Set in both the heart and outside of City 17, "The Citizen Returns" contains the final chapters of our citizen's story, as well as an updated version of Part II. The story takes place shortly after a failed assassination attempt on Dr. Breen leads to the first ever use of the Overwatch Broadcast system by The Resistance, represented by former garage owner Larry Soderstrom. The Combine forces decide to capture him and try to use his public repentance and execution as a means to appease the emergent rebellion. The Citizens of City 17 however have other ideas in mind. Larry is now a symbol for the rebellion and a key asset in a bigger plot to deal a fatal blow to the Combine and its grip on humankind...
I really enjoyed this mod, and it's a great example of good design overall. In particular, I like the small details put into this mod that makes it stand out in a positively quirky and memorable light.
The character of Larry will be a staple of this mod as the no-nonsense yet laid-back leader of a good majority of the mod. I highly recommend playing the first The Citizen first before playing this just so you can get Larry's full character.
This mod also serves as an interesting example of choices and consequences, where the player has more than one possible choice with particular situations, and the fact that NPCs react to certain things that the player does makes the consequences all the more enjoyable. Much like Random Quest from the same author, some sections of this have replay value and it's worth making a couple manual saves here and there to try all sorts of different paths.
That aside, the combat is a little sparse at points. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but most times there's not even enough time for the combat music to even play when it's suddenly halted due to lack of more enemies.
Puzzle design isn't particularly strong either as even the most challenging puzzle is hard due to physics issues than the actual puzzle being difficult. Others have complained about getting stuck at parts. I found it to be too easy, honestly.
Despite the large arsenal the player gets, I wouldn't consider this a run and gun mod. It's better than that, but it's not as focused on making large combat scenes as it is on character scenes.
Although the repackaged Part II of The Citizen was fun, this part falls quite short to its predecessor.
The voice acting was okay. The lead voice actors weren't that good in my opinion, and my favorite voice actors ended up voicing side characters, which is a real shame in my opinion.
The gameplay was very fun... in the beginning. Later on, it felt like it was cutscene after cutscene after find this with no actions find that with no action. It completely just goes downhill in the end, leading up to an unsatisfying ending that I got to kill.. I don't know, nine enemies in the last half-hour-ish of the game? I wanted /way/ more action in the end, to really make it a "final blow to the combine and its grip on humankind."
The story was good. I felt like that the final blow to humankind was a good way, it made complete sense. From the ending though, it sounds like it's during the ending of Half-Life 2, which in my opinion doesn't make too much sense (this could be argued that the water plant would also supply other Cities, in that case it's okay, but for now it just doesn't make too much sense.) Also I saw the ending from a mile away, and those who've completed it may know what I mean.
All-in-all, it was mediocre. It really blew it when the ending wasn't what I hoped it would be. If the ending was better, I'd definitely boost it up to an eight, but right now, it just drops short.
This was my first long review, so I may have missed key points, but hey, I tried.
This is a great work, a long episode with story and variety. Loved the amount and quality of voice actors and general NPC scripting, while it felt amateur it yet managed to be quite good and added lot of fun without relying on cheap tricks. Some maps were difficult to navigate, some design and gameplay choices questionable. But all in all the effort paid off. Found most of the staircases horribly vertical and some quests a bit annoying. Couldn´t save the guy at the plaza, i chosed to be undercover but I didnt know what to do. I remember some guy telling me instructions but I forgot about them past getting the combine suit.
This was very visually impressive, the gameplay did seem more difficult than most most gameplay mods mainly because of a lack of HEV suit (therefore armor/batteries) but you fight with team mates for a fair bit in the beginning, and then when your on your on its quite tame for how much resistance you come up against. The mod clearly plays it safe difficulty wise, especially towards the end. The first third of the mod IMO is decent difficulty wise, but then it starts to feel a bit to complacent. Even the "horror level" ends up feeling to playing it safe when the superhuman zombie ends up walking around like its taking a casual stroll and not really interested in fighting :D
The story is pretty much what you expected if you've played the first, just a bunch of fluff that doesn't amount to anything. You win and all you have to say for it is the voice acting was unmemorable/uninteresting. If this is a revamped version of Citizen II than that one must have been even shorter/get disappointing faster.
This Citizen is definitely closer to what the first should have been, ie difficult fight, where only unity with the other resistance members can lead to victory, but it still ended up feeling way to flat during 2nd and 3rd parts and forgettable outside of the visuals.
Put simply, this is the best Half Life 2 Modification I have ever played. I greatly enjoyed the story, and I loved many of the characters. Six years later, I can keep coming back to the first part and starting from the beginning. This mod will get old, but it sure as hell won't get boring. My recommendation? Stop reading the damn reviews, and download it.
The mod did a fantastic job at using all the elements needed to make a successful game. While the voice acting wasn't exactly at it's best in expression and a real feel; it was made up by very deep character stories and backgrounds, reminding us that Half-Life 2 isn't the only story and that there's a whole breathing world out there with personal stories and deaths. The mod also did a fantastic job at designing the maps and choosing the correct audio to represent it in a way that actually fit into the current scenario.
Awesome job and and a well thought out story. Larry's voice was his personality, uniquely laid back. He sounded as if he was in control of his emotions. All the voice acting was as polished as could be.
It made me look up everyone's previous work and download that. Well done people!