Welcome to Amaluuk research station, we hope your stay is a productive and pleasant one.
This mod definitely deserves praise for capturing an unique feel. This is on the few mods where I felt like I wasn't playing a mod, let alone an Half-Life 2 mod. That really is a tricky thing to do so kudos to the makers.
The games atmosphere and gameplay is very similar the Penumbra series, specifically Black Plague. Which I personally don't really mind, I loved that game.
Just like the penumbra series there is no real way to fight enemies. The only real enemy in Black Snow is a dark cloud who stalks you in the dark. It's such a simple monster yet it ticks all the boxes of being one scary-*** ************. The tapping of it chasing you where you can here him coming closer while running in the dark definitely brings a feeling of panic over you.
The game is heavily based around puzzles. The game however misses a lack of direction. I had to wonder the grounds and building more then once before I could find out what I was supposed to do. It was just not clear sometimes what you'd actually need for the puzzles and what props were just there for show.
The sound of the game is great, voice acting is only in the intro. Which may I add was an amazing intro. The moment they walked in the snow to the main building, looked amazing and I was amazed at how good it looked, I didn't think the source engine could do that.
But sound is most important for the atmosphere. And the tapping of the monster, the music of the chase, the simple noises of the snowstorm, they are all perfectly balanced and they just give the game that extra little something.
The graphics of the game are top-notch, combined with the excellent gameplay I never felt like I was playing an Half-Life mod. The game most of the times is a little too dark for me. And the maps and the puzzles can be confusing enough to make you wonder in that darkness.
the story of the game is decent, I would've liked a better ending. I had really high hopes for the ending. I won't give any spoilers. You'll find out yourself.
Yes great atmosphere, great details, well made monster and maps.
But only 7/10 because the story is heard so many times and I kinda figured it out before the game even started, and after seeing the fungi-growth-thingy under the bed I knew what to expect. Some researchers find something that happens to kill everything, and they end up being bombed up or saved and THEN being blown up.
Also I spent hours dying in the end with 15 health and a really dark black/white screen (what a stupid effect, what was anyone thinking) in the end to figure out the door code (the puzzle didn't help, I just got the numbers from there and tried all sorts of combinations on the lock)and I ended up getting no answers for anything. It just blew up.
Also I was told it was horror, played in the night with headphones loud, but it is not horror, just a scifi-thriller with a lame ending after getting frustrated on the da*n door code.
In summary, the story would have been better told right, none of the "notes" and computers had anything related to finding out what has happened. Also the game isn't scary enough to be this dark :|
I gave up trying to finish this mod. That´s something sad to say because i was quite excited about fixing the snowmobile.
This mod is a strange combination of good taste in design and bad gameplay choices. It´s that kind of mod where you feel impotent. You are slow, helpless without any kind of defense more than running. Not only that, because as a parody to The Stanley´s Parable´s gallows humor: You´re being told what to think everytime you find something to look/interact. I was surprised I was allowed to savegames at my pace.
Still, almost everything is good looking and blends well with the environment. There´s plenty of specific props enhancing the feel of this artic base and color correction is more or less well applied. Lighting is mostly well applied too as darkness makes you feel uncomfortable so you end up following the light, like a bug that flies around a bulb. And I say mostly, because unfortunately there are a couple of dark spots that will give you a hard time at the time of advancing. I, for example, had to disable color correction because I entered this "the thing" building with -25 health, so everything was B&W and that got me wandering several minutes trying to find what to do, once color correction was disabled i could see a red light in the roof pointing me where to go. This was not too far from where I gave up, as I wouldn´t be able to make it to the next building because of the low health -this being a mere example of unbalanced gameplay-.
In short: more to look at than to have fun with but still worth your time.
This is a very nice mod. It was fun and scary.
Graphics: The detail is fantastic. I'm going to have to give it a 10/10
Storyline: You never found out how the darkness(That is what I call it) escaped and killed everyone in the facility. You never found out what that strange figure was that was watching you in the room with the huge computer. You never found out what happened to the S.W.A.T team. You never found out what happened to the S.W.A.T guy at the end. I need to give the storyline a 2/10. UNLESS, if you guys are making a second one and will answer questions, then I will give it a 6/10.
Gameplay: I like using the lights as cover from the darkness. It was also very fun to walk in the empty hallways all alone, thinking your S.W.A.T unit is gone. I must give this a 9/10. Not 10/10 because it was a little confusing at first.
Puzzles: Some of the puzzles were really hard to understand, like the door code puzzle. I was stuck with the pictures for so long I needed to look at a walkthrough. Although, some were a little fun to try and solve, like the generator puzzle. 7/10
Mysteries: This is a special thing, while I was playing, I was thinking... "What is going on here? Is the game hinting me at something?" I thought for a minute. Black Snow... Black Snow. Something out of curiousity popped in my mind. Slenderman maybe is causing this? I know what you are thinking, What the heck are you talking about, but... I remember, slenderman can glitch cameras, like at the begining, the camera kept glitching. Also, black snow... why is it called that? Well, slenderman's suit is black, and snow is white and slenderman's skin is white. Also in the background when the camera glitches for a second, a figure can be seen. What could it be? This is just an idea, I am probably wrong, but still, it is fun to try and think of the mystery yourself. 10/10
Fun fun game! It is totally worth your time!
Absolutely fantastic mod!
I liked it alot, because it's not this typical fast paced game. It's a slow puzzle like horror.
Reminds me of "The Thing", and that was awesome!
The ending was somewhat sad though, but unexpected!