Imagine, a Hollywood producer got his hands on the game. The result would be similar to what the Cinematic Mod is: a graphics blockbuster, redesigned to the typical game to movie adaption with an orchestral soundtrack and beautiful people everywhere.
Mod stands for Modification, either it is a Single Player Story modification a Multiplayer Modification or an improvement what so ever to the original game that fills more than one category (level design, texture, sound and models).
Other wise it would be call a texture pack, map pack, model pack ect...
But to actually re-imagine, re-make and re-mix elements to give a new fresh look and feel to an already existing game is no easy task.
The models in CINEMATIC MOD are simply the best models in terms of quality and realism that there are today, with the exception of the CRYSIS games.
That one person, is actually competing with a Video Game company in terms of overall graphic quality, is simply astonishing.
You might like, or not like the actual new feel and look of CINEMATIC MOD, but either way one thing cannot be criticized, the quality of work put into this mod.
From a designer's perspective, I give it an absolute 10 !
From a gamer's perspective, I also give it a 10, simply because I personally enjoy this new feel, look and sound for Half Life 2.
I do not think it is better or worse, but simply different and fresh, to me Half Life 2 remains one of the best games ever made, but this is Cinematic Mod for Half Life 2, and it's exactly what it feels like, a Cinematic Experience.
This ought to be renamed "Fakefactory's Pornographic Mod" because that is essentially what this is. The dirty 40something year old man who made this seems to have a peculiar obsession with Alyx and Adriana Lima, as with every iteration of this mod Alyx is turned even sluttier than in the previous version, and is guaranteed to have the face of Lima to complete the sluttiness. And not only was Alyx affected, Mossman and the female citizens/rebels also were "enhanced" by Fakefactory's definition. They have all been turned into some kind of street tramps. Essentially, all of the women in this game look like they were designed by a socially awkward 14 year old with a hormone-infested mind. And the male characters don't look much better either. They all had ****** "enhancements" that make them all look extremely out of place with the Half-Life 2 universe, and some of them look completely retarded. Also, this mod adds ironsights, possibly to cater to the COD fanboys who don't turn away from HL2 the second they see it. Why don't more people realize that ironsights are cliche as **** and done to death? Basically the only redeeming value of this mod is that the mapping is very well-done, and it must have taken a while to get the maps back in working condition after decompiling them; but even then, the god awful character models in the "full experience" completely nullify anything good that this mod has to offer.
Fake Factory mod is one of few that adds more to HL2 than most mods. Everything is almost replaced, materials, weapons, sound files. Tripod sounds for the Strider, believe it or not, fit them alright. Some of the scenery look almost real and is one of those moments that you want to just stare at it. The different sound files for enemies changes gameplay alittle, hearing a sound of the tripod in the middle of the open where you have no RPG can scare the crap out of you and start to panic for a better hidding spot. Its almost to that point that if it was a movie using the Source Engine, it would be just as good, but interacting makes some things better. Able to player with enhanced models of citizens & Combine, change the weapons to new models or leave em the same. Great scenery, interesting change of sounds for a change of gameplay, and great modeling and skinning. 10/10 score for all the thought that went into this.
FF mod forgot completely their mission: Remake HL2 with new graphics.
It was doing it well on the first versions, until it started to do weird things to the maps and characters.
Now, is like if it not longer tried to be a decent mod: The ambient is now completely different from the HL2 feeling, is full of props which their placement has no sense, their characters not longer respects the original aspect (for not say the quality of some models, both ugly and terrible), music that it doesn't fit, and much more...