Why Alma still matters
Released for the PC in 2006, the original FEAR game was a high-water mark at the time, both in technical achievement and in the way it blended first-person shooting with supernatural chills.
Two sequels down the line and the FEAR franchise is looking considerably less ground-breaking but it still has a few cunning tricks up its sleeve.
After a brief dalliance with an alternative lead character in FEAR 2: Project Origin, FEAR 3 puts the player back in the combat boots of the original protagonist, special forces operative Point Man, though it is also possible to play as Paxton Fettel, the first game's bad guy turned undead anti-hero.
Each character plays out quite differently, with Point Man more of a traditional run-and-gun type and Paxton able to use his supernatural powers to possess other characters throughout the game. A Paxton-playable version of each level is unlocked once you have played through as Point Man and it's well worth experiencing each mission from both characters' points of view.
As well as being effectively two single-player games in one, FEAR 3 also offers a co-operative mode in which two players go through the campaign together as Point Man and Paxton. Several multiplayer modes are available as well, making it possible to extend the game's lifespan and interest level long after the point when similar titles have lost their allure.
The main campaign's story – which, once again, centres on the influence of unruly ghost girl Alma – will be familiar to existing fans of the series, but there are a couple of twists. Horror legend John Carpenter and comic book writer Steve Niles were both drafted in to help raise the script's fear factor: the fast-paced action is interspersed with moments of heart-pounding terror.
The game's sound is very atmospheric, while its graphics are fairly good, particularly at higher settings (click here to see the technical requirements before buying). It's also worth noting that FEAR 3 can often be gory which is why there's a horror-film-like 18 certificate on the box.
It isn't as pioneering as the original but FEAR 3 is one of the more interesting titles on shelves over-saturated with samey shooters.
Age rating: 18
Read more reviews
It's not as pioneering as the original but FEAR 3 is one of the more interesting titles on shelves stacked with samey shooters
The campaign can be played from two different perspectives; co-op mode; great spooky sound design
Plot is a bit muddled
Updating your subscription status