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.
I'm not done with this mod yet. However, I feel like I've played enough to offer a complete opinion (and I wish I had more text characters with which to give it.) This mod is incredible; incredibly made, incredibly flawed.
Made: I adore the atmosphere; so much that I can scarcely quantify my adoration with an explanation. I adore how eeriely uncanny and plausible the vast vistas of desolation and future decay feels. I adore how it bravely wears its politics on its sleeve without actually shoving it in your face, a masterstroke of subtlety. Nothing feels grafted into this world, a world where the machinations of progress itself feel grafted onto every aspect of human life, and often for the worse. I adore this sense of danger and mystery you've so deftly crafted; words cannot describe how I felt, walking onto a ruined street and being genuinely fearful for what lay ahead, from the strange and terrifying things I would face to the sheer dessication the path ahead promised. I adore how unique this has been.
Flawed: The story is practically nonexistent and, when it's there, shockingly opaque. C-zom has more eloquently summed up my misgivings. Strangely, I don't really care, although this mod is in painful, desperate need of subtitles. I don't understand half of what any of the characters say. The shooter sequences are staggeringly inefficient and clumsy (dealing with the Combine-stand ins was almost never fun. Those robots, though? Golden. Amazing. Terrifying.) I feel like I have to do a puzzle every five seconds, for all the obstacles and obtuse paths you shove in our way. Again, that last point is not always a bad thing; I enjoy having to think on my feet. Sometimes.
Any other mod would receive at least a 7 for the above flaws, if it were a normal HL2 mod. But this is not normal: it's something special, horrifying, and ultimately unique, and for that it deserves a 9. Well done.
I joined up with ModDB for the express purpose of rating this mod.
Excellent, most excellent!
It still needs a little work, a few more encounters with different types of creature - a few bugs here and there.
But overall this is one of the best mods you are likely to find out there, for this or any other game!
People who didn't play to the end are missing out. The last couple of maps are really epic. A good mix of action, as well as the conclusion of the story.
Watching the main character's power grow to its conclusion is just amazing, and satisfying.
You should really be proud of yourself for this, as far as dystopian scenery and in-game atmosphere goes, you might as well have written the book. The environs live and breathe an atmosphere of oppression, desolation, and past calamity. They are fully engaging, and many times I've caught myself being distracted from the game by how much depth and detail was put into the world you've created. I only wish the gameplay matched how great this mod looks.
For the majority of the levels, it feels like you did either very little playtesting, or simply wanted it to be confusing. There were many parts where I was impeded because I missed something obvious that you placed far too inconspicuously. Another issue of note is the player characters weapon animations. The hammers animation is awful, it looks like instead of hitting with it, you just recoil with the hammer; it makes no sense at all. The psychic powers are a nice plot device, but ultimately feel largely underwhelming, as I always seemed to favor the usage of firearms every time. The plot was also hard to follow in some parts, and really left me direly wanting to know what was going on, and you need some goddamn subtitles. Seriously, your characters are really hard to hear.
In conclusion, this mod feels like you have your image in mind, but you forgot everyone else doesn't. The world you've created is just fantastic, a real joy to behold; but from the standpoint of the player, it's confusing, hard to navigate, and it's seldom clear where you're going. Both in terms of the plot, and in the level itself. Ultimately though, with a little bit of gumption and some tolerance, any player can tough through the rough patches in your mod, and hopefully enjoy all the work you put in.
While Gameplay wise it suffers from a lot of flaws the mayor strenght of this mod lies on its ambiance and artwork. It brought to me something that I have not experienced in a long time while playing videogames and that is "wonder". Keep up the good work.
G-String came out over a year ago, and I started playing right when it launched and it was one of the most infuriating mods I've ever played. It often hurts to play, your eyes strain, your head starts to hurt as you try and find a way through these brush-based maps with strange models that I never figured out were terrible or just okay. Alot of maps just say no to general game design about making it obvious where to go, and you find yourself doing trick jumps to see if thats where you're supposed to go.
But this says 9/10 for a reason. This game gets personal for those who've played it. Myo becomes this character you legitimately care about, leading her through these dangerous areas against awful odds because its the only way forward. The art style gives this oppressive feeling, this heavy atmosphere thats unparalleled in any game I could think of, it goes beyond a good setting, this world of metal and sorrow and plastic breathes despite the somewhat blocky mapping, but mod cant get above a 6/10 if the gameplay sucks, but G-String managed to surprise me here. This goes beyond just a nice setting and a good protagonist, this is interesting, oldschool and somehow unique and revolutionary gameplay. The combat is hl2 + a slowdown mechanic with fireballs (Now that sounds awesome but I forgot I had it for 90% of the game so whatever.) so the combat works. the enemy numbers and spawns and ranges all work, youll find yourself overwhelmed sometimes, and some really hard parts, but that spices the game up and its nice to have punishing areas spread out, as opposed to a whole game like that.
I have to say though, the crown on this game is the aforementioned mapping. These maps may not be super realistic (as I said before it's almost all brushes) but the atmosphere and textures and layout fit together so well, it transcends maps and turns into a world, its impossible to explain. You well get lost, you will be mad at maps, but it works because it fits perfectly.
This is a special mod, made by a special person. Superb mapping, challenging gameplay, fitting music, realized world with a unique atmosphere reminiscent of Akira, Bladerunner, Star Wars and it has some references to other sci-fi's like THX (buy more, be free),
Soylent Green (pollution), V for Vendetta (revolution storyline),
Deus Ex (cybernetic augmentation), Akira (special individuals awaken to psychic powers). Very long 10+ hours with a storyline that draws you not just for immersion but to think about humanity/morality and gives us the most epic finale I've ever seen in a game.
I can't give this justice enough, you'll just have to play it.
Its not without its issues, books have some weird physics and you get some jerky movement over debris & other objects, crouch speed is way to slow and the pyrokinesis doesn't seem to do anything (wish you could set people on fire). Some areas are nonsensical like having to jump down into crater ledge with no way up, crawl around into a bit of exposed pipe that you didn't know would be there that by miracle is not caved in... I wouldn't go there :/ No one would.
No crosshairs makes combat really awkward, anyone can look down the sights of a gun, thats the first thing you learn. The crosshair symbolizes this without restricting our vision to much. Some people complain about the black bars, personally I think it fits cutscenes and not so much the general gameplay.
The only flaw in this game is that there seems to be no instructions that would be necessary in certain parts. I wouldn't know to paddle across that toxic water on wooden board without jumping in dieing a few times and straight up guessing. However this game was a great experience and you should be praised for your efforts. Probably the best mapping I have seen in a source mod.
Brief Summary: A Truly underrated masterpiece, one of the most unique mods that deserves more attention, even with its flaws.
+ Excellent visuals and backgrounds, strangely reminiscent of Half-Life 2 Beta style and art design or Deus Ex's cyber-augmentation
+ Strong sound design and fitting musical accompaniment
+ Dark and very atmospheric story, satisfying from beginning to end
+ Very Impressive length: took +15 hours on Hard personally
+ Those weird dream-like sequences, very immersive and well done
+ Challenging Gameplay
+ Original steam-punk style weapons/enemies design
+ Plenty of "jump-skill" platforms and puzzles to spice up the shooting parts
+ Unique abilities are an excellent addition to the gameplay (Slow-Mo/Fire Spell/Telekinesis)
+/- Numerous bugs and glitches, but none are game-breaking
+/- The voice-acting is OK, but very hard to understand most of the time due to sound quality/background noises or ambient music, making it difficult to follow the story or know where or what to do on rare occasions
- Level orientation is the biggest flaw of this mod, it's extremely easy to get lost while trying to find your way out of an area, making you do platforming that you would except to normally use to glitch out of a map in any other game, but it's strangely the way to move to the next level here
- Below average Gameplay balance: challenge is a good thing in any game, unless it excepts the player to accomplish the impossible in unfair ways: aimbot-type laser turrets you need to avoid or destroy with unlimited range in outside areas to groups of mass enemies with 2-3 hit kill shotguns at medium range inside closed-space environments forces you to quicksave/quickload often. (Be aware this playthrough was done on Hard Difficulty)
- Weak Pathfinding AI with "Robot Enemies"
- Props/Decorations are oddly placed and will often block you or force you to maneuver awkwardly to get out
Personal Recommendations: It's hard for me to give G String a perfect rating for some of the problems mentionned above, if the gameplay was tweaked a little more and some tips/guidance was given on some hard to navigate levels and the AI improved, it would have been better in all aspects. The addition of optional dialog Sub-Titles would have helped greatly too.
Conclusion: A very solid and well deserved 9/10 for an underrated mod created (mostly) by a single person which dedicated 5 years of effort to give us a very lengthy, unique and atmospheric mod on the gorgeous Source Engine. You have my support and encouragements for the upcoming final version and don't let my 9/10 rating slow you down! Keep up the good work!