F.E.A.R. 3 returns to the story of Point Man as he continues to survive the fallout from the events of the previous games. The city of Fairport was put to the torch in order to destroy Alma and her psychotic son (also Point Man’s brother), Paxton Fettel; however, Alma survived... and she’s about to give birth to a child. Her birth contractions are sweeping over Fairport, bringing forth unspeakable horrors. Haunted by the brother he killed, Point Man is driven towards the city and Alma where he must confront his own horrific past. His agenda is unknown.
The game offers two different types of co-op play: 2-player co-op campaign and up to 4-player co-op multiplayer. Let’s take a look at the campaign first. The co-op campaign is the same as the single-player campaign as far as stories, events, and maps, etc. are concerned, so I won’t be touching upon the single-player campaign at all. The co-op campaign can be played online or locally via splitscreen on the PS3 or 360 and splits vertically with offset. Sadly, players can not play split screen with online play in the extra co-op modes. In the campaign, the host of the game plays Point Man with his or her partner playing Fettel (note: in the single-player Fettel only seems to show up during cutscenes and story bits, and not as an AI-controlled combatant).
The two brothers play completely differently, so don’t dismiss Fettel as just being a copy of Point Man with a different face. Point Man’s more of the “standard” FPS combatant, able to pick up different guns, grenades, etc. He also gets a special ability to trigger bullet time (or slow-mo) which is measured by a gauge next to your cross-hair. The gauge shows you how long you can be in bullet time and slowly refills once you’ve left it. Fettel, on the other hand, has two different types of modes: soul mode and body mode. In his normal soul mode, Fettel’s quite a bit weaker than Point Man. He can shoot red energy blasts from his hands to hurt enemies, but he can’t carry around any weapons at all. In this mode he can also shield Point Man by firing his beams at him or fire a beam at an enemy, levitating them helpless in the air. Fettel’s true strength, though, is his ability to switch to body mode.
Fettel can possess any hostile humans you come across (though this is usually Armacham soldiers, there are a few places where you can possess cultists or zombies as well). In body mode he can carry around and use weapons just like Point Man as well as having the bonus perk of getting an extra buffer to his health. If Fettel’s body gets shot at and gets to the damage point of incapacitation, the body will simply die and Fettel will rematerialize in soul form. There is a drawback, however. Bodies can only stand possession for so long before they explode in a bloody mess and Fettel’s possession ability has a cooldown (measured the same way as Point Man’s bullet time). Fettel can extend the life of a body by picking up souls from dead enemies, but in order the keep the same body, players will have to continue to kill enemies in order to supply him with souls. These two very different skill sets can lead to a lot of great co-op play in the campaign, such as having Fettel levitate enemies so Point Man can shoot them, or having Point Man go to one side of a group of enemies and Fettel possessing someone on the other side to flank a group.