100 Half-Life 1 Mods: page 2
Mod installation instructions
After downloading any file it is recommended to verify if the download was successful:
- install the free HashCheck Shell Extension
- right click the file and select the Checksums tab
- compare the MD5 value from the program with the value posted on this site
You can install the mods by either extracting the archive (use free 7-Zip) in the Half-Life folder or run the installer. Default WON folder is located at C:\Sierra\Half-Life\, and the Steam version is located at C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\common\Half-Life\. After installation you should make sure to restart Steam, and the mod will appear in the Uncategorized section.
In Azure Sheep, you play Barney, a security guard at the Black Mesa complex, which happens to have same name as the hero from the Blue-Shift expansion. Just another day at work quickly turns into a nightmare after monsters from Xen invade the complex. In order to save his girlfriend, Kate, Barney ventures deep into the heart of the Black Mesa lab complex. The Azure Sheep and original Half-Life Stories are perfectly intertwined, so you are able to meet with Gordon Freeman even help him progress. The mod's story is spiced up by video sequences, and quite a few scripted events.
The level design is good and is almost as diverse as the original, but some labyrinths of corridors with numerous locked doors are really a letdown. There are quite a few alternative routes to reach the goal, which will allow you to try a different advancement approach. The enemies are well placed, and there are quite a few ambushes and shocking moments. Classic enemies from the original were expanded by modified and brand new ones, but there is also quite few new allies. Kate stands out from the crowd, because she is crucial for advancement (she opens some security doors), therefore you must take great care to protect her (and get angry when she does not want to pass through the door :). Arsenal was also expanded with new weapons and a portable medkit, which you can use to treat Kate. Although the fights are quite demanding, there were enough bullets and healing packages that I did not have any problems. Sometimes, you also need to mount a machine gun or rocket launcher, but at the same time this means that you have to be a good shooter, as a lot of opponents will storm you.
In addition to custom models and speakers for them (very commendable!), the game also has a custom colored HUD. The color can sometimes be very problematic as you can't distinguish it from the surroundings. The game is about 4 hours long and offers a very diverse gaming experience, I recommend playing on medium.
E7 Black Star takes place in a secret Russian laboratory complex called Facility E7 which is also known as Black Star. You play a political prisoner in the E7 complex who is testing a prototype of the new protective H.E.V. 5000 suit. Poor security protocols enable you to escape from your supervisors and hide in the ventilation systems. The mod doesn't include a meaningful story, but the game gives you missions while playing, which turns out kind of funny.
A rather unusual approach was used in mapping. Most of the places in which you are playing are gigantic. This often creates a remarkable impression, which quickly fades when you see how the placed objects repeat themselves. The approach is not only used within the premises, but also with the full sections. Most of the game takes place inside the laboratory complex, and in a few maps the technology is perfectly intertwined with nature. There are a lot of jumping challenges, which are not frustrating, and there are also some stealth missions. For many of the puzzles you are required to find a particular object or security card in no given order. This greatly increases the non-linearity of the levels. Players with a urge to explore will be richly rewarded, as you can discover as many as 7 bonus levels, which, unfortunately, do not impress architecturally, but they are an excellent opportunity for regeneration of bullets and life.
The enemies are taken mostly from the original and expansions. In the first part you will mostly be threatened by the monsters from Xen and the machineguns. Later, the scales are tipped to the side of all types of soldiers and female assassins. The game has a huge problem due to too large maps (lol :). The fights are too sparse, and there are practically no puzzles in-between. As a result, the first part with Xen monsters plays like a Walking Simulator, while in the second part the soldiers cause crazy difficulty jumps. Playing on Hard is therefore not recommended, even if you are able to collect more than enough ammunition and other goodies for Medium. Weapons are taken from the original, but players who like to explore will have more options compared to those who will just run through stages.
The game looks quite impressive due to sharp textures, detailed models and level sizes. Strong color schemes work perfectly for some places, but look strange in others. There are some scripted events that transform the layout of the maps, which I really liked. Certain events are associated with video sequences that help you to find the places that change. In some places, the background music also contributes to a better atmosphere. To complete the mod, I needed about 4 hours of gameplay, most of which was boring walking around. Too bad ...
Although the beginning of the Residual Life mod hints at being a sequel to the pretty good Residual Point, it soon becomes clear that the game actually takes place parallel to the first one. You play a female(?) scientist Sora Kim, who works at Black Mesa as an assistant reactor engineer. You start the game on a tram ride to your workplace, where you put on your protective suit. During a elevator ride the mechanism breaks and, as the complex is suddenly flooded with hostile aliens, you fall into the deep.
The level design of the first half of the game is remarkable, with great emphasis on details and some very interesting ideas for advancement. Well-placed enemies in good quantities offer a very good pace, which is more bearable compared to the predecessor, but the game is still not too easy. You will be attacked by a classic set of aliens, among which you will again find super fast military zombies and headcrabs, but in much smaller numbers. Most of the fighting will be done with soldiers and special ops, which will give you some headaches in certain levels :). You will also encounter female assassins, and rare zombie versions of them. The weapon selection is pretty standard, ammunition amounts are just right, and the same applies to health packages.
Everything is fine and well until you get to the other half, which is pure disappointment. Although the level details are still good, everything else is bad. You will walk across vast empty areas without a major challenge, and then, suddenly, a horde of enemies will charge your position. They might have camped in a specific location of the map or were teleported upon your arrival, it doesn't really matter. After you survive, you will be able to advance to the next empty area which again offers nothing, not even a simple mental challenge, and then again you will be greeted by hordes of attackers. Repeat until you die of boredom, a nervous breakdown, or you finish the game. Too bad! I applaud the authors that they created a huge pathway branch, but it is present in the most boring part of the game, so it simply fades away.
The visuals are not substantially altered, but the layout of the elements in the maps can sometimes be jaw dropping. In particular, I was fascinated with the appearance of the very first introductory part of the game, but sadly, you don't spend gameplay time in it. The game was played at Medium difficulty and was finished in about 3 hours and a half.
Hard 2 is the second part of the modification in which you play Agent Jeffrey Hard, and continues exactly from where the previous part ended. For some weird reason, our hero looses all weapons and H.E.V. suit during the crash, but luckily you are able to regain it after a few minutes of playing. Similar to the first part, you should also reset your controls. The game contains a lot of annoying bugs (doors do not open, NPCs get stuck, etc.), so keep saving regularly and do not be afraid to approach some situations in a different way to avoid them.
Maps follow a similar pattern to the previous one, but progress is definitely visible. Some of them are still simple empty cuboids, but the amount of those with solid design, tips the scale. You will be out of luck looking for logic or story for level transitions or element placement, as they seem to be created via current authors inspiration. This mixture often results in extremely awkward visuals (urinals on the women's toilette? XD), but at the same time it provides exceptional diversity, so you will certainly not be bored in the 3 hours and a half long gameplay. There challenges are pretty varied and range from puzzles to jumping trials and tense fights. Certain levels are a gigantic non-linear experience, which is very commendable.
The selection of enemies is extremely varied, but there are no new ones. Their positioning is pretty good. Along with scripted events it will put some stress on your mouse and keyboard =). It is very commendable that the number of frustrating and unjust situations has dropped to a minimum, so I dared to play this mod on the Medium difficulty. Ammunition is quite plentiful, and the same goes for healing packages and batteries.
The Challenger Deep 2 is an improved version of the Half-Life mod with the same name, which had quite a few problems. You play Gordon Freeman, who was enlisted to perform some experiments in a gigantic secret underwater complex somewhere near Japan. While performing one of the experiments, a critical error occurred in which the aliens from Xen were able to teleport into the complex, and the accompanying explosion damaged the shell, so water began pouring in. Your task is to escape the complex before it completely floods, but this will certainly not be easy. You discover the story during the gameplay, and you can get some additional information from computer terminals.
The underwater location promises freshness and a different approach from the one we are used to in conventional modifications, and indeed, the game does not disappoint. The whole game takes place in laboratories and other rooms within the complex, which are often gigantic. Their size is not only two-dimensional, but they also extend in heights which are populated by platforms and passages that connect different parts. The setup of these elements and inclusion of the long jump module allows for a non-linear approach to solving problems, which is additionally strengthened by various passes which connect parts of the maps. It is only a shame that the maps lack clear markings, so it can happen that you will get lost - I did get lost multiple times :$. Flooded parts of the stages significantly enrich the game. In these parts you will not only have to be on the lookout for oxygen tanks, but you will also be hunted by monsters. There are also some secrets (try to find all the packages ;), but beware, you can also get stuck, so save often!
The range of enemies is very diverse, and includes practically all enemies from the original (soldiers and monsters from Xen). Their positions take advantage of the map sizes and the available space, so the fights are turbulent and full of action. For additional tension, enemies will sometimes appear from the portals or they will be cleverly positioned in secret areas and attack you from the behind. On several occasions you will also witness fighting between different factions that can be very epic. In fights, you will use human weapons from the original, with more than enough ammunition available. There's also a lot of first aid packages and batteries, so I recommend that you play on Hard.
The appearance of the game stands out mainly because of giant maps with quite a few details, which, unfortunately, overload the engine and occasionally cause annoying stuttering. Some parts of levels also use a sophisticated choice of colors and / or background music that is activated when fighting. I needed about 2 hours and a half to complete the modification.
In Operation Black Thunder, you play a commando named Roger McAllen, who works for NASF. Your task is to restore control of the rocket launching ramp seized by the terrorist organization WOLF. Before infiltration, you will have to fight yourself to the vincinity of the launch site and destroy tactical targets, but the task will not be easy, as the opponent is well organized and armed. Your objectives are given gradually, and appear in a small window. In the latter you will sometimes also see tips, which, however, I found unnecessary. The game has a very unusual keyboard layout, which can only be overwritten at the filesystem level (download the patch).
As far as the mapping is concerned, the authors deserve all praise. The architecture is very good, full of details, side paths and hidden ways forward. During gameplay, certain parts of the levels get transformed, and you will often need to go back through the newly unlocked door or the newly created gateway. You will be wandering around in military complexes as well as in rocky canyons. In both cases, the authors have taken care of a lot of interesting puzzles and jumping challenges.
With rare exceptions, opponents are very well placed and comprise of a whole spectrum of soldiers. There are also many mechanical hazards which come mostly from the very destructive machinegun nests, but there are also plenty of tanks, snipers and rocket launchers. Often you will have to think about the situation before charging the enemies or you will face quick death. The vertical multi-layered level design makes the game pretty hard, but hiding spots are also well taken care of.
The arsenal is extremely varied and has some novel weapons. Among these you can find several types of machine guns and also knives that you can throw, too bad that the weapon slots are not standard. During the game there are quite a few moments in which you lose your weapons, but fear not, you will regain them all. Ammunition is too abundant, but the exact opposite goes for healing packages and shields. Since opponents are extremely effective, your health and shield will be always very low even on the Easy difficulty.
Because it is a total conversion of Half-Life, the game contains new models (which are really well animated), new sounds and also background music. The visual wow comes not only from the good layout of the elements, but also due to the very good lightning scheme and scripted events that contribute significantly to a good atmosphere. To complete this mod, I needed about 3 hours and a half.
Project Quantum Leap is a map compilation of 15 different authors who linked 20 levels to make a mod. There is no common story linking the maps, and at first glance it also seems that there is also no common theme connecting them. The result is rather chaotic.
Transitions between maps are very wild, not only due to the change of theme, but also in terms of quality fluctuations. Three maps (Radix, Blow up and Someplace Else) stand out for very good design, appropriately balanced action, scripted events and interesting gameplay, a pinch of the maps is somewhere between average and good, and the rest is really bad. Lack of details and sense of aesthetics, disproportionate size of elements, poor transitions, frustrating jumping challenges and exaggeration with the number of enemies are just some of the shortcomings of the vast majority of levels.
The set of opponents depends on the author, but the Xen monsters are quite rare. Most of the time you will be attacked by soldiers in all variations, and they will be backed up by machine guns, helicopters, and tanks. Weapon selection is very limited, but ammo is plentiful. The difficulty is quite variable, but on the Easy difficulty there are enough healing packages and batteries to make it to the end in 3 hours and a half of gameplay. With the exception of new textures, there are no visual changes, most maps are fairly unattractive. Occasionally the background music will also be turned on.
Rebellion is a continuation of the mod Vengeance, where you visited the Mipping Tax Research Center as Gordon Freeman in order to rescue it from invading renegade marines. Toward the end, it turned out that it was a carefully planned trap set up by G-Man and you fell for it. Anyway, after the fight with Gargantua at the end of Vengeance, you fell through a crack in the ground and fainted. The voice from your communication module woke you up, and said that a new task is waiting for you. You have 60 minutes to reply, otherwise you will be marked as dead and the Mipping Tax complex will be leveled with the ground. The story is quite interesting, maybe even at a B-movie level. The game uncovers it through video sequences and conversations that are in French, but there are also English subtitles available.
The game is divided into two thematic sections: the first takes place in the Mipping Tax complex and its surroundings, and the other in Fortworth City. In comparison to the predecessor, the maps are much more complex and architecturally nicer, they are very well connected to each other, and in some places so strongly non-linear that the authors had to integrate maps. The visual impression is mostly quite good, but it could definitely be improved in some places. The most outstanding feature of the mapping is certainly the enormous size of some areas. This, on the one hand, creates a rather astonishing impression, but on the other hand it has its drawbacks due to the feeling of emptiness and, above all, the long walking between points. The sequel has gotten more puzzles, as you don't only need to push buttons, but also have to look for well-hidden ways forward, escort NPCs, overcome some jumping challenges and also back track. Tip: If Barney gets stuck, move to another map and then back to reload and reactivate the AI. Activation of a particular action occasionally triggers a video sequence, which unfortunately can last a very long time!
Unlike in the predecessor, the fights in Rebellion will be fought almost exclusively against soldiers, which have the support of machineguns, helicopters and tanks, and in some places, female assassins. Because of their abundance and attacks from multiple sides, the battles can be demanding, and the difficulty further increases, because enemies can respawn at certain points. The difficulty curve is mostly constant, but I really didn't like the giant peaks in difficulty, which have arisen mostly due to the participation of mechanical opponents. Your arsenal is very varied, as it contains a lot of reskinned (and new) weapons, but I was disappointed by the absence of a very important weapon for me: the grenades. The bullets are plentiful, but healing packages and batteries are fairly rare. Tip: To make your life easier, you can also restore your health by sleeping in any bed. To complete the mod, I spent around 3 hours and a half playing it on the Medium difficulty.
Timeline 2: Iced Earth is the second part of the Timeline series, in which you play Gordon Freeman, who tries to fix the broken timeline. This time, G-Man sends you to a parallel universe, in which the ice age plagues the Earth, and to make things worse, the weakened planet is under attack from the monsters from Xen. If they succeed, the captured planet could be used as a starting point for invasion on our planet.
The mapping quality did not impress me in the previous part, but this time is different, since the author has made great progress. The maps are very varied and despite simple architecture full of interesting details. Different themes are very well intertwined, and passages between external and internal maps are also appealing. Many of the puzzles are multi-layered, and sometimes you will need to find a well hidden access card or passage to continue. There are also some skill challenges, for example walking on ice shelves will require a lot of patience. I really liked various transportation methods which are used for traversing different parts of the game. There are also traps and unpleasant surprises in the game, so save regularly.
In the first part of the game, you will mostly fight against the already known monsters from Xen, which are later joined by assassins and grunts. Opponents are not only well-placed, but also many, so the battles are very intense. Particularly frustrating are parts in which teleporters supply an endless stream of enemies, and you need to figure out how to shut this down. The main problem of modification is a chronic lack of ammunition in the first part and health / batteries in the second part. I did manage finish the game on Easy difficulty after 3 hours and a half of gameplay, but it was a close one. Too bad.
The appearance of the game is fairly solid, and in some cases very good. The visuals are also improved by interesting scripted events. With the exception of new textures, there are barely any other visual changes.
Half-Life: Echoes is the newest modification in my collection, as it was released just a few months before the 20-th anniversary of the first Half-Life game! The game takes place in Black Mesa, and you play as an unknown person, which is referred to as Candidate #12. You are one of the many scientists who have applied for the testing of the purest, but highly unstable, crystal from Xen (GG-3883), which caused the resonance cascade in HL1 and, consequently, a disaster of epic proportions. The story is extremely interesting and is revealed to you via events that take place in the complex, video sequences and excellent speech, which is very skillfully cut. In addition to presenting an alternative view of the HL1 incident and linking with its story, the game also tries to explain some other events in the Half-Life series, but I won't spoil it for you ;). The game consists of a rather large introductory part (almost 20 minutes long), which familiarizes you with the complex and the background story, and later nicely connects to the events that followed the failed experiment.
The levels are composed mainly of internal parts, which are occasionally connected to external sections, and both of the types are of exceptional quality. We are not just talking about carefully crafted architecture and massive amounts of detail, but also about the sizes of the rooms, which will often blow your mind. Despite the spaciousness, the rooms don't look dull and empty, as they contain plenty of elements. Your progress through the sections will often be blocked with puzzles that need to be solved before you continue. The set is not limited to pressing buttons, jumping challenges, moving objects, and guiding NPCs, but it often contains multi-layered problems that can sometimes completely change the appearance of the map, you are residing in. Some of these problems are extremely long and highly complex, and could thus be easily split into a smaller, independent modification. During the game you will also return to certain areas that you have already visited, but are now completely different because they were adjusted to the events in the complex. I think this was greatly done, and I liked it very much.
Even with all these puzzles, the author did not forget to iron out the fights. The first half is devoted to a very varied range of zombies and monsters from Xen, and is later spectacularly expanded by soldiers, female assassins and all the heavy machinery the army has. Due to the good enemy positioning and abundance, you will have to survive several challenging fights, and the action is further amplified by scripted events and ambushes. Every now and then you will have to fight against boss opponents, and a few times you will also have to stay hidden or even run away. The available weapon set is very strictly regulated, which means that the firearms get gradually unlocked. However, players that like to explore, might find certain weapons much earlier. Although the weapons are taken from the original, they have certain changes that will require some careful examination before charging into battle. The most prominent changes are the limited barrels on the shotgun and the machine gun, and additionally, the total number of bullets you can carry, was limited. Since you do not have the H.E.V. suit, you can not pick up batteries, but you can wear the security guards helmet and armor. The amount of goodies and bullets is just right to play the mod on Conventional difficulty, but more cautious players can also try to finish it on Stringent.
The game runs on a modified version of Spirit of Half-Life, which helped the author to create an incredible visual appearance. With the help of a good selection of textures, color schemes, special effects and new models, the game appears almost 10 years younger, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The highlight of the modification are, in my opinion, the movie-like scripted events with good background music, which are taking place in parallel with your gameplay, and have made me feel like I'm part of the game. An example of them, are the NPCs who perform everyday tasks, chat, give you advice, fight for their lives, run away, etc., and everything is enriched by very good animations. Exceptional appearance occasionally overloads the engine and reduces the number of frames per second, but luckily such moments are very rare. I needed about 3 hours of gameplay to complete this masterpiece.