Review: No More Room in Hell
Originally launched back in 2011, No More Room in Hell is a mod developed using the Source engine, based on the hugely popular Half-Life 2. The videogame has frequently been touted as a ‘zombification’ of Gordon Freeman’s second crusade, but following its official release in 2011 it stands on it’s own two feet as an experience far removed from original design templates.
Of course, the comparisons to Valve’s own Left 4 Dead are inevitable, but No More Room in Hell does have one very strong asset up it’s sleeve: it’s free. The demands it places upon your system are relatively low, it’s compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems and offers cross-platform multiplayer, and, of course, it boasts native support for virtual reality (VR) headsets. That’s a pretty wide audience for any software to support, let alone a mod that is available as a free download from Steam without the requirement of owning the base videogame.
The videogame is a co-operative experience, however unlike Left 4 Dead it’s not about reaching a specific destination or running a gauntlet. Instead, No More Room in Hell is a videogame that plays on a now traditional wave structure. A set number of zombies will enter the map and the players must work together to eliminate them. Depending on which map they have chosen to play there may be defensive placements that can be activated to protect the current zone. Of course, there’s no guarantee that this will stop the impending hordes; indeed, in later waves you can almost be certain that they won’t.
No More Room in Hell also features some interesting mechanics which, although sounding fairly standard, are not at all common in co-operative survival titles. Players are free to communicate via voice chat, however the further they venture from their teammates the quieter the relay will be. Locating walkie talkies allows players to counteract this, which plays into No More Room in Hell‘s ‘realistic’ approach to zombie survival. In that same remit comes the lack of on-screen furniture. The information that is allowed on-screen only appears when needed and the players are not gifted with anything resembling a crosshair. Ammunition is scarce and one bite is often enough to take you out of action, so conservation and accuracy are any No More Room in Hell player’s best friends.
The VR aspect of No More Room in Hell is an interesting one. While the core experience plays from a first-person perspective, activating the VR Mode pushes the player back behind their avatar’s head. This is an odd design decision, and one which VRFocus is not sure adds anything to the experience. It’s possible to adjust this viewpoint manually through the Source engine command console, but doing so requires a greater knowledge of PC gaming than the above lowered barriers for entry would suggest.
No More Room in Hell is a very entertaining co-operative survival videogame, but it’s use of VR is somewhat underwhelming. The development team state that it’s an ‘experimental’ addition and yet the videogame is classified on Steam – the only platform through which it’s available – as a VR title. Gamers looking to jump into a VR zombie apocalypse without the knowledge of or even inclination to modify Left 4 Dead or it’s sequel could do far worse than No More Room in Hell, but getting it to perform as you would wish may still take a fair amount of tinkering.