You may not know the story behind Project Origin‘s title. The upcoming survival horror/FPS game is actually a direct sequel to Monolith Productions’ F.E.A.R. They lost the name of the game to Vivendi but decided to make a sequel anyway, and held a contest last year to come up with a new name for it. Hence, Project Origin.

Yesterday I headed down to E3’s showroom floor and spoke with Associate Producer Dayne McClurg about the game, and got some hands on experience as well. People familiar with the F.E.A.R. series will know exactly to expect from this one. It did look a whole helluva lot prettier (although it was chugging a bit with this early build, it looked fantastic) and it’s already nice and gory, even in regular combat.
The story is also a direct continuation from the first game. You play as another character and at the beginning see the last 30 minutes of the first game play out from another perspective. The section they were showing off was from much later in the game.
After inverting the controls (up is down, damn it!) I jumped in to a section that has you blasting away soldiers in a ruined street. Messing around the with the shotgun and slow motion abilities quickly got me killed (a few times), so I tried going in with my machinegun blasting. There’s a lot of debris in the place and your grenades can blow up old cars when the enemies try to hide behind them.

The biggest surprise was a moment where you turn a corner and see one of those giant mechs that were so much fun to fight in the first F.E.A.R. It was being electrified by some downed wires, so I shot at the pole to knock out the juice and make it safe to pass.

Suddenly, the metal beast reared up and I lept back a bit to engage it, till I realized that the front had opened and the seat was right there. “Shit, you can drive these now?” I asked Dayne. He just smiled and said that yep, they listened to the responses of people who were upset that they couldn’t pilot them in the first game.

That mech is real fun to drive around. It has rockets you can launch with the right bumper and a gattling gun that absolutely decimates soldiers. Enemies are highlighted with bright boxes, making it easy to target anyone around you. And when you do, they explode into chunky bits and pieces. So satisfying. You’ll fight snipers and other mechs along the route, which continues for a good amount of time.

Following that you run into a creepy abandoned theater, and start getting flashbacks of that freaky long-haired girl from the first game. Things get stranger and stranger, and then the demo ended! Fun stuff. It would have been better if I could have had the chance to experience it in a dark room with the sound up, though, as the showroom floor was not the ideal place to experience this. Especially with the nearby idiots standing around whooping every time G4 went on air.

But either way, this short demo quelled a lot of the problems that people had with
the first game, namely that the environments were all boring gray
offices. Lot more color around this time already.But just from my time with it, it’s obvious that fans of the series will have something to look forward to. There’s no set release date for it yet besides next Spring, so let’s hope we can see some more of this fun-looking game.