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Robbing the Cradle from Thief: Deadly Shadows - Level-Up

The genius of Ravenholm is in how it masterfully embeds what is essentially an elaborate gravity gun tutorial within the gameplay in a chapter that, though feeling other-worldly, blends within the established context of Half-Life 2. The numerous buzzsaws and booby traps that are to be found in every crook and nanny of the town are justified by the developers as the work of Father Grigori. Sharp players may see through this facade, but even if this weren’t the case, Ravenholm remains one of the greatest horror levels AND a strong tutorial sequence that is times scarier and effective than any Danger Room simulation the X-Men have ever gone through. One could argue that the opening 50% or so of Portal - basically one giant tutorial exercise in disguise - is perhaps the best example of the so-called “invisible tutorial”, Half-Life 2’s edge is that it did it first.

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