The plot takes place in a scientific complex, which is located somewhere in the Arctic. Scientists have found a new agressive form of life in the caves. Can you leave this area?
This was a very pleasant surprise. Up until today, I had heard absolutely nothing with regards to this mod, likely due to it’s developers sticking to Russian modding sites and communities.
A very nice, solidly built series of maps with a winter theme, jam packed with classic Half-Life gameplay. The story (shown in an intro cutscene which you can skip entirely if you’re not interested) is basic. Scientists (Shown in white HEV suits) are drilling through rock in the Arctic when they bust open one frozen chamber too many and unleash frost demons… or something. The military is hastily called in to deal with the situation and then you start playing. You’re character however, is completely anonymous. I assume you are simply one of the nameless scientists as you appear to be using the white HEV, but this is never confirmed as such. Also, the military is hostile as per usual, but this is never officially explained. In fact, once the intro is over, there is absolutely no narrative or hint of a plot whatsoever, which was a bit of a shame.
There are some minor code changes in place, that actually have quite a large impact on the way you approach combat. The pistol has a slower rate of fire, smaller magazine and a nice two shot burst alternate fire. The MP5/M4 has been replaced with what looks like an FAL Rifle, with a much smaller clip size, slower rate of fire but packs a hell of a punch. The rest of the arsenal remains fairly standard.
The enemies are your classic Xen monsters, reskinned to suit the winter theme (I say reskinned, I mean greyscaled), while the grunts sport winter combat attire.
The combat on the Hard setting was very nicely balanced. I found myself scrounging for any health and ammo I could find, often running around with nothing but 25 Health and 3 pistol rounds to my name. However, while a lot of the terrain is impressive, it can cause issues where you get stuck which can make the tense firefights downright infuriating in some instances. When you’ve gotten through several battles without taking a single hit, you can feel cheated when you get stuck on seemingly nothing and take a vort blast to the face.
The lighting throughout is pretty sterile and uninteresting, until you enter the caves around the midpoint. These areas are simply gorgeous by Goldsource standards.
Overall, this is definitely worth a playthrough, so long as you’re not expecting a deep or interesting story line.
Highest Rated (5 agree) 9/10
This was a surprise release, and what a release! Gameplay was classic Half-Life, and the environments played to the strengths of the original's gameplay. All the fire-fights and ambushes were staged fantastically. The puzzles were straightforward, and not once did I get lost. The only puzzle grievance I had was the box puzzle, as it was possible to move the box far into the mines, away from where you were meant to use it. Perhaps a small ledge could stop this box from being taken away from the intended…
Nov 16 2015 by MrGnang