You wake up in a dark alley, not knowing anything. What has happened anyway? You struggle after the truth and answers. Answers you want to know in the darkness and fear, which makes your heartbeat race like violent blows against your head. Where do "they" come from? What has happened? Are you just turning insane? The time is up; you can't stay there reading your smses forever. It's time to head out and find the answers. Cry of Fear is a singleplayer modification of Half-Life 1 which brings you the horror you've always been afraid of. It's a total conversion of Half-Life 1, which means it uses NO Half-Life 1 content or other peoples' files. It's all made exclusively by the developers. It also uses new gaming styles that you will rarely find in Half-Life mods, such as advanced cutscenes and other stuff that will be revealed at a later date.
The best horror mod I've ever had the pleasure of playing. I spoke with Andreas in a notable interview a few months back and ever since have held an enormous respect for the man and what it is he sees in his projects, in his "horror", and in himself. Cry of Fear has finally launched and with it comes a turning point in open source gaming, modding, creative expression and a revitalization of the almost dead psychological modern horror that we have come to see in Jacob's Ladder, Silent Hill, Afraid of Monsters, and now in Cry of Fear.
I could justifiably complain about the dated graphics and the visual inconsistencies that mar some aspects of the mod. But why would I? These are insignificant when compared to the handling of the atmosphere; the key to any horror project. And believe me, Cry of Fear is scary. I'm not telling you its scary based on the misconception that anything that makes someone jump is "scary". I'm not saying its scary based on the misguided ideal that anything "horror" is automatically scary. You're reading a review of someone who lives, breathes, and loves the genre even makes horror mods himself--and it scared the absolute hell out of me.
Cry of Fear is soaked in loneliness, dread, foreboding, guilt, deep introspective messages and thoughtful negotiation with your inner demons. Its violent, shocking, loud and original and presents its story clearly with a sullen acceptance of death and decay. Its a mature story for a mature audience, tackling themes such as rape, drug addiction, murder, depression, bipolar, psychosis and much much more. This isn't just about monsters.
I'm running out of characters. Cry of Fear is a huge mod, with tons of content, unlockables, co-op, and about 8 hours to the story. It could be its own game and I'd pay for it. This is masterclass in horror modding and is the #1 of all time in my opinion, dethroning Afraid of Monsters. Whilst my preferred horror genre is Lovecraftian (This is quite Cronenberg), it doesn't matter.
Might as well give a detailed review while I can.
Summary:This is not your average horror game. To sum it up it's made by in my opinion one of the best horror type of dev's I have ever seen. Im talking about ruMpel. And I cant thank him and the team enough for releasing this mod.
Story 10/10 Why? The story is amazing and it makes you want to play the mod. You start as a lonely but average person. You wake up in a alley with no signs how you have gotten there. Things start to go down and you search for answers.
Graphics*Ugh I hate to say that word*10/10 I.......ok...I was shocked and was very amazed how this turned out in a Half life mod. This mod PROVES it can still be worked on and turn things into very detailed layouts. This is why I enjoy the half life one mod's today.
Gameplay 10/10 It seems simple yet amazing. But the reason why I gave it THIS rating was because ruMpel himself wanted to feel what the gun felt when firing. He fired all types and used the same exact way he fired from the video to an animation on the gun. This helps get the taste of what a gun CAN feel like.
I'm sure I left alot of stuff out but I want you guys just to play this mod. ruMpel if you do see this review please make more. Take your time and rest. You earned it.
Game took me about 11 hours to finish. Well done, but unfortunately not perfect. Mostly, because of outdated gamedesign and unpolished gameplay.
+ Outstanding visuals and details
+ Amazing cutscenes and firstperson animations! Love it!
+ Tons of content, just insane! I was deeply impressed!
+ Many creative stuff \cool monsters, interesting levels and features\
+ Cool music and sound effects.
- Outdated game design. Feels like very old school game from early PS2 era.
- Endless repetitive levels. Great start and boring end levels. Game could be twice shorter and because of that less frustrating and annoying.
- Difficulty is just insane! You made me suffer on EASY! And it's not because I am a lame player. Looks like the game was intended only for hardcore HL-players. As an example - the level with wrecked subway car, where you have to jump and duck within limited time. Casual player will stuck there for sure.
- Lots of small bugs (hopefully will be fixed with patches)
My score - 9/10.
Definitely, the best SP mod of 2012!
In a few words: BRILLIANT IDEA WITH LOTS OF NEW CONTENT BUT SPOILED BY A FRUSTRATING GAMEPLAY
Ok now I got your attention with caps ;P and want to be more specific.
+ awesome graphics for such an old engine. And stylish too.
+ brilliant sound design
+ new enemies you never want to meet in darkness. 1st prize goes to cornerhead (or how can I name him properly?) best WTF monster I've seen.
+ setting right mood just...right
+ captured that feel of old horror games perfectly (which is actually a minus for ME personally)
- too much enemies and their placement is a disaster. Corridors with 5 things in a row or after every turn or in alcove created specially for enemy placement...it's just painful to watch, especially at parts with chained bloats. And how you like a giant right behind a door? And two others behind him?
- too much shooting. Less ammo and more damage from it is the way. But three bullets in kid's head...my god...
- too much confined space. I can't remember any other game in which you face a nearby wall almost every time you open a door. No way to side jump too. Somehow AOM feels more open.
- ************* THREEFACED CHAINSAW GUY OUT OF ******* NOWHERE! Seriously that parts with doorknob and with swimming are not scary. They are goddamn frustrating because you'll die and repeat it again. And I was killed by him once right after I entered some door -- fade in, I see empty corridor, one second later screen goes red (he was at my side).
- JUMP PUZZLES IN CONFINED SPACES. I probably could stand it but not with infamous crouch+jump thing... And if you successfully got out from train at very first time you're ******* superman!
You may love it with all your heart but I personally could replay AOM or Condemned but have a very huge doubts about replaying COF. Which is a shame because the game is good but I believe Psykskallar could made it unmatched.
10/10 if you like old school horror games.
8/10 if you don't like rough old school gameplay.
A major disappointment. While the game isn't necessarily bad, it's not good. The story is... "interesting," at best, the VA is *decent* for a mod, and some key elements such as the inventory system or awkward. The horror atmosphere itself isn't bad, however the jump scares are used far too often to remain interesting. Pretty soon you get too used to it, and it just becomes a dark semi-thriller. The level design isn't always particularly interesting, but it is far above what many GoldSrc mods offer.
Truth be told, despite being my most anticipated GoldSrc mod of the last few years, it's nothing special, and is a big disappointment. The mod's developers are clearly talented, but the most impressive thing in this mod is their conversion from GoldSrc to just a weaker version of Source.
Cry of Fear. The esteemed Cry of Fear that won many awards for it's creepiness and general quality. This game is far from perfect and I can't fathom how it won these many awards.
The gameplay is absolutely awful and clunky, most of the guns felt weak, and some were just downright useless to use (aka the TMP). The movement felt bugged and clunky as well, which resulted in an extremely annoying time during the jumping puzzle sections of the modification.
The graphical enhancements were somewhat subpar in implementation and usage, because some of the maps looked really cheap with the bump maps and some other graphical effect I don't know about, but others used it well, and looked nice with them. Other effects somewhat caused lag in certain areas, but I think that might be a limit with Half-Life's engine itself, so I don't know if it really was subpar implementation or if it really was just the way the engine worked. Who knows.
Monster design and mapping was decent. Most of the maps looked really good and accommodated the monsters very well. Some aforementioned maps above I already described and don't need to be again. The monsters looked pretty creepy in some ways while others looked retarded (see the sawer boss, and the suiciders).
Something that also should be mentioned is that I believe this mod relies too heavily on darkness for it's scare factor along with the typical cheap jump scares in almost every horror mod or game ever. I still have yet to see something that can be scary during the DAYTIME.
Now onto the part of the game that was done well. I enjoyed the storyline for this game and I thought it was done well for the most part aside from certain sequences (see Sophie's suicide).
The story can hit home with many players, even myself in terms of certain aspects of it, and for that, I applaud the developers for writing something this great.
For closing arguments, the game was hard to play with the clunky gameplay, but had a great story.
It gets a 5/10.
If Cry of Fear teaches us one thing, it's that it's not just about the story, but more about how it's delivered.
The game has a very retro and classic gameplay to it, with very limited inventory slots, solving strange puzzles to advance in a world that doesn't make sense, not because it was badly made, but on the contrary, because it was made to be confusing and ominous.
The Stamina bar is your worst enemy in this game, with very scarce ammunition for your fire arms, and with each of your movements (except regular walking) costing stamina, it becomes very clear that the stamina plays a major role in the game, and that is fine to accentuate the survival feeling of the combat, but during many nightmare sequences, or platforming sequences, the player is required to sprint and jump multiple times, and having to wait for your Stamina to recharge in a nightmare sequence can get tedious, but overall the addition of this gameplay mechanic adds a lot to the game.
On a technical point of view, this game is a marvel, I have found myself amazed multiple times at how good this looks for GoldSource, the ViewModels are amazing, and the enemies are not so bad themselves, I appreciated the fact that they move and behave differently than the regular Half Life NPCs, it did not feel like Half Life at all.
The weakest point of the game would be it's gameplay, many times the player is required to backtrack to very early stages of the game, to be able to move forward, and even if some plans placed around the game help, you really have to walk around and try to open every door and just try "Everything" you can think of to find the correct route.
Overall this is a good game for everyone who likes survival horror, I found myself wanting to stop playing multiple times, frustrated by annoying sequences, or just because I was lost, but the story kept me going, I just wanted answers, and answers I got.
This game isn't for everyone, but if you like this style, then you will love this one.
Don't get me wrong on this one, regardless of anything I might have stirred up before now, I wanted to like this mod. But you have to realize, yes, it was in development for quite a long time, I've heard 4 years, and they've obviously got talent, but they just didn't use that talent properly, to be brutally honest.
I'm not going to complain too much about the jump scares, because you DO need to throw a few at the player, if you want that horror atmosphere to mean anything. But there's such a thing as doing it a bit too much. Without giving anything specific away, there's a map where they have a jump scare and, apparently, thought it was scary enough to use it several times in that same map.
The backtracking also wouldn't be too bad, if it weren't for the fact most of the maps aren't particularly interesting or unique, and some of it just feels unnecessary. Chapter 4 in particular, without, again, being too specific, requires you to backtrack through areas you've mostly already been to, find two items, in this long process, just to open a door. You then later find a way back around to the area you used those two items in so you can retrieve them to progress to a new area.
It's also not always clear where you need to go, since, again, the maps aren't the most interesting or unique. I was stuck in one area because it turns out that there was a bus with a broken window in it that I had to climb through. I had to look this up to find out, because it's just not that clear that you had to do that.
The voice acting is also a bit detrimental, but I don't expect grade A acting out of a Half-Life mod.
I will say, the visuals are quite impressive, for the most part. They've done some very impressive things with the engine, it's just a shame the game itself isn't that good.
I could also mention it just isn't really scary, and the story isn't particularly well done, but overall, Cry of Fear is impressive as a mod, it just isn't particularly GOOD.
This is the first review I've ever posted here, but i felt like i had to say something about this mod (if it can even be called that). This could so easily be its own fully fledged game, and everything aside from the existing bugs is phenomenal. I don't think I've ever seen another mod that so completely changes the core mechanics of the game it's based off of. This isn't even recognizable as half life! And on top of its surprisingly good graphics (for the engine it uses), Cry Of Fear is damn scary. I'm u huge fan of the genre, and I've played pretty much every horror game out there, and like others have said before me, this scared the hell out of me. And not just jump scares, Cry contains some genuinely disturbing material. Thanks so incredibly much for the best half life mod I've ever played!