F.E.A.R 3 was a disappointment. It’s not a terrible game but it certainly didn’t live up to the expectations set by the previous games. The other two fear games are much better. They are scarier and just have all around better quality. I was looking forward to the addition of split screen co-op. The co-op is okay. But it isn’t very much fun playing as fettel. Until you take over a body that is, then he is the same as point man, minus the slo-mo.
The first F.E.A.R game was done by Monolith and Sierra. The second F.E.A.R game still had Monolith, but introduced Warner Brothers for some added polish and a higher budget. The third F.E.A.R game is just Warner Brothers. This is where I think the problem comes from. Without Monolith there was no real passion involved in this project. It just feels a bit lazy and lacking genuine effort. Warner Brothers does not understand how to do horror.
The other 2 F.E.A.R games managed to be scary, this 3rd doesn’t even try to be scary. Instead it focuses on being an action game. The game so rarely even attempts to be scary, and when it does, it fails pretty badly. There are a few cool moments, but for the most part the horror is pretty slim pickens.
The action can be fun, but it shouldn’t be the only passable aspect of the game. The shooting is good and can be a good deal of fun, but surprisingly even the shooting feels worse than in F.E.A.R 2. It’s not as finely tuned or polished.
The entire game actually feels unpolished. The graphics have moved a step backwards which there is no excuse for. All the colors look flat and all the textures look terrible. The visual effects are of lower quality as well. It just looks cheap. This game is also far less gory than it’s predecessors. Actually, that’s not quite true. it tries to be just as gory, but again the effect is cheapened and it does not look good at all.
when you die you are immediately given the menu where you can retry from. The problem is, sometimes you randomly die in this game, and the menu pops up before you even realize you’re dead, and you end up hitting quite game, or restart mission like an idiot. it is rage inducing. The menu is way too sensitive. if you just try to select retry, you’ll probably end up bouncing off the selection down to restart. the menu is way too sensitive to the point of being faulty.
The game has this built in challenge system. you get points and level up from meeting these challenges. some of the challenges are: kill a certain # of enemies with a particular gun, kill from cover a few times, use a hell of a lot of slo-mo, kill without getting hurt, etc. etc. at first you might find these challenges cool little things to do, but I think that they take away from the game. when you are so concerned with meeting these challenges you get distracted or do stupid things to try and complete the challenges, leading to much frustration. It takes you out of the experience of the game and is an unnecessary distraction.
There are some really bad checkpoint placements. Dying can send you back incredibly far or actually jump you ahead other times.
The weapons are a weird sort in this game. The shotgun this time around is terrible. It was awesome in the first game, a little worse in the second game and pathetic in the third one. The pistol is better than in the second game, but you still can’t dual wield them which doesn’t make sense since you are now playing as the same character from the first game. The awesome Hammerhead from the second game has been replaced by the much less interesting HV Penetrator. Each game has a different main submachine gun. It’s weird that the weapon selection completely changes from game to another.
The horror element of the game is just not here. It almost seems as though they forgot they were making a fear game. The story in this game is not good. It’s very convoluted and rather stupid. The second game left off with a promising premise for the next game. Alma is now pregnant, ready to have a demon baby. Too bad the 3rd game squanders that premise. The big payoff for her pregnancy is a hilariously lame boss fight at the end of the game that feels like it’s out of a cartoony platformer that just has a bunch of filters over it. Speaking of filters, they get ridiculous in this game. It’s as if the makers thought that if the screen is flashing or changing colors or pulsating than the gamers will be scared, but that is not the case.
in the cutscenes Fettel is completely invincible and just sort of teleports from place to place. Too bad he sucks when you actually play as him and can’t do any of the things from the cutscenes.
There are some strange glitches in the game. They show up more frequently when playing the split screen. Glitches such as your character deciding to walk incredibly slow, or that he doesn’t want to raise his gun, or he just doesn’t feel like climbing a ladder. These glitches are incredibly annoying and some, such as the ladder, glitch were only resolved by restarting the level, only to have the same glitch happen on the next ladder.
F.E.A.R 3 was not a worthy successor to the previous games. It’s not a terrible game but it doesn’t live up to expectations. I would like to the series get another shot though. I think they could bring it back to glory with another shot, if maybe Monolith comes back or we get a new studio involved.