Dance your cares away.
Mod Review on Jan 13th, 2013 - 7 people agree 3 people don't
I'm sorry to nail a mod which I contributed to, but I believe I was far enough on the fringe to rate this without any impeding contributions. Sorry wilsonC, but as it stands, this mod just needs a ton of work.
I never felt the story was communicated to the player. There were some flashbacks to some friend out in the woods [I just know him as Adidas Man because of his hoodie], but beyond that I never really found a semblance of story beyond the typical "Citizen Hates Combine" story found in things like The Citizen or Half-Life: Precursor. And I nailed those mods on that too.
Something that would have helped, definitely, is the inclusion of higher quality voice acting. It's never too good when someone reads the credits list and finds that the people who made the content of the mod also did the voice acting because they're usually not trained enough in acting theory to do VOs. I participated, and I think the difference in training shows. If you ever want to go back on that, get in touch with me, as I can get you in touch with different people.
A glaring problem in this mod, gameplay feels more like modern mindless shooters than something more sophisticated as Half-Life 2. Run-and-gun mentality, linear mapping [seriously, there is no real variant aside from DIRECTLY where to go, unless there's a deliberate spawn room], and AI spawns placed in plain sight are real issues. Ironsights aren't bad, but they feel forced here with no real other alternative. And regenerating health always is useless in everything it's been a part of that I care not to comment on it in-depth.
The improvements on the AI, making it far more aggressive and hard-pressing, are welcome, even if utilized incorrectly. Though Zombies running at me far quicker than I have ever seen before is a bit...perturbing.
This first episode feels like a beta or alpha than final. Lots of design decisions need to be rethought and mapping theory definitely needs to be followed.
Mod Review on Jul 18th, 2012 - 1 person agrees
A very satisfying mod indeed. It does have its share of minor flaws which keep it from being an absolute 10/10, but I will highly recommend it. A veritable must-play for any GoldSRC user.
In my opinion, tons of Half-Life mods just lack the necessary story to carry themselves in the fully-realized world of Black Mesa. This one isn't one of those mods. Through a system of reading the character's thoughts in the form of diary entries, accessed by pressing a key [though I had to rebind because the key was initially bound awkwardly for me], the player has access to the Vortigaunt's thoughts as this lone wolf progresses through his homeworld of Xen through to the "alien" world of Black Mesa. Although personally I don't mind it when a story hits you over the head, and in fact I enjoy that, this unobtrusive system balances out the story quite nicely with the game.
I'm going out on a limb here: I'm going to say that the actual raw gameplay of this mod is highly unique. Although the concept itself is not as unique as initially thought [those of you who have the PS2 Half-Life know what I mean], the addition of cut Xenian creatures as weapons for the player to use was highly clever and a solid way to redo what the PS2 co-op game did years ago. Some cut enemies also returned, like the Minigun Soldier and the Panthereye, although with the latter I would have liked to have seen more of it overall. Plus, the game expands a bit on what I'd assume are the Black Ops forces, although it's never quite stated because the player's character doesn't actually know what they are. As for mapping, modelling, and such, since I'm running out of room, I'll say this: it's HL1, what can you expect? It looks like GoldSRC. Not a bad thing, but the engine shows its age.
Easily one of the top mods for GoldSRC still on the market, up there with Afraid of Monsters and Cry of Fear. It's a little gem that, though not without its share of flaws, is a nice Xen story to play.
on Jun 25th, 2012
This review may contain spoilers
Overview: Overall, I found the mod to be a rather decent one (unless you count the voice acting, which I found to be nearly D-grade). Much like Half-Life: Precursor [which I know came after this, but so what? I'm doing a later take on this], nothing too earth-shattering, but a decent enough play that it merits the time.
Story: The story is a basic HL2 mod for you: new Citizen hates Combine, joins Resistance, fights Combine with arbitrary goal in mind. Though I couldn't help but wonder about some aspects: why is Breen doing his broadcasts from an office building when he could easily be safe up in the Citadel, where we've never seen him outside of? And what spurred on the betrayal? And why are Combine Advisers, who haven't been awoken yet, there? And why does G-Man suddenly come out of nowhere to help this random Citizen? Oh well.
Gameplay: Basic HL2 fare. HEV Suit somehow ends up on the player, collect the same weapons as you go along, yadda yadda yadda. Nothing I truly need to comment about. Aside from the stealth points, which were interesting. I would have liked to have seen more of that, but it still lost its touch when no matter what you did Combine Cameras and turrets spotted you. And the disguises were nice, but again very lightly implemented. It was a rather nice mechanic, though.
Mapping: Decent enough. Some rather dubious things, though, like the supposed Control Room only having a handful of couches and nothing else around. Some more detailing in the vents became apparent with a small pipe-fall, so that was nice. Though I always felt in some way like I was insanely cramped no matter what. No real breathing room, nothing beyond a direct hallway.
Voice Acting: Downright horrid. No emotion from any characters, particularly the Squad Leader near the end. I could tell he didn't care what he was doing and was reading off a script. If this project needs more voice acting in the future from better people, I'll do it.
In short, decent, but not really varied.
on Jan 8th, 2012
- 5 people agree
4 people don't
This review may contain spoilers
The mod is severely broken by level design that does nothing to remotely help direct the player where they need to go. The story is nearly non-existent [I verbally questioned why I should not go back and help the supposedly Hungarian scientist part-way through the game]. Color palates make every area feel exactly the same with very little deviation from motif. What felt like the first 15 levels of the game seemed to be filler for the remainder of the story.
It literally felt like the beta all over again, this time with lights in the final 40 or so maps so it wasn't fullbright.
I'm sorry, but this monumental effort on MyoHyo's part [which I exceedingly congratulate her for on every level] produced a mediocre game at best that will challenge the player to the breaking point. Even I, a relatively patient person who can wait out a particularly cantankerous game such as "Darkest of Days," found myself at the verge of throwing my keyboard across the room. The mod's overall design is just the pinnacle of what not to do.
That being said, I do believe story concepts [when not lost in rather bizarre sequences or when not lost in filler mapping] proved to be rather intriguing. It shows the truest form of a totalitarian government that can soon become reality. That being said, though, I never felt I understood the NAU's motive to stop you or felt any kind of emotion for any character I encountered.
What really saves this mod, though, is just the thought that MyoHyo took five years of her life to construct this. For that, I again thank her for the effort.
Mod Review on Nov 14th, 2011 - 7 people agree
Beautiful piece of art. Art style, from the vibrant colors of the underwater regions to the bleakness of the city to even the small, papercraft looking cutscenes, is amazing. Player models have the same stylized feel. Gameplay is fluid (hahaha, I funny). It takes the Source engine where I haven't seen it go in a long while: the realm of creativity.
Mod Review on Sep 10th, 2011
No review provided
Mod Review on Sep 2nd, 2011 - 1 person agrees
Great narrative mod. One of the few I can say gripped me on the concept alone. Well-executed mapping, if not a few minor glitches, which are always present in any map, especially in CryEngine2. Voice acting was better than what I could have done for this mod's purpose. I definitely will be downloading Part 2 in due time.
Mod Review on Aug 13th, 2011
No review provided
on Aug 8th, 2011
This review may contain spoilers
Well-made mod, especially against most of what's created today. I had a few issues with some strange mapping and, initially, a lack of direction on the island, but the direction was all rectified once I was in the underground facility.
Mod Review on Jul 19th, 2011 - 1 person agrees 1 person doesn't
You can tell these guys really put some effort into their mod. However, some things fall flat very quickly. As some people noted, the weapon models are either OK or downright horrendous. If there is anything to try and update in the near future, these would be it. Maps look nice, especially the city one, where a lot of detail went into the brush placement. Aesthetically the maps are nice, but when viewed at geometrically, they can sometimes be a bit unbalanced, which isn't bad, but sometimes can produce lopsided gameplay. Plus, the maps usually are too big. The most I've ever seen on a server is 4 people and the maps look like they're designed for at least 10, especially with the addition of multi-person vehicles [which I like, just in its current state of player traffic is unusable]. Plus, all voice communication is turned off, which makes communicating with your team near impossible and makes the mod frustrating in some ways since there's no coordination. Also, nice use of Jon St. John's voice acting. Although some aspects of the mod really do shine in some ways, the tried and true idea with various glaring flaws in design drag the game down.