, and I just laugh as I kill him. They are stupid. Nothing revolutionary there, just some great atmosphere. And I bearly use other guns than the shotgun too... Kinda remind me of Doom3...

And for yer question, the hl2 AI seems closer to the original. The only problem with games like these, is that you are actually always faster than them, so you can be the special op, not them stupid AI. They dont even hear you coming...

Edit: Oh and I forgot to mention this: whenever I hear the radio chtter, the AI says that I am the one trying to flank them.... Stupid, but fun.

10-23-05, 10:54 PM
I think the AI in HL2 is worse than HL1. The AI in Fear is easily the best I have ever seen in a game.

As a gamer, we expect the AI to have certain limitations. In Fear I had to constantly rethink my approaches because I know they don't have the same limitations as other games.

10-23-05, 11:13 PM
HL2 bad guys were too scripted tbh.

They have their moments but I have more fun playing Halo on xbox coz those buggers come out and get you and make sure you're dead.

FEAR has pretty decent AI though I still remember the headaches HL's goons gave me coz they could actually think :D

10-23-05, 11:15 PM
Yea the Half Life 1 AI was amazing, especially for the time. I remember being just amazed.

10-23-05, 11:40 PM
I voted for the 3rd option cause I never really played through HL1 all the way. I guess I need to re-install it and see what I am missing.
The A.I. in F.E.A.R. is decent so far, nothing about it has impressed me too much yet.

10-24-05, 02:44 AM
I played HL1 heaps and I don't feel that FEAR is anything like HL.

10-24-05, 03:07 AM
I haven't played F.E.A.R. yet. However, the F.E.A.R. demo reminded me alot of a good sven coop level, which is a HL1 mod btw.

10-24-05, 04:44 AM
I've been meaning to play HL1 since finishing HL2. Needless to say, I didn't understand many of the references to the original when I played it. Yes, a shame, but I'm gonna wait until Black Mesa Source is released to figure out what I missed.

Anyway, my opinion of AI in four great games:

FEAR > Far Cry > HL2 > D3

10-24-05, 05:03 AM
All that's missing is the oh so familiar "fire in the hole!", although you do get "frag out!" now, heh.

You should pay more attention then ;)

I can assure you I heard at least a couple of times the oh so familiar "fire in the hole!" :D

10-24-05, 05:42 AM
FEAR's combat & AI system is simply amazing. i still cant see a game that can beat it! i mean when engaging the squads in FEAR i feel like i'm at real situation not just a game.
i even got flanked a couple of times when i was looking at a certain side while enemy was actually approching me from the other side.

10-24-05, 06:23 AM
Did you guys even read me coment? I wish I could feel about the AI like you guys, really, its just that I cant.
Sure itsthe best AI so far, but they are still stupid. No rethinking, no weapons tactics, just shotgun for me and spray them all to death...

10-24-05, 10:48 AM
Food for thought, although I can't say I ever once got the Half-Life 'vibe' in any way while playing F.E.A.R..

Far Cry, on the other hand, reminded me of HL greatly.

10-24-05, 11:03 AM
period. :cool:

They are still stupid. What makes them so great is the radio chatter, and their jumps and such, but they are reall stupid. I think that trying to add more realism to the AI like radio chatter and cool jumps, only shows how much simple the AI really is without them. Al in all, they are no challenge really.

Vagrant Zero
10-24-05, 11:19 AM
Considering the Doom1 and HL1 stories were practically identical [save the goverment conspiracy part] should we consider FEAR a sequal to D1 as well?

10-24-05, 01:48 PM
Interesting replies so far, thanks everyone. :)

I'm going to listen out for that 'fire in the hole' in my second run through the game!

Oh i wasn't saying it makes a better literal sequel, as in story-wise, but in the combat/gameplay and i guess atmospheric sense too. :)

nice point about farcry, that also had excellent AI, although it was more an outdoor wide open spaces style of gameplay, and the AI didn't really work as squads that i remember, although they could alert each other... and i beat that game on the hardest setting so i'd have noticed! hehe.

I'm really surprised the vote is so close, i wasn't expecting many people to agree at all, so good stuff. :)

10-24-05, 03:12 PM
Don't know HOW you missed it. "Fire in the hole" and "Flush him out" are my 2 ques to put some space between me and them cause its KA-BOOM time.