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.
Can't believe I forgot to leave a review - it's been a while since I played this, but I loved what I saw. Sure, the zombie models aren't the most original, and the game is kinda easy and simplistic (some very solid, clever puzzles, actually,) but I was drawn in by the fairly interesting story and quality voice work. Eager to see where you go with this!
This is another mod in the category of those in "Continuing Development", because here in this release we have the first official delivery called Estranged, Act 1. Now, if that is a good thing well I really don't know. I mean, as a pure mod gamer, I prefer a mod to be delivered as a whole instead of parts, although I know there are some very, very ambitious projects, as Underhell mod, which their only way is to release in parts rather than a whole. With the case of this mod, I guess the job into it is great and huge as in most of those Total conversion mods, but I would have better preferred to wait to see this mod launched as a whole, why? Well because here in this Act 1 I found things I liked but others I frankly didn't like at all.
First, the pros are the quite immersive story around this mysterious island and the whole secrets, the gameplay and story tell is quite linear, a thing that I prefer rather than those cut scenes-cinematic mods like Underhell, also the dynamic "search things such as keycards or so" and "go there and press the button" are not overused, like in Underhell, again that's another nice touch.
Now the cons, or things I didn't like at all, but nevertheless can be improved are, the hectic combat and absolutely stupid weapon system used in the gameplay, I just did not like the formula, many zombies in one part, too few in others, plus be able to carry just 1 weapon which is melee in almost a big amount of time during the maps, I just allow the player to use more than 3 weapons and, please correct that terrible enemy imbalance in the whole mod. Also the zooming use is pretty weird, very annoying in some times I'd rather prefer to use the old reliable "Z" key to do that instead of the scroll-wheel in the mouse, also there is an imbalance regarding to lighting in the maps, as dark areas are way too dark and lightened areas are way too enlightened.
Overall, this is a nice mod to play is fun and bad points can be corrected in the future.
I played the fifth beta and watched a video of the original "splooshe" before play'n act one and i got to say that this version was all about visuals, i mean, wow, fantastic art work, environments have evolved in a surreal scale, that boring forest that preceded the train was replaced by an amazing serie of wood cabins, water courses, lakes, camping spots and treehouses; the sewers and the fisherman's yard have been drastically improved and so did the shoting range, if this was only about environments i'd rate it 11 since 10 is just not enough; unfortunately i got some complaints, first of all the damn zombies, boy are they annoyng, and it's not because they are hard, they are just a pain in the *** and not to mention that i killed the first one with the bucket before the guy even shot him, i congratulate you for the effort with the custom models and animations, however, there should be a larger variation of citizens to be found, i'm sure in a big place like that we'd be able to find more than 5 kinds of clothing. Also there are too few zombies for a place that was supposed to be infested, i suggest you to replace the few fast zombies with a large quantity of slow zombies, also i'm not very sure about the item interaction system, yeah it's cool in games like L4D2 or NMRIH but this only happens cause in these games we're not able to grab anything that can't be used, here otherwise happened to me that i grabbed 5 times a layover before grabbing a health item, i like the new HUD and menu as much as i like the new props but why those things make the game so laggy? i'm able to run BF3 in my computer without any lag, why is your source based mod giving me such trouble? And let's be honest, the flooded basement on the first floor was just irritating, it would be better if it was a regular dark basement with blinking lights and maybe some zombies lurking in there. Extra points for the creative storyline and the fight scene with a strong resemblance of HL1
FINAL SCORE: 8,5
Estranged is an enjoyable mod. Good music, textures, voice acting, puzzles, level design. Overall a very fun mod to play. Its storyline is kind of generic (zombies who aren't too scary), but I'm glad you didn't overuse them as enemies. It's nice to focus on things other than shooting. The length is short but I know it's just the first part. My only serious complaint would be lag, especially in areas with many physics props (or at least I think that's what is causing the problem). Some things like a dozen books stacked up in a random place just aren't necessary. Sometimes it's fun to throw things around, but maybe not quite that number. If I had to choose what was the best thing in this mod, I would probably say you did an excellent job with using dynamic shadows. Things like fans and that hula doll looked great with them.
These are only my personal thoughts of the mod and some people but disagree with them. For a being only in beta, this mod is great quality! It is very well paced, has logical map design, which is somewhat of a rarity in mods. The combat is for the most part tense, but not overly frustrating. The zombies are well balanced, exchanging faster movement speed for less health. The mod is very well paced, slowly building up combat and introducing the player into different elements of game-play, giving them time to familiarize themselves with the element before adding something else, and the story never feels rushed or cut short, leaving a satisfying ending that doesn't make the player feel cheated or cut out of their fun. The dialogue is rather high quality for a mod and the voice actors are clear in what they say and show the emotion and personality their characters should imbue. The music is for the most part spot on, fitting quite well with the location and events taking place. Nothing is perfect though and as such I do have some minor complaints. My first would be the new custom textures within the omnicorp complex. Most feel a bit too vibrant and colorful, not fitting with the moody and suspicious tone of the rest of the game. My second would be the zombie models. They could use a little variety in their faces as most I ran into seemed to be elderly people with a full beard. Though not as large an issue, their clothes could be changed to fit with their locations, zombies in omnicorp wearing some sort of suit or lab coat to show they work in the complex, zombies in the sewers and underground areas wearing construction gear, etc. The omnicorp thugs also could do with a change in face models as most had the bald Caucasian citizen model. These are all marginally minor complaints though and don't detract from the mod too horribly. These are more just issues to fix if you have extra time or wish to polish the mod to its maximum potential.