3rd July 2011 - So continues the F.E.A.R. series full of horror and frights and amazing FPS action, will this instalment of F.E.A.R. be as enjoyable as the first two games? Will Day 1 Studios be able to deliver an exciting instalment of the F.E.A.R. series taking over the reins from Monolith Productions? Read on and find out!
For those wanting to know F.E.A.R. stands for First Encounter Assault Recon, who are responsible for dealing with paranormal or issues of a supernatural nature. The gameplay takes place shortly after the 2nd game where Alma becomes pregnant with SPOILER ALERT: Beckett's child.
You take a hold or the first games protagonist Point Man and his brother Paxton Fettel some time after the first games ending, this game is actually very based off the original two games so I would strongly recommend picking them up if you haven't played them before, but with that said you can still dive into F.E.A.R. 3 and pick up the storyline fairly easily. The story sees Point Man and Fettel reunited to stop Alma from giving birth to Beckett's child, as this could surely see the end of the world as we know it. So the brothers are forced to set aside their differences and make their way to Armacham to stop this unnatural birth, reunited with past friends and enemies and a lot of horror to ensue.
As Point Man you have a strong psychic link with your brother Paxton Fettel which he is revived through as a ghost able to inhabit bodies and just generally help you out in various situations. Point Man is able to make use his superhuman abilities to slow down time, have enhanced martial abilities, use of every weapon type, and just overly being quite handy in a gun fight. Paxton Fettel is able to use his strong psychic abilities to levitate enemies, shoot psychic blasts at enemies, shield his brother from incoming attacks, inhabit bodies and use them the same as you would use Point Man without the use of slowmo. Both characters work very well as a team in Coop, unfortunately in Single Player the player is only able to take control of Point Man until you complete a mission at which point you're able to use Fettel to complete the same mission. There are 4 different difficulty settings being Easy, Normal, Hard and Insane each with their own unique title. The AI is actually quite adaptive on each difficulty setting and playing on the harder settings are actually very challenging.
There is a very unique levelling system in this game which you can bring over to the multiplayer, which I thought was quite amazing. When you are doing a mission there are set challenges you can complete to gain experience for levelling up, each level will provide you with a set statistic to increase either your slowmo/Fettel possession time, increase your health, health regeneration, amount of grenades you can carry, amount of clips you can carry etc. Each level you gain something new and there are 21 different levels to progress to. \line\line The slowmo ability adds a lot of enjoyment to the game being able to take out 3-4 enemies in one slowmo feels very rewarding, the same can be said about Fettels possession ability your possession meter slowly runs out if you don't kill an enemy and pick up a possession token, up the point where Fettel will suicide the enemy he is currently possessing to be released from the body and inhabit another body. You can also opt to unpossess an enemy by suiciding them. The gameplay is very unique with how you can also work cooperatively with a friend for example, allowing Fettel to levitate enemies and allowing Point Man to perform execution type moves to get increased experience gain, there are a lot of unique possibilities for everyone to test out in Coop.
The game boasts 4 different multiplayer modes spaced on 12 different maps, each mode is very unique and some may find they're in familiar territory when playing Soul Survivor Game mode, being very similar to Left 4 Dead, and Contractions, which is very similar to Zombies mode in Black Ops. The game also sports 2 other modes which are very unique from other games, first is Soul King, you take the role of a Spectre who is able to possess enemy NPCs and your goal with this mode is to possess an enemy and quite simply kill as many enemies as possible within the set time frame. The last mode is called quite literally F**king Run, which basically sets you in a particular campaign mission with up to 4 players, you have to run from a Wall of Death which if one player is killed the mission is failed, you face many supernatural and regular enemies in this game mode and it's quite enjoyable. The first 3 game types I mentioned are able to have the waves set and you're able to play until your hearts content, whilst F**king Run you basically have a set time limit to complete the mission otherwise you won't gain as many points. These multiplayer modes are very unique and very enjoyable, with the added ability for people to carry over their single player experience into multiplayer it makes for much enjoyment to be had.
The graphics for this game are quite intricate and a lot of moments will have you in shock and awe at how well the cinematics are done. With that said there are some texturing issues which all games have and some glitches. But overall the graphics are quite well done and I would compare them to being slightly better than F.E.A.R. 2 graphics which were quite amazingly done.
The music score for this game definitely sets the mood of F.E.A.R. being a horror based FPS; the scores will definitely have you jumping out of your seat at some points in the game. Although with that said sometimes the music makes predictable chime-ins when you know something is going to happen.
The gun sounds and just overall ambient sounds are very well designed, I actually feel like I'm in a gunfight when surrounded by enemies and they're all shooting at me. Each gun has its own unique sound, whilst they are not really comparable to real life weapons every gun sounds realistic enough for you to feel enjoyment from firing the weapon.
Overall the sound is very inviting and frightening at the same time, it can be predictable but that definitely adds a lot of enjoyment of knowing things are about to go down.
I would say anyone who enjoyed the F.E.A.R. series will definitely enjoy this instalment. The gameplay is very enjoyable and the multiplayer modes make this game very unique from triple A shooters that are currently out now. F.E.A.R. 3 has very team based multiplayer which makes the game very enjoyable for people who are objective/team players. It has a lot of playability in the fact that there are Coop achievements, multiplayer achievements and Single player achievements, that and the fact you can play as either Point Man or Fettel adds a lot of elements of gameplay to this game.
I actually found F.E.A.R. 3 to be quite enjoyable as it was a fairly easy to understand storyline, the gameplay was very unique, Coop was very enjoyable and the multiplayer modes really set this apart from current Triple A titles. I would strongly recommend this game to any player that enjoys Horror games and the F.E.A.R. series. The game is very challenging for anyone wanting to pick this up I would recommend you have some experience in the FPS genre.
AAG SCORE: 8/10
+ Vehicle Gameplay
+ Unique Single Player experience
+ Unique Coop Experience
+ Unique and different multiplayer experience then average FPS games
+ Team based multiplayer
+ Unique levelling system
- No weapon customization
- Attempts to not be a linear game but it actual is
- No multiplayer customization
Reviewed and Written By James Gott