For me Ravenholm in Half Life 2 is one of the pinnacles in video gaming from the last 30 years.
The level typifies the classy way that Half Life 2 was constructed and implemented.
There was tension, there was terror and there was the Gravity Gun and some handy buzzsaw blades.
For me it’s the perfect level…..in fact it’s the perfect level for any FPS game.
The level sent shivers down my spine and made my skin crawl every time I heard a threatening noise in the dark.
The thing is, the level remains in my mind to this day and still makes me shudder.
Granted I’ve yet to play chilling games like Deep Space or Alien Isolation (they’re still on my to play list though) but the thing I like about Ravenholm is it’s not the norm for the rest of the game and therefore shocks you just that little bit more and makes itself that bit more memorable.
Why am I thinking of Ravenholm? I hear you ask…..
Drake's Unwelcome Guests
Well I’ve been playing Uncharted on PS4 recently as part of the 3 game disc collection. It is my first time playing Uncharted as I never got round to it on PS3.
I’ve been really enjoying it and have loved feeling like I’m in a modern day Indiana Jones Movie. The thing I was starting to feel though was that it was becoming a little repetitive with not many fresh ideas. Then I came across a level that filled me with fear. It was simply entitled “Unwelcome Guests” (Chapter 19)
The story takes a twist at this point in the game and has you in a pitch black claustrophobic area fighting off hordes of these undead types that seem to be protecting the El Dorado treasure trove that you are hunting for.
It’s exactly what the game needs at this point in proceedings and really makes you start thinking differently about your tactics. I can see that there is even a small comparison between this level and maybe some of the tone in The Last Of Us. Maybe Naughty dog gained some inspiration from this level and took it into TLOU?
I will be the first to say that Chapter 19 is definitely not as good as Ravenholm but the comparisons are there and it is a tight level that has you running around trying to solve the generator puzzle while you deal with your “Unwelcome Guests”. It’s departure from the norm makes it stick out and had my mind wandering back to the impeccable Half Life 2 (I think I’ve given up wishing for Half Life 3 as it just won’t happen…….a bit like Dr Dre’s next album, oh wait that did happen!!)
I’m now onto Uncharted 2 as I made my way through Uncharted rapidly after getting past the Unwelcome Guests, I’m hoping there are a few more surprises in store for Nate in number two, maybe even another chiller of a level!
(note to self: must play Deep Space Trilogy)
What’s Your Favourite Scary Level In Any Game?
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