Monday, October 08, 2012

The Horror of Hallowolf

Given that the month of October is upon us, and one of the few noteable things about the month (aside from a dramatic decline in temperatures out here) is Halloween, I figured we'd take a look at a little Halloween themed Wolf goodness. In this case, last year's Halloween themed release, Hallowolf.

Over the years, the name "The Incredible Pete" has sort of become synonymous with the term "vaporware", as he's had a fairly extensive list of mod's he's begun development on or announced that never saw the light of day. In fact, he was in the process of developing "Hundscheisse 2" when he took a break and started working on Hallowolf instead. It came as a surprise to everybody when he released his two level demo of Hallowolf a year ago, but anyone can release a mod. The question is, was it any good? Well, that depends on what you define as good...

Well, for starters, the mod is pretty feature-heavy for a first release by a modder, but Pete has had quite a bit of practice modding, and played around with a variety of different code changes, courtesy of Adam Biser and Andy Nonymous, so when you take that into account, the flashy features make sense. Pete's gone all out to give the mod a realistic city look in the first level, and he's really put himself into this mod. Literally. See, the HUD face is a remarkable likeness of the designer, and the story specifically names Pete as the protagonist in the mod. The graphics are really sharp looking all around, and while some of them are borrowed from other games, everything has been modified to the point of seeming new in this mod.

The enemy variety really makes the game, as a mod with boring enemies gets old really quickly. I don't want to spoil the enemy selection, but expect to see a mix of classic horror movie monsters as well as some baddies from slightly more recent horror films. The most common enemy, the gun toting goblins (or are they trolls? heheh) are a direct homage to the creatures in Troll 2, one of Pete's favorite movies (and one of the worst movies of all time). Most of the enemies behave like enemies from the original Spear of Destiny, but the mod is actually much more difficult than SOD. This is mainly due to the weapon selection, which consists of single shot weapons of varying power (a fairly rapid slingshot and two different shotguns). There are several points in the mod where the player faces hordes of enemies, but is unable to attack more than one of them at a time to avoid damage.

The music and sound effects in the mod are very well done, and help to make the mod a fun (and funny) experience. Really, my only complaint about Hallowolf after I completed it was the just wasn't long enough. I kind of felt like no sooner had I gotten started then it was time for it to be over, but that's almost impossible to avoid with a two level mod, especially a good one. The mod is loaded with lots of subtle, humorous touches, though, and taking the time to enjoy the two levels Pete has given us here is its own reward. The challenge may be a bit steep for newer or casual players, but overall, I highly recommend Hallowolf, especially as a Halloween themed mod.

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