The environmental sound is good, the spooky sounds work quite well and the game has the right kind of atmosphere. The problem that we encountered though...some of the distortion effects used in the game were a bit overbearing, they donít happen often but they donít really add to the tension either. Rather than being bothered by them, we were oddly annoyed. Theyíre not as bad as Shadows of the Damned though, which is a true distortion nightmare. Fear 3 has a pretty solid set of sounds for most of the weapons too.Music
Fear 3 has a good solid soundtrack. It helps to really immerse you in the atmosphere the gameís trying to create. There arenít any problems here, so moving on!Dialogue
The story writing is pretty good, the script flows well and if you care about such things there arenít any real hiccups with the dialogue. If you donít care and you just want to shoot something, well, thereís lots of that.Voice
The voice actors do a great job with their lines. Paxton is suitably menacing and Point Man, well, he remains silent as he did before which is a great touch. The rest of the cast are decent and there arenít any real hum-dinger bad performances.Co-Op Multiplayer
Fear 3, rather like The Cartel (from yesterday) is a game best played with a friend. Once you have a buddy as either Point Man or Fettel the tactical options go through the roof. You can hold a bad guy aloft with Paxtonís telekinesis and riddle him with bullets as Point Man. You can possess a bad guy and fight alongside your brother. You can work together as a finely honed machine, or try and outdo each other. You can share your psychic links with your co-op buddy or...steal them for yourself!
Itís a great facet to the game though, and co-op is excellent fun. There is good networking code too, so you donít get any lag.
There are a few co-op modes too:
F**king RUN! Ė Your F.E.A.R. squad is being chased by Almaís psychic wall of death. You have to push forwards, kill Armacham forces and stay one step ahead of the wall...if so much as one of you is lost to the wall, its game over. This was apparently inspired by John Carpenterís: Prince of Darkness book cover. There are checkpoints thankfully, but theyíre few and far between.
Contractions Ė Your F.E.A.R. squad is isolated. Armacham is closing in, Almaís minions are around and Alma herself stalks the area. You have to work together to hold off the bad guys, collect weapons, rebuild barricades and as the paranormal fog thickens per round more dangerous monsters appear from the ether. There are 20 waves to survive and the game mode was inspired by John Carpenterís: The Fog.Adversarial Multiplayer
Itís fun, itís frenetic and itís lag free most of the time. Donít let the small player numbers put you off, because the tight focus on these modes really does make for some personal horror gaming. 4 players can compete or co-operate in the various modes.
Soul Survivor Ė The team begins as a cooperative experience but it rapidly devolves into an adversarial. One of the players is corrupted by Alma and turned into one of her minions. The chosen player now has to corrupt the other team members. Once corrupted the corrupted side must help eliminate the squad members that remain. All of this goes on under constant Armacham assault and even Almaís cult join in to help elevate the fun to more insane levels. The strongest player (the Soul Survivor) is the only one that can make it out alive once the time runs out. This is inspired by 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles, in which the survivors are taken one by one and turned against the remaining members.
Soul King Ė This mode is our favourite. Every player becomes a Spectre, a powerful ghost that can possess human enemies. Basically players then fight and possess enemy AI, collecting the souls of the dead. If youíre killed you lose half of your souls and the winner is the player with the biggest collection at the end of the match. It is simple, fun, effective and amusing all at once. The End?
If youíre expecting an end, youíre going to get one. Fear 3 could have been a lot scarier if more care had been taken with the horror element. Sadly, it becomes a really solid first person shooter thatís fun when taken on that level. But as a Fear 3, weíre not sure if itís worthy of the moniker. It does tie up the trilogy nicely though and we canít ask for more than that. The multiplayer doesnít feel tacked on and the Horde style Contractions mode is a blast...
Single player is over all too quickly and the ride is a bit of an anti-climax for the last few acts.
Co-op remains the best way to play the game with a nice twist at the end for a pair of co-op players.
All in all then, passable but itís not going to light the gaming world on fire.