|Excerpts from Reviews of Edge of Darkness|
Rating: 5 out of 5
... Unprecedented experiences occur, one after the other. This pack is so chock-full of originality that it pains me to point out one crippling flaw: Mr. Spain isn't getting paid for it...
... Summary? More fun than attaching yourself to the Happy-Fun-O-Tron.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Gameplay is fairly tough, but very playable - health and ammo were perfectly
balanced for me when I played on medium.
... The mapping in EOD is of a very high quality. ...
Lighting is also beautifully done, and fits the atmosphere perfectly.
...You certainly get your 'downloads worth' out of EOD - 8Mb for 2 Hrs+ gameplay - Bargain!
There really are some great little areas in EOD, but the bit with the 'death star' type thing really is a jaw dropper...
FINAL WORD: So to sum up, we have an excellently done map set, that has originality even though using old unmodified HL. It has excellent architecture/gameplay/lighting/ambience/scripted sequences, that does suffer from high r_speeds. Overall though, the best unmodified HL episode ever released, and undoubtedly worth the download. A 'They Hunger' beater in my opinion. High praise indeed.
... Edge of Darkness is one of the most engaging and enjoyable Half-Life single player episodes to date.
... Your combat skills will certainly be challenged in this episode.
... The architecture, level balance, and game flow are all first-rate. ...
But what really sets Edge of Darkness apart from most other maps is the little extras. For example, you get a full Mission Impossible-style briefing by laptop in the beginning. Furthermore, the scripted sequences, which act as in-game cutscenes to advance the plot, are clever and satisfying to watch, yet the action is not interrupted at all. ...
In case you couldn’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed playing Edge of Darkness and I highly recommend it. If you choose to ignore it, you’ll be missing out on one of the best Half-Life episodes ever released.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Right then this review shouldn't take long, all you need to know is start downloading the zip right now. No, don't keep reading this, go download instead. Go on, the file link is right up there look. Yes, and that includes you at the back as well. So the final score for the map then is... What?
You mean I have to actually tell people why it's worth downloading? But that'll take up valuable downloading time, and besides Buffy's about to start
on the TV and I think this could be the episode where Willow snaps and murders everyone in an orgy of blood and perfect make up. Yeah, yeah, all
right I'm doing it.
So, Edge of Darkness then, as you've probably worked out (if your actually still here) is a bit good. Not only does it look consistently excellent it actually plays well and is stuffed with a wide range of things to see and do... In addition the author makes some of the best use of scripted sequences to advance the plot that I've seen outside of Valve's own work. It really is excellent stuff.
And of course, I've got to mention the visuals, which are consistently great ... Map authors should definitely check these levels out for the visuals alone...
So in conclusion, the only reason you shouldn't be downloading this already is if you've got a crap computer or if you get frustrated incredibly easily. Otherwise this is a must have download and well worth spending some quality time with.
|3D Map Realm|
Chris Spain is not a newcomer to singleplayer editing. He's produced one of the
better series of maps for Quake2 called Forces of Evil. Diehard Half-Life players
might recognize his name from something different: his HL deathmatch map
Rats! Regardless, Chris has definitely spent a lot of time getting his new SPHL
pack Edge of Darkness polished, because boy does it shine.
In EoD, you reprise the role of Gordon Freeman, this time working for an Alien Counter-Insurgence Bureau that is once again fighting off the minions from Xen. The story is very much played out in-game, so I'll leave you to discover the ins and outs of it.
There's so much to like about EoD; it really has a lot going for it. Since I know most people prefer strong gameplay quality over visuals, I'll go over that first.
The gameplay in this unit is absolutely top-notch. Never does it degrade into a mindless grunt-fest (no offense to those who like those kind of maps). The storyline progresses well as you move through the levels, and time and time again Chris makes excellent use of scripted sequences and HL's dialogue to provide very entertaining setpieces. Much of the climaxes of Half-Life's original gameplay make appearances in this pack (the tentacle monster, a portal generation sequence, etc) but everything is new and fresh enough to be stunning all over again.
To top it all off, everything seems balanced just about right. This pack was, in fact, tested right here at the 3DMR Testing Zone as well as a few other places. Good beta testing REALLY WORKS!
Visuals are no slouch either. Literally every location in the map is well-designed, and as a result the whole unit looks and feels very natural. As I mentioned before, the inclusion of the scripted stuff makes for some very atmospheric levels. Chris does stress in the readme that you will need about a PII-450 with at least a TNT card to run the levels well, but only in a few parts did I really notice r_speeds becoming a factor at all.
At the risk of sounding paid off, ;) I really can't find much to complain about for this one. It's a very well-built pack no matter how you slice it, and it will provide great fun the whole way through. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is one of the best HL missions I've played to date. Yes, I feel that good about it. What are you waiting for? Download it today!
Arctic's Mapping World
Edge of Darkness is from Chris Spain, who has made various Quake 2 maps and judging by this latest offering, is clearly an accomplished mapper. ... Chris has done a brilliant job in creating the "mountain" atmosphere ... The architecture is where this map really shines. Most maps have one or two areas which are worthy of mention, but I had a hard time choosing which screenshots to use, there were so many good ones! ...
The combat is a healthy mixture of alien, with slaves, crabs and grunts all getting a good deal of hot lead, and also the infamous human grunts are around every corner, and even the black ops put in an appearance. It should also be noted that this map is the only example I have ever seen that actually makes the ops have an important part in the action, (and the only map that actually gets them to kick effectively.) ...
So the bottom line? Get this map! This is a great exercise in atmosphere, architecture and clever combat set-pieces. You will not be disappointed.