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.
ReIssues or Project Quantum Leap 3 is a compilation of maps of various authors in which you have to complete the tasks of your employer, the mysterious G-Man. The maps are not directly linked to one another, but they connect via a teleportation node. In addition to the entries in the map, the node contains a healing pool, which is recommended to be used after every return.
Since the theme has not been defined, the maps are extremely diverse. The themes of the original Half-Life game are expanded with oriental and futuristic ones. Most of the levels are excellent, so all the praise for the authors! They contain puzzles, fun fights, jumping challenges, scripted events, some of them are non-linear and give an extraordinary sense of freedom. There are no bad levels, as even the unfinished map (It's safer here) manages to reach a fairly high standard, but some of them are really short. Since you might encounter a nasty bug during gameplay, keep saving the game regularly.
During playtime, you will be attacked by a limited range of enemies that includes soldiers, machine guns and monsters from Xen, but the choice is dependent on the authors of the map. Scepter of Ra stands out from the crowd, since the models represent a total conversion. As far as weapons are concerned, there are no surprises, ammunition is enough, and the same applies to healing packages and batteries.
The visuals of the package range from exceptional (for example Cyan) to good. Along customized models, higher quality textures are also available. The engine used is Spirit of Half-Life, which greatly enhances the visuals, but can occasionally cause FPS fluctuations. Unfortunately, it also has bugs, for example the quicksaves get corrupt when you climb the tower in the Second Wind (save manually), and in It's safer here the sky breaks (save and reload). Occasionally the background music is turned on, and the modpack also contains custom speech. To finish the package, I needed approximately 4 hours and a half on the Medium difficulty.
First of all, it should be mentioned that the mod consists of two parts. The first one, White Force (Alpha), is located under Hazard Course. It's an hour and a half long alpha version, which is in an early stage and needs quite a lot polishing for a final release. The fights are quite interesting, but most of the levels are uninspired and filled with tons of boxes, so you will get a feeling of playing a box breaking simulator :). The other part is called Residual Point which was tested in this review. You play dr. Jack Sohn, who works in the Biodome laboratory of the Black Mesa complex. On a typical work day, it becomes quickly apparent that something will go seriously wrong. Already at the arrival you notice, that the whole complex has security and power grid problems. Nevertheless, your team decides to conduct a teleporter test, but something goes horribly wrong.
The level design in this modification is mostly very good, the paths to advance are often unclear and thus require some thinking. There are a few sideways which will replenish your resources, and I'm almost sure that there is a giant alternative path around the middle of the game, for which the authors deserve all praise. A very clever level was also the flooded map, where you need to do some diving, and oxygen is provided by tactically placed oxygen tanks. In some stages, you also have to accompany NPCs and bring them safely to the locked door, but for greater drama you can also take a dangerous sidestep to a warehouse :).
The enemies are very well placed, and often appear behind your back or create an ambush on your return. The fights are therefore very intense, but fortunately there are plenty of healing packages and recharge stations, and in some places you will also find scientists who can heal the worst wounds. In addition to classical opponents from the original Half-Life and official expansions, you will also be fight custom enemies, among which the hyperactive headcrabs and super zombies will certainly stand out. Both are moving and attacking extremely fast, so you need to do some precise shooting and choosing the right type of weapon. There are also semi transparent versions of the monsters, which, fortunately, are only a few. Arsenal selection is standard, but is good enough as the weapons are varied enough. The ammunition is plentiful, so no worries there.
The graphics and music provide no surprises, but some maps are really pretty and there is also some scripted events. The difficulty of the game is just right on Easy, and you'll spend about 5 hours and a half to complete it.
Timeline 3: Heart of Darkness is the last part in the Timeline series. During hyperspace travel Gordon, G-Man and Barney are captured by the Nazis, who apparently weren't eliminated in previous games. After escaping from prison, you discover that the Third Reich has managed to infiltrate itself into several timelines, which means that you will have to find another solution to this problem. I really liked the story in this part and, in my opinion, it provided a really good ending to the series.
The level design has really impressed me this time. The maps contain a lot of detail and are very well connected with others, also, they are very architecturally diverse due to being in different time periods. A few of them allow a non-linear approach to problem solving, but the large amount of freedom may confuse some players. Some of the passages are very well hidden, so keep your eyes peeled. Many of the doors are limited by access cards (pay attention to green lights next to them), unfortunately, some of them also require large amounts of backtracking.
The set of enemies is very varied, as it includes most of the ones from the original Half-Life. They are very well positioned, and will occasionally surprise you by teleporting. The latter was made less annoying as in previous part, so playing is less stressful. Difficulty curve could be better, as you will barely make it to the end at Medium, on the other hand Easy occasionally does not provide a big enough challenge. There is enough ammo for conventional weaponry, the same goes for healing packages and batteries.
The appearance of the game is good, and occasionally excellent. A number of maps are very well lit, and the impression is further enriched by positioning of objects, scripted events and the occasional background music. I needed about 3 hours to complete the mod.
In Half-Life: Visitors you play a lawyer named Alan Green, who was sent to a desert in New Mexico to analyze the security protocols used in the Black Mesa laboratories. Because the story of the mod is intertwined with the original, an incident occurs during your visit and the Xen monsters flood the complex. As your life is endangered, you have no other choice but grab a weapon and start fighting your way to freedom. The position in the timeline of the original universe keeps revealing itself during gameplay, and also through video sequences and cross references, but somewhere in the middle of the mod there is a really strange and unexplained scene jump.
Maps rely heavily on levels from the original HL and expansions, but are very ingeniously transformed into a unique and varied experience. They contain tons of very interesting puzzles that will test your ingenuity and ability to observe the surroundings. Sharp eyes will also be needed for some very well hidden paths. It's hard to find any major irregularity in level design itself. The levels are full of detail and are perfectly connected to one another, players that like to explore will love them. I recommend that you save regularly, since you will encounter countless traps and surprises during gameplay.
In regards to the enemies and weapons, there seem to be no major surprises (with the exception of the parameter adjustments). You start fighting the Xen monsters first, later on they are joined by soldiers, special forces and assassins. Their positioning and numbers seemed just right to provide nice fights. The difficulty curve is polished pretty well. On the difficulty of Medium there are just enough healing packages and armor to avoid frustration, and in worst case scenarios, you can also get some help from the scientists. Interestingly, you can find batteries in the levels, but they can not be used. The same holds for certain types of ammunition. The arsenal is fairly standard and unlocks during advancement, unfortunately, there are no biological weapons.
Although the modification does not offer big graphic improvements (with the exception of a couple of new models and textures), authors managed to create a very appealing look with the placement of elements in the maps. Some of the locations were extremely well-lit and had an excellent color scheme, and this was further strengthened by scripted events and background music. I needed about 2 hours and a half to complete the mod.
Absolute Redemption takes place after the events of the original Half-Life story. Gordon Freeman freed three butterfly-like creatures called Telnorps, who served to protect Xen against the hostile Zan race from the Theldran galaxy. Te panicked Xen creatures asked the mysterious G-Man for help in finding the lost Telnorps. The first one is in the captivity of a cult in the Himalayas, the other in the amusement park, and the third in captivity of a passionate collector of unusual things, that will do everything to get the remaining two.
If you count Xen, you will fight in the game through four differently built areas and all of them are of exceptional quality. The maps are perfectly joined to form a homogenous area. They are greatly detailed and contain quite a few jumping challenges and scripted events. I really liked the non-linear design, which gives an exceptional sense of freedom, but it could confuse some players. You will occasionally have to return to the previous section, but it may contain a surprise which wasn't there before :).
As far as the enemies are concerned, there are no big changes and they are grouped by thematic sections. In the Himalayas, you will fight soldiers and ninjas, in the circus/Xen aliens, and in the warehouse the personal army of the collector. The game does not treat you as a beginner when starting, but throws you directly into the crossfire. Weapons are standard, there is enough ammo and medkits. The fights can be quite demanding, especially in sections where the map is divided into several heights or in the places where the teleporters are placed.
Visually the mod doesn't deviate significantly from the original, but there are some reskinned models available, and the gameplay is enriched by scripted sequences. There is also some really great custom speech present, and background music is also included in suitable places. To complete the game on Medium I needed about 2 hours, and I must mention here that I was greatly disappointed by the ending.
Back to Xen 2 is a direct continuation of the predecessor created by the Slovenian map creator Janez Brezovnik (go Slovenia! :), and this time the mod contains a story. In order to stop the invasion from Xen, a new device was developed to prevent teleportation between the worlds. Since this means the end of Xen's research and the revolutionary discoveries associated with it, the Administrator decides that the project will never be launched. Some scientists oppose this decision and try to start the device anyway, but this is prevented by the army. Your task is to get to the device and turn it on.
The quality of the maps made a quantum leap with regards to its predecessor, and for this accomplishment the author should definitely be praised. The levels now contain much more detail, better color schemes, and most importantly, since they are more complex they are consequently more interesting. There is much more non-linearity, and there are several side paths and secrets in which you find many goodies. Most maps are internal, but the rare outside maps do not impress. There are quite a few scripted events. Among them you will find those that deform the surroundings, which looks pretty good. Some work has also been put into the puzzles, which are not limited to pressing buttons anymore.
The enemy types were transferred to the sequel without significant changes, but this time the author used a much better approach to balancing. In the beginning, you are mostly threatened by weaker enemies from Xen (eg Vortigaunts), which are later joined by soldiers, machineguns and stronger creatures from Xen (eg Alien Grunts). In this way, the difficulty curve keeps rising in a steady pace, and consequently the challenge keeps increasing. Due to the more complex maps, the author could improve the positioning of the enemies, which resulted in crazy good action that barely leaves you room to breathe. Some of the action can be attributed to scripted occurrences of enemies at certain events that can surprise you behind your back. I was again not impressed by the amount of Headcrabs, but their numbers are much more modest than in the predecessor.
The weapon set is much more diverse than its predecessor, but it is still limited to human weapons. Unlocking happens gradually. Ammunition and healing packages are sufficient for Medium difficulty, but Hard is another story. Although I have played on Hard, because this is recommended by the author, I must say that I could barely make it to the end, so I advise to stay away from this difficulty. To complete the game, you will spend around 2 hours playing it.
ETC 2 or Earthquake Test Centre 2 is a direct sequel to the predecessor. In the former, you tried to save yourself by using a teleporter, but unfortunately, you fell right into the hands of the military forces. ETC 2 starts a few days after your capture. The creatures from Xen attack the military base in which you are imprisoned, and thus provide you with a opportunity to escape. The scarce amounts of story are uncovered to you during your progress, with the help of quite humorous conversations with the NPCs.
The design of the maps was already nice in the previous mod, and in the sequel it has extensively improved in practically all areas, making it almost perfect. The quality of design has thus become outstanding, and the same applies to complexity of the levels. The maps are far more colorful (also because of the nice selection of lightning), they contain much more detail, and they are often transformed through excellent scripting events, making your progress possible again. Because of alternative paths and many secrets, the levels give you an incredible feeling of non-linearity, which will be loved by all who love to explore. Your path will take you through very well-connected internal and external maps, and even a tiny amount of Xen. The puzzles were also considerably upgraded, as they include jumping challenges, diving, creeping through the ventilation, riding trains, door unlocking, search for hidden paths, level destruction and other things.
The set of enemies is far more varied compared to the predecessor, as you will fight against almost all enemies, known from the original Half-Life 1. You will be confronted by soldiers and female assassins, various Xen monsters, and you should also prepare for encounters with numerous machine guns and even a tank. Opponent positioning and their numbers are very good, and there are also some surprises, so you will have use tactical approach in fights. Your battles will be fought with a very wide array of weapons, from which only futuristic ones are absent. The amount of bullets is well balanced. Health kits and batteries are numerous enough to play on Medium, but more experienced players who like to explore, should play on Hard difficulty for more fun. It's only a shame that the game is relatively short, since I barely managed to accumulate a hour and a half of playing time.
If I try to guess the story of the Half-Life Prison (the speech is in Russian), I would say that it starts in a highly guarded Siberian prison, where our hero Gordon Freeman is imprisoned. One day the prison gets flooded by aliens and Gordon is able to escape from captivity, but the story is not over yet ...
I had mixed feelings about the mod level design. On the one hand, the maps are extremely original, full of skill tests and puzzles, and on the other hand, they could get annoying with unfair situations and traps that you can not foresee, if you are playing for the first time. Quick saving and loading is a must, it's a pity that the autosaves are not more frequent. Paths to advance are often not obvious at first glance; often, some machine or mechanism needs to be activated, there are also some timed events. There are quite a few hidden secrets in the levels, which will increase the amount of ammunition, batteries, or health, but on the lowest difficulty you will be able to get through to the end even if you find none of them.
Some enemies were taken from the original and some more resistant were added in the mod. The latter will certainly put your shooting skills to the test. There are also a lot of dangerous giant monsters (Gonarch, Gargantua), who often appear in groups. Fortunately, ammunition is plentiful, and your arsenal is good enough. A selection of weapons from the original is present, and the shotgun has undergone a visual transformation. Difficulty curve is quite good with rare exceptions, and you will also have to fight bosses.
The appearance of the game is exotic because of the unconventional design of the levels, and the same is true for the sounds. Some of the latter could be omitted without any big loss :). The mod contains quite some scripted events and video sequences which enrich it. I recommend playing the mod on Easy, and on this difficulty you'll need about 4 hours and a half to complete it.
Hour-Glass takes place after the events in Black Mesa. Gordon Freeman is employed by the Intergalactic Time Reassurance, where he works as an agent who takes care of the correct timing of world events. When comparing all the collected data, the ITR finds that manipulation has occurred and was performed by the mysterious G. Mann. The latter managed to take over the world by traveling through time-space and poisoning Coca-Cola with a mysterious chemical X. The story is interesting and is provided via intermediate sequences with texts (press Pause). The intros can be up to a minute and a half long, so be patient.
Because the modification is divided into missions that take place on different planets, the levels are very diverse. The mapping quality is pretty good, although some areas could use more details, and there could be less corridors and duplicate sections. I really liked the feeling of freedom that is conceived by alternative routes, occasionally you will also have to track back. Many of the doors are locked with keys or security cards, and occasionally you will also need to flip a switch. The maps also contain secrets with nice rewards, but beware, I managed to get stuck quite a few times during exploration! Some of the levels were clearly influenced by Duke Nukem 3D (explicit content), so I advise you not to play this in front of your family members: P.
You will mostly fight against soldiers, which are later joined by a limited set of monsters from Xen. The enemies are well placed, so the fights are intense, and some scripting events will additionally increase the difficulty. The final stage can be a nightmare for many, as the enemies become invisible, but fortunately you have heat tracking weapons in the arsenal. The latter is pretty standard, although it might not seem so because of reskins. There is enough ammo, health and batteries to prevent the gameplay from being frustrating.
The visuals of the mod are ok, but don't stand out, well, with the exception of erotic content and new designs. The game contains a lot of humor and new sounds, so I highly recommend playing with headphones ;). To finish the game, I spent 2 hours and a half on the Medium difficulty.
Issues or Project Quantum Leap 2 is a compilation of maps of various authors that are grouped over a single common theme: find a scientist who got lost during a teleportation. Gameplay is done by entering one of the teleporters in the connecting hub, and then fight your way through to the exit teleporter, which again leads to the hub.
If several different author work independently it will most certainly result in fluctuating quality. No exceptions here. On one side we have excellent maps (eg Subzone, Badass, Legacy, Lost time) that are looking nice, are quite long, non-linear, well balanced, have challenging fights and jump challenges, and also contain secrets. On the other hand, we have very average or even unfinished maps (Casa, Base, Xenpit) that are short, not appealing architecturally, exploration barely makes sense. It is a pity that the authors did not adapt a minimum quality standard, and then helped each other to reach it.
The set of enemies and weapons depends on the map, but both (with the exception of the second part of Lost Time) are limited to what is found in the original.
There is not much to discuss about the looks, as the custom models are only present in Lost Time, but the difference in aesthetics between the excellent and the average maps is quite high. The background music is turned on here and there, and a some maps have custom speech. To complete the package, I needed approximately 3 hours on the Medium difficulty.