Station 51 is a single player mod for Half-Life 2: Episode 2. You are on the run from the Combine closing in on your outpost. Can you escape?
I was pretty impressed at the start. The mod jumps right into the action with snipers, combine, dropships, etc. No tedious learning curve, since MOD-players are experienced players. The good design puts monsters below you, under you and make them flank left and right.
After that the MOD sadly starts to decline. Before the zombie part you have to shoot the energy ball to unlock the door. There is no reason for that advanced security to be there and what makes it even more strange is that the gravity gun is on the floor right in front of it. Why not just make a regular door then? If you add gameplay elements, they need to be functional.
The placement of the zombies wasn't very good either. You just slice your way through them without any interesting fights. Also, the combine placement gets more predictable after a while. It's you versus 5 combine soldiers, then restock and do the same thing over again in a different place. There should be more variation. Let players use gameplay elements! I wanted to bring some of the surviving rebels along with me but you immediately block off all ways to do that. The same goes for the hopper mines. They can really influence the battles, but you made sure that bringing them along is a tedious job. Reward innovative players instead of punishing them for not following your predetermined paths.
Visually it's pretty well done but the design also becomes more blocky and repetitive after a while. It felt rushed to me. The ending is probably the best example: Pushing a button to blow up some device and then teleport to an unknown location. It's quite an anti-climax and it doesn't make sense. During the entire game I had no idea what my objective was.
More variation would make this MOD a lot better. Remove some of the combat phases and add puzzles, story elements and nice sequences instead. I experienced severe combat fatigue while playing this. Down-time to relax en enjoy the design is just as important as combat.
7/10 good fighting experience not without flaws, can be tedious sometimes.
Needs more unavoidable fight situations.
I mean I won most of the fights by corner ninja method - stay out of battle area if possible and shoot behind a corner. Good example is a small cabin with glass windows in a first fight - I just waited for Combine soldiers to go up a ramp and meet my buckshot into face.
Needs more calm moments in between fights.
I mean come on this non stop action is not good for HL based mod. Good example is a first hunter battle - casual players will probably ragequit at this point. Where is exploration moments?
Needs more reason in map building.
I had a feeling of playing series of rooms connected together. I discovered rebel soldiers in Combine locked area (?). I discovered gravity gun occasionally just to remove an energy barrier and later discovered there was no containment for zombies from other side at all.
You have talent for this, keep making more.
I really like the environments I got to fight in throughout the game, especially at the beginning. Wide areas with numerous avenues for attack and retreat. The mod was also legitimately challenging on hard mode. By far one of my favorite excursions into Combine land.
The mod is really good for the people who love the action of HL2, this short mod has more action then more of HL2:EP2 combined. The prop placing and detail was also great. Though, at some points the mod got very unfair, for example, when you have to open the door into the base, and the Hunters and Combine come out, I felt that was a little overkill. And also when you have to destroy the ball, the influx of guards was insane. Warning to people trying this out, set your difficulty to Normal and below, Hard is insane, and will definitely make it feel more like a grind then actual fun. All in all, pretty good mod.
I have to say a good mod in general.
Why I give it an 8/10 is because:
-Good detail in most parts of the maps
-Straight-into-the-action type, no need for tutorials
-Overall fun experience
-Repetitive gameplay, same enemies in the same kind of environment
-No story, wich makes your efforts feel useless in the end
-Lack of puzzles and/or events that take time
I personally like to see much custom content into mods, for example custom guns, vehicles, sounds etc.
Anyway, I say 8/10 and great job on this!
The 6 is mostly thanks to the level design. It was very pretty, fun, and the battles were well placed. The maps seemed to go on forever compared to most Source maps (I got about an hour of of the two maps), which is a good thing. The detail was nice, and I always felt pretty perfectly supplied, health and ammo-wise. That's mostly where it ends, unfortunately.
The mod lacked background music (or sound at all) as far as I could tell, there weren't any puzzles (just finding buttons) and the areas that the bigger battles took place in were somewhat arena-like. The finale was also the worst part of the mod in my opinion. Very anti climactic, and the areas preceding it lacked the detail that the rest of the mod did so well.
There was also no story, which was disappointing. As soon as the mod starts you get a message on a radio telling you the combine are on their way, but that's about it. This, combined with the lack of any puzzles made the game feel like an hour long shooting session.
If you're looking for a pretty, mindeless shoot 'em up, definitely give Station 51 a go. But if you're looking for something featuring puzzles and story, you'd best look elsewhere.
Station 51 falls into the same issues I have with many what I call "Citizen" mods: they just exist. There's no real change in the formula to warrant a higher rating, but the mod can exist on its own sufficiently.
Non-existent. That is a big problem I have here: at least mods like The Citizen, Precursor, and Triage tried to include story elements. What I got from this story was a brief almost uninspired message on a radio that told me to get moving. The story needs more to go from than that. There was a lot of potential to tap into, yet I felt like it missed that.
Though I found nothing heavily wrong with it, gameplay amounted to running from arena to arena and fighting off a horde of enemies or the random Hunter Chopper or two. What really got to me was that the enemies were relentless: they just kept coming. It's not that the enemies were too challenging in their behaviors, since the rooms were set up as arenas, but they never stopped. I never really had a chance to recover before being thrown into another fight. Maybe try including a puzzle or two; Source engine is superb at physics puzzles. Weapon pacing also was strange. I get a pistol at the start only a few rooms later to get a shotgun, only a few rooms later to get a Rocket Launcher, only a few rooms later to get a Gravity Gun? Slow it down! Let a curve happen, like there was in Half-Life 2 or the episodes. It's why they had it. Mapping was solid, I must say. I'd love to bring the mapper onto another mod.
Design choices and a lack of a concrete story do muddle what would have been another Citizen-style mod quite a bit. If the lead were to go back and almost touch it up a bit, adding in a concrete story with real characters and redesign a lot of the pacing in the mod, it would be a lot more solid. At the moment, it is a little shaky for someone who wants more than just a chain of arena rooms.
The environments are very well done, but with one major flaw: many of them don't seem to be/have been functional. As I progressed through the mod, I kept asking "Why is this room/space/object here? What purpose does it serve?" Still, very enjoyable and great-looking mod.