A few hours after Adrian Shephard and his squat got scattered allover the Black Mesa Complex, headquarter sent a rescue team to search the lost crew.
**THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS, READ AT OWN RISK!**
I'm going to do a completely honest review of this mod.
Right off the bat I want to say that it is obvious that a heck of a lot of thought and care has been put in to this mod. The aesthetics show this.
Quite frankly, this is some of the best mapping I have see quality-wise on the GoldSRC Engine. Albeit dated, it plays like a dream.
The scenes such as the alien arm breaking through an entire lab and through a door were simply spectacular!
But unfortunately, the mod is spoilt quite badly by a few flaws.
First of all, I feel some of the areas didn't really feel "Black Mesa'ey" such as the Laboratories made of rusty metal, and the entire sewer scene, including the areas made of brick.
These tunnels reminded me more of an SCP horror game as opposed to an underground research facility.
The other MAJOR issue I have with this mod is that it just really isn't fun to play...
I spent 90 percent of my time figuring out what I did wrong, where to find the keycards, and why I do a half an hour journey, just to find I have to re-assess all the things I did to find the right item.
The part that ****** me off the most has to be the sewers, I felt I was punished for not being smart enough for going in to the pipe where the note was with the numbers on. It was not made obvious enough; I accidentally missed it and ripped my hair out for half an hour trying to figure out why I couldn't progress forward.
Overall it is a damn nice looking MOD, but it just doesn't feel like Half-Life to me. It needs less ambiguous puzzles, and more shoot-em-up style scenes. I felt I wasn't really in a research complex any more.
I recommend you give it a play through, but don't expect it to be in the same style as other Half-Life 1 modifications.
That's my opinion on this mod.
The mod is Ok, but not really good in my opinion.
First, i dont understand why this mod was created only for the WON-Version without a hint on this page. Doesn't the author want everyone can play the mod easily? So downloaders have to be creative.
The downloaded file contains the mod in a very untidey folder. The reason is, the creater use much content from Opfor/TFC/BS which isn't illigal, but there are many unused files (textures for examples). My first impression all seems to be dilettante and lumped together.
After starting the mod i was impressed. The first minutes i thought, ok maybe he is unorgenised but he knows to create maps. But this impression didn't stay long. The maps are very detailed and there are some really nice "special effects" and scripted events. However for me the leveldesign is overdone for a HL mod and particularly for a mod who should be part of the HL universe. The engine wasn't created for so many details and r_speeds over 1000wpolys. Few scenes do not even look like many polygons, but "the computer says no" they are there. Besides, too many 1-units-brushes and brushed objects with unsuitable textures are looking ridiculous. Custom textures (or models) are a way to create a believable, detailed and aestethic environment with the GoldSrc-Engine and not 1mil-brushbased objects.
Instead of tinkering detailed bolts and handrails to put old washy texture on them after all, the creater should have used the time to find the many bugs andglitches and to eliminate flaws of the gameplay and gameflow. The player gets stucked in buttons, walls or other objects (which although are very detailed). Short after a levelchange is a locked door or another levelchange. Or the player don't know what he has to do. Is it necessary? There are many more things.
At least the mod has potential. Many people will enjoy this mod, if they get it to run. For geeks like me its a short pastime with some highlights, BUT it doesn't feel like HL/OPFOR/BS/Decay
Allright, just finished it :)
WOW, what a wonderfull Mod.... i really really enjoyed the mod and it had a lot of nice ideas and somehow a fresh unique look.
I cant really say that i found something that i really dislike , mostly normal hl1 bugs like elevator stuck or not moving scientists :D
Some buttons were so small i didnt saw them on the first time.
Too the "Cards" are super small :) maybe add a sprite so you can see them =)
The Rock you need to shoot, i nearly started to cheat there cause i havent saw it... :/
But in the last moment i saw him ^^
Yeah the Outro was pretty funny :D
Damn that must take hours :D
Okay plz give us info if you do another mod or extra maps :D ?
<3 10 / 10 and a new FAVORITE HL1 Mod, even if the mod is small in Gameplaytime :)
Great mod, definitely one of the best mods for HL!
- Very interesting background story!
- Excellent mapping and scripting!
- Some exciting epic scenes and places!
- Black Mesa feeling all the way!
- Good voice acting!
- Quite long gameplay (30 maps with puzzles / missions)!
- Some areas are almost empty, with very episodic enemies; and not so many monsters at all...
- No helping teammates for battles...
- Very poor weapons' using - only 6 of 20 OF weapons are avaliable...
- Soundtrack is used only in the beginning and in the final scene / credits...
I think one of the major gripes I had with this mod is that it relies too much on puzzles as a gameplay element, which isn't a problem in and of itself - but Half-Life was designed as an action game with some simple puzzles thrown in, and for "adventure-style" puzzles like those in this mod to work properly, they need to be done well. Unfortunately many of the puzzles are quite obtuse - for instance I didn't realize that the security guard at one point was preventing me from picking up the key card, and I just happened to press the fire alarm afterwards to "lure" him down - I didn't realize this was what you were supposed to do until after reading it on this page.
Another issue is that due to the puzzle nature of the mod, there is alot of backtracking - and the problem here is that there are many long, slow elevator rides between sections. This is annoying in and of itself, but even more so when you need to use them multiple times. I must admit I noclipped a couple of times. Maybe some simple staircases would have worked better.
On a positive note, and something this mod really did great - many of the setpieces are fantastic - my favorite being the train ride near the end, albeit silly and unrealistic, it was quite entertaining, and made up for the tedious puzzle-heavy section leading up to it.
The mapping, detail-wise, is quite good, although I think there is a bit too much use of tiny brush-details - some custom textures/models might have worked wonders.
Unfortunately I often had a feeling of being on a "carnival", going from one ride (i.e setpiece) to the next - I didn't feel any real sense of place or purpose, and certainly not of Black Mesa (the bricked sections, for instance, felt quite out of place). Also I think some more action inbetween (with more weapons available) could have been a good idea.
Little space left, so bugs: got a powerful pc but still got fps drops in the test chamber; got stuck on geometry/objects numerous times; cyclers spurt blood
This is a mod that somehow manages to do what few mods have, make HL look unique and interesting even after so much time of its existence. This mod borrows some RPG aspets of item hunting that make logical sense, essentially mini-puzzles that we get to do occasionally.
+Challenging, few ammo & weapons but
+Voice acting great at times, merely average at other times.
+Storyline, a new take on the events after HL. With a logically starting point.
+Level design is terrific, reminiscent of HL yet manages to have areas that look completely different texture wise yet maintain a claustrophobic and detailed architecture.
+Some item hunting, fits well into HL & is logical.
+Moral choice, you are forced to break the rules the security guards enforce... in order to progress. Which means there's more than one time where you might have to murder a innocent person.
-Some parts slow down the pacing a bit to much like the elevator riding sequences