Aberration is a Singleplayer Action/Horror mod for Half-Life 2. You play as a Resistance member who finds himself in a mysterious place with no idea how he got there. Play the mod to find out more.
I think Aberration has great potential but is currently lacking in a few key areas.
PRO: Good brushwork and aesthetics. Nice lighting in later levels.
CON: Schizophrenic atmosphere (ie, horror theme in one map and alien shooter in another, etc). There are no story elements, which makes the mod lack cohesion (ie, horror elements and shooter elements seem to exist solely for gameplay purposes and reveal nothing about the character, etc). Too difficult on Hard Mode (ie, fighting 16+ soldiers and two hunters in one vast but poorly lit arena - with very limited health kits for assistance). Borrows horror elements heavily from Nightmare House 2 (ie, using shadow people, sounds, and encounters ripped right out of NH2, and even using the same "automated scare" entity system). Most models in the game appear to be glitching, including player view models (ie, it seems that some triangles are missing from certain models while others seem to stretch into some infinitely distant point). No autosave points (ie, I played through the first 15 minutes of the game and then died in a battle, just to reload at the very beginning of the map).
The map's author should consider this first release to be a playtest and just continue to improve his maps. Like I said, they have potential to really be fun.
As a lot of people have said, the mapping is really good. But I also think it really was lacking in storytelling. The story wasn't really that well explained, and I felt like I was playing NH2.5.
Good mapping isn't the only thing that makes a mod. Presentation was pretty good, but I wasn't impressed with how it just throws you into the mod, without any back story. "LOL HERE YOU GO."
The scares were extremely cheap and easy to avoid, combat was a little bit bland and uninteresting, and no storyline or motivation to move forward. The level design is pretty incredible, but its the only thing keeping the mod from falling apart.
Overall a fairly pleasing playthrough
Visually stunning and contains interesting environments and challenging gameplay. Custom content is also used to a great extent.
The mood the mod is trying to sell is perfectly done through environments
However I had a few personal issues with it, mostly being with the gameplay.
Some gameplay elements (such as using keys to open doors)
The platforming areas were also a bit of a ballache
The pacing of the horror was also quite off, meaning that most of the scary elements within the mod were underwhelming and anticlimactic
There was one scary part near the end that was extremely similar to one used in Nightmare House 2. It works at scaring the player but some may not be impressed with the fact that the two scares from both games are practically identical.
The shooting parts of the game were generally enjoyable with great battle pacing and resupply. The AI could be better implemented in some fights but was sufficient in general
Overall it's a pleasing playthrough, worth a download but not without it's issues
If you are looking for an original experience just pass on, this mod has no personality of its own.
This is basically a vanilla HL2 single player mod with a few scary elements here and there (pretty scarce though). What's even more disappointing is, as stated in other reviews, these mechanics are ripped from Nightmare House 2: the shadow people, the flashlight and even the scripted random scare entity have been ripped from their original mod. Icing on the cake: as of this writing (initial release), none of the guys behind NH2 have been credited.
Also, there's no story telling throughout the mod. This is particularly irritating when you end up in HL2 episode 2's caves without any reason explained when you are supposed to **** bricks in a horror mod.
What really saves it all is definitely its map design which has been polished.
Too bad, the horror theme has not been developped enough and we end up with a bland HL2 mod with elements stolen from NH2 and half-assed due to the poor copying.
Aberration is a pretty good mod that needs a lot of work. I will review this mod by going through all 3 of the chapters and expressing my opinion on the mod as i go. IE: essay format.
Chapter 1: Immediately upon starting the mod i was instantly impressed with the mods fantastic music (courtesy of bx) and i think its probably one of the best things about the mod.
One thing that i defiantly found jarring as bx noted was the fact that the game just throws you into it without any explanation. By examining the description i assumed that the game would start the game with a scene in which our character would "wake up" or perhaps a scene showing how the character got into this situation but no they just throw us in front of a door with no explanation. And in fact there is essentially zero story line in the mod except for some cryptic messages you find written on the walls at the start.
This is the part in which i thought the game was scary because the game is kinda subtle with it. Yes there are some jump scares but i found them done quiet well (i really liked the stairwell one) but part of what made the start so good was the subtle horror it used to build up to the "BOO!" parts. for instance they make you break through some boards and go into a very dark room in order to open the door at the very end and you think there will be something behind it but there is nothing there except for a dead end. But then you can just hear a door opening in the room you came from thus making you paranoid that something is inside the room behind you waiting for you....but there is nothing there. You walk through the now opened door and you can hear footsteps in the room with you.
There was also some great mind **** moments like the white door at the end of the hallway in chapter 1 (if you have played the mod you KNOW what I'm talking about.
(please go to my user page for the full review which will be up in a bit)
I think that this mod has alot of potential. It provides a terrifying atmosphere, it provides excellent mapping; one thing for sure though - it needs a plot. A storyline. Something that gives the player not just a name, but a reason for ending up where they began in the first place. I don't know for sure if this is the next MOTY, but it definitely has my vote. 8/10.
It takes a page from FEAR in that the combat and scares are separated completely meaning that you know your not in danger when your in the spooky derelict apartments, unless you count zombies as threats which I don't really, even on hard difficulty its easy unless your being overrun (which you aren't). Hasn't anyone learned by now that zombies are strong in numbers, yet as one of the few I've played have not given us any real zombie threats. It does have some ok paranormal events though. Those scary bits are cut inbetween by large shoot outs with combine in a sewer and a multistory apartment complex... You'd think gamers and therefore modders alike would have learned this by now, make something that doesn't hamstring the game into one particular "feeling", excitement & difficulty vs horror & tension. How about try to do both at once! Of course it would mean there is some work to get it right without sacrificing the strength of either but nobody said that being innovative was easy. It's not. Theres the right thing to do and the easy thing to do. Easy is to just copy whats been done before, right is making a innovative and fulfilling experience.
The mod does feel like its halfway there to something great, its got a very nice set of textures and level design that has detail in everything so that it looks quite different and more dirty than any hl 2 installment thus far. It even succeeds in being tense even if the horror elements where a bit to few and far between with nothing quite scary until the last one... however...
The one really good scare was copy pasted from Nightmare House 2 tisk tisk. Uses misdirection, your not expecting it to appear there, yet the mod waits for you till you look at the one spot but also plays with your mind with making you think your stuck in a dark area. Its effective and rather than copy pasting (the script & environment) the creator of this mod should have learned from it & made something new himself.
oh & No story