April 20, 2011

Will F.E.A.R. 3 Revolutionize Multiplayer?

The F.E.A.R title is known almost entirely for one thing: scaring the crap out of you as you go from one stage to the next. But is it possible that the new release, F.E.A.R. 3, is going to reinvent multiplayer gameplay for future first person shooters? The simple answer is, maybe.

In F.E.A.R.’s new release, the idea of the traditional team deathmatch is nonexistent, but with the cutback of the traditional modes comes the addition of new F.E.A.R. exclusive modes, one of which being “F*****g Run.” This game mode involves the player and his/her team running from a fog that wants to end your life known as the “Wall of Death.” The idea is simple enough, but the method of success is just the opposite. The player and team must continuously run from the fog all the while collecting ammo, different guns, and blasting away at gun wielding enemies.

The game becomes increasingly more difficult with the idea that all players must successfully complete the map, meaning simply that one player cannot carry the team to the victory, but rather must help the team to bring themselves to victory. While we have come accustomed to the idea of team deathmatch, it is clearly apparent that the idea of F*****g Run actually puts more emphasis on the team and less on the death, which is the whole reason for multiplayer in the first place.  

This game mode sounds awesome to me. I feel like having the Wall of Death on your back during game play will bring a new spin to the old fashioned “run and gun” idea. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, and how much the Wall of Death not only effects gameplay, but becomes a factor in the actions and steps you take as you go though each level.

            “Contractions,” another one of the multiplayer game modes, puts your team in a safe house against an endless supply of enemies launching attacks that occur in waves. Safe houses have been used in many of my favorite titles such as The Godfather, GTA, and Red Dead Redemption. The difference in F.E.A.R. 3 is that the enemy doesn’t stop attacking you when you go into your safe house, but rather continues their onslaught on not only you, but on the house you thought was safe. The idea is similar to that of Nazi Zombies, which made such a splash in the Call of Duty titles.  You are trying to protect your surroundings in the onslaught of endless waves of enemies, while restocking weapons, rebuilding barriers, and making sure that you are always prepared for the next wave. I had a great time playing zombies in the Call of Duty titles, and I feel that Contraction mode will be just as, if not more than, fun as that.

              Two other modes the game uses are Soul Survivor and Soul King. Soul Survivor takes a group of four and randomly chooses one to become a spectre, whose soul job  (see what I did there?) is to turn the other players in to spectres also. The idea is that the game becomes more difficult as the number of spectres increases and the number of humans decreases. For those of you lucky enough to remember playing “zombies” on Halo 2, or even in Modern Warfare 2, you will feel quite comfortable in this game mode. The difference is this game is able to keep track of its progression, which keeps the player from having to go to the option mode and switch colors to represent a zombie after being killed--or at least pretending to do so.

 In Soul King, all players are spectres, and must possess human beings to take out one another and collect dropped souls that appear after each player is eliminated.  I think that this mode will be similar to what we have seen first person shooters do in the past, but with a spin, in that players are after the dropped souls and not entirely after the mass killing spree. I enjoy the idea of this game mode as I think it may be more involved than the traditional “kill everybody” idea that has been the subject of so many other first person shooter games.

I feel that the games have become so narrow as far as the options for different modes of gameplay, that they may have been backing themselves into a corner as far as game types. F.E.A.R 3 not only moves away from the corner, but runs out of the corner with guns blazing. Will F.E.A.R. 3 revolutionize multiplayer gaming modes for the future? Maybe, but I, for one, sure hope so!


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