Lambda Wars (formerly Half-Life 2: Wars) brings the struggle between the human resistance and their Combine overlords to a multiplayer real-time strategy setting. The Lambda Wars beta only requires Alien Swarm installed to play. It features 3 multiplayer game modes: Sandbox, Annihilation and Overrun, showcasing the Rebels and Combine playable factions and a full-fledged RTS interface and HUD. There is also a singleplayer tutorial and a handful of singleplayer missions.
Long time ago I wanted to play this mod but it required EP2 and I couldn't be bothered to buy it just for one mod. So here is my review now:
Lambda Wars turns the HL2 into something completely and terribly new, an fully fledged RTS game and it does it just right. There are plenty of maps for a starter, the SP part of the mod is dead, there's only 1 functional SP map that is more of a test than a mission and there's 1 map named "sp_radio" that appears to be heavily unfinished. The gameplay is solid apart from some bugs and spelling mistakes. Both the Combine Overwatch forces and the general rebels factions and well done but IMO are too much artifically balanced. The Combine recieves all the hardware and manpower it did in the SP story of Half-Life 2. You have the infamous Metropolice aswell as the Strider combat vehicles. Overall nearly all of the units are taken from the game and redone in the RTS fashion. The structures looks are solid and believeable especially the rebels.
What bothers me is how Lambda Wars somewhat fails to grip the story, the functions and the purpose of the war featured in HL2. The Combine ground forces are named "Combine Occupation Force" which is kind of silly. "Combine Overwatch" would be a lot better in their terminology. Metropolice and incorrectly labeled as light infantry even though the unit description states before they are volunteer police-like units. Light infantry is something different if you are looking at through the military eyes. The texts in the game could have more drama and the Combine could be portrayed as more souless and defiant as it was in HL2. Overall, this is a solid RTS mod that is somewhat stale is the background story. I wish the Combine APC would appear later on perhaps as a transport vehicle, if possible.
Looking forward to the next update and hoping they will be a taunting feature so a player could play some iconic Overwatch PA sounds during matches.