Giving Up: Fear 3

First off, I refuse to use the ridiculous actual title that the game has. Anyways, this is yet another game that I quit early. Very early, in fact: after only playing one level. And despite this, I feel like this is a game that I gave a fair chance to.  It just made such an awful first impression that I abandoned it.  I blazed through my “Giving Uprubric in record time.

In terms of story, there might as well not be one. I had no idea what was going on or why I was being beaten up in an abandoned prison, or how any of this relates to Fear 2, and the game seemed to have no interest at all in letting me know.

Mechanically, the shooting was fine, I guess, but it was pretty boring. I still don’t like cover systems on consoles that use the left stick to peak. It feels clunky. In fact, all the controls felt clunky and poorly suited to a controller. Running by clicking in the left stick, and meleeing using the right have always felt clunky, even in Call of Duty, but it’s even worse here, in a game that seemed to expect me to use both manuevers often and in concert with each other.

The shockwave of an explosion in slow motion is still a really cool graphical effect, but otherwise there was nothing at all visually impressive about the game. I really have to question the decision to lead off with a brown and grey, repetitive prison level. It does not make a good first impression. The big aggravation was that I got stuck in the big multi-level arena of the level. It turned out that there’s a control room off to the side that isn’t passed in a normal walk-through of the room. Now I found the control room eventually, but what I missed the first time was the switch off to the side to unlock the door. There’s a reason Bioshock made its switches glow so prominently. It looks a little goofy, but that’s nothing compared to the frustration of missing one and being stuck. It just smacks of a lack of testing that the switch wasn’t more prominent in my eye-line. What’s worse, what the game does draw attention to is all the locked, useless doors in the room. People keep shouting and throwing rocks through the slits in the doors. Why put that in? It’s not particularly unsettling, but it’s plenty distracting seeing as the doors are non-interactive.

Lastly, if your game is going to have asymmetrical co-op play, where different characters have different special abilities, don’t lock me into playing just the one character my first time through. Either the ghost-possession mechanic of the second character (as opposed to the time-slowing ability of the first) is a sufficiently good and compelling ability that I should be invited to try it out on my first time through, or it’s not very good, in which case why is it in the game in the first place? Don’t assume that I’m going to be interested enough to play through your levels twice in order for me to experience all the content.

So, in short, Fear 3 was a muddy, dull mess of a game, and I’m glad I’m rid of it.

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