Developer: Tecmo |
Publisher: Tecmo
Players: 1 Player Game |
Genre: Survival Horror

Release Date: 11/08/05

Recently Tecmo announced that the next chapter in the terrifying Fatal Frame series is currently in development and scheduled for a fall 2005 release. If you’ve played the first two games then you know that there’s good reason to be excited. The original game still stands as one of the scariest games ever made making the Silent Hills and Resident Evils look like sunshine and bunnies. Fatal Frame II was a worthy successor and managed to be another intense experience complete with ghostly figures, haunting sound effects and eerie visuals. There hasn’t been a whole lot of information on the new game, Fatal Frame III: The Tormented, but we’re putting our cards on the table here and filling you in on what we’ve learned.

First of all, just by looking at the screenshots, one may reasonably conclude that the game is heading down the right track. Fatal Frame III looks like a Fatal Frame title through and through. The dark and dreary atmosphere and distinct Japanese architecture in the environments appears to be coming back in full swing. The ghostly figures in the game look frightening and the cute heroine definitively labels this a Tecmo game. While I haven’t heard any audio firsthand, it’s probably safe to assume that it will have you trembling with fear given that the other games in the series had some of the best audio effects in any game to date. The developers have really made excellent use of sound effects in the other games and there’s no reason to think that they won’t nail it this time around too.

Gameplay details haven’t been completely unveiled as of yet, but the camera obscura is making a return. Judging from what we’ve seen, the gameplay should be similar to the other games in the series, and that’s not a bad thing by any means. The camera style combat system is one of the series’ defining features and helps set it apart from the RE clones on the market. The game is built around suspense and fear rather than action like some of the other survival horror titles out there. You can expect a lot of intense moments as you turn a corner and just wonder what’s waiting for you on the other side. There are new ghosts this time around and they’ve got some spooky tricks up their dimension-crossing sleeves. Ghosts will follow the player hauntingly with their eyes and transform into even more ghastly figures that would send shivers down Egon Spangler’s spine.

Fatal Frame III is unique from the other games in that it will take place in two different worlds. There is a mysterious 숯use of Sleephere you’ll be subjected to the nightmares of the game’s characters. Some of the gameplay will take place here and the rest will be grounded in the real world. The game’s main character, Rei Kurosawa, will be joined by newcomer Kei Amakura and also the original Fatal Frame’s Miku. All three characters will be playable at one point or another and will all play a vital role in solving the mystery around the House of Sleep.

The game is currently scheduled for release only on the PlayStation 2, which isn’t too surprising considering the others debuted on that platform as well. However, Xbox owners may not be left out in the cold as the other games did eventually find their way to the big black box. The fact that the Xbox 360 is releasing in November may mean that this particular game won’t be coming to the Xbox; although a release on the Xbox is not out of the question. Perhaps more intriguing is the thought that the game may actually be released on the 360. This is pure speculation at this point, but hey, it could happen.

Tecmo has promised an engrossing storyline and new abilities to go along with the new characters. Rei and Kei will bring new tales to the Fatal Frame saga and those tales will no doubt have you sleeping with the lights on. Considering all the new features going into this game, it seems as though this Fatal Frame may be the most terrifying one yet which is saying quite a bit. The promise of a nightmare realm, new ghosts and a new curse is enough to make the imagination run rampant with horrific images of what’s in store for us. If you’re itching for a good scare, keep an eye out on this title; come this fall, it should have us hiding under our blankets.

By Ryan Schaefer – 05/26/05
ESRB Details: Blood, Violence

Screenshots for Fatal Frame III (Post-E3 2005)