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It was a dark and stormy night no, no wait scratch that start again.
The night is rainy and a chill runs through your bones. You regret the fact that you have been called out into this gloomy evening to call on a few friends, but the chill you feel now is nothing compared to the one you felt just moments before.
You had just finished reading a telegram from an old associate named Jin. You learn that a girl named Wee Ming Lam has just mysteriously disappeared into the dangerous underbelly of Hong Kong a Shan Xi Protectorate to be more precise. Wee is the daughter of Mr. Lam, a very powerful and influential Chinese businessman that Jin now works for.
Jin informs you that there is a considerable reward for the safe return of Wee Ming and that Jin would only expect a small cut of the pie in return for the information. You are asked to meet Jin at the helipad port atop the Lam building in Hong Kong in three nights to solidify the deal. Oh, you are also advised to bring a shitload of guns and a few of your trusted "associates".
Your name is Hana. You are a 24-year-old of French/Chinese descendants, a world-class marksman and driver and your demeanor is as cold as ice water. You don't get rattled easily. You live in a province of Hong Kong and know your way around. For this mission you know you will need the best to succeed so you call upon two of your closest partners
Royce Glas: Living in Claifornia, Glas is a 34-year-old ex-military hero, turned mercenary. He is a highly decorated vet of a number of conflicts that are officially denied by the US government. You don't worry too much about what is wrong or right, you just want to get the job done and you possess the skills to do just that. Driver by a sense of honor and spirit for adventure, you take the job mostly though because you need the cash.
Jakob "Deke" Decourt: Living in New Australia, Deke is a 37-year-old walking powder keg just waiting to explode. Very aggressive and borderline psychotic, Deke is an old friend of Glas and is normally called on for important missions that require his skill as a weapons expert. While not formally trained like Glas, Deke has learned things the hard way by killing great quantities of people.
With your team now in place you jump into your chopper with Glas and head on over to the Lam building to meet your destiny .
Fear Effect is an interesting title indeed. While it contains a lot of quick thinking / twitch style segments it's core gameplay lies in the action/adventure elements that unfold via a solid storyline and cinematic delivery.
The game definitely has it's own style and appearance but one cannot deny the fact that without games like Resident Evil, Dragon's Lair & to a smaller extent Tomb Raider, Fear Effect may never have come into existence. It cleverly borrows control schemes from one genre, presentation from another and gameplay elements from a number of 3rd person titles. The good news is that it all comes together in a nice action/adventure format that is sure to please most gamers.
Sound and Vision:
The world created in Fear Effect is all at once atmospheric while retaining a certain dark and foreboding feel to it. Playing through the game I was repeatedly reminded of the movie Blade Runner, with its striking visuals and futuristic appearance. To accomplish this marvelous appearance Fear Effect relies on the use of Full Motion Video for all of the background scenes and effects. This is truly unique in presentation and one of the few games that I can recall to actually using this technique effectively. It truly creates a world that appears to be alive and bustling with action. There are also useful items that can be acquired from the backgrounds as well, you just have to be careful and look for them.
To compliment the marvelous background the characters in Fear Effect are created with a distinctive Anime flare. The creative use of shadowing effects and coloring work together to create a real comicbook style approach at presenting the games characters, which blend with the background very nicely.
Even the games cutscenes use the in games graphics engine so the cuts are for the most part quite seamlessly integrated into the game. This definitely keeps the flow of the title moving along at a nice clip and doesn't cause the cutscenes to interfere with the game in the least. Also, if you have already seen them you can just as easily bypass the cuts by pressing the start button.
Of course the beautiful graphics would be meaningless if you didn't have the proper music to set up the tone for the game. Luckily the score found in Fear Effect is a very good one with appropriate musical interludes happening at precisely the right times. The overall tracks in the game keep things moving and have a distinct Asian feel to them.
The sound effects are another key player in creating tension and atmosphere in a game like this one. All around you can hear the noises of the FMV background leaking out. Steam pipes, water dripping, and neon lights crackling basically every sound effect is in perfect sync with the background that you walk through. You can also hear footsteps shuffling just off screen to warn you of approaching danger. I really liked the sound effects for the bullets too as you fire you weapon you can hear the empty metal shell casings clicking and echoing off the ground. Explosions are also impressive, as are the various vocals/speech scenes throughout the title.
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