Dissolution is a science fiction, single-player mod for Half-Life 2 that mixes adventure and action game-play. Set in the year 2089, in a universe dominated by a mega corporate entity, Xterrier, the player awakes in a hidden lab to the voice of the mysterious Wilson. Guided by Wilson, the player must make their way through the ravaged Xterrier 581c colony, making use of any and all resources they can get their hands on in order to survive, all the while attempting to piece together the events leading to the colony's collapse and their own identity.
This review may contain spoilers
Dissolution drops you into a catastrophically-failed Exterrier colony on Gliese 581c. You're dead - kind of. You're greeted over the radio by a nervous scientist named Wilson. He guides you through the colony, helping you by opening doors and giving you instructions. You follow his orders, given no other option.
The story of Dissolution is fantastic. The introductory sequence is a bit lengthy, discouraging those ready to jump in the action, but it fleshes out the history of Exterrier and WHY you're where you are - something surprisingly lacking in most mods.
Once you get on your feet and start exploring the colony, one of the first thing you'll realize is the stunning voice acting. However, this contrasts with the low quality of the weapons, maps, and sounds.
Weapons are very low-quality and unnatural in both appearance and gunplay. The pistol, for example, takes nearly an entire clip to kill a single enemy, while the shotgun can wipe through three with a single shot.
Mapping is simple yet charming. Repetitive locked doors and hunt-the-key style gameplay doesn't add to the tunnels. On the bright side, the maps are non-linear, allowing you to move around and find secret audio logs scattered around the levels. These audio logs give some insight into the player character's mystery, and how the Exterrier 581c colony collapsed, adding a nice touch of immersion and history to the already-excellent story.
Despite the mediocre gameplay, low-quality models, and basic mapping, the mod still manages to shine simply through voice acting and story. Dissolution truly shows that, in essence, graphics don't matter if the game has a good story.
Highest Rated (6 agree) 9/10
The architecture hearkens back to the days of the original Quake. However, this is offset by including a great deal of dynamic lighting, awesome sound and music, and some tough action sequences. The whole thing feels inspired by Bioshock or (to a lesser degree) Dead Space. I truly enjoyed the horror elements and the unique new enemy to fight (not spoiled here). I think the horror elements could have been greatly expanded upon; if only the mapping had been more unique and expansive, the mod team…
Feb 6 2011 by zonbie