Half-Life

Dwell

  • Review Date: 2000-03
  • Author: Brenda Ellen Perdion
  • Genre: Half-Life
  • Rating: 61

Review

Dwell sure is something different. Some of you may remember Nike, for Quake and Quake2. Brenda had put alot of work into that to create some very realistic (actually based on real places) bases. Unfortunetely, gameplay let it down. But then again, gameplay was not what Nike was made for.


Now, a long time since Nike was released, comes Brenda's next project and it's not more realistic bases. Indeed it is based around realism, but this time you get to trek through the caves underneath the Black Mesa area and try to break in.

You start off at some house before going down to the basement and entering the caves for the next 4-5 maps. At times I thought they were very nicely done, and it is obvious Brenda has put some time into creating them as terrain is quite hard to do. The only downside was the darkness, although it does add to the atmosphere and make it more spooky. There is one section where you try to dodge barnacles but it is pitch black so you need to be very careful and use your flashlight. It was good the first time, but I came across the same a puzzle a few different times and it started to get annoying. Other than that the fighting in the caves consisted of headcrabs, houndeyes, some zombies and a few alien grunts (which are very annoying when you don't have enough ammo to kill them). For the last level you make your way to the sewers and then out below some highway to find some human grunts standed around fires getting warm. This area I very much liked as it was quite unique running underneath a highway.

Overall, since Brenda was going for something realistic and unique, I think she succeeded quite nicely. The caves create a very good atmosphere, and I would love to see more of the highway section. But gameplay isn't so strong. For 5 of the 6 levels you only have the pistol to take on headcrabs and houndeyes - not much action there. Otherwise quite an interesting set of levels and definitely alot better than Nike. I sure hope there is a Dwell2 where you return to the caves.