is an action/survival horror game designed by Darkworks
and published by Ubisoft
. It was released on March 15
, in North America
In Cold Fear the player takes on the role of Tom Hansen, a former soldier now in the employ of the U.S. Coast Guard
who has been sent in to investigate a mysterious Russian whaler "Eastern Spirit" (Дух Востока) in the middle of the Bering strait. The beginning cutscenes show a contingent squad of unknown covert agents under the orders of a CIA agent, identifying the ship and trying to discover its cargo. Unfortunately, the squad are all slaughtered mercilessly by an unknown threat. CIA agent Bennit then orders any government vessel in the vicinity of the russian boat to investigate, and it is Hansen's ship which responds to the order. As Hansen, the player finds out that the boat is occupied by hostile Russian soldiers and by strange creatures (known as "exocels") that use humans and other life forms as hosts, to feed on and to use as protection from the environment. These parasites are a threat to Hansen from both inside and outside their host bodies. His investigation leads to the mystery of the ship and its lethal cargo, as well as the unethical experiments which were being carried out aboard the ship.
Cold Fear plays like other games in its genre, but its play mechanics are most reminiscent of those of Resident Evil 4
. In Cold Fear, players can assume a behind the shoulder camera angle, much like Resident Evil 4
. However players also can choose between a fixed camera angle or a behind the shoulder camera angle as in the early concepts for Resident Evil 4 (known as "Resident Evil 3.5"). Also, unlike Resident Evil 4
, the player can move while aiming a weapon. The game employs many scare tactics, as well, like those found in Resident Evil
and Doom 3
. For example, when opening a door, a creature may jump out at the player, or while talking to an NPC, a creature may just burst out of his chest. And unlike Resident Evil
, Cold Fear employs a stamina bar, which decreases as the player does certain actions, like running, which means the player will be taking constant breaks to make sure Hansen is rested enough to proceed.
The conditions on the deck of the ship can change how the player can control Hansen. Since the game takes place in the middle of the ocean during a huge storm, there's bound to be a lot of movement of the vessel as it bobs up and down through the rough seas. The cargo ship will continuously bank left and right while Hansen is walking on deck, making it more difficult to aim and to walk a straight line. In some instances, the ship rocks so much, and to such a great degree, that Hansen can get knocked down and possibly sent overboard. There are also many environmental hazards, like swinging electrical wires and crates hooked up to ropes, which are also affected by the swaying of the ship, and can easily crash into the player or enemies if they aren't careful. Waves crashing on to the ship's deck may also inflict damage on a player's health. The environmental hazards can also be used against enemies.
It was announced in April 2006
, that a movie adaptation
is also in production with a speculated 2008