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Escape from the darkness

Mod review

Time to Run

Mod review may contain spoilers - 1 agrees

Time To Run is a two-part series of mods/map packs made by one russian by the name of "dmitry".

The series as a whole is very amateurishly made, but the first entry manages to be slightly more daunting than the sequel, which I reviewed last week. They both share the same problems - models out of propotion, glitches forcing noclip, and very linear maps with large corridors.

Whereas Time To Run 2 has less ammo & health and have more challenging army grunts, this one is easier in those aspects. However it seems more bugged and the scale of things is a even greater problem here.

I'll remember both of these mods though because of all the bafflement they gave me. For example: right on the floor in a room is the biggest frickin copy of the playboy magazine you'll ever see in any game. This mod is also supposed to have a helicopter battle as a finale, but the helicopter flies away and you just stand like a fool with a huge rocket launcher that you've just picked up.

They're both short and suck up a whole hour combined, so if you're craving more HL and want to be perplexed without frustration, have a go with Time To Run 1 & 2.


Chemical Existence

Mod review

Good evening! The intro might give you a seizure as you have to read white text over a cutscene with rapidly flashing thunder lights. What the heck?

I really like the aesthetics of the mod. The fact that it was made for quake 2 shows, as the texture work is completly different from half-life's. Relatively speaking, it is nice with a slightly unique-looking HL mod, even though it is all recognisable in a different game.

Unfortunetly, the fact that the mod was ported from quake 2 also shows in a major negative way. The port itself isn't faulty - indeed, the fault lies in that they didn't adapt most of the gameplay or pacing for half-life properly. In quake 2, you don't have to reload: In half-life you do. Reloading is a death sentence in a mod with chargin dumb NPCs and cramped tiny maps! You're gonna get jumped while reloading so many times, and they're gonna get you every time, because it works, and the mod developers didn't think this through.

They could have at least require the NPCs to reload themselfe. But no, they can charge and fire as they wish while the player is stuck with a "realistic handicap" from 1997.

The combat isn't fun even when you're not reloading. Enemies take multiple headshots before they perish, whether they're junkies or soldiers. The problem is either that they have too much health, or most of the weapons are weak. A extremly awful glitch is that you can't pick up any new ammo for nearly half of your drattin arsenal for some reason, leaving you with half as much to protect yourself with.

The mod is cool-looking, but it is so bad that I have been tempted to swear through this review. The mod is a time-capsule to a time back when we didn't have a lot better to play. And if you wonder what happened to the main characters sister... It's never explained. So don't bother.



Mod review

Dopusk 31

Mod review - 1 disagrees

Without being able to grasp more from the story, almost entirely in russian, you're playing as Gordon Freeman whoose goal is to explore shelter 31. The mod managed to catch me off guard with the longest, eerie first twenty minutes in any game I've played in recent memory.

Then I died for the first time and the mod crashed.

I restarted the mod, played some more, and it crashed again. I quickly found out that there's always a chance of the mod crashing upon loading a map. I played the whole thing for a hour and couldn't have made progress without save scumming right in front of every narrow hallway, just in case the mod would attempt to load a new map and fail. Eventually the mod grinded to a complete halt and refused to load a map at all. Without any warnings or even a error box detailing what exactly went wrong. So I gave up on the thing.

So the contents of the mod. The weapons are all of the stock arsenal we're familiar with, but a few of them have more alterations than just a re-skin. For instance; the crowbar is now useless besides destroying boxes. The pistol is bloody awful, with 8-bullet clips that are barely enough to take down a zombie at medium difficulty. On the other hand there is the MP5's replacement, a ak47 thingy I assume, which actually is so strong that it's the best weapon in the entire game! Until you get the rifle the combat is a chore. I suspect imbalance.

Throughout the course of the mod I feel the Escort mission gets overused. You see models and textures from half-life 2 along with other custom models, which at times only look strange. Gordon switches gloves along with the weapons.

The most fun I had playing this mod was when I laughed when I saw a picture of Vladimir Putin in the labs. For the first time. The picture popped up through the rest of the mod, along with some poster of a naked model.

It is a mess, and a non-functioning mess.

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