[page=The Hands of Libria]
Through time, men receive the urge of control. To yield power... But what power? What the hell am i talking about? i don't mean to get all philosophical here but... We're living in dark days. There is no balance apparently, and in fact there is no feeling. For those of you who are just simply non-existent to the past or are unaware, I did an interview with mod leader Rico of Hall of Mirrors a little over a month ago. But yes yes, I know an interview doesn't quite melt into something tasty, so here I am again breaking the ice.
Equilibrium didn't quite hit fame and glory when this 2002 film came out, but there was no doubt of course, a fan base. To many, the movie is often compared to The Matrix for its unique "hard ass" combat style, but if you look beneath the skin it is something much more than you'd imagine. The story itself is related more to books like 1984 or Fahrenheit 451... Maybe even Half-Life 2; basically what I am saying is that world is oppressed. Libria is oppressed and kept away from any kind of emotion controlled by a medication called Prozium. However there is always a resistance. Those who feel emotions, and that is why there is such a large police force in Libria. Their job is to hunt down the resistance and keep the world emotion-free... lovely isn't it? In the film, Cleric John Preston (Christian Bale) joins the resistance and fights against the flawed and disgusting government system behind Libria.
It was real exciting for me to get my hands on this mod. I couldn't get my eyes off Hall of Mirrors after my interview, so as time flew by I anxiously looked at the screenshots and even watched the movie again. Finally, a few weeks ago Rico messaged me, telling me they had a preview build ready. What I played was a dated build, but still very impressive. Like I said above, this mod stays true to the film. Theres basically two types of game modes; one is just recreations of scenes from the film, and the other is the time attack mode, allowing you to fight for as long as you can.
The simplicity of the gameplay is the main capture point and is what keeps this mod immersive. The game shows off the amazing and complex fictional martial arts called Gun Kata. Gun Kata originated from the Equilbrium film itself and is something we don't really see every day; it basically combines all kinds of martial arts with the use of guns. While playing this mod, it is clear to see the development team has had a very close watch with the stunts performed in the film. All the Gun Kata fighting is done fairly easily, and of course does not leave you room for frustration. The cleric is equipped with his two pistols of his own just like what was seen in the movie. The mod also includes a few of the Max Payne weapons like the shotgun, but what's the fun of that? As for the combos, he will perform different types of moves as you press certain buttons while moving or aiming in different directions, allowing your minds to rest at ease. The cleric stunts are all very diverse, and allow a great insight into the Gun Kata style. There are a great variety of stunts he can perform; from flips, to gunning down enemies from various directions, there is a great sense of style in everything he does. The simplicity of the gameplay is brilliant and incredibly addictive. As a gamer myself, I’ve been able to really sit down and experience this addiction for myself. I think I’ve spent about an hour or so mowing down guards in one single time attack level.
The graphical design of Hall of Mirrors is equally as impressive as the gameplay, if not moreso. The way with which everything is presented complements the intense style of the mod, contrasting perfectly with every other design and gameplay aspect. The virtual depictions of the characters are next to flawless, resembling their real-life counterparts almost perfectly. However, there have also been additions to these counterparts such as a playable character based off of Rico, the team leader himself. It's great to see a dev team that adds a little bit of their own touch to things in their game. Like I said above, each character performs the gun kata stunts very very well. All the animations look very smooth and incredible, once again, closely resembling the film itself.
In the end, there is a lot more to expect in the future by the team behind Hall of Mirrors, but I believe we’re getting closer and closer. They’ve showed incredible and flawless work in this build, and I myself can’t wait to see what else they have put in. Max Payne 2 is an extraordinaire game and has been out for almost two years now. It’s good to see there is finally a real total conversion with variety being made. The technology suits perfectly for the Equilibrium style of action, and the environments resemble the film very well. I hope you the reader will forget your dose of Prozium and open your eyes with the cleric himself (and of course the HoM team) and “feel” this great quality.