F.E.A.R. 3 Review : Alma’s Expulsive Wrath

F.E.A.R. 3 is a title that has its roots in one of the best horror introduction PC games of all time. The graphics might be antiquated, but Alma comes with her own set of bloody surprises in a new light along with her two sons.There are frights along with realistic sounds, all of which are weakened through horrid A.I. and the aeonian repetitive mission structure supplemented with mediocre level designs to contribute to one of the most disappointing F.E.A.R. experiences in the F.E.A.R. franchise along with the failure of F.E.A.R. 2. The dark nature of F.E.A.R. 3 is not in the small thrills it has to offer, but in the level of how blasé the game becomes after the 4th interval and how it can bring about Alma’s mediocre wrath on a person.

F.E.AR. 3’s storyline begins nine months after the F.E.A.R’s last explosive series of recon intelligence against Alma and Paxton Fettel from F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin. Certain catastrophic dark natured events in Fairport make it translucent that Alma is still ravaging the world as her powers bleed into the landscape and entering reality. Alma herself is actually in pain and agony throughout the course of F.E.A.R. 3, especially with the birth of a third son and a family disjointed. Armacham wants to, however, clear the city of any evidence rather than deal with Alma, leaving it up to the F.E.A.R. squad that is always dispatched for Alma.

The single-player campaign mode with F.E.A.R. 3 can be played in single-player cooperative action mode with one player as Point Man and another as Paxton Fettel or solo, where F.E.A.R. 3 is meant to shine. Unfortunately, the gameplay design and terrible level structure of F.E.A.R. 3 allows for no room other than some serious headaches. While the single-player action provides a marginal level of scare, despite Day 1 Studios’ promise of a more frightening experience, it largely fails in terms of being entertaining to any degree other than a small number of cheap shocks rather than fright. At its core, F.E.A.R. 3 is a simplistic first-person shooter, with very little to offer in terms of real supernatural phenomena powers through Point Man. Point Man is able to slow down time, while Fettel has the best abilities with stun, and possessing bodies as a aiding quality. The only real fun in the single-player campaign involves Fettel’s body takeover ability, which has to be attained by unlocking Fettel through playing as Point Man first. The gameplay itself is largely a corridor shooter and ends up becoming incredibly stale as soon as Interval 02: Slums. The map designs themselves, while marginally detailed, are completely devoid of any true structure, with enemy types spawning out from random areas, and several path doors unlocking once all the repetitive enemies are killed at one given region of the map. Enemy A.I. itself is great for the most part, flanking and calling out commands on where the protagonist is taking cover behind a box, or running through. This is about the only thing the single-player of F.E.A.R. 3 does correctly in terms of A.I., but even then after Interval 02: Slums, the same commands from the A.I. get tiresomely pedestrian.

Multiplayer matches in F.E.A.R. 3 have evolved into a more defined structure with the title seeing a delineation from the typical competitive play of early F.E.A.R. F*cking Run and Contractions are two of the great modes on the game, but the former is rather annoying as Alma herself hardly makes an appearance while individuals play as a F.E.A.R. squad soldier. Contractions mode is going up against waves of supernatural enemies sent by a tormented Alma across the city of Fairport. Alma actually reveals herself in the fog of F.E.A.R. 3, which is rather exciting. Soul Survivor is a typical mode which is a simple survival mode with waves of enemies. As players kills more enemies, a larger fog forms thereby making the accuracy and precision of survival less likely. Soul King is the last mode which is a bit uninventive and takes a cue from Left 4 Dead 2’s mode of taking over other players to make them into Spectres. While F.E.A.R. 3’s single-player campaign struggles in terms of solo and cooperative action, the online multiplayer offering of F.E.A.R. 3 is slightly better and more rewarding considering it is played with real people, but still the action is uninventive in general and the scare factor is marginal.

F.E.A.R. 3, like F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, had a lot of history to the franchise with one of the most successful horror games of 2005, but both have largely failed to provide an experience that even comes close to matching up with the scare factor or even level design of F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon. While even the first title struggled from terribly repetitive A.I., it hardly provided a hindrance to the overall theme and mood of the game. F.E.A.R. 2 added a better atmosphere, but hardly gave Alma a persona of interaction while having an awful level design scheme. F.E.A.R. 3 is collectively a compromise of the sums of all these problems by MechAssault developer Day 1 Studios in trying to give gamers a single-player and multiplayer element with campaign cooperative play instead of a horror title aiming to focus on enthralling fear alone and actually providing a great experience. While F.E.A.R. 3 is certainly not that bad, it has an insane amount of problems that largely leaves a player bemused. After the 800th time someone shoots the similar A.I. model or one of the dark nature creatures hunting the two sons of Alma down, and especially after hoping for an incredible scare around the next corner and not getting it, there is the realization that F.E.A.R. 3 is an extremely linear and repetitive combat shooter that could have been something sensational.

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