F.E.A.R. 3 is an average shooter. It has received criticism for it’s length, but it does something that most games do not: its honest. The game is maybe 5 hours long. In fact, developer Day 1 Studios did not hide from this at all. The story does not drag on, and is true to the cannon. The game was designed from the ground up for replay value. From in-game bonuses to a better than average co-op campaign. You’re challenged in so many ways and it’s so brief you won’t get tired of the game after even 2 play-throughs.
Prior to it’s release on June 21st, 2011, F.E.A.R. 3 was given attention for signing writer John Carpenter. A move I thought would have brought the franchise back to it’s scary roots. I was wrong. In fact, the game is less scary and more bonus-oriented. Throughout the 8 chapter campaign you will be reminded of your progress to complete bonuses which lead to character level progression and weapon unlocks. Like video games of old, your score is saved and can be compared upon leaderboards. This is a shift for the series, but a welcomed change. In the world of electronic entertainment, this title stands out amongst it’s peers this generation. Instead of trying to be something it’s not and compare itself to big-time FPS releases, it went the other direction. More developers need to find creative ways to differentiate their games. The big draw for me seems to be the biggest backlash the game has received: it’s length. It’s been well documented on this site and the podcast that I don’t have a strong attention span for games. That’s why I’m 10 hours into Skyrim and ready to hit the eject button. I feel like I’ve seen everything it has to offer, although I’m maybe 20% through the world. F.E.A.R. 3 provides the perfect length for me. I can play it through and through, attempting to best my scores and collect all the trophies. Owning that one strength, however, is not enough for me. The story is shallow, even though it’s continuing on an established franchise. It’s to the point, but the story itself is not exactly Shakespeare. Unless you’re a die-hard fan, you won’t care about the story at all. And by the way, you do save the world. Who would have guessed?
Think of this one as an arcade game and you’ll be satisfied. While it does have a history, F.E.A.R. 3 does little to remind you of it. The best way to enjoy this game is with a friend. The co-op is fantastic and highly recommended! Not a bad game for FPS fans.