For those of you who may not be a consistent reader here at Darkstation, you may not know this yet, but I am not a huge fan of scary games. It is not so much that I get spooked easy, which is true, but it is more so because I have really only found a limited number of games that actually were in the "scary" mold that were actually fun games to play. One of these games was the more weird than scary Fatal Frame series, which has made your greatest weapon a camera. Well now in its third game, the guys over at Tecmo are trying their luck again in Fatal Frame III: The Tormented for the Playstation 2. So does this game redefine the series? Read our full review to find out!
I remember getting ready to play the original Fatal Frame game and thinking how in the heck are they going to make a game interesting where your main weapon is a camera, that is just ridiculous. Well I started playing the game and I have to say that both Fatal Frame 1 & 2 were actually impressive games. They may not have been in the same vein as the Resident Evil games, but the ideas were kind of like a breath of fresh air as they were different from the rest of the pack. So now the third game is already out and could this be another third time charm?
The idea of a camera as your one and only weapon may not sound exciting but let’s just say it works well to make the game feel different from the rest of the pack. You see in Fatal Frame III you now play as the young Rei Kurosawa, a young photographer who has just lost her fianceL in a car accident. Things get really weird when she goes to an assignment and her fianceL begins to appear. I don’t want to really give away any more but just closing the story end of things by saying this game continues with the same sort of ideas as the previous games, and that is using these simple ideas to really scare you.
So what exactly is new about Fatal Frame III: The Tormented you may wonder? Well probably not as much as people may have hoped for. While still behind the idea that the camera flash steals a part of the soul, the real big addition to the game is the ability to use multiple characters. Although there are only slight differences between each character, it is still nice to see this added to try and give more variety to the game. This idea works well and you will even see some familiar faces from the previous games, which I am sure will make some of the hardcore Fatal Frame fans very happy.
The actual combat in the game works identical to what we had seen in the previous games. And unfortunately the same annoying issues still exist as well. The controls in the game still haven’t got tightened up and still need a lot of work in order for them to begin to work properly. The controls are not broken per se, but they can hamper your experience some times, especially when things get pretty hectic. The combat itself works pretty much in the same way, as your camera works sort of like a gun in that you put and click and away goes the evil bad guys.
Fatal Frame III is definitely a more difficult adventure than in the previous games, and this is due to some very tricky puzzles and just a much more intense enemies. The developers have really tried to keep you on your toes throughout the game. The game is just a very tough experience, and at times it can be downright frustrating. With that being said you can see all of the hard work that was placed in this game to really just make it set itself apart from other games on the market.
In the end the gameplay of Fatal Frame III was actually extremely impressive. The story has just a lot of twists and turns, and although I don’t like scary things, I do appreciate what the developers were able to do with this game. They made you really interested to see what happens next and they managed to do this in a nice orderly fashion. Had the controls been a bit better, this could have literally been close to perfect. But even still this game manages to really keep the Fatal Frame series as just one of the best in playing games in the horror genre.
Visually Fatal Frame III continues to be a great looking game, similar to what we saw in the previous Fatal Frame games. The big draw of the visuals is of course the dark detail that you get in the game, as it just really manages to keep you wondering what is around each corner. Although most of the environments are in the darker side of things, it is still very apparent that they all have a nice amount of detail to them. The character models are where the game really shines, as this is where you can see a lot of the great hard work that went into the games presentation.
I have to say that I was extremely impressed with how well the game looked. Although it was not a huge leap from what we saw in previous Fatal Frame games, it was still a solid looking experience nonetheless.
I know I said Fatal Frame III was frustrating at time, but the game takes these frustrating parts and still really keeps your desire very high to see what is going to happen next. The game just does a nice job of keeping you at the edge of your seat and also keeps you ready to click your camera into gear. The game just flows at a very nice pace and always keeps you occupied. To say the least you will be frustrated but you will have fun doing it as well.
Fatal Frame III is just a solid horror action title that continues what has been thus far a great series. This game may not do anything to revolutionize the series, but it just keeps you interested and intrigued in what will happen next. For those that have enjoyed the previous game, go out and purchase Fatal Frame III: The Tormented as this is just another great game that will be sure to keep gamers very satisfied until the next game is released.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.