Just hold him there, okay?
The campaign in F.E.A.R. 3 is divided into eight chapters total with the “target time” of each usually being somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes. Each chapter is sandwiched between two cinematics which are sometimes about events going on currently and sometimes reveal some details about the brothers’ pasts. These cinematics do a decent job of tying the chapters together into a story, but the chapters themselves are usually more about the action and less about the story, which was fine by me. I myself haven’t played any of the other F.E.A.R games and while I’m sure I missed some nuances in the story or nods to plots of previous games, I never felt completely lost as to what was going on. The chapters do a good job of covering a diverse array of area types (from a warehouse to the highway to a residential area) and keeping the action going. Chapters often supply something akin to a boss or a miniboss fight where the players must take down a mech or a souped-up Armacham soldier. Sometimes you can even shoot down helicopters with rocket launchers! These boss fights are usually pretty fun, but sometimes just what you’re supposed to do may be unclear and you may have to reload a few times when you both get incapped from some mech beams to the face. The checkpoints are frequent, though, so this isn’t usually an issue.
So what about the multiplayer, you ask? F.E.A.R. 3 provides a total of four multiplayer modes, two of them competitive (Soul King and Soul Survivor) and two of them co-operative (Contractions and F**king Run!). Each multiplayer mode has three maps available for play with no overlapping of maps between modes, which is pretty nice. You can also set the number of players anywhere between 2 and 4 (or even play a solo practice round if you’d like). Soul King plays as a kind of a competitive collection game where all players play as Spectres who are trying to kill humans and collect the largest number of souls to win. Soul Survivor plays like a Vampire game where one player at the beginning of the round is chosen to be the Spectre with the rest of the players play F.E.A.R squad members. The Spectre’s goal is to utilize the AI enemies on the map to take out the other players and turn them over to the Spectre side. The F.E.A.R squad members goal is to survive as long as possible, with the last surviving member given the chance to escape and win.
Why yes, yes this is mech co-op
The two co-op modes cast players as F.E.A.R. squad members. In Contractions players work together to fight off waves of enemies who are besieging them in a central area. It plays pretty similar to Killing Floor or COD’s Zombies mode with players being able to board up their fortress inbetween rounds just so those jerks of Armacham soldiers can break them down again. There are some interesting twists, however. Sometimes Alma will show up in the middle of a wave to make your life even harder, shooting or even looking at her can cause your screen to go black or be randomly warped to another area in the level. Also, weapon crates and ammo caches are outside your fortress area and will have to be brought inside inbetween waves if you want to utilize them.
F**king Run on the other hand plays completely different than Contractions. As opposed to camping out the place, F**king Run has players constantly moving forward, fleeing Alma’s Wall of Death behind them while they try to gun down the enemies in front of them. Incapped players will have to be revived because if the Wall of Death touches any player, its game over for everyone. Once you complete a stage of a map, you’ll be given a little safe area to restock on supplies before you start the next mad dash to safety.