F3AR Preview - E310
E3 2010: We take a peek inside the creepy F3AR booth for a live coop demo
FEAR 3 (aka F3AR), is an upcoming first person-shooter developed by Day 1 Studios as a sequel to the game FEAR 2: Project Origin and the third installment of F.E.A.R. series. FEAR3 will include new features such as co-op, an evolved cover system, and other general gameplay enhancements. In the game, players will be able to control both Point Man and Paxton Fettel, the protagonist and antagonist from the first game. The publishers Warner Bros Interactive had a very thematic booth setup at E3 for the game, and we dared to go inside and see the live demo presentation of the game.
The developers began the demo by describing the game a bit. The series has always been about story, combat and AI, and those are the key aspects that the development team has set out to improve on. Rather than scare players with what’s there, FEAR 3 will provide some false positives – that is, unsettling the player and then revealing nothing at all. The setup of the demo was taking place in an apartment, full of anomalies and mutants. It has been 9 months since the previous game, and things have changed. Alma is about to give birth, and the world is very uneasy. This time teaming up, Point Man and Fettel – two brothers that hate each other - are set to explore the abandoned building in hopes of finding something they need.
The live demo then began with the two development team members at the controls. The coop is said to be an integral part of the experience, hence why it was chosen to be demonstrated instead of single player. As we worked each floor room by room, Point Man usually ran ahead to spot any enemies as well as use his physic abilities to suspend the mutants in the air. Fettel would then enter the room and kill the helpless foe with his assault rifle. The game’s style is very similar to the classic series visuals, with black and red being predominant colors. As they took down enemies in the empty building, the brothers ran across a few anomalies and weird occurrences, though nothing came from it except for some blurry visuals. The combat seemed familiar to those who’ve played the previous games, and the time slowing effect was back in full force.
After clearing the house and making their way down to the ground floor, the heroes ran outside where they were met with some kind of soldiers, who were keen on riddling our characters will bullets. After dispatching them, both Fettel and Point Man actually jumped into a pair of high tech robots, and began to wreck havoc as they went from yard to yard, destroying everything and everyone in their path. During these sequences (and ones earlier), there were a few flashbacks. In the middle of a firefight, our heroes suddenly appeared on a road in a dimly lit forest. Alma whispered to them, but as they made their way along the road, the action jumped back to reality.
After using the robots to crash through a few buildings, the characters exited the machines and returned to some on-foot combat. Some combat sections and anomalies later, there was a final flashback, where we reached an overturned merry-go-round, at which point the demo concluded. These flashback sections are undoubtedly important to the story, but in the premise of the demo, didn’t make such sense nor provided any scares.
FEAR3 is set to continue the franchise that started off great but has lost some of its praise in the latest iterations. The demo only offered us the chance to see coop play, which is new to the series and it looks good. The demo was played via system link, but split screen coop is also said to be included. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the more integral parts of the series, that is single player and multiplayer, though that was attributed to work still being in progress, and to avoid spoilers for the audiences at E3. F3AR is coming this fall to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.