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If you liked Leon's other mods you're most likely bound to like this one but don't expect coherent narrative or levels that you would expect from a supposed sequel to HL2:Episode 2.
While I wish I could give this mod a 10/10 notable flaws that are prevalant throughout the mod have lowered the score for me which is a shame considering the time it took to develop the mod.
First off the intro is very well made and really feels like a full on invasion forcing the player to run away, this was my favourite part of BeginningVille and still holds up to this day as one of the better HL2 chase sequences.
But after the chase the problems start to arise with the slow raft where you have to fend off Fast Zombies, Manhacks and Soldiers all at the same time with very little space to move in, not only this but straight after you're forced to fight a hoard of soldiers while waiting for a lift to pick you up and if you die during this then you're sent all the way back to the spot before the slow moving raft. This was fine in BeginningVille as it was at the end of the pair of levels and therefore the end of the difficulty curve but in this mod it is right at the start of the mod and therefore should be close to the start of the difficulty curve.
Right after you fight Acid Antlions which do come in droves but they're relativley easy to fight so it's not too much of a problem, the problem arises when you get ambushed by them and escape under a door my health was low at this point so when I saw item crates I ran towards them only for the floor to give way under me and then have me attacked by more than 5 HeadCrabs at once which killed me.
One of the more ridiculous combat encounters happens soon after wherein you fight spitting Antlions, a guardian and a Gunship all at the same time, meaning very little cover from the gunship as you need to be constantly dodging projectiles and hitscan to survive.
Killing the sniper with a canister would've been very satisfying and inventive but I just shot a rocket at him and he died long before I could do that so the effect was taken away.
When I reached the river I jumped in to avoid enemy fire only to get a game over from the 2m drop into water, this water being toxic would've stopped me from doing this and having to replay from the fireable canister.
I don't have much of a problem with the river, it looks good and plays good apart from one area near a secret area in the pipes where I didn't realise there was a second switch so I went exploring and found my way out of the map by jumping on a container like I did with a secret area found previously in the mod, this was how I found the secret room with the word "Borealis" written on it, I wish I found this legitimately instead of by easily getting out of the map.
The Strider battle was weird, the ramps made it seem like you had to jump into the Strider with the boat to kill it like in the R&D mod but it didn't seem to do anything but shooting it felt much more effective and easier so if it did damage the Strider shooting it was much more viable.
Being dragged through water is a highlight of the mod, it is a well made setpiece with a few surprises on the way but it's unfortunate that it's the last part of the mod that I liked bar the bridge collapse.
The ending map was very painful, for one you have to fight about 20 soldiers at once (one with a shotgun and (2?) with AR2s) and then you have a hold out battle with very little warning and time to prepare your health/armour, it turned into a game of "find the exploit", this time being hiding behind inside the armour charger house and poking out to take potshots with a shotgun until the ammo runs out and you are forced to run around like a headless chicken to get smg ammo until the helicopter arrives which was enough time to play three 2+ minute tracks. The final battle doesn't really feel like a finale, there's no big bad and it's almost like the same combine battle i've had atleast 5 times in this mod before but longer.
It is a shame I had as many problems with this mod as I did since it is well made and polished minus dropships visibly disappearing but this is probably gonna be HL2 MOTY'15
I played this mod not expecting anything great, but the list of complaints and bugs became so large I had to write a whole page of notes on things this mod does wrong, also to anyone reading this before playing: Spawn a gravity gun, it makes the mod much more bearable.
So to start off this mod gives you a charming image of a dead body and a scroll of text to give the backstory of the mod, detailing that the ebola virus has turned everyone into zombies so the mod starts out looking promising, then we get a custom dialogued scene with some guy who looks like Kleiner with a fake moustache, the first problem came here, no subtitles and the voice acting was so quiet that it was hard to make out what he was saying, but thankfully the game gave an objective but the objective was only displayed for 3 seconds so it might be easy to miss for other players.
The game then gives a crowbar and I accidently hit Kleiner, he died so I assumed I failed the game, but the mod doesn't restart so I decided to reload the mod incase I broke anything, putting in a game reset is not hard.
So after a while you're faced with toxic water, naturally I tried to avoid it, but apparently it does no damage even though Half Life tells you to avoid that water like a plague, so why not just use normal water for that section?
Onto the next map now and from here on out trust me when you'll be playing nothing but lifted HL2 maps, why make a backstory to your mod when all you're going to do is lift random HL2 maps that make no sense when put together like a frankenstine's monster? On this map quality really drops too, the whole map is literally the same as Ravenholm's trainyard but with literally over a hundred zombies chasing you with nothing but a crowbar. It's worth mentioning at this point that the mod uses SMOD, a mod renowned for it's improved combat, so why have SMOD and place hundreds of zombies if you wont let the player fight them in a fun way with all the great weapons from SMOD instead of having to lag your way to the end of the line with nothing but a crowbar?
So you get to the point where Triage at dawn usually plays in HL2 but the room is such a clusterfuck of zombies that you have no time to stop and think about where to go, in the original game the door on the far end of the room usually opens for you so I dashed towards that thinking I could open the door, but it doesn't so I got killed by zombies it took me a while of spawning a gravity gun to kill every zombie on the map thinking the door would open, but it doesn't so it took me ages to finally use the gravity gun on the window, which smashed it (even though I swear I hit it with the crowbar multiple times before doing this and it didn't break)
Then there's a keypad with a hint saying "brute force the keypad" so any sane person would think to hit the crowbar on the keypad, I tried to do this but nothing happened, it turns out that there is a way of inputting a code into it but there was no hint other than to hit it with the crowbar so in the end I did "Ent_remove" on the door to continue the game, in the room I found the guy I was looking for and a magnum (which would've come in handy much earlier than this) The game then gives no further objective so I assumed I was supposed to go back to Kleiner, so it took me ages of WALKING ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE START OF THE MOD only to find him just walking back and forth doing and saying nothing so I assumed then that I was instead supposed to go through the door next to the guy's body even though it was locked, so I began my way all the way back to the trainyard only to find that the door has inexplicably turned to concrete where the loading screen was supposed to be.
At this point I assumed I broke the game so I decided to enter "map 1b" into the console only to find I WAS SUPPOSED TO BACKTRACK AND THE CORRECT MAP HADN'T LOADED.
(review continued in comments due to chracter cap)
Something so amazing, it can only be played to find out how amazing this is, from the characters to the action, this mod has it all. You will laugh, you will cry, there will be drama and there will be a mystery surrounding the action man.
10/10 due to liking what i'm seeing and to boost up the score because of that troll who rated it bad even though it's not out yet. I may change this review when the mod is released though
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First off, when starting the game in 2010 my PC crashed so I had to save up for 3 years, missing out on bills and social lives to be able to afford to buy a PC capable of playing such a high quality mod (or should I say game)and now after playing this for the first time I must say it was worth the gross ammount of debt I have put myself through, the story was gripping and appealing, the characters were fleshed out and developed at a consistent rate, the orcastrated original musical score fit the mood perfectly, there is honestly no criticisim that I can think of, even after a month of thinking about it. The combat was fleshed out and consistent, nowhere in the 70 hour playthrough did I feel bored or ripped off, this deserves to be on Steam Greenlight, Valve should hire you, Obama should give you an award for "best mod ever" the game industry is going to crash because of your mapping talent, if you ever feel like making Checkerboard Hopes 3, don't get stressed out at the massive following you have, take as long as you need, even if it takes over 9 years.
This is really useless and has no real purpose, it can be done with the ingame console anyway and that doesn't take up any extra space, you also spam this mod to try and get it noticed, if the incredibly low rating hasn't sent a message, then I shall say it as it is, nobody wants it, you're also incredibly passive agressive to those who don't like it, using so many memes makes me dislike this mod even more.
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