Here we are my fellow gamer enthusiasts: The process is complete, the achievements gathered, and frights counted. The only remaining question that remains…Does this trilogy live up to the previous thoughts we’ve developed? Have they gone above and beyond? Or dragged below, with concrete shoes, in the bottom of the river? Enough chit chat already! It’s F.E.A.R 3, and its SHOWTIME!
We left off with Michael Beckett getting raped and impregnating Alma. Yes, that half-dead, half-evil woman is now carrying the child that is probably Satan’s personal bully. With a cliffhanger such as this, expectations increased with the start of the third game. Starting you (Pointman) in a cell, being tortured until younger brother, Paxton Fettel, shows up for the rescue. From here, we see the teamwork aspect come into play through the game. Your brother is with you throughout the story, lending a so called, (helping hand) when needed. This was a twist I wasn’t expecting, seeing as we put a bullet through his forehead. Yet, the psychic link between us was not quite severed.
Aside from a new companion, the next thing to notice is the graphics of the third installment of F.E.A.R. It’s no longer a gritty, slaughterhouse game. In F.E.A.R. 3, we get smooth and polished details, not seen before. Weapons look real and the environment brings the terrors alive in your eyes. For example, the hauntingly realistic supermarket with blood altars and bloodied walls. Creeping through a Deli with hanging meat racks has never seen more horrific. And the new cutscenes could be (near) movie quality at times. These changes really helped elevate the game in many ways. Taking us out of the game and almost bringing us to believe this could be a a new, dark reality to fight in.
The big change in this game was the fact we’re no longer running from Mommy Dearest. Instead, the two brothers are fighting to gather more information on Alma’s whereabouts to find her and “reunite” the family at last. With Paxton telepathically guiding us throughout the story and provoking ideas, this game makes you see the plot in a fresh and different light. No longer feeling overwhelmed with hate and anger towards Mom, we feel a deeper sense of pity and sorrow for her. Being separated from her children never to see them; having them turned against each other to create the perfect soldiers. We find out who the real monster truly is.
Known as “The Creeper”, Harlan Wade is what’s keeping you from being a family again. You must find certain objects from both childhoods and destroy them to get to Wade. Each object shows a little more about the past and what atrocities occurred to the brothers. The shedding of light into the past draws us deeper, proving this story is more complex than just scare tactics. Causing a turmoil within, who is the real bad-guy here? With the story staying strong and pushing us forward, the plot delivers until the very last moment of the game.
The gameplay hasn’t changed a terrible amount from the previous title. A few new changes of buttons and and stick layout are easily acclimated to. Mech-Suits a plenty and new guns to tickle your fancy. There are usable environmental tactics to outmaneuver enemies and new enemies to face and fight. The one thing this game doesn’t exactly center on is fright. Don’t get me wrong, I had a few jumpy scenes and suspenseful moments moving around corridors. Sadly, I felt a little diminished by the lack of horror. The previous titles captured that so well, that it may have just been too much anticipation riding on the game.
One small downfall I noticed would be Multiplayer aspect. By that I mean, competitive online games. I searched and searched for matches, tried hosting matches, joining them. I was never able to truly try any of the modes out. Either the servers have been turned to shit or the community went back to F.E.A.R 2’s Deathmatches. The saving grace was the ability to play Co-Op Campaign this time. As mentioned earlier, the brothers are working together. Which means you and a friend can compete against each other for the most points in missions, to see exactly who Alma’s favorite son truly is. With challenges for killing enemies with weapons, using your slow- mo ability, or Paxtons psychic killing features.
Let me please say this, as much fun as playing The Pointman is, with super human like speed and skills, becoming Fettel with the ability to possess and control enemies was my absolute favorite action. “Force Choking” an enemy and taking over to kill his comrades never got old. Or simply releasing your inner heathen and combusting enemies into red pulp would easily satisfy. With this great new mixup of gameplay and strategy brought into play, it brings this title to a whole new level of playability and replay-ability.
One last point to cover here folks. I’m not one to give away spoilers often, so I’ll be careful here. With the competing for Alma’s favorite son each mission, one could wonder what happens at the end? Does the game in-fact have a choice in the end for who wins mommy’s love? Oh, it does indeed. Pitting each other against one another brings the ending to a great and wondrous conclusion. Who wins and what happens to Alma solely depends on the best brother.
Let us recap our thoughts here: Bigger and better graphics and an enhanced story line to accompany. There are cut-scenes which could form a good movie on its own, new weapons and strategy throughout the game to change the pace of each player. The unfortunate lack of online multiplayer was a big letdown, yet not enough to ruin this gem. The overall quality that went into production and plot truly shows and is appreciated with F.E.A.R 3. So, please go and rent this great game NOW!!
F.E.A.R.3 is definitely worth it!
By Luke Wyatt