Fear Effect Sedna Review – Dead On Revival

In 2000, Kronos Digital and Eidos released a unique anime-inspired
action game called Fear Effect for the original PlayStation. Its slick
presentation, Ghost in the Shell-inspired
world, and mature narrative earned it a cult following. That following had
reason to rejoice when Sushee’s Kickstarter campaign promised to bring the
series back. Unfortunately, Fear Effect Sedna could serve as a case study on
everything that can go wrong when resurrecting a franchise.

The original Fear Effect and its prequel were some of the
first games to bring anime-like visuals to life, and their smooth storytelling
helped them stand out. Sedna fails to recapture any of that magic. The generic environments
lack the neon glow and exotic technology that made the original series so
dazzling, while the story is a mess of cringe-inducing dialogue. I didn’t know
who the main antagonist was until the final boss fight, and even then, their motivations
were unclear. When the credits rolled, I was left wondering, “What was the

As bad as the story is, things are worse between cutscenes.
Sedna attempts to mix top-down shooting with stealth and strategy, but its
execution is bad in every category. As a top-down shooter, Sedna feels
unresponsive and clunky. During battle, you have the option to pause the action
and issue commands to your party, but the combat isn’t built around this type
of strategy. A single attack does little damage, and you don’t have a wide
variety of abilities to choose from. This makes the action plodding and
monotonous if you’re pausing frequently. Hardcore strategy also isn’t necessary
because the A.I. is so stupid. It doggedly locks on to one character and rarely
looks away; I often had that character hide in cover and wait until the rest of
my companions took out the inexplicably fixated enemy.

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If you’re patient, you can attempt to take out some foes
before they spot you by sneaking up behind with a knife. Most guards have
simple patrol patterns, but your stealth movements are so slow that catching up
with them is difficult. Progressing through areas using stealth is tedious
because you can’t hide bodies, and once an enemy discovers a fallen comrade,
they sound an alarm and every enemy in the room rushes toward it. Again, the
A.I. is so simple that they just look at the body for a minute or so and then
return to their patrol patterns, but you have to wait until they’re done
examining the body before you can progress. I also had enemies pop up in front
of me as I was trying to sneak through an area, so the stealth option never
felt like a viable tactic.

You encounter a handful of puzzles between gunfights. Most are
a chore to navigate, some boil down to brute force trial-and-error, and others
make no sense within the world’s fiction. For example, you have to diffuse a
bomb by cutting the wires that match a series of numbers on posters in
different rooms, but there is never any connection made between the posters and
the bomb. Even worse, sometimes you don’t know if you don’t understand a
puzzles logic or if you’re actually solving it correctly, because bugs prevent
some puzzles from being solved. In one case, I had to restart an entire level
because a puzzle wasn’t accepting the correct solution.

Fear Effect Sedna has a handful of other bugs that ruined my
progress as well. At one point, a character got stuck in the stealth position
and would only attack people with a knife. At another, the game just stopped
saving my progress, which was a real problem since there is no manual save

Even diehard fans of the original Fear Effect should stay
away from this mess of broken gameplay, system-breaking bugs, and slapdash

Source: Game Informer