This Underrated Terrifying Survival Horror Game Is As Good As Resident Evil 4, Even Better!

    Have you ever played a game that you would give anything to see remade? one that lingers in your memory like a stubborn needle? A game that has the power to keep you up at night, shaking with fear and hope that nothing paranormal stands in your way when you need the bathroom in the middle of the night!

    Today, we shall discuss a PlayStation 2 gem that has since been forgotten but should still be considered one of the best survival horror games ever made. COLDFEAR, which was published for the PS3 and Xbox in 2005 and was created by one of the top horror game developers of its time, Darkworks, deserves to be remade for the PS5. We get a game containing everything from the Russian Mafia and CIA to extraterrestrial parasites and zombies, published by the prestigious firm that has gone on to develop games like Farcry and Assassin’s Creed as well as many more famous names!

    Hello and welcome to Marvelous Gamers. Before we start playing Cold Fear, we would like to take a moment to ask you to subscribe to our channel so we can continue to provide you with this type of underappreciated gaming material. Let us go right into Cold Fear’s narrative and explain why we believe that every player should play it.



    Cold Fear was Ubisoft’s first horror game. Built on the RenderWare engine, the game was a revolutionary third-person shooter/survival horror that was first announced at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2004. It was a first-of-its-kind mix of paranormal and sci-fi horror, paired with a storyline that explores elements of action-adventure and stealth survival genres of gaming.

    The story follows Tom Hansen, a member of the United States Coast Guard who attempts to save a Russian whaler called the Eastern Spirit that was deployed in the Bering Strait, and soon discovers that the threat is more severe than what met his eyes initially.

    A mysterious parasite has infected the crew, turning them into undead creatures hungry for blood, and the responsibility to ensure their containment falls on the shoulders of our protagonist. Upon finding the mutilated body of the captain, Hansen soon learns about an ancient creature known as an Excel that was accidentally discovered by the Russian mafia. He realises that these organisms are actually parasites, dependent on a host for nourishment and survival. Dr.Viktor Kamsky was brought in to create an Exocel serum that could re-animate recently deceased humans, thus creating the undead.

    Cold Fear is a quest to survive the Exocel and other perils that lurk in every corner of the Eastern Spirit, which is the boat that was tasked with bringing in the next batch of specimens for the experiment, and in the later part of the game, on an oil rig.  The player is haunted by the constant feeling of paranoia and fear throughout the entirety of the campaign and that’s what makes this game so enticing!



    Cold fear is a visual masterpiece, and what it delivers on the aesthetic front is no less than how well it performs when it comes down to its gameplay mechanics. Developed on a new program called the Darkwave Editor, which allowed the developers to control the movement of the ship on both horizontal and vertical axes, and stimulate the movement patterns of objects that were inside the ship. The result was more than nine hundred separate animations for every major character, allowing a permutation of close to five thousand distinct and random character movements within the game’s environment!

    The game is a third-person shooter which allows the player to select from two different perspectives, third person fixed camera, or over the shoulder camera, depending on individual gaming preferences. The aesthetics are mind blowing with rain lashing over a sinking ship that tilts from side to side with bodies swinging like a ticking clock which seem to signify the time that you have left, being alive. The cutscenes are especially creepy and horrifying, with a few effective jump scares that earns Cold Fear a few points for being true to survival horror. 

    Being an old game designed for the PS2, there are not many variations when it comes to the design of enemies with the zombies having only two different models. The scenes with parasites crawling into people’s mouths might seem like a bit of a horror cliche, but the overall tone of the game stands out with satisfactory results, given its backdated build and limited resources which the programmers had to work with.

    The more impressive talking point would be the sound design, as composer Tom Salta does an excellent job in creating an eerie environment with his well-designed soundtrack, and equally well-done SFX. The shotgun sounds especially brilliant, and some of the voicings of the infected humans, ‘the undead’, that echo across the stormy seas, speaks volumes about the proficiency with which Ubisoft has delicately designed the audio for their debut horror installment. American singer and rock icon, Marilyn Manson also contributed a song to the game, called “Use Your Fist and Not Your Mouth” which was released as a part of his 2003 LP, The Golden Age of Grotesque.



    There is a lot of blood and gore throughout the game, with blood splattering across the screen as Hansen shoots zombies in the head at point blank range. Weapons include a pistol, a submachine gun, an AK-47, a speargun, a flamethrower and even a grenade launcher, all of which are equally effective but have different damage and AOE stats. Most of the weapons are equipped with laser sights or flashlights which makes life a little easier for the gamer, in an otherwise dark environment.

    The main enemies are Russian mercenaries and the Exos, or people infected with Exocels. Killing the Exos itself is not enough, as the Exocel might appear and infect another body in the area. This means that enemies will not die unless they are decapitated and the brain is destroyed before they get the chance to reanimate for a second wave of attack.

    The very fact that the player is not presented with an inventory so they can’t store Ammos, and forces them to survive without the availability of any health packs in the middle of combat, is what makes Cold Fear so difficult but addictive. Players can only find ammo and health at certain predetermined locations distributed across the map, and also by looting the dead bodies of their recent victims.

    The environment is filled with interactable objects, but it gets a little confusing to track objectives as there is no map in the game. It is possible to take advantage of your environment and use tactics to take out multiple enemies, like shooting explosive barrels or fire extinguishers. The various objectives are done with verbal instructions, which means a little bit of exploring and opening countless doors to figure out what’s next.

    The first few hours of the game take place on the boat, which still has a map in the manual, but the rest of the game takes place on an oil platform that must be navigated only by memory, without any help of a map. The campaign runs for about six to eight hours with the save system helping keep the action moving pretty swiftly. Cold fear establishes a dark and gloomy setting, which is similar to a lot of B-movie videogames and packs enough thrills and zombies to keep you occupied for a day or two.

    If you have made it this far in the video, don’t forget to give us a like, and press that bell icon for instant notifications of our latest uploads. If you’re a gaming nerd like ourselves, you would not want to miss out on more of our content, be it Survival-Horror, RPGs, FPS games or even MOBAs!



    Upon its global release in March 2005, Cold Fear received mixed reviews from critics with Metacritics of 66% for the PC, 68% for the PS2, and 71% for the Xbox. Cold Fear has some interesting gameplay elements, visuals to remember and ends up being a tidy action game. However, frights are scarce and the story is filled with horror cliches. The enemy AI occasionally falters, and sometimes it is possible to merely get stuck on portions of the environment, or simply get lost due to the absence of a map.

    The game attempts at being one of the survival horror greats, with some impressive sound design and manages to deliver around 8 hours of intense zombie killing, blood splattering, parasite disintegrating action. Although the game met with poor sales figures, as critics like Eurogamer called it “a bit half-baked”, it still managed to sell over 70k units across the three platforms it was released for, in the United States.

    While Cold Fear won’t put games like Amnesia or Resident Evil to shame, it is a memorable trip down the memory lane for every horror fan and a worthy title to add to every gamer’s library. Ubisoft’s first horror title is one of the most underrated survival horror games in history, and is recommended for those who are never afraid of the dark, and even more so for those who are. That’s precisely why the global gaming community can’t wait for a remake of COLD FEAR!

    Did you like our review for the game? What did you think about the game and would you want to play it? Which game would you like us to review next? Tell us in the comments below. Thank you for watching… signing off!

    Latest articles