Creatures came out of what seemed to be thin air. Animated and alive. They came without a warning and swept the world ...
Seriously, I had my hopes high for this mod from watching a lot of videos, screenshots and reading many reviews.
Before I start, let me say quickly that I played already houndreds of half life 2 mods, and I am a hobby level designer myself, so if you can't agree with my opinion, then it is not because I don't know any better but probably just because you like such mods which doesn't count for me.
I heard that the mod is hard, but even a hard game needs to balanced in terms of combat, health placement, weapons and so on.
At first, the enemy placement is probably one of the worst I have seen so far. It feels that enemies were just placed randomly after the levels were created, without giving a single thought about combat. You meet a big room with a good half a dozen of enemies in it, you have absolutely no place to hide or guard yourself, only a big wide corridor that leads into a big empty room. Combine that to the amount of dmg even a single enemy can do, it is simply put bad game design.
Oh, and not to forget that to make it even more random, enemies are placed behind you, unlocked doors misteriously open to unleash soldiers, and the most annoying thing, enemies teleport in front and behind you in the worst situations possible, like when you are in a fight with soldiers at the moment.
And holy crap, I already thought that this was the worst part until I came to the tunnel with the railway tracks. The level designers just made a big (but good looking, giving them that) area and put A HUNDREDS OF ZOMBIES in it. Really? Is that your opinion of exciting combat? That was when I ultimately said to myself, okay, I am going to uninstall this prime example of horrible design, review it and untrack it then.
And that guy who walks with you, he either dies in a second by getting stuck somewhere or annoys the **** out of you with bugging out.
This mod is a railshooter with neat looking maps and models randomly thrown into it, but with nearly no effort put into gameplay.
The visuals were okay but the gameplay was frustrating and badly designed.
Nearly EVERY design decision they made was a bad one. Removing noclip, flashlight only working on some of the guns, ugly view bobbing, annoying companion whom you have to babysit 24/7. The list goes on and on.
The gameplay at the start is incomprehensible. Instead of going for the tried and true design of giving the player subtle hints on where to go, the mappers opted for a "dump them in a maze with abritaryly locked doors and unbreakable windows, and expect them to know what to do" style. I'd recommend this as a good interrogation technique but not as a gameplay formula.
Once the puzzle(?) elements are done you finally get onto combat. What a joy combat is in 1187. 30 zombies that you have to hunt down and kill before your annoying and seemingly useless NPC companion decides to come out. If you miss a single headcrab that hides in a corner he'll refuse to come out until you get the headcrab.
This mod was rushed to release, it needed a lot more playtesting and polishing. This can be proved by the 3 or so patches released within 10 days of the first release. If the mod had been tested and polished properly it would not have been required. Instead they released it full of bugs. How they managed to ship it without realising there were missing textures is beyond me. Did they not do any final playtest before release?
I wish there were something positive I could say about this mod but there really isn't. It had potential but it just wasn't ready for release. Those who herald it as the best mod they've ever played obviously haven't played "Research and Development", "Minerva", "Dear Esther", etc. There are much nicer mods out there which have smaller downloads and provide a lot more fun.