Game: Red Alliance
Platform Played: PC
Purchased on Steam for a price I cannot remember.
I did not enjoy the original Half-Life. I liked Half-Life 2 and the expansion packs that followed it. Red Alliance is a Russian Half-Life clone, but it is quite better. And it does things in a different way. Instead of a scientist with an MIT PhD you are a quasi-Russian freedom fighter fighting a mad scientist and his private army known as the oppressive units. I did not realize this while I initially played the game, but I encountered a version of this game a long time ago on moddb, that was quite frustrating with its jumping mechanics. What we have here is a great FPS with a neat sci-fi story and settings, good level design, and tried and true old school FPS gameplay with new innovations. Like any good indie game, there are flaws though. It is nothing to make the game unplayable though.
Sci-Fi Story/Settings/Level Design: As I said the game takes place in some kind of quasi-Russian/eastern European locale. Place names and characters oftentimes have slavonic qualities. Much of the game takes place in cities with eastern bloc architecture. The labs are all Half-Life influenced, and the prison level screams Nova Prospeckt or a modern Russian prison. The corridors of the labs, to the mean streets and tenements of the cities will have you enjoying the game immensely. Most of the levels have good enemy placement, and twists and turns to them. They are oftentimes linear though. My favorite level was the outpost stealth sequence.
Weapons: There’s a police baton. A Russian 9mm handgun, various assault rifles that lack power, and the wonderful AS VAL assault rifle that has to be my favorite. There are other weapons worthwhile mentioning, but the AS VAL and the shotgun are handy when it comes to swarms of zombie like hordes later in the game.
Critiques: At times AI for enemies and friendly NPCS was horrific. The friendly NPCs could easily get stuck on walls and damage the game by causing them to not proceed to objectives where their presence would be required. At times enemies would flee without any reason other than to run and gun backwards. That was a pain. The worst case of this was during the final level where I needed the help of a newfound friend.
Final Analysis: This could be the start of a good series of games. If the developers would keep working the kinks out and stay devoted to the craft of game development I could see their projects becoming even better games.