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Note: There are major spoilers in here (2nd paragraph onwards).
Before I say anything, the Crysis engine itself causes most of this mod's flaws. Some advice before playing: Take it slow and don't try to break things. Much like the genre, the mod is quite fragile.
Despite being rather user-unfriendly, it is a very good mod. Starting with the story (also the SPOILERS!), I predicted the character of Gray right from the winter flashback. Many things factored into this, and it really spoiled the game for me.
After some discussion, I now realise this is a Lovecraftian story with the past/future being the main focus. In this regard, it has been very well done. Lovecraftian storytelling is hard to pick up on and follow unprepared, and you really have to know it is coming.
This is quite a linear mod, and with the small team and short development time (already quite amazing) it isn't unexpected. This mod is still a major step above most horror games, and the masters - Frictional Games - have had a long time to perfect making a game feel more non-linear than it is. As they have stated in one of their blog posts, the player really has to scare themselves, or at least think they did...
The overall atmosphere and visuals are great. With a few odd or unnatural looking things here and there, it's not too intrusive. The music is excellent, but lack of ambient sound or music, the silence in some parts is distracting. At worst, it further spoils the monster house part after the narrator has given it away already. That part of the mod suffers from its linearity, but that is not to say it is ruined. The parts with the camera on rails are also quite disconnecting.
There are a few bugs or weird things here and there. The intro went out of sync slightly which happens to the richest (Portal2), and the arm coming up at the end was kinda weird.
Now that I've hit the character limit: Definately worth playing. If this was longer and more polished, I could even see it being on steam.
First of all, I hope I'm right in understanding this is a different mod from The Worry of Newport. I didn't play that due to the whole remaking of part 1, and I'm not sure if you have actually done that yet or not, but anyway...
Most importantly, I didn't like it. There are a few reasons why that I'll get into, but as for how I played it, I may not have been in the mood to. I can appreciate a good horror game/story/whatever but there isn't much that really gets to me, Amnesia: TDD, Penumbra and Silent Hill being the ones that do. Some might say I'm setting the bar a little high, but then that's what we're here for, right?
I'll start with atmosphere. I really wasn't getting any, and that could just be my own fault. The car you drive past at the start I actually drove past a bit then stopped because I wasn't sure where the hell it was going, which didn't help. I could hardly see into the forest, which also didn't help. Grey fog walls are dull to see when looking into the forest. Also, on the way to the shack, that weird cliff thing on the left side of the road made no damn sense at all, WAAYYY out of place. You don't need physical walls to stop people going off the path and looking at things, instead you make them not want to go there and have the path clear and safe.
Maybe this is my own fault for not reading the readme (I'm too lazy to read readmes other than for installation usually, unless I'm yelled at to read it from the start of it) When I was walking to the shack I got bored (again, atmosphere!) and pressed random buttons; throwing grenades and opening up the book before reaching the shack, which then proceeded to break and force me to restart. I broke the book again when I was at the shack when page 2 refused to load, so I threw the book and the game ended. I did actually finish the game, but I never saw page 2, and guessed (correctly) the ending out of boredom.
You talk about atmosphere only working when there is a good story. It works both ways.
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