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.
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.
The story was shallow. The station had no windows and was a repetitive labyrinth of sterile, monotonous metal hallways devoid of any remarkable qualities. The characters were vacuous and 1 dimensional. The enemies were unexplained, uninspired, repetitive, and unbalanced. While some voice acting was average (with the exception of ALL minor characters, who sounded like they had speech impediments), the script was bland and predictable and offered no nuances from a bare-bones bio shock/system shock clone. Also (and this is not a spoiler) the mod just ends abruptly with no exposition or resolution.
As this criticism is intended to be constructive, I will include suggestions.
Level Design: Vary the lighting a little (Sconces, lanterns, flicker effects). Add windows. Add multiple levels, such as balconies, or observation windows to upper levels. Add more objects to the floor, to imply that humans inhabit the area. Everything felt like it was adjacent to everything else.
Script Writing: Try to make the characters less stereotypical.(Stereotypes include: The troubled visionary, the obsessive, perfectionist scientist, the political martyr, the narcissistic, delusional celebrity).
Pacing/Atmosphere: Enemies should be more intimidating. The citizens were not because the fact that they are demented is never depicted in the mod, or used as a plot device. Bio shock and system shock uses ominous graffiti, remnants of horrific, disturbing atrocities, and classic psychotic babbling to make the enemies horrifying.
Gameplay Balance: Source uses vector cones to simulate bullet spread. Widen those of the NPCs to the point at which they don't aim like hackers in Counter Strike.
PS: I think it is hilarious that the med-kits in this game are hard liquor. Your character would have lethal alcohol poisoning after consuming that many vending machines worth of the stuff, not to mention that he would be unconscious and completely incapable of combat after a few bottles.
Without any armor, makes the game a bit tough.
The citizens you fight against sure seem a bit tougher than your combine guards you would be fighting against in HL2 (obviously this isn't HL2, but just a comparison).
Definitely has the potential for replayability.
Very good mod, and worth the time to download it.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the mod there were some area where it fell down. The environments were somewhat sparsely furnished and boxy in construction. Though there were some very good custom models these could have been further expanded. Some variety in enemy uniforms could have avoided all the enemies looking like spawning clones.
The mod did seem to borrow from a number of games both in terms of storyline and gameplay mechanic implementation. It was very Doom-esque with pull lever, move to point B, find keycard, use keycard progression. Playing on the train system was fun and reminiscent of HL1 though im split if the scenario reminded me more of Red Faction.
The storyline itself reminded me of Bioshock on numerous occasions of dystopian society, the antagonists mirrored a number of characters from that game. The scene with the painting npc reflected the speech with Anthony Ryan. There speaker ordering you acted in a similar vein to Atlas and the final character mimicked his omniscient view and urge for control and disregard for human life. The man with the painted face mirrored the theatrical boss and certain elements like the vending machines and health vials had an overwhelming similarity to the artdeco style employed by Bioshock. This could of course be mere coincidence.
I though the crows was a little underdeveloped as adversaries as they were somewhat overpowered and rarely encountered. I know they played into the story but those elements could have been expanded.
There were some borrowed element that worked very well. For me the Data Log System drove the back and side stories. Informing the player that there were remaining logs ensure they could grasp the full story which you were guiding them on also helped this mechanic but still allowing them to proceed ensure that the player wasn't forced to collect them was a good design choice.
Although it may seem I am being critical I thoroughly enjoyed playing this mod and recommend everyone to play i
I liked it, but there is still a lot more that needs to be done i feel like.
- there need to be more health packs
- i feel like this is the type of place that would have security cameras on the walls or ceiling but i don't see any.
- after airlock to get to Wilson's lab, i lost my pistol
- crows are very hard to spot.
- The satellite in the very beginning cinematic needs some sort of texture on it, right now its a solid color.
- (http://sleekupload.com/uploads/5/1106755264.jpg) its very easy to spot this as a tiling texture. Instead of having each tile be tiling, have the texture include maybe 4 or 6 tiles, so that you can have some variation among them.
- (http://sleekupload.com/uploads/5/1106755384.jpg) these lights are way too bright close to the light and way not bright enough everywhere else.
It was an ok mod for the most part. The level design and voice acting were some of my favorite things in the game but the lack of weapons and repetitive enemies made it a little boring after a while. Near the end I was expecting some sort of a new enemy like the squids they mentioned in one of the audio recordings but no. There were also some things I wanted to know what happen like what happen to the rest of the characters besides the doctor at the end? How many more colonies are there? And whats going to happen to the doctor since he decided to stay behind?
Overall this is a great mod but to me it feels like it was incomplete. Worth a download