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E3 2005: Fatal Frame 3: The Tormented
game: E3 2005: Fatal Frame 3: The Tormented
posted by: Laurie Taylor
publisher: Tecmo
developer: Tecmo
ESRB rating: M (Mature)
date posted: 12:00 AM Wed May 25th, 2005
last revision: 12:00 AM Wed May 25th, 2005

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The Fatal Frame games are defined by haunting sounds and music, richly detailed storylines, well crafted dialogue, beautiful and cursed spaces, truly frightening monsters, and by the sheer terror they create. For players who haven't already experienced a Fatal Frame game, they exemplify the horror-gaming genre, and Fatal Frame 3 is looking to be no exception.

While the first two Fatal Frame games revolved around siblings lost in horrifying and cursed places, Fatal Frame 3: The Tormented puts players in the role of the cursed young woman Rei Kurosawa. The game begins after Rei has lost her fiance in a car accident with her at the wheel. In order to cope with her guilt, Rei goes to the, House of Sleep.? Like the other Fatal Frame titles, the horror only intensifies from there. Rei uses the Camera Obscura that appeared in the previous games, and the camera serves as both a weapon against evil and as a way to capture clues needed to solve the mystery of the house.

Like the first Fatal Frame, where the main character Miku Hinaski awoke each morning with new scars, Fatal Frame 3 fixates on a tattoo on Rei that grows with each passing day. While the game focuses mostly on Rei solving the mystery of the tattoo, Fatal Frame 3 is also a Japanese style horror game with loads of enemies, darkened rooms, and completely terrifying gameplay. Also like the other Fatal Frame games, The Tormented promises the same profound and eerie sounds that created and sustained the mood in the earlier games. The Tormented will also take place in two worlds: the real and the nightmare. For horror gamers, the use of doubled worlds is a familiar concept from games like the first Silent Hill.  The changing and haunted worlds are also familiar from the earlier Fatal Frame games. However, the promise of a larger world in The Tormented is a major benefit; the earlier Fatal Frame worlds managed to leave players wanting more.

Unlike the previous Fatal Frame games, Fatal Frame 3 will allow players to play with multiple characters, including Miku Hinasaki from the first title and Kei Amakura, who is Rei's friend and a journalist. The characters each have special skills that help them to escape from the House of Sleep. Additionally, Fatal Frame 3 promises to offer more information on Miku and her story, which began in the first game.

Much to my delight, and to the delight of other horror gaming fans, Fatal Frame 3 is set to release later this year. This is wonderful news for horror gamers because - given the success of its predecessors - Fatal Frame 3 will be an amazing and terrifying gaming experience. While many horror games are defined by their particular innovations in terms of presentation, game controls, or multiple character usage, Fatal Frame's history has been defined by its ability to present the most horrifying and intense gaming experiences. 

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