F.E.A.R. 3: PAX 2010 hands-on

Have you been following the plot of the F.E.A.R series? Ha ha, that was a joke. As much as I enjoyed the first two games, about all I know is that Alma is creepy and psychic, Point Man and his brother, Paxton Fettel, are her sons, and she’s pregnant again (which is a bad thing). That’s why Point Man and Fettel team up to stop her womanly processes in F.E.A.R 3, and that’s a little different – action game as it may be,F.E.A.R.'s horror-ey elements make the “buddy cop” thing seem out of place. At least,that's what Ithought at first (ugh, does everything have to be co-op?), but after playing a level as the ghost of Fettel, I’m pretty sure it isn’t quite like that.

Fettel is able to disrupt enemies with bursts of red-glowy-psychic-bad-stuff, but more importantly, he can vault them into the air with an umbilical-cord-like stream and possess them. When Fettel has possessed someone, his body becomes theirs – it doesn’t stand around all vulnerable-like – and when they die, he returns in ghost form wherever he left them.

Without the power to possess, Fettel would be pretty useless – he can’t hold guns or any of that jazz. But his ghost form does have advantages, as his ethereal attacks can disrupt environmental elements like electrical barriers, which would otherwise fry his possessed-human flesh.

Meanwhile, Point Man has all of his abilities, including slow-motion and drawing an unusually high amount of blood from enemies. But he and his brother aren’t exactly “buddies.” They’re working together, but their relationship is tenuous (Fettel was the antagonist from the first game, if you remember).

And though they spend most of their time together, the duo does diverge paths now and then. I was assured that the balls-to-the-wall mechsuit action scenes will be properly balanced with slower, creepier moments. Here’s something creepy – Alma’s contractions disrupt space and time... I wonder what her afterbirth does.

F.E.A.R. 3 is out next year. And that was an exaggeration before, I do know more about F.E.A.R.’s plot, but since it basically comes down to, “Hey isn’t this girl really creepy?”, I figured I’d spare you.

Sep 3, 2010

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer