Generally favorable reviews - based on 57 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 57
  2. Negative: 0 out of 57
Buy On
  1. 100
    F.E.A.R. is just polished, period. If you have the system to handle the game, it is a must have for all gamers.
  2. Thankfully, you can slow time, Matrix-style, to get out of the more harrowing battles, while the game's controls are smoother than Moby's head.
  3. 100
    Both a technical and narrative masterpiece, F.E.A.R combines elements of science-fiction and horror with a beautiful aesthetic presentation and incredible enemy A.I.
  4. A must-own, a must-play, a must-have or whatever generic must-“word” or must-“phrase” that you’ll find plastered on a game box. From start to finish, this is a tight experience that will challenge and entertain you unlike any other FPS of 2005.
  5. 100
    With an 8-9 hour single player campaign and its hefty multiplayer portion, F.E.A.R. is an absolute must have for any First Person Shooter fan out there that takes pleasure in having the holy hell scared out of them, all while playing an intriguing game with an impressive storyline.
  6. One of those titles that comes along only once every few years, a game that just seems to get everything right- the game’s overall experience exceeds the sum of its considerably impressive parts. This reviewer cannot remember the last time that he was so immersed in a FPS’s single-player game.
  7. Terribly immersive... If you've got a system good enough to run this, do not miss out: F.E.A.R. is one of the most strikingly fun and exciting games to be released all year, and easily the best FPS since "Half-Life 2."
  8. But the fantastic graphics, sound, and firefights all blend to make F.E.A.R. an excellent game, though in order to enjoy the graphics and the game to its fullest, you must have a high-end computer system. In closing, F.E.A.R. is definitely one of this year’s best games.
  9. A true thriller in that it makes use of corner-of-the-eye imagery, unsettling voices, and effects to send chills down your spine which leads to a healthy dose of dread.
  10. FEAR is an unqualified success in my opinion, as it creates a good, stressful, horrific environment that doesn’t quite jump you out of your seat as creep you out.
  11. Is it the next "Half-Life"? It may very well be since anticipation for a sequel is rising every day as more and more play F.E.A.R. for the first time.
  12. PC Gamer
    As a shooter, F.E.A.R. succeeds admirably. It's the first game to convincingly channel the kinetic exhilaration of "John Woo violence" in the FPS format. [Nov 2005, p.48]
  13. 92
    Monolith forges new shooter territory with some truly freaky elements, challenge, fun, and beauty. If there is a fly in the ointment, it's that the environments aren't too varied, and the game is kinda short.
  14. With superb graphics and sound, good storyline and an above average AI, F.E.A.R is without a doubt the best first person shooter of the year and probably one of the scariest games ever made, topped only by the likes of "Aliens vs. Predator 2" (another Monolith masterpiece) or "Clive Barker’s Undying."
  15. Fantastic horror game with great action and everything else that that might imply, you can use your flashlight AND your gun, and the game will STILL scare you! Hallelujah!
  16. netjak
    A top quality shooter. It is visually impressive, has some of the best AI this side of the Rio Grande, and does a damned good job on weapon management. Still, the steep system requirements will put a hamper on the regular public’s enjoyment and hold off all but the most advanced PCs.
  17. A shooter that captures the sensation of being in wild and desperate firefights like no other game before it, and it's an incredible, kinetic, almost exhausting experience from start to finish. More than that, though, is the fact that it's also one of the most atmospheric and creepy games ever made, as well as one of the most intense shooters that you'll play this year.
  18. A combination of the impossible, a game that will in one moment make you sweat with the intensity of the elaborate set-piece firefights and make you shiver in nervous fear the next.
  19. Pelit (Finland)
    Frighteningly good. The close-quarters combat works extremely well and so does the storyline. On the downside, the level-design is rather drab and the system requirements are downright deadly. [Nov 2005]
  20. AceGamez
    Take realistic physics, gorgeous visuals, plenty of immersing sound, psychological mind games, a pinch of horror and mix that with a storyline to rival any big budget movie and there you have it, something completely new.
  21. Grumpier gamers will find fodder to gnaw upon, but the fact remains that it's a prima donna of a game that more than succeeds in its attempts to scare and scintillate. Despite everything, I adore it - and strongly suspect you will too. [PC Zone]
  22. 90
    While it can't touch the haunting potency of survival-horror classics like "Silent Hill" or "Resident Evil" (thanks to the scare-dispelling power of a semi-automatic shotgun and a belt-full of grenades), it makes up with more adrenaline-pumping moments of sheer destructive glee than anything else on the market.
  23. Glorious fun. Slow motion gun battles tied to an engine that articulates carnage with the furious eloquence of a caffeinated linguist, bound together by people who've seen a lot of Asian horror, uniting to spread memorable moments over a bed of visceral excitement.
  24. 90
    It brings to your mouse and keyboard the most adrenalin and expletive producing firefights of any shooter made to date, and not just by a little bit. How good? Good enough that facing a mountain of hype-fueled expectations F.E.A.R. will blow you away and you'll be ready to play through it again on the next higher difficulty before it's even over.
  25. Game Informer
    Like no other game I've played, F.E.A.R. grabbed me by the throat, punched me in the gut, and made me pay attention and become my onscreen character. [Nov 2005, p.170]
  26. A perfect example of a modern day AAA title with very little wrong in all areas of game design. So why isn't F.E.A.R. a perfect ten you ask? Simple, it all boils down to the fact that in order to enjoy the game to the fullest, players may have to spend as much as (if not more) on upgrading their PCs as it does to buy the Xbox 360. After all how many gamers have at least a 3-Gig processor, 1-Gig RAM, 256 Meg GPU powered machine?
  27. 90
    Unquestionably, one of the best shooters of 2005. The advanced graphics and physics create a string of firefights that are amazing to watch, and creative level design and advanced AI make them equally engrossing to play.
  28. 90
    What is already in F.E.A.R. could not have been done any better, although unfortunately the game's tempo and difficulty stays relatively constant regardless of progress through the game, and seems to be missing another level as the game kicks on into its climax.
  29. While some of the horror elements to the storyline may seem a tad cliché, the game's almost perfect fundamentals and solid extra's makes it an instant nominee for 2005 PC Game of the Year.
  30. The enemy artificial intelligence is top-notch, so reloading a level never plays out exactly the same way twice, and the sound design is superb.
  31. F.E.A.R. is as thrilling and involving as "Half-Life" but lacks its narrative panache: I was never quite clear on what was going on in the game. I knew my goal - track down a psychic, escort a corporate executive's daughter out of danger - but I didn't ever care who these people were nor did I understand their motives.
  32. Remember to check out if your machine matches the minimum specs or else you’ll get disappointed. We actually recommend that you are closer to the recommended specs if you want it to run properly.
  33. F.E.A.R. has by far the best tactical combat I have ever experienced, and has super-high production values throughout. The sense of dread never lets up throughout the game.
  34. I swear, for the first five hours FEAR was on its way to a "Half-Life" sized score. The favourable comparisons were many and various: the thoughtful and dangerously accurate guards, the beautifully designed levels... but FEAR never upped the ante. It stayed almost exactly the same from start to finish. [PC Gamer UK]
  35. Spectacular in its combat and technical areas but a complete letdown in its storytelling and paranormal aspects. Ultimately, it’s a highly polished but surprisingly standard first-person shooter, a game that feels like it's missing some parts. If you can ignore all that, it’s an absolute blast.
  36. The story is mysterious enough to demand further investigation, but after a while you start wishing they would hurry things up and get to the good stuff. It’s only later when you’ll stumble onto the Catch-22 that the only truly "good stuff" in the game is that you can blow up a lot of the boring stuff.
  37. 89
    With a wider variety of tasks and environments and an engine that someone has at least taken a stab at optimising this could have been a true classic (a free pair of fresh pants would have helped as well).
  38. An extremely well done shooter as far as the action goes, and only suffers from a few flaws such as the lack of level and enemy variety. If you can overlook those flaws, you will have a lot of fun battling a very elusive AI, which makes each and every firefight a unique and exciting experience.
  39. PC Format
    Running sideways in slow motion, blasting the head off a commando provides absurd visceral splendour, especially when you've just shatter his legs wtih a sliding kick. Some people worry about violence in games. We do too: we worry that it usually isn't this good. [Nov 2005, p.84]
  40. F.E.A.R.'s adherence to tightly confined corridors and the repetitive gameplay means Monolith’s shooter fails to reach the summit of the FPS pile. F.E.A.R. is a follower, not a leader. However, its shadow does manage to reach "Half-Life 2's" eyes. If only just.
  41. If you like things that go bump in the night, or just revel in unloading hot brass into terrorists bodies, go out and buy this game. It’s well presented, atmospheric, scary as hell and a blast to boot.
  42. But if you're looking for fantastic action and a good scare or creep-out mixed in, then F.E.A.R.'s dingy and abandoned alleys, rooftops, and office complexes will certainly satisfy.
  43. 85
    Arguably the strongest single-player FPS this year. It is the total package – great graphics, great sound, great multiplayer and captivating single player.
  44. F.E.A.R. might well be the year’s best single-player PC experience, but it won’t win any awards for its multiplayer. Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag are the only game types, and there aren’t many maps.
  45. Some interesting levels -- even three or four -- and I'd go into the 90s, but the levels are amazingly dull for a game built on an engine this powerful. It's like hiring Michaelangelo to paint your garage.
  46. While FEAR introduces some spectacular visual improvements, artificial intelligence, and an awesome new melee combat system the game is lacking the varied environments and game plays modes that would put it in the pantheon of great FPS games.
  47. The difference is that "HL2" was given the effort to keep it going throughout the final product, whereas FEAR shows its brilliance intermittently. In this sense it’s a disappointment, but a game hardly needs to be perfect to be playable.
  48. F.E.A.R.'s troopers try so hard, you almost hate not fighting fair. [Jan 2005, p.96]
  49. Due to the fact that both elements of F.E.A.R., the horror and the action, are crafted so thoughtfully they seamlessly merge together to create a, if not unique, then at least very polished experience.
  50. 80
    Despite the recycled enemies and the never-ending labyrinth of steel grates, catwalks, desks, and elevators, F.E.A.R. delivers some of the best action this side of Paris Hilton's cell phone.
  51. games(TM)
    For a game to strike a good balance between eeriness, traditional FPS action and straight-out frights is astonishing, and F.E.A.R. has managed it in style. [Nov 2005, p.92]
  52. With cutting-edge graphics, thumping surround sound and good design engineered to scare the willies out of you, F.E.A.R. is quite a dazzling experience.
  53. F.E.A.R. is all about messing with your head in single player. If you aren't freaked out by the ambient noises and ghoulish aspects during the games "downtime" you'll be on the edge of your seat trying to stay alive during the extremely intense firefights.
  54. Edge Magazine
    In opposition to its marketing pitch, then, it's perhaps best to view FEAR less as a horror show punctuated by action than a blistering action spectacle that likes to play games with its guests. [Dec 2005, p.98]
  55. Technically the game stands up well, but feels a bit rushed in places, leading to some rather uninspired level design.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 788 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 216
  1. Jun 26, 2011
    According to these user reviews FEAR seems to be a love or hate experience. People junk this game for repetitive levels, bad graphics, andAccording to these user reviews FEAR seems to be a love or hate experience. People junk this game for repetitive levels, bad graphics, and lack of enemy diversity. I just don't see any of that except maybe the bad level complaint is valid. Although who cares about how the levels look when the gameplay is so solid. I just played this game again in 2011 and it's still an awesome game. My one complaint with this game is even on the hardest difficulty it is still a bit too easy. The reason people love or hate this game is because its focus is the same gameplay over and over in different variations so if you don't like the shooting mechanic you will pretty much hate the whole game. Monolith has an epic resume of games Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2011
    I grabbed F.E.A.R during the Steam 50% deal (17th June 2011). Having never played any of the FEAR games and not really a FPS fan, I onlyI grabbed F.E.A.R during the Steam 50% deal (17th June 2011). Having never played any of the FEAR games and not really a FPS fan, I only bought them because they were cheap. This game really surprised me. Graphically it's pretty good and plays at a rock solid 60FPS. The story is interesting and the horror element is well done (lights going out, doors slamming, etc). For me, It's the gun battles and the AI that sell FEAR. Having played many FPS over the years I don't recall any with such clever enemies. If you encounter a group of 4 soldiers and take aim, you fire your weapon they spread out and look for cover. One will fire back while the other 3 will try to outwit you by flanking, throwing a grenade, moving up high, etc. Having never fired a rifle or been in a fire fight, FEAR puts on screen how I would imagine a REAL gun battle would be. You cannot charge in and expect to come out untouched. You have to look for cover and pick each target off one by one while they in turn do the same. The gun sounds are convincing and just about everything you see can be shot at leaving trails of dust, wall tiles, broken boxes and spent extinguishers. FEAR is tons of fun. If you're looking for a great action FPS you can't go wrong with FEAR. Full Review »
  3. Nov 8, 2011
    "F.E.A.R" is a good solid game. But is it a horror shooter? No, it's just a solid FPS shooter with ridiculously smart AI. There are some"F.E.A.R" is a good solid game. But is it a horror shooter? No, it's just a solid FPS shooter with ridiculously smart AI. There are some moments where you go WTF, but that's 'some' moments; it doesn't happen very often. However, what also keeps "F.E.A.R" from becoming a great game is the repetitive monotonous levels that create a dejavu of "I played this kind of map before...". You want some old fashioned fun? Then grab this game. You want some epic **** Get something alse. Full Review »