If you are even remotely a fan of the George RR Martin books, this mod is a must have. I've poured around 500 hours into it. Very in depth, true to the lore, and the dev is continuously updating it.
Some of the more recent features meant to add balance can be an annoyance, and I wish that diplomacy randomness could be turned on (there's no point in playing the Vale, for example)...but those a minor criticisms and all in all this mod is excellent.
Continuing the unbelievable and thrilling atmosphere of the first two parts, AQFH 3 is well scripted and designed - however there are still several bugs that need to be fixed in order to allow a console-free playthrough, as some enemies in the reactor, the Shrederk World and prometheus are bugged and CTD the game when killed, which can block the player from continuing in the main quest line (mainly the added mutants from SoC and later on even vanilla-mutants, the first are prone to freeze and crash the game when killed, the latter start to act like these as well later on). Also as in AQFH 1&2 some textures still won't work correctly and therefore make the custom gear sometimes unusable (i.e. glowing meshes, random textures, scope bugs etc.) - other than that, the mod is supremely done and visually and atmospherically stunning and at least on par, if not better, with the main game.
The story is superb and extremely lore-friendly, a lot of effort has been taken to intertwine AQFH and the Fallout universe, and a lot of additional information is provided via in-game notes and terminals which explains the story's background and those of several characters.
All in all the mod is a solid 8/10, the only drawback being the heavily bugged mutants which can severely impact main quest progression or even make it impossible to complete without console.
Alright, I'm back to review custom stories
And I'm starting with yours
I had once tried to complete this CS but I didn't managed to. I'll get to that point in a second...
But today, I've decided to give it another try and I finished it. So here comes...
- The level design. I enjoyed the details of the maps and all the lighting in the Main Hall. in fact, I must say I liked the main hall the must.
- The "sidequests". I liked the idea of pieces of orb asking you to do stuff and also how each one of them had different personalities and powers.
- The level design. While the maps were very expansive and detailed, there are two major problems with them:
1) They are too confusing. the dungeons, the east wing, the passageways, the sewers... all felt like mazes. It becomes a chore to look around for stuff when everything is so confusing. I left the 2 rods outside the receiver to last and found that there was one part in the dungeons that I didn't even had explored yet, containing the trinity rod and one note. Another example would be in the cellar, where you're supposed to find 2 notes about some war and I found the 2nd part first and the 1st part later.
2) Low lighting. self-explanatory really, I had to go around with my lantern on must of the time because I couldn't see anything. Tinderboxes offer little light so they aren't reliable.
These 2 problems together are the reason why I couldn't finish this CS the first time. Stay with me here but if you make many maps like mazes and give little oil to the player, as well as making nearly every map too dark, you can see that all of that is going to be a disaster.
I tried to explore every nook and cranny of the map and I found myself with low oil very fast. The maze structure of the maps made me go in circles very often.
How did I fix this? simple, I bumped the gamma to 1.5. That combined with the fact that I was playing the CS for the 2nd time allowed my to finish it with lots of oil to spare so maybe bumping the lighting of the maps might just be enough.
- The monster encounters: there was only like 4 of them? and half of them were against the water monster. 1 brute and 1 grunt. I felt it was too little. Considering how big the maps were -despite their confusing structure- I would have added a lot more of encounters just to keep the player in their toes.
- Finding some stuff: some items were very hard to find, such as Red rod (found by accident after looking in that area for the 4th time) and the stone chipper (had to use the level editor). The confusing structure of the maps doesn't really help and as I pointed out before, I found the blue rod in a area of the dungeons that I didn't even knew it existed so we're not talking about lost items in the middle of rooms, we're talking about whole rooms being hidden in the middle of the map.
Final verdict: 8/10
I enjoyed it in general but I still needed to cheat (level editor, bumping the gamma) and needed two tries to finish it.
The game is really good on its own. The maps are well designed, the interface (with all of the GM buttons and objectives), the game mechanics, but I still can't give it a 9/10 or a 10/10 because at times it is extremely unbalanced. It is quite easy to kill rebels just through piling up tons of combines and then releasing them all at once instead of releasing them in groups. So rushing is just a really easy way to kill players. It is especially unbalanced if there are only 2-3 rebels, since even normal, small groups almost instantly take 50% or 3/4 of their HP. The combines seem a bit too overpowered on damage, with just two shotgunners being able to drag players to 20% HP or lower.
Overall good level design, professional voice mix, some tough fights here and there, smooth gameplay.
Some areas could be filled with secret ammo pickups or sth.
Dialogue at the end of the game is too long and seems kinda boring.