Author Topic: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews  (Read 88262 times)

Offline bobdog

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HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« on: August 02, 2006, 08:31:43 PM »
PART 1
Yay!! They're back! Mini-reviews from me for HL2 for mods that you played three years ago!  ;D

As I play thru them, I'll add the better "keepers" to this list with a quick synopsis. Basically, I like stories that kind of stay in the same milieu as the HL2 canon and storyline, so I am somewhat biased to way-out stuff. Ready, cuz here we go!!!  :onethumb:

I should clarify my "ranking" system: I rank by how fun I found it, and whether I'd be interested in playing it again in the future. I'm not going to nitpick things like lighting, design, etc, unless they are just absolutely glaring to the gameplay. For example, if I keep getting a bug that won't allow me to finish a map and/or have to noclip through a wall that should have opened, I'll say something about it, and lower the score appropriately.

I won't generally post reviews for maps and mods that score below a 3, because if I'm not interested in keeping them for my future uses (and I'm at heart a pretty forgiving guy) than most other people won't be interested either. So a 5 out of 5 for my ranking system is something that I really enjoyed and would play again, while a 3 is something I recommend others play at least once.

Assault on Strider Base -- Wow, this was tough to get past the copter without adequate rocket shells, but once you get in the swamp-mobile, you can do a lot of damage. I liked this -- very challenging but felt true to the game. Kind of a short level, but packed a punch. 4 out of 5
http://www.bclhome.com/asb/asb_blocke_alone.zip

Das Roboss -- These three levels were very well designed, and felt like something you'd expect to play in the game. Zombies, Combine, interconnected levels, bull antlions -- this mod had it all. And then getting to take the giant robot out for a spin? Classic. 4 out of 5
http://files.filefront.com/SP+++Das+Roboss/;3808793;;/fileinfo.html

Day 13 and Day 14 -- I admit, these weren't what you might expect in the regular game, but I still liked the challenge that they presented. Day 13 is more about action, and Day 14 has a whollop of a puzzle to tickle your brain. Will you ever escape? Who knows what Day 15 will bring. 3.75 out of 5
http://planetphillip.filecloud.com/files/file.php?user_file_id=145984 and http://files.filefront.com/Half+Life+2+SP+Day+14+Map/;4876804;;/fileinfo.html

Collision SP -- I really liked the design of this level, and it packs a ton of content into one map. A scary house with genuine thrills, attacking Combine troops, gunship, a slog through tunnels against a sniper, and a leap of faith in your swamp buggy. All good stuff. I could easily have seen this level in the original game. 3.75 out of 5
http://files.filefront.com/Collision+Single+Player+Map/;3856711;;/fileinfo.html

More to come....
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 05:29:44 PM by bobdog »

Offline bobdog

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2006, 08:38:05 AM »
PART TWO:

Okay, played through a good dozen maps, most of which were survive the zombies crap, but did eke out some real winners:

Prison Break -- This two-map pack had some good AI interaction, as you use fellow prisoners to escape from the prison. Tight level design and challenging copters and Combine highlight this short set. 4 out of 5
http://files.filefront.com/Half+Life+2+SP+Prison+Break+v1/;4826358;;/fileinfo.html

Leon HL2 Pack and Leon's Coastline to Atmosphere -- Okay, I'll just say this now: Valve, you need to hire this guy!! I've played Leon's maps for most recent FPS, and Coastline to Atmosphere is an absolute winner. I could have easily seen both map sets in the original game; the HL2 Pack as an "escape through the city" type map, and Coastline as an alternate route to the HL2 ending. I liked the interconnectedness of Coastline's gameplay, such as using the jeep to drive into a dock, then using the swamp buggy to find a key to finally come back and unlock the door to drive the jeep through -- great level design. I have three gripes however about the set: 1) the map where you are under the effects of the gas went on WAY TOOOO LONG; 2) a section where you have to make your way through some pipes and Combine are constantly spawning and sniping at you; and 3) the ending -- I tried every way to get to G-Man and Breen, but kept getting burned and dying, so finally I just noclipped through to force the end. But look, if that's the least I can give for a pack that gave me hours of enjoyment, that's nothing. Great job, and ones I'll defiinitely play again. 4.75 out of 5
http://files.filefront.com/Half+Life+2+++Leons+SinglePlayer+Map+Pack/;3840808;;/fileinfo.html and http://www.sp-mods.com/home/php-files/downloads.php?cat_id=10

Causality Effect -- Ya know, I REALLY wanted to like this one, as it had good map structure, and the storyline of time travel seemed to resonate well. HOWEVER, I can't recommend a map that takes longer to load a level (more than 5 minutes!!!) than to play it. I don't know if it's something with Steam or with how the map was packed by the author, but that's ridiculous. Play it with patience. 3 out of 5
http://causalityeffect.irswedish.com/downloads.html
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:43:48 PM by bobdog »

Offline bobdog

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 10:41:40 PM »
PART THREE:

Combine Destiny -- This is an extensive mod where you play as a Combine soldier attempting to win back a base from both rebels and head-crabs. I liked that this map-pack gave you plenty of choices, but in some ways it may have been TOO much choice, because I never knew where to go to complete my task. For example, about halfway through you're allowed the option of either jumping into a pit and entering the sewers, or fighting through antlion territory to rejoin some of your troops. I think I actually broke the continuity by entering the sewers, however, as when I finally came out, I didn't trip a certain key scene to occur. Also, I got a little bored with the monotonous crawl through headcrab-infested tunnels -- all of which looked and played the same -- and thought there could have been more changes of scenery and pace to break up the flow of the gameplay. But regardless, this was a really large set of maps, and worthy of a couple hours playtime. 3.25 out of 5
http://files.filefront.com/Combine+Destiny+v+10/;4427614;;/fileinfo.html

Eclipse -- This was really impressive -- a total conversion of the Source engine to offer a third-person perspective set in a fantasy world. The controls were a bit challenging, but lots of fun once you figured them out. I loved whacking those orcs with huge boulders, especially when I let them group up!  ;D  The fairies were hard to hit, however. Very beautiful visuals and an impressive effort released by a college class. 4 out of 5
http://files.filefront.com/Eclipse+v102+Full+Install/;4885711;;/fileinfo.html

Fallout -- This is a quick but enjoyable "escape" set of maps where you crawl through some tunnels, offices and finally leave. Short but sweet. 3.75 out of 5
http://files.filefront.com/SP+++fallout+vault7/;4339526;;/fileinfo.html

Mistake of Pythagoras -- Wow, whatever this guy smokes, it's got to be glowing!  :smoking:  This large map-pack, by the same guy who did Sweet HalfLife for the original game, is bizarre, to say the least: numbers come crashing through the air, dropped by triangle and O-shaped ships, while flying wings scissor through the skies -- weird.... Apparently, you and the Combine are on the same side in this battle against a new invader, which is maintained by various hued clones of the Combine troops. Abstract shapes abound as you make your way from the city into a Greek-esque temple and finally into the Geometrists HQ, which looks like something Dali blew out his left nostril. The "puzzles" are not perceptive at all in the end part, and could have used some better explanation. Like the final scene, why would you think to Spoiler
pull part of the wall apart, and spin it and aim it at the ship???
But I did like getting those telekinetic powers, where you just look at something and it explodes. ;D  Definitely challenging, as I ran through the whole last act in God-mode. 3.75 out of 5
http://www2d.biglobe.ne.jp/%7Eks_wca/mop/mop_fm_e.htm
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:44:08 PM by bobdog »

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2006, 10:54:38 PM »
*nudge*
Include download links.

 :onethumb:
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Offline bobdog

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2006, 10:54:14 AM »
New and Improved!!! With Download Links!!!

Offline bobdog

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 11:23:33 AM »
PART FOUR: RAVENHOLM RAVES

[Ed. note: I had actually worked on this review about a week ago, had typed up all the text and was doing all this cross-checking, and when I came back to post the review, my internet went out!!  >:(  So, I decided to give it a week again and see if my subconscious could remember everything I'd written....]

Possibly my favorite part of HL2 was the trip through Ravenholm and Traptown. All those implements of destruction, just waiting for all those undead -- it was pure heaven. Well, thankfully, others have agreed with my assessment and developed some Ravenholm-themed add-on maps.

Ravenholm -- One of the best SP campaigns I've played yet for HL2, this lengthy 21-map pack takes you back and forth through the bowels of Ravenholm as one of the last survivors of the city. Along the way, you encounter some old buddies of yours who are also fighting back against the combine. It appears that the start of the maps take place just after headcrab bombardment, and the last after Gordon has gone through, as you'll revisit the same 2nd-to-last arena prior to the church. Great job throughout, lots of traps to take down the undead, hidey-holes for supplies, a mix of interior and exterior scenes, and a definite challenge throughout for both health and mind. My only regret is that you don't get the gravity gun until you complete the full mapset. I'd give it a 5 of 5.
http://files.filefront.com/Ravenholm+v10+English/;4688675;;/fileinfo.html

Ravenholm - The Lost Chapter -- Not nearly as good as Ravenholm, but still worth playing, these four levels are set in the Ravenholm area, and you occasionally encounter Father Grigori as you make your way through the undead. On the plus side, you do get the gravity gun near the start, so commence to disembowelling those zombies! 3 out of 5.
http://bean.planetunreal.gamespy.com/index.php?page=leveldesign&subpage=hl2

Ravenholm - Fall of Wivenhoe -- Another four-map pack that takes place before Ravenholm has been bombed, you are part of the resistance against the Combine. You start the mission separated from your pals, and heavily injured (only 1 HP!!!). You've got to make your way unseen through Combine patrols beneath the dam where the headcrab rockets are being launched (yes, a stealth map, but at least if you die, it makes sense why), using your common sense on how to get past. You'll then fight across the top of the dam into the complex itself, where the lights have been knocked out. A couple of scares later, you emerge on the other side to join your comrades, where you fight against both Antlions and Combine troops (sometimes simultaneously) to gain your freedom. 3.75 out of 5.
http://www.planetphillip.com/posts/wivenhoe-the-fall-of-ravenholm-single-player-half-life-2-mod/
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:44:35 PM by bobdog »

Offline bobdog

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2006, 09:12:40 PM »
PART FIVE:

Penetration -- Mentioned in another post, I liked this one. It felt like the whole coastline area of HL2. You get to drive the buggy, whoop on some Combine, take out some fast zombies, roam through a city, and wipe out another Combine outpost. Not bad. 4 out of 5
http://www.planetphillip.com/posts/penetration-single-player-half-life-2-mod/

The Island -- This one had a real Far-Cry feeling to it, as you are stranded on an island and must make your way around it to get to your buddies. You'll traipse in and out of the coast amongst some bunkers. Very zombie, fast zombie and headcrab heavy, but some companions will join you on two separate occasions. Two stand-out parts include a trap that attracts the poison zombies to you, and the final dock, which is a shoot-out royale. Recommended. 4 out of 5
http://halflife2.filefront.com/file/HalfLife_2_The_Island_Mod;55112
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:45:00 PM by bobdog »

Offline Joshua-kun

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2006, 05:29:43 PM »
Hey Bobdog,

I know you posted these awhile ago, but wanted to thank you for all your effort!

Now that I've finally finished EP 1, I can start playing all the cool mods! W00t!  ;D
Jya-shu-a-kuun

Offline bobdog

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2007, 10:22:08 PM »
PART SIX:

Having exhausted a number of other games, I thought I'd play some of my backlog of HL2 mods I've been collecting. This first batch was pretty good, and I recommend all for download.

BlitzKrieg
This was an interesting set of maps that takes you among back alleys and through buildings; you'll have to look hard for how to continue through certain areas, but should be able to figure it out. Map layout was good, but the final map wouldn't automatically boot for me, so I had to enter it with cheats. I liked it, and it gave me that HL2 feeling. I couldn't understand the story (in Italian), but I think maybe my character was someone who had snuck into the Combine forces, because of the white gloves you have on. 4 out of 5 (1 taken off because of the last map problem)
http://blitzkrieg.mod.free.fr/

HW Upgrade
Again, I don't know the storyline, but I think you were in some special elite investigative unit. The map takes you through some training-type scenarios, with paths winding around each other. I liked that you traverse a wide variety of environments, from office to sewers to back-alleys to water canals. For the most part, it felt convincing as a real place. You get to drive the jeep and the water floater. Plus, you also get to use antlions!! I've missed that in other mods. You'll have help along the way to the grand finale against a daddy antlion. 4 out of 5
http://www.planetphillip.com/posts/hw-upgrade-half-life-2/

Day 15
Well, another day, another chance at freedom from the Combine's "Re-education" facility. In this Matrix-inspired slugfest, you must reach a portal on the other side of town to escape from the facility for good. Map layout is inspired with both arenas and claustrophobic parts. Climbing through the old bombed-out buildings is fun, especially when you get to take out a strider at the end. 4 out of 5
http://www.planetphillip.com/posts/day-15-half-life-2/
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:45:26 PM by bobdog »

Offline bobdog

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2007, 09:35:18 PM »
PART SEVEN:
Well, whoopty-doo! I'm back again already?  :o  How's about we try something a bit outside the general HL2 milieu:

Zombie Stress
You're loaded for bear ... er, zombies ... in this 3 level pack. Just have fun blowing zombies to bits, or slicing them with razor blades. Short, mindless fun -- just like zombies! 3 out of 5
http://www.supacomix.co.uk/zombiestress/downloads.php

Dolores
Never since Thief's haunts has a game given me chills up my arm like this. The voices are so eerie in this haunting story, that you'll dread entering the next room. I don't want to spoil too much for this total conversion, but suffice it to say that it's a very creative use of the Source engine. 4 out of 5 (because I couldn't get some doors to open and had to clip through)
http://www.doloresthegame.org/wiki/index.php?title=Downloads

Iris
Did I like it? Did I not? Hard to tell, but certainly worth trying this innovative "adventure". This interesting conversion of the Source engine has you experiencing a point of view from your childhood and as an adult, allowing you to jump back and forth between the two. You can manipulate certain objects as a child, which will have an impact on your future self. 3 out of 5
http://mods.moddb.com/8146/iris/?page=3
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:45:48 PM by bobdog »

Offline bobdog

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2007, 08:36:51 AM »
PART EIGHT:
Back to the general HL2 storyline with these map recommendations:

Slums
This mod is very in keeping with the HL2 City vibe. You make your way through some interconnected buildings toward the exit, with zombies, headcrabs, Combine, and even Zombine soldiers! Pretty good layout, lots of new props, challenging gameplay -- 4 out of 5
http://mods.moddb.com/8917/slums/

Day of Redemption
This was a great set of four maps, where you make your way through the City, facing Combine and zombie forces. Level design was great and very atmospheric, puzzles were challenging without being impossible, and I was interested to see where the path led. My biggest gripe on this was that it was a bit buggy on my system. For example, it kept hanging up between the first and second levels, so that I had to reboot my computer three times before it finally would move forward. Additionally, you have to manually place some Scenes correctly in the HL2 folder, otherwise, on the last level, you'll meet up with some citizens, who won't let you pass because they've forgotten their script! They showed up again at the end of the level and have to activate the final door. Otherwise, a really pleasant set of maps. 4 out of 5
http://www.planetphillip.com/posts/day-of-redemption-chapter-1-half-life-2/
And here's some info on upcoming Chapter 2: http://www.interlopers.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15925

Cave
Not really a playable map per se, but more a demonstration. Story: you fall into a cave, after which you experience some weird voodoo. Story aside, it has some of the coolest effects I've ever seen in a HL2 game -- it's worth the download simply to see the neat new effects. No score for a demo map.
http://www.halfwit-2.com/aild/?page=downloads&PHPSESSID=46c374c7196844955118233bbd8e2a99

Drainage
A great set of 4 interconnected maps, where you escape the Combine through the sewer system. Amazing mapping on these, providing something akin to the original HL2 maps. Some neat physics puzzles that allow you to take the airboat for a spin through several unique environments and outwit the copters. 5 out of 5
http://www.planetphillip.com/posts/drainage-half-life-2/

Contractual Termination
A map produced by a student for his thesis, this is actually a pretty decent little map, where you make your way through some empty buildings to the Citizen compound, resulting in an arena battle against hordes of Combine and airships. 4 out of 5, but only because I wanted more.
http://students.guildhall.smu.edu/%7Ejkneuper/conterm.html

Finding a Lost Dog - Escape
Wow -- a map that lets Dog help you out! Not too many of those. You have to navigate a dock warehouse to open several doors, tackle an airship, and best the Combine hordes. 4 out of 5, because it was a bit short and compact.
http://students.guildhall.smu.edu/%7Ejzagorski/ld/dog.html
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:46:15 PM by bobdog »

Offline Starfox

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2007, 09:57:23 AM »
Decided to make of this thread a sticky. Definitely a must-read  :onethumb:


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline bobdog

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2007, 08:47:51 PM »
Merci, mon ami!!  :onethumb:
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:48:40 PM by bobdog »

Offline bobdog

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Re: HL2 Mod Mini-Reviews
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2007, 07:51:15 AM »
PART NINE: Students Make the Grade
This round of maps are smaller but still recommended; additionally, they were created by game design students for their portfolio. Let's hope we see some more work from them in the future.
 
Heist
Following the destruction of the Citadel in City 17, the Resistance movement spreads. Human spies get word of a Combine weapon modeled on the 'super' gravity gun Gordon Freeman used to destroy City 17's Citadel. Currently, the Combine's only working prototype of the weapon is en route to City 1's Citadel via Razortrain. The Resistance forms a bold plan to steal the weapon at the weakest point on the route: a fortified depot in City 14. You are the Resistance operative that volunteered for this dangerous work. This is a tight map with lots of flair. 4.5 out of 5
http://students.guildhall.smu.edu/c5/24160933/heist_1.htm
 
Mandate of Liberation
Combine barricades force you to be quick and nimble to avoid getting nailed in the crossfire. You'll make your way through the streets with Citizens in tow. A few buggy spots, but a wicked end battle with a Strider that will challenge most everyone. 3.5 out of 5
http://students.guildhall.smu.edu/%7Eericy/liberation.html
 
Reclamation
You'll have to free Dog from the Combine, but they've set a trap for you in one of their modified warehouses! Make your way up the supply line until you tackle several rounds of spawning Combine. 4.75 out of 5 (couldn't get the last script to work and had to noclip)
http://students.guildhall.smu.edu/%7Empankratz/index.php?Page=Downloads
 
Big Bang
An interesting map design warrants this play-through, with an airship mid-map to test your battle prowess. 3.5 out of 5
http://www.gmwalek.com/Valve.html
 
Afterlife: Mall Brawl
This was a sizeable map that takes place solely in an indoor mall, with Combine targeting you from the same floor and from above, culminating in an airship assault. Level design was pretty good, but some leakages on various seams. 4 out of 5
http://www.huntersgames.com/Afterlife.htm
 
Assault on Strider Base - Level: Rosa - Sewers
To avoid the Combine, you'll have to keep to the sewers in this short but effective map, which was created by a now-professional map designer. 4 out of 5
http://www.jennifern.net/levels.html
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 08:47:13 PM by bobdog »

Offline GreyMouser

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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2007, 11:23:36 PM »
In a time when there are hardly any "FPS" games worth playing  out there,...
....I see you put good use to your "idle" time...:onethumb:
And the forum give thanks and reaps the rewards!......;)....:onethumb:

...........................:smoking:
« Last Edit: May 16, 2007, 11:30:44 PM by GreyMouser »
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