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.
I have one big grief with this mod, and that was overall quality. I agree with most of the criticism that has been written before me in that even though it looks like its almost a total conversion, the custom work is at the level of placeholders (I'm thinking specifically of the prop models).
Still, the amount of props available was so low that most of the areas felt bland and 'unlived' in, which together with the repetitive mapping made the areas all feel similar.
The voice acting ranged from passable to laughable. The intro monologue and all the XDA recordings done by the Sector 101 guy belong in the latter cathegory.
The scientist was for the most part the most convincing character in the mod, but more often than not the actor lost himself in 'creating' the character instead of acting his lines, thus overacting the character and making him sound fake, almost cartoonish.
Bells son was also convincingly acted out, but the technical quality of the recording was too far off when compared to for example the scientist. Consistency is holy.
Bell himself carried traces of the actor struggling to keep his voice deep enough to sound authorative. This was an unnecessary move and a technicality that could've been fixed with editing afterwards, allowing the actor to focus more on the actual acting and less on pitching down his voice to an uncomfortable and unsustainable level.
I wish there were more single PDA's with other characters recording what happened instead of just the handful of important characters, like they did in Doom 3, which I'm sure partly inspired this design approach.
I advise you to hold VA auditions for your next project and have somebody check up the quality as the project progresses.
Not as bad as some put it out to be.
Yes, the story was meh, to put it bluntly. The Characters had no motivations and the script could have used a serious rewrite.
But this was a mod created by a modder who has come far from his previous releases, a modder who did much of the work on his own and above all, a modder who tried to create something on his spare time. And for that, I can't help but give him props for giving me (And us) an entertaining campaign to run through for a couple of hours on a (Then) snowed-in Saturday after shoveling 500 pounds of slush off the drive-way.
Above all else, great level design and custom features can help a mod stand above others, but a fun mod with entertaining gameplay is top-billing for me.
I've played all your previous releases 8472, and I look forward to playing more :)
Like farizle said "I am astounded by the fact you took on a total conversion mod by yourself, and greatly respect doing something I have been afraid of attempting myself".
Couldn't hear the audiologs well enough to catch the story but it seemed the same thing as Doom/Half Life 1/Bioshock mainly. I'm okay with that kind of story but the voices were really too low.
Needs more crows and more allucinations.
The civilians just come as pack of 12. they need too many shot to get killed for their number, I almost always ran out of rifle ammo in easy, I had to use the shotgun too but it ran rapidly out of ammo too. And that is the way it worked with Half Life 2 but we had nades, covers, the gravity gun, etc to forget about the pistol. Also I heard about guards joining the rebels but I didn't saw any of them or I didn't recognised them, wich is worse.
The level design was between bad and ok. Some places were looking like Half Life 1 but it had more variety even inside Black Mesa
The power switchs were in strange places while it should have been in special locals like a generator room, instead they where in restaurant and offices, nonsense. Also the level design wasn't really clear, I oftenly ended wondering where I was because I couldn't recognize in which sector I was. The rooms mostly looked like the other places except for the bed.
The item design isn't really good. Some are okay like the pistol but the rifle just looks like some strange kid toy. The weapons are wrong in gunplay (bit inherited for HL2). The pistol isn't really powerfull and needs a whole clip to kill someone while you can just take your shotgun and make a one shot. The fire axe model is nice but it's useless, after you've found the pistol you never use it again. Also it's animation is sucky, one slow horizontal slash and that's all.
I felt there was a lot of furniture missing. I hoped the office too looks like real offices, full of papers, boxs and such, while everything was more than clean : empty.
Dissolution is a good mod in general and is worth playing.
+Sound/Music- i love this mods music it is eerie, sometimes scary and absolutely beautiful to listen to.
+Story- This mod has a very good back story, and without revealing anything, has several plot twists i didn't expect.
+Environment- While it was a little bland in some areas like the corridors, most areas in dissolution have a very nice feel to them. It has a very good balance of darkness and light.
+Voice acting- This mod has very good voice acting, something you don't usually see in a half life 2 mod. And the scientist talking to you is always clear and understandable.
+Models- The models for the guns are, while not so detailed, are pleasing to the eye and look good.
Now lets get too the cons
- Difficulty- THIS MOD IS HARD. You have to shoot a lot to kill your enemies and they can kill you very fast. Another thing is that health and medkits are rare and hard to find. The description says that you have to scavenge to survive and believe me you do.
- Gameplay- Its the standard find the keycard and open the door from doom whick isnt all that bad really. But i just wish that there was a little extra when it came to gameplay.
- Longevity- this mod isnt very long and i finished it in maybe 2 hours?
But that isnt too much of a problem because it is a real challenge to get through it if you are a first time player.
Overall it is a very good mod and i think it is worth a try.
7 out of 10 possible points for this mod are a bit much if I think about it.
Gameplay is too linear, graphics are lame, weapons unbalanced and the mod is way too short.
So why do I give this mod 7 points? Easy, because the story is not only nice itself, but is also told in a pretty nice way.
Would I recommend it? I don't know, because this mod is one special flavour of mods. Some will like it, some won't.
Personally, I liked it and that's why I give it such a high score, despite its many flaws.
Although fights are boring and often unfair, and the map design is somewhat lacking, this mod shines through its atmosphere and story. While the story itself could easily be the plot of a B-Movie it is how this story is told and how much background info can be found throughout the mod that creates a densley packed atmosphere.
Interesting concepts with some of the enemies, however the main part of the fighting sequences is terribly boring.
Mapping is also uninspired. Areas like the Monty Tallsticks should have been expanded upon to make the complex feel more unique in areas.