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.
Visually stunning with fantastic anamorphic lense flare effects found in games such as Battlefield 4 as well as a dark ambience evoking a STALKER like feel. Most of the male and combine models are great as are the weapon models. It also runs at 100fps + on my I5 3470 650GTX TI 8gb pc and also loads much faster then most mods of this size found in other games. The mod is also very easy to install and has several customizable features, such as Enabling the orchestral score that this mod has to offer or disabling Sweet.
The only reason I do not rate this a full 10/10 are a few bugbears I have, which include:
1) Altering the core gameplay (I.e: Movement speed, Slower Crowbar and a realistic sprint animation). I feel these detract from the fast paced nature of Half life 2 and serve only as a hindrance other then anything else.
2) (THESE ARE OPTIONAL) The female HD models, especially Alex Vance look like a bunch of barbie doll latino prostitutes out of an Anime.While the actual work on the models is fantastic, they are a jarring contrast to the dystopian world the author has conceived. Also The Pulse rifle is just an MP5 with a holo sight on it.
3) There are a few minor bugs such as blood not appearing, obstructions caused from alterations in the level and the occasional texture glitch.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this to any HL2 fan regardless of these grievances as they are probably fixable with some sort of cfg file, and the HD Models are optional anyway.
(Notes: This mod is enormousness, 9.6gb compressed 36.8gb uncompressed, but given the ridiculous texture quality, I would say its well worth it)
The high definition props and NPC models detail amount is amazing.
Effects like lens flare and bloom make things look cool.
Head shots actually instant kill, which adds realism.
NPC models and some other settings can be changed or set to Valve's default, and you have different model choices.
This is just a well worked on modification overall, and the people who don't see the point in having an HD mod can just stay away.
Superb mod. Tremendous work done regarding details, re-texture and gameplay. Adds a dark/realistic feeling to the game. It is a pleasure to the eye. Although bloom effects might be exaggerated, especially outdoors, there a lot of tweaking options to choose from to get the perfect image. Been playing the whole HL2 saga for 40 hours, feeling that first time playing HL2 sensation, congratulations to the staff for such a fine accomplishment. With the exception of a few bugs which were easy to fix...it has been a very sweet melancholic ride ;) Keep up the good work !