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My review (It's a bit long) on Radar 56, Dark Factory and Seizure of Power. - Review by Otter.

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September 4, 2010
Three mods came out of nowhere totally unexpected, and boy they should have stayed where they came from: in Binocl's head.

These three mods are: Dark factory Moddb.com , Radar 56 Moddb.com and Seizure of Power Moddb.com .
Also they have three things in common:
- No effort was putted into them in terms of mapping, story, etc.
- Unfair
- Doesn't worth your time

But lets take them piece by piece and I tell why they are bad. And not in a "So bad it's good" way...

Radar 56

I start with this one because it's the shortest.

From the mod's description that is probably translated with Google Translator or Babelfish (doesn't really matter anyway) like the rest of the mods:
"At the nearby residents City-21 came into effect psy-rays. Rebel forces have managed to figure out what is one of the experiments Alliance and the place is to install a radar, emitting psi-wave.
On the sweep area sent Gordon Freeman with the support of the rebels."

Okay, what the hell?
Let's try to decode that: So what I get is that you play as Gordon Freeman (How original) trying to destroy a radar dish that was planted in City 21 by the Alliance (Combine?) for Dog knows what reason. Apparently Gordon Freeman is psy-ray proof, because he just got in there, killed everyone, came out.

radar

...from a secret Psy-wave radar, some might guess it would be guarded more heavily.


Storyline: You wake up in some random crash site in a dark garage for no apparent reason.

You go out to the cold and badly mapped winter city and find some rebels who tell you something in Russian. Yeah, this mod has voice acting! Russian voice acting (In-game voice set to English of course) and absolutely no subtitles (I mean I guess it's Russian, because Binocl is Russian according to his profile). Unique way to encourage the learning of languages I can tell. So after I clearly known what to do (NOT!) I get into an Airboat (Snow boat?) and go into something that looks like a map-end deathtrap rather then the part where you have to go.

The ride took around half a minute because the Airboat isn't allowed to go up on the end of the snow-ramp, but I realized this on the 10th try. Bad design! At least they would have putted some rock there or other blockage where only a human can pass through. Then I found the end of the world

I found a "why the hell is this thing here in the middle of nowhere" trainstation, some more Russian rebels with voice problems.
radar
(Okay, I don't want to make fun of this. Rebels with microphone cracking sounds after they finish there speech is must be a serious real life infection.)

Then begin the battle I expected that I had to fight a stupid unfair battle with 2 (or 3?) Hunters with only that SMG you can see in the screenshots. -_- I managed to beat them with my stupid rebel friends dead, just to... HOLY SHEET (of paper) DID THAT TRAIN JUST POPPED OUT OF THIN AIR?
Okay, okay. It wasn't THAT dramatic, but thanks to the "end of the world" effect it seemed like that.
After taking what was like the most shortest ride of in-game train ride history I went into Radar 56 with only one rebel "support" who died at the gates from a grenade. Geez Binocl, thank you for taking the "genius" rebels from Strider Mountain and putting them inside this mod. I really missed them. What a great resistance.
Now that is where things got stupid. An average person would have no idea how to finish this mod after killing the guards in there, but luckly the author told it on the mods comment page (That's a bad omen) but because of his lack of English skills I had still no idea what he meant and I ran out of grenades. (You need to blow up something with grenades)
radar
There are 10 computers there, you have 5 grenades if your lucky. Good luck Gordon!

So sv_cheats 1; Impulse 101; Noclip, etc. etc. Found it (It's two similar control panels from Kleiners lab I think, in the end of the dark room near the closed door) then went out and the mod is finished. Gordon turned into a Rebel, YAY! The psy-wave actually had a mutation effect on him...

All in all: Bad mapping, bad gameplay, stupid, short (That is actually a good thing if I think about it), unfair (lack of medkits), horrible voice acting, no subtitles and the most horrible is that you don't know what to do at the end of the map and you can screw it pretty easily (No grenades, but maybe it works with bullets/melee too, didn't tested it)

Dark Factory

This one is the first one I tried. I might mention here the epic intro movie of these mods. A bunch of screenshots taken from Stalker with the protagonist using the binocular in third-person (One even has the HUD visible) This is really promising. Unfortunately they can't be cut off, so I had to use "-novid" to start these mods.

Description of the mod in translated English again:
"Alliance captured the factory, located outside the city City 17. In the rebel groups too few resources to risk, and the factory goes to Gordon Freeman disconnect one of the reactors, without which the resources of the plant become useless Alliance. Neither myself nor the people ©"

It's more understandable. Problem? What the heck does the combine do at the factory? What is it used for?
Anyway...

Storyline:
We start of in a dark room, wander out, try to find a way (Bad design and mapping again) You go up some stairs only to get surprised by some Combine soldiers jumping from the roof. Great! How fair. They even pop out of the wall with shotguns.
factory
The key elements of good gameplay

Who the hell supposed to know about these expect the developer? And the lack of medkits make everything even harder. I had to used extreme ninja skills and Leeroy Jenkins moves to survive somehow. Did I mention this mod is not a tactical shooter and I also hate using SMG for sniping?

There where some boring parts here I won't like to bother you with. Some short-distance airboating, more combine, fantastic landscapes that you could feel you are almost there.
factory
Eyecandy!

After some lame helicopter fight the door opens you to the factory? I really couldn't tell if that was the factory or not. I go down the lift
Hey... this place somehow seems familiar. Haven't I have been here before?

"Remember me?"

Oh yeah! Mini Black mesa. GENIUS. This part in the picture above was really funny also, because it was so easy to trick out (Bad scripting or whatever) You throw some grenades inside the toilets where the 2 Zombine hides, go inside the "HEV room remake", press the button and run out before the forcefield become active (Don't care about the "dead-but-script-will-bring-it-back-alive" zombine in there, he is indestructible, a so good and creative gameplay element. Sadly not the only time it happens) Ready your RPG for the spawning combine, and after you dispatch them the once dead zombine will rise and open the forcefields.

Here are some other creative and well mapped parts of the facility:
factory
The Blast pit (It's a rocket you have to launch to... somewhere)
factory factory
On a Rail (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *gasp* HAHAHAHAHAHAHA-Haaaaaaa)
factory
Lambda Core

What the freak do those Black Mesa Source guys want anyway? They have been ninja'd by this mod!

Some fighting and one pointless G-man encounter later I find myself on the surface again. Well this probably was the factory, but I didn't blow up any reactors that's for sure. Actually where the hell did I shoot that rocket anyway?

What remains of Binocl's house

Then I took a short car ride. Seriously, what is the point of these 30 second driving periods. It doesn't make the mod any better. Also if you drive along strait and don't realize that you needed to turn right (and how could you?) you run out of the map, because you can drive through an invisible wall with the car, but not go through on foot (Bad scripting... again)
factory
So you fight this helicopter there, go around the blocks, the combine block your way. Elite soldiers coming. Hey, what the hell... they are invincible. Why can't I shoot them? THEY ARE KILLING ME, WHY CAN'T I SHOOT THEM?
Ohhhh, because the map suppose to end here... I get it. That's why the screen turns black. LOGIC!

You wake up on the previous level next to the entrance of little Black Mesa. Some rebels saved you, I mean ONE Russian Rebel.
factory
I would likely to think less of rescue and more of rape.

He can actually walk through wired fences a bit later. Ouch, that's gotta hurt... (More of a glitch then a superpower really.)
If you are Russian, you could probably understand what he says (with the microphone noise clearly heard...again), but I couldn't care less. He opened the gate, I could go through.
Also you could go inside little Black Mesa again (Bad scripting) but you will be stuck in the elevator forever (unless you quick load or use noclip) so I don't recommend doing that.

Finally I could blow up the reactor later. After about 1 hour searching with fewer health then an alcoholic with cancer and HIV and 400 curse words later I found that the exit was obviously the lack of Combine force field up here on this big broken bridge. Okay, it was partly my own fault, but still bad design in my opinion, because you see I already passed that part of the level when I was looking for the generator. How the hell did I know that the cables will lead back to this part of the level?
factory
After that it was a big relief that the mod ended after that last little fight on top of the bridge. The ending made no sense whatsoever, but I was glad it was over.
factory
Actual screenshot of the mod's ending in the mod's image gallery. Gordon's quest to sit down on the edge of the world behind that fence.

All in all: Horrible, Horrible, HORRIBLE! Ugly, unfair, bad, made no sense. And Black mesa mini? Seriously? ... -_-

Seizure of Power


The best for the last.
Don't get me wrong, it's a bad mod, you are the one who will get a seizure from it. But from all three I would recommend this. It's so stupidly hilarious that it can actually be "So bad it's good"
I tell you why.

But first the official failscription:
"Gordon Freeman with Alix sent to one of the captured rebel forces bases on Mars. In an alarming post Eli at The Citadel-17 "- the local stronghold of the Alliance - open teleport through which teleports reinforced by Strider, attack, and other superior enemy forces. Freeman to penetrate there and cut down the reactor to teach more than was the Alliance ... Do not look for meaning where there is no © "

"Do not look for meaning where there is no"... Ihhhh, should be a warning sign.

Also for some reason the main menu background is a picture of Saturn (or a Saturn like planet). Since when did Saturn became Mars? "Do not look for meaning where there is no" - Oh yeah...

Storyline:
Wow, we actually have an intro here people. A helicopter we arrive with. Where do we come from or where we fetched that ride from the Combine? Who knows... Conspiracy theory time!
by_tkn
And *gasp* Mars has breathable air. Thank you combine overlords. You don't breath oxygen, but you made us able to, on another planet we don't actually used before. You are sure cool dudes.
So after we land we meet with some antlions (Like D'uh. First thing the Combine will do to plant the creatures they hate on other planets too.) They cannot come to the ground probably because of the hard surface of Mars or whatever.

Above: New attacking strategy.

They let us and Alyx - who we arrive with - into the base. (Oh sorry, I meant "Alix" at least according to the mod's summary.) Don't ask me how the hell did that base get there, who built it, for what reason, etc. This is a mod remember? Mod's doesn't need to make sense (according to some people who constantly question my criticism rights)
We meet Zombie Eli (because he is alive) and this is where the hilarity starts.

Just listen to there voices. I dare you not to at least smile:
Eli: Zshare.net
Alix: Zshare.net
(If they deleted the download links after 60 days I sincerely apologize, but the mod is still probably downloadable here on moddb)
(Also they have 5 voice samples named "Niggah" [not Eli]. No, I'm not making this up)
So we find out they are working on some teleporter back to earth - behind a secret door (Where else?).
sop
Hope that's not a big spoiler for you

So we need to go first and destroy a strider invasion with the help of some incompetent rebels (again) and ALIX who comes up to the roof, but doesn't do sh*t. Thanks Girl!
sop
INVASION!

After beating them ALIX and the rebels are so happy that they jump up and down on the elevator/lift.

Okay, you can stop that now...

F*CKING STOP THAT NOW SERIOUSLY!

Make sure she doesn't get stuck in the elevator/lift or you are screwed and the mod won't progress if I am correct, but you can try or use cheats.
We now need to go through a passage to the Combine complex and destroy there reactor to stop there invasion. First Eli trys to open it, but it doesn't open. I thought the game was stuck, reloaded it a few times, but the I realized that a Vortiguant pal will come and blast it open. -_- I won't even tell bad design now (Opps, too late)
After we get out to a Mars train station the screen darkens again, which means new level. An epic train ride with a train battle. (You can hide from the Combine actually pretty well)
sop
Eli, are you sure we are not on Arrakis?

Gone through the base, die in an de-materialiser or whatever it is. Quick load. Going the other way. Fight some more. Find core, jump down, hack computer (push big red button on them) Explosion? Maybe?

But the map becomes dark, I'm back on the base and the Combine was actually smarter then the rebels, because they attacked when I was away. Clever move. But they are no match for me, I quickly dispatch them half an hour later with my more useful rebel group. Then Eli calls you in the secret lab and you teleport back to the Black Mesa East lab which is magically reconstructed after the HL2 attack. The rest of the rebels on Mars? Who cares? Mod's over.

All in all: "Uhhh.... Erhhhh... So tacky! Can't look directly at it."
Still horrible, but there were some "Funny because it's so bad" parts.

So...

Well I'm writing this review for 3 hours now, so I should finish. Three mods in three hours. I think this is some kind of lucky (or misadventurous) number here...
All of the three mod's:

Mapping: BAD
Gameplay: BAD
Scripting: BAD
Quality: BAD

Original content: NON EXISTENT (well maybe some texture brushes here and there)

They are bad mods and you shouldn't try them. But if you really want to try one because you don't believe me how bad it is, try Seizure of Power maybe. You can find some "Lulz" there.

Radar 56: 0/10

Dark Factory: 0/10

Seizure of Power: 1/10

I don't hate you Binocl, but I really do hope that the "Winter mod" you are currently working on won't be a brain fart/moddb space waster like these and you actually put some effort into it.

Comments
Mr.Walrus
Mr.Walrus

These really do look horrible. Im going to go play Seizure of Power and see if its really as bad as you say it is lol.

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jjawinte
jjawinte

Give 'em holy hell Otter !

Well Raider, I thought I'd give it a try too ( not familiar with Binocl ), but seeing the FFront file stats, I changed my mind.

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crosome
crosome

Oh my god I don't playing on this mods

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