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Review RSS Feed Silent Hill: Alchemilla
9 Review

Mod Review on Mar 1st, 2015 - 1 person agrees

In short words - very good free game, play it.

Excellent level design - various believable and detailed cityscapes and interiors - hospital, shops, apartments, another dimension. Nostalgic graphics which remind of PS2 games.

There are, however, a few flaws that separate it from the honourable rank of one of the best games ever made.

It seems like the developers made a mistake by not following proper steps of the development process: first you document everything you want to happen in your game, then choose the engine, try to realise all features you documented, if they don't work - try other engines until you find one where you can get all the features to work. Only when everything's working, you make levels.

Instead, the authors decided to start with levels. As a result, they couldn't make inventory, notes and combat systems. When playing I coudn't help but wonder - maybe it would be better to use Amnesia game as a base for this mod since it already has inventory and notes? On the other hand - with Source SDK as a base and 100% custom content there's no purchase necessary to play which allows to reach greater audience, so what would be better isn't an easy question.

So the only thing we have to play with are puzzles. But even here it's not so smooth. The balance is off at times. You can only place cards and jump in the pit if you read certain notes beforehand, which is a very bad design decision. The character and the player must be one and the same, and the result of player's actions must not change depending on what the character knows or not. With aforementioned pit in particular, there's a high chance that player would jump there early, die, decide that jumping there is always a bad idea and gets stuck.

Also it looks like eventually the authors got tired of the game and decided to just stop working on it and release. As a result - there is no ending. No proper culmination, no proper finishing event. Just at one point the screen suddenly fades to black and you see the credits - that's all.

Other flaw is that I didn't find any clues that I must choose one correct clock in the clock puzzle. But the hero thinks at one point "I need to find a working clock", so the only thing the authors should have done is to add ticking to that particular clock and then it would be properly balanced and fun to complete.

I don't remember any more problems - other puzzles seem possible to complete on your own as long as you invest enough effort.

Joutomaa
9 Review

Mod Review on Sep 15th, 2011 - 4 people agree
This review may contain spoilers

The beginning of this mod is unusual - we ride in the prisoner pod through some Combine buildings. Then we see a window and understand that we are in the Citadel.

A story twist - and we are resting on the sofa in the comfortable flat, but there's no time for resting, because CPs are getting close, so we have to retreat to the old church.

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. The elements of Half-Life 2 are skillfully combined with originality. There are some admirable little details which are a little scary: we hear hits in the door, open it, and - phew! - the CP's are knocking into another door, not ours! We break the wooden door and see a zombie on the other side who helped us break it.

It's too bad that the new dialogues don't have subtitles: it's hard to understand them, especially when speech is drowned by loud sounds.

There is some originality in the gameplay, too. The battle with antlion guard is something that I've never seen before.

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.

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