Author Topic: [SPOILERS!] My experience with Cry of Fear  (Read 5053 times)

vulk

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[SPOILERS!] My experience with Cry of Fear
« on: 12 April, 2016, 11:06:54 PM »
First and foremost SPOILERS! If you haven't played the mod/standalone game yet, do yourself a favor and skip this topic.

Well, Cry of Fear came out quite a while ago but for reasons I'd rather skip the explanation for - let's just say that I finaly came around and played this gem.

When I first started the game I experienced one thing - frustration. The problem with AMD cards and the FPS drops almost turned me down and the sudden dissapearance of subtitles didn't made things any better. Regardless I didn't let the small problems that ultimately don't break the experience to bother me that much. On the plus side - the moment the subtitles disappeared the game performance improved for some reason, but that's not the point. Eventually I found the right tweaks and options so I had no problems performance wize - still some FPS drops but not bad enough to ruin a segment.

After a while I've found myself cursing the combat. I did my best to master the "dodge" mechanic and I falsely blamed the game for the low accuracy of weapons, assuming it was something to do with the enemy models. However I couldn't stop myself playing. I thought "Hey, I'm giving this too much slack". Eventually, around the time my "Half Life" instincts stopped automatically kicking in I discovered a certain appreciation of the battles in the game. I used to get so annoyed by enemies charging to my face and then suddenly halting to a stop, ready to bash my skull in. Yet the more I realised that I was playing an ACTUAL survival-horror - the more I started to enjoy the abuse the game threw at me.

And then... the Stockholm Syndrome finally kicked in. (Feel free to punch me in the face for that put)

The randomisation of almost every pussle (I believe only the "Statues" have the same solution in every playthrough) was something I always wanted to see in older games like RE2 and the "One of three" in RE3 was not the best solution to that problem. The inventory pussles however are my favorite. In general I'm a sucker for inventory management and after the train crash, when you're left with basically 3 slots for health, weapon, light source and items I was squeeling from joy at the opportunity to come up with optimal ways of playing without getting stuck or constantly running to an "improvised" stash of sorts (usually dumping a lot of items around a tape recorder.

Eventually I stopped "looking at the" the game as a Half-Life mod completely and then I finally found out what it was. It was a welcome home for my love of survival-horror games. Even more so after I found Leon's HK70 (known to RE4 players as "Matilda").
The map design definitely plays and feels like it would be right at home in a tank-controlled game with fixed 3rd person camera angles and I was surprised how well it translated in first person. Add to that that the first person perspective allows for a far better impression on the player that their character absolutely sucks at handling weaponry and you have a recipe for success.
Boss battles are great, my only possible complaint is the boss for ending 4 (haven't played the others yet). Evil Simon was kinda anti-climatic as a fight, althought the wheelchair segment itself was pure gold - talking about tank controls.

At first the story struck me as a little bit infantile, but hey - our main character is 19 - not exactly an adult yet and just out of the teenage danger zone, the "friendzone" moment before Carcass felt a little cringy I admit but everything started clicking a lot better when I progressed deeper into the game. I mean - sure, Simon has some issues but it was completely justified that they would develop into serious problems, amplified by The Black Day. Ultimately it makes sense so my fears of being stuck in a "teenage drama"dissipated completely. The way visual metaphors are weaved into the game is probably how I trully gained an appreciation for what is going on. Enemies and events are suggestive, yet not confusing or disorienting. I grew to like Book Simon a lot, him being some kind of amalgamation of both Simon's Super Ego and id (subconciousness). On the plus side, I don't know if it was intended or not, but it helped the immersion into the game. As we all know, it's really hard to come up with a main character that both has a personality and being easy for the player to "put themselves" into his shoes. It was a lot easier to assume the role of a "mental construct" of the main character rather than the actual Simon.

Overall - the story fits the golden rule of psychological stories like that - something simple, told in a complicated way. Basically - when a plot is relatively straight - it allows A LOT more freedom with the methods of expression to tell it in a way that it still feels like unravelling a complicated truth. On my first playthrough I got ending 4 which was extremely satisfying - obviously Simon wasn't walking away from all this with all of his marbles in the same bag, yet it was positive enough - our main dude coming to terms with everything - so you don't feel cheated out of the experience. That bittersweet taste to it really resonated.

In conclusion - I loved my time with this game. I'm definitely replaying it again and again. To the team who made this wonderful experience - you people are awesome. I'm definitely expecting big things from you in the future.

P.s. Seeing the Megadeth patch on Simon's bag caused me to hum tout le monde during the final cutscene. Odd I know.
« Last Edit: 12 April, 2016, 11:12:07 PM by vulk »

Lylax

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Re: [SPOILERS!] My experience with Cry of Fear
« Reply #1 on: 10 June, 2017, 06:03:56 PM »
We need more topics like this one.