It's a little Indiana jones. It's a little Blade Runner. It's a little Sixth Sense, survival horror and John Woo. Fear Effect is a lot of things, and for the most part, everything's done right. This game is an amazing cinematic experience and is more impressive in the storytelling and drama department than Metal Gear Solid. The plot is full of the types of surprises and twists you'd only think would happen in a grown-up movie. Add to that the terrific graphics (with gorgeous and immersive FMV backgrounds on every screen), ambient sound, anime-like cinemas, smooth transitions from movies to gameplay and solid voice acting, and you have here one of the coolest and slickest games you'll ever find on the PS. A few problems nag me though. The controls can be somewhat clunky. This is especially noticeable during boss fights, when the sluggish movement becomes a bigger enemy to you than the opponent itself. Speaking of bosses, some of them have this lame weak point hot spot that only opens up during certain situations that don't necessarily make sense. Other complaints include a few puzzles that have a kindergarten level of difficulty and a short, overall game length (which was only disappointing because I wanted the experience to last much longer). From intro to the different endings...this game blew me away.
Intriguing is one way to describe Fear Effect. Sounds like hype but the characters, plot, the Blade Runnerlike ambience, it all melds together to create quite a surrealistic thriller. No doubt it'll keep you glued to the set for the duration. The fortunate part is, no one element weakens the game. If it had bad control or an impossible puzzle it would ruin the vibe. If anything it's a little obvious at times but nothing major. I highly recommend this one.
You really wouldn't know that this was an American game. In terms of production values and storyline it has a lot in common with the very best that anime has to offer. Despite some niggly control issues (which you get used to), over-simplified puzzles and the fact that it's a bit short for four discs' worth of game, it has to be said that Fear Effect is topnotch. The plot is simply superb and it's filled with twists and surprises. A true "adult" game.
Three things keep FE from receiving a higher score: The quirky aiming system, the obvious puzzles and the length of the game. Thankfully, you can learn to deal with the first two minor problems. And as far as the length of the game goes...well, the experience is simply amazing so the game's length doesn't matter much. FE is interesting, with a lot of twists and other spooky bits, and as entertaining as any good movie. Plus, I love the stylized visuals.