Dance your cares away.
I'll say these aren't the worst maps I've seen in Battlefront II, but they don't look that good and have severe issues with nodraw geometry. I even fell through the Geonosis map once due to the non-aligned geometry. I know that BFII's map editor isn't the world's greatest one ever, but there are better put together story maps than these. If you're interested, I'd say download it, but don't hold it to any particularly high standard of mapping.
It's been a while since this game came out. Based off what I remember from it, we're left at a bit of an impasse when it comes to Duke Nukem: we've wanted it for so long, and now we were finally presented with it, ten years later and perhaps ten years more mature than when we first tackled this 90s gaming icon. What we get left with is an odd mixture of style: it's still DN3D in some way, as the enemies are actually difficult to beat and we get tons of fan service drawn from the earlier games, but the modern market has crept its way in, with the many times maligned two-gun system and regenerating hea-er, I mean...EGO, alongside linear map design. So these two styles mash together and try to be both different and the same at the same time, which makes the game feel rather weird, since it really never is just one and never is it both. Weapons for me felt a little bit constrained versus the other Duke games; nothing is quite as outrageous or powerful as the guns once were. It's quite a detriment. The story isn't anything to write home about, which results in the ultimate defeat of the Emperor a second time for all the people who remember DN way back when, but it conveys what it needs to and propels the action forward, making it a nice background piece, since that's obviously what it's striving for with set pieces like destroying the Hoover Dam and being shrunk down to the size of a figurine, then being forced to jump over grilling hamburgers at a fast food restaurant. And Duke is still Duke, so no matter what the school marms on the internet have to say about it, he'll slap a boob and get a lap dance because that's what he is and does, no two ways about it.
Overall, was it anything to write home about? No. Was it as terrible as the big name reviewers said it was? Hell no; they just want more Call of Duty and Battlefield multiplayer half the time, so who cares about them anymore? Is this a good middle ground title? Maybe, maybe not. It's all in the taste of the player.
Station 51 falls into the same issues I have with many what I call "Citizen" mods: they just exist. There's no real change in the formula to warrant a higher rating, but the mod can exist on its own sufficiently.
Non-existent. That is a big problem I have here: at least mods like The Citizen, Precursor, and Triage tried to include story elements. What I got from this story was a brief almost uninspired message on a radio that told me to get moving. The story needs more to go from than that. There was a lot of potential to tap into, yet I felt like it missed that.
Though I found nothing heavily wrong with it, gameplay amounted to running from arena to arena and fighting off a horde of enemies or the random Hunter Chopper or two. What really got to me was that the enemies were relentless: they just kept coming. It's not that the enemies were too challenging in their behaviors, since the rooms were set up as arenas, but they never stopped. I never really had a chance to recover before being thrown into another fight. Maybe try including a puzzle or two; Source engine is superb at physics puzzles. Weapon pacing also was strange. I get a pistol at the start only a few rooms later to get a shotgun, only a few rooms later to get a Rocket Launcher, only a few rooms later to get a Gravity Gun? Slow it down! Let a curve happen, like there was in Half-Life 2 or the episodes. It's why they had it. Mapping was solid, I must say. I'd love to bring the mapper onto another mod.
Design choices and a lack of a concrete story do muddle what would have been another Citizen-style mod quite a bit. If the lead were to go back and almost touch it up a bit, adding in a concrete story with real characters and redesign a lot of the pacing in the mod, it would be a lot more solid. At the moment, it is a little shaky for someone who wants more than just a chain of arena rooms.
I'm sorry to nail a mod which I contributed to, but I believe I was far enough on the fringe to rate this without any impeding contributions. Sorry wilsonC, but as it stands, this mod just needs a ton of work.
I never felt the story was communicated to the player. There were some flashbacks to some friend out in the woods [I just know him as Adidas Man because of his hoodie], but beyond that I never really found a semblance of story beyond the typical "Citizen Hates Combine" story found in things like The Citizen or Half-Life: Precursor. And I nailed those mods on that too.
Something that would have helped, definitely, is the inclusion of higher quality voice acting. It's never too good when someone reads the credits list and finds that the people who made the content of the mod also did the voice acting because they're usually not trained enough in acting theory to do VOs. I participated, and I think the difference in training shows. If you ever want to go back on that, get in touch with me, as I can get you in touch with different people.
A glaring problem in this mod, gameplay feels more like modern mindless shooters than something more sophisticated as Half-Life 2. Run-and-gun mentality, linear mapping [seriously, there is no real variant aside from DIRECTLY where to go, unless there's a deliberate spawn room], and AI spawns placed in plain sight are real issues. Ironsights aren't bad, but they feel forced here with no real other alternative. And regenerating health always is useless in everything it's been a part of that I care not to comment on it in-depth.
The improvements on the AI, making it far more aggressive and hard-pressing, are welcome, even if utilized incorrectly. Though Zombies running at me far quicker than I have ever seen before is a bit...perturbing.
This first episode feels like a beta or alpha than final. Lots of design decisions need to be rethought and mapping theory definitely needs to be followed.
A very satisfying mod indeed. It does have its share of minor flaws which keep it from being an absolute 10/10, but I will highly recommend it. A veritable must-play for any GoldSRC user.
In my opinion, tons of Half-Life mods just lack the necessary story to carry themselves in the fully-realized world of Black Mesa. This one isn't one of those mods. Through a system of reading the character's thoughts in the form of diary entries, accessed by pressing a key [though I had to rebind because the key was initially bound awkwardly for me], the player has access to the Vortigaunt's thoughts as this lone wolf progresses through his homeworld of Xen through to the "alien" world of Black Mesa. Although personally I don't mind it when a story hits you over the head, and in fact I enjoy that, this unobtrusive system balances out the story quite nicely with the game.
I'm going out on a limb here: I'm going to say that the actual raw gameplay of this mod is highly unique. Although the concept itself is not as unique as initially thought [those of you who have the PS2 Half-Life know what I mean], the addition of cut Xenian creatures as weapons for the player to use was highly clever and a solid way to redo what the PS2 co-op game did years ago. Some cut enemies also returned, like the Minigun Soldier and the Panthereye, although with the latter I would have liked to have seen more of it overall. Plus, the game expands a bit on what I'd assume are the Black Ops forces, although it's never quite stated because the player's character doesn't actually know what they are. As for mapping, modelling, and such, since I'm running out of room, I'll say this: it's HL1, what can you expect? It looks like GoldSRC. Not a bad thing, but the engine shows its age.
Easily one of the top mods for GoldSRC still on the market, up there with Afraid of Monsters and Cry of Fear. It's a little gem that, though not without its share of flaws, is a nice Xen story to play.
Overview: Overall, I found the mod to be a rather decent one (unless you count the voice acting, which I found to be nearly D-grade). Much like Half-Life: Precursor [which I know came after this, but so what? I'm doing a later take on this], nothing too earth-shattering, but a decent enough play that it merits the time.
Story: The story is a basic HL2 mod for you: new Citizen hates Combine, joins Resistance, fights Combine with arbitrary goal in mind. Though I couldn't help but wonder about some aspects: why is Breen doing his broadcasts from an office building when he could easily be safe up in the Citadel, where we've never seen him outside of? And what spurred on the betrayal? And why are Combine Advisers, who haven't been awoken yet, there? And why does G-Man suddenly come out of nowhere to help this random Citizen? Oh well.
Gameplay: Basic HL2 fare. HEV Suit somehow ends up on the player, collect the same weapons as you go along, yadda yadda yadda. Nothing I truly need to comment about. Aside from the stealth points, which were interesting. I would have liked to have seen more of that, but it still lost its touch when no matter what you did Combine Cameras and turrets spotted you. And the disguises were nice, but again very lightly implemented. It was a rather nice mechanic, though.
Mapping: Decent enough. Some rather dubious things, though, like the supposed Control Room only having a handful of couches and nothing else around. Some more detailing in the vents became apparent with a small pipe-fall, so that was nice. Though I always felt in some way like I was insanely cramped no matter what. No real breathing room, nothing beyond a direct hallway.
Voice Acting: Downright horrid. No emotion from any characters, particularly the Squad Leader near the end. I could tell he didn't care what he was doing and was reading off a script. If this project needs more voice acting in the future from better people, I'll do it.
In short, decent, but not really varied.
The mod is severely broken by level design that does nothing to remotely help direct the player where they need to go. The story is nearly non-existent [I verbally questioned why I should not go back and help the supposedly Hungarian scientist part-way through the game]. Color palates make every area feel exactly the same with very little deviation from motif. What felt like the first 15 levels of the game seemed to be filler for the remainder of the story.
It literally felt like the beta all over again, this time with lights in the final 40 or so maps so it wasn't fullbright.
I'm sorry, but this monumental effort on MyoHyo's part [which I exceedingly congratulate her for on every level] produced a mediocre game at best that will challenge the player to the breaking point. Even I, a relatively patient person who can wait out a particularly cantankerous game such as "Darkest of Days," found myself at the verge of throwing my keyboard across the room. The mod's overall design is just the pinnacle of what not to do.
That being said, I do believe story concepts [when not lost in rather bizarre sequences or when not lost in filler mapping] proved to be rather intriguing. It shows the truest form of a totalitarian government that can soon become reality. That being said, though, I never felt I understood the NAU's motive to stop you or felt any kind of emotion for any character I encountered.
What really saves this mod, though, is just the thought that MyoHyo took five years of her life to construct this. For that, I again thank her for the effort.
Beautiful piece of art. Art style, from the vibrant colors of the underwater regions to the bleakness of the city to even the small, papercraft looking cutscenes, is amazing. Player models have the same stylized feel. Gameplay is fluid (hahaha, I funny). It takes the Source engine where I haven't seen it go in a long while: the realm of creativity.
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