The Fear series is back on its feet with its newest incarnation. The only bad part is that it wasn't Monolith that developed it but Day1 Studios. Now, you're probably asking yourself: "Who the hell is Day1?" Well I can't answer that because I asked myself that same question but hey, like it's been said: "Don't judge a book by its cover." So, let's get down into dissecting Fear 3.
- Windows XP
- Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4ghz or AMD Athlon X2 4800+
- 2gb of RAM
- Nvidia 8800 GT or ATi Radeon HD 3850
- At least 10gb of storage
- Windows 7
- Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.93ghz, Intel Core 2 Quad @ 2.66ghz, or AMD Phenom II X2 550 @ 3.1ghz
- 4gb of RAM
- Nvidia 9800GTX+ or ATi Radeon HD 5750
To be honest, the graphics in Fear 3 aren't that impressive (well not Crysis-like impressive) but they aren't Duke Nukem Forever bad either. So that means that a mediocre gaming machine could run this game without that many problems. Some people might hate the fact that Fear 3's graphics look outdated but I believe we should also keep in mind that the Fear series isn't about pretty graphics but great firefights and freaky horror elements.
Story: Fear 3 takes place right after Fear 2's story but this time, you play as Point Man; the protagonist from the first Fear game. You and your spectral brother, Fettel are on the run from Armacham troops and at the same time, rushing to get to your psychic mother, Alma, who has a child on the way (by the way, preggo Alma is fucking hot....uhhh yeah.)
Gameplay: As with the previous Fear games, Fear 3 is based on fast-paced firefights with hardcore and smart A.I. During the exploring aspect, you'll be greeted by many of the horror elements well known to the Fear franchise. HOWEVER, the sad part about Fear 3 is that there aren't many scare bits. I loved the Fear games (especially the first one) for its ability to scare me. There are scare bits but they weren't as effective as the scares in Fear 1 (they were on par with Fear 2's scare tactics.) While the horror aspect is somewhat lost, the gun fights are full in force. The fights are so fast paced that it's easy to lose track of enemies at times. New to the game is the new cover system. In Fear 2, the cover system was basically to kick some stuff down and use it to cover you. The problem with this was that even though you were behind cover, it was like 50% of your body was still showing, thus having bullets still hit you effectively. The new cover system does a better job at keeping you covered and lets you lean around the corners of your cover. It does take some time to getting used to but once you are familiarized with it, it'll definitely save your ass.
Another new feature included with Fear 3 is the ability to play as Fettel. Fettel is very different from playing Point Man in the fact that with Point Man, you have slow-mo abilities. With Fettel, you get the ability to levitate your enemies in mid-air and even possess them. This is, by far, the most unique aspect of Fear in terms of the single-player campaign. Speaking of the campaign, you have the ability to play it in co-op. The host plays as Point Man while the guest plays as Fettel (that's what I've heard and read so far but I haven't played co-op campaign yet.)
Sound: The sounds of Fear 3 are MUCH better than the previous game's sound and by that I mean that you can actually hear stuff! The voice acting is superb and gives the game a great amount of life. The weapons are loud and certain ones give off a kick-ass vibe to them. The only time I complained about sound in the game was during one part of the game where there was this high-pitched squeal that masked over the environmental sounds, thus making it harder to hear anything going on. Good thing was that it went away as I progressed on for like 2 minutes. Other than that squeal, the sounds of Fear 3 are great.
Multiplayer: Day1 has decided to stray away from the usual FPS pack and incorporated their own multiplayer ideas. Now before you start griping, let me tell you that this was an excellent move. Almost all FPS games out there have the usual deathmatch, team deathmatch, CTF, king of the hill type of modes. Day1 though of this and put in 4 modes called Contractions (Call of Duty zombie-style survival mode.) There are a max of 4 players stuck in one spot battling hordes of enemies all the while stocking up on weapons and repairing barricades. With each "contraction," enemies become harder and supplies become scattered out farther. F***in Run is the most unique one out of the 4 modes. The objective is to FUCKING RUN. Behind you is a wall of death coming closer and closer and in front of you there are enemy soldiers trying to slow down your advance to the extraction point. The hard thing about this is that if 1 player gets swallowed up, the entire team loses, thus making teamwork a MUST. Next is Soul Survivor. This mode has 4 players but 1 of the 4 is made a spectre. The spectre's job is to possess the remaining 3 players. The remaining players must fight hordes of soldiers all the while trying to stay out of the Spectre's grasp. Finally, there's Soul King. This is probably the most basic out of the 4 modes. The goal of Soul King is to earn as many souls as possible while dying as little as possible. You start out as a specter and must possess an A.I. bot to kill your opponents. If a player dies, they lose half of what they earned. The player with the most souls at the end wins.
Misc: As previously stated, Fear 3 is a great shooter game. Great shooter but lacks certain stuff that makes is a great "FEAR" game. By this I mean that scares were lacking and graphics did seem a bit outdated (1st Fear's graphics were great for its time).
Another nitpick I have about this game is that the grenade tossing is horrendous! It was easier to toss grenades at enemies in the first 2 games but Day1 just fucked up the grenade tossing physics in this game. You either throw the grenades too far or too short of the target and thus only damaging them with splash damage. Good thing though is that they detonate on impact.
I hate the regenerative health system that's employed. I wish they had stuck with health packs since the whole regeneration idea is kind of a cheat. What I mean by this is that if you're close to dying, all you have to do is find cover and stay there until you're better. With health packs, you can run out of them and then you have to be MUCH more careful during a fight.
Fear 3 utilizes a new ranking system that awards you points for doing certain things in the game. These things vary and can be as trivial as camping behind cover for a certain amount of time to more hardcore things like kill 10 soldiers without taking damage. Each time you complete these tasks, you are awarded some experience points which, in turn, help unlock certain perks like more slow-mo time or new moves. These points and perks carry on in both single-player and multi-player.
Lastly, I did notice some glitches here and there. At one time, bots got stuck in place and didn't notice me even when I was right in their line of sight. The online searching is a bit buggy and could use some work because it wouldn't find games most of the time.
Conclusion: Day1 Studios' first attempt at the Fear series is a great one but won't be able to achieve the greatness of the 1st Fear game. But don't let that deter you from checking this game out because it is worth it. Day1 did manage to keep the firefights as hardcore as the previous games and I commend them for that. I also commend them for focusing greatly on co-op and the fact that they decided to try something new with the multiplayer aspect (it's especially great since everything is becoming based on that crap ass Call of Duty franchise.) It takes some balls to try something new and innovative in this Call of Duty-era. I believe that this game deserves an 8.5/10.0 because of the following:
- Fast-paced firefights with smart A.I.
- Co-op campaign is included
- New types of multiplayer modes
- New points system raises replay value
- Option to play as Fettel is very interesting
- Interesting cover system
- Story was not scary enough. I NEED MORE SCARES!!!
- A.I. acts dumb sometimes
- Buggy online searches
- Graphics might make some feel iffy (didn't bother me one bit!)