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F.E.A.R. Collection

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Jul 20, 2011
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to FEAR 3 review">Fear 3 - Daddy Issues



Wandering through darkened hallways with a buddy, with constant achievement pop-ups high-fiving your eyeballs every time you pick up a dozen ammo packs, it’s hard to get into the mood for horror. It’s a problem that FEAR 3 can’t resolve in its attempt to integrate co-op, and sacrificing the spooky mood reduces it to just another shooter with great action but a lot of typical problems.



As it awkwardly wedges itself into FEAR’s mythology, the plot approaches incoherence: psychic soldier Point Man once again battles the evil Armacham, a defense contractor so powerful that it can apparently conduct open warfare inside the United States; while trying to prevent his ghost-mother Alma from giving ghost-birth to the ghost-child she conceived with that other psychic commando from FEAR 2.



Pointy and the Ghost

When weak storytelling and tedious level design get out of the way, FEAR 3 shows flashes of greatness. Point Man might be a typical FPS hero with recharging health, two weapon slots, bullet-time, and a magnetic attraction to cover; but his dead psycho brother and new co-op partner Paxton Fettel can zap, stun, and even possess enemies. This power makes for deliciously chaotic battles, as both players are pushed to charge forward into close-quarters combat to feed Fettel’s need for harvesting fresh kills. The best sections are spectacular whirlwinds of bullets, grenades, knives, slide-tackles, and slow-mo headshots.







Weapons don’t have a lot of personality in general, though. There’s little in the way of recoil or beefy sound effects—even the mighty, spike-launching Penetrator is watered down and unsatisfying. But they do fill important tactical roles: aggressive enemy AI and varied combat terrain gave me ample reason to adopt different approaches, even though the encounters and boss fights mostly felt the same.



Gunplay itself is rewarding, but the campaign will frustrate both solo and co-op players. Playing the early missions with a friend, the horror theme didn’t work—rambling cutscenes and scripted scares killed the pacing. Soloing the final act was an excruciating trial-and-error slog through unbalanced encounters. Scares, such as they are, come in the form of cliché blood-spattered walls, corpse-piles, distorted visions, and annoying monsters that’re more pest than terror. There is no imagination or style here, just repeated blood-textures and shrill screams.







No safety in numbers

Multiplayer is more effective at conveying menace, chaos, and violence, and each mode cleverly twists convention. During one “Contractions” co-op survival game I was backpedaling from a pair of ax-wielding cultists and stumbled into Alma, who wanders the map at random. She instantly teleported me outside, and I had to run-and-gun my way back to my squad as cultists hunted me in the eerie mists. It’s fun in spite of the console-esque sabotage: local hosting makes for iffy connections (not that you know your ping, because FEAR 3 doesn’t tell you), and a lack of text chat in the lobby makes communication difficult when Steam’s voice chat gets choppy.







When it works—such as when the brothers eviscerate a roomful of enemies in mere seconds, or in a close-run multiplayer match—FEAR 3 is an enjoyable, even refreshing FPS. Its strong combat and clever mechanics save it from its own clumsy campaign, and it’s worth playing for those moments, no matter how hard it tries to convince you otherwise.
Jun 30, 2011
Product Update - Valve
Issues addressed in this version:
* Stuttering and jerky movement at frame rates above 30 fps is fixed!
* Steam voice communication "push-to-talk" option is now fully supported.
* 4-player voice chat should no longer have audio drop-outs.
* A rare bug that would cause enemies to stop spawning in Contractions is now fixed.
* The game will now prefer Steam cloud storage over local file system storage.
* Network connection reliability has been improved.
* Support for wider than 16x9 aspect ratio displays has been added to support users with non-standard display devices and spanned multi-monitor displays like AMD Eyefinity and NVIDIA Surround.
* An "options.cfg" file has been added to the F.E.A.R. 3 install directory for advanced user customization and troubleshooting. Included in this file are options to extend the FOV on narrow aspect ratio displays, reduce or remove motion blur, and to override driver-default settings for full-screen refresh rate, overscan, letterboxing, etc.
Jun 27, 2011
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)


F.3.A.R. has leapt into our lives with a butcher’s hook in its hand and a glint of innovative asymmetric co-op in its eye. But does it chill the blood, or simply apply a damp rag to our fevered brow? Allow me to turn dramatically to the camera and tell you Wot I Think.>
(more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

I KEEP saying I’ll do this regularly, but something about numbered lists makes me curl into a tiny ball and weep for mother. Anyway, let’s do it this week and maybe I’ll be a better boy again next week. Here’s the top ten best-selling released PC games on Steam last week, in comparison to the top 10 at UK retail. As always, there are some verrrry interesting variations, which have much to say about both Steam and retail’s own peccadilloes…
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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Pay attention, students – here’s your homework for today. Cloud gaming services such as OnLive and Gaikai: discuss. They’re on the rise, and approaching the point where they’re not just a fascinating gimmick but a viable way of playing high-end games at reasonable graphical quality. But what do they mean for PC gaming? Indeed, can they be considered PC gaming? And most of all – how seriously should we, and you, be taking them?
(more…)

Jun 20, 2011
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to This week’s releases">GDC Eve Online thumbnail



Hello and welcome to our regular round up of this week's newly released games in Europe and North America. Wallets at the ready for the shiny new games within.



Dungeon Siege 3

21st June (EU)

Price: £29.99/$49.99

Obsidian's latest outing came out last week in Europe, but lands in North America this Tuesday. You can check out the newly released demo. Get it on steam here.



F.E.A.R. 3

21st June (NA), 24th June (EU)

Price: £29.99/$49.99

The latest in the horror FPS series lands this week, pick it up on steam here.



Gods and Heroes

21st June

Price: £24.99/$49.99

The Roman themed MMO gets a global release on the 21st, you can pick up a copy from direct2drive here.



Eve: Icarna

21st June

Price: Free

Incarna is the latest Eve expansion, giving players the much anticipated ability to walk around outside their ships. Like all Eve updates this will be completely free to subscribers. If you don't yet have Eve you can get it from Steam here or download the client for free here (though you will have to pay a subscription once your 14 day trial has run out).



Last week some of you asked for more indie releases, unfortunately they can sometimes be hard to track down, so if you have any info on an upcoming indie game then please feel free to tip us off in the comments or contact us as pcgamer@futurenet.com.
Announcement - Valve
FEAR 3 is now available for Pre-Purchase on Steam! Want more FEAR? The FEAR Collection is 50% off during the Weekend Deal!

Point Man and his F.E.A.R. squad were tapped to stop an unknown man who had commandeered a secret battalion of telepathically-controlled supersoldiers. During the mission Point Man learned that the man wasn’t working alone. In fact, the very people Point Man was working to destroy were his telepathic, cannibalistic brother, Paxton Fettel, and his tortured and psychically powerful mother, Alma Wade!

May 21, 2010
Product Release - Valve

One of the great first person shooters of all time is now available on Steam. This exciting package includes F.E.A.R, F.E.A.R. Extraction Point and F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate!

Be the hero in your own cinematic epic of action, tension and terror.

...

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