This review is from: F.E.A.R. 3 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
The NPC AI of the original FEAR had some of the greatest ever seen in modern FPS. This has strangely been forgotten about. In 2011, FEAR 3 teases a fraction of that AI and actually surprises gamers. We’re still not at 100%, and this raises the issue of why us gamers are more fascinated with fancy bump-mapping than playing with enemies who will out-do you by flanking and working together to cave your skull in.
If you’re a fan of horror and FPS, FEAR 3 is a must-buy. It does not though; reach the high standard of 2005’s product. It is however, probably better paced and executed than FEAR 2. Visuals range from great to poor, high-res to blotchy textures. There are lots of things happening all the time in FEAR 3, so when you’re not being attacked and engaged in battle, the supernatural is at work. It’s a very “busy” campaign.
Score and ranking up plays a subtle importance. More points are awarded for using different weapons and methods. Even well-hidden dolls of Amy can be sought out for bonus points. It all feels very strange , even in a game which relies on strangeness; but feels oddly compelling. It encourages a repeat play with a second character, Fettel. Fettel is a psychic who has only melee weapons but can possess other NPC’s to progress through the same campaign, this gives the player around 10 hours of gameplay in total. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem overly long or tiring.
Sound plays an important role here, even more so than the visuals. The score dictates the mood, and keeps you on the edge, or calms you right down, before jump-scaring you out of your comfort zone once again.
Two missions make you believe you’re playing Left 4 Dead 2 - yes really. We’ve gone from the dark, weird and elaborate atmospheric setting to a silly, over-the-top black comedic one with (yes!) zombies who charge you with suicide vests. This experience feels disjointed and not part of FEAR. Thankfully, this is short lived - the game returns to its dark roots before long.
There’s moments of frantic action which become tough and frustrating, more notably a few sections on the rooftops. Soldiers come in thick and fast, swearing like dockers as they become annihilated by the player in slow motion. There’s a solid boss battle or two to be had, and a section where you’re attacked by infinitely respawning demon dogs as you panic to close shutter down (which, supposedly protects you from the fierce power of their pounces).
I admire FEAR 3 because it’s a title many people avoided, but I actually really enjoyed it for what it was. If you’re not a horror buff though, I’d advise staying away.