Want a rundown of all the F.E.A.R. games available, with brief summaries and descriptions of each? This list has everything you need.
Some of the most talked-about horror games of all time include Resident Evil, Amnesia, and Outlast, to name just a few. However, F.E.A.R., or “F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon,” to give it its full title, is one game that might be missed on that list.
While the 2005 original of F.E.A.R. was certainly impressive and had great potential, the series ultimately came to an end after only two middling sequels.
In this article, we’ll give you a quick rundown of each F.E.A.R. game in case you haven’t played any of them yet and are curious about the series.
First Encounter Assault Recon was created by Monolith and published by Vivendi. After a legal dispute between the two companies, Vivendi emerged victorious and assumed ownership of the F.E.A.R. brand. Both F.E.A.R. Extraction Point and F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate were released under the F.E.A.R. moniker, which was owned by Vivendi. After that, they planned to make a sequel to F.E.A.R., but they scrapped those plans after Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate received mixed to negative reviews.
The creators of the series, Monolith Productions, created their own sequel and held an online fan contest to determine the game’s title. Monolith was able to reclaim the F.E.A.R. brand from Vivendi and quickly follow up the original game with a sequel, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin.
The third installment, F.E.A.R. 3, was developed by Day 1 Studios after Monolith handed off the series to them.
Due to the series’ multiple creators, the F.E.A.R. timeline is split in two: the Monolith Timeline is the official canon, while the Vivendi Timeline is considered to be non-canon.
Alma Wade, a mysterious young girl who leaves a trail of death and destruction wherever she goes, is the protagonist of the F.E.A.R. series. Harlan Wade, Alma’s father, was the first to recognize his daughter’s innate psionic abilities. Harlan introduced Alma to his employer, Armacham Technology Corporation, a defense company. After ATC began experimenting on Alma, she became so terrified and enraged that she began physically harming their staff. Alma was put into an induced coma two days before her eighth birthday so that she could be used as a breeder to create psychic prototypes after it became clear that she could no longer be controlled.
Alma gave birth to two sons with psionic abilities; the Point Man and Paxton Fettel, the latter of whom was significantly more potent. Fettel went rogue when he was 10 years old and murdered several ATC researchers. ATC learned that Alma was using Fettel to escape her captivity after merging their minds in a Synchronicity Event. Alma was sacrificed to bring an end to Fettel’s killing spree, and Fettel was coerced into submission.
In 2025, when the facility housing her body is reopened by ATC president Genevieve Aristide, Alma’s spirit is reawakened. In order to achieve this goal, Alma and Fettel create a second Synchronicity Event, which awakens the Replica Forces (cloned supersoldiers designed to be psychically controlled by Fettel).
All F.E.A.R. games begin with one of these occurrences, and their effects ripple throughout Fairport. Events unfolding in the wake of Alma’s awakening are chronicled in the games, with participation from a wide range of groups. Alma plays a pivotal role in the show, often deciding what happens to other characters. Her psychic power is revealed to be so great in parts two and three that it has driven many of Fairport’s remaining citizens mad.
As the unethical defense corporation behind Alma’s monstrous rage, Armacham Technology Corporation frequently attacks the series’ protagonists to prevent them from learning the truth about Alma. The Alliance for Total Control (ATC) is split in two opposing camps: those led by Genevieve Aristide (an antagonist in F.E.A.R. 2) and those led by the ATC Board of Directors. Although they work together against the protagonists, the two groups are depicted as being at odds with one another. Numerous troops and security guards report to ATC, and they constitute a sizable portion of the antagonistic forces the player faces. The Replicas are another ATC creation; they fight in the first game under Fettel’s command, in the second game under Alma’s, and in the third game under ATC’s command.
Following the events of F.E.A.R. and F.E.A.R. 2, which chronicle the efforts of the Point Man and Michael Becket to mitigate the fallout from Alma’s release from the Origin Facility, F.E.A.R. 3 depicts the systematic destruction of Fairport as Alma gives birth to her third child. In F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn, we watch as Foxtrot 813 follows Paxton Fettel’s psychic orders.
The Vivendi add-ons depict F.E.A.R.’s frantic efforts to rein in Alma immediately after her release. The Point Man and Sergeant are being followed by the expansions.
Alma is the main source of the supernatural events that give the F.E.A.R. series its eerie atmosphere. Hallucinations related to Alma’s past are a recurring theme in the games she appears in. Her psychic power can drive sane people crazy and completely take over the minds of those with extraordinary abilities. Alma can pull characters into the Almaverse, a parallel universe created from her recollections of abuse at the hands of ATC. Monsters embodying Alma’s anxieties and anguish have manifested themselves all over the city as a result of the events of F.E.A.R. 3.
The F.E.A.R. games use a combination of first-person action and Japanese horror. The goal of F.E.A.R. is to scare the player by having Alma or her creations appear unexpectedly and making loud noises. The player is meant to feel more threatened by Alma because she is impossible to defeat.
The show’s settings range from mostly gray office environments to a colorful underground facility. The ruins of the Auburn District, where many people perished in the devastating Origin Facility Explosion, are the setting for gameplay in F.E.A.R. 2. In F.E.A.R., a sign of supernatural activity is the appearance of flickering lights. A location’s normal appearance in F.E.A.R. 2 and its expansion is suddenly distorted into an orange-red view to depict nearby activity.
Action is central to F.E.A.R., with players facing off against hordes of heavily armed foes. Players have access to a wide variety of firearms, from handguns to assault rifles to shotguns to rocket launchers. The player’s health can be restored with medkits and health boosters, and they can avoid injury from enemy fire with armor vests. However, in F.E.A.R. 3, a regenerative health system and experience points to level up in order to gain new abilities or enhance existing ones “replace” the need for Medkits and Boosters of any kind.
- Initial Encounter Assault Reconnaissance
- Project Origin, a Sequel to F.E.A.R.
- A Second Coming of F.E.A.R.
- F.E.A.R. 3
- Point of F.E.A.R. Extraction
- The Perseus Message from F.E.A.R.
- FEAR Warfare
- Origin of F.E.A.R. Online
Multiplayer modes from F.E.A.R. 3
- Soul King
- One with a Soul
- RUN LIKE HELL!
- Comics by Dark Horse
- Comic Book from DC Available Online
- The third installment of the F.E.A.R. comic
- Interviewed by Alma
- First Encounter As Resistance 2 Demo
- F.E.A.R. E3
- Field Guide to Armacham
F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon
Date of publication: October 17, 2005
Producer of the Monolithic Version
Game consoles: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows
F.E.A.R., the original and best game in the series, did a lot of things well, including the gunplay and the horror elements, and it was technically impressive, too, with graphics that were stunning for 2005 (if you had a PC that could run the game at maximum settings).
When it comes to gameplay, F.E.A.R. is a first-person shooter, and a good one at that. The game’s mechanics aren’t particularly deep, but the intense, fast-paced action of the gunfights makes up for it. F.E.A.R. is a thrilling experience from start to finish thanks to its well-crafted environments, intelligent enemies, and “reflex time” (bullet time) mechanic.
Throughout the campaign, the players were kept on the edge of their seats by more than just the combat. Each level in the game can be roughly broken down into two categories: action and exploration. The player’s primary objective in the game’s action sequences is to eliminate waves of enemy Replica soldiers, while the exploration sequences serve as a break from the action and a chance to focus on the game’s horror elements and narrative.
To be specific, the player will have the series’ signature antagonist, the spectral girl known as Alma, by their side as they search the levels for upgrades, new weapons, and story-related intel collectibles. As soon as she entered the room, the HUD would begin to flicker, signaling the player’s impending encounter with a variety of anomalies and hallucinations guaranteed to make them jump out of their seat and, on occasion, shed light on the game’s plot.
While the scares in F.E.A.R. aren’t quite as effective as they were back in 2005, the game’s action still holds up well. In fact, we’d argue that the action sequences in F.E.A.R. are on par with or even superior to those in some of today’s most popular action games.
The excellent AI, which makes the enemy feel more like a team of trained soldiers than a bunch of squirming bullet sponges with guns, is something that has already been praised. In addition, the realistic gunplay and atmospheric effects do a great job of immersing the player.
TimeGate Studios, rather than Monolith, developed the F.E.A.R. expansions Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate.
The 2006 add-on Extraction Point is the superior of the two because it stays true to the base game’s formula and tone. It included new weapons, enemies, and a new single-player campaign. Overall, it was a good expansion that was fun to play, despite being a step down from the original game, especially in terms of story.
Following that was 2007’s Perseus Mandate, which unfortunately stands as one of the franchise’s low points. The expansion maintained the features introduced in Extraction Point and added a few of its own, but it suffered from poor graphics and level design, and the horror sections mostly consisted of uninspired, repetitive jumpscares.
In sum, if you haven’t played F.E.A.R. yet, you should do so even in 2022, and if you enjoy the base game, the first expansion is also worth checking out, while the second expansion is a mixed bag.
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
Launch Date: February 10, 2009
Monolith Productions, the developer
PC (Microsoft Windows), XBox 360 (Microsoft Xbox), PS3 (PlayStation 3)
The official F.E.A.R. sequel was released in 2009, and while it was capable of standing on its own, it began moving the series in a new direction that wasn’t well received by the original game’s fanbase. The formula for F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin was largely unchanged from the original game, consisting of semi-linear levels split up into action and exploration segments.
F.E.A.R. 2 improved upon the original game by including a wider variety of enemies and allowing players to use environment objects as cover by toppling them. In addition to the standard first-person shooter/horror fare, the game also included segments of vehicle combat, i.e. combat mechs.
When compared to the original F.E.A.R., which was designed for and released on PC first, F.E.A.R. 2 shows signs of having adapted to a shifting market and intended for a console audience.
The iron sights are a relatively inconsequential example of a new feature that could prove useful in the long run. However, in practice, the shootouts were not as effective as they could have been because players were encouraged to aim down the sights instead of hip-firing like in the first game.
Then there are the scary parts, which rely heavily on staged jump scares with little to no buildup and therefore come off as cheap. Yes, those were present in the original game as well, but the darker, grittier environments served to enhance the atmosphere, the scares typically had a proper buildup leading up to them, and the overall tone of the game fit better.
In contrast, the bleak, claustrophobic, and lonely settings of the original F.E.A.R. don’t quite achieve the same effect in F.E.A.R. 2, which is full of particle effects and saturated colors and features plenty of talkative NPCs.
There was also a single piece of downloadable content for the game called F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn, which added several new missions but no major new features and served primarily to set up the story for the sequel.
Overall, we think F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is a good game in its own right, but it pales in comparison to the original in almost every way. The original game stands out from the crowd, but the sequel looks and plays like any other first-person shooter for consoles from the late 2000s or early 2010s.
Date of Publication: June 21, 2011
Day 1 Studios, the developer
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows
In 2011, the third and final mainline entry, F.E.A.R. 3, was released. You probably wouldn’t recognize it as an F.E.A.R. game if not for the logo and some familiar names.
We’ve mentioned that the second game shifted its attention to console gamers, and the third game took that trend to its logical conclusion. The game’s cover system, for example, would instantly switch to third-person view, granting the player a better look at their surroundings, but also limiting them to a maximum of two weapons at any given time.
The game also heavily emphasized cooperative gameplay, which was a major focus at the turn of the decade. F.E.A.R. 3 can be played entirely in co-op, and is actually more enjoyable when played with others than when played solo.
Therefore, F.E.A.R. 3 is not a F.E.A.R. game in any meaningful sense, despite being a competent shooter in its own right. If you took away all the recognizable elements from the first game, you’d be left with a generic cover shooter that wouldn’t stand out from the crowd of other games of its ilk that came out around the same time.
As we’ve established, F.E.A.R. 3 isn’t terrible on its own, but it is terrible as a continuation of the F.E.A.R. series, failing miserably at both the horror and atmosphere fronts. Since the game’s strongest feature is its cooperative mode, we recommend it only if you have a friend who is also interested in trying it out.
Date of publication: October 8th, 2014
Aeria Games, the creators
Operating System: Windows
F.E.A.R. Online, a multiplayer game created by Aeria Games, was the last installment in the F.E.A.R. series. The game spent several months in closed beta before releasing an open beta on Steam in October 2014, which lasted until May of the following year.
The game had a co-op mode that was heavily inspired by Left 4 Dead, in which four players work together to complete a campaign comprised of several episodes. Additionally, it included a couple of PvP modes; however, as was previously mentioned, the final game was never released.
And with that, all the F.E.A.R. games available to date have been completed.
The series had a promising beginning but faded into obscurity after a few years, as was mentioned at the beginning. A number of factors, including the shifting market, led to the premature demise of what had been shaping up to be a promising series.
The question of whether or not a proper new F.E.A.R. game will be released remains unanswered. It’s not out of the question that a new version will be created in order to cash in on the success of the original.
No new F.E.A.R. projects have been announced in years, so fans are left with little choice but to hold out hope.