Yeah, I caved. I just went out and bought all but two of the titles I planned to buy from what some might call the “November Madness” that was the release of so many highly anticipated titles. Suddenly, Uncharted 3, Skyrim, Sonic Generations and Assassin’s Creed Revelations are all in my possession, and eagerly awaiting completion. So now, this blog series is likely to turn from “Backlog Diary” to “Stuff I’ve played that’s getting in the way of Skyrim.
Not to cheapen the thrills of these games. One I’ve completed, one I’m halfway through, one I’m yet to pop in due to my plans to upgrade my TV to a 42 inch 3d Panasonic next week, and one is Skyrim. The ones I’ve played have been great (Uncharted 3 I gave an 8, and Sonic Generations is looking towards a 7 at the moment) but Skyrim is destined to dominate my time once this games have bitten the dust. And then there’s Zelda and UMvC3 to purchase (the latter sooner rather than later)
But then that shall be it. No more purchasing until the backlog is looking healthier.
In other news, due to a blown out power supply, I sought to upgrade a good deal of the innards of my PC. New case, sound card, power supply and an AMD Radeon HD 6770, which serves to be a placeholder until some money is put together for an i7 processor, new mother board, more RAM and an HD 6950/70/90 (depending on income). So now Rage is just about playable despite some graphical glitches, and will hopefully find its way onto these pages in the coming months.
But onto what I have completed; F.E.A.R. 3
I’ve been a big fan of the FEAR series, owning every game and expansion pack thus far, with only the non-canonical Extraction Point to finish. Whilst this latest instalment may be considered the least scary of them all, it definitely was the most fun to play.
Aside from Max Payne, FEAR has always been the series which did bullet-time right. There is a great sense of satisfaction in popping out of cover (which FEAR 3 deals with using the “press q to stick to chest high walls” method) hitting Shift and popping a few heads within the space of three real-time seconds, before popping back under and listening as the dead soldiers colleagues shout “Shit, his fuckin’ head!”. It’s a good thing this is so enjoyable, as you’ll spend most of the game doing it. Yes, F.EA.R. 3 is without doubt a shooter before it is survival horror.
But that’s not to say it doesn’t give you the creeps sometimes. Weird decorations and finger paintings in blood do make some areas rather foreboding, making the player walk rather than run, just in case that creepy pink thing pops out for another go at you.
I played single player rather than co-op, which is a shame, as playing as Fettel and competing for your characters unique ending is a fantastic idea that should be taken on board by some other co-op game developers. You fight together, but in your own way, you’re also battling each other in the long term, as each of you rushes for that stylish headshot or possession.
However, these backlog entries are primarily focused on single player experiences, and this one stands on its own two feet in this respect. It may not be genre defining, but some lessons could be learnt from it. My only niggles are the constant pop up telling you you’ve earnt some kind of EXP reward for doing something a certain amount of times, the rather average boss fight and closing chapter, and the lack of more supernatural enemy types, as well as the short length of four hours. However, I gladly bare in mind that this game is designed to be played through multiple times with a partner, so can forgive it on that last point.
So F.E.A.R. 3 gets a 7
from me. It hasn’t set my gaming world on fire, but it was nice change of pace from the likes of Battlefield 3 and CoD. Next time, Sonic Generation and/or Battlefield 3.