The Sum of All Fears

a game by Ubisoft
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: First Person Shooter
The Sum of All Fears
The Sum of All Fears
The Sum of All Fears
The Sum of All Fears

Apparently you are all stupid thicko twonkers who can't even tie up your own shoelaces. Yes I am talking to you, at least I am if you wear trainers fastened with Velcro. Or if you are one of those poor individuals who played Rainbow Six, Rogue Spear or Ghost Recon and found it so hard you wet yourself and ran home crying to mummy. Whether you couldn't take the realism, or didn't have the forethought to plan your attacks properly, the fact is that you obviously need help when it comes to more thoughtful first-person action games. And so The Sum Of All Fears is the answer to your prayers. Apparently.

Though it doesn’t actually say so on the box, The Sum Of All Fears is what Gerald Ratner might call 'Rainbow Six for retards’. As with the game that first put developer Red Storm Entertainment on the gaming map. you get to command and control a squad of highly trained counter-terrorists out to thwart the dastardly plans of a bunch of bad guys. Unlike Rainbow Six however, you don't actually get to plan the missions yourself, which is either a very bad thing or a very good thing, depending on your point of view.

Blink And You’ll Miss It

Of course by electing to gloss over the tactical part of the game that made Rainbow Six so popular, Red Storm is hoping that Fears will be far more accessible to the unwashed masses. Going a step further, Red Storm has created an easy game mode which is so effortless you can buy the game in the morning and complete it before the ink on the receipt has dried. By default you have full auto-targeting, which means you just click the mouse button when you see an enemy and he will keel over. You also have a map at the bottom of the screen, with a handy white line telling you in which direction you should press the key to go forward and red dots telling you where all the enemies are. The only feature missing is the flashing warnings telling you when to breathe.

Cardboard Cut-Outs

Thankfully you can switch these options off, and for those who breezed through Ghost Recon, there is enough of a challenge to be had - one that will last much longer than the four hours needed to complete the game on easy mode. The enemy Al is perfectly acceptable, if somewhat static, and while that of your computer-controlled colleagues is enough to get through the game in easy mode, on the harder levels they are next to useless and little more than extra lives that happen to follow you around. You can give them orders of course, but aside from opening doors there isn’t much they can do. Ask them to grenade a room and while one pulls the pin, the other fails to offer covering fire, meaning you lose a life.

Certainly the game lacks the tactical subtleties of even Ghost Recon and while it shares the same 3D engine, it doesn’t look quite as impressive. Significantly, this is down to the more urban setting of Fears' indoor environments, something that the Ghost engine was never particularly good at portraying compared to the lush outdoor levels that characterised both Ghost Recon and its excellent add-on Desert Siege. The outdoor levels are, as you would expect, quite lovely, but inside the buildings - though Fears packs in more detail than Ghost Recon - the backdrops, rooms and objects all look as though they are made of cardboard -and more like cheap film sets ironically enough, than realistic buildings.

Like its more illustrious predecessors, The Sum Of All Fears is entirely linear, unsurprising since it is directly related to the Tom Clancy book and film of the same name. That in itself is no bad thing, but if you were expecting Fears to be the next step up the evolutionary ladder for tactical shooters you are sure to be mightily disappointed. In terms of originality, the game offers nothing and despite being based on a bestselling thriller, the story is presented in the most dreary way imaginable. You would at least expect some FMV culled from the movie, but what you in fact get are poorly directed in-engine cut-scenes and pre-mission voiceovers that are so deadpan you’ll end up ignoring them.

Lightweight Thinker

But whether you like your games hardcore or lightweight, we can all agree we prefer them to be good. Unfortunately, while Fears is a fairly entertaining game, it isn’t as polished or as varied as Ghost Recon. Both games share the same 3D engine, but while one is a great game in its own right, the other is simply a scaled-down edit, no doubt rushed in order to meet the deadline of the film release. For fans of the genre The Sum Of All Fears is a disappointing and lightweight game, challenging in parts but too short and repetitive to offer any real long-term value. Those of you looking for an easy and accessible way into the genre are catered for far better, but there’s no getting away from the fact that all Fears is, is a cutdown version of Rainbow Six with updated, though far from spectacular graphics.

Download The Sum of All Fears

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

So here I sit with the latest squad-based shooter from the makers of Ghost Recon. Unfortunately, The Sum of All Fears is sub par on many levels and should not be compared to these other great games from Red Storm.

As the box states, the training level is comprehensive and for someone who has little to no experience with squad based shooters, this is a great tool to help you learn everything you need to know about controlling the weapons, your squad and yourself.

Unfortunately, once past the training, you move on to the pathetic single player campaign. On 'easy,'? I played through all single player campaigns and finished the game in about an hour. If I hadn't stopped to heat up coffee and talk on the phone, I probably could have finished the entire game in less time than it would have taken to order a pizza. 'Moderate'? didn't take much longer to finish. Enemies were beyond stupid as they milled around the courtyards and buildings while their compatriots were dropping like flies around them.

The graphics, while decent, were certainly uninspired. The game sorely lacked in all the little details that make an environment, and situation, believable. Structures were bland as were the furnishings they housed. Audio was a bit better in that it played perfectly through my Audigy card and 5.1 speaker system, however, there was little ambient sound. Weapon sounds were satisfactory but there was little audible 'punch.'

So here's the rundown: I went through training and used a machine gun and rocket launcher. Never saw them in the game at all (maybe I missed a setting somewhere, but you didn't see them in the standard loadout). I tried to use the grenades and flash bangs but you could only throw them either 5 feet or 50 yards'no in between. I learned how to give commands to my squad, but in the game, they were only a nuisance and I never once needed to give a command because I was able to take out all enemies on my own. On each campaign, I found more doors that had to be opened than I did enemies. In a word, 'suck.'?

Multiplayer was marginally better and after successfully registering at ubi.com. I was immediately in a game with others. The game played smoothly with no noticeable lag (I'm on DSL) and the maps were okay for a last man standing match. Net code looks pretty solid and I would venture to say the only reason you might spend your money on this game is for the multiplayer aspect.

If you're thinking about buying this game, don't. Let your buddy go out and buy it and then take it off his hands after he tries to throw it away in disgust. After you've finished the game an hour later, cut out Ben Affleck's face from the box, pin it to a dart board, and enjoy a real game.

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots