Slow-Mo is a specialized psionic ability that is used by several characters in the F.E.A.R. universe. When a person possesses this ability they have supernaturally fast reflexes and movement. When in the Slow-Mo state, time seems to slow down.
- "His reflexes are totally off the charts"
- —Rodney Betters on the Point Man's reflexes
In F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon, the Point Man exhibits superhuman reflexes, commonly referred to by players as "Slow-Mo" (short for Slow-Motion), which allow him to act with vastly heightened speed and agility. When activated in-game, Slow-Mo causes the Point Man to move, aim, and fire weapons by a factor of two while perceiving the world around him as moving five times slower than normal. While in this state, the Point Man's vision becomes warped as tinted red light appears to stretch toward him. While providing a good edge the player has over all opponents, Slow-Mo is not always reliable, while the player should act faster, the enemies still can return fire if given enough time. Also the Slow-Mo affects the player as well, like moving and reload speed; the weapon that is not automatic, like VK-12 Combat Shotgun and ASP rifle, will slightly decrease in rate of fire under Slow-Mo effect. Although movement is affected, the Point Man can still move faster than his opponents who would sometimes remark that he was "too fast".
When using Slow-Mo, a meter on the Point Man's HUD slowly drains, turning red when only a few seconds are left until the meter becomes empty, at which point his heightened state of awareness will end, and the meter will slowly recharge. The meter's size, and thus the amount of time the Point Man can remain in Slow-Mo, can be increased by picking up hypodermic Reflex Boosters scattered throughout the game.
In Monolith's sequel to F.E.A.R., Delta Force Operative Michael Becket is abducted by Genevieve Aristide and undergoes surgery that gives him abilities similar to those of the Point Man. One notable difference is that, while in Slow-Mo, Becket's vision is tinted green, rather than red like that of the Point Man. Also, while in Slow-Mo, anyone hostile to Becket is highlighted, making them easier to pick out; this proves especially useful for zeroing in on Replica Snipers or getting a bead on fast moving enemies like Abominations.
Like the first game, Becket can find Reflex Injectors to increase usage time.
In F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn, a rogue Replica soldier, Foxtrot 813, is granted the Slow-Mo ability after his first contact with Paxton Fettel. This is likely because Fettel establishes close mental connection with Foxtrot 813, and, being Alma's son, he possibly transferred some of his powers to him. This also implies that Fettel possesses the same Slow-Mo abilities as his brother, the Point Man.
With no Reflex Injectors to collect in Reborn, how much Slow-Mo Foxtrot 813 has depends on how many injectors the player has found in the base game prior to playing Reborn. If all Injectors have been found, Foxtrot 813 will have full two bars of Slow-Mo usage time.
The Point Man returns in F.E.A.R. 3 with all of his abilities intact. His Slow-Mo ability remains the same, nine months after he exhibited it in the first game, though there is less "warping" effect and the red tint is absent. Also, reloading weapons during Slow-Mo will be the same speed as reloading in real time, instead of being drastically slowed down as they were in F.E.A.R., F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, and Perseus Mandate.
The amount of time that can be spent in Slow-Mo will be increased by leveling up throughout the game.
Although the slo-mo abilitiy was not available in either multi-player or the campaigns, whenever the The RavagedBodies and the REV10 Powered Armor (bosses in Subway Panic and Tunnel respectively) have been defeated. the players will experience being in slo-mo. However, it is more of a show than a practical use.
The Point Man again uses his ability in the F.E.A.R. Extraction Point expansion pack, but no new information is revealed about the ability. The usage time is reset, meaning that the meter will be as how it was during Interval 01 of the first game, even if he found all reflex boosters in F.E.A.R.
In the expansion F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate, the Sergeant possesses what appears to be exactly the same Slow-Mo ability that the Point Man has, though it is never made clear exactly how or why the Sergeant obtained this ability. It is theorized that he may be a clone of the Point Man or a part of experimental surgery similar to Michael Becket, thus possessing this ability. However, it is possible that the Seargant has slow mo because of the game engine, or to make the intervals slightly easier.
A group called Nightcrawlers appear in the game, whose elite members and Commander have Slow-Mo abilities as well. However, the emeny cannot use Slow-Mo like the player did, as they can only use it in a split second to avoid bullet/projectiles fired from the player. It could be assumed that, because both the Nightcrawlers and F.E.A.R. have some past history with the Senator, some of their members could possibly have been subjects of experimental surgery by ATC.
- Slow-Mo functions a lot like the "Bullet time" feature from Max Payne.
- In first game and its expansions, the blur effect of the Slow-Mo can be switched-off via Options, in this way the Slow-Mo effect will be a lot more subtle.
- In most multiplayer modes for F.E.A.R., Extraction Point, Perseus Mandate, and F.E.A.R. 2, the Slow-Mo is disabled unless it is part of a particular game mode.
- Unlike all other F.E.A.R. games, F.E.A.R. 3 has no multiplayer mode that features Slow-Mo.
- There has been a lot of theories about the origins and the capabilities of Slow Mo. While earlier F.E.A.R. games and materials say this was caused by surgery performed on him by Armacham Technology Corporation when he was already an adult. It is suggested in F.E.A.R. 3 that the Point Man's superhuman reflexes are the result of his relation to his mother, Alma Wade, and being born with psionic capabilities.
- In F.E.A.R., Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate, Slow-Mo slows time to about 5 times slower than normal. Slow-Mo also doubles your movement speed and rate of fire. So, while in Slow-Mo, your character moves and shoots twice as fast, as well as perceiving the world at 5 times faster than normal human sight.
- Evidence to suggest that the power is psychic can be seen in the Fear 3 co-op, when Point Man uses Slow-Mo and Pettel also feels the effects, showing that the ability can also slow down the time of others.
- Its not known how the Sergeant in F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate possesses Slow-Mo, one possible explanation is he went though the surgery that gives Michael Becket the same ability, this is hinted that he can use the same Reflex Booster to extend usage time.
- F.E.A.R. 2 and Reborn are notable for not giving player the Slow-Mo ability at the very beginning, while in other games the player can use it almost immediately.
- In F.E.A.R. 2's multiplayer, Slow-Mo is limited to the one who gets the Reflex Injector, and the ability will be expired once the Slow-Mo bar is depleted.
- F.E.A.R. 3 is the only game so far that actually names the ability as "Slow-Mo," as in previous games this ability went by various names.
- If the player is killed in previous games, the game, upon reloading the checkpoint, will remind him/her to use their "heightened reflexes" (aka: Slow-Mo) to get an edge against opponents.
- In the tutorial of F.E.A.R. 2, this ability was known as "SlowMo."