F.3.A.R is noticeably different from its two prequals namely due to the fact that it took on a much more action oriented style more akin to the likes of "Call of Duty" In this installment the player can choose to play as either 'Pointman' who is a basic soldier style character who uses standard weaponry such as guns and grenades or they can choose to play as 'Fettel' the antagonist of previous games who uses psyhic abilities to pick up and throw items, suspend enemies and even take over enemies bodies allowing him to be played more like 'Pointman'. The game introduces some new gameplay mechanics such as profile based experience points, peeking based cover system and multiplayer co-op.
Best New Game+, Single-segment Time with Point Man, Recruit Difficulty: 1:03:28 by 'Overfiendvip' on 2014-02-20
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Movement - Jumping while moving is just barely faster than moving without jumping. Jumping while in water (specifically, the beginning of Slums) is a bit faster than moving without jumping in water. Jumping right at the end of a sprint is also slightly faster than simply letting your sprint end. You will mainly see me jumping while sprinting when I can. Sometimes I do not because I am preparing myself for upcoming parts of a stage.
Vaulting - Similar to F.E.A.R. 2, both vaulting and 'vault skipping' are in this game. A vault skip is basically, instead of vaulting, turning sideways from the object you would normally vault over, and then moving sideways and jumping over the object instead of vaulting over it.
Category - Point Man is the character used. Point Man and (Paxton) Fettel are the two storylines. Recruit difficulty is the easiest difficulty. Recruit, Commando, Fearless, and Insane (unlocks after completing the campaign) are the available difficulties. Higher difficulty means more damage taken and less ammo provided. Max rank refers to being at maximum rank when doing this run, the maximum rank being 21 or FEARLESS. The difference between starting at rank 1 and rank 21 is having improved health regeneration, 50% extra health, three extra clips of maximum ammo for all weapons, two extra grenades added to the maximum amount of all grenades, an extra six seconds of slow motion (note: slow motion is not used at all during this run), and the ability to slide kick and jump kick. Not only does being at max rank make the run faster, but being at max rank also makes the run more consistent in the sense that, because the rank is not able to be disabled in the game, then if you started at rank 1, you would be ranking up over the course of the run, causing the rank to potentially be variable in every run. Using the highest rank keeps things consistent and maximizes speed.
Health - The health system in this game is different than in previous F.E.A.R. games. There are no items such as health kits or body armor in this game. Instead, your health regenerates over time. If you are damaged, your health will start regenerating once a short amount of time has passed since you last took damage, and regeneration will be interrupted if you take damage again. The only indicator of your health is your HUD will appear bloodier and blurrier based on how much damage you have taken.
My completion time for this stage in the run is 4:27. My personal best for this stage in individual level practice is 4:23. I believe as low as 4:21 could be possible.
This stage feels the most difficult to pull off properly, although that may simply be because I aim for 4:30 or lower, and rarely accept higher than 4:35. This stage also requires the most vaulting (which I find difficult to do properly), but luckily it comes the earliest, which makes dealing with certain areas going wrong like the lounge or cafeteria a lot easier. (usually, by resetting!)
Not much to say about the beginning. In the lounge area, one of the guards can sometimes survive the grenade, so you may have to headshot him before jumping over. Additionally, there are varying amounts of grunts in the next area. In my experience, there is anywhere from 4 to 6 in this area that must be killed before the door opens. I am not sure what determines how many to spawn, and I have seen times where a grunt will magically slide out from the other side of a wall into the area. If you were wondering, this is the area where I have reset most of my runs.
In the final area, there are times where a second wave of enemies will spawn from the back area and will need to be killed before the level ends. Again, I am not sure what makes these spawn. It could be the way you kill the first wave or perhaps the speed in which you kill the first wave, but it usually (surprisingly) doesn't cause much of a time loss.
My completion time for this stage in the run is 5:56, which is my personal best for this stage. I believe as low as 5:54 could be possible.
As explained earlier, jumping through the water here is slightly faster than not jumping. It saves approximately seven seconds in this area compared to not jumping.
Normally, that shotgun grunt in the courtyard outside the two story house with the two grunts doesn't appear as early as he does. Normally, you have to kill all the enemies that spawn in that area (those in the house, descend from the chopper, and come out from the other houses) to make him come out. For some reason, killing the two enemies in the house within a short enough timespan of each other will cause the shotgun grunt to come out much earlier. Also, for some reason, he seems to do this much more consistently if you exit out of the second story instead of the first story, which I need to do anyway to pick up a frag grenade in order to have four on the Mech Mule later in the stage. You don't need four for the Mech Mule but it makes fighting him easier and more consistent.
My completion time for this stage in the run is 7:50, which is my personal best for this stage. I believe as low as 7:46 could be possible.
Easiest level overall (not counting Ward), in my opinion. There's only two parts that I feel can cause substantial losses of time - the garden Cultists and the arena Cultists. I like to have the TMPs with a decent ammo count alongside the shotgun as backup going into the garden Cultists, but I'm not always so lucky. The weapons provided as far as I know are random, and sometimes you can be given something like one shotgun and the rest will be SMGs for the garden Cultists, which will probably result in the fight taking ten seconds longer than it should since the SMG is a mediocre weapon against Cultists compared to the TMPs and shotgun. The arena Cultist drops usually don't matter much since there's usually always a shotgun with plenty of ammo provided, and since so many are explosive ones, ammo can usually be conserved if necessary by simply running into the explosives.
Only other notable instance of randomness is the Creep in the freezer, that can either a) do nothing (best), b) cause slowmo for a few seconds (medium), or c) freeze you in place for a few seconds (worst). The difference between a and c is only a few seconds, so it's not a big deal. I received the best outcome during this run.
My completion time for this stage in the run is 8:27. My personal best for this stage in individual level practice is 8:17. I believe as low as 8:13 could be possible.
Taking one of the shotgun grunts out for a shotgun pickup is important. Managing to strike the gas canister, assuming it's there and in vision, can also speed things up on the way to the Mech Mule. I play it pretty safe through these areas.
The Mech Mule strategy is to toss a shock grenade at him, collect more while it's stunned, take out the grunt if it's in the way, toss another shock grenade right before the first one detonates so that both detonate and deal damage, and then toss frags and spam the assault rifle until it explodes. I also pick up tons of supplies for later before exiting.
The group of Cultists above the basement can sometimes all die to both shock grenades. I do some shotgun damage just in case. One or two might get blown in half but still be alive and they all need to die for the door to open.
To my knowledge, the basement area can't be sped up; it's always the same speed (seems to be scripted). If you kill the Cultists, more will spawn, so in this area, you just run around for about a minute until the Creep comes since there's nothing else to do, and try to position yourself close to where you think the Creep will spawn.
Sometimes, the doors of the apartment housing the first set of grunts in the sniper area will take longer to open than usual. Might have something to do with how the grunts in the first apartment are killed. There's not much to this area other than landing the shock grenade and making sure the second sniper dies as soon as he's in vision so that he doesn't drop down and begin running through the area. Failing either of these can make this area quite a headache to escape. I also have to make sure not to stand directly under the loft where the final set of grunts spawn, or else there is a much higher chance that they will stay up on the loft instead of dropping down.
The Powered Armor is skipped in the trek through the apartments and forest as you can pass through much faster on foot, and if you're moving at top speed, you should never die running past the grunts. They also have a chance to open up the way for you so you don't have to interrupt your sprint to fire your weapon to break the walls. The four grunts near the end can kill you quite quickly if you try to run past them. Killing one is risky and killing two is pretty safe. Flashbang is a bit too awkward in this situation.
The forest area before the power plant has a few series of grunts. It can feel a bit tense but as long as you take out a few grunts here and there, death is unlikely. Even though I say that, I actually came extremely close to death due to handling the situation improperly.
I flashbang the area outside the power plant building twice for safety, then frag the pack of enemies met halfway through, then attempt to frag the last pack of enemies inside, and kill whatever remains with the shotgun.
My power plant strategy is basically fragging whichever grunt comes out on the opposite side of the explosive generators, then shooting the glowing generator, then shooting the explosive generator. It's a bit more complex than that as it's somewhat based on how enemies spawn and where they move as to what I specifically do, but there's a rhythm to it. As long as I don't miss a glowing generator then everything works out., since the generators will only be glowing (and thus destructible) for a few seconds, and missing any is a major time loss.
My completion time for this stage in the run is 13:13, which is my personal best for this stage. I believe as low as 13:00 could be possible.
I feel this is the stage where death is much more likely to happen than in any other stage.
I grab the assault rifle in the beginning because it makes me much more likely to kill the grunts near the gate before they run for cover, as opposed to shooting the first grunt with the pistol and then having to spend time picking up his assault rifle and trying to shoot the gate grunts after all that time has passed, where they will attempt to move to cover. I also stare at the ground in this section because for some reason - it may just be coincidence or superstition or whatever - it always feels like the gate grunts react later when I look at the ground as opposed to looking in their direction.
The street that swarms with Cultists basically goes better when plenty of explosive ones spawn. A lack of explosive Cultists makes keeping up with them difficult and also makes dealing with ones while reloading extremely difficult; you basically have to rely on the grunts in the back to handle them as they run that way. The grunts with assault rifles will sometimes assist in killing the Cultists as they're running down the top part of the street, which really helps. Sometimes they will provide great assistance and other times they won't seem to help at all.
The area with explosive barrels and the sniper can be rough to enter depending on where grunts position themselves, but the fight afterward isn't that bad. It's usually pretty fun actually, even in a speedrun. Again, having plenty of explosive Cultists spawn helps here, as does finding a way to put explosive barrels to use. I try to have plenty of assault rifle ammo exiting this area.
The Phase Caster/Powered Armor fight is simple - toss the two frags you have at the Phase Caster, unload the assault rifle, reload while sprinting to where he jumps down, unload again, take out grunts in the order shown, grab an Arc Beam, and channel into the Powered Armor while standing next to the stone slab to manipulate him into attempting to melee over and over. It's probably the coolest instance of manipulation used in the run.
The area after the chopper crash slowdown is easier than it may appear. Landing frag grenades can speed it up considerably. I wish riot shields had never been programmed into the game. I use the Arc Beam and take out the turrets afterward to be safe. You can skip destroying them since the gate opening only requires the grunts to be out of commission and not the turrets, although I am not sure how realistic that is assuming you performed the same aggressive movement.
The tower collapse area doesn't have much to it. It's a lot of running and jumping over gaps. Two in particular each skip around ten seconds of having to run around the area, at around 37:30 and 38:30. The second one seems weird, but all it is is jumping onto a part of the pit that isn't inside the death trigger because it's a little bit higher than the rest of the pit. The grunt on fire that comes out of the elevator and can cause a slowdown can be avoided by simply looking in a different direction. Looking at the ground seems to work the best.
The Phase Commander fight starts out easy to execute - push in to grab grenades/ammo and deal some damage, toss a shock grenade and move back out, and keep up the assault rifle damage with shock grenades. He will then detonate and his nailgun can be grabbed. At this point, I grab the other nailgun instead, along with the other pack of grenades before sweeping grunts, which choose one of four locations to spawn. Of these locations, one is great, two are decent, one is pretty awkward to deal with. After seven are killed, the Phase Commander will return. I perform the standard shock grenade strategy with the nailgun while trying to dodge grunt fire. After he vanishes, it's additional grunt cleanup to end the level.
My completion time for this stage in the run is 8:09. My personal best for this stage in individual level practice is 8:06. I believe as low as 8:03 could be possible.
There are only two short and serious parts to this stage, as the rest is basically running around, along with blowing everything up in the EPA.
The fight against the Scavengers can end quicker if you are able to kill specific Scavengers during the fight. Certain Scavengers dying will trigger the next wave of Scavengers to appear, and killing certain Scavengers in that wave will trigger the exit to open. It can be hard to tell which ones to kill, and sometimes Scavengers will decide after being shot to walk up to the ceiling and/or run away and make the fight a disaster. Zig-zagging Scavengers running up the sides of walls are some of the hardest enemies to hit. Before entering the main area, I take out all the Scavengers near me just to make it less hectic and easier on myself, although it can cost a few seconds.
The Phase Caster fight is pretty simple. I zoom in just to make completely sure I'm lined up when I toss the frags (you can save a tiny bit of time by not spending time zooming in, which I sometimes do in practice), toss all three, and shoot twice before he runs. Reload (if there's ammo to be loaded), take out any grunts that spawn in front of me with the shotgun, get in the proper position to hit the Phase Caster in the head, and take him out. Sometimes the Phase Caster decides to run around on the top of the truck and it can be a bit awkward hitting him, but usually he just stays there with his head poking out and goes down in 4-6 more bursts.
Standard stuff afterward. Using missiles to destroy barricades saves about four seconds, or the time you would have to spend stomping them instead. You can prevent certain rocket launcher grunts from spawning if you shoot the signs that would cover them. I preemptively fire rockets in locations where I know grunts will spawn. There's nothing special about the EPA fight other than making sure you don't fire rockets when his shield is up, and exiting the EPA after the fight since running on foot to the end is faster.
My completion time for this stage in the run is 11:05. My personal best for this stage in individual level practice is 10:54. I believe as low as 10:47 could be possible.
This stage is the hardest to have go completely well in a run, or at all. There are many fights and many nuances, so many things can go wrong.
The beginning isn't too rough, even though it can seem tense. The grunts on the second floor are positioned in a way that makes them pretty easy to take out or run past. You can usually run past the grunts outside the bar as well.
The first Phase Commander is simple thanks to the TMPs and shock grenades. I fight him from that angle in order to pick up more TMP ammo. The balcony fight afterward is probably the part I loathe the most, simply because grunts can hide behind cover for as long as they want if you don't handle them properly (or aren't accurate, or miss the frag, et cetera) and hitboxes of grunts that are behind cover... feel off, to put it nicely. You usually can't lose more than a few seconds here, but it might be the most annoying few seconds to lose because of why you lose them.
I sometimes drop the assault rifle for the SMG before the sprint towards the chopper for increased movement, but only if it's directly along the way (won't cost time to pick up) since it'll be immediately tossed for the rocket launcher. Fun fact - the chopper actually takes damage from every firearm, not just explosives. This includes the pistol. Unfortunately, it is slower, or takes approximately the same time, to use any other weapon or combination of weapons on this chopper instead of the rocket launcher only. I missed a rocket which to me was probably the most embarrassing mistake in this run, even though it's a minor mistake.
I drop the rocket launcher for the pistol after the chopper explodes for increased movement. I used to use it for a different Phase Caster strategy until I realized that flashbangs actually work and save time because using one allows me to actually reach the switch to pull it the moment the Phase Caster explodes instead of having to wait to run past him with the older strategy.
The older strategy was firing a rocket launcher shot, tossing a shock grenade aimed at his body, and using TMPs. It wasn't very consistent, mainly because the shock grenade could either a) miss the Phase Caster, because grenades just go where they want to sometimes, and in this case, the shock grenade would actually somehow fling backwards if you tried walking forwards when tossing it, or b) hit the Phase Caster, but be pushed outwards off of the scaffolding and drop down, causing him to escape the stun effect. The reason a rocket launcher was used is because if you try to just toss a shock grenade at him, it would cause a fire extinguisher near him to explode, causing the shock grenade to explode. I feel silly for not figuring out to use a flashbang sooner than I did.
I drop the pistol for the Arc Beam after the fight ends for the later parts of the stage. There's a trick in the baggage claim area where you can slide kick from the top of one container's corner over to the other container to skip having to run around all of the containers to get to the switch. Even though there's a pretty consistent setup to it, I don't go for it because the Scavengers almost always get in the way during runs, and it only saves four seconds, while missing it costs you the time you spent trying to execute it, on top of having to run around the crates.
The strategy used for the grunts before the two Phase Commanders is pretty reliable, but landing the opening frag is key. Amusingly, I miss said opening frag, causing me to deviate from my normal strategy. You will sometimes have enough time after taking out the first set of grunts to meet the shotgun grunts and be able to safely frag them to get rid of them quicker. The riot shield grunt is the real headache on the final set of grunts, but you can usually Arc Beam away his shield and frag him. The two Phase Commanders are pretty simple - just toss shocks and TMP down. Pick more shocks or ammo up if you have to. There might be a better way to position things for this fight than what I'm doing (in order to manipulate the other Phase Commander to stick around longer).
I can only use part of the Arc Beam on the Scavengers because you want at least 50% power left for the EPA. If the Arc Beam isn't being used on the EPA, then you can fully use it here and make this even easier than it already is.
The Arc Beam EPA strategy is approximately seven seconds faster than utilizing the Powered Armor because of it being faster to move on foot through the area; however, time can be lost if you don't make it through the final gate right when it opens for whatever reason, or if you have to spend substantial time pacifying the two Phase Commanders, which have a high probability of killing you if you try completely ignoring them as you sprint towards Becket. Using the Powered Armor is basically a guaranteed win, and using the Arc Beam on foot is faster and is still fairly reliable, but leaves a small possibility of you being obliterated. All you have to do is dance in and out of the EPA's melee range while channeling the Arc Beam. You dance in to make him melee swing (and to prevent him from using his firearms - especially his missiles), and then dance out right as he swings as to not take damage; however, depending on how the EPA moves, it can be difficult to do this appropriately, not only because of damage, but also because if the EPA chooses to walk forward instead of another direction, and walks on top of you, you can be pushed underneath the ground and fall to your death. Additionally, even though his movement can be manipulated by your positioning, if the EPA chooses to move far away from the final gate, you could end up spending most of the time that you could have saved running back to the gate and to Becket (by not being there right when it opens, like you normally would if you were using a Powered Armor in the fight).
My completion time for this stage in the run is 4:21. My personal best for this stage in individual level practice is 4:16. I believe as low as 4:13 could be possible.
A trip down memory lane and then a boss fight with an ounce of randomness. Jump kicks prove to be ever so useful here for fending off the Creep, and are extremely reliable and simple compared to trying to use the pistol to prevent being grabbed during the object-breaking process.
There are TMPs in this stage that take about three seconds to acquire; however, they never appeared to save any time, or at least couldn't save the time spent picking them up when used in the fight, which to me was both surprising and unfortunate since I enjoy using the TMPs whenever possible.
The locations that the Creep spawns grunts, as well as his attack patterns, are random as far as I know. The best outcome is when he never does his Hyper Beam as I like to call it, and one of the grunts drops a shotgun, which works surprisingly well on the Creep. I could never figure out where the Creep's hitbox is for landing the final blow, so sometimes I lose a few potential seconds trying to land a final blow.
My completion time for this run is 1:03:28. The time of my combined individual level personal bests is 1:02:54. The combined time of what I believe is theoretically possible is 1:02:17.
Special thanks to Phazonelite7, Freezard, and anyone who provided motivation.
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