So I was really tired when I made the “Reboot” post. My reviews will live, and not just as positives and negatives. That’s not my style. I shall continue the HL2 reviews and at some point do HL1. Sorry for any confusion.
I’m rebooting my reviews. I obviously can’t do what I intended ’cause Causality Effect still isn’t working but I AM gonna review some maps. However, I’m using a different format. Instead of jumbled thoughts, I’m going to list positives and negatives then put extended thoughts after. So yeh.
Why did I say Maybe? Well, there are some positives.
– Some cool scripted stuff
– One fun part IMO when you go through the grate and save Barney
– Alright voice acting for Barney, even though he only has like 2 lines
Other than that, it’s not very good. The level design is atrocious. It’s a linear slaughterfest with boxy architecture. It doesn’t even look like caves, it looks more like someone’s dog dug a huge complex into the dirt of their backyard. There’s only two types of enemies you actually get to fight, one of which only appears twice in the same room. So yeah, I wouldn’t recommend this map, but I applaud the effort. It kind of reminds me of the mod for Cry of Fear called “The Hole” except not actually good.
A common complaint I have with FPS games is linearity. This shows that off rather well. It’s an extremely short and extremely linear map without very many enemies and with weird breakable doors. I’m being kind of generous with the Think Twice rating I guess. The architecture is simple and the environment is meh. One thing I do like is the intro, you spawn on a chair with blood and pliers on the floor so I guess someone just tortured/interrogated you. It also has a floor texture from Nova Prospekt so here’s my interpretation of the story. You’ve been captured by Overwatch and taken to Nova Prospekt for questioning. You don’t want to reveal anything so the interrogation gets a bit more gruesome when the Combine decide to torture you. However, they are called out for important business so while they’re gone you decide to escape through the canals. Of course, it doesn’t say that anywhere, but still, I think that could possibly be what the author is implying. I wouldn’t recommend it but if you’re curious go ahead and give it a try.
I have no idea what to say about this. It’s a defense map that took me almost an hour to beat. It’s fun at first but gets really REALLY tedious. They spice things up sometimes with things like headcrab shells and a chopper and I like those parts but overall I think it lasted way too long. Visually it’s very pretty but has way too much screen glare when you look towards the sun. It’s so bright that it hurts my eyes and that’s just no fun I say. The ending made no sense. I managed to kill the Strider and all the Elites but it told me to get in the buggy. I got into it and it wouldn’t move then it kept reloading my saves. I don’t even. I would recommend you try it but if you get bored stop.
Review in 5 words or less
Goes on way too long.
Anyway, this isn’t too horrible but definitely needs much more work. The first and third puzzles aren’t really even puzzles. They’re just pressing buttons. Maybe there was something deeper than I thought on the third but I just put all the squares next to the fuel containers than stepped on the button twice and won. The second might have puzzle elements but I wish there was a less tedious way, perhaps put the ragdolls under you so it doesn’t have to position the camera differently and immobilize the player. Otherwise I just trial and errored it. The third I actually kind of like, it’s interesting and pretty fun in my opinion. I do agree that the water that kills you is pointless though. I actually really like the atmosphere, it’s kind of like a lab in Ravenholm and the observation windows with GMan and Kleiner in them were very mysterious. If you’re patient and like puzzles, play it. Otherwise, skip it.
This could’ve been a Play It Now or even a Personal Favourite from me if it weren’t for one thing. The Vortigaunts. In HL1, Vorts got rid of a decent amount of your possibly 100 health. In this, they can kill you in one hit at 100 health, and that’s just not fun. They also have TONS of health, taking two double barrel shotgun blasts to take down. Not even Elites do that (at least on medium)! Apart from that, I only have one complaint, and that’s the stealth segment in the beginning. It’s atrocious and doesn’t work right. I don’t like it.
Anyway, you play as a Combine soldier and need to infiltrate and destroy a rebel base. I really like the nighttime mountain-esque environment, it has a lot of atmosphere. The gameplay is really good too. Apart from the Vorts, it’s rather difficult (in the good way), with tough ambushes and encounters that don’t give either side an advantage (again, apart from the Vorts). The ending with Dr. Kleiner is a bit comedic to me, possibly because I’m demented. The only problem is that you don’t fight any large enemies (this is possible playing as a Combine, see Combine Combat for an example). Otherwise, I really recommend this, despite the flaws.
I don’t get all the bad ratings, I had fun with this map. I love the setting, and the architecture is great as well.
The gameplay is pretty fun in my opinion. Fighting through Combine, taking out a Hunter-Chopper then going on a very fun joyride with the buggy. The buggy ride is not only fun but rather cinematic as well (such as the giant rock falling). I also had some fun at the end with the Elites. It even has a story!
There are two downsides I can think of, one being the doors lock after they close for the first time so I had to noclip through one. The second is that there were some missing textures but that could just be me. Overall, this was a fun assassination style map and I do in fact recommend it. I think the author has talent and hope he makes some more HL2 maps.
To all those amateur Quake mappers: THIS is how you turn a deathmatch level into a single player level (there are a lot of good Quake ones but a lot of bad too). I really liked this. The visuals, gameplay and story were all great. Yes, there’s a story. In a DM conversion. I like when stories, even in single maps, tie in with HL2 (see Union), and this does it very well. You have to rescue Doctor Uriah (the scientist Vortigaunt from Episode Two) from a Combine den then teleport back to C17 (at least I assume it’s C17). It’s simple but it works. The visuals are obviously great because it’s based off a Valve DM map. Now let’s talk about the gameplay.
It’s awesome. There’s fights, stealth and an actually good escort mission where you have to worry about the character getting killed without having to check up on him a million times *cough cough* Opposing Force *cough cough*. Sorry, I got a bit carried away (just to clarify, I love Opposing Force, but the escorts are annoying). Mostly it’s killing Combine which is great of course. There’s also two snipers but they’re placed strategically and not annoyingly. I like that you have to distract them so they don’t blow Uriah’s head off, it’s a cool mechanic. I also like the final battle with the rollermines and Combine invasion. The dropship after you get the console was kind of pointless but when that’s the only con I can think of you’ve got yourself a good darn map. Play it I say!
In all honesty, I don’t get all the bad reviews for this map. Yes, it’s a horde/arena map but I kind of like those. Maybe it’s just that I like fighting Antlions but hey, it’s not too bad of a map, especially for a first attempt. It’s not as good as the other arena/horde map I played today (Antlion Troopers) but that doesn’t make it bad. The worst thing I can say about it is that the geometry just ends, leaving an invisible wall and a void. However, we could just assume that’s because it’s a Coagula style map. In fact, I like the atmosphere, and the intro was pretty cool. I don’t really see a reason for Breen blabbing at me the whole time on that TV but it’s not a major setback. (Speaking of Breen, he apparently made this map!) It kind of ends randomly, suddenly and confusingly when the Dropship appears but I think it’s safe to assume it just took me back to City 17 or something. Overall, if you like hordena maps, play it I say.