Fear Effect Sedna is the sequel to Fear Effect, a game that the older generation of gamers will know quite well as it was notorious for its extremely hard difficulty. Fear Effect Sedna comes out 18 years after the last release of a game in this series and is a sort of rejuvenation for the franchise. Developer Sushee decided to pitch the idea to Squre Enix who decided it was worth the try and the game was then funded with the help of a kickstarter campaign. The game has been published by Forever Entertainment under license from Square Enix Collective and is available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Fear Effect Sedna diverts from the mechanics of the original game to a more Isometric style of gameplay with a real time and pause based combat system. It has a heart rate monitor which indicates health and when that goes too high, induces the Fear Effect. The higher your Fear Effect, the more easily you take damage but you also give out more damage as well. This is fine but a lot of times it would just bypass that whole state to kill my character straight away. The game also has you sneak across levels. Now the levels are alright at best. The level design seems uninspired and repetitive besides the High Roller Party level which looked really great. The art design overall just seems pretty average and below average and doesn’t do a great job for world building and immersion.
Speaking of art design, the visuals are bad. It’s not ugly or has glaringly bad textures, its just that it doesn’t seem to work. It feels unfinished. The cel-shaded art style that they go for, for the characters to make them pop from the background isn’t done well at all. It seems to do something similar to what the show Archer has with its visuals but it doesn’t even come close. The audio of the game is also on par with the visuals. The ambient sounds and noises of objects, robots and weapons just feel flat. It lacks variety and a punch to it. Even explosions don’t sound as meaty as they should which is a real let down as there’s no auditory satisfaction for the bots you kill, mechs you destroy and people you blow up. The voice acting is a joke with voice direction that is laughable. Statements sound like questions, questions sound like statements, sentences have a very weird structure and it feels so non-organic. It’s overall presentation comes out to be extremely weak which really put me off of the game.
Gameplay is also plagued with its own issues. The collision between models doesn’t seem to be accurate many-a-times, the visual cone that represents a guard’s line of sight can sometimes be inaccurate as they still somehow see you, the attacks you queued in the Tactical Pause won’t always be executed for no apparent reason and there’s a slight delay between entering and exiting those Tactical Pauses, due to which enemies can get closer to you when they really shouldn’t have. The game isn’t all bad though, the puzzles are integrated well and feel organic to the levels and are also interesting and fun, with layers to them. But not all puzzles are created the same and some are not that great, which seems to be the overall feel of the game.
Fear Effect Sedna is a game that feels unfinished from the moment you start it. It never felt fun and the only reason I finished this game was for the review. I really would not recommend this game, even if it goes on sale as there are many games that are more fun and overall better than this.