F.E.A.R. 3 E3 preview
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2010-06-16 Xbox 360 Shooter M (Mature) Warner Bros. / Day 1 Studios

When the developers first started working on F.E.A.R. 3, their goal was to evolve the franchise with co-op, so they took the two characters from the first game, Point Man and Paxton Fettel, and made them the two playable characters in this instalment. They also wanted to take advantage of the brand's iconic character, Alma, so the story in FEAR 3 revolves around her and her two sons, creating this dysfunctional family unit and a pretty cool story in that regard.

Speaking of story, they had a little bit of extra help with that. They have enlisted two very capable guys, one is Steve Niles (writer of 30 Days of Night), and of course the master of horror himself, John Carpenter. Both writers worked closely with the developers in creating the script, as well as envisioning some of the elements in cut-scenes.

Co-op is really the new thing for F.E.A.R., and they went a little bit in depth about that so that we could understand what we saw in the demo. On one screen, we have Fettel. Fettel is a ghost, he's come back from the grave so he has some ghost-like abilities. You will see him stun enemies, you will see him suspend enemies which allows the other player to take advantage of that and work co-operatively, and his ultimate ability is to possess enemies. He can possess any kind of enemy and gain the ability of that enemy, which is pretty cool. Things look differently when you play as Fettel, and sometimes you're able to see some things that the other player can't spot. He also looks like a cloud of blood from the other player's point of view.

On the other screen, we had Point Man. He is your traditional FPS character that, which we saw in the first FEAR, so he has the run and gun mentality. He also has the slow-motion ability that we saw on the first two games, but now they are adding something new: first-person cover.

So what we saw was the co-op demo, but the team wanted to stress that the single player aspect of the game is still intact. If you're a FEAR fan and if you remember playing F.E.A.R. alone, having a lot of horror to it, that is still definitely part of the game. The single-player and co-op are exactly the same mode, so as you're playing the single-player you can have a friend jump in at any time and join the co-op game with the drop-in/drop-out ability.

Another addition is the fairly robust scoring system, which was adding with the purpose of giving the game longevity and replayability. The reasoning behind it is that if you invest in the game (because co-op really begs for a game that you can play multiple times), you want the game to give you something back, and that's what the scoring is all about. It also has some aspects that will promote either co-operative or competitive gameplay.

Lastly, a generative system was implemented, so that every time you play, a lot of these enemies come out in different spot. They may even come in different numbers, some of the scares will be different, so each time you start up, the game will have a sort of a "refresh". Again, this was added with focus on the replayability and ultimately, the longevity of the game.

It was a bit difficult paying attention to both screens at once, but it was definitely worth checking out how things played out for both players and what sort of features should we expect from F.E.A.R. 3. I personally found Fettel's gameplay style especially interesting, and am definitely looking forward to try it out.