Artist in HoMM2/HoMM3 modding, programmer in Lords of Magic modding, various in Might and Magic 6-8 modding.
Truly one of the best Half-Life mods and surely the best HL total conversion ever created, this work is a masterpiece everyone should play. Although a little Stalker feeling is present all the way (many Russian-themed total conversions suffer/benefit from that, depending on the user preferences), the amount of work and the resulting quality are incredibly high.
Unlike previous parts of the Ispitatel series, this mod is really well-designed. The comedy theme is presented really good, and the mapping is way better than in the first two mods, yet the overall atmosphere is probably too much closer to Russian mentality than anything else, so it's a surprise that the mod is so highly rated by worldwide community. No objections though: as a Russian myself, I enjoyed this mod all the way, and never got tired of any of the game stages.
I must pay special attention to that special level with special textures (oh, you'll know when you see it) - the music there fits perfectly and it was a real fun going through it.
There could be a little more variety with the enemies, or a little more challenge with the puzzles, or more funny effects on the character controls when he is dreaming, or, probably, less borrowed assets from PARANOIA, but regardless, this mod is really worth a look and doesn't have any striking disadvantages.
The Poke646/Poke646: Vendetta duology is rightfully the top Half-Life modification project with careful approach and dedication visible in every tiny aspect. Fantastic gameplay and lots of aesthetic pleasure are guaranteed.
Although still in development, and containing numerous bugs and language mistakes, this is truly the primary hope of the Might&Magic; universe, especially for its RPG part. A lot of brave ideas and interesting gameplay solutions, this is a Mount&Blade; module everyone should have installed.
A pretty decent dive into the old school QfG environment. A challenging gameplay, beautiful characters and a selection of references to the classic Sierra adventure games didn't leave me disappointed. A special attention must be drawn to the voice acting which is no less than excellent. Every character has its own manner of speech and a unique voice texture which make the dialogs amazing to listen.
There were several things, however, which contributed to the actual "however" impression. One of them was a rather flat game concept containing concentrated well-known mythology unlike the "genuine" games which contained a little bit of kitsch, a little bit of real life references put as organic parts of the game itself (not secret mini-encounters like in Heroine's Quest, although the naked girl still counts) and a little bit of absurd feeling aside from the general game concept. Heroine's Quest barely has its own plot.
The other thing is the noticeable difference between graphic styles - pixel art can be seen near pixelated hand-drawn objects and 3D modeled scenes. And yeah, did anyone playing as a Sorceress find a use to the Herbalism skill?
Even with these notes and some other observations like the general Heroine's concept built of Zanthia as well as her horse most probably being a revamped Heroes of Might and Magic 1-2 horse concept I can surely give this game 9 of 10. Counting that the game was released for free and contained a very little number of bugs and technical difficulties, I am fully confident in my rating. And yes, I will surely buy the next Crystal Shard product of this kind.
Although this mod has a very crude intro and outro, I seemed to enjoy it. Some new objects and graphics were definitely a positive spot.
I also noticed that this mod has a completely stolen training level from Cleaner's Adventures mod. That's why my rating for this mod is lower than it could be.
I enjoyed pretty much the feature with things turning upside down after a certain moment. This was definitely new and added a lot to the mod impressions. Also, an idea of a Black Mesa room partially teleported to Xen is awesome as well.
Overall difficulty of the mod seemed weak because of almost every crate containing ammo. This is not realistic, to say the least.
Although it is a nice idea in general to show the events happening before the Black Mesa incident, things could have been much more complex and detailed, and still there could be some challenge implemented.
One of the top HL mods I ever played. A really decent amount of work and a lot of gameplay fun awaits every Half-Life fan in this modification. Even without an HD pack the new concepts look nice and the overall quality of graphics is just excellent. It was also fun to me that I enjoyed an HD look of Barniel even more than actual Kate's look. Pretty hot.
I guess I should also note that the mod was developed in times when Blue Shift didn't exist. It was a pity to realize that (so some locations became retconned) but it was fun at the same time to find some common feats with Blue Shift, including the cute Chumtoad.
The only point I dislike in the mod personally is the strange reimplementation of the G-man concept and all Chumtoad/Magenta Vortigaunt stuff blah blah blah. It definitely doesn't go well with the lore, but well, if we look back to the times of original HL and OP4, we can remember that there were not many things really clear about G-man (even less than now). But it was funny to remember Magenta Vortigaunts being reimplemented in Half-Life 2. This mod definitely had an influence on the original game developers.
In fact, Azure Sheep can be called "dat Blue Shift we once lost". Must have for every HL fan.
When I began exploring this mod, I was really amazed and was ready to set 10/10 as it really fulfilled my dream of playing as a black operative. Even the red HUD graphics was a logical and nice idea, pretty atmospheric and fitting the style, as well as red night vision goggles and the Black Ops squadron logo with an Omega sign.
However, later on I realized that the mod is actually not covering the overall heavy potential (similar to the Opposing Force one). Yes, it looks neat, it looks polished, but the overall difficulty is so easy with a really large amount of weapons and ammo lying everywhere, and the overall speed of the mod walkthrough is definitely slow-paced with not so many things to keep an eye to. The textures are awesome, but as other reviews say, they don't originate from the Black Ops mod which is definitely a pity. The weapon choice was also good and bad at the same time, when you have a silenced Glock (awesome!) and stupid wooden stick with a nail instead of a cool combat knife or enhanced hand-to-hand combat skills like the original Black Ops had (bad); the sniper crossbow is a nice reimplementation of a beta Black Ops concept, but it's barely needed since the mod doesn't provide many opportunities to go stealth. So that in my opinion, the overall idea has a lot of potential, but in fact we can see just another variation of Blue Shift, yet much easier and casual, which is pity, and even new cool features like keys and items don't save the situation.
The comic style storyline looks acceptable, reminding a bit of that noire feeling, and are a nice solution for modders who were not capable to do decent voice acting (like in Cleaner's Adventures I played just before this mod where the voice acting was done really poor and wasted all atmosphere). The outro, however, is done pretty bad IMO since we don't have the same location with the nuclear warhead like we had in Opposing Force but the mod actually has a clear reference to that scene of Op4; it's also unclear what happened to the protagonist after the end of the story which also does not satisfy the tradition of Half-Life and its addons.
Still, it's a pity that we didn't have something more than that. This mod definitely has a lot of things missing.
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