Fear 3 Review Or: Three Men And A Baby

F.3.A.R. Review:

Whether you’re talking about movies or video games, the third entry in a series is always a tricky proposition. There’s a list as long as my arm of threequels failing to live up to the quality of their predecessors. The Godfather III, throwing all the good will generated by parts one and two right out the window. Spider-Man 3, now with 100% more emo Parker and Twilight-ty angst. In gaming, look no further than Call Of Duty 3 which, while a good game, brought nothing new to the table, leaving all of that innovation nonsense to part four.

It’s not entirely the fault of creators. When coming up with a brand new product they’re generally bringing their A-game to the table. Since the attention span of modern gamers is on the same level as that of a goldfish hopped up on wacky weed, it’s important to wow players right out of the gate. When the inevitable sequel comes along, developers can usually make do with whatever ideas and mechanics they had to leave out of the original game due to time and budgetary constraints.

It’s the sequel to the sequel that gets tricky. By the third game in a series, franchise fatigue is starting to set in for many since gamers now know exactly what to expect from your series. If you don’t show them something shiny they’ll quickly move on to your competition. If you’ve played a Fear game before then this is what you probably expect: a Matrix-like bullet-time mechanic to slow the action to a crawl, a chilling atmosphere capped off with The Ring-style ghostly apparitions, just as many BOO! scenes as gunfights, a storyline that would make Stephen King proud and some decent multiplayer innovations.

Fear 3 does all of these things. But so did the original Fear. And so did Fear 2: Project Origin.

If you’re the type of person who tends to scroll down to the verdict before reading the entire review, let me spoil it for you: Fear 3 is a good game. This is going to be a positive review. Unfortunately, I could have just as easily copied and pasted a review of any of the two previous games and called it a day. (I actually tried that but The Boss threatened to increase my daily number of beatings and I know he’s been dying to try out that new whip with all the spiky bits.)

So to save myself an ass whuppin’, here is Yell! Magazine’s review of Fear 3, available on PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Fear 3, F3AR Review
“Pictured: The Yell! Magazine retirement plan.”

The Story

Fear 3 picks up where Project Origin left off. Nine months have passed since the events of both previous games and it’s been quite a memorable time for Origin’s protagonist, Michael Becket, who had a rather unpleasant encounter with the world of the supernatural. Due to a series of events too disturbing to recap, Becket unwillingly impregnated series villain Alma. Yeah, the gangly, perpetually naked, psychotic fan of telekinetic evisceration. That chick. All together now: Ewwwwwwwww!

FEAR 3 Screenshot
Coochy-coochy coo….AH GOD IT’S GOT MY EYEBALL!!!!

While it would be interesting to know what sort of nightmares are going through Becket’s mind following his horrific rape, Fear 3 shoves him to the sidelines. Though Becket makes several important appearances throughout the game, they are too important plot-wise for me to spoil. Instead, the player finds himself once more inhabiting the body of the Point Man, the main character from Fear. It’s an odd choice to simply discard an established character, Michael Becket was a more rounded hero with a personality while the Point Man doesn’t even have a name and, just like in the original game, is a mostly silent presence. Still, as one of Alma’s offspring, it makes sense that he would return to administer a much needed abortion to the world-shaking horror growing in Alma’s belly.

Following the game’s opening moments, you’ll soon find yourself teaming up with Paxton Fettel, the resurrected secondary villain from the first title, who obtained a new body to inhabit in Project Origin. Fettel’s motives and tactics do not sit well with the Point Man but the two men need each other to accomplish their respective goals. Fettel also brings with him a couple of game play quirks, which we’ll discuss later.

FEAR 3 Screenshot
Also, he really hates it when you take his seat on the subway.

Major plot points are mostly told through in-game communications from NPC allies or from Fettel whispering in your ear. Like most shooters, Fear 3 is all about getting the player from point A to point B. Expect gun battles around every corner and a few minor twists and turns from the established lore of the series. However, what you shouldn’t expect is anything new. Alma is still creepy and still makes a constant stream of gotcha! appearances when and where you least expect her to. The bloody screams of the undead still follow you around and ramp up the tension. Fear 3 is like your typical theme park haunted house. You know exactly what to expect going in and you’re not exactly disappointed when it happens because it’s what you paid for. But Fear 3 is our third trip through this particular attraction and the popcorn is getting a bit stale.

Ultimately, the unlikely partners of Point Man and Fettel must confront Alma and her unborn child. Whether or not they survive the experience is for you to discover. Suffice it to say, the ending definitely leaves the way wide open for a fourth entry in the franchise. Hopefully, it’ll be more Call Of Duty 4 than Scream 4.

Read about the gameplay, graphics, and verdict on the next page…

F.E.A.R. 3 PC Cover Art Large
Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
Published by:
Warner Bros. Interactive
Developed by:
Day 1 Studios
Year Released:
June 21, 2011
Also Available On:
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
First-Person Shooter
Official URL:
Fear 3 Official
Pages: 1 2

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