Estranged, the story of a lone fisherman, stranded on a mysterious island during a violent storm. Explore rich environments and meet the curious inhabitants of the island as you find a way back to the mainland.
Sometimes you come across a game that makes you smile; not, perhaps, for its dry wit and humour or in a flush of pride standing atop a pile of foes, all defeated by yours truely. No, instead, Estranged is a good game because of the way it draws an impressively detailed world with some pleasent tweaks of its own, alongside some refreshing mechanics, which I do hope there are more of as it nears full completion. Oh, and there's a bit of funny on the side, too.
Estranged is, graphically, impressive. Drawing on the not too shabby and robust Source engine for its primary visual and gameplay styles, the game also features some new material as well, from textures to new models and some appealing shaders (like objects slicked in a film of water) to add definition and immersiveness to the world. Ambiance is brilliant, and the story is executed quite well, as well as the music.
Gameplay is your standard Source pew-pew with various guns. Your weaponry is limited so far, though, and I feel that it does not detract from the experience of playing the game; indeed, for you should enjoy the story and puzzle-solving aspects (although puzzles are a bit simple) instead of running around blazing bullets at anything that moves. Enemies are, however, a little on the dumb side (and not because they're missing half of their brains) and get a bit repetetive to fight.
But don't let that stop you, for indeed, Estranged is one of those mods that I would highly recommend anyone to play. I eagerly await more updates to continue the adventure in days to come.
I would rate this nine or ten out of ten for score, but I cannot vote higher than an '8' at the moment, sadly.
Going into Estranged, I was expecting quite a bit because of all the positive reviews and impressive looking media. Overall, I was not impressed, but i was not necessarily disappointed.
Mapping started strong in the beginning. The outside environments were lush and realistic looking, and the inside areas were filled with appropriate furniture, but later on the outside areas seemed too open and empty, and the inside areas looked like bare rooms with a few scattered props. Maps were also lacking ambiance at times which threw out the atmosphere. There also seemed to be a lack of zombies which got rid of the entire "Infested Island" feel.
Sound and music were very well done. Sounds seemed fitting, and the music sounded superb. Like I said earlier, it would have been nice to hear some more ambient sounds. Voice Acting needs some improvement. Everyone sounds similar and talk almost like robots.
Story wise, it seems like everything that happens is really rushed. The guy in the beginning was acting like he really wanted company, but he sends you off alone almost immediately. At one point your on a train and not three minutes later you're on foot again.
Overall, I'll rate it a 6/10.
(I realize this is in alpha, and I hope to see it improve in future updates!)
This game is fantastic. For a HL2 mod, this is definitely the most visually stunning. It really is beautiful. And the story line is very intriguing. I'm really looking forward to finding out what kind of diabolical experiments OmniCorp has done. And also what that little song that keeps popping up. Great work guys keep it up. I'm giving it a 9.5