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Whatever Happened To... F.E.A.R?

Whatever Happened To... F.E.A.R?

Hey everyone! Has there ever been a point when you’re looking through your gaming library and wondered, “Huh, whatever happened to this series?” Well, I’ll be taking a look at videogame franchises and the lead up to their eventual absence. With that being said, today I’ll be asking the question: “Whatever Happened to...F.E.A.R?”

There are few things that can capture the sense of tension in a horror game better than what F.E.A.R itself brings to the table. Yes, there’s nothing quite like blowing away psychic enemy soldiers with shotguns and grenade launchers in close range combat… Wait. That doesn’t sound right. In all seriousness though, F.E.A.R (abbreviated from First Encounter Assault Recon) is the spitting image of what the horror and action genre look like when put together well. One could also put Doom 3 in that category, but Doom is more of a franchise known for the action rather than the scares. Whereas F.E.A.R on the other hand, brings more of a spookiness to it.

So what is F.E.A.R? Well it’s funny that I should ask that, because my first experiences with F.E.A.R were interesting right from the get go. Now, as I’m sure some of you can relate, sometimes there is a series that you end up playing in the reverse order. Whether it be Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil or what have you, there’s just that one series that you happen to find yourself playing the last game of instead of the first. For me, F.E.A.R was all that and more, not only did I play the whole series backwards, I did it years apart. Believe me, when I eventually found F.E.A.R 1 for PS3, there were fireworks going off in my head.

f.e.a.r 3

I digress though, the story to F.E.A.R is actually, for the most part anyway, fairly interesting and engaging. Throughout the first game, you take the reigns of Pointman, a real man of the point evidently, as you fight against an evil corporation known as Armacham, who on a scale of ridiculously evil is one step below Umbrella, but one above CELL from Crysis. During the length of the campaign, you uncover the dark secrets behind Armacham as you listen to office phone messages, kill dudes in armor and fight off a terrifying ghost child named Alma that can warp reality into a horrifying nightmare state… but you know, just your average Mondays. In terms of how the game did, the first F.E.A.R performed incredibly well and garnered several positive scores for it’s gameplay and atmospheric tone,

The second game in the franchise, which also was meet with the same praise, followed the same format, but this time the player took control of a one Michael Becket, a far less mute protagonist, but still the same amount of grizzled. In game, it’s all pretty much the same stuff throughout. Dudes in armor, horror happens and *Spoliers* Alma becomes a mother… Wait huh? It’s true, at the end of F.E.A.R 2, titled Project Origin, Alma does a ‘thing’ to Becket and that ‘thing’ results in a child of her very own. Frankly, the way it plays out is more disturbing than horrifying, but it still gets points all the same. Review wise, F.E.A.R 2 also did quite successfully and was well received by fans of the franchise

Now, before moving on, there were two expansion packs to the original F.E.A.R (Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate) that I would mention, but unfortunately they’ve been deemed as non-canonical. Which is a shame because they’re very well made and do a good job at expanding on the characters more.

fear3 1

Anywho, F.E.A.R. 3. So being the last entry into the series, you might be surprised to learn that F.E.A.R 3 switched up the formula a bit and presented itself as a co-op shooter. Which is kind of perplexing when you think about it. A first-person action horror game may be scary here and there, but a co-op first-person action horror game will certainly not be. Despite the above however, F.E.A.R 3 was praised for it’s well constructed co-op feature and decent overall characterisation but panned for its lack of horror and storytelling. A story, mind you, that ends with Alma giving birth while picking which of the two players she liked more and, thus, fundamentally turning the game bitter for players by alienating one of the participants, regardless of how well they actually did. Riveting stuff really.

So why hasn’t there been a recent addition to the beloved F.E.A.R franchise? Well, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that a combination of mediocre sales and lack of scares are most likely what did the franchise in (I also wouldn’t be shocked if F.E.A.R Online had a big part to play in it as well.) This is really unfortunate because I feel like there’s still a lot of potential left in the series that someone could work with, but that’s just me. All in all though, F.E.A.R is a title that, despite tripping up a bit in the third game, really just needs a fresh coat of paint to come alive once more. Until next time!

Want to read more about F.E.A.R.
Fear 1b2  Fear 2  Fear 4

Whatever Happened To
Ethan Butterfield

Ethan Butterfield

Staff Writer

Tries his best to do his best. Greatest achievement: Annoying friends for 7 years with “Haze 2 will totally be announced this year guys!”

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Dr.Ghettoblaster - 06:00pm, 27th February 2017

Man i would TOTALLY buy a remaster collection of FEAR 1-3.  I'd even welcome backwards compatibility of original FEAR 1 on XB1.  LOVED that game.

virgilmaycry - 09:05pm, 27th February 2017 Author

Right, I had a lot of fun with FEAR 1, great game.

Mister Woot
Mister Woot - 09:08pm, 27th February 2017

Alma scares me

Colt James
Colt James - 05:13am, 7th December 2019

Alma scares everyone. To me it's one reason why the games were great. But also, from playing the games, I realize just how sad her story is. Alma's father is the reason she's a monster.

GarySheppard - 06:16am, 28th February 2017

I miss that terrifying little child.

Acelister - 07:50am, 28th February 2017

And she misses you...

Richard Gonzalez
Richard Gonzalez - 09:34pm, 13th May 2017

I would really love a remastered or backwards compatibility for the Xbox one. This was a great series. I would love to replay again

Juan - 12:01pm, 16th February 2018

I want a FEAR Chronicles, episodic games, where we follow several members of FEAR throughout the world and ages fighting anomalous dangers and acquiring new powers to be up to the objectives, but with the ever present threat of becoming what they fight.

Sovauthority - 05:08am, 13th June 2018

FEAR 3 ruined the life of the franchise (similarly like Dead Space 3 did for Dead Space franchinse).

Being made by a different developer (yes, in "collaboration" with Mololith Studios, is not the same), with a highly inferior, made for consoles engine, whereas the first FEAR game was a PC exclusive with the LithTech Jupiter EX engine pushed to the max, there were many graphics, phyiscs, textures (especially textures) that were much superior compared to FEAR 3.

This type of conception between the PC community started since FEAR 2. Although it used the same (but updated) engine as FEAR 1, it was still downgraded to be ported to consoles. FEAR 3 was downgraded even more from Day 1 Studios engine.

Solution: For everyone to be happy, make a remastered version of all FEAR games (there's a mod called FEAR Complete which is free and combines all FEAR 1 expansions into 1 game), but with a modern engine (such as Middle-Earth engine used by Monolith). Gears of War did this with their Ultimate Edition pack where the first 3 games were remastered into Unreal Engine 4. Then, if the Ultimate Edition is profitable, use that profit to make FEAR 4.

How to make everybody satisfied with FEAR 4: Warner Brothers should give complete development to Monolith Studios. Monolith (which has experience in this) should make a the game using the remastered engine BUT make the PC version a superior version compared to consoles (like Dying Light, Dragon Age Inquisition, among other titles made by developers that harness the power of PC  Gaming platforming).

Colt James
Colt James - 05:24am, 7th December 2019

To me, ported from PC to console or vice versa isn't why FEAR 3 didn't do well. It was the story/jump scares or lack there of. It's like they tried too hard. Or in this case, didn't try hard enough. Go into Wade Elementary and most of the jump scares, in my opinion were gone. Oh, we'll just have Alma throw all these 'shadow figures' at you. Have fun. I don't want the same game with 'updated' graphics and call it Remastered like some posted. I want it to be like.. Resident Evil 2. The games to be rebuilt from scratch so the graphics are so much better. Or is that just me?

Reican - 11:51pm, 4th July 2018

I kind of liked F.E.A.R. 3. it closed the chapter of Alma, ( whom i kinda just flelt sorry for after the revelations in the first game) 

A F.E.A.R. 4 could base itself around her child. being half human half ghost it's powers should be increased.  But at a stage, uncontrolled perhaps?  And other facilities, after the final death of Alma and the birth of her kid could have sent tremors, waking others like her. Imagine a nightmare terror on a global scale. And Almas child being hunted by a group who wish to harness her powers to take control of the other specters. while on the other side, specters that seek to claim her as one of their own.

Being assisted by her brother ( if we are assuming the "good" ending) she and some soldiers need to seek out facilities and since she is part ghost  she might be able to merge with them and "enter the minds" of the ghosts and fight whatever nightmarish demon that torment their dreams, to calm their terrorizing escapades.  Meanwhile the soldiers need to fight off whatever comes to stop her from doing whatever she is doing. Put a sort of "Insidious" feel to it, which ought to match a horror games characteristics. 

The Hooded Man
The Hooded Man - 11:52am, 26th July 2018

To be honest the F.E.A.R. Series is the best games I’ve played but yes I agree the 3rd game lacked in scares and story but if we look past that the other 2 games were great but if they must take a step back into the game they might as well remaster them or scrap the games and recreate the first F.E.A.R. game it might be interesting to see but I leave that up to the devs who own the game. Even so I think bringing this game back up to speed with new generation players might be a good idea since it probably scare the crap out of them.

UL Eclipse
UL Eclipse - 02:03am, 12th September 2018

I love playing the FEAR games, I know that the 3rd one killed it but I did enjoy the 3rd one. I think what they should do is look back at the first 2 and the DLC campaign and look at the bad reviews on the third and ask everyone what they like to see in the campaign and online too and go from there. Also doing a remastered ones of the old fears will give players that haven’t played it for a long time or the players that never played it something new and get everyone who enjoys fear ready for the 4th one and maybe more

Jacob Burns
Jacob Burns - 11:45pm, 20th September 2018

Personally: I feel the main thing that makes F.E.A.R have ruined potential, is the focuss on Alma. Seriously, with the First Encounter Assault Recon as a concept they could have expanded into other potential supernatural threats that could be just as scary. If only oeople involved had a little more creativity.

Juan - 08:13am, 21st September 2018

Alma is the true protagonist of FEAR and her story had only started in the first part, so she deserves a trilogy. What I agree is that after FEAR 3 they could have made other games focused on other cases of this elite team, in other times and with other protagonists.

Bettyboo - 03:16pm, 26th June 2019

I have played the first 2 F.E.A.R games, however I kinda thought the 3rd one was the 1st hahaha , but I really liked it. I wish they'd bring out the 4th I wanna see what happens sooooo bad. I think that they did a great job creating it, I got scared a few times, specially with the weird creatures on all fours. But perhaps the creators could shed some light as to why they're not bringing out a 4th.

--1561558738 - 03:20pm, 26th June 2019

Sorry I meant I haven't played the first 2 oops. Darn autocorrect

InsaneTiger - 10:47pm, 16th June 2020

I too always wanted a 4th installment, but at the same time, I had concerns about it.

As you said, FEAR 3 was not as good, (though I still enjoyed it immensly) so that kinda hampered the series. 

But also, I think what did it in was that the developers really wrapped up the trilogy's story and narrative pretty nicely, almost too well, which really did not leave much of an opening to continue the story in a 4th installment. Yeah, maybe it could be about Alma's child, but I don't think it would have the same feel. Alma IS FEAR. And FEAR IS Alma. It would not be the same without that little girl in the red dress standing motionless in the shadows, her eery giggles reverberating around you. 

As much as I would have enjoyed a 4th, I am ultimatly glad they didn't, because without Alma, it's NOT FEAR. 

FEAR Player
FEAR Player - 06:49pm, 8th December 2021

Modern game engines are boring, typically just UE4 or Unity or etc with some tweaks, they all play the same and they're all dumbed down for gamepads from the design/development philosophy of being lazy (hence using premade engines).

I'd much rather see them bring back the FEAR 1 engine and updating it instead. There's still a lot of stuff in FEAR 1 that is missing from modern games, stuff you don't realize you miss until you go back and play it (and I don't mean play it to beat it as fast as possible and call it done, play it to explore and hit props and lights and screw around).

Damian - 06:20pm, 7th August 2023

I have the Steam trilogy but I have never been interested in playing 2 and 3. I just play 1 + expansions over and over changing dynamics to make it fresher (like no using the G2A2 rifle for more than 5 minutes until I find a suitable replacement).

I'm not an avid player generally, and other FPS fail to captivate me. Especially those with the classic status of FEAR 1. If there's some thought into making new FEAR content, please reduce the extremely long abandoned places or sewage passages (as in FEAR 1 and Extraction Point), since they're clichéd. I'd find more fun to have spooky stuff and battles happening in active places as in Times Square (just to make a point) and maybe have the little joy of actually saving someone. And as per I've seen for FEAR 2 and 3, make the grenades and shotgun great again, and eliminate BS weaponry that looks strong but isn't and cartooney stuff like shining enemies in low-mo.

I'd be avid to have a reboot of FEAR 1 including more diversity of enemies and places, respecting most of the original weaponry or replacing it with equivalent and as powerful alternatives, but without focusing too much into graphics but in gameplay and story.