F.E.A.R. 3 Interview (PC)

Straight after our recent preview session with F.E.A.R. 3’s multiplayer we sat down with producer at Warner Bros Games Ernest Zamora Jr. to find out a little more about the return of Alma.

Strategy Informer: Having levelled up during our play session here there’s clearly some sort of ranking system. How will it work in the long run?

Ernest Zamora Jr: Ranking is across both campaign and multiplayer. Each has their own scores which don’t necessary tie together but as you increase in one or the other your overall rank will increase.
Strategy Informer: When I ranked up I unlocked a slide kick ability. Do you earn a lot of new moves and will there be other types of upgrades?

Ernest Zamora Jr: The sliding attack is one of the earlier things that you unlock when you rank up. For the most part you don’t unlock additional moves. As you rank up you’ll gain additional slow-mo time as Point Man you’ll also gain the ability to carry additional ammo and your health will regenerate faster or increase overall. With Fettel you’ll have the same health improvements but the great thing about him when you rank up is that your possession mechanic will last longer.

Strategy Informer: On the topic of the story mode, you guys have been touting what’s being called the Generative Scare System. What is it and how does it work?

Ernest Zamora Jr: Instead of scares being scripted events they happen procedurally. The cool thing is that if I were to play through as Point Man I might see a certain set of scares but if I played through as Fettel I’d see a different set. For example, you might see Alma pop up in a different spot the second time around.

Strategy Informer: Is this present in multiplayer at all? The Fucking Run mode seemed like there were procedurally generated elements in play.

Ernest Zamora Jr: In terms of enemy A.I. placement and numbers of A.I. that varies depending how many players there are in the world. That’s also true of single player and co-op campaign – you’ll have more enemies in co-op and they’ll also react a bit differently given the fact that Point Man and Fettel are both there. In terms of generative scares there aren’t a tonne if any at all in multiplayer that I’m aware of.
Strategy Informer: Is it possible to play any mode across the different maps? I only ask because the four different multiplayer modes seem very specific to the maps we played on. Having a safe house around was crucial to the Contractions mode, for example.

Ernest Zamora Jr: We call the maps Scenarios since they’re tailored made for each mode. The maps don’t make sense across all modes since they’re finely tuned to work well with their modes. The most obvious example of that is Fucking Run where you have to keep moving up a giant path reaching checkpoints; that simply wouldn’t work with any of our other modes.

Strategy Informer: Does F.E.A.R. 3 represent the conclusion of the F.E.A.R. story arc?

Ernest Zamora Jr: You can definitely think of F.E.A.R. 3 as wrapping up the story of F.E.A.R. 1 and 2, and so in that sense the entire series can be thought as a trilogy. The story of F.E.A.R. 3 really is the story of the family, the brothers Point Man and Fettel. It tells of their back-story that was only alluded to in the first two games, it’s really cool because you’ll see a lot of that take place before you in F.E.A.R. 3.

With that said, we really made an effort to simplify the story and so for folks that aren’t familiar with the franchise they get the story of the brothers. We don’t have a lot of the voice recordings that we had in F.E.A.R. 1 and 2 to flesh out the story, all of it is told through cinematics and in-game events.

Strategy Informer: Was this direction influenced by the presence of John Carpenter and Steve Niles?

Ernest Zamora Jr: Absolutely. Working with Steve and John was awesome. Steve Niles lent his hand in crafting the story, both Steve and John play games, so [Steve] got what we were trying to do with the story of the brothers and the co-op elements. In helping craft the story he helped inject a lot of horror elements that helped us out a tonne.

John Carpenter consulted our biggest horror moments and cinematics. Since we’re telling the majority of our story in our cinematics F.E.A.R. 3 it also helped out a lot.
Strategy Informer: Day 1 Studios has taken over the F.E.A.R. franchise from Monolith Studios. What’s story behind this move?

Ernest Zamora Jr: The simplest answer is that F.E.A.R. 3 was already in development before F.E.A.R. 2 finished. The reason for that was so we could truly give it the time to implement all these innovative features we had planned. In order to bring co-op to the franchise as well as these unique multiplayer modes we felt we needed that additional time so we started the project early.

In addition to that we had lots of folks from Warner Bros working hand-in-hand with Day 1 in various stages of development. Day 1 worked on the console ports of F.E.A.R. 1 so they were very familiar with Monolith folks and the key tenants of F.E.A.R.; the frenetic combat, the horror, and so it just was a great fit.

Thanks to Ernest and the folks over at Warner Bros for taking the time to talk to us. Check out our accompanying preview for our impressions of the game itself.