Familiar Game
Enjoy with Android APP

A good idea on paper at least.

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    Welcome to Hanwell

    Rating: 1.0 – Terrible

    A good idea on paper at least.

    I LOVE Horror games and Welcome to Hanwell looked great! Now I’m not one to go into games with expectations and I can tollerate A LOT of things but this…this is badly done.

    Graphics: The graphics aren’t the worst but they sure as hell could be annoying in their own way. The prime example of this is when looking at an in game computer screen or book you might be able to make out something such as "The council has fallen." What looks like an article and clearly has more writing sadly cannot be read, (It’s likely this was intended due to not being actually written but if that’s the case why let us read computer screens at all?) Enemies are rather creepy too with a decent amount of detail in them to make them Worthy of being horror game-esque. However enviomental things such as blood coming from a shower looks more like tiny red dots instead of actual liquid, dead bodies look to be rather half-done as well and somethings which you CAN read all of (Like a dry erase board) are so blurry you have to strain your eyes. While key items or items of interest such as documents and collectibles are either glowing or blinking for the player to see important items like weapons are not. Honestly for the Playstaion 4’s capability (Normal not pro) This could have been done MUCH better. I’d over look most of this if the below didn’t kill it.

    Gameplay: This is what makes the game and sadly what can be the hit or miss of the game, The Tutorials slow down time and blurr the screen around you which is all well and good but for slower readers they will vanish and they are never to be seen again, this is especially bad when a key mechanic is being explained or you might be returning to the game. While I could forgive this if there was a control configuration to show you what button does what, there is not even this.

    Combat in game is awful as well. First you must FIND a weapon (Golf clubs, hammers, etc.) While this is fine by me they’re not easy to see and sometimes even blend in with the enviorment (as stated in graphics.) Upon obtaining a weapon the player can attack with R2 and Block with L2 simple as this may seem it’s really poorly done. Blocking has no indication of if you actually blocked anything and when you see blood after being attacked (Even while blocking) it’s safe to assume you’ve taken damage (I have yet to tell if blocking serves any purpose at all with the way the gameplay is going.) Furthermore buildings are "Protected" and weapons cannot be brought inside them. (No explination is given merely an in game message stating "This building is protected and weapons cannot be brought inside.") Further more your weapon can break, while this would normally add to the horror element it becomes more of a game breaker as if you decide to run away enemies seem to spawn in front of you all the time, it is NOT dependant on type either. They’ll always be there. The combat mechanics really just boil down to you tanking hits and hoping you can outlast your enemy.

    Inside buildings (Such as the start of the game) you will not have weapons and stealth doesn’t seem to be a factor, no crouching does not lessen the noise you make and you have unlimited stamina but regardless the enemies you cannot fight are twice as fast as you making them unable to be outrun. You’ll know you’re dead when you fall over and are picked up by a guy who has his mouth stapled shut and he gives you a look (No seriously he lifts you into the air and glares at you.) To make things WORSE The flashlight seems to have TWO battery mechanics, instead of changing batteries like Outlast, or turning the light off and letting it recharge like other horror games and some FPS’s the flashlight will "Malfunction" (As stated in it’s tutorial) and "May even break" Also stated. This might be a more interesting mechanic if you could actually find another flashlight or a clearer indication of how long you should turn it off was given. You’ll notice the light flickering and common sense would tell you to turn it off, however this may leave you in an area of total darkness and leaving you with no indication of how much it’s recharged if at all and for how long certian events will also disable your light (As shown by a red flashlight icon in the corner) The second mechanic is the player can focus their light (This is left for the player to find out with no tutorial by the way) while doing this a white flashlight icon appears and drains, The Tutorial states that the light battery is drained quickly but will recharge. Once again this becomes a game breaker as your flashlight might just malfunction anyways. If the flashlight breaks and you are in a pitch black area without any light at all then back to the main menu you go. (It’s honestly the only option, the pause screen has "Main menu" and "Continue")

    What’s worse is that at times your flashlight is more of a hinderance that an aid. This is actually a minor issue but it does kind hurt the game, what I mean by this is that finer details of objects are blurred when turning the light on rather than cleared up. Most of the time these objects DO NOT need better lighting but as a player I do enjoy the smaller details (Maybe that’s just me though.)

    On a positive note: The music sure is creepy adding to the horror element but with so many gamebreakers this becomes rather irritating more than it does making it scary.

    I will confess that it is rather terrifying mixing the music with the enviorment making it very fitting however with gamebreaking mechanics like this it makes it hard to enjoy.

    The player will is given a radio at the beginning as well which will emit static when an enemy is nearby, this would be more interesting if it had more of a purpose. Sirens are placed through the map which will go off if an enemy is nearby them and they are so common that the radio has no purpose.

    The player can also find collectables one of which gives a reward.

    Story: The story is one of the "Wake up have no idea who you are, or where you are so might as well look around types." This story is played out through finding various recordings messages left on answering machines or voice mails and notes found laying around. The main objective seems to be to find a citizenship card which has been split into six peices, The games description says "Each building has it’s own history." Exploring The Church was creepy and the sights cued music which made it that much more horrifying it also provided a mini-story of what happened while searching for the card fragment.

    Before I continue I confess I HAVE NOT FINISHED THE GAME because it is nigh-unplayable for the reasons stated in gameplay and graphics.

    On a final note: The story and enviorments are rather interesting and have their own scare scenes which is great but the issues with combat and the flashlight kill the game to the point of making it nearly unplayable I only recommend this if you have some SERIOUS patence for bad mechanics.

    I DO NOT reccomend this game, maybe if it’s on sale for a very cheap price and you are bored, MAYBE give it a shot, but as a horror fan I say no. This could have been SO MUCH BETTER if it was done right.

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