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Posted by Rawket on Dec 22nd, 2009
Half-Life 2 Mod
I have played many survival-horror games in my time. I love the feeling of being scared or paranoid and I eagerly search for games that will give me that experience. Nevertheless, it’s actually rare for me to be afraid of anything in a video game. I guess you can say I am a tough guy who is afraid of nothing. But, some games still succeed in surprising me. Survival-horror is just an awesome theme. They, like most of the category, each have their downsides. Usually the plot is about the same typical infection that turns people into hideous monsters that roam around a mysterious mansion that just happen to have a secret lab underneath and the occasional puzzle solving in order to progress to the next level. But, hey, that is what survival-horror is all about! It’s hard to think of something original for the player and still be scary. Most end up doing what the other games are doing. It’s not that I absolutely hate that in a survival-horror game, I know you can only be so original and be scary at the same time.
Now on to the review: When I first heard of Flesh, I was excited. Finally, a game that isn’t about shooting zombies just to overcome obstacles and a third-person view to boot, you can’t beat that! I mean at least for a source mod, you always get a gun and shoot a couple of combine. But, upon looking at the previews of the game, it reminded me a little too much of the game Siren. A game that I hated for it’s tedious gameplay. The concept of having to hide from the monsters just simply turned me away. Since no matter how many times I kill them, they always get back up! I want to be able to explore without having to worry that some monster is going to be on my ass the second I am in the middle of looking at something. It's not scary at all, just annoying. However, I was willing to at least give Flesh a try.
You play a man, his name and where he is heading is unknown to the player. As you are driving, you come upon an apparent car accident and stop to investigate. You see someone shamble deeper into the nearby woods. Naturally, you go after him. I mean, you can't just get back in your car and drive off like I would. I was half expecting it to say Fin when I press the use key on my car. But you have to follow him regardless. As you follow a path down to a destroyed building in the woods, you come upon a seemingly abandon area with warehouses and a mansion directly ahead. There is no turning back now. It’s now up to you to find out what has happened here and escape with your life as well. As you travel, you will find notes and audio tapes that will become helpful in filling you on the story about this place’s dark history.
The gameplay is quite simple. Since you don’t have any weapons or the ability to defend yourself from these monsters and getting touched by them will kill you instantly, you will want to avoid them at all costs. Your character can crouch and turn off his flashlight, effectively making you invisible to the monsters unless you are in a well-lit area. Although, sneaking past the monsters are not too difficult, they are quite stupid. In fact, I was able to just run around them and they eventually give up chase. Some actually try to chase you but get stuck and just end up looking at the wall. Which is amusing, but this can and hopefully will be fixed in a future patch. You also have the mysterious ability to see through the eyes of the monsters which makes it easy for you to study their patrol routes. It will also let you know if there are any potential bad guys near you, which is nice to know when you are figuring out a puzzle. Speaking of puzzles, there are puzzles dotted throughout the game to break up all the sneaking you do. Some are incredibly easy to solve while some are frustrating and really force you to think. You should be able to figure them out though, unless you hate puzzles.
The sound is amazing. The ambiance makes you feel like you are really there in the woods or in a dark and creepy mansion. There is some nice choice music as you explore the areas that sets the mood of the area you are in. There is also intense music for whenever the monsters discover you, effectively letting you know they saw you. There are also some excellent voice acting found in the game, audio tapes are plentiful throughout so you may listen. I can really feel the emotion from listening to the tapes and I actually care for whoever is talking! I just wish there was subtitles for the hearing-impaired like me so I can understand them completely on what they are trying to say. Some parts of the game I can barely hear them talking from all the ambiance music playing in the background. Although, this isn’t totally game breaking, you can still play the whole game without listening to any of the voice overs.
Graphics are also excellent. It’s rare to see a game that can actually make you feel you are not in the same boring City17 again, typical for source mods. So I am glad to see some nice new textures and models in Flesh; they look very well done and professional. But, I still see some are directly from HL2, which I understand. It can't all be original. HL1 mods are the same way, but that's what makes it what it is: a mod. Animation is also new but the way you move and the way the monsters move around, it's sort of comical! I know, I know, it's suppose to be scary. I hardly care much for animations, its nice that it's not just the same animations from HL2: deathmatch, so it's better than nothing. The map design on the other hand is very intricate and detailed. I got lost in the woods, but they are very simple layouts once you explore every nook and cranny. The game also features some spectacular special effects that makes the environments become alive. As you progress throughout the game you will visit a wide vary of locations in the game that show off the incredible special effects that Flesh uses.
If you are looking for a new change of pace from your typical everyday shooter, you should give Flesh a try. It will take you about 2 to 6 hours to complete, depending if you are really exploring or already know where to go. I find this game very refreshing and interesting. I couldn’t put the game down once I started, I just wanted to know what happens next! But if you are just looking for another zombie shooter and don't really care for the story. This game may not be for you.
LENGTH: 2 - 6 hours