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FEAR 3 Review - The Parent's Guide to Video Games

 FEAR 3 Review

Kid Safe: Low (3.0 / 10)                             Game Quality: High (8.5 / 10)

 

Genre: First Person Shooter

-          These games are characterized by the viewpoint and weapons used in the title. In a first person shooter, you are looking down the barrel of a gun as though you yourself are holding the weapon. Likewise, as the term "shooter" implies, the game specifically uses guns and firearms.

Internet Requirements: Moderate

-          FEAR 3 features a moderate amount of internet requirements due to the presence of online multiplayer as well as cooperative gameplay. Players are able to hop on the internet in order to compete against other players in a number of internet-based game modes as well as work cooperatively with another individual to play through the game's story together.

Story Summary: In FEAR 3, you take the roll of Point Man, a trained and deadly psychic-soldier who

uses his powers to overcome in surmountable odds, along with his dead-but-not-gone brother, Paxton Fettel, a deranged apparition that uses his psychic and ghostly powers to assist his brother on his quest. As Point Man and Fettel, you are tasked with escaping a prison facility where Point Man is being held and escaping to Fairport, a city in turmoil that is being slowly destroyed by your mother's incredible psychic powers which are causing her deadliest nightmares to manifest into reality as she comes closer and closer to giving birth to a third, and ultimately more deadly, offspring that may very well bring about the end of the world.

 Kid Safe: Low (3 / 10)

-          Foul Language: Very High - Not Recommended For Children

o   FEAR 3 features a very high amount of foul language in the form of the following words: "f*ck", "s*it", "p*ss", "a*s", "a*shole", "d*mn", and "b*tch". These words happen regularly throughout both gameplay as well as in cutscenes and dialogue between characters. "F*ck" and "S*it" are probably the game's favorite words as you will often hear these words from enemy soldiers, with them letting at least a couple of f-bombs per firefight. Most all characters will cuss whether they are upset/provoked or not.

-          Violence and Gore: Very High - Not Recommended For Children

o   FEAR 3 features an exceptionally high amount of violence and gore. Being both a horror title as well as a first-person shooter, blood, death, and destruction are the name of the game. Players will be encouraged to fight, maim, and kill human soldiers, crazed civilians, and monstrous creatures. Players will be using a wide variety of weapons to dispatch their enemies including knives, pistols, shotguns, machines guns, rifles, grenades, mechanized-battle suits, lasers, and several environmentally based explosives including gasoline barrels and fuseboxes. All enemies that you are fighting are attempting to injure or kill you.

o   When being shot, enemies will elicit a large spray of gore from their bodies that will often splatter on the surrounding area including on walls behind them and on the floor and any nearby items (chairs, boxes, desks, etc.). When killed, enemies will often simply drop to the floor like a ragdoll. Certain weapons, such as explosives or shotguns, will cause decapitation as well as dismemberment; resulting in limbs being blown clean off and leaving a gaping, bleeding stump where it once was. Other attacks will result in enemies completely evaporating in a red mist. Finally, certain weapons will cause enemies to burst into flame; resulting in the enemy running around or flailing around, attempting to put out the flame, before succumbing to the pain after several seconds and falling to the floor dead.

o   Aside from combat, the full game features a gruesome amount of extra gore; especially while exploring the city of Fairport. While we would be unable to list everything in the game without giving you a multiple page breakdown, we will highlight a few of them. Players will witness an entire team of soldiers slaughtered by a monstrosity that rips their limbs off, leaving only one alive to slowly bleed to death due to a leg having been torn off. In a custcene, protagonists Fettel and Point Man will be shown breaking one soldier's neck followed by slicing another soldier's throat open with a knife. Players will find people who have been killed, tied up, and then hung from the ceiling. Players will also play through a sewer that, quite literally, has more corpses in it than water.            

-          Sexually-Related Content: Low

o   FEAR 3 features a low amount of sexually related content which only takes place in two scenes. The first is a brief depiction of a mostly nude young woman; however, despite her nudity, finer details like nipples or genitalia are not visible. Secondly, there is a scene in which a character makes reference to having been raped; finer details are not shared however.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: None

o   To the best of the reviewer's knowledge, FEAR 3 does not contain any amount of drug or alcohol usage.

     

Game Quality: High (8.5 / 10)

-          Graphics / Visuals: High

o   FEAR 3 features a relatively high level of graphical and visual quality. The game's major strengths, however, are not absolutely mind-blowing graphics but rather the incredible amount of detail that has been put into the world players are exploring. Rather than having players move from Generic Room A to Generic Room B to get to Generic Room C, the team for FEAR 3 put an exceptional amount of work into making a unique and flowing experience. Moving from the cramped, desolate cell of a prison to a festering sewer overflowing with death, players make their way to a Spanish slum before jumping out of the frying pain and into the flame of Fairport where everything has been twisted to a ghastly vision of what it once was.

o   Take these incredible and interesting environments and add finite details to them and you have yourself a winning formula. More than once, I found myself wandering around any given area and just looking at every little thing that had been included. Radios left on, a fan still spinning, books lining a shelf, fallen papers here and there, a knife that was accidentally left out, old dishes still in the sink: all of these factor out to a believable and interesting world that has been fully realized and faithfully created by this game's team. Not only that, but all of these finer details really help to boost the game's horror aspect by putting you in believable and terrifying setting that seems all too real.

-          Audio: Very High

o   While FEAR 3 certainly has some decent graphical quality, it's real strengths lie in its audio presentation. The voice acting is decent and all of the performers do an excellent job in most areas, however the game's greatest strengths lie in its ambient noises and music. First, the music is absolutely excellent in carrying the action (or terror) to its peak. Hard, fast-tempo beats rock players as guns blaze and soldiers cry for help, making almost every firefight a major event and really getting players' blood pumping. As the action starts to slow down, so too does the music, to a very calm, neutral tone if at all. Finally, as players start to explore the darkened areas of the world and wander warily through the invaritable haunted houses, the music starts to drop. Low, soft, and utterly creepy, the music in these terror-filled corridors did almost as much work as the visuals.

o   Even better than the music was the ambient noise. Although subtle, the wide-variety of very soft and simple sounds contributed both to a believable environment and a terrifying world. The soft static of radio, the dripping of water in the distance, the soft crumble of collapsing stone, a barely noticeable growl in the darkness, a single, unexplained footfall on soft dirt; all of these are just but a minute example of what players will hear while playing this game. Just thinking about some of these gives me the shivers.

-          Gameplay / Playability: High

o   FEAR 3 features a relatively high level of both gameplay and playability. Starting with playability, this game does several things right. First off, any player that is familiar with most first-person-shooter control schemes will be able to easily pick this title up and go. For those that aren't quite familiar, however, are taken care of as well. FEAR 3 slowly introduces its players to a large variety of controls and gameplay concepts slowly over the course of the two levels while providing clearly visible onscreen prompts as to what buttons need to be pressed. There were one or two elements that the game failed to introduce, but generally it did a great job.

o    Now for gameplay. FEAR 3's gameplay, while a touch short, is excellently done. Just looking at the single-player story, players will move cleanly from guns blazing firefights to absolutely gut-wrenching walks through utterly terrifying mazes of horror only to be moved into a fight for their life against monstrosities and then back again. The pacing is very well-done and never gets overly boring as it always keeps players guessing and experiencing something new. On top of that, players will be able to explore the game in two different ways: as Point Man, your average gun-toting soldier with the power to slow down time, or Fettel, an apparition with the ability to psychically attack enemies or even possess them and force an enemy to fire on his former allies. If all of this isn't enough, the game will reward players based on performance and how they play; unlocking many achievements and challenges that will progressively give players more health and abilities to fight their enemies with.        

-          Dollar-Value: High

o   Overall, FEAR 3 has a pretty high dollar-value. The game is well-made with some excellent gameplay that can be played either single-player or with a friend right there at home. On top of this, players can replay the game as different characters to experience a whole new set of powers. Once players are done with the story, FEAR 3 also features a well-rounded and rather enjoyable online-multiplayer option that is one of the better ones available on the market. The only major downfall is that this game is rather short, somewhere in the range of 5 to 7 hours depending on the player, and there isn't much more to do than the multiplayer after playing through the game as both characters.

Recommendations

-          If you are looking for a game with less mature rated content, I would highly recommend taking a peek at Battlefield Bad Company or Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. If you are itching for a more shooter-intensive experience, I would check out either the Call of Duty series or Crysis 2. If you want a more horror-focused experience, Dead Space, the original FEAR, and Silent Hill 2 or 3 are all excellent choices.

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