Welcome to wasteland - the place, where you never been before. Try to survive and find the way...
Well well, i am first off surprised to see that this mod sneaked under my nose for that long. Oh well!
Now, after playing the mod all the way through, i drew the following conclusion; Basically, the mod itself is bad, tho the scenery and nice looking locations saves it.
I really was impressed by the wasteland, it looked really good and huge. I also love how the old RtB concept of the depot was captured.
That aside, had the mod been without the good looking scenery it would of sucked.
And since i don't judge games on whether they look good or not, i can't help but feel the mod is only for a 6/10. Why? Simple, i was lost more then once not knowing what to do, it felt like most the puzzles where too complicated to figure out, and it was terrible navigating through the wasteland area. The second map was bland and boring, it only took about 7 minutes to get through that, and then it all ends.
Tho if you look at it, as being a 3D version of the old concept, it's awesome. Looks alot like it, specially with the custom textures.
For your next project, i suppose get some testers to help out. From my own experience, when you make maps with puzzles, you need someone else to try them and give feed back. Cause when you play them, they are too damn easy and you continue to make them harder till you even got problems. And it's at that point the general gamer gets lost, like i did.
Either ways, the mod is worth it, JUUUST for the wasteland part.
I hate rating systems, but I'll take a chance and give it a 7.
Anyway onto the review. This is pretty much the best *released* version of the Depot I've seen so far. The puzzles are not complicated when you go back and think about it(some of them were actually quite clever), but a subtle hint here and there would have helped when playing for the first time. The submarine is dark as ****, but I know why you left it that way(also reminds me of why I stopped working with this **** engine) and I won't blame you for it.
The wasteland itself looks straight out of RtB and that, for me, is a huge plus. Personally I'd have added a darker and more polluted skybox to catch the full feel of RtB and to show that we have AirEx a few miles further but this one is good too. Although why you chose to use the retail thumpers, when we've had a fully working leak one complete with an on/off switch for years, is beyond me. Navigating the wasteland though is a bit hard and mowing down antlions while trying to find your way gets boring after a while.
The Depot itself is fairly good and I have no major complaints for it, although throwing out combine troops like flies doesn't exactly suit them(they still can't shoot for **** though so it's not that big a deal).
All in all it's a decent mod. Great scenery, but from a gameplay view it's poorly executed.
While the mod looks nice, in the aspect of gameplay it is pretty dull, boring, and frustrating trying to find where to go and what to do.
There is no clean objective given in the map, you simply wake up from a crashed buggy accident and walk through some tunnels where you reach a rotting sub. There is no indication of what to do when you reach the sub which left me walking around trying to find a way out for about 10 minutes until using noclip to find where to go. Only was it when I found that you were supposed to go inisde the sub did I try to navigate it, although this was tough because it was far to dark with the rust textures and no other form of lighting. I ended up walking around not knowing where to go in the sub. At first I tried using my gravity gun to blow some doors down, but that didnt do anything. Later I discover that you can only blow down a few doors, which look exactly alike to the others, and that broke consistency.
Out of the sub and onto the sandy patches I once again had no direction to travel, and still no idea what I was trying to complete. Aimlessly walking around I stumbled upon a cave with some grubs and an antlion guard. Once I killed the guard I had absolutely no idea what to do. I ran around the cave for 15 minutes and didnt find anything.
I used noclip again to find my next postion, killed the guard and got the bugbait, but once again I didnt know where to go or what to do. The mod then crashed and I decided to not try and complete the rest.
The maps look great, but play horribly. At best, you can only hope to luck your way to success, for the first half at least. "Secret" paths that you must take to continue are not differentiated from their surroundings at all. In the second quarter of the game, the map becomes very circular. The fact that the first area like this also has respawning enemies that can't really be avoided and the player has nowhere near enough ammo to effectively find the correct path makes this even worse. Survival becomes a guessing game at this point. A similar issue exists the first time the Combine are met. A gunship appears, the player is likely barely armed at this point, due to the two Antlion Guard battles that JUST happened, and there are soldiers everywhere. The correct path in this area is hidden, and there is no safe path at all. On a side note, I fell through pieces of solid-looking areas at least twice. It actually takes more effort to make a piece of geometry intangible in hammer, so I find this rather astounding.