I love games, and localizing them.
Ode to Master Carmack!
It awesome to finish the game, look at the stats and say: Holy sh*t, did I do all that?
Awesome game. Almost repetitive, if not for the varied locations and situations.
A simple and scary atmospheric game. It may lack some variety, but it's suprisingly fun, so check it out!
First of all, let's make something clear: this is not a full-fledged game. It's an experiment. A ground-testing for the sequel, 'The Arrival'. I know you've read all those "it isn't scary" reviews, but, believe me, experience it yourself first.
So why all the fuss? Because it reminded players from all around the world how survival horror changed the videogame world. When I think of this game, Silent Hill comes to my mind. Neverminding the fact that SH is a far more complex game, it has something in common with Slender: it gets under your skin. Slender: The Eight Pages made me feel like the first time I played Silent Hill. This kind of psychologic terror is incredibly effective. Even though the games uses cheap scares, the sense of being alone, defenseless is amazing.
It's a once-in-a-life-time-experience, and I say that because, after you collect that goddamn 8th page, you probably won't play the game again. There's no real incentive. You'll recommend it to your friends or whatsoever, but that's it.
If you want a story, or more variety, more 'enemies', locations, gameplay mechanics, go play it's sequel, 'The Arrival', which really manages to keep the same feel, even adding more elements to the formula.
Don't look at this game for what it could have been, for what it doesn't have. Play it for what it is.
The Eight Pages is pure concept and terror. And that's where lies it's beauty (?) lies: in its simplicity.
If you don't like reading, I'll keep it simple: THIS MOD SCARED THE **** OUT OF ME. DOWNLOAD IT.
Still here? Good, let's begin with the positive.
The graphics are very good for a HL mod. Textures are fine, and animations are good, but it's really noticeable that monsters are HL-based: they use the same animations and attacks. Sound is creepy, and it will really get under your skin. And it's scary. You'll fear the dark like a baby, I mean it. Though practically every scare is a jumpscare, the atmosphere manages to infuse a sense of dread and danger, creating in you that need of escaping, of seeing the light of day.
Now the negative.
The story. It starts and ends really well, with surreal scenarios that really creep you up. The problem is in the middle. Simply put, you don't get many clues about the character, the places he visits, and so on. There are way too much plot holes. Fine, is nice to leave the story and the player's imagination, but give some fahking pointers first! This issue finds it's partner in gameplay. Shoot monster. Look for batteries and ammo. Find key or switch. Backtrack to door opened by key or switch. Repeat.
Ths really kills the game, even when there is a huge variety of locations. Another issue (which shouldn't be) is darkness. WHAT? DARKNESS? AN ISSUE? IN A HORROR GAME? FAHK YOU!
Yeah, it helps the atmosphere and bla, bla, bla. But HL's flashlight sucks. It points to fahking floor! If you're in a long corridor, you won't see an enemy until he/she/it's in front of you. This is an issue. Prepare to loose a lot of health.
Why did I finish this game? Because I wanted to proof that I had the balls to do it. The ending I achieved lasted 10 seconds and it was so unsatisfying that I wanted to throw my PC through the window.
You'll scream, you'll sweat, you'll kick your CPU, you'll turn the lights on, you'll play with company. You want a horror experience unlike any other? DOWNLOAD THE MOD. You want an engaging horror thriller? Play Silent Hill.
So, to put it clearly, this mod is scary, but it's not what those 9-10 reviews say. It's been 4 years of development, and did they pay off? Almost.
First comes the story. Waking in an alley, with amnesia? Sorry, but that's a poor try of making the story interesting. That's an overused premise in any media. Though the story is interesting, it doesn't live up to the game's pace. There were several moments when I asked myself "What the fahk is going on?" because story focused too much in hallucinations and scares. The (bad) ending I got when I finished the game made no FAHKING sense, and I ended up reading a summary of the story to understand it. But the story's most annoying flaw is Simon's voice. I know, I know, IT'S A MOD, but his voice is flat, metallic and lifeless.
The graphics are great, and they push HL engine to its limits: shaders for the water, particles, bump mapping, deformable surfaces, etc. The mod's code is amazing. The same goes for sound (except for the voices), animations and models. Monsters aren't very creative, but at least their prescence is menacing. BUT don't be fooled: if your computer can run HL, it DOESN'T MEAN that it can run COF. Mark my words: COF IS MORE HARDWARE DEMANDING THAN HL.
It's gameplay's turn. Like in older survival horror games, you have an inventory reduced to your pockets and bag. You can assign three quick slots to items, but... for the flashlight? Inventory manage gets annoying over time. Combat is practically unforgiving. Miss one blow with the axe, and you're dead. You like guns? Well this isn't COD, so ammo is scarce, which is good for the tension, but weapons don't feel all that powerful- for your enemies. Fire a pistol and your aim will go dancing.
Puzzles are a mixed-bag, some are satisfying, and other really stupid (Why the fahk do I have to backtrack a whole town to open a door?).
I had a nice time playing, though. You'll either love or hate this mod, but play it first (+++++jumpscares, ----------------atmosphere).
It has a nice, creepy atmosphere- but not many scary moments, and a nice RPG system; the story is well paced, and voice acting is pretty good for the time it was released.
But it's not perfect as some say: from a technical point, the game is average compared to it's contemporary engines (e.g. Half-Life or Unreal).
Monsters and people look too square-shaped, and while they may scare you with their sounds, their look washes away the fear. Sound is also average, some sounds (like the pistol) don't feel right. Gameplay wise, the game forces you, no matter which class you pick, to invest the in 'HACK' skill, because most ammo and health goodies -scarce and needed items- are inside locked crates which need to be hacked in order to be opened. Most PSI powers (magic-like) aren't really useful e.g. Why should I try to be invisible when I can destroy that security camera with a single attack?
Summary: it's creepy, it has one of the best villains (SHODAN), a great story and it's fun overrall, if you don't mind the negative spots mentioned above.
It made me enjoy Doom like a child in a toy store.
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