VeNgEaNcE's House Of Horrors
single player and deathmatch level reviews for half-life

site designed by Mr_Hangman











When I look for new single player missions to play I ususally look for ones made by people I haven't heard of. By doing this you sometimes discover great up and coming mappers. Despite a few problems, Crash proves that Sigurd Svidal Randal is one of these people.

Straight away we can see that the author knows what he is doing. You begin the mission surrounded by rocky terrain. This has been well made and despite its complexity the author manages to keep the r_speeds under control. One problem I do have with some of the outside areas is the strange use of blue and purple lighting, reducing your brightness (like the author suggests) seems to eliminate this, however doing this makes it incredibly hard to see some areas of the map. As I mentioned before the author creates some well made architecture but manages to keep the r_speeds down, I had a look around and they rarely go over 600, and most of the time they are much lower than this. The atmosphere in many parts of the map could have been improved by adding more ambient sounds, the lack of these makes the map seem slightly fake. As soon as you enter the house the author throws several suprise attacks at you from various directions, we can see that he has not just randomly placed his enemies, but has thought about it and produces some excting fights in the process. One of my major problems with Crash is the weak story. This map entertains but I would have preferred to have seen a more involving and developed plot. The author also demonstrates that he knows how to use World Craft through his use of sequences. He uses the camaras at the beginning to let the player know whats happening to them and to warn them of oncoming dangers (like the marines storming the house). The combat throughout Crash is quite well balanced, I would never say it is too easy and never too hard. However, if you feel like a challenge then try your luck on the hard difficulty setting.

Throughout the mission the other provides some fun set pieces to keep the player entertained. The first of these is the marines attack on the house, this is probably the best fight in the entire map and some of you will not come out of it alive on you first try! Another fun part is having to take down a squad of grunts using a huge M-60 machine gun behind a piece of bulletbroof glass that gets so many bulletholes in it that you have no idea where to shoot! Crash also holds the award for having the world strangest toilet. The seat turns sideways instead of up. This is the only outstanding error in the entire map and doesn't take anything away from what the author has already achieved. Later in the level the author uses some ambient sounds which help the atmosphere slightly, if this was so at the beginning of the level it would seem more "real". I have one other problem with the map, this is that the texturing gets a little lazy in places which is a shame as throughout most of the level it is quite well done. This is most noticible in the overlong lift ride at the end of the level (as it takes so long you end up just staring at the walls, which is about as fun as watching paint dry). After this lift ride the author rounds the map of using a slightly weak ending, which is well executed but makes you think that he just didn't know how best to finish it.

Overall, Crash is a very well made level. However it seriously lacks a decent story and ends far too soon. If he takes my advice on board, I can't wait to see what the author does next. This map is easily worth 20 minutes of you time.