Fight a massive deep space war and participate in the destruction of capital ships in this innovative blend of FPS and space combat. Bomb important systems, escort a squad of marines to cause damage from the inside. Watch as railguns fire projectiles the size of buses at the enemy hull. Fight with many futuristic weapons including a flamethrower and remote controlled SMG.

Report article RSS Feed Eternal Silence Beta 3.0 Preview

Read on to find out what ModDB's first impressions are and whether or not Eternal Silence delivers the goods.

Posted by stenchy on Jun 2nd, 2008

Crankshaft games makes some noise with the latest offering of their Half-Life 2 mod, Eternal Silence. Learning from the mistakes of previous lag-ridden launches, the development team behind Eternal Silence beta 3.0 promise their most stable and feature complete release yet. Is this the mod space combat fans have been waiting for or will it be doomed to get lost in the void? Read on to find out what ModDB's first impressions are and whether or not Eternal Silence delivers the goods.

Flamethrower Goodness
Best flamethrower. Ever.

The Look

This mod has undergone a visual overhaul that has given it a more vibrant and saturated color palette. Leaving behind dark and dingy corridors of 2.3, beta 3.0 features ample lighting that showcases the excellence in texture work, modeling and environmental design within the maps. All of the ships retain their showroom shine thanks to some new shader implementation and the dazzling light show on display while engaging enemy bogeys out in space really is a sight to behold. All the old infantry weapons make their return but the damage they deal to the environment seems a little lackluster. In fact, the whole indoor, FPS portion could benefit from additional visual flourishes to heighten the intensity of battles within the capital ships (update: devs report to add this content in 3.1). Stuff like exploding consoles, falling debris and alarm systems to signify intruders and hull breaches would all increase the immersion factor. Overall, it really feels like the Crankshaft team has hit their stride in developing a unique, consistent visual style that is all their own.

Cerbera in Space
David vs. Goliath ... in space.

The Sound

The audio in Eternal Silence sports original sound effects throughout. The space combat has also been given the special treatment in this area as well. Dogfights are reflected in the hectic soundscapes of missile lock-on alarms and automatically generated radio chatter. Add to that the low hum of giant laser beams narrowly missing you with the staccato pings of high caliber rounds penetrating your hull and you have an audio suite that compliments the space-faring action every step of the way. Unfortunately, the interior sections have taken a backseat here too. While the gunfire and weapons sound effects are adequate, there's little else to engage your ears other than the odd radio chatter.

Eternal Silence beta 3.0 trailer.

The Feel

Crankshaft developers claim to have created their most stable and balanced release yet with beta 3.0 thanks in large part to the hundreds of hours in play testing. This is clearly evident while playing, as the action is evenly distributed over both modes of the mod by introducing attack and defend phases. Teams have to destroy the opposing forces corvette ships before they are able to board an enemy capital ship. This forces even greater coordination between teammates and you really feel like part of a strike force as you escort friendly bombers to their destinations. Capital ships are constantly taking damage from weapons systems so this avoids any stalemates that can occur during the ebb and flow of battle, as sooner or later one of the ships will explode. The order in which capture points you secure also affects the tide of battle and adds another layer of of strategy. Go for the weapons point and you can stop your ships from taking extra damage or capture the shields point and you can disable the defenses to increase the damage taken by the enemy capital ship.

Stenchy's first steps in beta 3.0.

There are a few mods out there that set out to incorporate aspects of two separate genres but do so only with limited success. Eternal Silence beta 3.0 achieves a seamless transition between FPS and space simulation that has you spending less time dealing with overly complex controls and focusing more on just having fun. You'll be able to launch your own space offensive this Friday, June 6th, when Eternal Silence beta 3.0 releases. See you on the servers!

Want to hear more about Eternal Silence? Check out the second and sixth episodes of the Modcast for developer interviews concerning beta 3.0.

Post comment Comments
Knights Jun 3 2008, 2:15am says:

Cool, hope people will play it and stick around this time. I love the flying ship battles a lot. I wish this mod was just the flying ship, with group battles you setup with upgrades. I'll be there at release.... :P

+3 votes     reply to comment
shu718004 Jun 4 2008, 4:07am replied:

are you from Ch?

+1 vote     reply to comment
mjnowak Jun 3 2008, 2:18am says:

It seemed like your the only one on your ship, and bad guys! :P looks great! Also, what do you use to record your ingame video?

+1 vote     reply to comment
stenchy Author
stenchy Jun 3 2008, 2:23am replied:

Fraps or Wegame, but usually Fraps.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Deadrocks Jun 3 2008, 7:16pm replied:

Xfire captures video now.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ruppetus Jun 6 2008, 6:57am replied:

Yeah, but it's pretty poor... FPS Drops to 1... Fraps is infinitly better.

+1 vote     reply to comment
wiredgear Jun 3 2008, 2:36am says:

Excellent, looking forward to the release. I'll give it another try.

+1 vote     reply to comment
brechtos Jun 3 2008, 2:41am says:

From the looks of it this mod will be able to deliver some pritty awsome yipikaye moments.Just hope there will be an active community that doesn't die after a few months.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Batuea Jun 3 2008, 3:57am says:

Will We get a view to where we can see the instrument panels and controls in FPS view of the space ships/fighters? Other than that, this looks very promising.

+1 vote     reply to comment
INtense! Staff
INtense! Jun 3 2008, 4:24am says:

wow looks amazing, where was my invite to the pre-release playtest haha?

+2 votes   reply to comment
NSCXP2005 Jun 3 2008, 5:27am says:

This looks AMAZING!!!

Is it possible to play the mod with bots as I am not good at playing online games?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Reap3r Jun 6 2008, 2:03am replied:

No, bots would be extremely complex for a mod such as this, and for a team our size it would simply be a lack of resources.

+1 vote     reply to comment
masterchief396 Jun 3 2008, 8:56am says:

this mod looks awsome. only problem is i dont have ep2 games...

+1 vote     reply to comment
sathanas Jun 3 2008, 9:51am replied:

Incoming Missile.

Pretty sure you just need Half-Life 2 to play any mods built on any version of the Source engine.

+1 vote     reply to comment
qdog Creator
qdog Jun 3 2008, 10:11am replied:

You just need the Source SDK pack and you are ready to go.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Henley Staff
Henley Jun 3 2008, 10:17am replied:

you'll also need the SDK base files...
EDIT: you beat me to the punch :P

+1 vote   reply to comment
Darknet Jun 3 2008, 10:57am says:

Nice video and good mod game.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FJS Jun 3 2008, 1:53pm says:

Awsome, this will rock

+1 vote     reply to comment
SinKing Jun 3 2008, 4:22pm says:

Nice to see a mod evolve to it's final version and becoming a classic!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Reap3r Jun 3 2008, 6:58pm says:

Old screenshots are ooollllddddd, both of those scenes are not currently in the mod, especially the HUD on the infantry one.

+1 vote     reply to comment
stenchy Author
stenchy Jun 3 2008, 8:34pm replied:

They haven't updated their gallery...

+1 vote   reply to comment
Reap3r Jun 6 2008, 2:01am replied:

Yeah, we have a bunch on nice new screenshots on our site, dunno why Marc or Dan haven't uploaded them to ModDB yet...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Arkanj3l Jun 3 2008, 11:21pm says:

For a game called Eternal Silence it's pretty loud.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Crispy Jun 4 2008, 6:51am says:

Looks like it's really been polished a lot, but there are still some areas to work on. There is a lot missing in the sound department especially.

When Stenchy was in the hangar there was absolutely no sound whatsoever. No engine whirr, no claxons, it lacked atmosphere considering this is the first view you get once you spawn. Imo some spinning warning lights and sirens would really give the player a sense of urgency and tension. Contextual "The ship is under attack", and occasional impact screenshudder and muffled explosions on the ship hull would also add to the atmosphere a LOT.

But this is just an area to work on. It still looks like you die too easily as a soldier, but I'll have to give it a blast, because it's obvious the team has put a lot of effort into this latest version. Let's get some servers filled up!

+1 vote     reply to comment
qdog Creator
qdog Jun 4 2008, 8:16am replied:

Definitly. We will be adding more sounds.
But for your information, there are impact sounds when the ship gets hit. Also, reason why you don't hear the engine is because of the scalling we use space/infantry. I adjusted the sound DB to space, cause right now you cannot seperate them. If you would run em on infantry, the space part would be very loud. YOu would here ships from on the other side of the map. Our 1:40 scaling is causing the problem. We might be able to fix that, so you can actually hear the engines inside the hangars.

Also, we will be adding more sounds to the interrior, like enviroment sounds and atmosphere tracks. That I didn't have enough time for. It is not just making the sounds, you need to work together with the mappers. That just wasn't our priority. We needed to get the maps done and working. But this is up next!

+2 votes   reply to comment
Crispy Jun 4 2008, 2:13pm replied:

Yeah I noticed afterwards when I listened to the Modcast that this is an area you're going to be looking at next. I think you did the right thing in just focusing on the raw maps and not getting distracted by the details at this stage.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Setis Jun 4 2008, 12:41pm says:

very nice review stenchy - a very enjoyable read. I am now looking forward to playing eternal silence 3.0 even more than before :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Harimau Jun 6 2008, 6:45am says:

You know, I just wish there was more love for Aussies you know..

+1 vote     reply to comment
qdog Creator
qdog Jun 6 2008, 7:21am replied:

What do you mean?

+1 vote   reply to comment
Henley Staff
Henley Jun 6 2008, 1:18pm replied:

servers :D

+1 vote   reply to comment
compoo14 Jun 11 2008, 10:00pm says:

greatest and best mod in the world

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Released Sep 1, 2006
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