I worked on the Source Engine for mods such as Ivan's Secrets and No More Room in Hell. I've recently switched to UDK, great biography right?
Let me start out by saying the level design is fantastic, and really makes me forget it is a Source mod. The sound design is great too, as well as the custom textures and models. Its really nice to see a total conversion mod like this. The atmosphere from the exteriors to the interiors is true to Silent Hill, and it seems it was nailed perfectly. But that is where the good grace ends.
I understand that you had intentions of adding fighting and enemies but you lacked the man power to do so, so I wont be so harsh.
My number one complaint is that there are absolutely no enemies, not even ones you don't have to fight (aside from the random appearances). Knowing that there aren't actually any monsters in the world really takes away from the fear of the unknown, since I know if I go into that dark room there wont be anything in there to kill me or try and kill me. Essentially what you have done by stating that there are no monsters is really kill the fear of the unknown, which in turn, takes a majority of the fear away.
The atmosphere is great, but it leads up and builds suspense for something that will never be there, and us, as the players know that which is a game changer. If you look at games like Amnesia, Outlast, ect, you see that those games have no combat, just as Alchemilla does, but they do have the constant fear of monsters lurking around corners and such, which is one of the large reasons they are so popular. You know there is something out there that can possibly end your life, and you know you cannot fight back, as well as not knowing exactly where it is.
Next is on to the actual game play. Unfortunately the gameplay to me at least, is very lacking since it is primarily just walking around an empty town, reading notes, and solving puzzles. Puzzles can be fun, but when majority of the time is just picking up objects and bringing them to other objects in a sequential order, or trying to figure out a code for something, things get boring, and fast. When you look at puzzle specific games like Portal, you can see not only do they have puzzles, but they also have something else to throw into the mix, combat. How fun would the Portal series be if it was just shooting portals at walls to get from one point to the next? In Alchemilla I feel as if I just run from point A to point B and back to point A to reach point C, there is just too much of the same thing I find.
I suggest in the future updates (if there are any) that if you decided to add monsters, don't let the public know so much about them! Tell them you've added them, but don't give any more info into where, when, or how many. The same goes for weapons and combat, mention that you've added it, but don't mention what you've added, like a knife, or a shotgun. Leave the wondering up to the players, give them more reasons to explore than just trying to solve a puzzle for 45 minutes. Another thing I would suggest would be to make the game less linear, maybe make several paths you can take to get to the same area. If you have something like the player needing to get to the other end of the hallway, but the hallway is filled with nurses, they could either fight through it and most likely get killed (but it can still be achieved) or have a few side rooms with puzzles that they can solve to continue on safely.
Extremely poorly made. There is too much wrong with the mod to even take the time and make a review.
Amazing mod, really love the wheel chair.
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