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

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Tucked Up

Tucked Up is an intereasting map in a few ways. The main one being that it is the most unintentionally hilarious level I have ever played. I'll get back to that later though. So what's it about? Well Tucked Up sees Gordan Freeman framed for the death of a scientist by the evil Oliver Tucker (unsuprisingly in the form of the G-Man). Freeman is forced to fight through another army of aliens and marines to clear his name. Its nice to see a level with an intereasting story, but this is not where my good things to say about this level end.

The architecture in Tucked Up is very good for a starting map and you never see a room that is empty and boring to luck at. However one thing that bothered me slightly was the scale. At the beginning of the level the player is dwarfed by some of the huge doors, but apart from this minor issue the map is very well built. My main problem with this level is the lighting. It is good in most areas, but is nothing to write home about. However a few areas of this map were just too dark. Trust me, your torch is gonna be doing overtime in this episode! Also in one or two areas there seemed to be mysterious lights that seem to come from nowhere. The texturing is also well pulled of and fits the theme well.

The layout of this map is well thought out and is slighly non linear in one or two places which is nice to see. Most players should have no problem navigating around Tucked Up. Enemy placement is also well executed and there are one or two genuine suprise moments to keep you on your toes. I think the author probably used more enemy types than he needed to. Its nice to see a change from the over cliched grunt fest, but this doesn't mean you have to throw in every enemy available. The biggest example of this is the assassin. For these enemies to create a real challenge, they need big open areas and lots of different roots available to them. The areas where the author has placed them are not really suitable and therefore the assassins are pretty easy to take out. Apart from this small problem the author provides the player with several challenging fights which you will barely escape from alive. Especially the huge battle at the end which requires a bit of strategy to survive. Weapon placement is generally good and you never find yourself struggling for ammo. There is however one exception. At the beginning of the level you are given a glock with one magazine to take out two assassins.

Another good thing about Tucked Up is the use of sequences, which is something good to see for a debut map. The other impressive extra that this level has to offer is the custom sounds. My guess is the voices are done by the author and some of his friends and they are done quite professionally. However the accents (I know I'm British too) provide for some really funny moments. This is especially true when we get to hear Freeman speak (who'd have thought he really sounds like that). The last thing I need to mention is the r_speeds which never slow the action down, even in the outside areas.

Overall, Tucked Up is a very well made map for a beginner. Its hardly earth shattering, but it is worth checking out for the few good fights it provides and the highly entertaining voice acting. Lets hope the author keeps up to this standard with whatever he does next.