By Sam Coles:
Back in the early to late 2000’s video game publishers decided that it was a good idea to incorporate numbers instead letters into game titles with their sequels with examples such as Driv3r. It’s not a deal breaker but it was slightly annoying and didn’t make grammatical sense, F3AR is one of those games and that is the first and only time I will write the title of the game like that. It’s sighted as a terrible game and honestly I don’t see why as it is a mostly enjoyable shooter, sure it throws everything that made the original Fear great out the window such as the intelligent squad based A.I. However it does tell a dark and interesting story about two of the major characters in the series and plus you can play it with a friend.
Fear 3 takes place a few years after the second game and the Point Man and Paxton Fettel go back to the fictional town of Farpoint where they are trying to find Alma and take down Beckett who has his mind taken over by Alma and he is going insane. The story is interesting as you get to see the origins of the Point man and Fettel when they are kids and how they were raised to be the ultimate killing machines it is represented in CCTV flash backs. What I don’t understand is why they made the Point Man a silent protagonist as all he does is stares angrily at characters as they spout exposition.
Gameplay has mostly been left unchanged however there are some tweaks I’m not a fan of such as the fact the game now has a regenerating health system which makes the game far too easy compared to the first two games. Another aspect that they have added to the game is co-op where you can play with a friend as one of you play as the Point Man and the other as Fettel. Playing as Fettel is great as you can fly around the battlefield as you are ghost essentially and you can take control of enemies and destroy platoons of soldiers in a blink of an eye, you’re basically unstoppable.
The bullet time mechanic or reflex mode makes a comeback but it is a bit useless in this game as running and gunning is a bad idea as it is a sure way of getting yourself killed as you have to play it like a modern military shooter by hiding behind cover. The game also has a cover system similar to Killzone where you latch onto cover and you can peek out and shoot it can be a bit finicky as you have to press the B button to snap into cover and press it again to get out of cover instead of just using the analogue stick to move out of cover.
The A.I is no longer the smart tactical team like they use to be in the first game because in Fear 1 they acted as a squad and would assess the situation and talk to each other they even retreat when they feel they are outgunned. However in Fear 3 the come in waves which we have seen in shooters in the past decade and have the ability to hit you dead on every time.
The presentation is good it can be a bit hazy with some of the effects on screen especially when you’re about to die which can be a bit hard to see what is shooting at you. What I love is the level of violence in this game the feedback of when you shoot someone is great with them exploding into meaty giblets as you unload your shotgun in them. Enemies melt when you come into contact with them with limbs flying and skin tearing as hold down the trigger on your SMG.
Fear 3 isn’t a bad game but it’s not a good Fear game either because it threw out everything that was unique about the series and traded it for a generic shooter experience, a playable experience but a generic one none the less. I would say pick it up its silly cheap these days and you’ll have a blast if you can get a friend to play with you.