Warner Bros. has big plans for the follow-up to the excellent F.E.A.R. 2 : Project Origin.

F.E.A.R. 3 (or F.3.A.R., if you don’t mind sounding stupid) will naturally continue the story of the series. The crazy psychic weapon/spooky long-haired girl Alma is pregnant with yet another child and things are going to hell once again. Her two sons have teamed up to find out what’s going on which means that yes, this is a co-op experience.

Alma returns in F.E.A.R. 3 but this time her sons Point Man and Paxton Fettel introduce divergent co-op, giving players distinctly different abilities affecting their own play as well as the experience of their co-op partner. Gamers participate in single player or co-op modes as Point Man, a genetically enhanced super soldier originally introduced in F.E.A.R., or they can play cooperatively as his conniving brother Paxton Fettel, whose incredible telekinetic power has given him life beyond the grave. The game is developed by Day 1 Studios, developer of the original F.E.A.R. console games in collaboration with Monolith Studios.

Of course, the challenge here will be to see that the horror aspect remains intact. The F.E.A.R. series has done an amazing job of balancing the horror and action portions, but co-op horror is tricky. For example, while Resident Evil 5 was a lot of fun with a friend, I don’t think that anyone could classify it as a horror game. The best part about horror titles is usually that you’re trapped by yourself alone with no one to help you out. The sense of horror is certainly lessened when you’re talking to your friend over a headset. If they’re smart they’ll try to spit you up pretty frequently and considering that they’re labeling it “Divergent co-op” that may be what we’re getting.

One other concern is that original developer Monolith Studios isn’t working on the game, as Day 1 Studios (developer of the original F.E.A.R. for consoles) is dtackling it. “Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is evolving the F.E.A.R. brand with top horror, co-op and first person shooter combat in F.E.A.R. 3,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “Monolith Productions has passed the torch to Day 1 Studios to create a quality, powerful game that stays true to the roots of the F.E.A.R. franchise but takes players to a heightened level of gameplay.”

To further establish its horror cred, Steve Niles has co-written the game script with the development team and John Carpenter is helping create the in-game cinematics. Yes, that is pretty goddamn awesome.

F.E.A.R. 3 will hit Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this fall. Stay tuned to http://www.whatisfear.com for updates.