Cry of Fear certainly lives up to the hype, and is a very special mod. It feels like a game, being close to 20 hours long I'd say. It's like a first-person Silent Hill in terms of gameplay, and at times, similar atmosphere too.
It's a very interesting journey through the twisted, distorted mind of a mentally unstable, suicidal individual. I'm a fan of horror titles like this, having played through the Mistake series and Grey, but Cry of Fear is on a whole different level. Amazing mod, it deserves most of the praise.
Some things that need tweaking are the chase sequences, in which a chainsaw wielding berserk rapidly pursues you down narrow, tight corridors. The enemy is many times faster than you, and for some reason you can only sprint for a few steps before getting exhausted. They're unbalanced and just annoying as a result, and player stamina is worse than a dead person.
There's a bit of platforming in Cry of Fear, and most of it is terrible. A lot of this can be attributed to level design, such as jumping through a construction set that has tiny metal poles everywhere obstructing your path, or terrible timed platforming sections in a horribly designed level.
Another annoyance can be found on every gun; iron sights zoom in way too much, like using a scope.
This game has a ton of potential and is very ambitious. What I have seen so far is very impressive. My only issues is that there is a line between realistic and fun. I think the inventory is too small and find myself spending a lot of time running back and forth between loot and unloading loot.
The combat system is also something you need to figure out and get used too. It is kind of a dice roll. I am sure as the game advanced these issues will be addressed.
I'll just do a grading scale instead of a long review:
Atmosphere - 8
Use of Tension/Scares - 8
Use of Monsters - 8
Puzzles/Finding Items - 8
Mapping - 9 (very nice!)
Grammar - 6 (I'm kind of a grammar nazi, double check your verb tenses, sentence structure, spelling, and what you capitalize! To me the grammar is what really makes a CS really professional, it wasn't awful, but definitely read through the stuff a few times.)
Story - 7 (I mostly got it, a bit too vague sometimes)
Uniqueness - 8
Overall - 8.7
Not bad! Basement storage was the best part in my opinion.
Performance is quite horrible, but artwork and gameplay is superb. Can't believe that this is an Indie title and not made by Valve. I give this a very high rating because I believe the developers will patch this game until it is completely optimized. Plus, I loved the original Half-Life mod. A genre defining milestone in computer game history.