• Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: Mar 15, 2005
  • Also On: PC

Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
Buy On
  1. 72
    A solid B-movie videogame. It may not be an epic tale, but it packs in enough thrills and zombies to happily pass an afternoon or two.
  2. Atmospherically, Cold Fear is derivative and predictable, which is a shame considering that it is, at times, an enjoyable action game.
  3. Game Informer
    Fails to establish any real mood or atmosphere, and just ends up being boring. [May 2005, p.110]
  4. The plentiful load times kill the tension between areas.
  5. It seems a bit convoluted and rather forced, yet if you play it in the dark late at night, it will still spook the bejeezus out of you.
  6. 60
    Some nifty gameplay mechanics and nasty enemies keep it from being an also-ran, while a little too much repetitive exploration and a short story keep it from being a contender.
  7. Unfortunately, it's only half a great game. Clocking in at around 6 hours, it might be the shortest adventure-horror game out there and has almost zero replay value.
  8. 80
    But if you've got a choice, spring for the darker, freakier Xbox version.
  9. games(TM)
    It’s hard not to like Cold Fear for what it’s trying to do, but it’s also hard not to see the glaring errors that it makes along the way. [Apr 2005, p.119]
  10. I enjoyed Cold Fear for what it was – an average thriller with some above average story-telling and terrific use of atmosphere.
  11. Edge Magazine
    Taken in isolation, there’s no denying Cold Fear’s panache - RenderWare has rarely been used to such strong visual effect - and there is a fair helping of survival horror entertainment to be had here, it’s just that you have to dig through several layers of frustration to get at it. [Apr 2005, p.96]
  12. 60
    As survivor horror games go, Cold Fear is lukewarm. The graphics attempt to mask a mediocre plot and flawed action, but it does succeed in making your skin crawl--in a good way.
  13. AceGamez
    An unashamedly old school survival horror game, so you should pretty much know whether you're interested in playing it or not.
  14. Play Magazine
    A leaden feel of backtracking and other nags here and there tie the game down from anything memorable. [May 2005, p.54]
  15. There are some good ideas here, but the game is more frustrating than frightening.
  16. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Second-string sturvival horror marked by puppetlike physics and way too many exploding barrels. [May 2005, p.124]
  17. All of the elements that make up a decent survival horror game are on display here. The monsters, the violence, the simplistic, action-oriented storytelling... They're just so shoddily rendered and assembled that all they add up to is a mediocre experience.
  18. 70
    In the same league as the disposable horror flicks that fill video shelves and late-night cable. It's not particularly frightening, but good atmosphere and short-lived twitch satisfaction is enough to sustain interest for a while.
  19. It's a little too comparable to other survival horror titles at times and although it's not exactly pushing the boundaries of the genre, it is still a worthwhile entry.
  20. 85
    I had an absolute blast with the game’s weaponry and the ideas behind the deaths of killing the creatures ( the last boss was done quite nicely) were done extremely well. A minor downfall to the game is that I didn’t necessarily feel scared during the game.
  21. It's no complete loss, for sure, and is likely to moderately satisfy the Resident Evil die-hards waiting for the next instalment. However, it's no classic despite some lovely physics due to some weak gameplay elements and its slightly simple linearity.
  22. Unfortunately, the spark of enduring gameplay is soon extinguished by some bizarre design choices and a ropey camera system.
  23. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    A perfectly average survival-horror action game crafted by the genre's originators. [May 2005, p.94]
  24. The game utilises a series of components and dare we even mutter it under our breath, clichés that can be derived from any number of horror films and survival horror titles, which is no big fault since for the most part (travelling aside) the game is an enjoyable title away from the established franchises that does offer some new ideas and details to the genre.
  25. PSM Magazine
    Visuals and atmosphere are quite good, too, though still far from RE4 quality. [May 2005, p.74]
  26. Aurally Cold Fear truly excels in many areas. The sound effects fit the atmosphere perfectly, and the industrial soundtrack couldn't be better presented.
  27. It has a very good storyline backed by some great character design and some very good scares.
  28. There's a difference between paying homage to and simply recycling old material, something this game fails to appreciate. The graphics might be up there with the forthcoming "Resident Evil 4," but the gameplay owes a huge debt to the first Resident Evil game. [PSW]
  29. The atmosphere isn’t scary or dreadful enough to instill fear in players, and the brevity of the experience is only matched by its lack of originality.
  30. The action is predictable, clichéd and, ultimately, unsatisfying. There’s probably a good hour or so of entertaining game play here.
  31. Puzzles are kept to a minimum but due to the repetitive ship interiors and the absence of a map, players will spend plenty of time meandering.
  32. The “big reveal” takes awhile, and because it takes some time to finally happen you’ll be fearing virtually everything that goes bump in the night.
  33. 75
    The gameplay is solid and enjoyable. The visuals fit the atmosphere wonderfully, the sound is suitably heroic and epic and the gameplay gets rid of some of the tired conventions of the genre and in their place introduces new ideas that help move it forward.
  34. 75
    It's pretty short—six to eight hours, tops. The Xbox version is the way to go, since the load times between "rooms" are a fraction of what they are on the PS2.
  35. The plot is unoriginal; the dialogue is OK, but not great; there isn't anything memorable about the music; and the backgrounds within the ship are dull and redundant.
  36. Graphically impressive, to the point where those prone to sea-sickness should stay away, and the dark bowels of the ship provide an eerily effective gaming environment.
  37. Wet floors shine, cupboards seem to have depth rather than the badly rendered facade that perhaps you are used to and the lighting is rich and really adds to the uneasiness of this game.
  38. A highly polished title that shows that Ubisoft's action-focused approached to the horrific can be gory fun, too.
  39. A solid, if a little unspectacular survival horror title. While the “fear factor” may be a touch below the sheer terror instilled, there’s still many a moment where your feel a little nervous as to what you’ll witness next.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. MikailaK.
    Apr 17, 2005
    I'm a big survival horror fan, so I had to rent this. And I'm glad I did, because my game lasted about seven hours (which was kind I'm a big survival horror fan, so I had to rent this. And I'm glad I did, because my game lasted about seven hours (which was kind of weird, since it seemed so much longer what with all the minutes I wasted running to the wrong corners of the ships/s). The gameplay is a kind of jarring mix between old-school and new-school Resident Evil, and I really wished they had stuck with the latter. The graphics are great, but overall the game is painfully average; almost half the game consists of blindly fumbling around because there is _no map_ (and my rental box did not contain the manual). I liked that the zombies not the shuffling kind from the old REs, but there seems to be some odd disparity with the targeting system where I shot an Exocel's head only for it to connect several inches down (and this wasn't just because of the ship's rocking). Also, Tom talks too much--okay, the damn door's locked, but do you have to swear incessantly about it? I felt like pressing the "mute" button at times, even though I eventually grew to find Tom's whining funny. Although the combat is definitely more fun than the old Resident Evils, it becomes kind of repetitive, and the joy of squishing your foes' heads underfoot wears off after the first half-hour or so. So if you enjoy cheap scares followed by thirty minutes of lethargy-inducing key-searching (roughly on par with the old REs), then this game is worth a rental. It's so darned short that you can finish it in one night, and there's barely any replay value. Like I said, painfully average. Full Review »
  2. Dec 21, 2010
    Pretty entertaining third person survival horror in the style of Resident Evil. A bit short, sluggish, and it's easy to get lost butPretty entertaining third person survival horror in the style of Resident Evil. A bit short, sluggish, and it's easy to get lost but investigating the narrow corridors and steep staircases of a foreboding whaling ship in the middle of a fierce winter storm packs plenty of atmosphere. Besides, headshotting zombies with a pump-action shotgun never gets old :) Full Review »
  3. SanchezC.
    Nov 3, 2005