Now that I have abandoned all pretense at keeping up with modern gamign I can happily write about the old games I am actually playing :) Finished both Call of Juarez and FEAR this week.
Both games are based on strong complex storylines that leave the player guessing right up to the end. CoJ's story in particular was clearly scripted in advance and could easily form the script of a movie in my opinion. FEAR's story is a little more confused but nevertheless engrossing.
Slow motion (bullet time) features strongly in the combat of both games but the impact is different. CoJ's quick draw mechanic is a bit annoying to use (you need to holster both guns and then draw to activate it) but is very powerful giving pistols the accuracy of a sniper rifle in slow motion. It feels almost like an "I win button" allowing you to pop three or four enemies with head-shots in a single activation. FEAR's fast reflexes mode seems more balanced, mainly because the enemies are stronger with better AI. It certainly gives you a big advantage one on one but it won't keep you alive if you charge into a room full of bad guys. To be fair I played CoJ on normal setting and FEAR on hard (because I had played it before) so perhaps the combat in CoJ is more challenging at higher difficulty settings.
I think that FEAR is the better game overall because the combat is very good while CoJ's combat is somewhat lacklustre. CoJ does do some very clever things though. You alternately play as two different characters a gun toting bible quoting cleric and a half breed boy who he is chasing. The boy must rely on stealth to get through many levels which should have been great but sadly turns out to be tedious for the most part. The boy does feature in one glorious level though where he must perform tasks for a wise old indian. These include climbing a cliff face (superb views) and hunting rabbits with a bow and arrow (hilarious).