"THAT" is a single player source mod that runs on the 2007 SDK engine. It is more of an art installation than it is an actual game, it is my also one of my personal endeavors to push the "games as art" movement which I strongly believe in. The game features abstract surreal scenery and doesn't really contain an objective, it is more of a game to relax to and explore. The game is set in a grid of 9 maps, starting in the center (5th map). You can travel between the maps at your own leisure. I hope you enjoy it and that it encourages game designers to think outside the box when it comes to creating games.
You should know that I think it's really stupid to give games, that are subjective experiences an objective score so I rather would like to only write this review and not give it a score, but let's start anyway shall we?
The first thing that you will notice when you start the game, are the amazing aesthetics. The colors, the shapes and the music merge together and create an amazing, unique experience. Each map has its own theme like forest, city and surrealism(?). So the mod is nicely varied. I was stunned (literally) in some of the areas and I was amazed by what is possible with the source engine. I even had to smile sometimes.
The game is purely explorational, it's just about walking and jumping around and about looking at things. Also you can collect cubes,this mechanic makes you look around a bit more, which is nice. So that's all there is to the gameplay, no puzzles, no combat etc. and that's totally fine. That's the way it's supposed to be and it's good, but not perfect.
There are a couple of tiny things that I didn't like. The walking is too slow for my taste, it would be cool if there were other ways to move around, like flying or super fast running etc.
But this wouldn't really work in this mod, because the maps are really tiny. You may think that I expect to much from a HL2 mod, and maybe you're right, but the maps are really small. I really would have loved to see more and I wanted to fly around in this fantastic world, but sadly I can't.
You could critize the shallow nature of the game; that it's more like walking through a painting, a loose collection of visual ideas, than playing a game. And that it dosen't express anything through gameplay, that it has no message. But that's what it's supposed to be. To see stuff, that's the nature of exploration. And that's what the developer wanted to do.
I recommend this mod to everyone who wants play something orginial, that isn't about shooting things in the face.
It's an awesome visual experience.
First off I just want to say that I really enjoyed the aesthetic of this game. The vivid use of colors and the primitive geometry really sucks you in. The theme of kind of following the evolution of humans from jungles and swamps to Egyptian and Roman times and finally to space and heaven (at least I think that was supposed to be heaven) was an interesting progression as well. The music nicely complements all the above elements.
Where I had a problem with this game is that everything feels very static. I understand this game focuses almost entirely on exploration, but as it stands now it feels like walking through a digital statue garden. Not much really responds to the player. I'm not saying the game needs objectives or enemies or anything like that, just someway of acknowledging the players presence. It could be as simple as having birds fly away when you get close, or people moving out of the players way. The cubes were a nice way to incentivize exploration, but other than that there is a major lack of interactivity.
A similar game that does this very well is Proteus. It's very similar in that it has very basic visuals and a strong focus on exploration, but has multiple ways that the player can interact and change the world the player is exploring.
Other than that there were a few technical issues, with models appearing where they shouldn't, and the transitions between each level could have been smoother. But, overall I feel that the game was successful in what it set out to accomplish. I'll be interested in seeing what you do with TRIP.
It's things like these that make me love Half-Life 2 mods, even with a ****** graphic card, beautiful games like these make it look like nothing.
It really felt as if i was inside a painting of a famous museum, the fact that i was playing this in the dark on a plasma screen and the ambient music playing in the background really helped the whole ESTRANHANISMO.
I'm giving it a 10 out of 10 because is nothing to bitch about.