After the disaster that occurred in Black Mesa and the world finding out, government figures have taken action to reduce panic and evacuate people to safety. In a rural area far away from Black Mesa, you are suddenly awakened by your alarm clock, only to listen to a more alarming tone from an emergency TV broadcast…
Dark Evening is an Atmospheric-Horror Source Engine Modification inspired by classic titles such as Silent Hill, while retaining the familiar Half Life 2 style in gameplay.
Dark Evening takes place between the period of Half Life 1 and Half Life 2. You play as Jake Hill, a man in his mid 30’s who is caught up in the skirmish between the human, alien as well as mysterious combine forces that are fighting one another. Despite the odds being stacked up against him, he will have to fight with all the strength he’s got in order to hopefully survive the impossibly challenging circumstances.
- Title: Dark Evening
- Filename: sdk-2013-sp-dark-evening.7z
- Size : 800 MB
- Author: Fart & func_door
- Date Released: 24 October 2021
- Make sure you have the Upcoming branch of the Source SDK Base 2013 Singleplayer installed in Steam and run at least once. (Properties – Betas – select upcoming from the dropdown list).
- Copy the “darkevening” folder into your SourceMods folder.
- Restart or start Steam.
- Dark Evening should now be listed in your Library tab.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
5Last 7 days
23Last 30 days
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 5 Users
Average: 1 Hours, 30 Mins
Shortest: 1 Hours by ShawnHL
Longest: 2 Hours by Hec
Total Time Played: 7 Hours, 28 Mins
If you believe this release is missing important tags, please suggest them in a comment?
For a first release this is certainly decent. It’s a pack of 3 maps that are fairly different in setting and mood. When you reach the city, you start to get where the mod title comes from – but the spookiness really only starts to ramp up later on, once you’re inside the hospital.
This mod looks fairly fresh, owing in no small part to borrowed assets – but it’s really the flow that brings the experience down. There are a ton of invisible walls that block you from exploring areas that might have been interesting or even the way “forward” that you’re often searching for. That, plus the open design (particularly in the city streets), led to a lot of frustration on my part. Somehow I was being restrained to only where the author wanted me to go, but usually at the same time my objective wasn’t terribly clear.
The objectives are usually communicated via on-screen text, but in one crucial case, it’s voice guidance – but from behind a normal opaque window that does not look any different than scores of other windows in the city besides an easy-to-miss light outside the window. And if you miss or forget any of these guiding points, you’re usually out of luck as they won’t be repeated to you.
Beyond the visual walls, the visual language of the HL2 games is broken which also led to confusion and frustration. Things which you should be able to do, you can’t – such as shooting simple wooden boards to break them. Often you can only solve puzzles in the exact way the author designed. In one example, you can’t use a scalpel or bone saw to cut a simple wire – you have to find the scissors specifically and use them.
I did have fun with this pack, but the frustration really holds me back from recommending it. Overall a decent mix of puzzles, exploration, and combat, but it lacks proper player guidance (without explicitly leading the player around by the nose) and really could have been polished and streamlined. It’s a decent first release and I do look forward to whatever the team may work on next.
1 Hour, 10 Minutes
I thought it was rubbish to be honest…if it was a real Town I’d hate to live there, every house and street looks the same, no shops…and really not a lot to do there…
I thought it was an ambitious effort with large playable areas. However the gameplay was frustrating at times as basic elements were missing, like an actual character you could see giving you instructions or proper building signage. So be prepared to have to fruitlessly explore a lot to finally complete the required steps. There was some good atmosphere and the ending was pretty clever, but I don’t think I would ever replay it.
The entire campaign was great in fact except the city part ruins everything. I hate the part where it doesn’t give you a clear objective making you wonder around aimlessly wasting your time. It got to the point that I accidentally softlocked the game which makes it more annoying. I will give this a low rating until that city map is fixed because that map is just broken
Dark Evening is supposed to be set between Half-Life 1 and 2, seemingly during the combine invasion of Earth.
I think that there are several reasons why this particular period in the Half-Life timeline has not been properly explored in a game or mod. It is far too chaotic and would make for terribly confusing gameplay. That’s without even mentioning the sheer technological requirements to properly convey an event as apocalyptic as the Seven Hours War. Hunt Down the Freeman tried and failed. Dark Evening does also.
First of all, there is little to no direction throughout the entire mod, other than the players own thoughts, presented as text on the screen. The player character appears to have remarkable clairvoyance, as they seem to know exactly when they need and how to solve problems they encounter. Sadly, they completely lack any semblance of common sense. A pair of scissors “will probably be useful… later” but cannot be picked up until the exact moment they are needed. The player also knows where to look for weapons and that a pistol is the only means to activate a switch which has rusted over.
There are moments where there are other characters present, but they are never seen. The player blacks out more frequently than a narcoleptic alcoholic and almost always this is when other characters turn up, talk amongst themselves and leave, inexplicably with the player in tow. One exception is a talking car in the city map which offers vague hints and is able to materialise keys right into your pockets.
Narrative issues aside, the mod suffers terribly in the gameplay department as well. This is a walking heavy mod, dropping the player in wide open maps with little to no guidance. The combat only really picking up in the last third of the mod. The city map is a particular low point in the mod, with every featureless building looking identical to the next and the largely empty streets containing one or two zombies and the occasional ammo pickup and that’s your lot.
Lore wise, it’s all over the place. Emergency broadcasts blare out of TVs and loudspeakers seemingly only for the player’s benefit as there is nobody else around. The levels are deserted entirely. There are also transhuman combine soldiers running around which does not make any sense at all, given the time in which the mod takes place. I feel a better option would be to avoid combat entirely, having the player have to avoid detection by the combine’s larger synths.
At the very end of the mod, we learn that we are actually playing as a character seen in Half-Life 2’s early levels, tying this character into Gordon’s story, albeit very inconsequentially. Not a bad touch, but it doesn’t feel like the mod has really earned it.
1 Hour, 18 Minutes
Well, I can’t deny that I have a certain attraction for these kinds of mods that are located in the arc of the 7 hour battle within the HL Story-arc. Indeed there are only very few of them, and even fewer are worth playing it. Maybe the now mystical “1187” mod is the best of all and risking to get lynched in my opinion “Hunt Down The Free Man” was not that terrible mod to enjoy.
Well here we have another, I guess frustrating attempt, to establish another 7hr war mod.
The result is obviously flawed in many aspects. But I guess the most annoying one is that game design decision to make the protagonist talk to himself like a million times and, also mess with the trigger events like a madman. I agree with all the critics here signaling those annoying aspects of the gameplay. Although I guess for me despite those hideous gameplay dynamics any modder who attempts to develop any work inside the 7hr war is brave, and just for that is worthy of recognition.
So yeah, overall I just completed the mod watching gameplay walkthroughs and replaying most of its parts until I solve the puzzles, which by the way are quite old-school-oriented because they are in the “fetch stuff in order to progress” category.
Combat was quite bland and static inside boxy spaces, and even the open area combat felt quite predictable, also I guess battling the CMB trans-human troops doesn’t make any sense as the CMB invaded earth with even more powerful and so much faster synths that looked more like alien-mechs, and just before earth surrender, they design the trans-human clones in order to do occupation tasks.
So I guess the prior is relevant because that’s precisely the main shortcoming when modders mod about the 7hr war. that They have to model new AI’ NPC’s and that’s not an easy thing in Source. I still hope for the day where we can see a fantastic 7hr war mod with some custom CMB Synths and many new gameplay dynamics… I may be dreaming but it would be great to see that.
So in conclusion, if You love the 7hr War scenarios then you would like this one. For me is a Play It Later.
This mod has far too many flaws as usual seen in “beginner”‘s mods, invisible walls, incredible badly done level path or guidance… It completly lost me with its level in the streets where I just kept wandering around over and over without knowing what to do…
The ideas and the story are ambitious but overall it’s put in an overall boring and bland setting… However, I can see there is much room to improve and advices to handle to make it better, later.