That would sound like a fairly uninspired experience, if it weren't for the gigantic, horrifying innovation Day 1 Studios has thrown in the mix: The Wall of Death. As the players shoot their way through the crowd, a towering black cloud pursues them, gobbling up any and all stragglers who rely on the safety of cover for too long.
%Gallery-119108% No shooter since Left 4 Dead punishes a players' reliance on defense quite like this -- though sallying forth with no regard for your own well-being can also result in your incapacitation. Players can revive you, though the precious seconds you waste during your First Aid maneuvers might just be enough for the Wall to envelop you or a squadmate. Leaving them behind isn't an option either; it only takes one player to be caught by the wall before the game ends.
Whether the mode will flesh out the survival-or-progress balance provided by L4D's AI Director remains to be seen, but it seems to be capable of producing similar moments of emergent panic. That's an emotion that few games are capable of effectively evoking -- but FEAR 3 looks to have it in spades.
Regardless of how much Day 1 manages to capitalize on this feeling, it's clear the developer has some good ideas for how to keep the shooter genre fresh. It's also clear that they're extremely capable mode-namers -- more than a few times, I was temped to turn to my struggling teammates, and authoritatively demand that they ... well, you know.
- Key specs
- Game format Optical disc, Downloadable
- Online features Multiplayer, Voice chat, Video chat, Store, Browser
- Drive capacity 250 GB
- Controller type Wired, Wireless
- Motion controls Accelerometer, Gyroscopic
- Video outputs HDMI (v1.3), RCA / composite
- Released 2012-09-25
Microsoft Xbox One