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

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Freeman's Revenge

Anybody who's been around the Half-Life mapping scene long enough will know who Dave Waters is. He has provided us with several brilliant Deathmatch maps (including the fantastic XBounce). However Dave's most impressive maps are his single player episodes, Freemans Revenge and Mission of Mercy (review coming soon). While these maps are hardly original, they provide an intense experience that will challenge even the most seasoned Half-Life players.

Freeman's Revenge is meant as a follow up to Half-Life's single player and it shows in the design. The texturing is very convincing and fits well with the theme. These levels have a similar feel to the valve levels. In many areas Dave uses ambient sounds, which help the atmosphere greatly. The architecture in this map is very impressive. You will barely find a room in this episode that is boring to look at. The rooms are furnished from top to bottom with monitors, computers and pipes (lets not forget that cool looking fish tank near the beginning).

This map is very nice looking, but the gameplay is where it really shines. Combat is constantly challenging (veterans should still stick to medium or hard though) and unpredictable. This is mainly due to the enemy placement. Dave's use of suprise attacks will keep the player on their toes right from beginning all the way through the end. You'll fight off a squad of marines, think you finally have a moment to relax and then in swarms an alien slave just out of nowhere! The weapon placement in this map is one of the factors which makes it a challenge. You are not just given that precious HEV suit, no you have to earn it. One of the great things about Half-Life was you had to learn to conserve ammo and use the right gun at the right moment. This is also true in Freeman's Revenge (those MP5 clips don't grow on trees!) so make sure you make every bullet count. Also there are several treats for players who look a bit harder (eg: try going for the snarks and the little buggers come flying after you), and most ammo is found in breakable crates. Whilst we're on the subject of secrets I should mention that Dave has included a secret Xen area. I won't tell you where it is, but you shouldn't have much trouble finding it. This section provides a nice detour from all the action and is worth visiting for the weapons it contains.

So, you're probably wondering how this map will perform on your feeble machine and you'll be pleased to hear that in most areas the r_speeds stay really low. However there are one or two problem areas where they shoot all the way up to 900!.

So I've pointed out how fantastic I think this map looks and plays. There must be a catch right? Well my only real problem with this episode is the story, which is hardly original. To be fair though, when this map was released, it was the first attempt to continue the Half-Life story. However, the ending is a bit disappointing, as Dave decides to finish it with Freeman flying away in an F-16, I would have liked to have seen a more developed plot (something which is a rare treat in Half-Life addons).

Overall, Freeman's Revenge is a fantastic map which is well designed, fast paced and constantly challenging. It may be well over a year old, but this map still ranks up there with the best. Download it now.