F.E.A.R. 3 Game Poster Image

F.E.A.R. 3

Gory shooter sequel with strong profanity, partial nudity.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This bloody first-person romp stars two brothers -- one alive and one a spirit, of sorts -- out to stop an evil entity from giving birth to what might be an even more malevolent threat. While their intentions are good, the game is rooted in violence, blood, and gore. The message is mixed, but overall it's not very good.

Positive role models

Players take on the roles of a genetically altered superhuman and his dead brother, out to stop the mysterious woman Alma from giving birth to what could be an even greater threat. Their intentions are good, but their violent behavior hardly makes these siblings good role models.


Ease of play

As with past F.E.A.R. games and other first-person shooters, the controls are fairly intuitive on a console controller or computer mouse/keyboard setup. On the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game players push the left analog stick to move around and the buttons to lock on and fire weapons or unleash powers. It doesn't take long to pick up the controls.



This is an extremely violent first-person shooter that has players shooting at enemies -- sometimes wearing bombs so they blow up into many chunky bits when hit. These mostly humanoid enemies (mutants) cry in pain and splatter blood. With special powers it's also possible to make enemy heads explode. Some special powers result in slow-motion movement for dramatic effect.



There is some partial nudity in the game. A female character briefly shows her breasts, though nipples cannot be seen.


Language is profane at times, including words such as "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "hell" and "damn." One of the multiplayer game modes is called "F--king Run."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that F.E.A.R. 3 is a game that fuses first-person action with "survival horror" elements. That is, while you're running and gunning from the main character's point of view (or unleashing paranormal attacks), the dark visuals, mutant creatures, and creepy music are meant to scare you. Along with ample blood and gore -- including body dismemberment and decapitation -- the game has strong profanity and partial nudity. Gamers who play online can also chat via headset microphone, a feature Common Sense Media does not recommend for preteens.

What's it about?

F.E.A.R. 3, a paranormal first-person shooter, reintroduces a genetically-enhanced and skilled sharpshooter named Point Man, who teams up with his deceased brother, Paxton Fettel. Both have supernatural powers. The siblings -- who have a rocky relationship -- face off against an evil presence from their past through eight main levels. Every level you complete as Point Man can be replayed as Paxton, with a different set of skills. The story isn't terrific, but it puts the action into context and helps tie up some loose ends introduced in previous games. As with its predecessors, horror masters John Carpenter and Steve Niles were involved in the direction of F.E.A.R. 3.

Is it any good?


For those old enough and who like horror games, it's fun; but be aware the game leans more toward a shooter than it does a paranormal thriller. Depending on what kind of experience you're after, F.E.A.R. 3 may or may not be the ideal game for you. There are a few scary moments in dark corridors, on rooftops, and city streets, but the bloody and gory first-person action, which is set in memorable locations, is where the game excels.

The controls feel good, regardless of whether you're using traditional or paranormal weapons. Decent A.I. ("Artificial Intelligence" -- where the computer controls non-playable characters) makes playing the solo campaign worthwhile, but it can also be tackled in co-op mode (though it shouldn't prove too challenging with two players). There are also a few multiplayer modes to keep the action fresh for a while. F.E.A.R. 3 might not be the best -- or best-looking -- shooter on the market but it shouldn't disappoint fans of action or survival horror. Note: all three versions of the game are the same.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether first-person shooters still have the same appeal in 2011 as they did back in the mid-to-late 1990s. Military shooters like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 are very popular, but have they evolved much? F.E.A.R. 3 adds a horror element, like Valve's Left 4 Dead 2. Does this help innovate the genre?

  • Families can also discuss violence in games. How do you monitor the games your kids are playing? What are the markers you look for to determine whether they are too violent? How do you explain to them that a game might not be appropriate for kids their age without frustrating them?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Warner Bros. Games
Release date:June 21, 2011
Genre:First Person Shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language

This review of F.E.A.R. 3 was written by

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Teen, 13 years old Written bygwr5052 August 16, 2011

Not for children, but good fun.

I had enjoyed the prequels, and that led me to rent this game. Common sense media had a review on this game i agree with almost completely (Suprise!) This game is NOT FOR KIDS. The unrelenting profanity is an issue. But hilarity ensued when i heard the word S--t 12 times in about 2 minutes. F bombs are a constant. Now this game is not very scary, and if you think it is, the prequels are much worse. Dont play them. Now on to the violence aspect of the game. severed legs, torsoes ripped from the legs, and people being burned alive. And lets not forget the classic factor of getting a headshot makes their head explode. And we all know about chatting during online play. All in all, if you are old (or mature) enough to play this game, the storyline is great and the gameplay is good.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byEbanski July 9, 2011


This game is so freaky its not funny.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byxJustifiedd July 10, 2011

F.E.A.R. 3 Review

Amazing game i could honestly say, but for kids, I honestly think they'll FEAR sleeping. This game has a lot of pop-ups they will suprise you very much. This game is for kids 17+. I say if your older or your kids can handle these types of games, then they'll love the gameplay. Its very easy to control your character and the shooting.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking