F.E.A.R. 3 E3 2010 Demo Impressions


What sort of a family has a dead brother and a mother that’s pregnant by her own son? Yours does, when you’re playing F.E.A.R. 3.

You’re back in the role of Point Man, the still unnamed soldier who’s been in the franchise since its inception. If you haven’t played F.E.A.R. 2 yet, you should know that Alma raped Beckett (the main character of F.E.A.R. 2) at the end of that game. Now Alma’s pregnant, and what she gives birth to could destroy the world. Point Man’s brother, Paxton Fettel, has returned from the dead, and he’s refusing to leave Point Man’s side. He’s even asked for help to get back to Alma, although his motive is unclear.

As we started the demo, we were told that cooperative play was the focus of the development team in F.E.A.R. 3, and that’s evident in the gameplay we saw today. In the coop, one player played as Point Man, and the other as Fettel. While anyone who’s played the previous games in the series is familiar with Point Man (who retains his bullet time mechanic), Fettel is a whole new animal.

You see, Paxton Fettel is dead. Now, he’s come back, and he’s got a whole array of supernatural powers. He can levitate enemies, as well as possess them. When he possesses an enemy, he takes full control of them, and can use their weapons. He also causes them to emit a red glow that can be a bit unnerving.

One of the interesting coop functions is that whenever Point Man uses his bullet time, time slows for both players, not just Point Man. This led to some interesting combination of powers that allowed the pair to deal with multiple enemies with relative ease.

Mechs also return from F.E.A.R. 2, and they remain just as insanely powerful as they were then. The mechs actually provided my favorite moment from the demo today, when the player was setting trees on fire to drive his enemies out of cover. Walls were blasted, many enemies were dispatched, and the mechs were eventually abandoned.

F.E.A.R. 3 will also support jump-in, jump-out co-op, allowing you to join a friend who is playing singleplayer at any time, and to leave at any time. As of right now, the singleplayer version of the game only supports playing as Point Man, although there were some vague mentions of incorporating the ability to play as Fettel in the future.

The problem I had with F.E.A.R. 3 is that it really didn’t feel like F.E.A.R. Much like the second game in the series, F.E.A.R. 3 is lacking the visceral suspense and surprise that the original title had. When asked how they would re-create that feeling in F.E.A.R. 3, our presenters told us that the competition between the players, as well as the points that reward players for advancing in the game, would help to provide that tension between the players.

I’m not sure I buy into that, but whether or not it will work remains to be seen. After all, we’re not going to see F.E.A.R. 3 on store shelves until this fall. I’m not saying that this will be a bad game. In fact, I hope this game is excellent, as we can never get enough cooperative games. However, I don’t think that this will be a game that lives up to the high bar that the first title in the series set.

However it turns out, it’s likely I’ll be playing on my couch with a buddy later this year.

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5 Comments on F.E.A.R. 3 E3 2010 Demo Impressions

The Fixer

On June 17, 2010 at 8:35 am

Point Man did not impregnate his own mother. Alma raped Beckett (a totally different character) in Fear 2, point Man wasn’t even in the game.

Maybe you should play it sometime.

Ron Whitaker

On June 17, 2010 at 9:04 am

You know what? You are completely right. Just goes to show you what trying to write all this stuff at E3 after a full day at the conference does to your brain. Thanks for the catch!

Will Snizek

On June 17, 2010 at 9:30 am

you are right about there not being enough cooperative games.


On July 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

as well as the points that reward players for advancing in the game, would help to provide that tension between the players.the r dead wrong fear combat mp has lasted 5 strong yrs why cause coustom content\dedicated server_files\chose your man and wepenon \and lets get it on\ now fear 3 will also be missing in single player the quriky coments the bad guys made _u can bet your as_ i could go on but who going 2 read anyway! fear 2 blew fear mandate blew i know cause i bought the games mandate wasnt so bad but singleplayer wasa2 easy. fear 3 will 2! last thought on mind is if they use steam again i wont by the game_why cause fear2 2 disks of ty steam and no game steam downloads it 2 u/not 2 mention spam window and starting a new service in services/hidden drivers blabla.rember fearcombat has realism lean peak jump crouch bla bla now pick a wepon yourman server lets get it on!


On July 12, 2010 at 9:57 am

you are right about there not being enough cooperative games.wrong again my friend/Coop Warfare 0.7 !u c that if u lucky there might b 1 or 2 players playing/besides the ai is allways so easy 2 beat has no brain just like a newb ftx server and players rule think u got what it takes ya well i dought it