frondoni's F.E.A.R. 3 (Xbox 360) review

Thoroughly Average

I beat F.E.A.R. 3 over the course of a lazy Sunday afternoon. It took me about 4 hours from start to credits. Later that evening, a friend asked me to recount to experience. I thought for a moment, and then replied, “It was functional, and mostly free from glitches.”

There’s not much else to the game, which claims itself a continuation of the Monolith franchise.  Yet nothing in here really denotes it as such. I suspect it started life as an entirely different project before being retroactively converted into a new sequel. Whatever the origin, newcomers will fit right in - there’s little of the F.E.A.R. atmosphere, and even less of its plot.

In fact, there’s so little story here it might be more accurate to say F.E.A.R. 3 lacks a plot entirely. Events happen, and then more events happen, but a justification or a conjoiner stays noticeably absent. Even within the loose logic of the established universe, F.E.A.R. 3 lacks cohesion. And don’t go looking for scares. Most levels fail to deliver even slight jumps, forgoing the namesake of the game in favor of straight action. It’s fair to say this game aspires more to the Call of Duty series than its own supposed lineage.

Despite this, the game plays well. Guns look and feel proper, and the levels are easy to navigate and rarely confusing. Battlefields employ a nice mix up of engagement distances and heights and the enemies are varied enough to keep things moderately interesting to the end. It certainly doesn’t excel in any field, but it’s not a failure either.

Ostensibly, the game can be played in two varieties, as either the traditional FPS model of the Point Man or the supernatural Fettel. In reality, the difference is slight if really present at all. Fettel has access to what amounts to a force cannon and light-physics simulator by default. Though he is a ghost, ad certain scenes imply that only the Point Man can see him, all enemies fire at him as though he were plainly visible. Eventually, the player is compelled to possess an enemy, at which point the game becomes the largely same for both characters.

Is the game “worth it?” It’s not bad, and it’s not good. F.E.A.R. 3 presents a series of increasingly difficult challenges that look moderately distinct from competing titles on the market. There’s nothing here for fans, and nothing here that can’t be seen somewhere else, but I must stress that this is a competently made title that will briefly entertain. Put simply, it’s functional, and largely free from glitches.

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