Water is a third person puzzle solving adventure type of game with an unique look and gameplay. It's a story about a mermaid, and fish men who aren't fish men. A story that brings you into tears and fears. It's about fish people, harp instruments, swimming, and crazy priests.
Beautiful piece of art. Art style, from the vibrant colors of the underwater regions to the bleakness of the city to even the small, papercraft looking cutscenes, is amazing. Player models have the same stylized feel. Gameplay is fluid (hahaha, I funny). It takes the Source engine where I haven't seen it go in a long while: the realm of creativity.
Even if I haven't finished it yet, nothing can block this mod's way to the perfect score, because it's just a DIVINE piece of work : a total conversion, a peaceful game, with jokes and his own style, great story and subplots, exciting gameplay, amazing use of the Source Engine (only 295 Mb... REALLY??? A different dev' team would have done a 5 Gb thing...), well... This is going in the sky with diamonds, a serious challenger to the MOTY 2011!!! Thank you, Bortolino and HLSS Team!! You brought me to my knees!
If you think you've seen everything in Source mod's...
BEGIN TO DOUBT.
It's funny, it's inventive, there are fights, jokes, creativity everywhere... It could have been retail, hell... There is nothing wrong about this mod, nothing. Now I'm nearly more waiting for a Water 2 than a Human Error 2, LOL.
Thanks to Au-Heppa and his team, and Marcello Bortolino for their amazing, professional, job, I hpe this will get you a job with Valve or any other great developer :)
At first i was like "Ah, again some art house mod, going to be pretentious and boring as always". Boy I was wrong!
The most exciting adventure game since "The Longest Journey". And I don't like adventures at all!
The art style is wisely done and atmospheric. You can clearly say - Water is belong to water, pardon the pun. Then she's outside every color is desaturated - dry land is an alien world to her. Even more - she's flying like a dolphin under water and she's completely helpless on a dry land. Brilliant achievement in immersion! I even got a 'horror feeling' with growing tension at one part because I was outside water too long.
The puzzles is not overcomplicated and most important thing - they are interesting and sometimes hilarious to solve. There's nothing you can't handle. At the same time they utilizes Water's unique abilities at max. I won't spoil anything to you but couple of puzzles made me LMAO like a madman.
And the specific sense of humor of course. The reason for Water's quest alone is enough to make you grin like a Joker. Not to mention further jokes.
So far the mod is polished as it was a retail game. At least I was not experienced any technical problems. The only thing I want to see or more exactly to hear is a full voice over. It will add even more charm into this piece of gamedesign art. I'm not counting the intro, it was... uh... not very inspiring.
So download it and play it, it will take only 2 hours at max, but you will enjoy every second of it!
Well Water definitely is one of the best mods for Half-Life 2 up to date. Not only does it have lots of new content and a very well done atmosphere, but also some good humor and a lot of very clever puzzles.
It is a rather short mod though, with around 2+ hours worth of gameplay, it could certainly be expanded upon. (A fight against AIR perhaps?)
+ It has no major bugs (I couldn't encounter any)
+ New models (With animations)
+ Its own soundtracks (And well done, too!)
+ Well done puzzles, easy to understand and varied, so they don't become boring
+ A nice art style
+ Varied gameplay, there is combat, exploring and puzzling in fitting succession
- A bit more (ingame) explanation on combat mechanics would be nice (But isn't necessary)
- The conversations could have been fully voiced, I don't think it would have threatened the style the mod is meant to have
Water is truly a fresh breath amongst the huge bunch of typical Source Engine mods.
This mod simply has nothing at all to do with Half Life 2. It is so well designed that you'll only think "Ahh yes, this is the source engine" once or twice during the mod, so it could just as well have been a stand alone game. Calling it a mod is simply wrong, "game" is a more fitting term.
The game takes on a cool approach. Water, that is usually avoided in games, is now the only valid path for you. The player will experience all kinds of neat tricks that fit into this thinking, making the game feel really well planned and thought through before being made.
Water will show you a few new ways of interacting, using the source engine in ways I've never seen before. This is all great, and these new ways of interaction enables Water to challenge the player with some great puzzles. The puzzles require a bit more thinking than the typical game today, but still do not feel annoyingly difficult.
Graphics vise Water is a work of art. Through clever coloring the world above the water is grey and dead, but seen through water it's still beautiful. Tricks like these show that the good old source engine can still surprise players even though it might be somewhat outdated.
Of course the mod has some minor flaws. The story is great, but I found it somewhat strange, and not really helpful in solving any of the puzzles. A few times you might get stuck in a puzzle because of some glitch, but since the mod was just released I guess this is how things are.
Even with these flaws I couldn't get myself to rate this with only 9. Water is truly a 10/10 compared to other mods out there.
This is exactly the kind of quality and and standard people should think of and look for in a mod, everything is just perfect. Completely unique and creative, I'm not sure I can play any other mods - everything after this is just a big letdown.
I will say Water's shoulder kind of disturbs me when she's playing the harp, but that's not too big of a deal.
I want more games about mermaids now.
I also demand a sequel.