Hello, my name is Sven :) I am a student in film and theatre, and also music in my small time. Main specialties involve script-writing and some experience in film editing.
I know it'll be a shocker for some fanboys that I only give a 7/10 to "TEH GREATEST GAME EVAH!!" but let me just say that it is rather fun. However, there's no denying it will go down as one of the most overrated games I have ever played. Therefore, I will break down the review to separate points.
GAMEPLAY: The most distinguishing feature in video gaming - it's fun, it's polished, but it's nothing new. From the single-player, you are still led by the nose in often tightly linear pathways, shooting and killing with very little found variety. As for the multiplayer being innovative, well... Perks and customisation and (these) modes have existed long before this game, so it's hard to see what's really new here. That's not to say none of this works, and some of the levels and scripted set-pieces are impressive and enjoyable. It's just not deep or creative enough to deserve such acclaim.
GRAPHICS: Very, very pretty and runs smoothly. However, some textures are deeply lacking. Overall beautiful, but far from the best of 2007.
STORY: This really grinds my gears. Really, what is so special about this story? All I see is Middle East in turmoil, stolen nuclear weapons, evil Russian Communists, Good ol' USA stepping in as usual to clean up the mess... blah, blah, blah. The only notable features is the unique emphasis on the SAS, and the Nuclear Explosion scene, but otherwise nothing else memorable about the plot.
SOUND: Probably the most redeemable element. The music score is simply excellent, fitting each moment throughout the campaign perfectly. The voice-acting, while not quite at the same level, has some good voices. The guns, on the other hand, sound more like toys rather than sophisticated weaponry which further ruins the quality of the action.
Overall, COD4 is a fun game with addictive multiplayer and some excellent missions. At a cheap price, it's worth a purchase. Nevertheless, it stands as a prime example where hype spoils a game's quality.
COF is far from flawless, but its strong points are so exceptionally brilliant that even if it cost money to play I still wouldn't hesitate rating this a 10/10. What we have here is a Mod which stands as a shining example of what's wrong with the gaming industry these days...
Because popular series have, more often than not, only ever been made for money, not for quality and heart put into development. As such, it's difficult to find truly compelling titles - not to mention good horror games (you call Resident Evil scary?) - even in the Indie side of projects.
Cry Of Fear is marvelous, because it is crafted from gameplay, level design, story and horror aspects to full potential. The large variety of hideous monsters are not the only thing that is scary; I found the story to be very deep and depressing, full of darkly psychological symbolism like criminality (rape, torture, murder), loneliness, paranoia and much more. As well as these realistic themes, it is also worth mentioning what a naughty startle this game gave me at the end of its Prologue level with what was for me personally, the nastiest jump scare I ever had.
Considering that this game is only a mod for Half-Life 1 (not the source version) I was very much impressed by the graphics and gameplay design. Despite a bit of a consolely-feel in environments, it was easily enjoyable to experience with superbly detailed visuals. Not to mention the complex control elements (you can even switch the style of holding your pocket knife!). The length is also satisfying (I'm still yet to finish it) and the excellent game updates are reason enough not to abandon this Mod anytime soon. If any disappointment can be found it's the limited save-slots which only count to 5.
The gaming world is lucky to have developers like this that make projects they truly believe in. I may have played a lot of Amnesia, but even that game didn't prepare for me for the horror to be found here. Just go and download COF now, simple as that!
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