Your name is David Leatherhoff, and you're addicted to a strange drug. Lately you have started to experience illusions, dreams picking at your deepest and darkest fears. Finally, you go to Markland Hospital, seeking help. First, however, you make a stop into the bathroom, where another bottle of pills awaits you, standing out like a beacon in the night in your depraved eyes. When will it all stop?
If you don't like reading, I'll keep it simple: THIS MOD SCARED THE **** OUT OF ME. DOWNLOAD IT.
Still here? Good, let's begin with the positive.
The graphics are very good for a HL mod. Textures are fine, and animations are good, but it's really noticeable that monsters are HL-based: they use the same animations and attacks. Sound is creepy, and it will really get under your skin. And it's scary. You'll fear the dark like a baby, I mean it. Though practically every scare is a jumpscare, the atmosphere manages to infuse a sense of dread and danger, creating in you that need of escaping, of seeing the light of day.
Now the negative.
The story. It starts and ends really well, with surreal scenarios that really creep you up. The problem is in the middle. Simply put, you don't get many clues about the character, the places he visits, and so on. There are way too much plot holes. Fine, is nice to leave the story and the player's imagination, but give some fahking pointers first! This issue finds it's partner in gameplay. Shoot monster. Look for batteries and ammo. Find key or switch. Backtrack to door opened by key or switch. Repeat.
Ths really kills the game, even when there is a huge variety of locations. Another issue (which shouldn't be) is darkness. WHAT? DARKNESS? AN ISSUE? IN A HORROR GAME? FAHK YOU!
Yeah, it helps the atmosphere and bla, bla, bla. But HL's flashlight sucks. It points to fahking floor! If you're in a long corridor, you won't see an enemy until he/she/it's in front of you. This is an issue. Prepare to loose a lot of health.
Why did I finish this game? Because I wanted to proof that I had the balls to do it. The ending I achieved lasted 10 seconds and it was so unsatisfying that I wanted to throw my PC through the window.
You'll scream, you'll sweat, you'll kick your CPU, you'll turn the lights on, you'll play with company. You want a horror experience unlike any other? DOWNLOAD THE MOD. You want an engaging horror thriller? Play Silent Hill.
Really good mod. Great atmosphere, good challenge without being too hard, but, sadly, most of the scares are simple, cheap, pop in your face scares, and the liberal use of the cheapness of darkness. Other than that, there aren't really any complaints. I'll play this mod again gladly.
First of all, this mod is a classic, there's no arguing that. It's not perfect, but it deserves to be remembered as one of the best HL1 mods just as much as They Hunger or Heart of Evil or any of the other greats.
First, let's talk about what really is fantastic: the scares! Holy **** man! Judged purely as an exercise in grueling terror, AoM DC is unmatched. Though they may occasionally sink to cheap "GOTCHA!" moments, for the most part the scares are absolutely brilliant, and the atmosphere is so thick throughout you could cut it with a knife. The moment in the beginning where you have to turn off all of the lights in the hospital in order to proceed is still the most emotionally draining moment I've ever experienced in a horror game. What a way to pit the average person's natural fear of the dark and the unknown against the gamer's single minded need to see the end of the level. ******* AWESOME!
The visuals are also pretty excellent, the apartments and hospital come immediately to mind as visual standouts, and the forest area is one of the best ever simulated on an aging game engine. Clear inspiration is drawn from Silent Hill, Resident Evil, and even some movies such as "The Ring" and "The Blair Witch Project". I only have two complaints here: the level that's just a series of repeating brick hallways and another that's clearly a homage to the first Resident Evil game; frankly, it looks unfinished compared to the solid visuals in the rest of the mission pack.
My main complaint though is with those repeating "press the button, find the door it opened" puzzles. How dark the game is combined with the intentionally grimey visual design leads to a lot of "Am I running in circles?" moments, and makes finding where to go next more of a pain in the *** than it should be. Feeling lost might be scary, but it's also annoying.
I could go on more, but I'm reaching my word limit. The truth is, you can't go wrong downloading this. GET IT!