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Quick game review: F.E.A.R. (Xbox 360)

[Alternative review title: “That’s me in the corner, filling my pants”]

Gears of War comes out later this week (here in the UK at least; it’s already out elsewhere) and Xbox 360 owners are getting very excited about it, with good reason – the reviews have been overwhelmingly good. However, it’d be a shame if F.E.A.R. gets overlooked as a result. It slipped onto shelves on Friday, and I reckon that it’s the best first-person shooter on the 360 so far.

Inevitably, I haven’t completed it yet – I’m famously rubbish at games – but I’m several hours into campaign mode, and it’s been a hoot so far. There’s some great horror movie-style jumpy bits, the fighting bits are as fun as in Black, the environments aren’t as repetitive as those in yer Dooms and Quakes, despite the cringeworthy title it’s not as cheesy as Prey, the enemy swearing is amusing and it doesn’t suffer from the save point madness that made Quake 4 such an irritant (when you die in F.E.A.R. you’re reloaded in a few seconds – in Quake 4, it takes about three weeks).

It’s big, dumb fun with big, dumb guns and the odd outbreak of spookiness. If you like your console shooters, you’ll love this.