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Half Life 2: Raising the Bar REDUX: Division 2 Demo Release and 4th Anniversary

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Division 2 Demo Release and 4th Anniversary

Hey everyone! Following on from our most recent teaser video on the RTBR YouTube, we're pleased to announce the release of the Division 2 demo! This release coincides with the FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF RTBR! If you don't want any other spoilers then follow the download link below to get to grips with this snippet of what's coming next for RTBR!

Raising the Bar: Redux: Division 2 Demo


Otherwise, read on for an overview of what's present in the Division 2 Demo, as well as some words on the fourth year of RTBR's development!

Four Years of Bar Raising

Four years ago, I started RTBR as a fan of the original RTB mod and someone interested in the cut content of Half-Life 2. I began with high hopes and ambitions that, looking back, were always going to be difficult to meet. However, as we grew as a mod, developed the team, and weathered hardships, our ability to meet those ambitions has grown; our hopes have been met; and progress continues to increase day by day. Though this release and the next will focus on Division 2, we already almost have a full blockout for Division 3, and the first team members have been placed on Division 4 to ensure the continuation of RTBR's development journey.

It's been a long four years. It'll be longer still from here. The journey, even with this release, has still just begun. Through it all, however, we have always appreciated the community that has gathered around the mod, providing us support, feedback, and encouragement. Here's to four successful years - and however many more it takes to see this project through to completion!

Division 2 Demo: Escape from City 17

To celebrate the fourth anniversary, we are making a special release - today, a snippet of what to expect from Division 2! Whilst we'd originally been planning a release in 2021, there was just too much to do for that to happen - however, 2022 will be a busy year for us, and this kicks things off!

Before going into the demo, please bear in mind the following disclaimer:

This demo indicates a close-to-final but not yet finalised version of the first six maps of Division 2. There are still issues present, known and unknown, that will be attended to prior to the final release of Division 2. A list of known issues can be found over on our Discord server's feedback channel.

The Canals Journey

The first six maps of Division 2 are all about Gordon's exodus from City 17, escaping through the canals outside the city. First on foot against heavy odds, Gordon has an opportunity to steal a Combine airboat and take a faster route out of the city towards his goal of reaching Dr Eli Maxwell's lab.

Inner Canals

Inner Canals (Division 2 Demo)

The first map of Division 2, Inner Canals will set the stage for a very different kind of environment in Division 2 from what players will have seen in Division 1. Overgrown with Xen wildlife and teeming with dangerous lifeforms, the Combine presence here is a little more muted and focused in specific locations. The Combine's control loosens somewhat to the wildlife, in the outskirts of City 17.

Facility01

Facility01 (Division 2 Demo)

In Facility01, the player will begin to traverse through the outer wall of City 17 itself - the final barrier before the player can properly move out of the city and into the wilderness. Before then, a dam-turned-Combine-stronghold must be overcome, with the Combine present in force.

Facility02

Facility02 (Division 2 Demo)

Facility02 proves, however, that whilst fortified, the Combine are not invincible here. The dam is in disrepair and more than a few headcrabs have managed to break in and cause a mess for both the Combine - and you - to clean up.

Outercanals01

Outercanals01 (Division 2 Demo)

Now out of the city for the first time, Gordon has a brush with fortune in finding a Combine airboat to hijack, and uses it to quicken his escape from his pursuers. The chopper he staved off earlier in Division 1 rears its head again - now intent on his destruction!

Outercanals02

Outercanals02 (Division 2 Demo)

Outercanals02 is a concentrated dose of cat-and-mouse, the chopper now chasing the player at breakneck pace. APCs line the canal walls with their own ability to dampen your resolve, but not all is hopeless - for a few friendly faces are there to greet Gordon at the end.

Outercanals03

Outercanals03 (Division 2 Demo)

The final map in the demo, Outercanals03 marks Gordon's final romp and final barrier to evading his pursuers - now with a formidable weapon mounted to his vehicle. Ready for all the threats thrown at him, it's time for the ultimate showdown with the helicopter hounding him so far.

The Weapons That Carry You

The demo will introduce a new weapon to the player - the AKM - but existing weapons from Division 1 have also received some extra abilities (that will retroactively be added to Division 1) to give them far more utility in combat scenarios.

AKM

AKM Functionality (Division 2 Demo)

AKM Functionality (Division 2 Demo)


The AKM is a heavy-duty, well-worn assault rifle that shreds targets big and small. Ammo is scarce and can only be found through finding other AKMs, confiscated from rebel cells in the area. Far better at dispatching enemies at mid-range than Gordon's MP7, the player must maintain some level of trigger discipline as the AKM has a delayed firing mechanism; after the first five shots, fire rate will drop by around 20%. Going full-auto is an option in high-intensity scenarios, but those operating more calmly under pressure will get more mileage out of this tried-and-true rifle.

Pistol

Revised Pistol Functionality (Division 2 Demo)

The pistol is a weapon usually outclassed in Half-Life 2, but all weapons in RTBR's sandbox deserve personality that makes them more memorable than your usual firearms. The USP has taken a leaf out of HL1's playbook with a slower primary fire - around 225 RPM maximum, whether spam clicking the left click or holding it down - though the first 2-3 shots fired in succession are far more accurate than before, and the pistol primary fire is more accurate overall. Then, for those moments you're caught unaware, a new secondary-fire - a two-round burst that fires just shy of full-auto, with much less accuracy than the primary fire - will get you out of tight spots if you're running dry on ammo for your larger weapons.

Stunstick

Stunstick Charge-up (Division 2 Demo)

Though the stunstick benefitted from a small buff over the crowbar, its slower swing speed meant its utility beyond that was still limited. The stunstick now has a charge attack that at full charge will fry a zombie in one hit! It takes a little bobbing and weaving, but the stunstick is now a far more interesting sidegrade to the trusty crowbar.

The Foes That Obstruct You

Division 2 sees the player fighting a lot of enemies they've met before, but with a new, unheard-of feature in RTBR's sandbox for flavour as well as the introduction of two iconic new pieces of Xen wildlife, things will feel quite a bit different than before!

Female Cops


With the awesome efforts of Hosekii, our Alyx and now Femcop voice actress, we have now implemented female metropolice as a generic variant of the usual metrocop! A seemingly small feature that has a huge effect on gameplay flavour, the female variant spawns about 40% of the time when the metrocop's gender is set to random. Three hundred plus metrocop lines were re-recorded to bring that extra level of detail to the Combine forces.

Houndeyes

Houndeye Attack Radius (Division 2 Demo)


Houndeyes are the hideously cute, cutely hideous creatures so iconic to the original Half-Life, and were sorely missed in Half-Life 2. Though softer and squishier than some of the other Xen wildlife you'll come across outside of City 17, they still pose a significant threat in packs and will catch complacent players unaware.

Bullsquids

Bullsquid Action (Division 2 Demo)


The bullsquid has been significantly turned up a notch in RTBR, with increased damage, health, and speed. A new set of sounds by Amicus also give it a lot of individual flavour. This critter's here to be far more than a temporary issue - a creature that can hold its own in the unforgiving outlands.

The Things You'll See

There's a few other assets either present in this release or that will be present in the Division 1 retroactive release that will ship with the rest of Division 2's final release that we've yet to show, and so will be tying up this bow now.

Corpses

Charred Corpse Remodels (Division 2 Demo)


Charred Corpse Remodels (Division 2 Demo)


Charred Corpse Remodels (Division 2 Demo)


You've already seen Lisa's work on the previous decomposing corpse, but now she has completed remodels of all the charred corpse models, too. Peppered about Division 1, 2, and beyond, they're a fittingly gruesome view into the fate of those less fortunate than Gordon...

Ceiling Turret

Ceiling Turret (Division 2 Demo)


Ceiling Turret (Division 2 Demo)


Much of the Combine tech has already been redesigned by Val, though the ceiling turret didn't quite make it into Division 1. Now remodelled and fully realised, it's an efficient way to provide area denial and helps clean up an inconsistency in RTBR's model style.

Chopper Debris

Chopper Debris (Division 2 Demo)


Of course, the final encounter with the chopper begets Gordon's survival and the helicopter's demise. These gibs, modelled by Val who also created the helicopter, will provide a satisfying end to your nemesis throughout the canals journey!

Creature Showcase

Creature and Fauna Showcase (Division 2 Demo)


Lastly, this picture demonstrates the full range of fauna revealed in Division 2 so far. We have more in the works for other regions like the Wasteland to stand out from the surrounding areas, but this is already a considerable offering and a great peek into the Xen ecosystem.

The People You'll Meet

Of course, it's not all bad news for Gordon as he escapes from City 17!

Outercanals02 Airboat Meetup

Outercanals02 Meetup (Division 2 Demo)

Voiced by TabbyBloom, the rebel woman Rosa will guide the player to a makeshift rebel outpost, manned by a vortigaunt (voiced by Flash) and another rebel, Mike, voiced by Amicus. The three will provide a little update to the player on their journey so far, and attach the all-important airboat gun - salvaged from a Combine helicopter - to see Gordon through on the final leg of his expedition.

Next For RTBR?

From here on out, we remain focused on finishing off Division 2. Although a good chunk of the team has now moved on to Division 3 and beyond, a committed core of developers are finishing up Division 2 in preparation for a full release scheduled for later this year. Division 2 has been an immense journey, but compared to Division 1, far smoother - we've learned, developed, and tightened up as a team to greatly improve the efficiency of our development.

As we move forwards, we will be forgoing public updates up until the full release of Division 2, as although we already have content to show for Division 3, we'd like to keep people focused on the next release first. In the mean time, we will be running a developer stream on Sunday 20th February where we will play through and comment on the Division 2 demo, as well as provide a Q&A on the content present.

Lastly, before wrapping up, we're looking for the following roles on the team:

Team Roles (Division 2 Demo)


That's all for this release article! We're incredibly excited to be sharing this with you as a tease of what to expect later on this year. Thanks for reading, and we'll see you Sunday 20th!

Comments
Gordon_Susman
Gordon_Susman - - 19 comments

Congratulations on your anniversary! You just made my day with this post! Can't wait to play the demo!

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Neynh
Neynh - - 62 comments

Ho yes, this is awesome !

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Daburubareru
Daburubareru - - 738 comments

Why changing the ceiling turret? I mean the HL2 one look perfectly fine I'm not mad.
otherwise nice update tho

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 828 comments

The sentry turret, camera, and lots of other combine models have already been remodelled. It would be a bit weird to miss out just the ceiling turret and we will be remodelling more as we go on.

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Daburubareru
Daburubareru - - 738 comments

fair enough

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YaeMiko
YaeMiko - - 66 comments

Might wait on the full release of Division 2 in part due to the changes that will carry over into Division 1, but grats on reaching this milestone!

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mujo70
mujo70 - - 342 comments

le epique

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gominho
gominho - - 4 comments

Here are a list of bugs I've found and my general opinions on this chapter:

-If you turn on your flashlight while charging your stun prod, the charging sound will stop playing.
-The double fire sound from the exclude the first bullet sound, and sometimes it does not play at all.
-The cremator can burn the player from the fence to the elevator, and there's not many places to hide, since you get attacked by combines once you exit the elevator.
-From this point onward, fps drops drastically: Ibb.co
-Dev textures: Ibb.co
-Player doesn't fit through this passage: Ibb.co
-The airboat segment doesn't feel balanced in some situations. Too many enemies shooting at you at once in some areas, the fire barrels can burn the player even while inside the boat, and there are too many objects in your way while you're dodging enemies, making impossible not to bump your airboat all around.
-The final arena was very frustrating. Shooting the helicopter and combine was fine, but the apcs caught me off guard. The missiles constantly being shot at you made the fight much more difficult (I had to hide myself behind a boat to finish off the helicopter).

I enjoyed playing these maps, for the most part. Gotta give credit for the hidden supplies, the akm for the weapon roster, the new particle effects and map design. I've never felt lost nor wandered around figuring out what to do. But the boat segment really needs some balancing and optimizations.

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Kralich/David Author
Kralich/David - - 828 comments

Thanks for the detailed feedback!

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PRinceBhai
PRinceBhai - - 500 comments

Father Grigori : Better and Better.

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wildchee
wildchee - - 5 comments

Very nice progress.

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BF2all
BF2all - - 1,144 comments

Looks great!

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Guest
Guest - - 687,512 comments

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PredatorX
PredatorX - - 54 comments

Awesome-possum! :)

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