We've seen the live action trailers. We've seen gameplay videos. Now at E3, we got a chance to try out the co-op campaign of Day 1 Studios' fright-filled FPS, F.E.A.R. 3. What did we learn? When you're facing Armageddon, it's best to be piloting a mech.

The demo started with our character, Point Man, standing outside of a derailed subway car. A WB representative played our partner, Fettel, who has a variety of super powers at his disposal. For our play session, he was using his character to help my progress (Fettel can open up alternate paths for his Point Man and kill enemies), but you can also make things harder for your partner if you want to.

The first thing I noticed was the quality of the graphics: videos and screenshots don't do the game justice, especially in terms of the atmosphere created by the level design. The game also makes good use of cinematic moments – around every corner, a soldier was being dragged into the shadows or torn apart by unseen beasts. Unlike other titles that rely heavily on scripted events such as Modern Warfare 2, F.E.A.R. 3’s sci-fi storyline gives its world a unique feeling.

After making our way through some light platforming elements that involved navigating broken down subway cars, I finally found an assault rifle to arm myself with. Shortly after, the demonic beasts started emerging from the shadows. Luckily, Fettel had my back: One of his powers is the ability to levitate enemies above the ground, allowing me to take potshots at our enemies at my leisure. When our path was finally clear, we made our way up onto a highway, where armed soldiers became our primary enemies. Point Man’s ability to slow down time quickly came in handy, and while it may not be the most original ability, the sound effects and over-the-top gore make it a thoroughly entertaining effect.

Soon I was overwhelmed by squads of enemies – it was time to try out one of the game’s mechs. The robotic suit packs a ridiculous amount of fire power – in addition to twin gatling guns, you can shoot up to six rockets at a time, perform a powerful melee attack, and stun enemies with a ground stomp. The last ten minutes of the demo was non-stop explosions, as I shot down helicopters, exploded enemy mechs, and turned foot soldiers into clouds of red mist (literally).

The unique differences between Point Man and Fettel are an interesting twist on co-op gaming. Hopefully the game’s story will flesh out the experience and help make F.E.A.R. 3 a stand out title in an already crowded genre. We’ll bring you more on F.E.A.R. 3 in the upcoming months.