You play in the role of Captain Percy Freeman, a Special Forces officer who is assigned the task of tracking down and assassinating the renegade Colonel Kurtz. Things take a turn for the worse when, having set off on your mission, the higher-ups in the chain of command mysteriously decide that they want you dead, while you discover to your horror that someone has been breeding an inhuman master-race of hideous undead mutants which is now rampaging across the jungle slaughtering everything in its path. Stuck between the Viet-Cong, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the hordes of mindless zombies, with only your sidekick Barney for company and your trusty chainsaw for a weapon, your one remaining hope is to keep going deeper and deeper into enemy territory, wading through the bodies of the fallen, towards the elusive Kurtz...
This is a great mod. The gameplay is fun and the improved squad system is awesome. This horror-themed mod has a lot to offer if you prefer gameplay over graphics, and to be honest I actually enjoy the goldsrc look. The character skins are pretty well done and the voice acting is decent. But despite the gameplay being fun, it is also _VERY_, perhaps too, challenging at times. There were also a lot of times where I had a hard time trying to figure out where the hell I'm supposed to go. The player's companion throughout the mod is useful, but he does get annoying after a while when you hear him constantly babble about cold beer and "bammy-bam fun time" every 5 minutes. There also seems to be some stereotyping going on when you talk to the civilians. But get past all these negative things and you got yourself a very good mod. I'm giving it an 8.
I'm seeing a lot of complaining about how this port doesn't include fancy new models and textures and essentially just adds ragdoll physics and better follow AI. Let me give you some history and explain why, in my opinion, that's all this port really needed!
HOE was the original proof-of-concept for the idea of "episodic gaming". It was released originally for HL1 in 6 parts, each unleashed upon the internet separately as they were completed. With each new release, we would get a new episode as well as improvements on the previously released ones. It was a fascinating system as we got to see the mod get finished step-by-step, watching it morph from a standard HL mod with some new resources to a true total conversion.
That said, there's some things that we who followed it from the very beginning feel a connection to that are going to be lost to gamers who just stumbled upon the finished product recently. For one, the game always had a hilarious self-referential sense of humor about its place-holder models. Though it might seem like childish racism now, putting a rice hat on a HL scientist and having him shout "HELLO ROUND EYE!" so he would pass as a Vietnamese villager was ******* hysterical for those who realized it was a jab at the developer's half-assed style.
In-jokes like this stayed around right up until the end of development giving the mod much of its personality; in other words, making the models more realistic and polishing things up for this port would have been missing the point entirely! I have to applaud the developer's of HOE:Source for staying true to the heart and soul of the original. The new scripted events, cutscenes, and enemy behavior tweaks added here all either keep with the mod's original sense of humor or end up being welcome additions.
My only nitpicks are the occasional scripted event breaking (only happened to me once) and the pistol being made WAY too powerful (seriously, that **** is a canon now). Otherwise, awesome work!
Absolutely adored this! This is awesome! I loved the advanced physics, ragdoll effects,somewhat tweaked weapons in First Person. I also loved the Vehicle and Huey designs, made it awesome. Especially when you get to ride in the truck with Barney. Being able to see your squad members,ragdoll's and the included extra missions, Alamo and Village! (I love those two.) This is just totally awesome, and think you should play this right now!