Wot I Think: F.3.A.R

By Jim Rossignol on June 28th, 2011 at 12:01 am.

Dance, DANCE!
F.3.A.R. has leapt into our lives with a butcher’s hook in its hand and a glint of innovative asymmetric co-op in its eye. But does it chill the blood, or simply apply a damp rag to our fevered brow? Allow me to turn dramatically to the camera and tell you Wot I Think.

It seems like a good bet that a bunch of F.3.A.R reviews kicked off by mentioning that John Carpenter was somehow involved in the cutscenes that make up the game’s interstitial plot-extruding moments. It seems also like a good bet that one of horror cinema’s most obvious names actually was waved vaguely in the direction of the game, but for all the evidence there is here it seems safe to believe – as I do – that he was “involved” in the sense that he was slowly pushed through the studio on an office chair while Day 1 Studios were putting the cutscenes together. Perhaps he glimpsed as a storyboard pinned up on the office walls, and he might even have seen a few frames of animation being rolled back and forth by one of the studio animators. Eventually, however, Mr Carpenter found himself sat in the car park as the studio doors closed behind him. His work was done. Time for lunch!


Sadly, I can’t sensibly entirely ignore F.3.A.R.’s strange plot, and so let’s break it down: you play Point-Man, again, who is the time-slowing supernaturally-strong killing machine from the first game. He’s had a tough life, it seems. And now, for some reason, you have been rescued by the ghost of Paxton Fettel, who was previously an arch-enemy, who is your brother, who you murdered at the end of game one. He is wearing whispy red bits this season, a look which is VERY popular among the newly ghosted. The motivation behind the subsequent happenings are entirely opaque as the pair then team-up to go back to where other stuff in the series happened, and so henceforth blahblahblahblah ghosts.

What this means is – excitingly – you can play Fettle in co-op! Cor. Central protagonist Point-Man, of course, plays his usual role of having no character at all (like a cranky Gordon Freeman with less to say) kicking people in the face, shooting them in the face, stabbing them in the face, shooting them in the face in slow motion, and shooting them in the face with a different gun, in slow motion, then shooting robots in the face, and later still using robots to shoot people (and robots) in the face. All of which is extremely satisfying. F3’s combat is solid and punchy and bloody. I like it. (Especially the sliding melee attacks, which are just splendid.) The cover system, which allows you to auto-crouch/lean behind cover, and duck between adjacent bits of cover, is pretty good, too. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you’re familiar with the odd way you attach and detach (all in first-person) from the various boxes and overturned tables, it really does become a slick bit of manshoot play.


Fettel, meanwhile, is a ghost. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to use cover. Not least because one of his primary ghost abilities is to get shot by people. I am not sure how they can shoot a ghost, but they can, so he has to watch out. He can also get shot while he’s possessing enemies – which is a fun thing to do, because you take them over and gain their weaponry for a brief time. That makes a welcome break from Fettel’s own arsenal of lifting people into the air on a tendril of smoky blood, and zapping them with what looks like laser blood. You know, laser blood. I think that’s what it is. Anyway, if you don’t or won’t have a co-op chum to try this with then you can also use Fettel to replay the game with. Most of the single player can be replayed using old spookypants to complete the levels. So that’s good.

Those levels are moderately okay, too. The first couple of environments had me huffing with annoyance, fearing a repeat of of the blandishments of Fear1&2, but it soon delivers, with lashings of crinkly detail and scripted mini-moments, from rotting heads bobbing in the sewer, to terrified citizens slamming the shutters closed in the slums. There are even a few moments that excel, such as an electrical retail hall filled with hundreds giant TVs displaying themselves in a reciprocal loop of LCD glowingness. There’s serious talent here, and the meat locker sequence in particular caused me to shudder. There are also a few failures to signpost where you are going, and a few times when piles of boxes and stuff can’t be climbed, despite the fact that you were mantling up a wall two seconds before. These are minor tripwires in the jungle of superb corridor design.


So yes, all the rich environment and co-op shooty stuff basically stopped me from being bored with what is an excruciatingly linear shooter with practically no fright value whatsoever. Despite occasionally superb surroundings, the scary stuff is now tortuously difficult to raise a spine-tingle from. Many of the frights are non-interactive, so you know you are in no danger, and others are so heavily telegraphed that you are all-too aware that a giant skeleton-frog thing or a nu-gothmongous little girl are about to harmlessly puff into magic ash before your eyes. Other scares still are missed by looking the wrong way, leaving little more than the orchestral plinky plonk spider-music to inform you that you should have been restarting your heart.

While we’re on the subject of undermining atmosphere, I should mention the achievements and stuff. They are extraordinarily intrusive, and often just so vacuous and contrived that they seemed like a clown beating a drum next to you to celebrate the most basic facts about you playing the game. YOU HAVE CROUCHED BEHIND COVER FOR 100 SECONDS! Wow, what a fucking achievement. Thanks for notifying me during this intense firefight.


Amazingly there is actually some tension – if not actual terror – to be had from multiplayer. It genuinely is a bit of fun, particularly in a game mode called “Fucking Run!” which sees you running from a screaming wall of supernatural deathcloud which will pop anyone who gets too close. Unfortunately you are also facing hordes of suicidal enemies, bent on slowing your progress, and you must fight past them, reviving fallen team-mates as you go, to get to the end of the level. It’s genuinely great fun: panicky, silly, pacey. A splendid novelty idea, well executed. Well done those chaps.

If I was going to be genuinely irritated with the game, which I have not consistently been able to be, I would mention that the regenerating health bored me, and caused me to long for a game in which it was my purpose to hoover up tiny boxes with a red cross on them. I might also tell of being annoyed by the checkpoint-based saves, or the ridiculous spawning baddy sequences. Or the awful sniper bits, or the occasional poor ammo placing. None of that matters too much when the game is generally chortle-ripeningly pleasing to play.

In conclusion: I am not going to avidly recommend you go get this game, but I want you to remember that it exists, and mentally note that – were you disposed to enjoy the continued and repeated simulated death of nameless man-drones – you might just like it.

Right. That’s F.3.A.R. sorted out on paper, time to celebrate with a brandy and some MR James before bed!

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129 Comments »

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  1. Heliosicle says:

    The whole ghost being able to get shot thing may work well for balance but destroys it in terms of realism.

    • Inph says:

      I can confirm that real ghosts can in fact NOT be shot. I’ve seen them with my very eyes, not being shot.

    • Starky says:

      I can also confirm I’ve never seen a ghost get shot.

      Still if TV and Anime has taught me anything it is that ghosts can indeed be shot if the bullets are blessed, engraved with spells and/or contain salt. Or if the gun itself is magical.

    • Mut says:

      If ghosts really are incorporeal, how come they don’t just fall through the Earth?

    • Starky says:

      Don’t you know anything? Old or important items buildings and things resonate in the spirit world powerfully enough to be real there.
      Buildings and objects in the real world soak up spiritual energy until they contain enough to be solid in the spirit world, which can happen over a long time, or instantly if something significant happens (such as a murder) – and of course the earth usually has more than enough spirit to exist.

      I mean, what are they teaching people these days if not your basic spirit world facts?

    • timmyvos says:

      Telekinesis or hovering or something like that?

    • mkultra says:

      They can most definitely be shot. I saw it on TV.

    • Eukatheude says:

      @Mut
      But they float, that’s why they don’t just fall.
      it’s basic science, right there.

    • kutkh says:

      If you die as Paxton Fettel, do you become a Double Ghost? If so, I will buy this game.

    • Kablooie says:

      I can shoot ghosts, with a proton pack.

    • Zenicetus says:

      So… it’s not okay in an FPS, but it’s okay for ‘ol Wicher Geralt to whack Wraiths with a sword?

      None of it makes sense if you think about it, but you’re not really supposed to think about any of this too much. I wouldn’t play many computer games at all over the years, if I hadn’t developed a fairly robust ability to suspend disbelief if the game is fun. I’m not sure this particular game is worth it, though.

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      Rinox says:

      It’s a silver sword, silly!

    • qrter says:

      I think it’s more that the FEAR games are supposed to be scary, yet you’re able to shoot ghosts. Seems kind of counter-productive.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yeah, I guess it matters whether a game at least tries to explain a mechanic like silver swords, or silver bullets, or whether they don’t even make an effort.

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      sockeatsock says:

      “Don’t you know anything? Old or important items buildings and things resonate in the spirit world powerfully enough to be real there.”

      What if I get bullets from a museum? You know, colonial relics and stuff.

    • Shadowcat says:

      Is there a game mode where all the men you shoot come back as ghosts which can also be shot and require shooting (and maybe shoot laser blood? I’m not sure if that’s a standard ghost ability or not).

      That could be a variation on the Fucking Run concept… men with guns in front of you, and an ever-increasing horde of undead behind you.

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      Lambchops says:

      I think you guys need educating!

    • Dawngreeter says:

      I’m not sure if ghosts can or can’t be shot, but what I can tell you is that ghosts are invisible, thus hitting them or, in fact, knowing that you’ve hit them once you’ve hit them is questionable. I know this because every single ghost I’ve ever seen, I wasn’t able to see.

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      PoulWrist says:

      @Shadowcat, like Doom 1&2 on Nightmare difficulty? :p

    • Ross Angus says:

      Lambchops: Let’s update that education, with Radio Spiritworld.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Shadowcat: Metal Gear Solid 3 toys with that idea in one sequence.

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    Petethegoat says:

    But, eh? I still don’t know what you think of it.

  3. malkav11 says:

    I know the plot is silly and everything, but Point Man was not the protagonist of FEAR 2 or indeed in FEAR 2 at all. FEAR 2’s primary protagonist is a Delta Force operator named Michael Becket (this I looked up on Wikipedia because there’s no reason to actually know what his name or job was), who just happens to play nearly identically to Point Man. In the Reborn DLC you are a numbered Replica soldier (i.e. a clone of Paxton Fettel).

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Perhaps betraying my not-having-played Fear 2, there?

    • malkav11 says:

      I honestly enjoyed it. The combat isn’t quite as good as the first FEAR, but on the other hand the environments are substantially more varied and a few of them are even interesting. Plus, Alma blows up the city.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Gosh, I actually have played FEAR2, and the other one. Erm. Hmm.

      Capsule review: Forgettable Out Of Ten?

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s okay. The functional roles of Point Man and Becket are identical. They are silent, manly men who shoot guns real good, can slide kick people, and have bullet time. If I hadn’t read people making a point of them being different characters I would probably not have noticed myself.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      FEAR 2 5/10 unless you’re the sort of person who thinks a FPS deserves 7/10 pretty much for showing up.

      KG

    • qrter says:

      In FEAR 2 (F2AR?) you get to shoot ghosts with your guns ‘n bullets!

      I remember because it made fuck all sense then, too.

    • Gadriel says:

      When I first played FEAR 2 I thought the protagonist was Point Man and they had just finally given him a name. I did notice that suddenly a name was present, but I just thought it was them deepening the character or somesuch.

      Then someone carefully pointed out to me all the reasons why they could not be the same person.

    • Nick says:

      I found Fear 2 rather disappointing, plus the enemies seemed to blend into the background for some reason.. the visual design was very busy? I dunno, it just didn’t feel right and lacked the “oomph” of firefights in the original.

    • Jumwa says:

      As I recall, didn’t the first game have you shoot ghosts in the final scene as you raced out of the self-destructing facility? Shooting ghosts seems to be a common thing for the series.

      As for how much sense it does or doesn’t make, someone up above gave a perfectly reasonable explanation of material objects absorbing spiritual energy that hurts the ghosts.

      Or, taking a page from Carl Sagan, the word spiritual is derived from a word meaning “air”, and air, as we should all know, is quite material. A spiritual being need not be immaterial then, perhaps.

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      9of9 says:

      Well that’s depressing. I’ve played FEAR 1 and thought it was an intensely boring corridor shooter with no scare factor (says the person who can’t stand scary games) and squanders an interesting premise to get you to shoot random commandos in intensely dull office blocks. I’ve not played FEAR 2, but I heard that that’s where the game actually got better, scarier and more diverse, but… listening to you guys, it actually sounds like F2AR and F3AR are actually both more of exactly the same x.x

      Am I the only one really, really wishing Monolith would give up all this nonsense and make NOLF 3 already?

    • KenTWOu says:

      @9of9: F.E.A.R.3 was developed by Day 1 Studios.

    • Grinnbarr says:

      FEAR 2 had the advantage of being able to shoot gas canisters on the backs of hazsuited enemies, thus exposing their spine and ribs in a pleasingly foul and disgusting manner

    • arccos says:

      Or, taking a page from Carl Sagan, the word spiritual is derived from a word meaning “air”, and air, as we should all know, is quite material.

      So if I blow in a ghost’s ear, will she slap my hand playfully and tell me to stop being so forward?

      Is there a button for that in this game? Is that what the melee “attack” does?

  4. zomglazerz says:

    I don’t know how one would ripen a chortle, but I have to believe “science” would be involved.

    • ZamFear says:

      @zomglazerz: I believe the usual way is to put it in a paper bag alongside a guffaw or two, then leave them in a warm place for a couple of days.

    • Mr_Initials says:

      Someone left one of those on my doorstep.

  5. Creeping Death says:

    I’ve shot many ghosts throughout fear 1 and 2 with bog standard bullets, It would be a bit unfair to the AI if they couldn’t do the same this time around :P

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Just what I was thinking. I guess I never thought about it at the time. “Wait, I’m shooting at _ghosts_? WTF?”.

      I suppose the way to paper over that particular crack would be to say “oh, well it’s part of the point man’s supernatural powers”.

    • Creeping Death says:

      I kind of look at it as the ghosts being hallucinations brought on by your psychic link to Alma, and the damage they cause is to your mental health.

      Hurray for justifying silly design choices that the devs couldnt be bothered to address! :P

    • CMaster says:

      In the first Fear, I didn’t bother shooting at the ghosts initially. I figured they were just ghosts to get a jump out of me, like many other scary apparitions throughout the game. Then I died and had to replay that bit, to discover that the ghosts actually went down to one bullet from anything.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      I like your idea better Creeping Death. The only problem with it is that it then nullifies why anything can then hurt Fettel in the new installment.

    • Creeping Death says:

      @destroy.all.monsters; well slap me silly, so it does!

      I feel a little stupid now -.-

    • xbb1024 says:

      Creeping Death’s idea could still be correct. Maybe Fettel still thinks he can be hurt by bullets (since he got shot).

  6. 0p8 says:

    you know what, i totally forgot that john carpenter had somthing to do with this…..(probably coz he hasnt).
    also,i hated the regen health and i hated the cover system.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      The cover system is really okay for a first person cover system. But the regenerating health is quite dull.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Which the use of is strange, considering the second one was still clinging on to its medkits (which were portable ones too most of the time, which is an even rarer sight unless you’re a fantasy game with health potions). Although I could see regenerating health making a lot of sense for a ghost (more than medkits would) and could make for an interesting gameplay shift.
      Both games did have regenerating health to a degree however, as it would regenerate up to about 25, so you’d always have a little bit of health going into a firefight.

    • 0p8 says:

      it may be good but i just wish they didnt put it in.cover is best for third person shooters.FPS feels better without. i liked the original fear with just lean and crouch….. (and health packs and armour :P)

  7. Fierce says:

    He is wearing whispy red bits this season, a look which is VERY popular among the newly ghosted.

    Did they cost him $1000 from an exclusive netherworld spectre and the other ghosts admire him and think he’s the coolest thing since sliced bread?

    • Starky says:

      No way, he’s way to cool for that, he made them himself from old clothes he bought at a thrift store.
      That is how fucking edgy he is.

    • Nallen says:

      I see what you did there, Fierce.

    • Fierce says:

      Always nice to be appreciated. I’m here all week folks.

  8. destroy.all.monsters says:

    They should have asked Carpenter for the music and help with the plot. There’s some major comic book levels of incoherency and lack of continuity.
    Who thought that giving the point man that hair style was a good idea? Wasn’t he a soldier? Have we traveled back in time to the 90s? Why do I even care?

  9. MrEvilGuy says:

    “Many of the frights are non-interactive”

    I feel like that sums it up for me.

    • Ringwraith says:

      It’s a shame as the previous games never had that, so you never did know if a particular bit of freakiness would actually pose a threat to you if you did nothing.

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      Anthile says:

      What? That was one of the major problems of the first two FEAR games – after you’ve seen Alma a couple of times, you notice she’s not going to do anything to kill you.

    • misterk says:

      Thats not quite true. About midway through the first game some of the ghosts actually hurt you. I was so used to basically ignoring the “scary” bits that I kept dying..

    • Ringwraith says:

      …and that’s precisely what made it work. It’s makes you complacent, then upturns it, leaving you in doubt whether or not something can actually harm you.

  10. wodin says:

    Thought the blood scrawling on the walls, ceilings, floor etc etc over the top….didn’t enjoy it it…hated the atmopshere to be honest…though to some it will be a plus point…

  11. Was Neurotic says:

    The original FEAR was the last game I ever bought that came on CDs – five of them to be precise. It was also the first game I ever bought in Polish (ex-pat, y’see). I learned a lot about fiddling with a game’s language files from that experience, yes I did.

  12. trooperdx3117 says:

    Good god jim i hope you got overtime for striving to get this review to us just after midnight

  13. magnus says:

    I liked the others except for Perseus Mandate and Extraction Point and of course I’ll buy and I certainly won’t feel bad for doing so next Wednesday!

    • Gormongous says:

      Extraction Point wasn’t bad, just competent. Perseus Mandate was execrable.

  14. CMaster says:

    I really enjoyed the first Fear. The environments were bland, the plot daft and the “horror” elements just an annoying interruption. However the shooting, weapons and AI were all pretty fantastic. The second one seemed (from the demo) to have downgraded the shooting to “like Halo”, so I had no interest. Sounds like this one might actually be worth taking a look back at.

    Also, I like how they have a bunch of unusual multilayer modes, rather than DM, Capture Point and CTF.

    • malkav11 says:

      FEAR 2 is no more like Halo than the first one was, really. It’s functionally more of what you got in FEAR. The guns don’t feel -quite- as visceral or the enemies quite as smart, but the environments and setpiece encounters are far more varied and you get a couple of neat guns towards the end that I’m fairly sure weren’t in the original.

  15. Eukatheude says:

    Dunno Jim, maybe i read it through too quickly, but i really didn’t get much of an idea of what this game is. And i really haven’t understood how the Fettel possession/explosion thing actually works.
    But then again i could have missed some pieces of information. Guess i’ll reread this tomorrow.

  16. Jake says:

    Sounds like it ought to be worth a shot co-op then at least. I love the idea of asymmetrical co-op, it’s not done enough. I thought Hunted: The Demon’s Forge sounded worth a pop too, I notice that it has vanished from Steam.

    • Fierce says:

      What are you talking about Jake? As I type this close to midnight EST, Hunted is still available for purchase on Steam.

      If you mean it has “vanished” from your list of Installed, say that. After the Crysis 2 incident, you officially need to make that distinction now.

    • Jake says:

      Hunted is not in the UK store, just a trailer that ‘isn’t available in your region’. If I connect to my US VPN I can see it. It used to be available in the UK I think, it’s on my wishlist even.

    • Fierce says:

      Ah, the UK store. Of course. Thanks for clearing that up.

  17. Jamesworkshop says:

    I think that after Amnesia – horror as a genre in gaming really needs to give itself up

    • Kaira- says:

      Nah, I thought Penumbras were much better. Also, call me a fanboy or something, but Silent Hills are pretty much the best thing in horror games in my opinion, with some weaker games of course.

    • Eukatheude says:

      @Kaira
      Really? I liked Amnesia much better. It succedeed in keeping its repetitious nature hidded and in suspending your disbelief for about the whole game two or three times over. Or at least that’s how it worked out for me. Penumbras, however, bored me quickly enough.

    • Kaira- says:

      @Eukatheude
      For me, it was mainly the setting of the game which made Penumbras better, especially Black Plague. A castle in Prussia sometime around 1870s didn’t really immerse me like the mine complex in Penumbra. But then again, I did like the more Lovecraftian storytelling of Amnesia when compared to Penumbra, and in Overture the dogs and spiders were… um, well, not really fear inducing themselves. Bit of a swings and roundabouts situation.

    • Jake says:

      I agree enthusiastically with Kaira. The Silent Hills are the best things ever, and I think Penumbra has the edge over Amnesia. It’s the setting – a mine in the middle of nowhere just felt so hopeless. My personal theory is that in FPS horror you are imagining yourself in these situations, and I can’t imagine myself in a medieval castle really. Third person horror is more like a film, like you see horrible things happening to someone and worry about their safety.

      Also Daniel’s voice acting really pulls me out of the game while I actually loved the voice acting (Red) in Penumbra. I mean, Amnesia is still amazing, but I preferred Penumbra.

  18. Eight Rooks says:

    I am really, really tired of this ‘Oh, none of these scares actually take my character’s health down, ergo they aren’t frightening’ school of thought. Personally were a skinless corpse to drop out of the ceiling behind me right now I’d still be crapping myself regardless of whether or not I had a signed guarantee he couldn’t hurt me, so if that makes me some kind of whining girly-freak, then so be it.

    But then I greatly enjoyed F.E.A.R. 2, like the series’ plot in a totally non-ironic sense (it’s daft, yes, I’m not insane, but I find it one of the best B-movie storylines the medium’s ever had) and am dissuaded from buying this in large part because I can’t tell if it adds to the canon or doesn’t (see the terrible expansion packs for the original game). So I’m clearly in the strait-jacket-wearing minority.

    • JackShandy says:

      It’s just the non-interactivity, more than the fact that they aren’t an enemy. Games have two things: Interactive bits, and clutter. If it’s not interactive, it’s going to have a much lower effect on you, whether it’s fear or anything else.

  19. Juiceman says:

    As much as I wanted to, I didn’t hate this game. It was a very decent horror-esque shooter. It tries to be more shocking than frightening so I wouldn’t exactly call it a Fear game, but it’s never the less worth playing.

  20. skurmedel says:

    I think I shall get this. Thanks for the review. I’ve heard the shotgun is good.

  21. Linfosoma says:

    So…Is this in the Singularity level of “fun yet formulaic corridor shooter”? Sounds like a solid Steam sale purchase to me!

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      lhzr says:

      yes, fear 3 is fun, but not like singularity. the feel of the combat is much better than in singularity, but the rest of the game is worse. i found them both enjoyable, but singularity was more memorable.

  22. Grayvern says:

    Fears ghosts are probably erogenous clouds, that get pleasure, yet can be destroyed by the internal movement of air currents that happen as bullets pass through them.

  23. Olivaw says:

    Given John Carpenter’s output over the last twenty or so years, I would absolutely believe he directed the forgettable, lame cutscenes in this video game!

    Oh, John. What on earth happened to you.

    • Grayvern says:

      Carpenter doesn’t exist, neither do I, nor anyone else, you are the last human Olivaw kept for fun.

      Those you think are human, lets just say we are a whole different thing to human.

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    P7uen says:

    I want to play Messiah again.

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    felisc says:

    sounds like it will be a perfect buy when it will be around 15/20 euros.

  26. Catalyst says:

    I was a tad disappointed with the game, especially due to the daft “Ok, baddies will be spawning here for a while now, so just keep shooting until a couple of them come through a door, through which you can progress.” mechanic. That, to me, reeks of artificial padding of the game’s length.
    As stated, the combat is exhilarating and the cover system is… tolerable. The only problem I had was disengaging cover quickly enough when someone lobbed a grenade at my feet. I often just ended up swapping to another cover while still in harm’s way :D
    But the thing that left me most disappointed was the lack of FEAR. The first game scared the poo out of me on a rather regular basis (I was actually afraid to use ladders in-game), but ever since the first “expansion”, be it me getting desensitised or worse design, the amount of scares and actual sense of dread seemed to diminish with each game. Pity.

  27. Sharkticon says:

    First person cover system = good? FIRST PERSON cover system = GOOD???? Wtf Jim are you sure about this?

    1. If you crouch behind cover, being first person, all you see is a close up of whatever texture is on the cover. You then have to pop up again and again to get a chance to shoot the other guy, who is also popping up and down.

    2. The whole thing is pointless since you can always slow-mo and jump over the cover and shoot them face to face, in the face.

    3. We already do have a first person ‘cover system’, it’s called crouching behind stuff. Some games even have a toggle crouch option. Popping out of cover? That’s called disabling crouch, or more simply, standing up. There is absolutely no need for a first person sticky cover system.

    • 0p8 says:

      10000000000% correct

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yeah, it’s not strictly necessary, but it *does* work as a kind of auto-lean and pop-up-from-cover system. I would prefer just being able to lean manually, but this is genuinely is a clever solution. Clearly it’s derived for and from keyboardless sofa-monkeys, but I’m amazed by how well it translates.

    • Sharkticon says:

      I agree that it’s not necessary and the whole game can be played without using the cover system. I’m just baffled by how this was left in the PC version. Wikipedia lists both Day 1 and Monolith as developers, and I know Day 1 are console devs but surely someone at Monolith must’ve noticed how they could just dump the whole system for the PC version and map lean keys to Q and E.

    • Fierce says:

      If it works, then they’d have no reason to remove it, and imagine that! Videogame devs who responded to reason and logic! Such a world, I dare not dream of.

      After all the angst over the third person Deus Ex Human Revolution cover, a pre-order I continue to hand-wringingly await, one of my prevalent thoughts has been that the lack of “innovation” or whatever people are complaining about on the PC might be silenced for a couple of days if someone could implement a workable first person cover system. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one might have been created in FEAR 3 of all places and I look forward to a PC demo of it in order to test its functionality.

      I would caution you from falling into the “ALL CHANGE IS BAD AND I DONT WANT IT” traps that are high in decibels, low in depth and all too common in the gaming community. It may not be a viable system, as you are saying, but it certainly is a step in an unexplored direction and the industry now more than ever needs more of that.

  28. Premium User Badge

    Big Murray says:

    Sounds like the same experience as No. 2 then … mind-numbingly average, but worth a go if it’s on sale and you’ve got nothing better to play.

  29. aircool says:

    I miss health pickups…

  30. neems says:

    Nobody had any problems with performance? Steampowered forums (among others) are full of people screaming about how the game stutters madly if your frame rate is above 30. Supposedly above 30 fps the game renders each frame twice, once with motion blur and then the exact same frame again but without the blur.

  31. fitzroy_doll says:

    Sounds like one for a Steam sale next summer.

  32. Teddy Leach says:

    We need more first person cover systems. I don’t understand why everyone’s afraid to do it.

    Also, buying.

    • Sharkticon says:

      Please explain why first person cover systems are necessary and not at all shit.

    • Premium User Badge

      lhzr says:

      the game has crouch. you don’t NEED to use the cover system. it’s there for those who like it. if you don’t, you can just as well crouch. why are you complaining about a feature that you don’t lose anything by not using?

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Would you rather a third person cover system, which people seem to detest even more? No, they’re not NECESSARY, but if we’re going to have cover systems (which we’re going to, whether you like it or not), I’d rather one that doesn’t pull me out of my character’s head.

      EDIT: And as the chap who ninja’d me correctly points out, perhaps more politely that I would have, you don’t even need to bleeding well use it.

    • 0p8 says:

      “the game has crouch. you don’t NEED to use the cover system. it’s there for those who like it. if you don’t, you can just as well crouch. why are you complaining about a feature that you don’t lose anything by not using?”

      but, when you are behind cover and not engaging it and you crouch, you instantly engage the cover system.
      its just annoying and i wont be swayed.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      The Rainbow Six: Vegas cover system worked ok, but it was sort quasi-FPS that pulled the camera out when you used cover. I think that is what has been cloned for DX3.

      Re crouching/cover, the cover system also enables leaning, which there no keys for.

    • Sharkticon says:

      @lhzr:
      I’m complaining about it because I really don’t want this sort of thing to catch on. PC FPSs have a perfectly fine sytem for ducking, leaning, going prone etc. without needing a sticky cover system. Look at how cover systems have declined third person shooters from Max Payne/MDK to Gears of War/Mass Effect. It’s a huge backwards step to cater for console limitations, disguised as ‘progress’.

      @Teddy:
      At least a 3rd person cover system is functional in the sense that you can actually see over yourself and the cover so you know when the enemy is popping out. Whats the point of a first person system where all you see is the wall of cover 2 inches from your face?

      @0p8:
      Exactly, if it was truly optional, that wouldn’t happen. Still, it’s possible to play the game mostly without crouching or using cover.

      @Jim:
      It’s not so out of place in a game like Deus Ex 3, where environmental awareness is important. A 3rd person cover system will at least let the player move the camera around. It’s really out of place in a corridor shooter like Fear 3.

    • Alpha Bootis says:

      I don’t understand it either, it works fine and you can even use it in 2 ways. Cover systems wich pulls you out of your char intro third person blow donkey balls. Thats like cheating.
      I mean, thats the nature of the action, you take cover behind something, so it blocks your view.

  33. jakonovski says:

    FEAR games have never been really scary, other than whenever a cheap jump scare got me. For me the best thing was how the whole series is so obviously influenced by Akira. FEAR’s supernatural sci-fi atmosphere is something I want to rub into the pores of my skin and never bathe again.

  34. Velvetmeds says:

    Yeah this FEAR was kind of a weird mixed bad. Objectively not very good but somewhat fun. Still, not as good as the previous two.

  35. Alpha Bootis says:

    I have yet got to play through the whole thing for the first time, but 6 chapters in i must say i really like it. The gameplay feels smooth, i actually like that cover thing and how it works and the setting just does it for me.
    I think its short, but then again what is not these days, and i don’t like the fact you can only carry 2 weapons. Don’t know about that health regen thing yet, but a lot of games that sell themselves as beeing realistic use that shit (Modern Warfare to name one) and i can pretty much get over that. Moreso because i hate hunting for medkits more then anything else.
    I feel Alma is a bit on the background, even though this game prettymuch centers around her and her condition. The boo moments come from actual monsters instead of a little 8 year old girl, and thats a bit of a meh becaused i loved that shit where she would tear some dudes skin of his bones and then go skip around the corpse.

  36. Trans says:

    Not sure if this has been mentioned in earlier posts (too tired to read them all – sorry), but the motion blur made me feel ill. If you want to turn it off, the following link has some handy patches and it made the game a whole lot more enjoyable for me… http://pc.nyleveia.com/2011/06/27/how-to-disable-motion-blur-on-fear-3-pc/

    Oh, and if the patches don’t work simply use a hex editor to do the job yourself. Their code worked first time for me.

  37. Navagon says:

    Thanks, Jim. This sounds like a fine sale purchase to me. I admit I was expecting a lot worse from this one.

  38. Skusey says:

    If I were to write a review of yoghurt it would end up being very similar to this. This review, not the game.

  39. Zarunil says:

    I thought the textures and graphics in general looked bad. Also, I didn’t feel the combat was very good. The whole game feels very consoley to me. Despite the title, I didn’t get a single scare out of the ~2 hours of playing it.

    Meh?

  40. KillerB says:

    Quite a good game IMO, motion blur takes a bit of getting used to but does add something (moition sickness) and from hating ‘Cover systems’ previously, this one isnt too bad, especially when you go around the corner and hold your gun sideways ‘Gangster style’

  41. Gunther says:

    Um… it’s “Fettel”. So… yeah.

  42. bt42078 says:

    Um, this reviewer is a slightly stupider version of a slug. POINT MAN IS NOT THE SAME CHARACTER FROM THE FIRST GAME. The guy u played in the first game was Beckett. If u had bothered to actually watch the cutscenes u complain about, you’d know that, dipsh&t. He’s in this game, too, only this time we kill him. If you get paid for this bs you call a review, I’m coming for your job.

    • Emma says:

      After reading all the entertaining comments on this review, the previous post was the only one written by a moron.