[HL1] Todesangst 2: Der Echte Feind Print
Written by Doc_Brown   
Tuesday, 30 May 2006 18:00
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The True Enemy
After the events of the original Todesangst, it seemed like the worst was over. Dr. Newell had been stopped, and everything was back to normal. But then, without warning, mercenaries of a shadowy organization known as the Schwarzgeist infiltrate Black Mesa and take complete control. With the aid of several fellow scientists, Gordon must once again take up his crowbar in a battle that will take him from Black Mesa and Xen to the heart of the enemy's operation.

After a strong start, though, the story of T2DEF dials down to a low simmer. It isn’t until you near the end of the game that things pick up considerably, thanks in no small part to some clever twists. And while you might be thinking the story doesn't hinge much on its predecessor, there are several interesting developments late in the game that add new light to scenes in the original. Just be patient, and don’t make the mistake of giving up on it too soon.

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Paint it Black
While the storyline may have let me down a tad, the rest of the game most certainly did not. If the design of T2DEF operates off a single word, that word is “more.” More in terms of quantity, quality, and content. There are not only more levels this time around—nearly double that of the original—but they’re better made as well. There’s still a bit of room for improvement here, but author Daryn Waite has made definite progress on the mapping front.

And that’s just scratching the surface of T2DEF. When it comes to weapons and enemies, Daryn has outdone himself. There’s far too much to mention here, with everything from a simple hatchet to the sophisticated Ka-50 Black Shark. These two highlights, it must be said, are great fun to fight with and against, respectively. The former is a throwable melee weapon, the latter an attack chopper with formidable offensive and defensive capabilities.

There are still cutscenes to progress the plot, but this time they are letterboxed and subtitled for your viewing pleasure. Unfortunately, they’re also a bit longwinded and static, and the fact that the voice acting hasn’t improved since Todesangst 1 doesn’t help much either. When coupled with the aforementioned problems in plotting, the narrative as a whole becomes T2DEF’s weakest link. Saints be praised it has so much else going for it.

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Conclusion
Todesangst 2: der echte Feind does everything you’d expect of a sequel. It’s bigger, better, and most importantly more fun, and as a result overshadows what few shortcomings it has—namely a story that’s relatively weak in terms of content and presentation. If a Todesangst 3 ever sees the light of day, combining the solid storytelling of part one with the boundless aspirations of part two, it will be a truly amazing accomplishment. I for one can’t wait.

Note: Originally posted at Hangar16.com on 12/06/02

 

Game Rated 9/10