This will be difficult reviewing the game without mentioning any spoilers, especially within the previous two games. Now you don’t have to have had played the previous games to enjoy F.E.A.R. 3, but does slightly increase the drama of the games story, while a lot explained to you anyway. So I will just keep this short and simple as you play the F.E.A.R. series if you don’t realize it soon you will see that you are part one fucked up family, a paranormal family at that. What is a guy to do with the ability to have supernatural reflexes or can slow time down as you become used to the gameplay. After joining a Military Operation called F.E.A.R. which stands First Encounter Assault Recon as the game is titles. You discover much in F.E.A.R. taking on the role of Point Man and fighting off genetically engineered Replica Soldiers, you start t0 learning how to control your ability better, becoming stronger. F.E.A.R. is also the part government that is trained to handle supernatural threats, which is why they have people like and a man named Paxton Fettel who has very strong telepathic abilities, strong enough to control the minds of a small army. You are soon ordered t0 take out another member of F.E.A.R. which happens to be Paxton as he has turned against them by taking control of the Armacham Technology Corporation personnel just to kill them. Once they find him, they experience an unexplained paranormal phenomena, that appears to be deadly as well as extremely terrifying, which all seems to be coming from something that they cannot quite tell what world it’s from, a little girl in a red dress named …Alma Wade. Point Man then learns Paxton was being secretly raised and trained for an Armacham Technology Corporation project. Now Fettel was under the control of what maybe the most deadly super natural being… his very own mother.
Alma Wade has horrendous power that including her giving everyone around her frequent hallucinations, horrific images and a strong sense of not being in control with a feeling of helplessness. When Point Man finds Paxton for a second time he is riddled with images he has seen and has learned that he is the first born son of Alma Wade.. making him Paxton Fettels brother as well. With Alma now free but everyone else still in shock from the mental trauma she had caused, Point Man still with his mind fresh with painful images, trying to come to some sort of realization of what he is, he raises his gun to Paxtons forehead. Let us just F.E.A.R. ends with a bang, as when this family reunites, it ain’t no picnic. A second game was then released, called F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origins, but you quickly realize that some is very familiar yet different at the same time. In the second installment you play as Michael Becket a Delta Force Squad member that is ordered to protective custody as the point in the game now is about 30 minutes before the end of the first game taking place in the same area. In the second game Michael Becket is constantly getting hallucinations with Alma in it, even when is not near by as she usually is when she is attacking. Becket awakes from one of his hallucinations, each time feeling like he is become more aware of something. There is a point when Becket has the opportunity to take out Alma but before he gets a chance to, Point Man detonates the Project Origin Facility’s reactor once again knocking Becket unconscious as the last moments of the first F.E.A.R. play out Once Becket is done take a nap in the middle of hell, he meets a new Commander with his team wiped out, calls himself Snake Fist. Once reuniting with his higher ranking Officers they make their way the facility known as Project Harbinger (secretly known as Project Paragon) yet another program that tested, trained and even operated on to turn them into more super psychic soldiers. Standing in the place that Becket and most likely even Paxton went through, as the small amount of Soldiers Alma did not destroy where killed by Becket anyway for feeding lies to all what they say were lab rats… but only the ones he trusted. The rest of them encounter Alma again and Becket and her get into an intense hand to hand combat with her while even though Becket knows what she can do. He starts to feel his abilities more and more but when looking into Almas eyes, she had the same look in them right before he almost killed her, as she stared at back at him with them. She has feelings for Becket and he becomes unsure of how he feels toward her after learning everything he has known has been a lie. What’s now left of Becket’s ruthless squad is Colonel Vanek who kills and before killing Snake Fist, he unmasks himself to be Terry Halford who is working for ATC and explains to Becket that he believes that he can kill Alma if they can get this special device that that can amplifies psychic powers. This device is supposed to be located in an Armacham nuclear reactor on nearby Still Island, which houses a device. With this device, Becket can possibly defeat Alma with his own psychic abilities. A huge battle then takes place between you, Replica Forces, Almas army and other enemy soldiers in which Halford dies. Becket tries to use the device after finally in contact with her a third time, bit all it takes are simple images that Alma is forcing Becket see while hallucinating. While a battle is still waging, Genevieve Aristide then sees an opportunity to seal Becket and Alma inside the device together, using Alma as leverage against ATC. After a short battle Alma and Becket are now sealed inside the device, but then Alma seemed be trying to protect Becket but then she puts him an extremely, intense graphic hallucination where he is seeing himself get raped by Alma herself. As Becket’s hallucination wear off and the battlefield clears, a pregnant Alma walks up to Becket as she puts his hand on her stomach… ‘Mommy’. End game.
SPOILERS ARE DONE FROM THIS POINT ON
Now on to the Review of the third install of the series F.E.A.R. 3 which some key aspects of the previous game are not needed, but are good to know. I definitely enjoyed the game more knowing the basics of the last two games, plus I have not even mentioned all the expansions, DLC and other smaller projects released in between each of the the major game. F.E.A.R. 3 is very different from the the other games in a few different aspects, some for better and some for good. For the first time you can play the game in co-op, whether it is the campaign or the bunch of different types of co-op modes that can be played online. That puts a whole new spin on the franchise while it has also completely replaced online versus. For those of you who don’t know and have not ready the re-caps above, F.E.A.R. 3 is about a super natural female that looks like a little girl named Alma, only she can cause ultimate destruction, make you hallucinate or just kill you. She also has a couple of kids… for now, because F.E.A.R. 3 takes places 9 months after the last game and now we have Alma running around killing people pregnant. Somehow how I feel like that can’t be good for the kid.
So we begin the game nine months after the end of F.E.A.R. 2 and since this family just never is able to kick back and relax, Point Man, who you begin the game playing as in an interrogation room after being captured by Armacham Security and are being held in an interrogation room. Who just happens to show up but your brother, Paxton Fettel and since he is like dead, no one can see him but you really. So along that plus on top of his mental abilities, he breaks you out from where you are. Being that he has a grudge against for doing something to him in the first game that I won’t spoil, but it’s not the kind of thing people ever forgive you for if you catch my drift. So why would he break you out? To kill Mom of course… so she does not give birth to who the hell knows what. You don’t even no what she is exactly, or which dimension or world she is in half the time but she has gone above and beyond to keep her unborn child safe, killing many while causing catastrophes. It is the government based team named F.E.A.R. to stop her but they do a much better job of dying. You wind up finding the father to be of Alma’s unborn through immaculate conception, well… only in this world. Once the both of you find him Paxton uses his ability to posses him to gain more information on where Alma might be located. Between what Becket learns of the brothers identities and what Paxton gets from his mind, spontaneously combusted and explodes, so that’s the end Becket making Alma a soon to be single mother, but she used it by now.
With this being a campaign that supports co-op, you can play as either Point Man or Paxton Fettel, but unfortunately not right away as every time you beat a level as the Point Man in single player you can than replay that level as Paxton. If you just can’t wait I believe you can join a co-op game local or online and you can then play as Paxton while your co-op buddy is Point Man. This happens to be the second game I have reviewed, released in June that playing the game in co-op makes a HUGE difference making it hard to score. F.E.A.R. 3 does not suck playing the game in singleplayer, but I would rather play the game co-op with a monkey than by myself. One of the coolest parts about playing co-op is the fact that depending on who you play as you will see the game differently as well as their very different abilities. Point Man has guns through the whole game while Paxton can’t even pick one up, but he can posses some one with a weapon and then use that weapon, be it a gun or a crowbar. There even Mech Units in the game now, which are hard to come by, but certain maps online have them making that mode even more fun.
F.E.A.R. 3 was built for co-op and not just the special modes outside of campaign which are co-op, playing with a friend is so much more fun with the actually being challenges that will get XP to level up like Paxton suspending an enemy in the air while Point Man can slow down time and blast away at him. The game singleplayer can get very difficult with out playing with someone else as the game really doesn’t scale down the difficulty of the campaign, when it realizes you are playing alone.. not cool. But co-op is the new thing now a days and you almost can’t get it wrong, while I don’t hear any complaints from people when it is added to a game. Although in certain cases like in F.E.A.R. 3 and Operation Flashpoint: Red River, the once online versus has been replaced with the co-op. Now here my deal on it, co-op is almost always a blast for most games but it has an end to it, you can fight off waves upon waves of Zombies in Call of Duty: Black Ops but unless you are exploiting a glitch or something, everyone will eventually die. With online versus, or multiplayer it never ends, nothing is predictable, anything can happen and you only stop when you must or you just get bored or need a break. That kind of multiplayer, you don’t always see though, that’s called super fun, easily addicting, featured packed multiplayer. Now if you don’t get that right in a game, people just are not going to play it. So if you had to choose the almost always fun co-op or take the risk of a games multiplayer sucking, I think many would choose the co-op. I never thought F.E.A.R. had bad multiplayer but looking at numbers everyone is usually playing the top 5 to 10 games online with the top 5 rarely changing, while the lowered end changes so often.
Having multiplayer and co-op in a game is ideal, but I think that if it came down to choosing one over the other, you might be surprised at how many people pick co-op. Anyway I think it was a good move to include all the co-op in F.E.A.R. 3 rather than the multiplayer from the last games. While playing singleplayer or co-op your characters level up simultaneously, by kills, streaks of kills, headshots, the online mode objectives, but most of all the challenges that will award you a ton of XP and keep getting harder. Each level you complete in co-op, will see each players stats and which one did the best naming you the Favorite Son. There are two different endings in the game which are obviously Point Man’s or Paxton’s just playing as the character in singleplayer will show their ending once beaten, but I am still not sure or not whether you can get an ending depending on who was the overall favorite son through out the a co-op campaign. Point Man sticks to his guns and his slow-mo ability which I renumber saving my co-op partners ass a few times as he show SLOW-MO! Paxton has more special abilities but is difficult to get used to as he has all physic abilities, one of them being energy blasts that he can shoot from his hand but more effective is his death grip he forces enemies into. Even then Paxton most unique and strategic moves is his ability to posses his enemies which he will be able to use that body forever, but can be great to navigate with and even use for cover you say find an enemy in cover. You will need your psychic energy is charged and be in the right range to possess someones body.
The online co-op in F.E.A.R. 3 is also a lost of fun to, especially because you can now play with up to 4 players in this mode and not just 2. But bye bye supernatural abilities, as there not entirely gone in all mode, but trust me it is still fun. There are four online multiplayer modes where there is even a competitive mode. The modes are Contractions, Fucking Run, Soul Survivor and Soul King. Fucking Run could not be more self explanatory as all the people your are playing with have to fucking run and not stop for anything. This is because if you look back, you will notice what looks like a giant fog called Almas wall which will end your life if it catches up with you. Did I mention enemy soldiers come out from the woods to try and slow you down too and if anyone dies, it’s game over. In Contractions it is almost identical to the Zombie mode many shooter fans have played Call of Duty: World at War and Black Ops where you have wave after wave of Almas minions which are just ugly as zombie to Soldiers. Contracted any hits will bring another wave of enemies and you will have to build back up barricades as well as go into the danger zone to bring back new weapons or ammo to the safest area of the map, usually indoors. Soul Survivor starts off as a cooperative mode fighting enemies together until Alma chooses a player and once you look into her eyes in is over. That player is now against his former team-mates and must separate the rest of the team to take them out individually as each player is taken out they join the corrupted side. In Soul King, all players start off as Specter Ghosts, and posses as well as kill as many soldiers as you can. Every Soldier that is kills drops a soul that must collect as the player with the most Souls wins the round, depending on how many rounds the host sets the game up for among other tweaks that can be changed depending on the mode. If a player dies they lose half their souls and can be picked up by other players. If you buy F.E.A.R. 3 new, you get a code for more maps, as you cannot play the same map in another mode. So it’s nice having more maps to choose from as the game ships with only three maps per mode, leaving much room for DLC.
The F.E.A.R. games were never really nailed down to one genre, whether it was a first-person shooter, survival horror or supernatural thriller. Still it would be hard to bin down though in F.E.A.R. 3 the guns mechanics are smoother than ever giving the same s0lid feel as all the most played FPS’s today, so that aspect is better obvious more so while playing as Point Man. However now that you can play Paxton many people prefer him instead and his unique abilities he brings to the game. The thing is that I did feel that this game was indeed scary, but not as much as the previous ones. This was also surprising with horror film vets working with the developers, such John Carpenter and Steve Niles, the actual co-op were actually inspired the films had done. The game is a ton of fun though, especially in co-op and I CANNOT stress that enough. You are buying a whole different experience if you get it with no plans to play with anyone. You will be happy the game still gets scary at points as entering Alma’s w0rld, it’s hard not to and with the multiple endings as well the XP system you want to play the game more than once at least.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
Co-op all throughout the game. Campaign and four co-op online modes with a level system. Paxton Fettel is now playable character. Multiple endings.
No online versus. Story is good but mostly feeds off of the past titles. Less scary, Alma comes off as less creepy.