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F.E.A.R. 3 Review

In an industry dominated by shooters, with few of them changing the formula and most suffering from sequel-iatus, F.E.A.R. 3 attempts to be original by being a first-person horror shooter but falls short of its potential.  

The main protagonist from the F.E.A.R. franchise is back again, and Fear 3 picks up right where the last game left off. Without spoiling anything, Alma is now pregnant and it’s now your job to stop her. You can play through the campaign in numerous ways. If you decide to go solo, you will play as Point Man, your traditional military gunslinger (just picture Dom from Gears of War). He doesn’t talk at all, offering little fan service and making the character seem fake and hollow, which I don't understand because it would have helped develop the narration since the story is all over the place. Most of the information in the story is told to you in the opening moments of the chapters with stale and unimpressive text that slowly fades up onto the screen. 

If you decide to play co-op with a friend or with somebody online, you will have the option to play as Fettle. The gameplay changes slightly but the overall experience remains the same. Fettle has the power to take the body of an enemy and fight alongside of you. Plus you can do some combo moves with your partner. Certain events can play out differently if you were the top player during co-op. But they're not satisfying enough to make me play co-op over again.

In Fear 3, most of the mechanics will be familiar to fans of the FPS shooter genre. That ain’t all that bad. Fear features a wall cover tactic similar to Killzone, which I personally don’t enjoy, but in Fear I found it very enjoyable. Unlike Killzone, Fear is fast-paced.

Fear’s multiplayer is a mixed bag. You are either going to like the online play because it suits the game's setting, or you'll hate it because it doesn’t have the traditional online modes such as Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. This was a big downer to me. It's not a requirement to have these modes – games such as Gears of War have depended on untraditional game modes, but those modes are fun and original. Fear 3 provides four repetitive online modes that depart from the franchise's previous online modes.  

Fear 3
offers four multiplayer modes: Soul King, Soul Survivor, Contractions and F**king Run. F**king Run is when players are running from the Wall of Death while trying to reach the safe zone. It’s a good spin-off on Left 4 Dead. You're constantly moving and trying to gain distance before the wall eventually gets you. One of the main problems with the mode is it is very short. Getting through each of the three levels won't be a problem. The problem is there are only five waves in each of the levels, making the experience of getting through to the end less rewarding. Contractions is your basic zombie’s mode. One of the major twists in this mode is having to search for crates for every round. This might sound like a drag and not be a big factor, but after a while you’re running out of ammo and the crates become more and more important. Contractions doesn’t give you as many options, unlike Call of Duty Black Ops' zombie mode.

Fear 3's presentation is so-so. At times the atmosphere can be grabbing, offering a dark mood in which the series is known for, yet it can also be very cheesy with voice acting that is way over the top for its own good. My biggest complaint in Fear 3 is that the graphics are below industry standards. The game runs smoothly but not without sacrificing its graphics. It's passable and looks very dated for console standards. Fear 3 still runs on the Fear 2 engine, which is now two years old. 

Fear 3
provides some good moments and packs a lot on the disc. But critical mistakes sabotage Fear, making it an average game. This could have been a great game if it had more backing and support from Warner Brothers. To me this feels like a quick buck, which is also the case since the campaign ends on a cliffhanger. There is no question that we have not seen the last of this horror franchise. 



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