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The City of The Damned

"It begins on a gloomy, foggy shore, under frighteningly big moon."

A piece of paper is lying on the ground -- a letter, full of fear, telling you about the danger that lies ahead. The one who wrote it is now probably lying somewhere on the bottom of the sea, under the black waters. The letter begs you not to go further, but, of course, you do. Going through misty forest, armed with nothing but a pitchfork, you fight demonic creatures and finally reach the city. The City of the Damned. And at that moment you don't know, that the worst hasn't even started...

Basically, it's Blood. Mixed with a little of Resident Evil, a piece of Silent Hill, and a sense of those FPS-horrors like Undying and Call of Ctulhu. Still, most of the features are from Blood; in contrast to the first TCOTD, TCOTD:A is not just a Doom wad with Blood textures, it's actually a total conversion, where you will find new enemies, new weapons and a rather unique "sandbox" gameplay. Of course, there are a lot of locked doors and blocked passages, which require finding keys and solving puzzles, but you can move in the city and even around it (and the territory around it is quite large itself) rather freely. It's your choice whether you want to look around the houses, visit the cemetery, go deeper in the city, or walk around the mansion and the church located outside the city walls.

You discover the mystery step by step. At the same moment, you are not obliged to follow the plot: even if you skip all the letters and messages (shown not as boring hudmessages, but as beautifully drawn hi-res pictures of letters, book pages, etc.), you will still eventually find all the necessary items and beat the level. There are at least two parts of the city which you can skip completely, if you're not interested. But you probably will be...

It's not easy, by the way. You will remember old Resident Evils more than once: Normal as the easiest difficulty level, modest amount of ammo, and rather rough enemies. Besides, being in the "sandbox" you can easily choose a "wrong" way (ending with some door for which you don't yet have the key) and suddenly bump in a bunch of demons you are not prepared for. You'll have to investigate the territory and develop a route. (Even though, trust me, it's much easier than original TCOTD:A 1.0)

But let's leave these borings details aside. The level is great: it looks great, it feels great, it plays great, and it's also great in size. Besides, it has a well-presented plot and "sandbox". Just go and play it already.  And remember: when you hear a siren, run to the Moon Shelter as fast as your legs can carry you...

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