Dissolution is a science fiction, single-player mod for Half-Life 2 that mixes adventure and action game-play. Set in the year 2089, in a universe dominated by a mega corporate entity, Xterrier, the player awakes in a hidden lab to the voice of the mysterious Wilson. Guided by Wilson, the player must make their way through the ravaged Xterrier 581c colony, making use of any and all resources they can get their hands on in order to survive, all the while attempting to piece together the events leading to the colony's collapse and their own identity.
Dissolution drops you into a catastrophically-failed Exterrier colony on Gliese 581c. You're dead - kind of. You're greeted over the radio by a nervous scientist named Wilson. He guides you through the colony, helping you by opening doors and giving you instructions. You follow his orders, given no other option.
The story of Dissolution is fantastic. The introductory sequence is a bit lengthy, discouraging those ready to jump in the action, but it fleshes out the history of Exterrier and WHY you're where you are - something surprisingly lacking in most mods.
Once you get on your feet and start exploring the colony, one of the first thing you'll realize is the stunning voice acting. However, this contrasts with the low quality of the weapons, maps, and sounds.
Weapons are very low-quality and unnatural in both appearance and gunplay. The pistol, for example, takes nearly an entire clip to kill a single enemy, while the shotgun can wipe through three with a single shot.
Mapping is simple yet charming. Repetitive locked doors and hunt-the-key style gameplay doesn't add to the tunnels. On the bright side, the maps are non-linear, allowing you to move around and find secret audio logs scattered around the levels. These audio logs give some insight into the player character's mystery, and how the Exterrier 581c colony collapsed, adding a nice touch of immersion and history to the already-excellent story.
Despite the mediocre gameplay, low-quality models, and basic mapping, the mod still manages to shine simply through voice acting and story. Dissolution truly shows that, in essence, graphics don't matter if the game has a good story.
I really like this mod, had good time with it. The game has an interesting storyline, told in a System Shock way fashion (gamers saying that's like in Bioshock have got short memory, SS 2 was realesed 8 years before Bioshock and it's called Bioshock's spiritual predecessor I strongly recommend playing it if you haven't:)) good athmosphere with a few unsettling moments and great music which emphasise the mood. The graphics and mapping were also nice and i appreciate the amount of work, that have been put into them, especially for a one man project. Unfortunatelly the game has also a few flaws. I don't like the combat and I think it could have been done better. The amount of enemesis rushing at time is to big, I'd prefer enemies appearing more often but in smaller groups. Now there are moments that there isn't anything going on for few minutes and then, a swarm enemies attacks you. The enemies are also too hard to kill, I changed the difficulty from the default one to medium, because i thought that it would be too easy, but that was a mistike. The game can get really hard because of tough enemies and swarm attacks and unfortunatelly I had to use godmode for few fights (what a shame:P) And also the crows are small and hard to notice, when the first one showed up i was wondering for few minutes what's going on and what should I do before I finally saw him. But despite that - great mod, had good time with it and I'm really impressed that it is a one man project:) Congrats:)
I really enjoyed this mod. It gave a great story experience and the universe it's set in really sparks a lot of interest. Although the combat felt repetitive to me, I really enjoyed the crows that you find a long the way, gave me quite a scare the first time I came across one.
I hope to see more works like this in the future.