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Cry of Fear has been taunting everyone on ModDB for years, slowly dripping out content, detailing the massive changes that have been made to GoldSRC and giving everyone a very good idea of the tone that CoF is creating. Has the wait been worth it?

Posted by Henley on Feb 19th, 2012

Cry of Fear can be best described in one word, immersive. From the first time you boot up the mod right through to completion the entire world closes in around you and holds you tight. You will take on the role of Simon, a young teen who wakes up in a dark alleyway with only questions. He has no idea of the events leading up to this point or why the world around him is slowly filling with horrible monsters. Simon needs to fight the darkness (and what lies within) with the intention of uncovering the mysteries and surviving to see another day. I won’t go into any more details regarding the story but it is worth mentioning that you are in for a very enjoyable ride, if you can muster up the courage to press into the night.

Cry of Fear has something very special. You see the gents from Team Psykskallar Team Psykskallar have not just been sitting idle for the past 4 years as CoF boasts some of the best engine implementations for GoldSRC since Paranoia. From the very beginning of the mod you are greeted with a new hint system, inventory changes and my personal favourite the new map loading system (more details on that later). Lighting effects are vastly improved and actually make a big difference. The world – while not extremely dark – still requires some player held light source to navigate effectively so your combat will change based solely on the lighting made available to you. With 6 different lighting solutions available at different points in the game you are spoilt for choice each having their own pros and cons.

Unlike the majority of half-life mods CoF is not a linear game. You will often find yourself backtracking as you pick up items for areas you have since passed, however the world is far from static. New obstacles will appear within areas you so bravely exorcised on your first pass, familiar routes will change and new areas and shortcuts to old will open up. Players who have ventured into the Dark/Demon Souls games will have a good idea at what I am hinting at. This is all thanks to the above mentioned level loading system where every door you enter loads (rather quickly I might add) a new map within the game. With each new instance the enemies you face will be randomly placed, codes for doors and computers change meaning each new game will be different. The system itself is fantastic, it is a “think outside the box” that just works so well, I might even go as far to say it is the best level management system I have seen in a modification to date. And I have played a LOT of mods.

Following the motif of survival horror, inventory space is quite limited and in some cases extremely frustrating. One example I had to find and carry two fuses from one location to another, each fuse takes up a whole slot within your inventory and if you take into account that each weapon, key, light source takes up as slot well you will be forced (quite regularly) to make hard choices on what you will be carrying with you. I will admit that this system was frustrating for me; I tend to “save” items for more difficult encounters so if I wanted that shotgun again I would need to backtrack. Personal issues aside I believe the whole system could have still worked well if the issues of size and weight been a factor rather than a slot based system.

Now I am imagining you are all saying “Enough about the engine, IS THE MOD SCARY?!?” Yes, Cry of Fear is really frightening! There are a fair amount of “BOO!” moments but CoF really shines in how it builds up the suspense and for that the music plays a very big part. These moments are effective at getting deep under your skin, to the point where it had literally given me shivers. Mix in the removal of ye-old f5 to quick save for a suitably better and far more traditional save point system and the resulting effect will fill you with a sense of dread since you are very much gambling with your progress. For those among us who are weak at heart Cry of Fear does have some downtime that works wonders for the pacing of the mod. The first few chapters will really run you ragged for scares, but when you finally step out into the open streets and the soothing music envelopes your tormented mind you realise how much of a powerful hold CoF has over your emotional state.

So should you try Cry of Fear? Yes, without a doubt. But know this, no matter how much you think you are prepared for what you are about to experience I can tell you right now that you are not. So turn down the lights, put on your favourite headphones and get ready for what will most likely become an all-time classic mod.


Post comment Comments  (0 - 50 of 111)
meazum Feb 18 2012 says:

Very good read, can't really explain how miffed I am that I will be away from the release day and five days onward... Oh well, travel is fun too.

+25 votes     reply to comment
ADTeam™ Feb 19 2012 replied:

After four years in development, hopefully it'll be worth the weight... I mean, the wait :D

+25 votes     reply to comment
death5421 Feb 18 2012 says:

can. not. *******. wait. just a few more days. just a few more days. just a few more days. just a few more days. just a few more days. just as a few more days. just a few more days....

+21 votes     reply to comment
MrSaturdayKnight Feb 19 2012 replied:

Why did you people neg this comment? He's just anxious about the mod, I didnt read anything negative in that sentence.

+17 votes     reply to comment
death5421 Feb 20 2012 replied:

thank you for your defense, good sir!

+10 votes     reply to comment
LiveMChief Feb 18 2012 says:

I literally NEED the mod now after reading this...

+19 votes     reply to comment
MilkonModdb Feb 18 2012 says:

"Boo." -Henley

+21 votes     reply to comment
Henley Author
Henley Feb 18 2012 replied:


+15 votes   reply to comment
valvelegend Feb 18 2012 buried:


does this remind anyone else of the darkness? or condemned?

-14 votes     reply to comment
LordDz Feb 19 2012 replied:

Horror games do tend to have something in similar, as much as rts-games tend to have something in common.

+5 votes     reply to comment
.JAS Feb 19 2012 says:

I got a "Silent Hill: The Room" vibe from the mod's description. I will definitely be giving this one a try.

+8 votes     reply to comment
Mkilbride Feb 19 2012 says:

This reminds me of, uh, this one UT2004 mod...

I really wanted to play it, except it had horrible performance, even on the best of systems...


This is it.

I kind of get this vibe.

+5 votes     reply to comment
macacos2 Feb 19 2012 replied:

Yeah, I tried playing that mod also but the incredibly poor performance didn't allow me to.

It got to the point where it would crash during level transitions, so I just gave up entirely.

+3 votes     reply to comment
AlCool Feb 20 2012 replied:

The first patch fixed all the lag issues I was getting. The mod was pretty damn scary. It just needed some work on the character models and animations, and it would be golden!

+4 votes     reply to comment
spectreazura Feb 21 2012 replied:

I enjoyed that mod a lot.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Shirk Feb 19 2012 says:

How long can we expect the mod to be?

+5 votes     reply to comment
Henley Author
Henley Feb 19 2012 replied:

I've played it for roughly about 10 hours or so, but I explored a lot. I have been stuck in a few places as well but all that should be fixed in the public build. So if you are quick possibly 8-9 hours.

+8 votes   reply to comment
Ownederd Feb 19 2012 says:

"The first few chapters will really run you ragged for scares, but when you finally step out into the open streets and the soothing music envelopes your tormented mind you realise how much of a powerful hold CoF has over your emotional state."

Oh my.

I love any game with atmospheric music, and a emphasis on the feel of the levels.

+5 votes     reply to comment
StegoSigma Feb 19 2012 says:

I've never seen anything so... pro... before.

-3 votes     reply to comment
Ownederd Feb 19 2012 replied:

you just don't give up berating yourself, do you

+7 votes     reply to comment
Earthbound_X Feb 19 2012 says:

Should be interesting with no quick saves, since I tend to abuse the hell out of them.

Just a few more days!

+8 votes     reply to comment
Mkilbride Feb 19 2012 buried:



I skipped over that part. No Quick saves?

Can I still access them through consoles by typing quicksave or something?

Honestly, in a game like this, that relies on atmosphere...checkpoints kill it for me....the immersion that is.

-16 votes     reply to comment
HEVIS Feb 19 2012 replied:

You better man up for this one!

+4 votes     reply to comment
Minuit Feb 19 2012 replied:

You can type quicksave, but the save will not be loadable. Same for typing the regular "save" command. The only saves that load in CoF are the ones that are properly saved at the parts where the game allows.

+9 votes     reply to comment
Mkilbride Feb 19 2012 buried:


Lol...but it just ruins the immersion the 5th or 6th time you die at a spot and have to repeat the last 5 minutes.

As, limited item inventories. Hate that. I am hoarder, like mentioned in the article.

I save all my best stuff for when I know things get rough. Not being able to do that, sucks.

You betrayed the Half-Life community with this limited item based inventory!


-28 votes     reply to comment
LiveMChief Feb 19 2012 replied:

If you do not like it, do not play it.

+13 votes     reply to comment
AkwardNerdRage Feb 19 2012 says:

I only just started playing scary games/mods, this should be quite the thrill ^^

+3 votes     reply to comment
Brca95 Feb 19 2012 says:

I can't wait for this!!! xD

+3 votes     reply to comment
SpeedyClaude Feb 19 2012 says:

How many handeled lighting sources will be in there?
I saw a lantern, the cell phone and a flare, that's all?
(excluding the flashlight from the MP)

+4 votes     reply to comment
JuSTiNX Feb 19 2012 says:

This mod just keep's getting more known and well thought of.
This will be worthwhile to play.

+4 votes     reply to comment
gazornonplat Feb 19 2012 says:

Wait til you've played it before you start picking holes in it.

+4 votes     reply to comment
MarcoCanFly Feb 20 2012 replied:

Words of wisdom!

+3 votes     reply to comment
amkdude Feb 19 2012 says:

3 days this is going to be really epic

+4 votes     reply to comment
alexbu62395 Feb 19 2012 says:

these next 3 days are going to drag

+4 votes     reply to comment
Rexyer Feb 19 2012 says:

i will probably not getting any problem with the "quicksave" removal, because i have never used xD I dont remember it xD

+4 votes     reply to comment
kuadziw Feb 19 2012 says:

3 days to release!!! :)

+4 votes     reply to comment
WhiteZero Feb 19 2012 says:

Really hope the interface scales with widescreen...

+4 votes     reply to comment
LopperUK Feb 19 2012 says:

Holy ******* **** this will be sick!

+2 votes     reply to comment
EricFong Feb 19 2012 says:

Okay, I am gonna steam chat with my friend because I don't have the ball now.

+3 votes     reply to comment
LordDz Feb 19 2012 says:

Will the Coop mode be out on release?

+3 votes     reply to comment
Minuit Feb 19 2012 replied:

Yes it will be. However, the coop is more of a beta than the proper story mode as it has been in development for much, much less time.

+5 votes     reply to comment
ADTeam™ Feb 19 2012 replied:

... well that was a bit unexpected for me, but now I think about it, its quite normal, since COOP was added to the mod development in the latest months before release (maybe 9, 10 months ago) so I'll better wait for the patches :D and enjoy of this beauty!

+3 votes     reply to comment
SeBu Feb 19 2012 says:

I'll remember the days when original AOM, was so athmoshperic and creepy that as a little kid i struggled to get the courage to face those levels.

Now it all comes back to me! I'v been following this progress since it was announced and i was really hyped! I never had any doubt of the outcome. I knew this was going to be brilliant, but as i started to see HOW much rumpel and minuit put effort on this, i really didn't know how far they were gonna go whit this. And those two crazy bastards put together this deep, scary, crazy and even psychotic "trip" that we'r all gonna go trough (if we dont end up weeping alone in the corner first).

Modding is an art and these guys (the whole team), have really found out what's it all about. They proved ( not the first ones though), that great talent can be lead to even careers! As you know these guys work nowadays at the house of DICE (afaik)

I love that these guys have had the inspiration to come along this far and I'm so glad to see that their finish line is just few days away!

So I say, Thank you! for behalf of the whole mod comunity thanks for having the strength to go all the way to the end!

So my rant is finally over... Just felt like it

5 days

+7 votes     reply to comment
StegoSigma Feb 19 2012 buried:


This spotlight on the front page is so...... pro.

-5 votes     reply to comment
Eoks Feb 19 2012 replied:

Shouldn't you be on neuroposine injections by now?
Your brain seem to grow glial tissue a bit.

+7 votes     reply to comment
m82sniper Feb 20 2012 replied:

Dude, Eoks, leave him alone. I've given him some **** already, but now I just feel bad. Some people just don't cope well with having both Autism and Down Syndrome at the same time. It's tough, this is just his way of venting.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Nemesisurvivorleon Feb 19 2012 says:

I screamed like little babyman in excitement. Is this normal?

+4 votes     reply to comment
Khelben Feb 19 2012 says:

I'v been waiting this for too long. I WANT THIS NOW NEINE NEINE NEINE

+4 votes     reply to comment
mcpeepants92 Feb 19 2012 says:

I can't believe it's being released on my BIRTHDAY OF ALL DAYS! So pumped for this then Alan Wake's American nightmare the next day WOOT!

+4 votes     reply to comment
Evil-Police Feb 19 2012 says:

But the real question is, will it be scarier than Amnesia?

+4 votes     reply to comment
Mkilbride Feb 20 2012 buried:


I seriously doubt it.

As good as this looks, I find it hard to imagine...especially considering you can fight back in this.

-5 votes     reply to comment
SeBu Feb 20 2012 replied:

It's too early to judge that. Amnesia wasn't scary for me, atmoshperic yeah, but not scary. When the first monsters was encountered it was all over for me.

As henley said COF will have many "Boo" situations, that will surely keep you on the edge of your chair, but i strongly believe that they have built great dark athmosphere too.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Mkilbride Feb 20 2012 buried:


If Amnesia wasn't scary for you, then there isn't a game on the market that is.

Or even a mod, for that matter, as because that they've shown looks dark and wonderful, and I'm sure I'll jump many a times, I don't think it'll give me a near heart attack like Amnesia did. I could only play it 20 minutes at a time before I was sweating to much.

-5 votes     reply to comment
SeBu Feb 20 2012 replied:

You might be right. I'm that kind coldheaded gamer that i dont fear the "athmosphere" so much, like the amnesias immersive world (dat sounddesignt etc..) had. Like in amnesia, you get early warning when enemies are near and have time to react properly. But like in AOM:DC i was always waiting the next moment, when it will get me out of guard. (And yes, dark room and my 300$ senheiser production headphones will give me a great experience) :D

I hope just that COF will succeed on that too. I strongly believe so.

+4 votes     reply to comment
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