Friday, June 24, 2011

F.3.A.R. Impressions

Let's start this off by calling the game Fear 3, for my sanity and yours. Good? Ok great, moving on. Next order of business, the game. I picked it up on tuesday and have put a few hours into both the single and multiplayer so far. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what this thing is all about, so here goes.

If you have never played a F.E.A.R., sorry Fear game; first off, what the hell is wrong with you? Second, you should probably go do that right now. It's ok, I can wait..... Done? Ok awesome. The first 2 Fear games were remarkably solid single-player FPS's. They didn't re-invent the wheel, but they brought enough unique elements (Such as slow motion bicycle kicks and relentless AI) that they were well worth the price of admission. They also brought some psychological horror elements that worked (or didn't) to different degrees.

So here comes Fear 3, made by a new studio (Day 1 instead of Monolith) with it's focus on co-op campaign and a bizarre mishmash of multiplayer modes. It also features Paxton Fettel, the bad guy from the first 2 games, as a playable character who teams up with the hero. Yeah...sounds like a direct to DVD sequel to me. Apparently everyone else though to too because this game just sort of snuck out with very little fanfare, like a fart in church.

I bought Fear 3 because I really enjoyed the first 2, and this one was getting good reviews out of the gate. Also the lure of co-op play, if Jaison ever stops being poor (Never). In the end I will agree that most reviews of it are technically pretty accurate. I honestly can't say the game looks amazing (It doesn't) or that the gameplay mechanics are revolutionary (They aren't). The single-player is very linear and scripted, as you would expect of any FPS in the post CoD landscape. It's got something those other games don't though. And that something is....

...Fun! Ok, that was a pretty retarded. Please let me elaborate! Basically this game has that X-factor that allows it to be more than the sum of it's parts. The movement is fast and fluid, the guns feel nice and punchy, and the AI is fucking brutal. And not in a CoD "Headshot you from across the map" way. In more of a "Hunt your ass down and work together to flush you out" way. The campaign isn't that long, and the story's very forgettable...but it's just plain fun and I have a hard time articulating why.

I own so many critically acclaimed games that are just too boring (Red Dead Redemption is one). But Fear 3 is a game that I just don't want to put down. The multiplayer is 4 player only, and lacks any customization or perk system like CoD. They knew they had no hope of competing with Call of Duty on it's own turf, so they decided to rip off other successful games instead (Left 4 Dead, horde/zombies mode) as well as throw a few of their own ideas into the hat. And you know what? It works. It might not have the staying power of some other top tier FPS games, but even playing with strangers I was having a blast. I can only imagine how fun it would be playing with three friends. If only I had three friends....

Oh wait, that's perfect...

No comments:

Post a Comment