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Game Review #337: Fear Effect: Sedna (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: WoodmanFLG

Developer: Sushee

Publisher: Square Enix | Forever Entertainment

Category: Strategy, Action, Puzzle

Release Date: March 6th, 2018

Price (at time of review): $17.99

Buy Fear Effect: Sedna from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

A Little Inuit Adventure

Fear Effect: Sedna is a sequel to a series from back in the day, Fear Effect and Fear Effect 2: Double Helix, which were PlayStation 1 games. They were games with a heavy emphasis on stealth and puzzle solving, and there were many death scenes for your main characters—kind of like Resident Evil 4. It was a series about some spies/mercenaries where the story would start out pretty grounded, but generally, by the end, you were fighting zombies or gods—and in that respect, Fear Effect: Sedna doesn’t disappoint. You may start out just doing some mercenary work, but, as usual, our girls get themselves wrapped up in some crazy adventures that have them interacting with the mystical forces of the Inuit and other creatures from the Spirit Realm! What about beyond that? Well, let's find out, as we delve a little deeper into Fear Effect: Sedna!

A New Style

This game changes up the previous gameplay, which felt like a hybrid of the stealth action of Metal Gear Solid, while mixing in a little more active gunplay and movement, of the likes of Tomb Raider. The games used a dynamic camera system with fixed angles, and it worked out great! It gained a cult following as the years went on, and eventually Sushee did a Kickstarter in 2016 in order or produce a sequel, which is where Fear Effect: Sedna came from.

Continuing the story 4 years after Fear Effect 2, Sedna does little to acquaint new players to these stories or characters, and instead prefers to throw you right into the narrative. Let's talk about what has changed in all these years, shall we?

But Does It Work?

First off, the switch from fixed camera angles to a static isometric camera… in my opinion, was not a good one. I understand trying to give the game a more tactical view in order to press that kind of gameplay, but it doesn’t feel like I’m playing Fear Effect anymore, and instead, just feels like something else with a Fear Effect skin on it.

You can issue orders to your partners, freeze time to make more thoughtful moves, and take cover against objects while you battle the forces you must face. Each character has a primary weapon, and some additional abilities—though, these additional abilities are often either on a cool down of sorts, or they need ammo that has to be collected to get more uses out of it. I never once really found myself attempting to be stealthy with this setup, because it never felt necessary, and I certainly was sneaking around in the previous titles all the time.

I’m not against changing up core gameplay, but if it isn’t done in a way that is innovative and attention-grabbing, it becomes hard not to zero in on it; and that is a shame, because in many other departments, Fear Effect: Sedna shines! The game still has its puzzles that are an ever-present part of gameplay, but I found most of those to be poorly explained, and I ended up so stumped that I would just keep trying random things and reloading when it killed me.

A Comic in Motion

This game is pretty as hell in its story sequences, and it certainly does the original iconic style of Fear Effect justice! Bright, vibrant colors on 3-D models is pleasing to the eye, and does a great job looking like the originals, but better realized, and wrapped on much better models.

The music is atmospheric, while some of the more supernatural moments have some interesting choices in tunes. The sound effects hit the nail on the head and get you in the moment. Even beyond the supernatural parts, the guns sound great, tasers have a satisfying zap, and then some. This game definitely does a good job in the sound and visuals department.

Wrapping Up

It's a shame that the change up in gameplay was for the worse. If it was a little more enjoyable or satisfying, I wouldn't mind so much, but I always felt Fear Effect had a cool schtick going for it in the past with its gameplay, and carved out its own little niche, and this just kind of threw that to the side and lost its identity a little. There is fun to be had here, but those looking for a Fear Effect 3 may find themselves sorely disappointed, sad to say. Thankfully, some of the elements of the previous games are still intact, and the puzzles being a little rough at least treats you to some wild death scenes!

Score: 5/10

Buy Fear Effect: Sedna from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by Forever Entertainment

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