You are Gordon Freeman... It was a normal working day. Scattered Xen aliens were hiding even in the rear corners of the Black Mesa research facility. It slowly return normality in everyday work. The old not been destroyed buildings have been modernized slowly. You return from a normal disposal order, as in parts of the institution the power goes out. Power generators to keep running on the main equipment and and your mission is to restore the energy supply. On the half way you notice more and more Xen returnes to Black Mesa and the military is back ... Uncover a new, exciting plot in the Half-Life universe!
Ok so here we have nice maps, cool basic story and acceptable combat scenarios all over the place, so is a nice medium lenght mod.
I liked the interesting mysterious g-man sightings, and some of those were quite good planed.
In the bad points I think a big WTF moment is about the music, a heavy metal super hardcore stuff is just not quite appropiate for a hl1 mod, i’d love to hear something electronic or anything different from that heavy metal concert definitely!
About the episode 2, I'd say it improved a lot the original and previous Ep1. The whole mapping design was improved and now it doesn't feel quite boxy, and a lot of work were put into the "open" areas, which makes you feel you're definitely inside Black Mesa.
The combat was also enhanced in this current ep2, and always was intense and kind of hard both against xenians and grunts, the mounted gun part was just lovely to play. But the med kits supplies were very, very scarce and that just sucks as battles are hard and can turn down your health points very quickly.
The story is developed into the mod and that's a nice detail, though I honestly have to say that voice cast is horrible and it doesn't feel very realistic. Also another thing that I dislike it was the end, it was very lame, and almost absurd you never see it came and literally ends up in a boring hallway so I hope an ep3 could expand the story and gameplay a little bit more.
A great mod and i defenitly recommend to play this to anyone who's looking for an addition to the HL1 universe and is looking for a bit more challenge.
Conclusion an 8.
+ Leveldesign, Music, Voice acting, Playtime, Scenes
- Missing some finishing touches, Some bugs
< Story >
There is a story going on and youre guided through a voice that tells you to search for certain area's and do specific stuff. this way you get an idea of what is going on around you.
< Leveldesign >
There was a significant difference in leveldesign between episode 1 and 2. In episode 1 the maps were overall great however the finishing touch was missing here. For example: HOM holes, doors that weren't correctly opening or closing, floating objects. some area's werent really fitting in the whole picture because of certain transitions in maps. Loading points were sometimes placed inconvenient. In episode 2 this was done alot better and also the overal design and level detail improved alot. there was still the possibility for the player to get stuck because of doors not re-opening or certain mechanisms only operating once. The area's that were supposed to make the player stare in awe really did so.
< Playing experience >
This mod wasn't easy to play because there were some spots with lots of enemies but i liked the variation of enemies and level of difficulty. Alot of creative scenes with enemies were passing by and youre not the only target there. These really give you the feeling of being in the middle of almost constant fighting wich wanted me to survive at all costs.
Its not only the fightings that were good, also the puzzels and challenges were pretty hard sometimes. Alot of area's were inviting you to discover and you can expect rewards when doing so.
< Other additions >
Music and voice acting are implemented in a good way.
I this case the voice acting was like a guide for the player to know what he is currently searching for or going to. I think voice acting can add a great deal to the feel of having a purpose when playing the game. This was certainly done well.
This mod could have been so much better! The demo was pleasing, so why must the full mod itself be so mediocre? I found the maps to be boring, dark, and just uninspiring. Sorry but this mod gets a 5/10. The level design was a good idea, but it could have been executed in a better way.
Sorry, just 6 / 10. I think constructive criticism:
1) Most of the maps are optimized badly: placed in a large box, to avoid leaks.
2) hard difficulty in the shootings (in this game with a great slaughter of the enemies were never interested).
3) Uncomfortable places for changelevels (stuck in the wall more than once)
4) Annoying voice. Voice acting is repeated at the beginning of the level.
At the moment, there is a lot to improve on.
While the levels are much better detailed, paced and scripted then the last version, there are many problems with the mod.
For starters, the number of enemies are overwhelming. Not to mention the ammo and medkit placements are nearly nonexistent. These problems make the mod VERY difficult even on easy settings for veteran players.
There's a lot of potential here, and I hope the next release amps up the number of ammo and medkit placements.
I felt alot of the areas where very organic, although most of them are open areas which contribute greatly to the common criticism of this mod being to ‘blocky’. I did feel some areas where a little to bare and apart from some game breaking glitches (like the stuck in wall syndrome with 2 of the level transitions and some other bugs), it was a largely average mod.
There wasn’t much challenge which could be solved with just a few more grunts… there weren’t any surprises with a dead easy fight with a gargantua (probably the easiest I’ve seen in any mod).
There is a noticeable lack of detail to each area which along with occasional blockiness is a shame considering I like the general areas you go through (like the dam part which I’ve never seen in a mod before).
It feels like I or we are expecting something great to come from new mods, where expecting most people to treat half-life as a starting ground for modding but that doesn’t give modders an excuse to release something without first learning from the great mods already available. I mean yes you learn from feedback but can’t up coming modders play a few good mods first? Or even learn something from Half-Life itself?… It’s one of the best games out there for a reason, not just for having a friendly map creator.
Episode 2 suffers from some of the previous problems but overall a much better project. There are assets disappearing because the maps have been badly optimised, but there are lots of new textures, songs, and overall more levels than before.
The mapping ranges from either really nice and interesting to boring and blocky, and some of the areas are way to big and i could just glock snipe the enermies which isnt to fun. Scripted seqences were really well done. On one level the draw distance was set to default so that the level would draw as i ran this doesnt look to good and brings down an other wise really nice map. The mod didnt seem like it was tested all that much which could of been really helpful. over all though i did have fun enermy encounters were fun and ammo and health placement was just right. 8/10 :D
P.S the end fight was excellent :)
Great mod - a story that's slowly developing and will get continued in Episode2 & great mapping what could we ask more for?
The levels are decent and there are several NPC scripts and surprises waiting for the player..
A mod well worth playing.