2011 release renamed to: G STRING BETA. The Dec. 19 2011 release is now referred to as a beta release- read the mod's "news" to see why. Download the beta in the mod's "downloads" section.
At first let me tell you that I review the 1.0 version here.
This mod is one single masterpiece. It takes a place now in my hall of fame hl2 mod list in my head, I wish I could give it a 10, I really wish, but sadly there are some flaws which makes it impossible todo so for me.
The good things:
This mod does have a straight out amazing atmosphere. Everything fits, the level design is impressive to revolutioning. You walk over house roofs then down to the canals to get back into a house to cross the ravine over a broken vent shaft, myo where are you taking me next?! The level design is one of the best, not only does the level designer understand how make linear ways look everything else than linear, she also understands to make the world around realistic, there are often just empty rooms whith nothing in it, and that is great. Also there is a lot of detailed work, you can see stuff lying around everywhere, and every passage looks yet different than the one before. The textures, soundtrack and sounds are also extremely well done and together with the level design it makes places really 'feel' like being real.
Every level designer out there could watch this and pretty sure learn a thing or too from it, simply fantastic.
The fights are okay, ranging from easy to hard to frustratign, but overall they nearly never seem to be unfair and you ever fight accross a great variation of combat areas.
The story is okay but could have told better, sometimes it is hard to understand the (great) voice actors and to follow the story, you often forget what you are actually doing there.
The bad thing:
The few bugs are not really the problem, but the problem is the sometimes pretty unlogic ways and some extremely unlogic situations.
You often have no goddamn clue of where to walk on, I only made it from habing hundreds of hours experience with such mods. And often you die without knowing what happened, my favourite are the flower pots which crush on your head and instantly kill you.
This mod is obviously a labor of love and a gargantuan effort for one person to undertake. It's also one of the best single player mods I've ever played.
I truly enjoyed the visual appearance and cityscape that this person crafted.
Like others have said, while the level conception is brilliant, the level design can be lacking. The fact that the developer has to point out how to pass the first level in the game in the game description says it all. (Why would anyone put a keycard on the outside ledge of a window?) I wouldn't be able to pass most levels without the walkthrough posted on YouTube.
I got so frustrated last night that I uninstalled the game. Today I'm going to reinstall because I want to see all the levels and experience the game.
+ Amazing level visualization and conception
+ Amazing effort by a single person
+ Voice acting, however little of it there may be
+ Interesting story
- "Widescreen" view presentation (black bars on top and bottom of screen seem to be there for effect, but don't add anything)
- Level design needs work. Difficult to find the path to the next level, and when I find a path, it seems like I'm cheating the game or doing something that wasn't allowed
- Bad collision detection in some parts. Inconsistent destructibility of boarded up things, windows, etc. Couldn't walk through a door that I opened one time
- "Not sure I can fix the fireball usage related crash"
- "Glare" effect makes some areas unviewable
* Story and message are, in my opinion, highly farfetched and paranoid. However, this is often how SciFi is used as a tool to scare/remind us to prevent going down a foolish path.
* The game could have gone without so much offensive language. Half Life 2 was just as eery and didn't need to say "****" and "bitch" and "****" constantly.
SUGGESTION TO THE DEVELOPER:
There are plenty of competent people out there that loved this game and I would highly recommend enlisting some help in ironing out issues
This review is of version 1.0 as-is.
+ Partially excellent voice acting
+ A LOT of new content
+ Mostly good music
+ Mostly great atmosphere
+ Mostly good mapping, very fitting maps and very atmospheric
+ Interesting moral choice(s) to make
+ New, creative "enemies": You deal with more than your typical soldier or monster in this game: often the environment itself is hazardous
+ A big interesting story, questioning our morality
+ There is a good mix of fighting, puzzles and "relaxing" moments
+ There are some very challenging, yet fun combat areas with fitting music
- Partially very robotic/emotionless voice acting
- It is difficult to hear people talk (Their audio files are too quiet in comparison to the game sounds)
- There are some areas where the music feels slightly out of place
- Sometimes "blocky" mapping, lacking detail in some areas
- There are some rooms/areas which seem somewhat pointless, as they are often entirely empty
- There are too few hints to help the player find his way, sometimes I even thought there was no solution, or it was hidden too well
- There is a lot of inconsistency in enemy behavior
- Difficult start: No real hints on how to use the powers correctly (despite them being essential to survival early game)
- No iron sights or crosshair: This makes using firearms difficult
- VERY often there are objects in the way of movement, doors and books on the floor tend to block movement entirely and jumping barely helps (making them not collide with the player would have helped a great deal. I was busy looking at the floor, trying to navigate around objects more than I could focus on the great atmosphere and vistas)
- The "smoke-vision" effect you get from throwing fireballs is very blinding
- The sound for rockets is VERY annoying
- Linear leveldesign
- A bit nit-picky: The animation for the hammer looks a bit awkward (swinging it from below)
I wish I had more characters allowed so I could give more details..
This is truly one of the greatest mods I have ever played. The only thing really holding it back for me is the level design. Most of the time, your objectives are really unclear, which for the most part works to the games favor because it promotes exploration. But there are points in the game where not having any sort of hints or indication of where you're supposed to go becomes frustrating. Everything else from the aesthetic design to the atmosphere (my god, what atmosphere) to the amount of content is superb. Can't wait for v2.
I have a love/hate issue with this mod. I love the fact that is a distopian future total conversion of the Half Life game and unlike many other mods It doesn't look or feel like Half Life at all. The creator of this mod made sure to give the player a completely different experience and I really appreciate that. The art direction and style is perfect and some instance of the game really make you appreciate the job done. Due to the intricate map the game can become extremely frustrating most of the time since you just don't know where to go and there isn't anything that guides to the next map. I think this could easily be fixed by re arranging some parts of the map or making some hidden arrows or notes on the wall made of blood or graffiti to help the player get through. Something as simple as this could really make a difference for this mod. Hopefully the developer consider this possibility. I'll patiently wait for a newer fixed version before downloading again. And to be honest, I can't wait.
Absolutely astonishing atmosphere and level-design.
The whole feeling of the mod is what I expected from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. but it wasn't there...
- collision control
- sometimes the wayfinding is too strange and unexpected (although it still works for atmosphere)
- quirky objects destruction and path-reveal scripts
Maybe you should do some animations for sticking through concrete and metal debris and thus the collision will be OK!
+ everything else!
Guys who are not OK with no crosshair... no offense but you're too lazy to dive into atmosphere. The story is about a human of great power... but still human lost in all the damn scary and dying megalithic city. Imagine lovecraftian hero with a minigun or BFG... Strange, isn't it?
As the huge fan of bio/cyberpunk, Tsutomu Nihei, Tatsuyuiki Tanaka and Team Silent — I deeply enjoy this mod.
All cyberpunk fans: strongly recommended.
Under a suspicious name which looks like it was chosen to get some undeserved attention we find very complex Half-Life 2 mod.
The design, the atmosphere, everything is totally new, all textures and models were also replaced. You will visit a lot of various places.
The gameplay contains very challenging environmental puzzles, where we have to carefully explore the place to find a way to advance. They are all solveable, just require some time to think.
The battles were made more challenging due to lack of armor and silent grenades without lights. Some battles were so hard that I had to resort to taking medkits from the console, and entering the console before I die was challenging.
Having all weapons under one button is a strange design decision: that's not convenient (maybe the author is a big fan of mouse wheel?). Also, it would be great to have options to turn off film grain and black bars. And subtitles would help a lot.
The weapon models are new, but the reload animations show the author's limited skills: the weapon goes down, and then back up with full clip. Thankfully, the author came up with some nice ideas which are possible to realise even with her limited skills, so some reload animations are pleasing to look at.
The police/crowd control acts very similar to combine from HL2, but there are also new enemies: funny robots "nanny", which are usually found in the mud for some reason, there are also non-android dangerous robots.
Some encounters with resistance members made me happy: warm colours, pleasing song plays. It's really a great idea to make them this way.
The odd ending leaves too many questions: what was real and what was not?
Overall, this is a big release worth playing, top-notch mod. An adventure in the city that you've never seen before. Maybe you will enjoy this new atmosphere a lot, maybe you'll be unable to understand and feel it, but nevertheless, this is a big event in Half-Life 2 modding history and I recommend to try this mod.
This is a very good mod that you should try and play. The mapping is kind of confusing, when ever I would be looking for the way to the next thing I would think where can a I go that doesn't look like I'm suppose to be going and might break the game and nine times out of ten I would be right. The story is very interesting and the world itself has this very lived in feel. The animations for things like the hammer are really bad it doesn't look like your swinging a hammer at all (to me at least). As for the gameplay its fairly standard HL2 mod gameplay with a nice slow time and fireball ability open to the player at the beginning of the game.
All and all this is a mod that you should at least try to play it.
PS. the first key card is out the window it took me about half an hour to find it and the only reason I looked out the window is because I was hitting everything that could break and noticed that there was a ledge out the window