A longer time period ago I was just a normal player like so many others like you. But now I'm a developer and mapper myself. I will update my modpage as often as possible. Should you speak german then make also sure to visit my website which is supporting a game named: Operation Flashpoint.
Review to the Alpha release:
While arriving with a long and partially even boring Intro sequence (lack of npc talk to keep things interesting) the later combat maps are all the better.
It's a well balanced although at some points harder mod. Still with plenty well though out scripted events to see it's also a very good mod. While labeled as Alpha release this is actually closer to a Beta release and offers well over 1hour of game play.
I hope we will someday see a final release of this little Gem.
A very nice mod all together.. Below I will write what I liked and disliked about it in short format. The review contains some minor spoilers.
+Custom made music.
+Good npc scripts in use. Be it monsters & marines fighting one another or Ospreys flying over your head.
+Fantastic mapping both in architecture-design and light choices.
+Medium length mod.
+Properly balanced. Your hardest enemies are really just the turrets and once in a while some Alien Grunts.
+Several new model assets in use which add greatly to the experience.
-Few bugs remain especially in the final map with open doors that lets you look into the sky and map itself and couple texture glitches. (purple/black textures)
-Mod lacks a purpose. You're sent in to Black Mesa, but why? What's your objective there? You're none given.
-You're once more a lone wolf. Some squad mates would've been nice.
-In some places rather monotone and not enough to hear, kinda boring. Some more vox messages other than x1 "Now under military control" would've added greatly to the Black Mesa atmosphere.
-You didn't get to find or fight a single Black Mesa employee with the exception of the 1st map and in few scripted_sequences outside your actual walk area. Considering this plays rather shortly after the resonance cascade it's kinda unbelievable and sad for the immersion and possible npc enemy types. And where is G-Man?
-Disappointing ending as you get supposedly shot by your very own Black Op mates. Yet the outro indicates that HECU killed you and your whole squad.
-The whole end fight can get skipped if you just go head on to the Black Ops near the street. What's the purpose then?
-Terrible English translation. What's so hard in sending few lines of texts over to a native American/British person for conducting some proof reading?
-No riddles throughout the mod. Just combat and button pressing.
-Most moddb screens appear to be fake or show stuff that is actually not included in the current version of the mod. For instance the Bomb model, the crashed Osprey area and so on.
Despite the fact that I have written far more negative points than positive aspects about it. It is still a very nice and enjoyable mod experience. Safe to say that it is also far better than Hazard course was as it is more balanced and offers more variety in it's game flow.
During my play through I still had the HECU hud and Arms. Quite possible that some errors I mentioned here happened only on my end. If that's the case then it at least displays how wrong it is to force people to overwrite official files instead of creating a sub mod folder inside a packed .VPK file like other modders do.
Go and play it people.
+Uses custom models such as Big Momma - Male Black Ops etc.
+Some neat npc scripts in use but not enough.
+Makes use of the very well made original Hazard Course maps.
-Badly optimized = lag
-Almost no npc scripts in use exception are the 1st map and last map.
-Several map bugs remain such as missing models, getting stuck in places.
-Endless waves of aliens teleporting in all around you throughout the mod = boring & unfair, predictable.
-Poor English translation of the few texts in game. But no big deal.
-Not enough auto saves. Sometimes they happened in the middle of a fight. Terrible.
-Not once a nice Vox message. You know like "Attention this facility is now under military control." :(
below a more precise review to the mod.
Hm I was long thinking how to rate this mod knowing that the majority of maps were created by completely different folks.
People that actually did invest a lot of time and put sweat into their creations. (Speaking of the hazard course mod team on which this mod here is based upon.)
So not knowing exactly where certain extensions were made I will focus mostly on the game play aspect and lesser on the mapping.
Mapping: Most maps were created by another team. Some extensions were made to it but they are minor and mostly not that good looking. In general I did like what the HC-AD team did though by turning a functional facility into a disaster like environment. I think the lights and props were well chosen for the most part.
Gameplay: Lets get to the game play where the main aspect of this mod thrives on or not?
I must say for about 40% of the mod I was entertained till it stopped. The further you progress the less fair things get. You end up finding yourself constantly surrounded by Aliens coming at you from all directions without having any chance of taking cover or avoiding them.
Clearly this is an overkill of monsters teleporting in and frankly is more reminiscent with hl1 spawn behaviors. That plus stupid pre placed monsters waiting for you behind almost every door eventually ruined the fun for me. At that point I turned on god mode out of frustration.
Other than endless combat don't expect any sort of riddles besides finding some buttons to open doors once in a while.
Scripting wise this mod also didn't know to convince as less than a dozen purely npc atmospheric enhancement scripts were used. Still I must say the few scripts that are in use are all well executed. Be it the heroic end fight or the neat intro ride. If the mod would've had more scripts like that it would've benefited it greatly.
Unfortunately there are also several bugs remaining in this mod. Be it low fps in various maps which suggests bad optimization efforts or places where you can get in but can't get out due to invisible walls. In 1 map I spotted some models only displaying "error". In the map transition leading to the final map I even got stuck inside the door and was forced to use noclip.
Another weird aspect were some inconsistencies where certain Black Mesa personnel greeted you with "Hey Doc/Gordon" partially even opened doors for you. This could've been easily fixed by editing or altering the voice files or creating entire new voice lines from scratch. But who knows might've even been left overs from the original hazard course scripting.
My conclusion regarding this mod:
It would have potential to be so much more if it would be optimized.
It would be even a lot better with clever monster placement and monster spawning instead of constantly overwhelming the player with Alien grunts & Alien Slaves en mass.
It would be even cooler to focus more on the struggles of the marines and to meet more of your buddies along the way. After all you play a soldier in this mod. Where are they? Having barely any scripts in use is a wasted opportunity and has a negative impact on the immersion of the mod.
A neat little mod with a lot of potential but failure on deliverance.
While the mod itself is entertaining to a certain degree it lacks what might be expected of hl1 mods these days and that's "class". In many ways this mod is straight forward a true 1999 mod experience. In the early days of hl1 modding people seen a lot of these mods. Walk your way through the maps with monsters waiting around each and every corner. The same principle applies here.
While that's not necessarily a bad thing: More is certainly possible with the hl1 engine. Be it monsters teleporting in and around you or friendly npcs presenting you with some goodies and story elements. Unfortunately none of this was used here. Even flickering lights appeared to be to much for the author of the mod.
Everything appeared almost normal. That is if it weren't for the grunts idling around every 2nd corner. It's funny seeing as the author did know how to do scripting in his mod.
That is as we get to see some c4 detonations and even few camera scenes which are certainly a nice thing to see in any mod. That plus a few riddles along the way. Basically pushing few boxes around or pressing buttons not bad.
Despite it's flaws it is indeed a bold classic mod like we've seen back in the early hl1 modding days. If you're fan of that go for it. If not avoid it as you will be disappointed by it.
Story wise the mod doesn't seem to make much sense. Apparently we're trying to escape the disaster caused by Gordon Freeman. Yet we begin in a totally isolated storage compartment. Hell we even got a jeep at our disposal and no enemies nearby all we would need to figure out would be how to get a gate open and then be on our way. But no instead we've got to fight our way through numerous blocky rooms and facilities before we're permitted our final escape.
mapping: With 3 exceptions that I found particular interesting and inspiring to me as a hl1 mapper myself the mapping is mostly bad in that aspect that you're running through boxy corridors just to enter even more blocky environments. So very linear and very blocky throughout the mod. Many rooms also appear massive or are simply empty looking.
Gameplay: As partially mentioned before. The mod contains some button riddles and box pushing stuff. Other than that it's just a basic plain combat experience with monsters and grunts hiding behind every door waiting for you to arrive. Surprises in any form are barely to none present in this one. A good mod for any longer on going coffee break and I estimate a playtime around 25 to 35 minutes.
An amazing mod with perfect mapping and npc/environment scripting.
Go and play it people.
This mod stands for high quality standards. Model & texture wise as well as balanced game play and showing new ships and races (Races of the Homeworld Universe) certainly worth playing.
It's actually a very decent mod running on the Spirit engine which I have never played before due to the bad ratings here and I guess can't blame those which down rated this mod not knowing of what was happening.
Possibly mostly due to the fact that everything was white for them.. Now I don't know why but the game didn't execute the autoexec.cfg or graphics.cfg for that matter (steam) which should normally activate itself automatically. So if you got white walls make absolutely sure to type this in your console while you're in the actual game:
Then all the sudden your walls will be very well detailed. By the room design and monster placement this mod also proofs to know it's way around. In fact it resembles top quality mapping at it's highest standard.
While I'm not really a fan of the plot that you play some sort of Alien specimen which miraculously carries weapons around and opens doors, get attacked by fellow Aliens and even sound like a human being - it's in all other terms perfect.
The screenshot of the pony would actually suggest that you play as that but once I switched into thirdperson mode I was just simple old Gordon Freeman.
The story is simple you're a specimen of unknown origin (possibly of yet another dimension so not a XEN creature) and got to backtrack your way through Black Mesa to the very Teleportation device which captured you onto Earth in the first place.
In any case a solid mod way above average and not just for the detail textures. I don't know why the author didn't try to find a solution in getting the autoexec.cfg to actually execute (perhaps that worked only in WON idk)
But he probably might not be the one to blame. Could've been also a steam update which screwed things up. It's hard to tell.
-Fantastic level design
-Detail textures in use (they're much charper and look HD)
-Solid monster placement with nice variations in between
-Play time on hard roughly 2 hours
-Plenty of ammo and med packs available in a well balanced way, with one short exception early in the mod.
-Many model props used.
-Story wise it's indicated that you're some sort of Alien yet you carry human weapons, open doors and even got the regular human walking and jump sounds.
-One of the moddb Screenshots suggests that you play as a Pony and while that might or might not be the case. It lets the player think of a troll mod which it is not. So I call that very bad marketing.
-Only a handful of scripted sequences in use (Pity as this mod has such epic mapping, a wasted opportunity)
-Only very few riddles in this mod. Again a wasted opportunity.
My suggestion: Once the detail textures are enabled it's well worth the time. Despite the weird indication of playing a pony of sorts it's actually one of the better Hl1 mods out there (And I played probably 98% of them. The other 2% got broken dl links or are mods such as this one portrayed in a bad light. The more surprising how good this mod in fact actually is. Play it later. :)
I've just played this mod through and I must say it is "simply put" ---amazing---
The amount of details and gimmicks the Devs added to the hazardous course are brilliant and without a doubt this mod would well deserve to be an official part of the Black Mesa Steam release. It would definitely get my vote so congratulations on the developers of this mod.
-Fantastic overall experience.
-Brilliant mapping, lightning & texturing.
-Official Black Mesa dev voices in use as well as new unique voices in high quality standard.
-Minor and larger secrets throughout the hazard course for example taking shortcuts or blowing certain things up which will trigger corresponding audio responses most certainly a nice attention to detail.
-The recreation of the ps2 hazard course Area as well as showing us several new areas.
-A fully functional clock displaying the time you needed to complete the entire course.
-Works only for the mod version of Black Mesa (yet)
-In few minor areas little monotone some more scripted sequences would've been nice in areas the player can't reach anyway.
-Got really nothing else to say regarding negative things to this. :P
All in all a fantastic mod that well deserves to be part of the official Black Mesa Steam release. Go play it people!
Wow! It's hard to believe that a mod like this has been released in 2015.
To make things short and simple : This mod is gorgeous or in another word "Amazing".
Lets get started.
The story is rather simple and in many ways sounds similar to a rather famous movie "The Thing". You're an employee working in a scientific research facility in Antarctica to conduct numerous studies in the Ice. During one excavation how ever the Scientists discovered a new form of life - creatures of unknown origin. And perhaps locked inside their Ice cave undisturbed for many Millennia - but no one knows.
After their discovery things started going wrong. The creatures escaped their Ice prison and started taking over your base - killing every living being inside. So your people probably called for help and soon after marines arrived. You the the player is still inside the base. With creatures lurking around every corner - you've got only but one goal "Escape".
The gameplay is actually very smooth. I did play it on hard and everything seemed rather balanced. The monsters were well placed there was already enough ammo and med packs to find. I felt that in the later maps the ammo drops were little sparse because I ran outta it when reaching the Gargantua other than that I had no problems throughout the mod.
Mapping: That's certainly one of the best parts the mod has to offer. We get to see a wonderful and logically designed research facility in the ice. I never felt that any area looked rather doll or simple in particular and that's a good thing. In many ways though this mod still reminded me of numerous old school mods but in a good way. I think few more scripted scenes might have helped the mod but those that were present in it were more than well made.
-Few riddles (find the key-find the button scenarios)
-An Intro which you can actually skip (cool)
-Fantastic monster placement
-Fair amount of ammo and health packs and med stations.
-New monster skins (of another russian hl mod called: Dark Territory no known dl links left)
-long playtime took me like 1 hour plus!
-Few little secret areas or at least harder to find places.
-Little is known about the actual story not even your player name or the fact that you're actually trying to escape
-Unanswered story questions remain: Who is the guy waiting for the player. Why is he waiting & how did he know the player is still alive? And when did they arrange to escape together? Are the Marines actually marines or some members of another organization and what are their plans? Where did the monsters come from shouldn't we have rather sealed the hole they were coming from to prevent a full invasion?
-Not many scripted sequences in use (mostly monsters walking around a corner)
-While the mod provides good mapping few more effects wouldn't have hurt (Like broken steam pipes, flickering lights etc.) Everything felt a little to perfect and well preserved considering the chaos that originated from the Aliens and Marines.
-Only 5 Weapons to choose from (pistol, crowbar, Rifle, grenades, Bazooka)
All in all a fantastic mod and while it's very low on story elements the actual game play and balance fit. So play it people some nice looking maps await you.
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