Story: HL2 mod continuing story of HL:Opposing Force character Adrian Shephard in a time set somewhere between HL1 and HL2. It brings you from a Black Mesa like base trough an outdoor environment and a Soviet marine base into a early combine citadel to end in a ancient alien location here on earth, the combine stumbles upon when creating a citadel. What you get: Intro and 5 playable maps roughly good for a hour of playtime. The mod includes custom props, textures and music but NO new weapons or NPC's.
Great settings (Snowy Russian environment).
First levels are very well mapped.
Terrible voice imitations.
Later level designs feel rushed.
Very easy combat.
The story starts off promising, but disappears by the middle of the game.
Unfortunately there's more negative than positive with this mod.
First off is the music. It's just so cheesy. Sounds like the soundtrack to an old PS2 JRPG or something. Please, if you're going to do synth orchestral music... don't, because it doesn't work. I have a feeling that the music might've actually been good if the person who made it just replicated Kelly Bailey's (the man who did the music for Half-Life 2) electro style. It would have fit with the HL2 setting, and not sounded like the score for a lame RPG.
Second is the voice acting. Dear god, this mod should've just subtitled all the dialogue and not have enlisted teenagers trying to sound like grown men in their 30s and 60s.
As for the level design, the best of them are just okay. The layout of the maps themselves are decent, but they're just so sparse and uninteresting, barring that naval compound, which was pretty cool; and the wintry scenery when you're outside. The rest were just confusing, causing me to noclip through half of them to try and actually finish the mod. The Citadel was the worst offender because of that absolutely God awful fog. I couldn't see where the hell I was supposed to go and got a migraine about five minutes in.
The story was disappointing to say the least. I had high hopes in the beginning, when post-pubsecent-voiced Mossman said Adrian had to return the gravity gun to Kleiner in City 17. That would've made for a good climax. But, instead, you just blow something up and... well, no spoilers, but the 'payoff' feels more like 'I' paid for wasting ten minutes of my life downloading this, and another hour downloading the SDK required to run this mod.
The combat was just... okay. Not bad, not good. Probably works well that way since this mod is so short, but it would've been a big issue had the story carried you far beyond where it actually ends. Then again, HL2 combat/AI in general is getting pretty dated, so I can't fault the devs too much for that.
My final verdict is going to have to be a 3/10. I had no fun with this mod whatsoever and was severely underwhelmed by it
Voice acting is absolutely terrible, though, other than that, this is probably in the top 10 Hl2 mods out there. They did a VERY good job. I just wish they would have gotten better voice actors, and had I been around when they had done it, I probably would've done it all for them myself. Again, other than the voice actors, it was a very good mod that I enjoyed very much.
The authors of the mod gave their best in terms of creativity, the environments are greatly designed and even if the mod can be beat in about 2/3 hours or less, they still managed to present a large variety of situations and warfare styles with a mix of urban,environmental and futuristic fight scenes. Extra points for features like the portal to the citadel (i don't really like the part where you couldn't enter the portal before the elite combines came out, it would be a lot better if they simply weren't there), the strider eleavator on the foundations, the submarines on the artic port and the excellent mapping used on the underground antlion captivity.
The story of this mod is pretty good at all. The simple fact of a continuation to the history of Adrian Shephard already amazes mostly of the HL fans, the intro is also really interesting, the combine invasion into a rebel base is something everyone wanted to follow up closely as a spectator since the events at east of Black Mesa on HL2, and this time we could do it, but i seriously expected more resistance from the rebels, i gotta say it's extremely odd not a single elite was taken down even with the absurd quantity of RPGs the rebels were carryng.I didn't quite like the idea that shephard was taken directly to the antlion infestation place only because every path turned out to take him there, i think a g-man interferance would fit nice in the transition of the citadel to that place. I also add extra points for giving a origin to the antlion occupation on earth since we never got to see them on xen. However i was very disappointed about the voice acting (simply pathetic in about every character) and about the NPC animations that could be drastically improved; there's not much to say about the gameplay, it's balanced and don't drag you too long with exhaustive combine fight scenes or abusive zombie encounters but the mod gains another extra point for a plausible origin of the use of a Gravity Gun.
Final Score: 8,0