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Hallowed Mod pleasantly surprised me back in early 2015 when I played the alpha. The screenshots didn't look promising, but location I found myself in had very strong feel and immersion.
Then it evoked nostalgic memories about the game HeXen. In that game, there are moments when you enter some cave and nothing tells you about upcoming trouble, then, suddenly, earthquake happens, floor collapses and previously safe place turns into challenging obstacle course. Hallowed recreated this event with modern graphics.
Fast forward to the middle of 2016 and it's great to see the mod grow into exciting 5-level adventure, with old locations receiving a lot of additional detail and addition of totally new ones.
Unfortunately, that's not possible. The tools that come with the game can only save in PC format.
Grey is an excellent work that feels like new game, because everything that would have "Half-Life 2" feel in it was removed.
New monsters and levels are scary, design has well done architecture and layouts.
Various challenges and hard mode with properly balanced difficulty add extra playtime.
Recently this mod was published on RunThinkShootLive site, and you can read some more user reviews there, including mine:
Most likely, the game closes because your video card doesn't have the required OpenGL support.
If you have more than one video card in the computer, and one of them is Intel HD Graphics, open your video card driver and force Paranoia2.exe to use the other card, not HD Graphics.
Otherwise try experimental patch which should fix incompatibility with some video cards. You can download it here: Rghost.ru
The game closes because Intel HD Graphics doesn't have the required OpenGL support.
If you have another video card in the computer, open your video card driver and force Paranoia2.exe to use it instead of HD Graphics.
Otherwise launch Paranoia2.exe with -dev 5 command-line parameter, click "Console" in the menu, type GL_RENDERER 0 there and press enter. This way the game should work but graphics quality will be low.
Here's what I liked about the mod:
Good atmosphere, excellent voice acting, nice puzzles which are perfectly balanced to be neither too easy nor too hard, variety of the scenery, level design that looks very different from original game most of the time.
What I didn't like:
The platforming section is a huge source of annoyance, because the player's jump height is randomized so there's a guarantee to fall even when doing everything perfectly. This could be compensated if there were more than one checkpoint.
I replayed the mod and collected all three easter egg items, but that didn't cause any surprise, it just showed the usual ending.
Some perfectible things, improving which would make the mod look more professional:
There's some neglect in level design. Outside the house it's possible to see that there's a hole near the window frame on the second floor. Upon looking in the keyhole in some doors of the Orphanage it's clearly seen that there's a wall right behind the door, and no corridor/room that should have been there. Also the model of the door is unfinished: it has keyhole and door handle, but when you open the door you see that there's no lock.
Path to the train station is filled with grass, and there's no grass outside the path, which is unrealistic, because grass doesn't grow where people walk a lot, it only grows outside the paths.
Distant mountains in the outdoor levels are not convincing because they are very low-poly, and clearly aren't so distant.
Sky textures are mutilated by compression artifacts.
Video playthrough and review of Wellspring Underground Extended:
Video playthrough and review of Survival Mode:
The combat encountered later is where I didn't have difficulties. It was well designed and required heavy usage of CoD character's abilities to lean and lie down. Best example of that was a place where I could hide behind thick low fence made of stone and pillars. Author's good find was to place barricades of crates with small holes in them, which could be used to direct bullets at enemies. It was pretty challenging to find a way out of there. Probably because the exit door looked like some big locked door that is not worth checking.
Last level. That beautiful cityscape seen on the preview screenshot. There's a pleasant surprise in the gameplay, too: an enemy tank appears, complete with destructible environment for it to break. What an excellent way to end the map pack with a bang - both literally and not.
Some parts of it are confusing, though: it doesn't seem like a good idea to run past the tank, and the player might choose to go through nearby roof instead, which doesn't seem to be intended path since it is partially covered by invisible wall.
It seems like somewhere I didn't do something that author intended, because when I took the Panzerfaust, objective of finding it wasn't marked as complete, and it was only marked when I went through the tunnel nearby, then an artillery attack destroyed the fence it was behind. And in the ruins, there's a ladder approaching which causes some enemies' spawn out of the air.
Besides the confusing parts, layout is very complex and well thought out, using the most out of the location. It is a very long level thanks to cleverly designed layout.
Making us shoot enemies through the bush is an interesting idea which brings more variety to firefights.
Overall, despite the minor flaws, this map mack delivers visually pleasing locations it promises on the preview screenshot, and has challenging battles that help unlock Call of Duty's potential. So your will have a good time if you spend it playing this campaign.
We start in a nice snowy trench that oozes winter atmosphere. It is, howewer, a little spoiled by some seams that are too sharp for a snow, especially the seam right in front of us.
Well done trees, snow textures and gunshot sounds make us feel cold of the winter and heat of the war.
As a strange coincidence, the wooden barracks we enter later have collisionless crates which look very similar to the one from the beginning of LeonCOD1 pack.
Then we enter the town. The design is very interesting, realistic, various and detailed. It gives a feeling of being in a real place. Choice of positions the enemies attack from is pretty imaginative.
Building with yellow paint that partially came off, showing big bricks with round edges, staircase that leads down, small snowy terrain with well made contrast of light and shadow... This picturesque view alone makes the map worth playing. And there will be more beautiful sceneries on our way.
Howewer, not enough thought was put in some places: if you jump there, you can see outside the map. Holes in geometry can also be noticed.
The end of the first level has slower progression than I would like it to be: there are too many enemies everywhere, and taking them all down is time consuming. It seemed that the author couldn't see the line between taking the most of the level and protracting it.
At the beginning of second level, the pace, thankfully, becomes faster as we get down to the courtyard through the moody ruins. Sunlight does a great job at decorating the buildings.
Then, after clearing a street, we once again get into some moody ruins (another time there are too many enemies attacking from all directions) to reach a welcome change of scenery - rooftops, which are level 3. But lack of complete thought is shown here again - it's easy to get up and see hole in geometry and the fact that there's nothing around the building.
The beginning looks good, with nice variety of well placed decorations, light and color. Well picked ambient sound gives a nice feel to the area. Only flaw is that purple box which collision is smaller than what it should be.
Would be a lot better if getting out of the cell was some believable puzzle of finding that you can move the shelves, then finding means to destroy the wall.
Enemy resistance slowly increases. The place is interesting to explore. It looks realistic, but at the same time feels otherworldly/dreamlike. I think city levels of the game Lost Planet 2 have similar feel.
Seems like this is a port warehouse or something, because often we meet sailors among the enemies.
Later I've seen some other small flaws: overbright lights, hole in the ceiling of the barracks (under the staircase).
Strangely, when I shot the rifle, there was some moving glitch to the left of the screen. It often scared me, because I thought it was an enemy soldier. Might be something related to widescreen resolution, perhaps?
When we get outside, it gets totally weird: Night, moon in the sky, and... Sunlight?! There's no sun at the direction it's coming from.
Then, map2 loads and we get proper moonlight. Nice atmosphere, and again, feels surreal because some buildings have no foundations and low windows. The view I enjoyed the most is building with two trees near it at the very beginning.
Battle here is pretty puzzling, because right position to shoot from is not very obvious.
It gets a little easier later, but not much easier, because amount of enemies is a bit over the top. Nothing impossible, just some places that require a few retries.
Map ends in an area that looks simple and glitchy, which reminds of Leon's Half-Life 2 mappack ending.
Overall, these are pleasing maps with original realistic yet dreamlike atmosphere, well placed various details and sounds and challenging fights. Worth playing.
Do you happen to use ATI/AMD video card? If that's the case, try turning off Catalyst AI.
If you use 32-bit Windows, install 64-bit one over it.
If you already use 64-bit Windows, but it still doesn't work, right click on RAGE word in your Steam library, then choose "Properties" in the appeared menu. Then, in "RAGE - Properties" window, switch to "LOCAL FILES" tab, and click "VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME CACHE..." button.
Wellspring Underground map is certainly very fun and it must be played by everyone who has RAGE. Level design is beautiful and various, it takes advantage of RAGE's Megatexture and high-resolution lightmaps. Even just walking and looking around is very enjoyable.
I uploaded a video playthrough and wrote a detailed review:
Thank you for the review!
I'm happy to know that you enjoyed it. When making the Lost Levels I gave every room a purpose. I'm glad that you noticed it and that it made you feel like you were in a real place.
I also like how you once again found a place for philosophic aspect in your review: talked about actual game design problem.
Thanks for reviews, good to know that you liked the idea of Typical Disaster and level design in The Lost Levels.
Backtracking is too much? Too much monsters and soldiers? Hmm, that's just a matter of taste, I guess. I don't remember receiving such feedback before.
Original Typical Disaster isn't of quality as high as Lost Levels, because I didn't have the required experience when making it. It was my first decent mappack, levels I made before were rectangular rooms with crowds of monsters.
Thanks, great to know that you loved it :) I love short mods too :)
Of course, everything has its flaws and to say that I have no complaints about this review is to say a lie.
"The map has consistent details and consistent performance, which made it seem like a professional effort in contrast to a lot of other maps, including others by the same author." This particular paragraph is too vague. You should have wrote there, which my maps exactly you're talking about here, and how exactly they are worse than Salvational Temple. When someone says a vague thought they have no chances to get their point across as vague info is too open for interpretation.
The criticism about red light and model placements seems nitpicky to me as I've never noticed these flaws, especially "ugly streaking" in that room with red light, and I don't remember anyone complaining about them.
But still, I'm very happy to see that you enjoyed the map and speak very highly of it and my abilities. Overall this review is one of the best reviews I've ever seen: not only it gives some very valuable feedback, but it's also very acute and shows a lot of professionalism. I enjoyed reading it a lot, and I hope to see more reviews from you in the future, because I feel that mod community would really benefit from reviews like this.
Thank you very much for this review! It's very detailed, very valuable and very well written.
I predicted that some players won't like trapdoors, that's why I put them at the beginning, so once you complete it, they get out of the way. Also, they won't be that annoying after some practice at completing them.
The idea of making intentionally placed slots in the brushwork looks great! Seems like an excellent balance between Z-Hunter's wall behind which you can't see yourself, and "no-clip" approach that I've used from time to time.
Here are some things I would like to clarify.
You can easily kill Cherubs if you crouch, Cacodemons just fly towards you, so they're not a problem as they quickly get into your line of fire. Lost Soul is a real challenge, you have to get it in your line of fire. You can use crouching and jumping to make it easier. I even decided to make a battle with three Lost Souls skippable due to the fact that it might seem too hard to some players.
The Pinky Demons are a combat puzzle. You need to stand in one of three structures to prevent them from reaching you. Maybe it's not perfect, but I think it is still a lot better that Pinky Demons in Z-Hunter Level 2, where you either attack them in the open and take a lot of damage, or hide in a corner with 100% chance that they won't reach you.
The pressure plates without any feedback is a feature, not a bug. Don't know if it's a good idea or not, but that's what I wanted to do for originality - usually they have feedback, but these ones don't. That's why there's one of them at the very beginning - to teach the player - look, nothing happened with the plate, but the door has opened.
As for the ending, I did everything I could, and I don't know how it could have been done better, too.
You can turn left and go through a door after defeating the first wave of hunters. That way you'll enter the room with 6 Hunters through a door and will be in more convenient position to fight them.
Yes, the puzzle elements can be puzzling, but I see nothing wrong in making the player stop and think for a while.
Right, the moment of becoming small is awesome. I remember thinking about it and how great it would be long before I reached creating that metal room.
And above all, I'm happy to see that you enjoyed the map.
These screenshots and new ones that I found on the site ( Violationentertainment.com ) look promising so far. I like the car design.
If some more progress will be made on this, I'll be happy to see it.
Thanks for commenting. I'm glad that you found the planet and liked the mod. Unfortunately, I don't know how to fix the trader, so had to leave him as he is. By the way, you can see more videos and images from early in-development versions of Freelancer here:
I know that there was an intro cutscene in Freelancer which took place on planet Pygar, but it was cut from the game. You can watch it here:
If you're interested, here you can read very detailed reviews of Z-Hunter and Salvational Temple:
The ventilation on the lower roof is the exit of slums_2 map.
The two doors are in the end of riverbed_3 map.
Wow, this mod was different. I left a review:
Some feedback that didn't make it into the review:
The gameplay contains very challenging environmental puzzles, where we have to carefully explore the place to find a way to advance. I solved them all without a walkthrough, they just require some time to think. But at one place where I was supposed to climb on the rooftop of the building, I had to explore the level with sv_gravity, because I didn't notice a way to the roof at first. At another place I found the way out only when I started to explore the level with noclip. There was a ventilation shaft on the lower roof, and for some reason I didn't consider trying to go it it. In the place with two doors with red lights above them I thought that I should get to the fence which is to the right from them but when I put a trashbag in order to get on the ventilation, the clip brush stopped me. After that I used noclip to make sure that I have to go through these doors, then went back and found a way to open them.
I only had to use the walkthrough close to the end where I was supposed to destroy the wooden planks with pyrokinesis. I totally forgot about it. Maybe the fires on the distance were supposed to remind, but they didn't help me to remember that I can launch fires.
Thanks :) Good to know that you enjoyed it.
If it wasn't fast and easy to just try every possible lock combination in Saw, I would think about adding more clues or removing it.
I plan to make more maps for this mod in the future, but considering how very very hard it was to bring myself to finish and release this one, I need a miracle to actually create them.
Thank you, carlos0809!
Sorry, but I don't see the need in checkpoints, because the map is small and if you have difficulties and die, you can make a screenshot of the puzzle, pause the game and solve it without the pressure.
But, of course, if I ever make more maps for this mod, I will put places where the player can die not far from the map start point, so you won't have to redo a very long way.
Thank you, rabyte and SPY-maps!
I can't wait to find out your impressions about the mod when you complete it.
The design is excellent. We are in some unknown city, and while in general everything is very similar to Half-Life 2, there are many unique details.
In the end we'll have a glimpse on fantastic original location. I hope we'll be able to run, jump and swim there in the future.
This mod has many familiar things, but they are done differently, so it's definitely worth playing.
Read full version of the review: Moddb.com
Excellent City 17 based mod. We will visit city streets, tunnels, canals, flats. The design is well done and atmospheric. There is a pleasing puzzle which uses the game's resources creatively.
The HDR is too bright.