I have waited long for the release of this game, knowing the main developer's style of design, I already knew sort of what to expect.
This game reached all the expectations I had for it, and more, I was a big fan of the previous release, AOM Dc, it was indeed a very fun and overall well accomplished mod, but Cry of Fear as expected, managed to be way superior.
Gameplay feels a lot like it's brother AOM but with finer development, it also feels a lot like a old school survival horror game, having an inventory, having a notebook to keep all the scraps and documents found, having the ability to combine objects, to look for keys to open doors, having to get pass interesting puzzles and having a certain save spot to aid the stability even further. Also to mention the ability to dual wield weapons and some objects, not many games possess that feature, thinking quick about it to be honest, the only game that reaches my mind right now that also had that was Shadowman.
Survival horror, combat, platforming, puzzle solving and most importantly, atmospheric. This game deserves all the praising it gets, since it is professional grade standard.
The graphics engine even though it has some nice improvements, bump mapping, water shader, specular lighting, real-time lighting, a particle engine and so on, it suffers from a lot of stability issues and its unoptimized, its slow, unstable and very resource consuming. I knew already how Paranoia's renderer worked so it didn't come as a surprise, it became obvious Cry of Fear was using it. It is still nice looking though.
Level design is well accomplished, its claustrophobic, it causes you a lot of pressure and its well detailed, I think I could actually compare it to Left 4 Dead's level design? It felt a bit like so. The developers have a big advantage over this department of game design, just like Paranoia, since it uses a bump mapping system , is easier to make good looking scenes without having to fill it up with lots and lots of detail, the bump mapping system makes it shinny and appealing. I don't want to brag much about this in particular because all in all Cry of Fear's level design was good and it worked, but unavoidable that I mention, some areas of the game are simply made of narrow corridors, with little design complexity it could have used further attention in some areas.
Overall graphics are good, level design, effects, worthy of a modern release.
Storyline. Even though it has it's degree in "deepness" it isn't much more than just passable, I really think it could have used further development and focusing on. For a game of this caliber, I was expecting a bit more. The whole storyline is resumed to a problematic kid that sometime during his life suffered a severe car accident, which caused him to live the rest of his life attached to a wheelchair and going downhill on a demented toll for not being able to walk ever again. He goes to a psychologist and he is asked to write a book about how he feels, the actual game events are the writings on that book. It's a depressing and dark storyline, but it's almost null, not much to learn, not much to theorize about. However, it is not condemnable, I have seen worse in licensed games and since the game does it well on other areas, I can forgive it.
To mention also the sound design which was good. Fitting, eerie, and even depressing. The correct usage of sound effects in the game determined the precise mood and boosted the experience to a much higher level.
It is obvious that the developers knew what they were doing, they worked every department of the game very carefully, it is noticeable that they were devoted and convicted of their objectives, it still has it's flaws though but I never expect something to be perfect, I keep some modesty towards others.
9 out of 10, absolutely recommended.