previews\ Apr 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm

F.E.A.R. 3 Multiplayer


Fans of the survival horror franchise F.E.A.R. should already know about the heavy multiplayer component of the upcoming F.E.A.R. 3. Throughout the campaign, players can control the original Point Man and his disembodied ghost brother as they search for their mother, the now pregnant Alma. Alma is destroying the world with her psychic nightmares, so the campaign alone should please players who either want to go solo or team up.

During PAX East, we brought you news on just one of F.E.A.R. 3’s brand new multiplayer modes: “F**king Run!” a mode designed for those players who can’t help but charge forward into the fray. “F**king Run!” is a unique take on level-based multiplayer modes. You’ll want to read up on it here.

However, that’s not all F.E.A.R. 3 brings competitive players. There are three other competitive multiplayer modes, and while some of them are inspired by various game types in other shooters, each of these modes are unique to the F.E.A.R. universe and the horrors of demon beast Alma.

One of the more traditional modes is called Contractions. A variation on hoard mode, players are given limited resources and initially weak weapons as wave after wave of Alma’s minions advance. If you're wondering about the name, it's self-descriptive: Alma is pregnant from her last appearance in F.E.A.R. 2, and she’s actually having contractions as you play.

That’s right, this multiplayer mode is a metaphor for squeezing out a baby.

Between each contraction, players will be taking out enemy soldiers and mutants while running out to grab new supplies and weapons. With up to four players, support is required to make sure that when one player goes down, someone else is there to pick them back up. All three of the stages are designed vertically, a style both good and bad. As players get further into the contractions, fog will arise and cloak an apparition of Alma. You don’t want to mess with her, trust us. Apparently this mode was inspired by John Carpenter’s The Fog.

Once the contractions are over, players will want to try out Soul Survivor. This mode is another cooperative mode where players need to work together against a non-stop wave of enemies. With four players collaborating, eliminating opponents should be easy, but Alma has different plans. She’ll pick one of the players to become the Chosen Player, a red and bloody floating apparition that can enter the bodies of the NPC soldiers that the other three players are trying to kill. The Chosen One has pathetic health, but once he kills another player character, that person will become a spirit, as well. The round ends when all four players are killed or when the timer runs out, and points are distributed. Soul Survivor was inspired by 30 Days of Night because each player turns on their former allies.

Finally, Soul King is the last of the four multiplayer modes in F.E.A.R. 3. A competitive mode where all four players are the bloody Specters, players are graded on successfully killing other players and random NPC soldiers. Since they can possess the random enemies, moving around makes this a fast mode indeed. Souls will drop from enemy bodies, and smart players will jump in and gang up on them by sneaking around. It’s a very competitive mode and is the most aggressive of the four.

I found F.E.A.R. 3’s multiplayer modes to be quite original. It takes guts to run with something so completely different from everything else on the market. F.E.A.R. 3 thankfully has a lot more going on than the multiplayer component, but it’s nice to see some special effort being placed onto what could otherwise be an empty and thoughtless set of modes.

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