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  • Awesome Music:
    • "Four Rusted Horses" by Marilyn Manson was used in the launch trailer for F.E.A.R. 3. Here is the launch trailer and the song itself.
    • But even more awesome is the song that plays during the credits, if only for its thematic significance: "Mother" by Danzig.
    • Also a Moment of Awesome for the developers, considering Manson hates licensing his songs, and prefers to just make new ones for stuff instead (like the one in John Wick), since he'd rather it be designed for the work.
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  • Contested Sequel: Project Origin is perhaps the most divisive game in the series. While it is widely considered to be better than F.3.A.R., most debates revolve around how it lives up to the first game.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Paxton Fettel, the cannibalistic, oedipal psychic from the first game. He's disturbing to watch all right, but also smooth and effortlessly badass, not to mention having a very solid motive to go after Armacham.
    • Alma Wade, the creepy, stringy-haired little girl. Not only is she already dead, she only exists in spectre form due to her incredible power. Her backstory is incredibly tragic, and she carves a swath through every single foe sent after her with no effort.
  • Critical Dissonance: F.3.A.R. received a fairly positive reception by critics, with some even declaring it one of the best shooters of the year, but fans were not nearly as pleased. A look at the Metacritic page shows a critic score of 74 and a user rating of 5.8.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • In the multiplayer of the original F.E.A.R. and F.E.A.R. Combat, there is only the G2A2 assault rifle and nothing else. The fact that most of the maps are close-quarters type didn't help.
    • In the single player, you'll rarely find anyone who doesn't use the shotgun in one of their three weapon slots. There are a few reasons: one, it's useful in just about every situation, as it has decent range, can be useful for suppressing fire (which enemies do respond to) and is deadly up close; two, it's the loudest thing on earth (and thus very satisfying to use); three, it's almost impossible to run out of ammo for it, since extra shotguns are everywhere once you have access to it and it has the best ammo-pickup rate in the game (it's the only gun to give you one full magazine when you pick up a copy from an enemy, to say nothing of getting two for other pre-placed copies and starting with three when you first grab one); and four, when you're wandering around a dark, spooky hallway with scary noises all about, perhaps the best thing to keep you safe is the knowledge that whatever's coming for you, it'll have to deal with a few dozen pellets coming straight at their face before it can get to you.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • The first game brings us Paxton Fettel and the Replica Forces. Between the smart AI and badass designs of the Replica Forces, and Fettel's general extent of Creepy Awesome, they make for interesting and cool villains. Fettel returns in Extraction Point, F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn, and F.3.A.R.
    • Alma, obviously. As the developers themselves put it, "When a little girl tears her way through Delta Force, what are you supposed to think?" She may be a child, but her tragic backstory and power alone make her an intimidating threat. Averted in the sequels. In 2, her actions are simply sickening, and in 3, she's more pitiful and sad than badass.
  • First Installment Wins: The first game remains the most respected in the series by both fans and critics. Project Origin has a small but dedicated fanbase for its dark themes and storytelling, but it's nowhere near the size of the first, and the less said about the third game, the better.
  • Foe Yay: Becket and Alma.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Stokes asks Snake Fist who Alma is. Snake Fist replies "She's the mother of the apocalypse!", an amusingly unhelpful description that becomes somewhat less amusing in light of the game's ending.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Due to how the physics engine is coded in, playing the first game on a computer with a monitor that refreshes with a framerate above the usual can cause some... funny effects on corpses you disturb.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the meanings players gave F.E.A.R. was "Fuck Everything And Run" (although that one is an old A.A. saying, its counterpart on the other side of sobriety being "Face Everything And Recover"). In F.E.A.R. 3, one of the multiplayer modes involves doing mostly this and is called "F**king Run".
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Half of the disastrous events of the games could have been avoided if not for the awful business decisions taken by Armacham's heads. They aren't even sure thay have complete control over the psychics they are cultivating, yet they still ditch any further research and instead invest millions on a project based on an application of the psychics' abilities that is both counterintuitivenote  and dangerousnote . The result is, of course, a project that gets completely out of hand at the first trouble for even a Mega-Corp like them.
    • The other half of the disasters come from US government's equally awful management of the situation. Even if they are trying to keep the affair secret to avoid general panic, there is no conceivable reason for them to act so shy towards a rogue battalion that is already killing civilians and carrying on terrorist attacks in major cities. Instead of summoning all the military and coordinating an operation to wipe out the rogues – super soldiers or not, they lack heavy vehicles, have little aerial support and are easy to track by satellite – or at least contain them until a specialized unit can take down their psychic commander – which is admittedly difficult, but clearly the best option if they are so desperate to avoid a direct battle and/or save resources of the project –, they leave them unconfronted and opt to call an unit of ghost busters for the obviously unrelated-to-ghostbusting takedown. And when that plan fails, they still leave the rogue army unrestricted and keep trying to solve the situation through minuscule infantry teams with no support whatsoever. The only reasons why they don't end up with a complete disaster are that the battalion is fortunately following very specific orders and that the ghost busters happen to have their own Badass Abnormal thanks to a secret plan that isn't even the government's.
  • It Was His Sled: F.3.A.R. is built off the twist endings of both games prior: Paxton Fettel being the Point Man's brother and Alma being their mother, and Alma raping Beckett.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Genevieve Aristide and Harlan Wade. Which of these two is worse is up to you. For your consideration: Harlan was responsible for Alma's forced impregnation - and was the sperm donor, basically knocking up his own daughter, twice. Then he took both of Alma's children away from her before locking her up in the vault, raised them from birth to be psychic killers, and as far as we know, threw one (the Point Man) out to fend for himself when he wasn't successful, while locking the other (Fettel) in essentially a private jail after he went berserk from Alma's influence and killed about a dozen people. Aristide, meanwhile, is your typical Pointy-Haired Boss taken to sociopathic extremes, completely refusing to accept the blame for any fallout from her boneheaded decisions, listen to more reasonable alternatives (no matter how often she claims to do both) or even learn from previous mistakes, and in fact actively accelerates most of the bad things that happen in the second game in her zeal to recapture Alma just to save her job, no matter how much people much smarter than her insist the plan will not work, period.
    • Paxton Fettel crosses this if you win F.3.A.R.'s campaign as Fettel. For someone obsessed with talking about his mother with his brother, it's horrifying to see Fettel absorbing Point Man's body to eat his mother. It's easy to lose any sympathy for him after seeing this ending.
    • Alma may be a Tragic Villain, but that flies right out the window when she rapes Becket. However, F.3.A.R. may bring a player back to sympathy. May.
  • Narm:
    • Stokes' line: "What the FUCK is going on? FUCK!"
    • The trailers for F.E.A.R. 3 - especially the lines "Mother is expecting again" and "It's not every day we get to meet... a new member of the family", accentuated by the fact that the voice over sounds like something out of a grindhouse film.
  • Nightmare Retardant: At the morgue in Extraction Point, when you are fully trapped in Alma's realm as it takes the shape of a prison/asylum holding the ghosts of people she felt vengeful against, you can enter an empty cell, and the door closes behind you. By a combination of The Walls Are Closing In and Descending Ceiling, you are forced to stand near the locked door and look through the peephole at her on the other side... at least until you glitch through one of the moving walls.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • This is brought in full with Jankowski's ghost; at various points across the game (and some of the expansions), you'll hear his voice echo, "Is someone there?".
    • There's a scene in F.E.A.R. where you get out of an elevator, walk maybe ten feet away and press a button or two to get the elevator working again. Then you look up and Alma is standing there, between you and said elevator.
    • The Assassins and their cloaked nature makes this inevitable, because there are several points in the game where you either spot an Assassin out the corner of your eye as they run into a duct or over a wall, or can hear the distinct electronic whirring sound of their cloaks activating or deactivating.
    • In the same vein as Assassins, there are the Shades in the
  • Porting Disaster: F.E.A.R. for the PlayStation 3 got a better exclusive weapon than the Xbox 360 version (an automatic shotgun that didn't sacrifice any of the existing weapon's range or power, rather than a dinky machine pistol that sacrificed power and accuracy for fire rate and capacity, and took over half the spawns of the more useful RPL), but was otherwise an incredibly unrefined and choppy rushjob of a port even compared to the 360 version, which itself had problems compared to the PC original, and was pretty much abandoned after release (the PS3 never even got either expansion). It may have even been partially responsible for the PS3's early bad reputation, with several review sites blaming the poor performance of the port on the PS3's "inferior" hardware, despite the PS3 actually being the most technically-capable console of that generation.
  • Sequelitis:
    • The sequels aren't held in as high regard as the original F.E.A.R. for a variety of reasons, with the primary concern being how they were made with consoles in mind first, but F.3.A.R. in particular was derided for being a generic spunkgargleweewee with a neat gimmick in the asymmetrical co-op.
    • The Vivendi expansion packs are also polarizing, Extraction Point for being a little too in-your-face with the scares to the detriment of the creepy atmosphere and characters not being as well-written, and Perseus Mandate for having too much action and next to zero tense paranormal moments.
  • Spiritual Licensee:
  • That One Boss:
    • The Heavy Armor fought in Extraction Point's Interval 03 - Terminus is the single most frustrating enemy in the entire game. The high health it has as a Heavy Armor would be bad enough even if he were equipped with a regular weapon like the Penetrator most other Heavy Armors use - no, this one decides to come at you with a MOD-3 multi rocket launcher. Not just any MOD-3, either, but one artificially overpowered to the point you're not surviving even the splash damage of more than a single rocket unless you are at full health and armor.
    • In F.E.A.R. 3, the REV powered armor in Interval 05 that appears in the plaza. Most such units in previous games were weaker, to the point that all it took was a few assault rifle magazines to destroy. This one eats bullets and explosives and laughs, and then returns the favor with lasers and automatic grenades.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • One review of the first game noted that, while the graphics were impressive, the characters more closely resembled plastic dolls than real people.
    • ATC troops in the first and second games do not change their facial expressions, even when getting shot or torn to pieces by psychic horrors. This may be why the ATC troops in the third game were all rendered with balaclavas to hide their faces.
  • The Woobie:
    • You can't learn about Alma's background without feeling at least somewhat sorry for the girl.
    • And let's face it, Becket at the end of F.E.A.R. 2. He's been fighting for two days straight, got horrifically operated on, is having horrible hallucinations, is being attacked by endless numbers of enemies for no discernible reason, is stalked by an insane psychic ghost, gets raped and becomes the "father" of the apocalypse. It gets worse for him in F.E.A.R. 3, as he's escaped only to be captured and held by Armacham for nine months, then gets his mind invaded by Fettel before exploding.
    • Then there are the Replicas, if you think about it. Do they actually want to be shooting at you, or are they just being forced to do so by Fettel?
    • And then there's Fettel himself, who is being driven insane by Alma.


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