playing as a cleam suit scientist is something i've always wanted to do...and now this mod has just been graded...by me
Let's call it Half-Life Overextended. That's a reassembly, remake, re-imagining, merge and extension of Half-Life, Opposing Force and Blue Shift. Most parts of HL were widely extended while some scenes of OF and BS are literally copy pasted. It has a nice rhythm till the mid-game but when the devs out of ideas, the mod turned into an endless shoot'n'run FPS. Armed Zombie Soldiers which was a nice addition at the beginning make to the game a crawl due to being overpowered. In terms of length, this mod would rival against Deus Ex: The Nameless Mod and Unreal Tournament: Operation Na Pali. Though, I would prefer a shorter but coherent experience....
Great mod! excellent graphics, good and varied play/combat. Familiar enemies but new ones too. Kept me occupied for many hours.
One skin was messed up but found the fix on the web and did get stuck (couldn't move) a couple of times and had to kill myself
Overall, great effort, kudos to the design team
The mod begins nicely. It's like "OMG! Perfect mod!" - the level design looks nice, triggers and story are fantastic, there are monsters from OPFOR... But after a while I got frustrated:
1. Repeatative level design. Every few maps the style changes in something different, something that copies style of a chapter of HL, OPFOR or BSHIFT and it's very unusual if the style is own made.
2. Copy->paste. There are some areas looking exactly like in BHIFT and OPFOR. With no reason. For nostalgia? I got tired of them placed here and there and combined in different ways.
3. Nonsence level design - most of the maps looks nice, but there are strange things. What is the best entrance for a part of an underground complex with scientists? A vertical ladder which leads to a fenced transformators yard.
4. Nonsence puzzles. Die 10 times to figure out how you pass a "high voltage" place. Plus you get grenades first time at the same place and there are explosive barrels at some places and you think you have to use the grenades to destroy some stuff like in Surface Tenstion in HL1, but no - you just crouch and the electricity doesn't kill you.
5. Repeatative gameplay. Underground->outside->underground, zombies/islaves->marines->zombies/islaves.
6. Crashed because of lack of a model.
It has perhaps the longest (and most dangerous) training mission I've seen :D. Must have been a beta version map that wasn't used and so instead used for "training".
The mod itself is also very long. But while it has some good level design, in its first half... things start to change after you reach the pumping stations. From then on (including the surface levels) its pretty mediocre, random open couryards with some boxes fighting large groups of either headcrabs or grunts.
It gets pretty hard, which might be a good thing for some people but I found it to get pretty frustrating.
Like the introduction of a different low res Islave that can take twice as much damage, and a bigger reddish headcrab that takes alot of damage and moves faster. It seems like the mod was rigged to make it harder... so medium difficulty is actually pretty hard.
There are nitpicks to like some sections pretty much being copy pasted from Blue Shift, HL1, Opposing Force. Though I can only think of about 4 instances so that's not a big deal.
But the repeated voice acting from the previous games gets annoying, some custom voice acting would have helped this mod greatly.
It lacks a storyline or any scripted sequences so it gets stale.
The lack of a ending is the most disappointing thing about it. For such a long mod its a shame to see the creator sort of give up on it.
+ The environments really look and feel like they could be from the main game.
- Sometimes it's because they do, too big chunks of it have sometimes been copypasted into this mod. Heck, even the levels are named the same ("On A Rail") etc.
+ Variety and amount of levels
+ New details while staying true to the original style making it feel like another expansion from Half-Life
- There are some odd design choices hurting the gameplay, for instance:
· far too many dead ends, unimportant rooms and crates. It hurts the flow of the mod and after some time you get the feeling you're progressing nowhere. It is old-school in a bad sense, evoking bad memories of wandering aimlessly around in convoluted maps.
· Combining a helicopter with that bombing targeting system is an awful idea.
- Lack of any story whatsoever, at least in the levels I have played (I quit at skybox4 or something). Apparently if you take another turn and / or another elevator, you will play some very different levels which is very strange as you wouldn't want to miss anything and have to be on the lookout for any undiscovered corners - I'm not sure about you, but I don't enjoy this. I think this mod has a lack of focus and purpose.
The entire thing is excellent in combat and everything... except ON EASY (Max normal, explained later in Updated Review), there are a few areas that are complete Crap, such as the trial-and-error electrical junction "puzzle" that getting close kill you Immediately without Any warning (there is a funny easter egg here), and then Later in the game it becomes Impossible. Totally Stupid. In zk03e you are expected to kill over 10 marines with No MP5 grenades, No mines, No Health Or Energy, all while being chased by dozens of super head crabs! It is an absolute unbalanced Mess here, combining it with dozens of super-headcrab sections (which would have been awesome) and bombs that you have to just sprint through or die Instantly. Is this a hard challenge or anything? NO, because it is Impossible on Hard. Unbalanced, ridiculous, and absolutely Stupid here. The beginning levels were great with the occasional hard part, forcing the player to scrounge resources and plan their attacks, and most every area was fair overall; However, this outrageous and Infuriating section brought it down a Whole 2 points for me. Is it cool? No. Is it challenging? No. It is just a ridiculous luck-based Impossible Scenario that gives you No resources or even health in the rooms! I checked and there is Nothing in there! Kill over 10 marines that have MP5GL grenades flying at you, grenades everywhere, no heavy weapons, no health or energy anywhere, and it is just a shame that this entire level was so badly designed because if I submitted this review Without playing this level, I would have given it an 8 or 9. With this, this area is Bad. Bad balance, Bad designed, and Infuriating. What was he expecting us to play this on? Easy? Because Easy is Stupid. Hard mode is how to play Half Life, but this Entire Level just Screams "I balanced this for easy" and it is just a shame. So good Before this, and then this level.
UPDATED REVIEW: Play this on Easy, because this is what it is Clearly made for. Hard is Impossible, and completely stupid. Every level after the above listed (and really 2 before) are just Spawn-Spam Massive Battles... All Against you. The visuals are Amazing, Great level design, Great battles, great scale... but all for Easy. Hard is a trolling, constant wave of spawn-spam where it teleports 5-10 enemies On Top of you in narrow hallways, forcing you to just MP5 and Rocket Launcher spam because the Only way to survive is to just spam grenades and pray you hit your target before the next 3 enemies teleport in anywhere and everywhere. there is not enough health to survive even though there are hundreds of health on the last levels. No alliances with marines, everything just wants you dead, and everything does Huge damage so if you don't just spam the explosives, You Die. it is a ridiculous, absurd, moronic drag, Constantly dying, Constantly being cheated, trolled, and right when you think you won, guess what? 10 teleport on top of you, right next to you, all around you. PLAY ON EASY, or believe me you will be ******. I am one of the Best players in Half Life, and if I am saying this, then you are either an AI playing this and predicting everything down to the last molecule, or you are going to die Over and Over again feeling Cheated and Trolled every time. If you play on Easy, MAX Normal, then enjoy. Hard? Forget It.
UPDATED REVIEW: The game is still Not optimized for Hard and a complete Disaster for Hard-mode balancing with enemies spawning in everywhere cheating you for a death; however, the game is so FKN Awesome that I have to raise it by 1 point overall from before because it is so cool that even on Hard I was just running from a helicopter as the teams were fighting and man it was so atmospheric and I got Mad lucky (even with extreme high skill on my part) and it was just amazing the sounds and the situation and Everything. So for Hard mode 5/10 where if the game was balanced for Hard and Not Easy then man it is just great.
Last Update: after beating it on Hard, the game is Amazing.. except for that it Has No Ending (as of 1.5). It is strange that after the Entire Experience, over 8 hours or so for me or something on Hard of course, that there is no ending/escape/fight/miniboss/NOTHING. Just ends immediately and you expect a picture of trollface to pop on screen. I was going to raise to 6 because even though Hard is stupid unbalanced the game is still Amazing and one of the best out there Period; however, because the game was never finished in any way even though there were multiple deleted levels and even a secret level that All could have been used as a final escape, it sits at a solid 5/10 for me as Hard is an unbalanced disaster and there is no ending. Still, this game is worth a check out but, again, Forget Hard. Half the game on this difficulty is next to impossible and is complete trial-and-error teleport trash. I'd Definitely play this again on Normal however as it is Very high-quality overall.
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