Ok, downloaded the FEAR beta today. Posted my opinions in the DOD thread, but here they are again, hoping for discussion:
Game is bad. Bad.
Graphically I dig it. The shadows are nice, and the enviroment is less rubberized than DOOM 3. I'd say the engine may not be as advanced as DOOM 3, but is working out better. My computer LOVES running this game, it seems.
Little details not as much. Big chunks get blown out of concrete - nice. Concussions from grenades - nice. But there's no physics engine in objects. If a piece of wood is laying on two sawhorses and I walk into it, it shouldn't stop me, it should fall. If a light is on a flimsy tripod, it should fall as well, especially if a 'nade goes off next to it. While I understand this may be a frames nightmare, if your engine can't handle it your levels shouldn't have it. It feels so... retro. Bad mojo. I run into these things now expecting them to fall, recent engines have taught me to expect such.
Gameplay is the killer, though. Weapons are over-powered. And they feel very similar. The power is the problem, though. Matches are NOT battles, they're luck. The player that sees a target first gets the kill. If someone shoots you in the back, which happens often, there is no time to react - you die instantly. While one-shot kills were nice in Goldeneye, where you were very innacurate, here you rarely miss, so the first guy to pull the trigger is the guy that wins the fight. Nothing epic, nothing back and forth, simply spotting a target before he spots you is all it takes.
Magazines have hyped up the melee combat. And, when I announced on a server that the game sucks, someone commented "with jump kicks? No way, this rules." He, however, admitted that in over three hours of playing he hadn't gotten a melee kill. And I contend that melee kills are impossible. By the time you get near enough to a target you are dead. If not, he is probably dead from any bursts you fired. Melee combat is not exciting and new, it's entirely useless and a good way to die.
Lastly, you are given an option of which guns to pick before fighting. Most feel the same, all kill quickly. In-game you can find some "better" ones, like the plasma gun and rocket launcher. These, however, are not better at all. They take longer between shots. So if you miss your first shot, the enemy will plow you with bullets and kill you long before you get a second off. Picking these guns is suicide. The plasma gun has a very long distance scope, too, which is useless in these levels as they're all tight, and seems useless overall, as guns are accurate enough to kill quickly from any distance you find.
So I like the engine, imagine I'll like single player, but the multiplayer beta just sucks. You see a guy, you kill a guy. A guy sees you, he kills you. Nothing good about that. No battles, just quick deaths.