I've played up to level 5 (where it crashed, I'll try to find out why later), and I have some comments so far.
First of all, it's a pretty cool concept. Almost reminds me of Marathon: Evil a bit, which I think is the sort of scenario this has the potential to be - but it will take some work. At the moment, yes, it's a beta, but it also feels a bit like a quickly tossed together proof of concept, and while a lot of it is rather lacking, some parts show something which could have some pretty cool potential, especially level 4 (in my opinion).
I don't really care about the HUD right now (which evidently will undergo a lot of work before any real release), so I'll mainly be reviewing the game mechanics and level design, as well as the textures to a more minor extent.
So, first of all, the game mechanics. The "healing" is pretty cool, and something which could be really fun with a bit more work. I'd like to see some sort of health which doesn't heal automatically though, so that the player has shields separate from actual health. One idea would be to use your health bar as health, and use the oxygen bar for shields. Liquids could "power down" your shields, while they automatically recharge on land.
One thing I wasn't too fond of was the weapons. The pistols feel too slow once you get past level 2, and although it isn't too hard because of this, it isn't quite as satisfying when you're generally out of ammo for all the other weapons. The slowness did add a bit to the mild claustrophobic feel of the levels, though.
Next, the level design. This is probably (at this point) the largest downfall to the game (in my opinion), but could become a strength of done with care. I'd suggest playing Marathon: Evil, if you haven't already, and especially taking note of how the second and third levels are designed. I'd also like to see far more emphasis on trying to "avoid" or fearing the light. the ship as it is now is basically a series of mildly lit rooms, which doesn't make me fear the shadow aliens at all. The second level of Marathon: Evil is one of my favourite levels from any marathon scenario, simply because of how creepy it felt when I started playing Evil. Dark corridors can be hard to do well, but if you could contrast dark corridors and rooms with ominous light sources (even more ominous when you expect approaching them to trigger an onslaught of monsters), you could get a really cool effect out of this. The levels are also simply too short, but I'll assume this is due to it being an early beta.
Lastly, the textures. As they are, they really aren't terribly impressive, and while a few areas look decent (level 4 is again my favourite in this regard), some areas (especially level 2) look bad. Coherent textures sets would certainly help a lot, as wells as more distinct textures in themselves. I could see textures sets similar to Rubicons (excluding sets 4 and 5) working well with this, especially if you added some details similar to Evils.
Anyway, I do think this has potential, and if you can do it well I'm definitely interested. As it is though, there's little yet which is really desirable. I'll finish playing the beta when I have time though, and try to provide more feedback. If you have specific things you'd like feedback on you can reply/pm/ask me over AIM etc.
Edit: Disregard what I said about the HUD for now, it's entirely possible that I didn't have it working properly. If I can't fix the issue I'll post a screenshot
Last edited by $lave
on May 24th '09, 23:12, edited 1 time in total.