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Mod Review on Feb 22nd, 2015
I feel as if Cinematic mod has garnered very vocal critics and quite a devoted group of fans. Both of whom have a very intense love it/hate mentality that initially made Cinematic Mod in general feel unapproachable, another thing that kept me away was the initially cumbersome installation that turned me away, not to mention the ungodly size of the files.
However, after finally caving in to downloading a torrent when I watched a playthrough on youtube, I wasn't necesarilly disapointed, and I found myself having fun playing through a new version of Half-Life 2 with general ease.
The new graphical effects can be tuned to ones liking, and the new level details really bring a new level of realism to the levels that I particuarly enjoyed, heck, I even liked the optional orchestra music that has drawn some ire from critics.
As a big fan of Half-Life, I understand some finding many of the options to be rather blasphemous regarding the skins and design choices in the game (some of which I happen to agree with, I didn't like the additional crude graffiti that had nothing to do with City-17 or the combine) and playing through some levels left a sour taste in my mouth after finding some routes changed for the worse rather then for the better.
For the most part, it is still Half-Life, just with plenty of changes that may be rather divisive. While I liked the attention to detail (Highway-17 featured some of my favorite changes, with old Latvian military bunkers dotting the countryside) there are some blemishes here and there regarding design and I can't help but feel turned off the the perverted skin-choices for Alyx (I do like how FakeFactory finally caved in and made a more lore-friendly Alyx in the end of his long run). In the end, this mod started as a personal pack and ended up as a 52Gigabyte mod file that pushed Source to it's limits, and it was something I was finally glad to play from start to finish.
Some may be turned away from the changes (many of whom are optional), but others may find another excuse to play Half-life once more like I did :)
Mod Review on Jan 21st, 2015
Quite literally one of the most detailed HL modding experiences I have ever had.
Everything from the brushwork to the texture placement and even the scripted events are breathtaking for such an old game such as Half-Life. The vents, the pipes running along the walls, the shattered glass, the overgrown labs, everything is so articulately detailed it left me in awe. I literally just stared at some maps for over 15 minutes in some places.
That being said, the game-play feels more like an adventure then a shoot-em-up, which I feel is right at home with the level of detail present. Not to mention the flow, the enemy placement and the pacing is top-notch.
Once I was finished, I was left wanting more. I sincerely hope the modder is still working on the modding scene, his skills are one of a kind.
Any fan of Half-Life should not miss Focal Point!
Mod Review on Jan 20th, 2015
Going into this mod, I immediately fell in love with the level design. Not only was it splendid for the time of it's release, but I adored how the ice and snow had taken over the entire complex I found myself in.
Ontop of this, the combat is tight and close quarters most of the time, featuring slower weapons to take out pesky Xenians instead of heavy firepower.
It's a shame this was never finished, as what is playable is just screaming for more.
Give this a go if you are looking for interesting level design and some tight combat on harder difficulties, you won't be disappointed :)
Mod Review on Jan 6th, 2015
For the time of release, we hadn't really seen such a mod with a high level of detail, and coming from the once great Neil Manke, it was a taste of what he had in store for us in "They Hunger".
The pacing was stellar, the gameplay was smooth and the enemy placement was just right. While today it may not seem like much, it set a level of standards for modders to aspire to in the years to come.
A certain must-play for any half-life fan :)
Mod Review on Dec 9th, 2014
Stumbling upon this while moving old files onto an external hard-drive, I'm at a loss as to how I acquired this, seeing as how the mod is no longer in development (saves indicate I last played this in april 2012) and after giving it a go again, it was a mixed bag.
Most of the levels are obviously unfinished, buggy and misaligned, with most requiring console commands to run.
What story there is, isn't something to brag about. However, the large number of custom mapping assets, textures and models really show how dedicated the team was trying to assemble a mod, with plenty of new special effects and even some very impressive scripted events and cinematic physics at work!
However, it is incomplete and cobbled together. If you really want to see what could have been an interesting mod, drop me a line, I can see if I can upload the file somewhere :)
Mod Review on Dec 3rd, 2014
Rife with poor mapping choices (Did the doors REALLY need to take several minutes to open once starting the map?) and dotted with poor enemy placement in such a little mod, it still offers a small bit of decent gunplay with a nice little deathtrap for a small unit of grunts.
Play it on your lunch break :)
Mod Review on Dec 3rd, 2014
Rough around the edges, chock-full of amateur mapping and rife with a few unbalanced spots, Tokami island is still a nice romp through waves of grunts with plenty of firepower.
Just don't expect too much from this overlooked HL mod from years past.
Mod Review on Dec 2nd, 2014
This series simply got better and better with every installment.
While it's unfortunate that not nearly enough games tackle the idea of time-travel as much as alternate history scenarios, it does make Timeline a lot more memorable for being so.
While the first installment was engaging and ambitious, it was rather clunky around the edges, this con was stamped out with the next couple of speedy released that grew longer and contained plenty of new ideas and locations with some nice inspiration and nods to great songs.
The gameplay is basic for a hL mod, but there is no need to fix something that isn't broken, and many fights can become quite frantic yet still fair.
My only complaint about the entire series is the large number of backtracking sequences, and there are times where fast-paced players will simply get lost.
For me, this is a small blemish on an otherwise great series with plenty of memorable sequences that are still fresh in my mind all these years.
No true HL fan should miss this timeless series :)
Mod Review on Nov 19th, 2014
While it's a joyous romp with plenty of nice details and scripted events, it ends rather abruptly with a sequel planned but ultimately scrapped with no announcement or even another word from the devs :(
Not to mention the voice-work for some characters is heavily accented to the point it's hard to hear what they are saying, especially our two main leads. Which is a shame, because it's decent for the most part.
Give this a gander, once you apply the fix that is.
Go kick some rebel butt (For as long as that lasts, anyway :) )
Mod Review on Nov 18th, 2014
Surpassing even Valve in terms of detail, I have never really seen such a detailed recreation of the final hours of City 17.
With just one level, I was stunned by how much you can accomplish in such a short amount of time, whether you are crawling through head-crab infested garbage dumps, dodging barnacles, manning a combine sniper (!!) to pick off CP's and even blowing up a tricky APC with hopper mines, Overflow was my favorite level in the Forgotten Journey compilation and is perhaps one of the best FPS experiences I've had since Underhell.
Great job, Marnamai! :)