A Hard single player episode for Half-Life. Don't give up. 39 total maps.
Special Thanks: PlanetHalfLife www.planethalflife.com Half-Life Editing Resource Center halflife.gamedesign.net Handy Vandal's Almanac www.karljones.com/halflife/almanac.asp Prefabland www.nin64.com/prefabland Gamedesign.net Prefabs prefabs.gamedesign.net/ The Wall www.thewall.de/
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This is exactly what I personally would want most HL mods to be, ah if only others took more notice of this one. True to its name its tough. Some parts I went a good 15 minutes on 5hp, other times half an hour with being consisently under 50hp. The mod really doesn't like giving out health or even batteries much, it makes the assumption that you are a veteran of FPS or atleast Half-life in particular. That to me is what makes HL shine more so than it has in the past. In theory this kind of gameplay might not suit some, as it punishes you down the line for each mistake you make, gradually picking your health down. But its this that makes each section feel tense. Usually when mods just hand you health/energy its like a "reset" of your progress, you feel you can take hits without a care in the world, just aslong you as live by the end. That has never felt satisfying. Here each encounter feels like it matters. And it never feels unfair (except maybe two unintipicateable death traps, but its a quick second or two to reload and easily avoid it), enemies and positioned as to try to take you by surprise in many instances (that speaks more of good level design than anything else) without using cheap teleportation (enemies appearing without giving you time for cover) that other mods use over and over again.
I can think of instances where my friendly NPC's where much more helpful than would be otherwise with dispensing me morphine (you know when you activate them when you have less than 50hp) which you have to take advantage of here for that crucial bit of survivability.
The closest part to unfair was perhaps towards the end where the enemy using a turret bombards your tram with missiles, that was tough to hide from, and perhaps one section where I took on 2 assassins with 5hp and nothing but 3 grenades and a pistol. That took some skillful maneuvering to take them out but boy was it a fight of my life.
Apart from a high difficulty curve that stays high almost consistently, this mod has alot more things going for it. For one its very long, 2 hours or more assuming you save often. And the scripting is fantastic. Many sequences where a "friend" tries to take you out with a clever devised trap, you can with some guesswork or speed, can overcome. One part has a scientist throw a soda can at a bullsquid that was charging towards me... I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before in a HL mod and it adds so much. Something so simple gave this mod a feeling of being grounded in it. Like you are really in the thick of it and made the experience all the more memorable. It seems like a small thing but it adds much. Varied level design & instances of nice set pieces, and some sequences like a secret buttons and opening furniture to reveal hidden passage way made for quite special moment.
I thought about this for awhile and yes there are things that bring the experience down, it has a rail section which I never like. It wasn't particularly long so thankgod for that. The tram ride (think beginning of HL) was fairly good and the first time I've seen it used in a prolonged action sequence but it still felt a little slow like the on-a-rail part. But at the end of the day this is just me wondering what could have been done better than close to perfection. Its in my top list. I can see some finding it to hard but for me it was perfect, some may find the story not resolving itself as disappointing but thats what the sequel is for :)