Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dark Matters


Author: Yo$hik
# of levels: 5
Rating: 7/10
Difficulty: Medium to Hard

Yo$hik has returned with another interesting addon for Rtcw SP. Dark Matters is a 5 level addon, but the last map is only a cutscene. As far as gameplay goes, that means there are only 4 playable levels.

The theme for Dark Matters is something that is currently an unused idea for Rtcw SP releases: aliens! That's right, aliens are in Dark Matters. Unfortunately, the player doesn't get the opportunity to fight them. Starting with the last playable level, you will see dead aliens everywhere. It seems that the Nazis had fun with experimenting on the aliens.

But first, let's start at the beginning of Dark Matters. According to the mission briefing, the player is apparently an agent who is searching for one of his comrades, who was captured by the Nazis. The player arrives on a train, similar to the beginning of Vendetta, which is another addon made by Yo$hik.

But instead of being a spy who sneaked onto the train (in the case of Vendetta), the player apparently was brought to a Nazi-occupied village along with a group of prisoners. The player then must sneak past the guards, until he reaches a hotel.

Once he arrives at the hotel, he finds a woman in a wine cellar who is tied to a wall. She apparently was one of the hotel workers who was tied to the wall by the agent that the player is searching for. The agent did this to prevent the woman from alerting the Nazis about his presence.

In the wine cellar, the player finds a key to one of the hotel rooms. Inside the hotel room is a case containing 2 weapons: the Sten and the Silenced Luger. A flak jacket is also laying near the case.

After the player is armed with weaponry, he must fight his way through a part of the town, and enter a cathedral. Inside the cathedral are SS soldiers who are rather dangerous with their high accuracy. The player must then enter the basement of the cathedral after he makes it through the top area.

After going through a small torture chamber, the player will enter a laboratory. From here on is where things become strange and creepy. There are dead bodies everywhere in the lab. The walls and floors are covered with blood. Parts of the lab are destroyed or are on fire. Something is not right...

In the 4th level, the player will notice something rather disturbing. There are dead aliens everywhere, some attached to the ceiling, and others laying on tables. It's clear that the Nazis were experimenting on some aliens, but the aliens fought back.

Near the end of Dark Matters, the player encounters Deathshead, who has 2 female assistants for some reason...( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Anyway, the player must fight 2 protosoldiers, who are rather tough. After the player defeats them, he will stop to observe the madness that the Nazis have been conducting in the laboratory. Unfortunately, one of Deathshead's assistants walks behind him, and knocks him out with a needle injection. Deathshead has some plans for the agent...

The final level will show what plans Deathshead had exactly. The player is apparently now a supersoldier. The player failed in his mission to find his captured comrade.

Meanwhile, a group of Nazis are observing a temple located on top of a snowy mountain. They have a conversation, which quickly turns into a rather noisy argument. The noise attracts some aliens who are hiding within the shadows of the temple. What happens after that is obvious.

Now that I've explained the story of Dark Matters, I'll discuss the enemies.

The enemies include:

~ Nazi Soldiers

~ Venom Soldiers

~ Officers

~ Protosoldiers

~ Scientists

As you can see, there isn't much variety with the type of enemies.

The enemy weapons include:

~ MP40

~ Mauser Rifle

~ Luger

~ Flamethrower

~ Venom

~ Panzerfaust

~ Tesla

On the other hand, the weaponry in Dark Matters has quite a bit of variety. This combined with the low amount of health packs makes Dark Matters a challenge.

As I said before, the enemies can be very accurate, so it's a good idea to take your time and save often.

There are some secret areas and treasure hidden in Dark Matters. Some are really easy to find, while others are a bit difficult. One of them in particular requires some trick jumping.

As usual from Yo$hik, Dark Matters includes quite a bit of custom content, such as new textures, custom sounds, custom models, and custom music. The notebook (N key) is finally not empty, which is an improvement for Yo$hik.

Another improvement is the use of animated custom models, such as the civilians inside the hotel of the first level, and the guinea pigs inside some cages in the first laboratory level.

The main menu for Dark Matters is obviously custom, and I really like it. It really sets the mood, in my opinion.

You may be wondering: why is the score for Dark Matters a 7/10? I will answer that question now.
Like Yo$hik's other works, there are still many bugs in this release. Also, there was supposed to be an English version of Dark Matters, but it apparently was canceled.

Other than that, Dark Matters is a well-made addon. But I think that Vendetta and especially Devils Manor 2: Edge of Darkness are much better overall when compared to Dark Matters. Another reason why Dark Matters pales in comparison to Yo$hik's other works is due to how short it is (only 5 levels).

The atmosphere in Dark Matters is great, but it's not as good as Yo$hik's other works. I'm sure that many of you agree with me on that.

That's about all that I have to say. Thanks for reading!

Dark Matters Trailer (made by Yo$hik):

Walkthrough by Vicpas (level 1):
Walkthrough by Vicpas (level 2):
Walkthrough by Vicpas (level 3):
Walkthrough by Vicpas (level 4):

My playthrough:!New-Rtcw-SP-Videos-Uploaded/c12im/55bd767c0cf22a872584f3f6

General Red's playthrough:

Confused on how to install Rtcw SP addons? Watch this video:

Yo$hik's playthrough with RealRTCW 2.1 installed:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Horrors of Hell


Author: Ronboy (Mike Smith)
# of levels: 3
Rating: 8.3/10
Difficulty: Easy to Medium

My latest release, Horrors of Hell, is a three level addon for Rtcw SP, and my last release (at least on the Quake 3 Arena engine). I don't want to elaborate on this, since it will go off-topic.

If you are familiar with my earlier works (Hell Mappack and Hell Mappack Remake), you will notice a similarity in the map names, map design, and the themes. Horrors of Hell is intended to be a "reboot" for these two releases.

Indeed, it is a reboot, and a well done reboot, in my opinion. Despite the relatively shortness of the maps, the whole addon is almost free of any bugs, and there are some new effects that I've learned as a mapper, to implement them into my project.

An optional stealth mode for the first level, new traps, and more interesting level design are among some of the positive attributes that I can list for Horrors of Hell. Like my previous works, there is quite a bit of custom content available in Horrors of Hell.

Since having BJ be the hero is overdone, I decided to take a different approach, and use someone different. As a result, I came up with a (fictional) highly experienced Russian soldier named Pavlov. You will notice in the OSA briefing for the first level that Pavlov has been given the task of putting a stop to another of the SS Paranormal Division's diabolical projects.

Like my previous works Operation Deathshead and Project Uran, Horrors of Hell uses all 3 custom weapons that are currently available: the Russian PPSH, the German MP44, and the German K43 Rifle. Note that the PPSH was not in Operation Deathshead or Project Uran, so it is actually a new weapon that I've never included before in any of my works. The true challenge (according to other players who have played Horrors of Hell) is conserving ammunition. If you are struggling to finish Horrors of Hell due to low health/ammo, just remember to save the game often. When you don't save the game, dying and having to start the map all over again can become frustrating.

The first level contains no secret areas, but the second and third levels have some. If you want to find all secrets and treasure, be sure to take your time and explore. The secrets are pretty well hidden, but not as good as in some other recent releases such as Flying Saucers.

The ambiance starts out normal, but slowly becomes more creepy as you enter the depths of Hell. If you pay attention to the cutscenes and read all of the letters/clipboards, then you will get a good understanding of what is happening. I think that I may have failed somewhat with making Horrors of Hell as atmospheric as Devils Manor 2: Edge of Darkness, but I at least tried.

Out of all of the custom content used in Horrors of Hell, my favorite is definitely the soundtrack "The House of Leaves" by Kevin Macleod. It's very suiting, especially when you're wondering through the dimension of Hell.

In terms of difficulty, the first level has a medium difficulty, while the second and third levels have a mixture of easy and medium. The first level has an optional stealth mode, which will turn into a tough action mode if the alarm is triggered near the map's beginning. It is entirely possible to survive this action mode (without cheating). Just always remember to be careful of your surroundings, and save often. Rushing through the maps will highly increase your chances of dying, which is usually the case will most Rtcw SP releases. Be careful with the second and third levels, because there are some traps that will instantly kill you.

The enemies include:
~ Nazi Soldiers
~ Scientists
~ Mechanics
~ Venom Soldiers
~ Protosoldiers
~ Lopers
~ Zombies
~ Warrior Zombies
~ Femzombie (Zombie Marianna)
~ Flame Zombie
~ Olaric
~ Heinrich
~ Priestess

The enemy weapons include:
~ MP40
~ MP44
~ K43 Rifle
~ Scoped Mauser
~ MG42
~ Luger
~ Venom
~ Panzerfaust
~ Tesla

As you can see, there are a variety of weapons and enemies, which are very important to the quality of a release, in my opinion.

Overall, I think that Horrors of Hell is a short, but great addon for Rtcw SP. It's probably my best release, by far. There was room for improvement, but nothing is perfect. If you have tried Horrors of Hell, but haven't completed it yet, give it another try and finish it. I think that you will enjoy it.

That's about all that I want to say. Thanks for reading!

 Trailer for Horrors of Hell (thanks Titeuf-85!):

Confused on how to install Rtcw SP addons? Watch this video:

Walkthrough by Vicpas:!More-New-Rtcw-SP-Videos-Uploaded/c12im/55d8ef010cf20831ee3b9d7c

Playthrough by General Red:

My playthrough for Horrors of Hell:

Yo$hik's playthrough in "extreme quality":

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Flying Saucers


Author: Depro777 (Denis Nevajno)
# of levels: 12
Rating: 9.2/10
Difficulty: Medium to Hard

Flying Saucers is one of the longest releases for Rtcw SP. Although 2 of the 12 levels are only cutscenes, leaving the number of playable levels to be 10, that doesn't stop this addon from being great.
Flying Saucers has been in development for a few years, and it was finally finished and released a few weeks ago. The author, Depro777, doesn't seem to have much confidence that this addon will be anything special, according to a conversation that I had with him. I don't agree with this, because Flying Saucers is great. When the addon was in the testing stages of development, it wasn't as great. But many errors were corrected to make this addon memorable.
I say that this addon is memorable for quite a few reasons. Keep on reading to discover those reasons.

To begin with, you are given the choice of playing the standalone version (having the original Rtcw game is not required) or the addon version (having the original Rtcw game is required). I played the standalone version until the addon version was released. Once the addon version was released, I removed the standalone version, because I prefer the addon version of releases.

The difficulty of Flying Saucers starts off rather easy, but it becomes more challenging as you complete each level. The toughest levels, in my opinion, are the maps darkles and karyer, due to tough enemies and scattered health. These 2 levels are especially tough, but you shouldn't have to resort to cheating in order to finish them. Just remember to save often, and conserve your ammo/health.

Some of the levels remind me of the original Rtcw SP maps (the default maps). The atmosphere also is similar to the original maps. The crypt levels have great ambiance as well as traps, zombies, and secret areas. The traps in the crypt levels are quite creative, such as a large boulder rolling down a narrow hallway towards the player. There are other traps too, but I won't mention them.

There are some moments of Flying Saucers that are quite exciting, like a truck ride in the map darkles, with enemies shooting at you as the truck drives by them. It can be difficult to survive at times, but you must keep trying. If I was able to finish Flying Saucers (without cheating), then anyone can finish it.

There are quite a few secret areas that are difficult to find. Even after playing Flying Saucers over and over, I still don't know how to access certain secret areas. The author was quite creative with the placement of the secrets, as well as the level design and special effects. You will have to take your time if you want to find all secrets.

Most of the content (or about over half) is default, but there is some custom content used. For example, there are 3 new and 3 (not quite new) weapons:

  • MP44
  • K43 Rifle
  • Mosin Nagant
  • TT33
  • RGD-33 Grenades (only available in the standalone version)
  • PPSH

The MP44 is a modified version of the MP44 from the Additional Weapons Mod by Alexandre. It uses it's own ammo instead of 9mm ammo (which Alexandre's MP44 used).
The K43 Rifle is a modified version of the K43 from Alexandre's Mod. But unlike Alexandre's K43, this one has a slightly slower firing rate. It still uses 792mm ammo like Alexandre's K43 does.
 The Mosin Nagant is a brand new weapon that has never been used in Rtcw before. Some other World War 2 games that I know use this weapon are Call of Duty, Call of Duty: United Offensive, and Call of Duty 2. It only has 5 bullets per round, and you won't get any ammo for it obviously (since you will be behind enemy lines), so use it wisely!
The TT33 is the other new weapon, which has never been used in Rtcw before. This pistol was only available in other games like Call of Duty: United Offensive and Call of Duty 2. Like the Mosin, you won't get any ammo for it, so use it wisely!
The RGD-33 Grenades are another new weapon, which haven't been used in Rtcw before. All of the early Call of Duty games have these grenades available, and now they can be used in Flying Saucers! They can't seem to be thrown far, and they have a high damage radius compared to the German "potato-masher" grenades, so be careful when throwing them, and use them wisely. You have only once chance to get ammo for these grenades, and that's in a secret area on the map dep_lab.
The PPSH is the last custom weapon. The main differences between this modified version and Alexandre's version are: The default key to access it on your keyboard is 8 (it was 5 with Alexandre's version), and it will overheat if you fire it for too long (Alexandre's version didn't overheat).

As you can see, the additional weapons that are included with Flying Saucers help make the addon even better. There are currently no addons that have the TT33, Mosin Nagant, and RGD-33 Grenades included, so having them included with Flying Saucers was a great idea. It really makes the addon special when compared to other addons.

Some of the default content has been modified, such as the "potato-masher" grenades (they have a custom texture, but this feature is only available in the standalone version). Some of the default doors, walls, and logos have replaced what ever they had originally with a UFO (flying saucer) logo. You will see what I mean when you look at the textures yourself.

There are some custom sounds, models, and textures included with Flying Saucers. Some custom skins (for Russian soldiers and officers) can be found in a few of the cutscenes. There are also some custom skins for some of the enemies. Depro777 really put a lot of effort into making Flying Saucers unique.

Among the custom sounds are some new dialogue, which are thankfully in English. The English is not broken either, but the accent may be a bit difficult to understand for some players. There is a little bit of custom music (in the opening cutscene), but the rest is default.

The AI are surprisingly clever at times, and you will have to think things through before you make a decision. Like I said earlier, remember to save often, and conserve health/ammo.

Flying Saucers has a custom main menu, even if you didn't download the standalone version. The player's notebook (N key) works, and there are some custom clipboards and letters in some of the maps.

The theme for Flying Saucers is obviously the Nazi involvement with UFO's (UFO= Unidentified Flying Object). The space theme was tried before in a past release (Operation Redmoon by PolygonValley), but it was never finished unfortunately. That's okay though, because we now have Flying Saucers, which is much better!

The environments for each level will change, like from a snowy village to a factory complex to crypts. The whole idea and aspect of Flying Saucers is truly creative, especially since there are currently no (finished) Rtcw releases out there that use the space/UFO/alien theme.

The enemies that you will face in Flying Saucers include:

  • Doctors/Scientists
  • Soldiers/Guards
  • Paratroopers/Blackguards
  • Zombies
  • Warrior Zombies
  • Flame Zombies
  • Lopers
  • 1 Supersoldier
  • Protosoldiers
  • 1 Olaric
  • 1 Priestess Zombie
  • Officers
  • Elite Guards
  • Venom Soldiers
As you can see, there are a variety of enemies to fight, almost every enemy from the original Rtcw SP campaign. 

The weapons of the enemy include:
  • Luger
  • MP40
  • MP44
  • K43 Rifle
  • FG42
  • Mauser Rifle
  • Sniper Scope (Mauser with a scope)
  • Flamethrower
  • Venom
  • Panzerfaust
  • Sten
  • MG42
  • Tesla
  • "Potato-masher" Grenades
As you can see, the enemy has some tough weaponry, almost every weapon included in Rtcw.

If you read the credits, you will notice that I was one of the testers for Flying Saucers. I was happy to help Depro777 make this addon as error-free as possible. Despite this, there are some (rather small) errors that still exist (which is why I didn't give this addon a rating of 10/10), but they shouldn't affect your enjoyment.

Overall, it's great to see that another large project was successfully finished and released to the Rtcw community. I enjoyed Flying Saucers, and I hope that you enjoyed/will enjoy it as well.

That's all for this review. Thanks for reading!

My playthrough of Flying Saucers:

General Red's playthrough:

Tatiana's playthrough for levels 1-5:

Tatiana's playthrough for levels 6-10:

Yo$hik's playthrough in "extreme quality":