The F.E.A.R series goes free-to-play this next month with F.E.A.R Online. Originally developed by Monolith, the online multiplayer version of the hit horror shooter is now developed by Korean InPlay Interactive. The game offers co-operative modes similar to the Left4Dead franchise, while also coming up with some new twists to PvP gameplay.
Co-op mode has a team of four players teaming up as F.E.A.R operatives to investigate events following F.E.A.R 2. It looks very similar to the campaign mode of L4D, although it also includes a mode called Escape. There are no details about what this is about, but the story blurb from the Steam page seems to indicate a story set in the town of Fairport where all hell has broken loose between government operatives, corporate mercenaries, and horrible monsters.
The Soul King mode from F.E.A.R 2 returns in F.E.A.R Online; providing players with the unique take on multiplayer. Players will take on the role of Wraith who are able to possess the bodies of AI enemies and take control of them to battle each other. Getting killed while possessing a body merely kicks the player back into wraith mode, but getting killed in wraith mode leads to worse consequences.
Free-to-play is a dirty word when it comes to continuing beloved franchises, and to be fair the track record of handing these games over to new developers to design for the MMO crowd has not been very good. Here’s to hoping that InPlay can capture some of the atmosphere from the original games in their attempt.