In many ways, F.E.A.R. is very much like Highlander: I loved the original and remain a fan even though it's well past its 'best before' date, and I try not to think too much about anything that came after. Now, with the announcement that F.E.A.R. Online is just a few weeks out, I once again find myself stretching the analogy to ask if there really can only be one.
F.E.A.R. Online is a free-to-play online shooter that pits the First Encounter Assault Recon team against the elite soldiers of the Armacham Technology Corporation, and both of them against a raft of supernatural horrors. It was announced last summer and entered closed beta this past May, after which it underwent an "extensive redesign" based on player feedback.
Aeria Games didn't get into what exactly was changed in that overhaul, but it did say in the announcement of the looming launch on Steam that the game will feature "several" modes of gameplay (two PvE and five PvP, from what I can tell) across more than ten maps. The action will range from straight-up Team Deathmatch to a cooperative "scenario mode" for up to four players, a "knife mode" that seems fairly self-explanatory, and even the "Soul King" mode from FEAR 3, in which players compete to possess enemies and collect the souls of the fallen.
For those who want a (slightly) advanced look at the game, a brief open beta will begin on October 8 and run until October 17, when the whole thing goes live on Steam. Details and sign-up links are up now at Aeria's F.E.A.R. Online portal.