Metascore
71

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 41
  2. Negative: 2 out of 41
  1. 90
    The Xbox version offers the superior visual experience. Its advanced lighting system casts advanced real-time shadows (much like "Doom 3"), a high-tech feature the PS2 hardware simply can't match.
  2. It has a very good storyline backed by some great character design and some very good scares.
  3. 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.
  4. We certainly haven't encountered a graphics engine portray an environment as realistically as this. Obviously rocking boats, crashing waves and rain are bad combinations and it's actually possible to find yourself going overboard if you fail to watch your step. That's right, a graphics engine that can virtually knock you off your feet!
  5. One of the most engaging environments ever. The stormy sea is the real protagonist as it is always present and always threatening. Otherwise a run-of-the-mill survival horror game. [Mar. 05],
  6. It packs a ton of bedwetting frights into those [few] hours, and there's nothing like a game that leaves you craving even more. [May 2005, p.83]
  7. 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.
  8. Best described as "Resident Evil 4"-Lite. It doesn't have the epic quality of the popular Capcom series but for a tight, solid, horror-survival game you could certainly do a lot worse.
  9. A highly polished title that shows that Ubisoft's action-focused approached to the horrific can be gory fun, too.
  10. Although it rigidly adheres to the gameplay mechanics of its spiritual forebears, it does successfully weave an interesting story, in an unusual and graphically lush setting.
  11. 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.
  12. While the rest of the game falls back to run-of-the-mill survival horror fare, an overall high production value plus intense combat, interesting and bloodthirsty adversaries, as well as an accessible camera controls during combat makes this game worthy of your time, especially to action fans that are previously put off by the static camera angles that have been mainstays of the genre.
  13. 76
    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.
  14. Not a bad game, but with its lack of replayability and quick playtime, it's just not a keeper.
  15. 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.
  16. Atmospherically, Cold Fear is derivative and predictable, which is a shame considering that it is, at times, an enjoyable action game.
  17. 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.
  18. It's good quality and fans of the genre will definitely gain some enjoyment. While not quite as classic or exciting as Resident Evil, it measures up well and is worth a look for horror nuts.
  19. Feels as though it could have come straight from the scenes of a '80s B-movie horror flick, with dry characters and gameplay that repeats itself to no end.
  20. A leaden feel of backtracking and other nags here and there tie the game down from anything memorable. [May 2005, p.54]
  21. 70
    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.
  22. It's just a bit too flawed in its execution and weak in the storytelling department to make it anything truly terrifying. A reasonable effort, just don't expect it to give you really horrible nightmares. [Official UK Xbox Magazine]
  23. A spooky story to play through, and it doesn't hold anything back in terms of gameplay.
  24. A short game and might make some players feel sea sick. The lack of a map does prolong the experience for perhaps the wrong reasons and the camera angles take a little getting used to.
  25. Although the Darkworks gets points for an original setting, the plot is just shark food.
  26. With the exception of the first hour or so, in which you are constantly scavenging for ammo, the gameplay is pretty solid throughout, but never highly engaging, having neither interesting puzzles nor a large variety of enemies.
  27. There are plenty of scares to be had, and the emphasis on shooting things in the head (and the resulting gore) makes this a fabulous guilty pleasure.
  28. Fails to establish any real mood or atmosphere, and just ends up being boring. [May 2005, p.110]
  29. 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.
  30. What we're left with is a game with a cool concept and a real sense of atmosphere that is drowned out by disappointment and frustration. Cold Fear could have been so much better had it built on the positives with a safe, more accessible control system and a few more hours on the design table.
  31. 63
    Yet another substandard attempt to make a splash in the shallow Xbox survival horror pool. Toss this one overboard.
  32. Second-string sturvival horror marked by puppetlike physics and way too many exploding barrels. [May 2005, p.124]
  33. 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]
  34. 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.
  35. A sub-par survival horror game, plain and simple. Everything about it is appalling. The gameplay, the audio, the camera... the only thing remotely good about this game is the graphics, and they're not even that good. This is a horror game, but it's not even the least bit scary.
  36. It's so thoroughly dull and repetitive that there aren't any stand out moments, it often makes no sense and the terrible camera and control systems ruin things further.
  37. 50
    In its current form the game is an enjoyable and visually accomplished, but ultimately forgettable experience which plays like little more than a prequel to the next in the series.
  38. The whole thing just feels a bit half-baked, with moody but unimaginative environments, done-to-death one-dimensional characters, exceptionally tired gameplay mechanics that favours basic A-to-B object collection rather than injecting anything even vaguely resembling a puzzle and a combat system that's at best functional, and at worst unhelpful.
  39. 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]
  40. It's a stunner to look at and genuinely scared us on more than one occasion. I'm sure Darkworks would take some comfort in knowing that. But in the end it accounts for nothing, because this turkey is well and truly cold.
  41. But this overbearing sense of familiarity is what dogs Cold Fear down into the lower echelons of the genre – it just doesn't do enough to further survival horror in any way at all. In fact most of the time it just feels like a step back.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. Nov 16, 2013
    10
    i remember seeing these classics in my game books back in 2001 and 2 around there. my dad showed me this in game informer. He used to play it, and one day i said ima play this. and since that day, cold fear will never be forgotton by me. i still play it til this day almost 10 years since release. Full Review »