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You will play this HL2 single-player expansion.


Thrik

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It's unofficial, it's only the first (map) in a series of episodic releases, but it's fucking good. Well mapped, well entity'd, well written, well presented, challenging, fun, and seems to slot into the HL2 storyline/events fairly neatly in that it takes you to an alternate part of it, similarly to Opposing Force.

You play as a combine soldier -- kind of. I wrote some more about it and took some screenshots here and really must stress that it's at least worth trying out.

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Nicely built, but I thought it wasn't exactly riveting. The biggest disappointment, for me, was the narrative style. Something about it just doesn't really fit. There were some nice scripted sequences (seeing the combine all sprinting across the walkway was cool) and stuff, but overall I found the inside of the combine area quite boring. I really don't have much fun running around several corridors and stairwells that all look exactly the same. I didn't find it difficult, either. There was too much health and armour everywhere. The beach area was nice though. It's a solid start and it's obvious the guy has a lot of talent, but I don't really understand why everyone is so impressed.

IMO if he works on the narrative and gets some good voice actors it'd be so much better. Getting some text every now and then (which I didn't feel was particularly well written and was trying too hard to be enigmatic / puzzling) doesn't really inspire me to keep playing.

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I personally liked the narrative style, although it would have been far better if it came through with static-ridden speech rather than just text. It has the potential to be a great device if only it were better executed. Perhaps that's just a matter of opinion, though.

As for the gameplay itself, I found the general way that it all fit together appealing. For example, going down into the dodgy prison-like area to open up the door which you'd passed earlier on the surface, then finding another way down further on. I also liked how the whole thing was just one island, and it actually felt like a fully dimensional island to me. Not just a bunch of disjointed coastal stretches like HL2. I mean, it's nothing particularly amazing or innovative don't get me wrong, but it was solid.

That said, it obviously does have some flaws. That last bit with all the corridors was considerably less engaging than the surface tension, and it obviously would benefit from being more than level since it's only given us a mild taste of what's to come. Overall though, the positives far outweigh the negatives for me and I enjoyed it.

PS: I actually found it quite challenging on even medium, and died a whole bunch of times. Maybe I just suck at games. :(

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It kinda reminds me of Far Cry... island, WW2 bunker and stuff

Leveldesign was quite good but not overwhelming. Gameplay was great though, even better than most parts of the original HL2.

The text message thing was is definintly a bad way to tell the story. I mean, who has enough time to read this cryptic stuff while being surrounded by a whole bunch of enemies.

Anyway I'm looking forward to play the next episode.

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Yeah, the narrative text itself was an interesting concept but the fact that it's just text completely demolishes the impact it could have. If you had a good voice actor behind that who could play the part of some anonymous, cocky oddo then it would probably work, and possibly even be a bit creepy. Perhaps this should be put forward to the author, who is Adam Foster by the way.

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Those who have played Adam's first map will probably like the text and it's modem sound better. He used it before in a map and I liked it that he kept using it for this map. It's sort of consistent.

As for the map, besides some little flaws, I liked the design, the gameplay and the athmosphere. I think he did a good job to keep the player going. Enemies weren't put in static but reacted quite dynamic, chasing him into the bunkers when the narrator told there were dropships coming in. After so many custom HLSP maps you get to like such things more... ;)

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Pretty good I thought. Again, the text was a poor device, or at least it could have been better implemented. I missed one or two of them because I was busy with enemies, they should have been on-screen longer and there was no way to go back and review.

I liked the outdoors of the island much more than the interior. Which gives me much less to look forward to if the next chapter is also indoors. We'll see though.

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