Curse Episodes is a Half-Life 2 single player total conversion : a mix of physics based combat, puzzles and exploration. In the first episode you can explore an egyptian necropolis and kill mummies, monsters with a morning star.

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Jun 12 2009, 7:01am Anchor

Just finished playing through episode 1. Overall, very impressive. Good level design, fun puzzles, atmospheric music and audio (the only generic HL2 sound I noticed was the fall damage sound, everything else seemed fresh).

My only criticisms?

First and foremost, when you start playing, you're kind of just plopped down into the first level without any explanation. It may be the design intent to not have much in way of story, which is fine, but there was no real explanation on what to expect in terms of gameplay

Most of what I found in the levels was intuitive, although I didn't fully understand the hidden scarabs / green room dynamic until almost entirely through the third level (although I found most of the scarabs during my normal travels save one or two a level).

Once I realized how this system worked, I became even more interested, and went back and found the missing scarabs (the one hidden behind the shield thing that you had to blast off was the hardest to find, you only had the sound cue to go on).

Generally, I enjoyed the hidden scarabs / green room dynamic (and the ominous "nightmare" versions of the levels that showed up after going through the green room portals), I just wish there was a bit more in the game to lead you toward that goal.

As there's only three levels in the first episode, trying to enter the portal to the fourth just pushes you back out. No feedback or hint to go searching for green rooms is given (a text popup might be nice), so I can imagine that confusing some people.

I was also a bit disappointed to find out the final scene with the snake didn't change at all after defeating the giant ball final boss, but that's a minor thing.

Overall, very awesome mod, I wish you luck producing episode 2 and beyond. :)

Jun 13 2009, 12:48am Anchor

Just played through it as well. I've got pretty much the same feelings as Amante. Awesome mod, top notch quality models, texture, SFX, music and animations.

However, I didn't understood the whole golden scarab/green chamber mechanic. I went through the levels as I felt, picking up glowy symbols on the way, opening doors God-knows-how... There's a whole "lost" feeling to the thing which is displeasing and may turn away many potential players.

That said, the whole thing was really fun to play through and I'll surely revisit it tomorrow, and keep a keen eye to this green chamber thingy. If anyone can explain it to me, it would be greatly appreciated.

I look forward to the next episodes, and I'll be sure to play them. I'm confident in saying that you're amongst the best single-player modders for the Source Engine.

EDIT: The end (even though I obviously haven't seen everything from this mod) kicked major ass. Seriously, I was genuinely afraid of the three big masks. I dunno why, it really is just a big room with masks. But damn, I had shivers running down my spine. I guess the music had a big part in this. And the snake too. It was a great cliffhanger ending.

Edited by: takar_blackangel

Jun 16 2009, 3:59pm Anchor

Everyone I have recommended this game to, because I loved it, has stopped playing 10 minutes in out of boredom. It pains me, because I loved jumping in to an environment full of mystery. I think I enjoyed it because I read all of the PR before playing, so I knew what the game was about, how many levels there were, what to expect, etc.

The game has great atmosphere, but this atmosphere could be improved even further. There needs to be more history built into the level. The spatters of blood are left unexplained, or are simply hints for puzzles (the red hand door, the first scarab). There need to be more clues in the levels. Even if the clues aren't enough to really explain anything (this is preferred, actually), they should really embed the player into the world. The player should wonder WHY.

The last room was completely unexpected, though, and I am glad. I just wish there was a little more meaning behind everything.

I loved this game, though, and I will DEFINITELY play the next one all the way through.

Oh, and I beat everything, to contrast with those who are only commenting on what they experienced.

Jul 1 2009, 2:22am Anchor

I've mentioned this to about 4 other people, one of them were them was the person that told this to me, and they all say it's boring.
Me i like it as it's different in puzzles, monsters, weapons and level design.

The only thing i can complain about is that there's only 1 weapon to use against the mummies, why not the bow n arrow or even those little crabs the the movie "The Mummy" which you can throw around?

Edited by: ~Mapster(WFc)

Jul 9 2009, 10:56am Anchor

Since I can't make a new thread, figured I'd post a reply here.

I enjoyed the game. I felt the level design, models, and the music and sound design were excellent. I also understand it's a mod with a fairly small team so the resources are limited, but there's a few things that could be added or changed to the experience to make it that much better. The only thing I find it lacking is polish.

Maybe some sort of narration upon dropping into the beginning levels of each episode. Maybe some story line, maybe some vocal hints, maybe just a further vocal description of the level. But I think it'd add more depth and polish to the game as well as expand on the strong audio you already have going for you.

The game advertised puzzles, and playing through, they are there, but for the most part you don't even realize their puzzles, you're just trying to progress through a level you're completely lost in. It makes the whole level seem like a puzzle, taking away from the individual puzzles you had going on. I imagine in later episodes you'll capitalize on that.

I felt like the random spurts of combat was quite interesting, too. My only problem is the ease in which you can clear about 10-15 zombies in one swipe with the melee weapon in a single horiziontal swipe. After realizing that, I stuck to veritcal swipes, made it more interesting, but some way to balance that might make for more lasting appeal, especially to the people looking for more action and less puzzles. Or maybe less zombies, and more of the mobs that move hella fast and jump around from location to location.

All in all, by far the best singleplayer mod I've played, but, there are areas it could be improved upon for more polish and a more complete feel. Looking forward to the future episodes, tho. I also am a composer for a music production company, so if you need any original music/sounds, let me know.

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