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Cry of Fear

Game review - 2 agree - 2 disagree

From a technical stand point, this is extremely impressive. In its finest moments, the graphics, sound design, and cinematic qualities to this mod are the best I can imagine goldSRC is capable of, and far greater than I would have believed prior to playing this.

However, as an experience, Cry of Fear is just okay, or perhaps above average, at least when compared to AAA horror titles. I really enjoyed it for the most part, but it's clear that the development was spread out over quite a long period of time; the levels don't have the same level of polish (structurally and narratively) as each other, and some genuinely feel a little cobbled together.

There are some moments of absolute brilliance in this mod, but I'd call them intermittent. Many of the puzzles require an irritating amount of backtracking and/or abstract thinking, and I often found myself wondering whether or not they were really adding very much to the level.

I was also rather disappointed with many of the boss battles. Regardless of your opinion on boss battles as a test of what you learned in that level, or simply a means to emphasise a situation and plot point, the bosses in Cry of Fear aren't great: With dramatically varying levels of plot-relevance and intelligence of design, many of them just felt like a token inclusion, although admittedly the better designed ones felt like narratively and thematically appropriate challenges to end a level with, and in reflection of this I applaud the developers for achieving in part something that many AAA titles do not.

Not to belittle their obvious talent, but do I feel the developers somewhat overestimated what they could achieve. I could easily forgive Cry of Fear for being shorter and more focused experientially, but what we have here is a game slightly soured by inconsistency: The weaker moments will stick in your mind almost as prominently as the brilliant ones, and you'll leave the game with just a twinge of dissatisfaction because of it.

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