by Brandon Waldenberg
previewed on PC
Sibling Rivalry (cntd)
Fettel’s connection to the spirit world lends a further advantage as he can see additional paths that are not visible to Point Man. Since Fettel’s motives are unclear, players can choose to reveal these alternate areas that can hold something as small as a weapon cache or an alternate path through the level, or they can keep the find to themselves. Fettel can also utilize the power of telekinesis that allows him to grab and toss debris across the level. He could throw an explosive barrel for Point Man to open fire on, or just impale an enemy with a girder. Telekinetic power also allows Fettel to levitate enemies out of cover to be taken out with a few potshots from Point Man. Needless to say, the strategies employed by Fettel will be far different from Point Man’s.
Being the veteran of the original F.E.A.R., Point Man comes with a wide array of weapons for dishing out pain and mayhem. He can still slow down time, allowing him to pick off enemies with ease. His devastating melee moves are returning and hopefully Day 1 Studios will add a few more to his repertoire. While Fettel may seem like the phantom badass of the two, Point Man will still play an important role and after all, it is he who wears the uber-manly beard. Some enemies are resistant to possession, so Point Man comes to the rescue by softening enemies up for Fettel’s poltergeist powers. Fettel can only enter F.E.A.R. 3’s awesome mechs indirectly through possession, while his brother can climb in first hand and start kicking ass. Hopefully the two characters will be evenly balanced so players will not have to fight over who gets to be Fettel when entering the online co-op.
Trick Or Treat?
Day 1 Studios has promised a return to the scary roots of the original title, focusing on honing the horror theme of the game down to a fine point. One of the features that I am most interested in is the Generative Scares. The aim of this addition is make each play through a unique experience, as enemies will spawn at random areas each time. Day 1 Studios has stated that they want players to be challenged at all times, so Generative Scares can come around every corner and dark hallway. With the success of the Director feature in Left 4 Dead in mind, I am hoping that Generative Scares will be just as cool. While it might just be a way to randomize spawn points, Day 1 is working on expanding the concept into something more interesting.
Another awesome part of F.E.A.R. 3 is that the game will be forging into new environments; departing from the gloomy urban areas that the other installments have almost exclusively taken place in. Levels revealed so far have varied greatly from tight building combat, to wide-open areas littered with cover. If Day 1 is delivering anything with F.E.A.R. 3, it is variety – this ranges across strategy, gameplay, enemies, weapons, and environments.
Not Dead Yet
With a bevy of new features, F.E.A.R. 3 is going to be a strong competitor in the over-saturated FPS market. While you have the bog standard gameplay from Point Man, the series has always had enough tweaks and twists to keep fans of the series panting for more.
Day 1 Studios wants to return to the horror roots of the series, and with a creative team as impressive as John Carpenter and Steve Niles on board, they should be able to deliver this promise. Add to this one playable psychotic poltergeist and the Generative Scares system, and you have a new F.E.A.R. installment that should be well worth the wait.