Friday, June 24, 2011

F.E.A.R. 3 (F3AR) Review

Platform Reviewed: PC
Score: 3.5/5

Let me start by giving you my opinions on the first two fear games in one word: overrated. When I played the original F.E.A.R., I was expecting a terrifying game that would chill me to the bone and quiver with fear. What I received was a repetitive shooter with the occasional moment of walking down a dark hallway and a trashcan knocking itself over. Needless to say I experienced more fear when I thought the condom broke.

Enough about the previous games lets focus on F.3.A.R or as a normal person would type it: Fear 3. Fear 3 was developed by a different developer and it shows as the game has a different feel to it in the combat and pacing. While there are still those moments of walking through a creepy environment with scary sounds, fear 3 focuses mostly on the action this time. Many times during my playthrough people questioned whether or not I was playing Call of Duty due to some environments and gameplay looking damn near identical.

If we look at this game as just being a shooter, the gameplay is fun and fast paced but there isn’t much that is revolutionary or not seen before. You can only carry 2 weapons at a time which is not an issue due to there being lots and lots of ammo and enemies dropping guns. All the staples are here: assault rifle, shotgun, pistol, laser gun, missile launcher, sniper, and my favorite dual submachine guns. Each gun is fun to use and the game does a good job of cycling weapons so you get to play with all of them. Bullet time returns using the exact same mechanics of the first games.

Fear 3 uses a cover system and regenerating health similar to mass effect in which you must hide until you regenerate your health. One of the oddest changes to the game are the removal of collectable health upgrades and the addition of a Call of Duty type of leveling system in which completing actions gain you experience that increase your “rank” or “level” even in single player. Each level has a different perk like “increase your health by 10%” or “Maximum ammo increase.”

The storyline of the game revolves around Point Man and his brother Fettel getting to Alma (their mother) before she gives birth to the baby from the second game. During the journey we learn more about the past of Point Man and his brother and what the doctor did to them while they were living in project origin. Most of the storyline was very weird, sometimes hard to follow and disturbing but the cut scenes are effective at setting the mood. The cut scenes tell almost the entire story and are broken up with the action gameplay sequences. The ending is short, abrupt and weird and will leave you wanting more of a conclusion.
If we look at FEAR 3 as a horror game, this is where the game is weak. Like the previous titles all the horror is condensed into the scenes in which you are walking around a creepy environment and waiting for something to scare you. There are a couple really well done sections that are very eerie, but these areas are few and far between and rarely ever make you jump.

Overall, F.E.A.R. 3 is an above average shooter that is fun to play but it’s hard to shake the feeling of disappointment with the lack of horror. If you are looking for a game to scare you or looking for a survival horror I suggest passing on this game as you will be disappointed. If you are a big fan of shooters like call of duty or the original fear games then you should have plenty of fun especially if you play the campaign with a friend in co-op.

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