I started playing the game FEAR, a new first person shooter by Sierra. Coming into every new FPS, I (naturally) compare them to the experience of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, my two favorite FPS games (heck, two of my favorite games ever). FEAR compares very favorably in pretty much every respect. The graphics are spectacular, the visual effects are spectacular, the in-game scripted events that move things along are wonderfully creepy, the sound is great, and the enemy AI… Wow, the enemy AI is really impressive. The day of the enemy seeing you and just standing still, popping their head out occasionally to shoot you until you inevitably kill them is gone — the enemies use the different routes through the map to move take another route to flank you. The AI adds a real complexity that I don’t think I have experienced in single player games before. They have done so much right with this game. Lots of fun.
Now, what did they do wrong? If I wasn’t such a big fan of the Splinter Cell games, I would probably say FEAR is just about perfect (at least based on where I am in the game now, which is maybe an hour or two in), but, now when I am going through a new game the first thing I want to do is shoot out the lights and turn on my night vision goggles. As far as I can tell, the shadows make little difference on how well the enemies see you in FEAR and you cannot shoot out the lights. Oh well.
If you are an FPS go out there and get FEAR.