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Ryan101 last won the day on September 8 2013

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About Ryan101

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  1. You're quite welcome!
  2. Some spoilers are here, but I've taken pains to be as general as possible. I don't describe any particular story beats that aren't common knowledge, so don't worry about that. I was really blown away by the sheer level of polish on display here, in basically all respects. Story, visuals, character design, level design, really solid gameplay, it's all a pretty damned professional effort, the dedication practically outstripping what's typically found in triple A titles. It's kinda overwhelming, actually. I'm not without a few criticisms, which I'll get to towards the end, but they're few and far between; I just wanna further emphasize that this, chapter one, of what's probably going to be an even bigger mod, already feels like a complete and incredibly enjoyable experience. Everyone involved in this should brag about it for all it's worth, use it for points to get into the industry, cause you have earned the right to feel proud of this. Gameplay is fluid, relying on the best elements of SMOD without any of the silly bullshit or arbitrary difficulty. It's about the standard fare, really so you've got iron sights, manueverability, fatigue levels (wasn't so hot on the "feed yourself to survive" mechanic, as it doesn't really bring much to the table) and a satisfying dash of Metal Gear Solid-esque stealth sequences (groovy techno music reminsicient of the MGS sound track accompanies these moments) to break up the combat sections. Gun battles are a surprisingly rare occurrence in this mod, which is not unwelcome after the exhausting John Woo movie that is the prologue - instead we get lots and lots and LOTS of running and gunning (or swinging) with zombies. Very well scripted zombies, too. The environment lends itself well to survival horror, but I'll get to that later. This mod abley mixes stock HL2 and Counter Strike assets with new material, generating a visual experience that's pretty much seamless. No texture feels shoehorned in - of course, this is helped by the fact that a lot of Underhell takes place in a dingy bunker that's in the process of falling apart, so the stock assets already lend themselves quite nicely to that aesthetic. More impressively, the level design is lovely and functional, from the beautifully foreboding House to the sterile underground facility and all its blood-splattered wings. The Core is my favorite area in a way that's hard to quantify - it's certainly not pretty, but the sheer towering sprawl of it is effective at telling the player what a monumental task it'll be in actually escaping this hellhole. It's also a nice hub area and a very elegant way of connecting all the areas of the facility - it lends a sense of placement to everything that so many mods seem to miss in their design philosophy. This follows through in the multiple safe rooms you pass through in the game, too, allowing the player to explore at their leisure from a secure location that you can always run back to if things get too hairy. You're always on a certain path, but many of the sections don't feel linear. Things feel very open in this mod, facilitating a tactical play style where you're constantly weighing whether to make a run for it or take a stand against the undead horde. The mod doesn't do much to push the envelope in terms of scariness - the majority of it is a fairly generic take on zombie plagues, with the occasional dash of influence from Japanese horror. What's there is very functional and well polished, though I gotta admit I was expecting the supernatural to take precedence over zombies here, especially since the prologue offers no hints on what to expect. The House is the wonderful exception to this, though, favoring slow and subtle horror over the fairly straight-forward meat of the storyline. Things happen when you're not looking, leading to an uncanny situation where you suddenly realize that something is not where it's supposed to, that a door has been left open that you don't remember touching... crows fling themselves through the windows, and occasionally you catch the barest glimpse of a figure watching you. It's wonderfully effective. Finally, the story is a sprawling narrative filled with mystery, well drawn characters propped up by mostly excellent voice acting, and intelligently written dialogue. Without spoiling too much, it really goes down the rabbit hole a few times - main characters being insane isn't really a new story mechanic, but it's well executed in this mod. There's also a generous helping of corporate corruption and supernatural horror, complete with somewhat bizarre non-sequitor moments where you've got characters railing against "sheeple" and the government conspiracies that control them amidst a zombie narrative. The story becomes somewhat encumbered towards the end, both by chapter one's frankly staggering weight and the amount of things it tries to do. I felt exhausted towards the end; chapter one is seriously long enough to be it's own game, and if the chapter selection menu is to be believed, there's probably hundreds of hours left in this thing. I'm honestly not sure if that's a good thing, as I was beginning to feel exhausted by the length at the end. At least the mysteries show no sign of being solved any time soon (things get intensely weird at the end,) so hopefully the next installment will feel more fresh by the time it releases. A quick point of critique - I would probably care a bit more about the story if I felt even an ounce of empathy for Jake, the impressively psychotic main character. Like many protagonists, though, he's silent and never offers any expression or input on any situation (this is played for laughs in one particular video chat near the end of the game.) Considering how much talking everyone's doing, and the amount of effort put into Jake's backstory, this is a seriously flawed approach. But I digress; Chapter One of Underhell can stand by itself as an impressive achievement of gaming; the fact that more is on the way both frightens and elates me, so well done!
  3. Oh, so is it a post-credits thing? Should I wait through the credits? Cause it just kinda cut to that after the event you describe, and I closed outta the game. Edit: Yep, it's post-credits. That's kinda annoying, but whatev. Happy to be able to keep playing!
  4. I've definitely completed chapter one and am still getting this hint. I'm guessing something didn't trigger correctly - can you tell me at which point it sends you back to the House between chapter one and two?
  5. Yep, same here. Still not sure how to proceed!
  6. Never crashed, except during chapter two, which was pretty unrelated to the House anyway, I think. Things just kinda slid naturally from one thing to the other.
  7. Oh, at the end of chapter one it just sorta... continued on into chapter two, I guess? I never got sent back. I should point out I'm playing the earliest released version of this mod, btw (the one released on September 2nd, that is.)
  8. Hi, I've completed Underhell (well, chapter one, anyway) but I seem to have reached a stop-off point in the House. I did all the stuff required to move on to the prologue, and some of the stuff between the prologue and chapter one, but past that whenever I go back to the House it simply tells me to investigate the noises in the fog, which starts off chapter one all over again. I know there's more stuff to do in the House, cause I keep hearing references to the well, investigating the forest, and so on, but I can't seem to find out how to trigger all this. Any ideas?