Horror Hoedown Showdown: Fear 3 Review

Judge: Ok guys welcome to another edition of “Horror Hoedown Showdown.” LIFE44 and I are here to review Fear 3. If you haven’t yet, go check out our “Let’s Play.” Ready LIFE?

LIFE: Yup.

Judge: Haha that was enthusiastic. Alright! First off, give me your general impressions of the game.

LIFE: The campaign was a little too short for my tastes.  However, the gun mechanics were very good. Recoil was realistic.  The designs were good.  The atmosphere and scenery were beautiful and definitely added that futuristic feel to the game.  Plus stomping around in giant mechs was fun.  And my character (Fettel) was a badass.

Judge: Very well said LIFE.  I agree the campaign was a little too short.  I believe we finished the game in about 4 hours.  I do have to admit the co-op was implemented very well; it really stressed teamwork, and the whole point system made it into a fun competition. I won of course.

LIFE: Who caresss? (Jedi Outcast II reference)

Judge: Haha. Well moving on, I also agree with everything else you said; the guns were diverse and very cool looking.  You really had a thing for the pistol haha.  The scenes were rich and detailed, which really made looking around fun.  Elaborating on the presentation of the game, menus were clean and the interface was good.  No complaints.  Let’s move on to the most important part of the game–gameplay.

LIFE: Hmmm. The movements were very smooth and flowed very well.  The cover system was confusing at first, but I eventually got used to this.  This was mostly due to the fact I’ve never really played a game with a cover system.  One complaint I had was although the guns look cool, none of them felt any different from the other; more specifically, every SMG felt the same, every shotgun felt the same, etc.

Judge: I thought the cover system was very well done.  Having played games like Gears of War and Mass Effect, I’d say it’s up to par.  The movements when taking cover were especially smooth in my opinion; watching my guy jump from cover to cover and jumping over boxes to assault an enemy was fun to look at.  I have to say that I felt the guns were balanced; maybe it’s because I played the Point Man and you played the psychic Fettel, but I really had preference for certain guns in certain situations.  Speaking of Fettel, how did you feel about his gameplay?

Body snatching in progress

LIFE: I really liked Fettel.  I thought it was an interesting twist to add a psychic dude to an FPS.  Taking over bodies was a lot of fun;  however, I felt his shielding power was really underpowered.  I only used it a few times, and it was when I was just waiting for my body snatching ability to recharge.  Now that I think about it, when I wasn’t taking over bodies, I did a lot of hiding and waiting.  Nonetheless, it was still fun.

Judge: It looked like fun stealing bodies haha.  And yeah, I only saw you shield me a few times XD.  But my character, the Point Man, was a generic FPS character; lots and lots of guns.  So I didn’t really get a really different experience.  You got a nice change of pace playing a psychic and playing a classic run n’ gun guy like me.  I do have to admit that my adrenaline power (slow down time) was very useful; it also looked really cool (think Matrix bullet time).

LIFE: Your slow down power reeeally came in handy.

Judge: Indeed. Although we spent forever on that mech boss in that little square.  Speaking of mechs, how did you feel about their implementation?

LIFE: I liked the change of pace.  It felt badass to go around stomping and blasting everything.  I didn’t get to pilot all the mechs like you though; you got to pilot that cool body suit one.

Judge: I just get giddy whenever I play from a cockpit perspective; this is a little off topic, but I wish they would make another Gundam game where you play from the cockpit perspective like the Dreamcast game Rise from the Ashes.  Also, although you didn’t get to dabble in it (and even I had trouble due such a low playerbase), but the multiplayer was unique and pretty fun.  I really don’t want to spend much time on this since I’d rather focus on the core of the gameplay which is the campaign.  So moving on, how did you feel about the graphics? We’ve already touched on this a bit but is there anything else you’d like to add?

Mech action!

LIFE: Not really. Guns were cool. Scenes were cool.  There were times that I felt certain areas weren’t as detailed or crisp as others.  So yes, there were lapses in quality.  I might as well touch on the sound quality; it really didn’t stand out to me.  Typical ambient sounds.

Judge: Hmmm.  Graphics were good.  The game did overheat my graphics card once or twice (but that’s moar due to the fact that they haven’t been cleaned in a while…lots of dust).  Certain parts did have lapses in quality, and the sound was sub-par. No good music, and not even the “scary” sound effects affected me much.  Which brings me to our last point.  This game is both an FPS and horror game.  The FPS mechanics, as we’ve stated, are good.  How do you feel this game stacks up in the horror genre?

LIFE: Meh. I was creeped out during a few parts, mostly when that little girl (Alma) or that big monster that we killed at the end appeared and then quickly disappeared.  But not scared.  Just creeped out.  To me, this is an FPS first, horror game second.

Judge:  Couldn’t have said it better myself.  I only jumped once or twice when that monster came and took a big swipe at me from outta nowhere.  Otherwise, it was boring.  I’ve never completely finished the other two Fear games, but from my playthroughs, they were definitely moar scary.  Now if you want a game that is horror first with some shooting elements thrown in, go play Dead Space.  From a replay value standpoint, the short campaign and non-existent multiplayer really hinders it.  You might want to play the game again as the other character, but that’s about it.

LIFE: Yup.

Judge: You always have a lot to say LIFE (sarcastic). Haha, alright then, what’s the verdict?

LIFE: Presentation: 4, gameplay: 4.5, graphics: 4, sound: 3, replay value: 3, Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Judge: Presentation: 4.5, gameplay: 4, graphics: 4, sound: 2.5, replay value: 2.5, Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Closing remarks: If you’re a fan of the franchise, go ahead and pick this title up.  If you’re looking for a short, fun cooperative experience, this game is also for you.  If you’re looking for a fulfilling or scary experience, don’t bother with this title.

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