The Elite Powered Armor (EPA) is both a drivable vehicle and an enemy in F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin.
The Elite Powered Armor appears to be a follow-on from the program that developed the Replica REV6 Powered Armor, as seen in F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon. Compared to that unit, the EPA is larger, bulkier and more heavily armed, possibly designed to deal with enemy Powered Armor and light armored vehicles, as opposed to the infantry support function of the REV6.
The EPA is equipped for both anti-vehicle and anti-infantry work, being equipped with two high-caliber three-barreled rotary guns mounted on its forearms, and two rocket packs mounted in the unit's shoulders. The rotary weapons are enough to tear even the strongest infantryman to shreds and even damage some buildings, while doing substantial damage to other Powered Armor units. Their spin-up time is extremely rapid, though increased in multiplayer.
The rockets are small, unguided high-explosive devices that are fired in a four-round barrage and spiral towards their target, landing roughly where the EPA's targeting reticule was pointed. They have a substantial blast radius and are very effective against both armored targets and infantry. After firing, there is a four-second delay as the EPA automatically reloads the four missile tubes, the suit announcing 'Missiles armed' when they are available again. As they fire from the upper torso of the suit and travel slightly upwards, using them in a confined space is unwise, and can result in the rocket barrage hitting the ceiling and damaging the EPA itself.
The EPA clearly carries an exceptional amount of ammunition, to the point that running out is a non-issue. However, thermal issues remain; the EPA's rotary guns rapidly heat up to the point that it becomes dangerous to the operator, whereupon the suit automatically enters a cooldown mode that briefly prevents the main weapons being fired.
Most of the HUD is dedicated to the weaponry; the boxes to the sides indicate the status of the missile armament, while the boxes in the mid-lower section are heat indicators for the two rotary guns; these change to display "OVERHEAT" if the weapons overheat. In the center either side of a graphic of the suit are two health bars indicating the suit's current status.
The only real weakness of the vehicle in terms of armament is the limited vertical traverse of the EPA's arms and field of view; it is only able to look around 45 degrees off horizontal in either direction, allowing soldiers to get into the "blind spot" directly in front of the suit where it cannot attack them. However, as a final means of attacking at extremely close range, the suit is able to simply stand on opponents, killing them instantly.
The Powered Armor has many on-board features to assist the operator and ensure both their safety and its own. The main feature is an advanced self-repair system that allows the EPA to restore its armor strength any time it isn't actively sustaining further damage, coupled with an emergency mechanism that ejects the pilot if critical damage is sustained and refuses to allow him back inside until repairs have been made. This means that an EPA under Michael Becket's control is effectively invincible. Enemy EPAs have additional protection in the form of a glowing hemispherical shield; it isn't clear whether Becket's EPA lacks such a device, or if it simply isn't visible from the operator's side.
The EPA features a sophisticated Target Detection and Identification (TDID) system which is capable of evaluating and highlighting potential hostiles. Normal enemies are highlighted with an orange-bordered box, while a red-bordered box indicates a severe threat such as a missile launcher or another Powered Armor. In addition, the suit is fitted with an FLIR (forward-looking infra-red) system for low-light or night operations, and a telescopic zoom function with a built-in rangefinder for engagement of distant targets. While not used in the game, the suit also visibly mounts a set of headlamps for illumination.
For dropping into hostile areas, the EPA can be configured to generate a protective barrier around its air-drop container that gives it the appearance of a descending meteor, and is able to fight almost instantaneously on landing. The EPA features two large lifting eyelets on its shoulders right above the rocket packs, showing ease of transport was a major concern in its design. The vehicle is fast for its size, and extremely mobile even over relatively difficult and uneven ground.
As a controllable vehicleEdit
The EPA is encountered twice during the course of the game in a controllable state, first in Interval 04 - Top, then again in Interval 06 - Epicenter. In the first instance, a Replica soldier has just exited the vehicle, allowing Becket to commandeer it, while the second illustrates the danger of the auto-ejection system; an EPA is found in a pool of water near a downed power line, having ejected its pilot into the water with fatal consequences and unable to complete repairs due to constant minor damage from the electrified water. After Becket destroys the nearby fallen transformer, he is able to take the vehicle for himself.
In both sections, the EPA simply has to destroy everything in its path; both times this includes numerous Replica soldiers and Powered Armor units. Becket is free to enter and exit the vehicle as he wishes to collect supplies, but regardless, eventually he will reach a point where the EPA can no longer progress, and will be prompted to exit it.
Also, once it has taken enough damage, it will force the controller to leave or else they will be automatically ejected (as the reason why the Replica mentioned above died), and go into what it calls 'hibernation'. It will regenerate, allowing Becket to control it once again.
As an enemyEdit
Three EPAs are encountered as enemies in the game; the first two are in Interval 03 - Ruin and the third in Interval 06 - Epicenter. The first is defeated by an ATC force with rocket launchers, leaving Becket to face a second alone immediately afterwards as it slaughters the ATC team on landing. The third engagement is much less difficult than the second, as Becket is in an EPA himself.
Enemy EPAs are capable of being totally destroyed, unlike those under Becket's control, and the pilot ejection system seems non-functional for them; the Replica soldiers who pilot them are never seen alive outside their suits, the only one spotted having been burned beyond recognition.
In the hands of the enemy, the EPA is vulnerable to sudden electric discharges, either from XS Shock Grenades or from downed electrical transformers, which are often present if a Powered Armor Unit is going to be fought on foot. A successful attack will immobilize the EPA briefly, allowing for a follow-on strike with heavier weaponry against the defenseless suit.
The EPA is the toughest enemy in the game, and the only one able to withstand more than a single shot from the Type-12 Energy Weapon Prototype.
EPA Manual #1Edit
- Main article: Replica Forces - EPA Manual 1
CONFIDENTIAL: Armacham Technology Corp.
In an aerial targeted-drop scenario, secure
the drop container's secondary power
connections (Cables E and F) to the main
reflux nexus with the quick release clamps
found on the anterior connection nodes (see
figure 21c). The protective interference
field will shield the unit from crushing
impact and strip away the drop container in
addition to readying the unit for immediate
combat. As a safety precaution, the pilot
should refrain from eating for several hours
prior to airdrop.
EPA Manual #2Edit
- Main article: Replica Forces - EPA Manual 2
CONFIDENTIAL: Elite Powered Armor Product Specifications
One of the Elite Powered Armor's most
powerful features is a failsafe self-repair
mechanism, designed to allow for minor
repairs during combat and major repairs when
the machine is in lockdown mode. Pilot will
be ejected during lockdown to prevent injury
during repair sequence.
NOTE: The Elite Powered Armor Unit is
designed for the use of Replica soldiers and
Class B or higher exoskeleton pilots only.
Use by untrained military personnel,
civilians, or children is not recommended or
supported by Armacham Technology
- Main article: Replica Forces - Powered Armor
We've identified a potential weakness in the
Replica Powered Armor units that have been
deployed through the downtown area.
According to the specifications, the
prototype models have inadequate shielding
around the power core, making them
susceptible to electrical disruptions. If
you don't have any XS Shock Grenades, try
shooting electrical transformers while
Powered Armor units are passing underneath.
- While it's called "Powered Armor," the EPA isn't armor in any conventional sense; the operator sits in a seat in the torso and drives it, rather than wearing it. It's closer to being a bipedal light tank.
- Becket can't use his PDA while operating the Elite Powered Armor.
- Smoke will stream out of the top covers of the miniguns just before they overheat as a final visual warning to stop firing.
- When the first EPA opens for the first time, the interior lights up with a warm orange glow, but it and other EPAs never light up after this.
- During development, the EPA was bright red. In the final game the color has been changed to a drab olive military tone.
- In the demo, the EPA's thermal vision mode didn't work.
- The EPA looks somewhat similar to the Dreadnought vehicles from Warhammer 40,000, and the APU from The Matrix.
- Armacham Technology Corporation apparently supports the metric system, as the EPA's heat gauges are marked as being in degrees Celsius.
- The sequence shown in the "Elite Powered Armor Kills" trailer turns out to be the sequence where the first EPA Becket fights slaughters the ATC fireteam that just destroyed the previous one in that area.
- It is somewhat possible to glitch the boarding animation. Approach the EPA so that the button to enter is presented, then jump and press square (PS3) or X (Xbox) as soon as Beckett hits the ground (note: spamming the button may increase success, as the timing is precise). If done correctly, Becket will proceed to climb into the EPA, but at an inhuman rate of speed possibly reminiscent of the crawling of an Abomination. He will then actually end up being above the EPA and still appear to be pulling down the lid although nothing is grabbed. Once inside the EPA, however, everything will return to normal.
- EPA Trailer, "Elite Powered Armor Kills" - http://www.projectorigincommunity.com/node/297