F.E.A.R. 3 First Look

Take one supersoldier, one creepy but powerful ghost, and you've got the co-op recipe for the third F.E.A.R. game.

How do you make a co-op game scary? That's the question looming over Day 1 Studios, the developer behind the upcoming shooter F.E.A.R. 3. Having taken the helm of this supernatural action franchise from original developer Monolith, Day 1 is out to maintain the series' trademark horror elements while building a story campaign around the concept of two players unfurling a paranormal conspiracy side by side.

The notion of the cooperative first-person shooter is nothing new. In fact, it's a feature that's very nearly become a staple of the genre at this point. But for a horror game, it's an entirely different story. These games are built around the uneasiness that one player feels moving ever alone through dimly lit corridors, foggy forests, or whatever other locations disaster/aliens/zombies have struck. What Day 1 is aiming to do with F.E.A.R. 3 is take that uneasiness and uncertainty that a solo player feels and apply it to a fragile cooperative alliance.

F.E.A.R. 3 stars Point Man and Paxton Fettel, which are two names that won't mean much at all if you haven't played the first F.E.A.R. If not, let's bring you up to speed: These two are brothers with a rather rough history between them. Point Man was the first game's protagonist, a supersoldier operating under orders to kill Fettel, a telepathic wizard using his gift to slaughter innocent people. Despite being kin, Point Man carries out his orders and shoots Fettel dead. But that was the original. Things are a little different now.

In F.E.A.R. 3, Fettel returns as a ghostly figure haunting his brother's every move. He occupies a spooky middle ground between companion and antagonist, seeking help from Point Man to reach Alma, the mysterious female figure at the heart of the entire F.E.A.R. story. The reasons are uncertain, but it's nonetheless a setup that offers an interesting diversion from the usual cooperative structure. Not only is there an obvious tension between the two characters, but Fettel's powers and ghostly condition also make for a markedly different gameplay experience from the one to be had by his brother.

Those playing as Point Man should find the experience to be largely similar to the last two games, as you use a variety of military-issue weaponry and the power to slow time to deal with supernatural forces running rampant in an urban setting. New in F.E.A.R. 3 is a sticky cover system that maintains the first-person perspective as you snap in and out of cover. You'll use a single button for vaulting up and over to the other side of a cover object when swarms of enemies suddenly sneak up behind you. Then there's Fettel. Not only does the player assuming control of Fettel view a screen much more saturated in an eerie reddish hue, but he or she also has an entirely different skill set. Fettel can throw blasts of telekinetic energy to toy with enemies or toss them up into the air for a temporary stun. He can also possess people, taking control of enemies to assume their means of movement and attacks.

In his undead state, Fettel is capable of seeing things that Point Man can't see. Certain doors and passageways are only visible to the person playing as Fettel, and it's up to him or her to share this information with the other player. In the short term, this allows one player to take a different route through the level from the other, but we're not quite sure what the long-term consequences are if one co-op teammate decides to keep the fruits of these hidden routes to him or herself for the long haul. What we saw of the game suggests that the two players have little choice but to resolve their differences in light of the enemy soldiers trying to shoot both of them to death, lest they go at it alone against demonic beasts like the scavengers that come scurrying from dark corners as wild, possessed animals with no regard for brotherly disputes.

Like F.E.A.R. 2 before it, F.E.A.R. 3 has certain moments that will encourage you to temporarily trade in spooky on-foot treks through the usual paranormal bloodshed in favor of something a little bit more visceral. We refer here, of course, to the previous game's mech suit sequences. Rather than being the gameplay equivalent of a nice little reward after a tough chapter as they were in F.E.A.R. 2--what Monolith called a "palette cleanser"--mech suit combat sequences in F.E.A.R. 3 require more alertness and judicious use of ammunition. We were shown a battle with the two brothers in their own mech suits up against a single attack helicopter, and the chopper managed to be a formidable foe despite being outnumbered. From the looks of it, these mech sequences are a more central part of the game than they were in the previous game.

If there's one thing scarier than a mech suit, it's two mech suits.

We like the idea of a game developer exploring co-op as something besides a basket of hugs and trust exercises-- something a little more uneasy and uncertain. Will F.E.A.R. 3 live up to that intriguing notion? We should have a better idea of how it all comes together as we get closer to F.E.A.R. 3's fall North American/spring Australian release date.

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296 comments
DaleNielsenGuy
DaleNielsenGuy

Well, the trailer looks very interesting. I'll definately be buying this game.

alphazoom
alphazoom

Well....The first FEAR ended open, so not sure how that was the perfect ending. FEAR 2 had a much more solid ending....won't be playing FEAR 3.

H-Revolver
H-Revolver

what have they done to the original F.E.A.R?

the-wayward
the-wayward

still waiting for doom 4 , condemned 3 .... or any other real horrer game ..

Tylmarande
Tylmarande

i really dont understand what is happening to fear right now...how can a co-op be a scare to me?..i want horror games such as the first fear, condemned: criminal origins, cryostasis, things like that,..why cant they just provide the same gameplay of the first fear with new skills, weapons, story, settings, scary enemies, etc..

rattle618
rattle618

That trailer looks really ugly...

Sheegot
Sheegot

Haha, F3AR developed by Day 1, the studio that brought you such classics as Fracture!

Sheegot
Sheegot

I say scrap it and give it back to Sierra. It feels like the development comes from a typical american movie studio. All clicheés and no staying true to what made the original something original

Ezmai_RauteZ
Ezmai_RauteZ

3rd Encounter Assault Recon.. Doesnt even stand for FEAR no more :(

haederbazooka
haederbazooka

ok im a huge fan of f.e.a.r. but this is just too much -.-"

Emraldo
Emraldo

Guys... Alma isn't dead. She never was. She was imprisoned, and released in FEAR. Also, for previous horror FPS failures, see DOOM 3 for Xbox. As soon as the second player joins, all suspense disappears and everyone goes Rambo.

msngod
msngod

I would want to see gameplay videos on how the co-op would work on a game like fear. The first fear game, I had played and it was scary the first time. I didn't get a chance to play 2 yet but I seen the trailer for third, for some reason I am not to thrill especially when I saw a concept picture of alma ghost with a big belly. A pregnant ghost?

Promised_Trini
Promised_Trini

@ ColdfireTrilogy Dude don't hurt yourself.Plus also I should be like everyone else and pass judgment on a game that's not even out yet right.

ibeatu85x
ibeatu85x

wow, a ghost having a kid... this sounds... not normal...

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

@Promised_Trini its called making educated assumptions based on a past history... If you saw 3 math problems with the first two being highly similar and the third one also seems to share many of the same required steps and traits would you not draw a conclusion. Also, scientific theory involves making an educated guess on an unknown conclusion based on collected and observed data, im assuming once again you would be unable to do so since you haven't seen it yet?

Psycold
Psycold

@ natnatmc God I know man, even hearing about FEAR 2 again or this new game makes me want to replay the original

Psycold
Psycold

can't express how much I hate this concept. Who the hell wants to play as a ghost in co-op? If you're really that strapped for ideas, just remake the original game with better graphics....just make sure you leave everything exactly as it was because if it's anything like FEAR 2 or this new game none of us want to play it.

juicer1548
juicer1548

I loved all the FEAR games, even the add-ons for the first ones, but co-op only? These guys are idiots, should never have taken this project from Monolith. Will not buy or rent this game!

natnatmc
natnatmc

This is quite possibly the worst idea I have ever heard. The first F.E.A.R. was amazing. The second F.E.A.R. was a bit of a let down, but opened up for an awesome third game. This is just ridiculous.

Ragnarok-64
Ragnarok-64

Fear 2 I really didn't like. I am willing to give this one a shot but if it doesn't deliver I will no longer be interested in Fear.

Compuse
Compuse

Soooo, where are the scary parts?

alex_zander
alex_zander

I plus what the guy under me said ;)

Blood_Diamond
Blood_Diamond

hmmm after the 2nd one i was ready to leave this game for dead... but i like this idea of co-op, what will happen to the 2nd player will he be able to die like point man? But i can see a fight between players who wants to play the ghost or the regula joe

Splaat
Splaat

First Portal 2 with co-op and now F.E.A.R. 3 with co-op. Anyway I'm seeing forward to try this game

StrawberryHill
StrawberryHill

Looks like a pass for me. I'm not interested in co-op. It's takes the thrill and suspense away. Give us another game similar to the original FEAR with some new settings and I'd be on board.

knoxyknight
knoxyknight

Looks like crap. Ugly characters, lame bs supernatural story, and co-op games can't be scary. I liked the first fear, the 2nd didn't interest me and this just looks bad.

TugaSoldatTV
TugaSoldatTV

When i first this trailer i was like: "lolwut"

Nekromenos
Nekromenos

I've been pressing those 5 bars on the right side of the video box for months now, thinking it's the volume control...

Oxy80
Oxy80

Whats next Condemned 3 Co-Op LOL!!! Im kinda scared that this will suck big time. and second monolith aint developing it?! yea im very scared lol, and why does games now n days have to be co-op, FEAR 1 was amazing, actually freaky and kinda scary but FEAR 2 went down a level and was still great in single player but wasnt that scary and felt kinda too easy, and the MP was just awful compared to how fun and simple the first one was. idk i think this will be a rent for me truly sad how one of my fav horror shooter is fading away i hope they listen to what people are saying and just scratch the whole thing and actually spend time to creat a truly creepy scary game like how Metro 2033 was now that was a amazing game that all fans of horror games should rent or buy just play it thats it just play it adn youll be happy you did.

bodymaster989
bodymaster989

Is there still going to be a good singel player game? Or is it all about co-op?

evaneself
evaneself

Find all sorts of ways to connect gamer to servers. Do not see that their purpose is to justify a permanent connection to the server? Not encourage such practices, these games are practically rent. I do not buy it.

XanderKage
XanderKage

Replacing letters with numbers... That's what we've come down to?

profstrange
profstrange

I wish to see the game to ameliorate its graphic compared with the previous game.

ztg360
ztg360

ok i never played the second one which i might just have to play to learn the rest of the story but didnt u kill fettel in the first one? unless the girl (i forget her name) resurrects him and i know she is still alive mainly because she is supernatural well anyway back to my other point thats like having a ghost being helped by an average soldier the ghost is gonna be a whole lot freakier and more effective then the soldier

AStriegel75
AStriegel75

I agree with the live co-op partner taking away the scares. This may be just me but in playing l4d with other players is not frightening in the least but when I play solo I am a little scared not knowing what is around the corner and running the AI with me. I want to just play the game and be scared like I was with the last 2.

nightshade_nova
nightshade_nova

omg...is this gonna be "Fracture"-d too by Day 1 Studios?

aileron2
aileron2

Ummm. i don't get it point man wade (XD) and fettel together? then what we have to fight this time? when this game start it was always against fettel now he is your partner? truly i don't get it

neil108
neil108

I hope this F.E.A.R. is more like the original game. The second game was OK, but relied too much on certain jump out of your seat scary moments but the rest of the game was rather dull IMO

Hikiera
Hikiera

sounds like a great idea tho. its one of those games u have to have someone to play with which limits ppl who wanna sit down alone and solo. a great idea for scarying players is to do the spooky scene on one person while leaving the othe rplayer unaffected making experiences vary

joder666
joder666

What to say about the co-op after seeing the trailer, its like superman getting help from a simple civilian. I agree with all the people who said that this co-op its going to take the ''scary'' of the game, now if they do something like resident evil zero, where you actually control both player at the time and add the co-op as an option it'll be a cool thing to see.

wiouds
wiouds

I did not like the first two other than some cheap scare it was a second rate shooter.

Aprince1989
Aprince1989

i think it will make me busy for a 24 hours !!

KOBE23IVAN
KOBE23IVAN

the game looks great... but the co-op thing i'm not so sure.