Review by Ginghamphatts
"Forget Blue Shift"
First off, Azure Sheep is a modification (mod) for the original Half-Life, and, however biased my opinion might be, is one amazing gaming experience.
With the given pretense, it's hard not to look at this and Blue Shift side by side. When you do that, you see just how good this is. Especially since it's a mod.
Visuals: It's Half-Life, so the visuals are great. There are some skins added in the mod for the new weapons, which may look slightly off if you fret over the specific details. However, if you're complaining about a free mod, there's more wrong than that which you are complaining about, and most of it has to do with you. Basically, the visuals are vintage Half-Life. Translation: Great.
Sound: The same applies here. Most of the sound files for Half-Life were re-used. That's a good decision development wise because the sounds that would have replaced them probably wouldn't have fit quality-wise. I may just be weird, but I'm still very much infatuated with the sound of firing the basic 9mm pistol. I just love it.
Gameplay: It is basically Half-Life redone, so the game play from a technical standpoint is right on the money. They also did a great job replicating Valve in their design process. When you're going through the levels, you can't help but think, "This really does look like Valve's work". They even go so far as to put headcrabs in ventilation shafts you have to crawl in, just like Valve. It's a good touch.
Story: This game starts off great. One might even say it could very well exceed the original Half-Life in terms of story... for a while. Since it's free, I'll leave some of the fun to you and not spoil it, but things do end up going downhill near the end. (You'll be disappointed, but will probably still love the story anyway.)
*I also have to note that with the story, there are...CUTSCENES! The fact that there are cutscenes in a Half-Life game is just amazing. By standards now, they may be lame, but remember, Half-Life wasn't built to really use cutscenes.
Random Comments: I don't really have many (or any, for that matter), but I thought it would be fun to put this section in here...
The bottom line is this: if you like Half-Life, get Azure Sheep. It's more than worth the small amount of currency you have to forfeit. That said, your currency here is time, and if you have a high-speed connection, it will take you almost no time at all. It's worth that if you even 'sorta' like Half-Life.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/16/07
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