"It's as must-play as an HL2 mod gets" - Research and Development has received a glowing review from Rock, Paper, Shotgun!

Posted by Varsity on Jul 20th, 2009

PC gaming super-blog Rock, Paper, Shotgun loves R&D! In a new review Alec Meer praises the mod as "a seismic shift" away from the norm, telling readers that it is "as must-play as an HL2 mod gets":

R&D’s hook is that it’s essentially non-combative. Yep – you go without guns throughout (bar the ol’ Gravity jobbie, but hey, that’s more about construction than destruction here). Sure, you can tell an Antlion to claw someone to death or arrange to squash men with falling girders, but you’re definitely not Edward Pistolhands. It’s an environmental adventure game, taking the irregular physics and logic puzzles seen in HL2 itself and turning them into the game itself. Mazes, gravity, exploding microwaves and fire-retardant antlion carapaces all make an appearance – it’s very much a point’n’click adventure in an FPS engine.

If you still haven't played Research and Development, which requires Episode Two, download it now!

Update: Destructoid also has a very positive review.

Post comment Comments
Ennui Jul 20 2009 says:

Congratulations, getting an RPS post is an honor not bestowed upon many Source mods. R&D most definitely deserves it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Armageddon104 Jul 20 2009 says:

Great mod!

+2 votes     reply to comment
-=117=- Jul 20 2009 buried:


If I could play it without Episode 2, I could enjoy it.

Thanks for restricting it from me.

-25 votes     reply to comment
treat Jul 20 2009 replied:

If you don't own episode 2 by now, there's absolutely no sympathy.

Here's hoping you get a call from VALVe sooner than later, Matt.

+10 votes     reply to comment
FedoraMcQuaid Jul 21 2009 replied:

I don't have episode 2 installed due to lack of space so, it sort of restricts me too.

-2 votes     reply to comment
Dr_Nick Jul 21 2009 replied:

Well then install it. It's not a restriction if you own it.

@117: What treat said is true, if you don't own Episode 2 already, you're missing out on more than just a few mods. It's been two years, spend $20 and get the entire OB.

+7 votes     reply to comment
Eglaerinion Jul 21 2009 replied:

I'm sure there is some porn you could live without. Especially for a good cause like this.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Varsity Author
Varsity Jul 21 2009 replied:

Really? I guess we know now who has a monthly subscription to cunningstunts.com!

+3 votes   reply to comment
KorJax Jul 21 2009 says:

Excellent mod, I agree. Simply put it's the best SP mod I've played since MINERVA, and there's not even any real combat!

The creative puzzle design is just great, the attention to detail is fantastic too.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Cirdain Jul 21 2009 says:

The destructoid.com/indie-nation-research-and-development-140336.phtml#ext article is much better than the RPS article.

You better be hired by Valve. The minerva guy had and made some unique designs and models, but your mod is ****** fantastic.

+2 votes     reply to comment
KonichiSakai Jul 21 2009 says:

Congrats on the great review. And obviously, a great mod!

+1 vote     reply to comment
borna911 Jul 21 2009 says:

Can i play this without Ep II but With orangebox source SDK. I had Ep II on another steam acc but it got hacked D: D: ,But I still have the orangebox SDK

+1 vote     reply to comment
Jokerme Jul 21 2009 replied:

I don't think so.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Corrode Jul 21 2009 replied:

If it got hacked you can easily get it back by contacting Steam, so yeah, as Jokerme said, I don't think so.

+1 vote     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jul 21 2009 says:

Grats on getting such a sweet review :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
UnknownTarget Jul 21 2009 says:

Frigging awesome, studio quality mod. Get it now.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FJS Jul 21 2009 says:

I'm downloading your mod right now =)

+2 votes     reply to comment
spellman23 Jul 21 2009 says:


I played it before the review and knew you guys were in for greatness.

+1 vote     reply to comment
awesomepossum Jul 21 2009 says:

Awesome job, Congrats!

+1 vote     reply to comment
DuckSauce Jul 21 2009 says:

From what I gathered so far from both here and the interview.. this is done by just Matt Bortolino, so why to people keep saying: guys! it's only one :D give him the credit he earned by making this awesome mod by himself!

+3 votes     reply to comment
criverbulldog Jul 21 2009 says:

Would have happily paid 10 dollars for this one. Great work. Besides the fact that I beat it by accident, amazing and new. Loved the "gel" scenes especially.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Kyogreex Jul 21 2009 says:

Your mod has the same kind of innovation that made Portal the hit that it was.

If Valve doesn't hire you, I'm sure somebody would.

+1 vote     reply to comment
johnnoz Jul 21 2009 says:

Amazing mod, no real surprises that it got a great write up :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
weasle Jul 21 2009 says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
Hazelnut Aug 9 2009 says:

Excellent mod, gave me several hours of fun. I think levels 1-3 were more enjoyable than the later levels TBH. Not many games have me laughing most times I die, but this one did several times. I wonder how long this mod took to make?

Plaudits to the author, and I look forward to playing more great stuff from you soon!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Chaosed0 Nov 3 2009 says:

My God. What a ride. Such an incredible mod you (whoever you are) have got here. Extremely well done. I love it.
Now then, next challenge is a sequel? I'm not so sure, but if you think you can make it bigger and better, then do it. Some things, such as portal, I don't believe need sequels, but if you can do it...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Cirdain Dec 21 2009 says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
the_new_easy Dec 22 2009 says:

This mod makes me think someone got the Incredible Machine and Banjo-Kazooie Nuts and Bolts to make a baby with the Source engine, but it's incredibly inventive in its own ways. The trials get more and more crazy and insane and humorous as the game goes on. And at the same time it has an interesting visual design and level layouts.
Most importantly it manages to stand out from Half-Life 2, which isn't easy to do.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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