F3AR: Ridiculous Series Is Still Ridiculous

By Quintin Smith on September 2nd, 2010 at 9:43 pm.


A new F3AR video’s surfaced from PAX, talking about how the franchise is being shifted from Monolith to developers Day 1, mixed with a bunch of footage of the game with some very excitable editing. Check it out after the jump.

What’s happening with F3AR? Well, they’re asking “how they can evolve this franchise, and capture the essence of what it really is, but growing it into something that’s bigger, that’s more amazing and delivers a better experience for the consumer.” I’ve just run that through the Corporate-O-Tron, and it translates as… “More of the same”? Oh, well.

You know, I’d probably feel a lot warmer about F.E.A.R. if it was put out by a much smaller developer who could bashfully acknowledge that the game is a bit silly. But no, F.E.A.R.’s a big brand with colourations of tension and horror, so all we get is a lot of very serious men talking very seriously. Pft.

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111 Comments »

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  1. Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox says:

    Right.

  2. Premium User Badge

    KindredPhantom says:

    The game does look interesting, playing as the two brothers looks to be a lot more fun than playing just as the voiceless time freezing protagonists from the first two games.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      One of those brothers is the voiceless time freezing protaganist from the first game, though.

    • Premium User Badge

      KindredPhantom says:

      Yeah, but hopefully he will have some sort of dynamic with his brother.

    • Garg says:

      They really spoilt that moment by putting it in a promo trailer for the game.

    • Garg says:

      Gah meant as a reply to Stalwerk below.

  3. stahlwerk says:

    “You remember that scare, when we put Alma at the upper end of a ladder that the player had to climb? Consumers loved that, so we brought it back, …but with a twist!”

    • Sarlix Wester says:

      This time they put her at the lower end of the ladder?

    • Premium User Badge

      KindredPhantom says:

      This time they made her the ladder.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      This comments-subthread made me laugh.

      Excellent.

    • Nick says:

      huh, I seem to recall it was when you turned around to climb down the ladder (with that ladder climb animation) that she appeared.

      They seemed to drop or somehow miss everything I enjoyed from the first one in Fear 2, or do it the same only worse. I doubt this will be any better.

    • Rick says:

      Paxton’s at the bottom of that ladder in the first game; that’s what scared me in that scene, since that’s after the mind’s already told you “the scare moment is over, the developers won’t have added another for a while” after seeing Alma at the top. Getting to the bottom and seeing Fettel advance on me before fading away so soon after Alma was so simple, yet so effective that the wall behind him was still being shot at a good few seconds after he had gone.

    • Enshu says:

      @Nick
      My feelings exactly. No matter how much PG18 stuff they throw in there, it will simply be fun, nothing more.

  4. Alex Bakke says:

    AND WOMEN

  5. mandrill says:

    I don’t know what the problem is.

    The first 2 Fear games were fairly competent, if standard shooters which were nice to look at. They both succeeded in making me jump on occasion and I found them entertaining. I do want to know how the story develops and hope they don’t mess about with the gameplay too much.;

    I don’t particularly care if they were silly, they were fun. Surely thats the most important thing about a game?

    Its all very well demanding that games be considered art, but the fact of the matter is that not all games are Citizen Kane, and neither should all games want to be. Not everyone wants to play art, some people just want to have a bit of silly fun. Which I would predict F3AR is going to be.

    This cynicism does not become you Quintin.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Of course “not all games are Citizen Kane”, and I’m not sure how you read anything into Quinns’ post arguing that. If anything, what he was asking for was the exact opposite: for the FEAR series to be more and more openly fun, rather than be HYPER SERIOUS ALL THE TIME.

      If they did that, I might even play their games! But it seems unlikely that they will.

    • Zogtee says:

      If you want fun, you should play the entire game in the mech suit. FFS, when will devs get it?

    • RQH says:

      If you want fun (from Monolith), you should play No One Lives Forever.

      (Seriously though, FEAR should just do horror game parody. It’s got the ridiculousness. It just needs the self-awareness.)

    • mandrill says:

      You’re right, there is nothing in Quintin’s post implying that he thinks F3AR should be gaming’s Citizen Kane. I should probably clarify what I’m taking issue with.
      “You know, I’d probably feel a lot warmer about F.E.A.R. if it was put out by a much smaller developer who could bashfully acknowledge that the game is a bit silly.”

      Yes, Fear is a bit silly. But why shouldn’t the people making it take it seriously? Fear is not TF2, it would undermine alot of what the franchise is about if the marketing pointed out that the devs were making it with tongue firmly in cheek. Fear is not full of jokes and the tone of any such marketing attempt would not fit with the setting and atmosphere of the game.

      The Saw films, when you get right down to it, were a bit silly. But you didn’t see them being marketed as such.

    • Zogtee says:

      Don’t get me wrong, I actually do like the fear games. The shining star of these games are the shooty bits. Those are excellent, but there isn’t a whole lot of horror in it. It’s one office area after another where you shoot mans, lots of them. The hype around the first game suggested that it would be like the X-Files with big guns. Some sort of special unit being assigned to tackle the supernatural stuff.with guns and little else. That would have been awesome to me, but the concept quickly went out the window, which is sad.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      No, Saw keeps edging towards snuff. By the time the ninth movie comes out, it’ll just be Jigsaw raping people while cutting them apart with a jigsaw.

    • Chris says:

      “If you want fun (from Monolith), you should play No One Lives Forever”

      Yesyesyesyesyes. Loved NOLF, great game and funny. Why haven’t they tried to re-boot this yet?

      (Do you want to buy a monkey?)

  6. StingingVelvet says:

    I think I am the only PC gamer who loved the sequel as well as the first, though the first is better. That said Day One Studios haven’t proven to me they can make a game as I never played the console port or the expansions to FEAR, so… yeah.

    Oh and…

    “how they can evolve this franchise, and capture the essence of what it really is, but growing it into something that’s bigger, that’s more amazing and delivers a better experience for the consumer.”

    Best saying nothing while saying a lot I have heard in a while.

    • dethtoll says:

      Nope, I thought FEAR 2 was awesome too. I don’t care what people think about this series; haters gonna hate, I’ll just keep playing.

    • Dhatz says:

      I liked the sequel, but strongly opposed such ideas as removal of aiming recoil in favor of COD-like spread and forcing widescreen(on the + side the motion blur is the best I ever encountered, it even made me fraps it so I made sure I wans’t hallucinating it). never gonna regret playing th thr3quel whatever way it turns out(unless they trapwired the game with IED DLC-cut-content like Mafia 2 or K&L2).

  7. trooperdx3117 says:

    Am I the only person in the world who actually thought FEAR 2

  8. ChaosSmurf says:

    Slightly less incredibly retarded than the other FEAR trailers, and thus gives me hope.

  9. ZIGS says:

    What I really want to know is what’s Monolith working on

  10. Jake says:

    I don’t like how horror is often apparently defined by making people jump. The first FEAR made me jump when I got smacked in the face in the opening level, but the rest of the time it was anything but scary, often farcical and cliched – though I didn’t play it for so long. F3AR looks like the same sort of thing so far. Penumbra didn’t make me jump, but it was horrifying throughout. A foreboding atmosphere, mood, tension – all of these things add to horror, not just having the computer game shout ‘boo’ at you when you aren’t expecting it, that’s just cheap.

    That said, co-op mode, maybe with complimentary skills, sounds like a good idea to me.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Scared the shit out of me, mind.

      But then, I am a HUGE pansy.

    • Dhatz says:

      that’s why real men need STALKER to scare the fuck out of em(if they’re brave enough to spend more time ingame than saving/loading).

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      You know there are mods that make Ess Tee Ell Kay Eee Arr even harder?

  11. Azarea says:

    You definitely know there’s something wrong when they start talking about “consumer” instead of player…

  12. Josh W says:

    All this “Leveraging” just makes me think of impossible contraption, perhaps one made of game devs, mechs and elements of levels…

  13. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Game? What? I’m just thinking about that.. dreadnought in the trailer. That.. was a dreadnought, right?

  14. Binman88 says:

    I really liked the first. For what it’s worth, I thought it did its scary/tension bits well, and I loved the atmosphere and creepiness throughout the game. Anyone remember those disappearing ninja guys? They scared the shit out of me. At the time, the scary Alma bits (like the one where she runs out from behind a desk and says “boo!”) weren’t as played out then as they are now, so they get a thumbs up for scariness too.

    The second game just got way stupid. There are remnants of the atmosphere I loved in the first game (the ghosts in the school & classrooms come to mind as an example), but Monolith completely failed to capitalise on what could have made those games really stand-out unique and engaging.

    I don’t know if it was pressure from the suits upstairs to make the game more mainstream (possibly as a result of it now being primarily a console game) by focusing a lot more on the action, but they didn’t really hit any sort of mark, and the game ended up being a bit of a hodge-podge of ideas, and a game you could never honestly describe as “horrifying”. I still had fun with the game, but I just wished they’d gone on a better path with the sequel.

    That’s all. I don’t really have anything to say about F.3.A.R apart from: the name is dumb and point-man looks like a Hell’s Angel. A Hell’s Angel is the last person I would want having the ability to slow down time.

  15. speedwaystar says:

    When I hear the word “leverage”, I reach for my revolver.

    • Curry the Great says:

      Wenn ich das Wort Consumer höre, entsichere ich meinen Revolver.

    • Dhatz says:

      a když jsem slyšel tu větu chystal jsem ruku nad tlačítko “nukleární bomba”

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Well said, gentlemen.

    • K says:

      コンシューマーを聞いたら、剣を抜く。

    • Subject 706 says:

      När jag hör ordet konsument, då osäkrar jag min revolver.

    • Sarlix Wester says:

      Когда я слышу слово “плечо” Я тянусь за моей мороженого

    • Sarlix Wester says:

      I just ran mine back through google translate and got

      ‘When I hear the word “shoulder” I reach for my ice cream’

      lol wtf?

  16. SubterraneanRivers says:

    Im confused….who exactly is this trailer supposed to be aimed at?

    • Freud says:

      End users of gaming applications of course. Duh.

    • SubterraneanRivers says:

      I wonder is the script for ‘invester pitch’ and ‘consumer spiel’ got mixed up.

  17. Urthman says:

    You know, I’d probably feel a lot warmer about F.E.A.R.

    I’d feel a lot warmer about F.E.A.R. if it wasn’t keeping Monolith from working on more of the one thing they’ve ever actually done that was great: No One Lives Forever.

    • Nick says:

      What about SHOGO?

    • dethtoll says:

      Or Blood? (the first one)

    • Urthman says:

      Back before RPS, OldManMurray.com was the only website that cared about you, the gamer. And they wrote:

      Being the only website who cares about you has its drawbacks. For instance, if a developer we’ve attacked mercilessly for three straight years manages to make a good game, we’re honor-bound to eat the poop and tell you about it … We don’t want to make a bigger deal of this than it deserves, but No One Lives Forever is a Lithtech powered game by Monolith that – in a whole bunch of non-trivial ways – is better than Half Life.

      We always figured Jason Hall would get his revenge…At one point, we compiled a list of the
      ways that we thought Jason Hall might get back at us. According to that list, “Stack all the unsold copies of Sanity into one big pile so that it collapses onto itself, forms a black hole and sucks us into a dimension where we get shot by cowboys” was more likely than “make a good game”, which didn’t even occur to us.

      http://www.oldmanmurray.com/longreviews/751.html

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      Blood probably wouldn’t hold up if I played it today, and I remember being really disappointed with SHOGO. NOLF will always hold up, because the shooting was spot-on, the humor was actually funny, the writing was actually good, it had a brilliant theme song that I still remember, and a game where you play as Modesty Blaise will never not be The Best Idea.

      Thus, I agree with Urthman.

  18. HexagonalBolts says:

    ‘franchise’. ‘consumer’. Shudder.

  19. Unaco says:

    FEAR is a franchise? I remember there being a game, called FEAR, released a few years ago… was pretty good. I enjoyed it. But I remember nothing about it becoming a franchise. Nothing. Any glimmer of a remembrance of poorly constructed, executed or intentioned expansions or sequels is just drawing a complete blank with me. They never happened.

    Which means this is a silly story… you’re writing about something that doesn’t exist. To me.

  20. Dhatz says:

    that’s an oversimplified transation, it should be
    “mor3 of th3 sam3 as in oth3r gam3s.”

    • Jake says:

      It’s really hard to pronounce Fffthreear, I don’t think they thought this acronym through.

  21. Skinlo says:

    I was slightly excited when the original came out, I feel nothing for this.

  22. Frye says:

    The big question is: do they still have Jeff Orkin doing the AI?

    And i want the ability to lean again.

  23. Gumbomasta says:

    Real horror only works when you’re powers are limited. The FEAR series made you into a super-human who could slow down time and that definitely squelched tension factor. Call of Cthulhu was unsettling in all the right ways… limited ammo, limited health, scary sequences that actually distorted your vision. FEAR sacrifices genuine terror in favor of macho action sequences. If yall want real horror, fire up some Penumbra or set some time aside for the upcoming Amnesia. Or Cthulhu… that game was messed up in the right ways.

    • nil says:

      And dying of terror from staring into the tentacled visage of an impossibly ancient, malevolent deity from beyond the very spheres of time and space. That was fun.

    • OldRat says:

      Horror games where you have a button for karate kicking enemies in the face and get heavy weapons that impale and the blow up the said enemies is kind of an oxymoron, yeah. Also, when you can shoot any scary ghosts that might appear. With less bullets than your usual mook, too.

    • Draken says:

      @Gumbomasta: You can’t say Fear is a bad horror game, simply because it’s not a horror game at all. It’s a FPS that likes to go around you when you’re not paying attention and then jump screaming, hoping you’ll be scared. It’s also a bit moody. Kinda like Doom 3, but definitely not a horror game.

    • Chris says:

      Well, you could play Dead Space, in which you’re constrained by a shitty control scheme, claustrophobic FOV and move at a gentle jogging pace whilst being chased by stuff that wants to rip your face off.

      Which personally I didn’t find fun. Horror, yes, but not fun. Perhaps I’m not the target market they wish to leverage?

  24. b0rsuk says:

    Ah yes, children ghosts. Almost as original as library ghosts.

  25. Draken says:

    I’m replaying FEAR (the first) these weeks and I found that it’s an truly, incredibly solid FPS, mostly because the gameplay is tight, the weapons are well-balanced (at least the common ones) and, most importantly, the AI is pretty much the best I’ve seen on a FPS.

    Too bad that it’s so repetitive and the story is so convoluted yet underexposed (so that even if you play the game 4 times you still don’t really know who’s who and what’s happening). Also, the combat (and AI) really shines when not using slow-mo and playing on the hardest setting, so that you can’t mow damn everyone with your ridiculously ineffective high jump kick.

    What I’m trying to say is: now that Monolith is finally free from FEAR, maybe it can use all it’s FPSing genius and expertise to do something more interesting. They really are one of the best studios doing this type of game, they just need some more liberty (I hope). And less multiplatforming. Boo, consoles, boo!!

    • OldRat says:

      Wasn’t the story pretty much “We’re a stereotypical evil and unethical corporation! Let’s experiment with powers beyond the human understanding that could kill us all! Also, let’s be utter assholes to them and abuse them to hell and back! What could possibly go wrong!?”

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      OldRat –

      More or less. Don’t forget there were also some *Duh-Duh-DUNN* sinister/corrupt politicians in on it, as well. And, of course, the really obvious revelation of what you were after the closing credits. I thought the Alma bits were well done,though, and I had a lot of fun.

    • Draken says:

      @OldRat: That’s the overall plot, yes, but it get’s complicated when you try to identify all the details and characters. I still don’t know who Paxton Fettel is, who the player is and if he’s really relevant, where the clone soldiers came from and what the hell is Alma, so on and so forth, or why anything that I mentioned is important. No one ever tells you something concrete, and those phone calls don’t really help, since they are so sparse and you never know what they’re talking about.
      While telling the story the way FEAR does may be more immersive and whatnot, I still think that your average “stop-we’re-talking” cutscene way is less cryptic and overall more enjoyable.

    • CMaster says:

      @Oldrat, that’s all explained in the game, mostly through the millions of answerphone messages.
      Basically, Alma was a little girl with psycic powers, that the main corporation (I forget their name) happened upon. They did various experiments and decided that the best way to use (and millatrize) these skills was to basically rape her (at age 8 or so) and impregnate her with specially designed children. Those became Fettel and the Point Man. The replica soldiers are as I understood it basically clones of Fettel, who are pretty much slaved to his mind, doing whatever he wills. The main corporation produces the replicas, and intended to offer them as elite mercenaries for hire to the US government and others. Alma died giving birth to one or the other of the brothers. However the company still feared her (maybe they could see projections) so they locked her up in this crazy facility where you end the game at. However Alma wasn’t quite as dead as everyone thought, and was able to reach out to Fettel and compell him to release her.

  26. The Juice says:

    Every time someone else besides Monolith makes FEAR it hasn’t been all that great so I’m skeptical. Plus, the direction they are taking the story in just seems moronic to me.

  27. MD says:

    As a consumer, it’s comforting to know that the developers have been leveraging relationships, evolving franshises and working to deliver a better experience. A bigger, more amazing experience for me, the consumer.

    Fuck me sideways. What were they thinking? The depressing thing is that I’m pretty sure they’re no worse than the industry at large; they’re just rubbish at marketing, in a peculiarly honest way.

  28. Metal_circus says:

    Jesus christ. What an insipid turd of a series this has turned out to be, Fear 2 was really, -reaaally- bland and generic. I can only hope for more of the same this time round then, because bland, generic shooters are right up my alley. Well, at least Fear 1 wasn’t that bad (especially in retrospect.)

    And yes, that corporate newspeak is utterly banal and pathetic.

  29. Metal_circus says:

    Oh and now that monolith aren’t making these crap games any more, could they possibley go back to making fun and interesting shooters, just like they used to? please? pretty please? Before they turned their creativity levels to minus five hundred with the FEAR series?

  30. Fred Wester's evil twin says:

    It seems the FEAR series died a tragic death after the first one. This F3AR thing…. meh.

  31. Premium User Badge

    neofit says:

    The first one was good. Nice firefights, nice use of cover by the AI, covering fire, etc. Then came #2, and we got back to the old tradition: humans, not animal nor non-sentient alien creatures, strafing and shooting in the open 10m away from me – the usual retarded AI dance. I’ll give this one a miss, but thanks for asking.

  32. theineffablebob says:

    This time you climb Alma and a ladder appears at the top.

  33. custom presentation folders says:

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  34. The Upright Man says:

    A giant six made up of tiny F.E.A.R.s repeating itself?

  35. The Upright Man says:

    A giant six made up of tiny F.E.A.R.s repeating themselves?

  36. Ted says:

    I’ve played all the FEAR games and expansions multiple times and greatly enjoyed them. I’m not sure why it got trendy around here to crack on FEAR, but it’s kind of silly given some of the horrible garbage you guys get to excited about. I mean, come on, you’ve got a glowing article about Champions Online on the front page right now, an awful, cynical, cash-in piece of shit.

  37. Hélder Pinto says:

    FEAR was awesome…

    the first expansion was good!

    the third was bad!

    FEAR2 I couldnt even finish it…

    F3AR (lol) I just CBA

  38. cheap marc anthony tickets says:

    its good but not awesome

  39. cheap new york giants tickets says:

    The first 2 Fear games were fairly competent, if standard shooters which were nice to look at. They both succeeded in making me jump on occasion and I found them entertaining.

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