Fear Effect Sedna is the latest installment in the ongoing Fear Effect series. I’d think of a more snappy opening then that, but this would require me to put more thought into the game then the actual developers did. I have no idea how this title managed to nab a PC and console release considering that it looks and plays more like a mobile game than anything, then again, what the hell do I know about marketing?
Now, if the opening paragraph didn’t make it clear, then allow me to sum up, I wasn’t a fan of Sedna. There’s so much going on with this title that’s just plain bad I don’t even know where to begin; there’s the voice acting, the narrative, the gameplay, the graphical capability. All of it culminates into this giant mess of a product. Honestly, I don’t know what’s going on with the developers over at Sushee but they need to double check some things at quality assurance before they release their next title.
With that being said, let’s take a deeper look into Sedna itself. Allow me to get the positives, or in this case positive, out of the way first. The game is, more or less, functional. It works. You press the start button and it starts. You really can’t ask for more than that, except you can but I digress. I did find, however, that once the title had actually moved into the gameplay part of the game it ran fairly smooth and didn’t present any noticeable problems, which is always a plus. It’s only after the gameplay sections that the game started freaking out a bit. There are multiple cutscenes in-game where things like frame rate and screen tearing become a big issue, which is a shame cause’ the cutscenes themselves were at least interesting to look at.
Back on the topic of gameplay though, just because it ran smoothly, doesn’t mean it isn’t flawed. The combat is by far the worst thing about Sedna, especially when there’s multiple enemies around. So get this, during a battle where there are several baddies involved, the game will lock on to a particular enemy for you to dispatch before switching to the next one. Now, this may sound fine in theory as it means there's always something to shoot at, but in practice, it means shooting at a dude who’s well behind cover instead of at the dude who’s standing out in the open, which is a bit of a pisser. Combat aside, there’s the stealth mechanics which are fine in that they’re just like every other game. Hide in the dark, strike when no one’s looking.
Moving on from the gameplay, we head to the puzzle system. Now, I realise that earlier I had said the game’s biggest positive was simply being functional, but I have to say that the puzzles in this title are incredibly well constructed. Of course, there were a couple that I was able to brute force my way past, but there are others that demand a certain amount of skill before moving on. You, as whichever avatar you’ll be controlling at the time, will have to search for clues around the environment before you can actually make the attempt at solving the puzzle. This offers a nice opportunity to search around and figure things out organically, as well as possibly finding secrets in the given area. On the other hand, this can also become quite frustrating if you get stuck on a puzzle and just want to move on. All in all, it really depends on the type of gamer you are.
Staying on the subject of frustrations, and this is more of a personal grievance of mine, but what is up with the voice acting in this game? I swear it’s like each of the actors on site were told that there were going to be pauses implemented during the dialogue in cutscenes but the developers forgot the game was coming out soon so they just spliced everything together. Now here I am listening to a conversation that’s going on and everyone sounds like their doing there best impression of what a fast-talking private eye sounds like, without the 1940s Brooklyn accent that is.
Actually, I say the voice acting is bad, but you could toss it into the bin and I still wouldn’t care about any of the characters or their struggles, regardless of who they are in the Fear Effect universe. Throughout the game's entirety I just sat there and thought to myself “Yep, these sure are characters from a videogame that are doing videogame character things.” My point is is that there was a lack of immersion, there was nothing to suck me in and keep me on the edge of my seat. I would’ve honestly rather been playing a game like Metal Gear Survive because as bad as that title is, the story and characters are weird enough to be interesting, as opposed to being not interesting at all.
So, all in all, do I recommend Fear Effect Sedna? Frankly, I may have been negative for the better part of this review, but there are things about Sedna that are worth playing, the stealth gameplay and puzzle system are effective for what they are and the game has a nice XIII look to it if you can get past the frame rate. For me, I personally wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless they’re dying to know what happens in the world of Fear Effect. If not, save yourself the money and wait for something else to jump out at you.
Fear Effect Sedna (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)
The game is average, with an even mix of positives and negatives.
Fear Effect Sedna is a game that does just enough to be considered basic. Unfortunately, for fans of the Fear Effect series, this is not a triumphant return for the franchise but more so a reminder that it exists.