By Dalton McClain / May 25th, 2018
|Title||Fear Effect Sedna|
|Release Date||March 6th, 2018|
|Platform||PC, MAC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch|
|Age Rating||M for Mature|
Out of all of the games to be brought back recently, I honestly didn’t expect for there to be a new Fear Effect game. But here we are in 2018, reviewing Fear Effect Sedna, the third installment in the franchise. However, this time the game has been handed over to a completely new developer, and has entirely new gameplay, having switched from being an action-adventure game to a tactical-strategy game. I never played the other Fear Effect games, so I’ll be looking at this from a completely fresh perspective. So without any further ado, let’s see if all these changes have either breathed new life into this decade long franchise, or if it just helped put it out to pasture.
I love the art direction of this game, there’s no other way to put it. I’m a complete sucker for cel-shaded graphics and this game really makes it look good, while at the same time capturing the feel of a heist movie. All of the character designs look good and stand out just enough so that we can tell them apart, but aren’t so different that it’s distracting. Bravo to the art team for creating something so striking and great to look at.
Sadly though, that’s the last good thing that I can say, at least for a while. The plot of the game is very, for lack of a better word, bland. Set 4 years after the original title, you follow the same protagonists and are tasked with stealing some artwork. The game slowly devolves into dealing with various bits of Inuit mythos and other dimensions. The story on its own sounds interesting, but it’s hurt by the bad script and voice acting, which might be some of the worst that I’ve seen. It’s not even really abhorrently bad, it’s just delivered with really flat and lifeless voices. There’s almost no flair or intonation change, it’s like watching a movie voice acted completely in monotone. It really spoils the mood of the game, and makes cutscenes a drag to sit through, which is a big problem considering how story heavy this game is. There are a few character driven moments in there as well, but I never found myself caring about any of them. The only character I really enjoyed was Deke because he was really comedic, but the rest of them weren’t really all that interesting. I think with a few minor tweaks to the script and a heavy emphasis on better voice acting, this game would’ve been a much more enjoyable experience.
The sound design wasn’t all bad though, the music in the game was actually really enjoyable and helped set the mood well. It totally makes you feel like you’re in a futuristic, noir-type setting. Plus it’s really hard to get bored of the OST considering that the music is so broad. Everywhere you go the music and sound effects sound different, really helping you immerse yourself into whatever landscape you find yourself exploring.
The only other thing I can really find to brag about is the puzzle elements of the game, which were really challenging and satisfying to figure out…most of the time, anyway. These are basically small interludes, normally before or after fights. Sure there were some really hard curve balls every now and again, but it wasn’t enough to detract from the good puzzles. What was enough to detract from them, however, was the combat. The combat is by far the worst thing about this game, as it’s absolutely brutal and unforgiving. You’re tasked with sneaking around enemies, and if you’re caught it’s an all out fight with both normal ammo, as well as special ammo for each character, as well as some explosives later on. This wouldn’t be so bad if the controls themselves didn’t feel clunky and the AI was improved. Basically if you get into a giant fire fight in this game, you’re done for because it will be your character against maybe 4-5 better armed guards that you have to fight on your own because your partner doesn’t seem to want to help. Being sneaky and tactical doesn’t really help either, as you’ll more often than not either still get seen or be trapped between two or more guards who just refuse to move. You also have the ability to pause time and move each of your characters, but I never found it all that useful. All of this coupled with the long load times whenever you die makes it very infuriating to start all over from scratch
Overall I think this game is a bust. Sure the visuals are pretty, the puzzles are fun, and the soundtrack is fantastic, but it’s just not enough to distract from the fact that this game is really bland and has a lot of really glaring problems. At $19.99 you get about 10 hours worth of content which is good for the price, but I can’t in good conscience recommend this game unless you really enjoy the puzzles.
Review copy provided by the publisher
fear effect sednaForever EntertainmentSushee