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.