The F.E.A.R. series is a series of horror first-person shooters set around Alma Wade, the silent protagonists that the player controls and several mysterious events. The canon content in the series is developed by Monolith Productions and Day 1 Studios, with two non-canon expansions having been developed by Vivendi.
The series has received strong sales and critical acclaim. Its success has spawned a comic series, a live-action video and numerous promotional media.
The original game, F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon, was developed by Monolith and distributed by Vivendi. However, a split between the two companies ended in Vivendi taking control of the F.E.A.R. name. Vivendi used the F.E.A.R. title to release F.E.A.R. Extraction Point and F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate. Afterwards, they began plans to produce a direct sequel to F.E.A.R., but poor critical reception to Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate caused them to drop the idea.
Monolith Productions, the series' original developer, put into production their own sequel, which included an online fan contest to decide the game's name. Eventually, Monolith was able to buy back the F.E.A.R. name from Vivendi, and soon released a sequel to F.E.A.R., F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin.
Monolith then handed the series over to Day 1 Studios, who developed the third installment, F.E.A.R. 3.
Because of this juggling of multiple developers, the F.E.A.R. series is split into two timelines, with the Monolith Timeline acting as the official canon, and the Vivendi Timeline being considered as non-canon.
The F.E.A.R. series revolves around Alma Wade, a mysterious little girl who causes death and destruction wherever she goes. Alma was born gifted with psionic powers, which her father, Harlan Wade, noticed. Harlan introduced Alma to the defense corporation he was employed by, Armacham Technology Corporation. ATC began to experiment on Alma, causing her to become so scared and angry that she would attack ATC's employees. Realizing Alma could no longer be controlled, she was put into an induced coma two days before her eighth birthday, with the intention of using her as a breeder to create psychic prototypes.
Alma birthed two sons, the Point Man and Paxton Fettel, both of whom showed psionic powers, though Fettel was much more powerful than his brother. At the age of 10, Fettel went rogue, attacking and killing several ATC scientists. ATC discovered Alma had merged her mind with Fettel's in a Synchronicity Event, and was using him to free herself from her entrapment. To end Fettel's killing spree, Alma was killed, and Fettel was forcibly brought back under control.
Twenty years later, in the year 2025, Alma's spirit is awakened when the facility where her body is held is reopened by ATC president Genevieve Aristide. To this end, Alma creates a second Synchronicity Event with Fettel, causing the Replica Forces, cloned supersoldiers specifically created to be psychically controlled by Fettel, to awaken and begin following Fettel's orders.
These events are the catalyst for all F.E.A.R. games, effecting the entire city of Fairport. The games follow the ensuing events after Alma's awakening, with various organizations becoming involved in the chaos. Alma acts as a dominant figure in the series, often controlling or influencing the fates of other characters. In the second and third installments, her psychic power is shown to be so great that she has driven many of the surviving citizens of Fairport into madness.
Armacham Technology Corporation, the unethical defense corporation responsible for the monstrous rage of Alma, acts as a secondary antagonist in the series, often attacking the protagonists to stop them from uncovering Alma's story. ATC is divided into two factions: one is controlled by Genevieve Aristide, who acts in an antagonistic role in F.E.A.R. 2, and the other is directed by the ATC Board of Directors. The two sides are seen to be in direct opposition, though they both act against the protagonists. ATC has several troops and security guards who answer to them, and these enemies make up a sizable portion of the enemy forces encountered by the player. ATC is also responsible for the creation of the Replicas, who fight under the control of Fettel in the first game, then Alma in the sequel, and finally ATC in the third installment.
F.E.A.R. and F.E.A.R. 2 follow the Point Man and Michael Becket as they attempt to halt the fallout of Alma's release from the Origin Facility, with F.E.A.R. 3 showing the systematic destruction of Fairport as Alma goes into labor with her third child. F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn follows Foxtrot 813 as he responds to the psychic commands of Paxton Fettel.
The Vivendi expansions show the immediate aftermath of Alma's release, as F.E.A.R. scrambles to contain her. The expansions follow the Point Man and the Sergeant.
The F.E.A.R. series is heavily steeped in the supernatural, with Alma providing the mass of these occurrences. Throughout each game, Alma causes hallucinations in the characters, oftentimes related to her history. Her psychic influence is capable of driving normal people to madness, and can overtake the minds of others who exhibit unnatural abilities. Alma is capable of drawing characters into the Almaverse, an alternate version of reality borne of Alma's memories of her horrific treatment at the hands of ATC. By the events of F.E.A.R. 3, the Almaverse has broken into the real world, causing monsters representing Alma's fears and pains to manifest all over the city.
The F.E.A.R. series relies on first person action, mixed with J-Horror. F.E.A.R. acts to scare the player with random appearances of Alma or her creations, often accompanied by sudden loud sound effects. Alma is designed to be an unbeatable enemy, serving to frighten the player more than an easily killable enemy could.
Locations in the series vary, ranging from primarily grey office spaces to a brightly colored secret facility. F.E.A.R. 2 features gameplay in the destroyed Auburn District, where the remains of locals killed in the catastrophic Origin Facility Explosion can be seen. In F.E.A.R., flickering lights act as a signal that something supernatural is occurring in the player's vicinity. F.E.A.R. 2 and its expansion show a sudden change from a location's normal appearance to a distorted orange-red view to depict nearby activity.
F.E.A.R. relies heavily on action gameplay, involving players being confronted by large groups of enemies, many of them armed. Players are well armed with various types of weaponry, including various handguns, assault rifles, shotguns and even rocket launchers. Medkits and Health Boosters heal the player character, while Armor Vests keep them protected from the effects of enemy gunfire. However, in F.E.A.R. 3, there are no Medkits or Boosters of any sort, these are "replaced" by a regenerative health system and experience points to level up to gain new abilities or enhance existing ones.
- F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon
- F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
- F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn
- F.E.A.R. 3
- F.E.A.R. Extraction Point
- F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate
Multiplayer modes from F.E.A.R. 3Edit