Wednesday, November 21, 2007

They Hunger (full) for Half-Life

***this review was previously available at Alejandro Mapping Center***


Level name: They Hunger

Author: Neil Manke

Release date: 27 March 2001

Size: 68 874 ko

Number of maps: 26

website: here


download: At PlanetPhillip.com

Story:

this impressive mod contains 3 different épisodes that were firsly published separatly there was no real storyline added to the full release only a sort of story came with the first and second episode...here it is

You're a writer who saw some success in the past but is now struggling to complete your latest work. Your publisher rents you a house in the country and you are on your way there to rest, write, and recoup. During the course of your drive the relaxing radio music is broken by a hurried announcement, "This is BMRF radio bringing you a special news report! Unknown atmospheric phenomena have been reported throughout the area. Meteorologists have been unable to identify the source of the strange electrical displays but we will keep you informed of any developements. We return you now to our regular programming".
"... ah, probably nothing", you think.

Review :
They Hunger is a must have add-on that integrate something new to HL: a scary horror sequel that could easily stand alone and is definitely part of the top 5 best private sp release for Half-Life. Nearly everything has been changed through the entire package (made with more than 50 maps) all new weapons (12) except the magnum, new models and especially Dogs, a new kind of ‘Frankenstein’ Ogre really powerful in close combats and Cows. Those new stuffs are spread around perfectly designed area such as a lost town somewhere (perhaps in Scotland), in first episode, a psychiatric research house where some ugly experiments take place, in the second one and in the last episode a mix between the destroyed psychiatric hospital and a ‘farm’ theme spread in the middle. The whole package being very well put together with some perfect puzzle and a really scary ambiance spread all over the place.

For the interested people I will now look a little closer to the three parts:

+ Episode 1: to go directly to the point, it is certainly the less interesting part from the entire package (it is still great compare to other releases). I never got the feeling to have a clear view when this mission took place, especially in the first part where there is a mix between ‘old vehicles’ (train, cars) and some helicopter or modern barney. At start you have a marvelous intro that will lead to an accident from there you need to find your way defeating zombies with the first weapon. Progression is quite obvious in a quite linear way and makes a good alternation between indoors (church, buildings and caverns) and outdoors (swamp and mountains). You will also notice that during the progression design increase and always add the little thing at the moment you thing that everything is the same. You have also a good mix between puzzles and some small events…that gonna lead you to the second episode.

+ Episode 2: Rest in peace is a lot better than the first one. The travel takes place in a lot of indoor place introducing a really impressive design dispatched all over the pack, there are nearly no blocked way so that you have a lot to explore adding to the gameplay a ‘real’ dimension. Puzzle are less obvious and ask you sometime to act with 2 or 3 thing to make it work, fights and traps are well set too. The entire scenario is really impressive making the progression always an eye candy when you reach new areas. Work on texturing and modeling is also a lot better introducing this time not only slightly but deeply modified models (dogs and ogres), also through voice acting (video tapes) the ambiance is really increasing in oppression. The minor bad point is due to the hugeness of the pack so that you will certainly walk for miles before you find next thing to do! (Doesn’t spoiled the gameplay at all)

+ Episode 3: Rude awakening after the big explosion you need to escape from the hospital and try to find the 2 evil guys (doctor and Police officer) to kill them. So another quest start at this time and gonna lead from a perfectly design hospital to some farms and house lost in the mountains (pay attention to the cow and the chicken) Design is quite repetitive and sometimes boring but keep you full of adrenaline through good trap and fights that will occurs leading through a train trap to the episode 2 after the crash. Design is one time more perfectly dressed but not really innovative since it used a lot of place already visited in chapter2. Puzzles aren’t really present in this last part (except at start) and will lead you to the escaping place where a helicopter is waiting for you. Now you are ready for the end fights…are you sure it’s the last one? You will see…

In conclusion: Another impressive realization from Neil and his team introducing a TOTALLY new experience, Every FPS fan should play this one. In my opinion even if it is a real conversion, I think Neil was a little hit by the success of USS darkstar and wanted to do something better, the only problem is that this package is a little too long especially regarding realization of first and last episode and when you want to make quality and quantity is sometime has some flaws. I had nothing to criticize regarding USS Darkstar but for this one it would have been better to make a full version taking away the repetitive part of the three episode and in place try to add some ambiance music (which was for some good reason not added). It’s still one of my favorites.


Playtime: 15 Hours




Rating: A B C D E (95%)

1 comment:

Mikko Sandt said...

I was a bit disappointed with the first part. It was boring and repetitive.
The second part was better. I really liked the interiors of the nut house. Combat was also better but still not very good.
The third part was a slight disappointment again. The start was good but then Manke started recycling many areas you had visited before. I also had some major health problems during the third part (was playing on medium), walking around with less than 20hp almost all the time (and no armor).

The zombie sounds were annoying.

USS Darkstar was better. I actually had both mods years ago but never really played them until now.

Took me around 7-8 hours.