Name: Fear Effect Sedna
Publisher: Forever Entertainment / Square Enix Collective
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Reviewed on: PC
Acquired: * A copy of this game was provided from publisher for review purpose*
The first Fear Effect game was released for Playstation 1 back in 2000 and became a huge success, and the sequel was just as popular. Now, 18 years later, a new game in the serie is being released, developed by a completely different studio. Will this new title in the series live up to the legacy?
Fear Effect Sedna is developed by the small indie developer Sushee and the development was funded by a kickstarter campaign. Although it is not uncommon to fund game development this way, it is much more untraditional to use crowdfunding on titles as well established as this.
In Fear Effect Sedna we once again meet Hana, Rain, Deke and Glas, six years after the story in Fear Effect 1. We meet Hana and Rain in Hong Kong where they work as mercenaries. They accept a mission to steal a statuette from the ambassador of China, in France. This seemingly small mission is not as easy as it appears and they soon find themself involved in something much bigger than they bargained for. Soon they find themself in Greenland, a new character on their team, plunged into Inuit mythology and involved in something much bigger than they ever expected.
The story of the game is quite good and exciting, mixing well between mythology and real-life and the characters themselves. There is one HUGE draw-back on the story though – the narrative parts. In several parts of the game, the voice-acting is so bad! It’s cringeworthy bad. It is actually so bad that it became a huge annoyance to me. No emotion, no empathy, no… acting.
The first Fear Effect games featured a graphic that resembled cel-shading, and was one of the very first games to use this kind of graphics in gameplay and Fear Effect Sedna continues in the same manner in both gameplay and cutscenes, giving it the comic-book feel that the serie is known for. And it does it freaking well. It fits the game freaking well, the level of detail on the areas are great, without cluttering too much.
The animation of the characters suffers a little on some cut-scenes, showing some of the limitations of cel-shading. The characters’ facial expressions gets extremely stiff and “one-emotional” very often, and leave you unsatisfied.
Let me start describing the gameplay, by saying one thing. This game is hard. It is unforgiving and it is frustratingly hard. If you remember how hard games used to be, back in the olden days on PS1? Well, this is just as hard. That said, it is not bad.
During the game you will control different characters, each with their special skills and abilities, and in many parts you can change between the different characters. Each character have their strengths and weaknesses.
The way you play the game varies a lot, so it does not get repetitive. Switching between snaking thief, getting past guards and security without being noticed, to full out bullet-raining action hero and back to silent assassin. There are puzzles along the way, quite a lot of them actually, that needs to be dealt with and often there are clues in the environment about how to solve them. At one point, I actually had to run through the entire level again just to search for the clues that I didn’t notice at all.
Did I mention that it was hard? The puzzles may be hard, due to the fact that the clues are so masterfully blended into everything else and hard to interpret. Even when you do, actually managing the solution can be hard enough at times. The sense of achievement when you actually solve it though, makes it all worth it.
And then there is the battles. The regular battles can be hard enough at times, especially with many enemies. You are no superhero, and your health is always a critical element. The AI of your companions are not superb, and you will curse them for taking on too much heat leaving you all vulnerable. Luckily you have the ability to strategically pause the game and give commands to each active character before unpausing. Don’t be stupid, use it. Use every advantage you got. You WILL need it.
The boss battles however, will probably make you rip some hair out. Some of them are excruciatingly hard to the point where I rage-quitted the game several times and had to gather myself before I tried again. And again. And again.
The controls of the game is quite straight forward, you use WASD to move and the mouse to aim. This works quite well overall and there is no big objections to how the controls are in the game, except for feeling quite stiff. The aiming in the game feels like it is not working perfectly sometimes because of objects that block the path, that you don’t realize block it until it is too late. A small detail, but it makes the game feel buggy and inaccurate, when in fact it is just TOO accurate.
The feel of the controls feels even more unpolished due to this “hidden wall” effect, not just in combat, but also when exploring the levels ann you encounter places where it looks like you should be able to go, but can’t. It looks like you can avoid the security camera, but you don’t. Small details everywhere that lowers the feeling of actually having 100% control.
The game have bonus totems hidden around that you need to unlock bonus content, but other than that the game does not have a real “reason” to be played through again. Other than enjoying the combats and so on.
Replay Value 6
If you are impatient or suffer from high blood pressure, stay away from this game. If you like a game to challenge you to the point where you start pointing at the screen and give the character a good piece of your mind, threaten to leave him at low health for the rest of the game and ignore his every wish if he doesn’t shape up, this game is for you.
Fear Effect Sedna is not a bad game, it’s actually quite good and fans of the Fear Effect title will have a blast playing this. It is just extremely hard. I have much less hair now than I did before playing this.
User Review( votes)
- Variation in gameplay
- Great puzzles
- Extremely hard
- Poor voice acting
- Stiff controls