A mod that feels like its stuck in time a lot of moments.
I think at this point it's almost useless to talk about whether or not I encountered a mod when it first releases around early 2000s to 2010, mostly because the answer would always be the same in that I wasn't there when it was first released nor do I know how the reception goes for the earlier days.
I can definitely tell you of a lot of things in my mind during the whole remodding though, like where's the original TCIS if this mod was called TCIS2? Was the original a project that the author abandoned but thought of a sequel for that worked better as a mod? Was the original actually finished but never released to the public or was lost? No idea.
Let's talk about the good stuff first, as always.
There's a couple of new weapons in your arsenal, and they work alright for the most part with some hiccups. There's new enemies, some lifted from OP4, some lifted from Gunman, and they do sometimes act like how they're supposed to, with some of their attributes mixed up to change things a bit.
The slaves have 2 extra variants, the cloaked ones and the shielded ones, I don't quite know what is different about the cloaked ones aside from their glowy overlays, but the shielded ones are definitely a high class threat, repelling all bullets and melee attacks, you pretty much have to use grenades to kill them, making them a mini garg in a way.
Same thing with the shocktroopers and the gunman monsters, in that they are given some shielding properties to their skins, requiring precise aiming or some very heavy firepower to take them down without your health going down to the dumps.
The maps themselves have some good looking brushes, with good use of transparents and additives here and there, nice ceilings too at times.
The leveling up system is quite interesting, though seems a bit underdeveloped with how it seems to only affect your health.
The models used to replace the weapons are distracting however, most of the weapons are CS weapons, but their hands were not even slightly altered to fit the setting of the mod. It's kinda worse than The Real in a way, in that that mod actually tried to reskin the hands to fit the OP4 hands theme, as bad as their attempt was.
In terms of random custom content, it's like the author didn't have any proper editing software most of the time, the VOX used in Area 51 confuses itself between sounding like a male or a female even though Valve's VOX system already has sufficient VOX lines to replace the "new" ones.
Some of the models chosen for the new enemies didn't make a lot of sense as well, like the Gunman rustbots being used for the initial base areas despite looking like they belong in temples with how rusted and molded they look, it didn't help that their coding are set to attack civilians as well, which makes the initial area just plain silly in terms of logic.
There's also the HUD, the idea itself seems cool in theory, but the execution was just simply cluttered, having numbers and bars to point your health/armor but having them all over the place certainly confused me during my first playthroughs. It didn't help that the HUD elements were taken from other mods with little alterations, often confusing me due to how a certain HUD sprite could've worked in the mod it originally took from is different from how it works in this mod.
The enemies themselves can be quite frustrating themselves, damaging you significantly while you damage them barely, it doesn't help that often than not, they respawn infinitely.
Yes, you heard that right, they respawn, infinitely.
Finishing this mod was tedious, I had to conserve my ammo and run away from enemies a lot, often losing too much health and ammo in the progress. I understand that the original intent was to make the mod feel like more of a survival horror instead of a normal BM-disaster-style mod, not to mention to show what it would be like if you're truly being invaded by creatures that just won't run out, but in my opinion it just wasn't that fun.
You got yourself a portable medkit to save you from sticky situations, but of course, the execution is dodgy, mostly due to how the non-portable medkit still exist, and they share the same exact model. The portable medkit itself also has an ammo model that might confuse you whether or not you can use it separately since the model is a first aid spray with a bandage.
There's also the ammo models, separate ammo types that uses the same models (9mmclip and .45 shares, 9mmarclip and AK47 shares, 9mmbox and 762box shares), it just slowly gets on my nerves more and more the further I got.
There might be a reason for the frustration, in that this mod is actually meant to have coop, but even that execution is done poorly. For one, you apparently lose all weapons after loading a new map, which, when combined with the infinite enemies, would mean quite the grief even with a friend by your side. Thanks to the shoddy coop implementation, playing on SP means that you can't pause the game when you go to the menu.
The map design itself is trial and error galore, early on, you have to run back to a security room to disable an automated alarm that you couldn't have known to use if you weren't running around pressing everything in the short span of time you were given before you get a mission fail from the rustbots that attack the civilians.
Then you found a trap that once again would seal progress unless you look underneath the elevator shaft that once again is never hinted at unless you randomly press the elevator button out of nowhere.
Then there's this pressure puzzle where you have to turn valves only after you turn on the coolants, but of course the instructions that's put above the valve is obscured, rendering you another death with curiosity.
Then that blasted block in Egypt of all places...
I dislike the puzzles here, basically.
The story itself is also dodgy in execution, the story was supposedly starts in 2349, but the weapons and technology used in the past are 20th century stuff, which means that it would be around +300 years of alien invasion that somehow hasn't already ended in humans defeat yet. There's apparently a buried Egyptian temple underneath Nevada of all places, what is the significance of this place? There's a Gonome that's only seen twice that apparently is supposed to be important with a line saying he/she is upset that you killed their babies, but then they did nothing about it and helps the Gman at the end? And the Gman of course appears to save the day even though you barely did nothing but survive so far (no, not even a boss fight or anything, it just comes out of nowhere).
It's all over the place, I don't understand at all what is supposed to happen, it's almost like the dev ran out of time/motivation/etc and just winged it, poorly.
I'll stop ranting for now, there's quite a lot of things that I disliked about the mod, but I liked the brushes a lot, hence why I did the remod.
In the end though, I hope you enjoyed all the same.
Thanks for reading.