100 Half-Life 1 Mods: page 5
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 Half-Life: Infestation you play Gordon Freeman, who has been locked in a cell at an unknown location all the time since the original incident in Black Mesa. One day he is approached by G-Man, who wants him to finally clean Black Mesa of all the Xen infestation situated in it. Gordon must fight itself through the complex, find one of the not yet detonated nuclear devices and activate it. An explosion will destroy the entire complex, and thus clear all evidence of the event. You can find more details about the story in the Readme.txt file which is located in the archive.
I had mixed feelings about the map architecture. On the one hand, I really liked how elements from Xen were intertwined with the human Black Mesa ones, but on the other hand, I disliked the simplicity of maps and disproportionately large elements present in them. In particular, Xen is the most problematic and also quite monotonous. The maps are well connected to each other, there is quite a lot of non-linearity and back tracking. The two long and equally interesting paths to the ending deserve a special mention, as they together contribute almost a third of the playing time. The gameplay itself is very diverse, because you will need to solve a lot of interesting puzzles, overcome very entertaining jumping challenges, and you can also find some secrets.
On the way to the nuclear device, you will encounter practically all the enemies that are present in the original: humans, military equipment and creatures from Xen. Due to good positioning and abundance of them, the fights are very tense, full of action, and additionally intensified by many surprises. The modification contains all the weapons from the original, and there are just right amounts of ammo available for them. Batteries and healing packages are kind of scarce at Medium, but fortunately you will also be able to meet scientists and dip yourself into healing pools. I needed around hour and a half to complete the mod. Keep in mind that I decided to take both routes to the ending :).
Instinct takes place immediately after Gordon Freeman (you) chose certain death. To his great fortune a defect occurred in the teleporter, and he got teleported straight back to Black Mesa. Unfortunately, things took a turn to the worse here. Due to Nihilanth's death, the remaining creatures from Xen migrated to Earth, the soldiers are still not planning to get out, and in about 12 hours the whole complex will be turned to dust. Will you be able to escape? You can read the whole interesting introduction in the Readme.txt file.
I liked the architecture of the maps because of the various details and loved the parts in which human and Xen elements mix as it's done very good. Parts of maps are perfectly connected, and can often be accessed by several alternative routes, which allow a tactical approach to solving the situation. Non-linearity is also enhanced by side paths and secrets which contain many goodies. There are no real puzzles in the game, but there are many jumping challenges, which later become even more entertaining because of the use of the long jump module.
During your path through Black Mesa you will encounter both Xenian opponents as well as soldiers. In the first group, practically all the monsters from the original are found. Most memorable are the Headcrabs, which are unfortunately too numerous, and negatively impact the experience. A wide range of army troops with machine guns and shotguns are complemented by static machineguns which are either automatic or controlled by humans. Opponent positioning is excellent and is responsible for very good fights, additionally, there are also some situations in which different factions are fighting for survival. Weapon set is a limited selection from the original, and the ammo for the firearms is ample. Often, you can also take advantage of explosive barrels, which are quite densely placed in the surroundings. The mod is more conservative in regards to medical packages and batteries, but you will probably have no problems completing it on Medium.
The visuals of the game raise mixed feelings. On the one hand, the maps are attractive because of good architecture and gameplay is enriched by interesting scripted events, but on the other hand everything is simply too gray. However, it should be acknowledged that the colorful elements provide for excellent contrast in some areas. There is no background music, but I really liked the background sounds, which create a very good ambience. The end of the game is never triggered, since you can still play after killing Gonarch, even if there is nothing more to do. I spent about 1 hour to finish the mod.
Peaces Like Us takes place in an alternative universe, in which people and beings from Xen live in harmony. You play Gordon Freeman, who is employed at a research station set up on a floating island somewhere in Xen. The story begins when the station is suddenly attacked by military forces, lead by none other than the mysterious G-Man.
The map design could be divided into three parts. In the first, and largest, the classical lab architecture is very well intertwined with the Xen elements and it's also detailed enough. This part is very diverse and contains imaginative (and also frustrating) jumping challenges, alternative routes, a lot of secrets and surprises, and everything is rounded up pretty well by challenging combat against soldiers and assassins. You can bypass certain challenges with the help of your Xen friends, which is a really nice idea, I wish there was more of this. The second is a distorted alternative universe, in which the Xen creatures are suddenly enemies. The battles are pretty tough, and there is barely enough of healing packages available on Medium. Puzzles are mostly consisting of annoying jumping challenges, some of them can be solved by using knowledge gained in a short Hazard Course (target ;). The last part is just Xen jumping challenges.
The appearance of the mod is pretty nice, but it doesn't bring any new weapons, opponents or textures to the table. Interestingly, the HUD was changed in the way that numbers have become something that looks like Chinese characters. To solve the problem, rename the
sprites/640hud7.spr file into e.g.
sprites/640hud7.spx. I was very fond of scripted events that take place independently of your location and enrich the gaming experience. I also liked the background music which was also included in suitable places. I needed about 1 hour and a half to complete the mod.
The TWHL (The Whole Half-Life) Tower is a compilation of thirteen maps of various authors, which are presented as floors in a tower, connected via the central staircase. Each of the authors was limited by the building space (floor), but as there were no other limitations, he could do anything with it. The result we got in this mod is surprisingly good and even has some traces of consistency. Each floor contains a specific task (or more of them) that needs to be solved before you can unlock the stairwell door, and move one floor higher through some kind of a portal.
The portal is not only used to restore life points, but also for removal of weapons, making the beginning of each floor a fresh start. Most of the time, you will lose only the crowbar, which you must use to break certain areas of the map, but in some floors, the game will also give you the pistol, the machine gun and the shotgun, as you will also have to fight. At lower levels, you will be mostly attacked by Xen monsters and machine guns, but at the rooftop a bigger challenge awaits you, as it's full of soldiers and even has a helicopter. Sometimes you will also have to run away from your opponents, and in one of the levels, you will have to avoid camera detection, as it will otherwise trigger deadly machinegun fire. Since your life points are regenerated after every floor, I would recommend playing the game on Hard difficulty.
Most maps are visually good, as they contain enough interesting details, and it is also difficult to complain about the geometry itself. Only a few of them slightly deviate in the negative direction, because of the simplicity, but this is quickly countered by those which are above average quality and are a true visual treat (eg Upper Management, Chairman). In general, all the maps are puzzle oriented. The challenges are very diverse and some of them are also very original. You will be searching for hidden access cards and keys, gradually unlocking areas, pressing buttons, activating terminals, collecting items, and there are also some jumping challenges. Unfortunately, the pack also contains some bad puzzles (for example, the teleporting box), but that does not ruin the overall experience. I needed about 1 hour to complete the game.
In the original Poke646 our hero Damien Reeves got stranded on Xen. Despite it looked like a situation without exit, he managed to create a functional teleporter and successfully blindly teleported himself to a research vessel orbiting around the Earth. Now it's time for vendetta ...
The design of the maps follows the recipes set by original, which surprised with detailed high quality levels. The venues are varied and extremely well made, but unfortunately the non-linearity of the original was absent. With the exception of some very simple puzzles, a pinch of well hidden paths and jumping trials, the path through the mod was somewhat too simple.
The set of enemies is also pretty trimmed down. In addition to soldiers and machineguns, the levels contain only a limited set of Xen monsters. Their positioning can be good, but their numbers are mostly too small to be really threatening. The teleportation surprises are non-existent, as enemies take several moments to appear, so you can just shoot them before they even begin to attack. Too bad. Nevertheless, I would recommend playing on Hard only to the most experienced players, since the soldiers are already a very decent opponent on the Medium difficulty.
In the sequel you retain most of the weapons from the original, I was however disappointed that the acid spitter and nail shooters were removed. They were replaced by a machine gun, which includes a grenade launcher. This gun also changes the way ammunition is collected, as you can pick it up from the fallen soldiers. This replaces the fine tuned quantities of ammunition from their predecessor. In addition to healing packages, healing stations are also available, but they are one-time-use only.
The graphics of the game are so good that it's hard to believe that this is a Half-Life 1 modification. Some parts of the map are perfectly color balanced, the geometry is full of detail, and the sharp textures and quality models make the game look even better. Sound is also commendable, not only because of the custom music, but also because of the environment sounds which create a special atmosphere. Unlike the very long predecessor, Vendetta finishes after what seems only a warmup. It only takes about a hour and 15 minutes to finish the mod.
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.
The Survive in Catacombs mod was created for the competition organized by GameStar, and it was also released on one of the discs accompanying the magazine. With the exception of the titles between the chapters, the whole game is in Czech, which means that you will barely understand the story if Slavic languages are a mystery to you. From the Hazard Course intro, I managed to figure out that six centuries ago the devil was defeated, and his soul was trapped in the so-called Book of the Dead. This artifact was hidden in the catacombs near the Poltergeist castle, but curious people uncovered it and released the evil.
The mapping quality is solid, but it would be difficult to say that it greatly stands out from the average. The maps are very diverse (catacombs, caves, towns, countryside), but they are mostly relatively architecturally simple. There are too many labyrinths in which the corridors are too similar to the other, so you will have difficulty navigating in them. I was additionally frustrated by the large number of traps (save on a regular basis), which were not even hinted at. There are also places that overload the engine and cause stutter, and one of the map (sic6) has problems switching to the next (sic7) - install the Patch. It is commendable that alternative paths are also included, and there are secrets in which you can find many treats. Certain puzzles were pretty nice, because the solution was unusual.
The enemies in the game are reskinned and stronger Xen enemies. You will be mostly attacked by zombies, Vortigaunts, Bullsquids and Headcrabs. The numbers of remaining enemies are too small to be noteworthy. Opponents are mostly positioned in fixed places (very good), zombies on the other hand might crawl out of the soil and surprise you. Their number is sometimes quite a bit excessive, but don't worry, there is tons of ammo in the mod.
The arsenal contains reskinned non-biological weapons from the original with customized parameters, and one of them is also the quantity of ammunition supplies. You will be able to wear as many as twenty grenades, and the revolver can have over a hundred bullets. In combination with a plentiful supply of healing packages, you will not have a problem playing the game on Hard.
Visuals stand out mainly due to very appealing models, and some very well done interior maps. The atmosphere, which is a result of sounds, darkness and exceptionally well-chosen background music, is sometimes superb. To finish the mod, I needed about 2 hours.
The Xeno Project 2 is a direct sequel to the precursor, in which you managed to escape the Xen base by using a rocket. Your journey through the universe did not last long, as you encountered G-Man's spacecraft (looks suspiciously similar to the Star Destroyer from Star Wars), which captured you with its tractor beam. The secret conspiracy of scientists (who adore Xena) allows you to escape from your cell, but the escape will definitely not be easy. Unlike the predecessor, the second part has a very interesting story. You discover it through video sequences and conversations with NPCs that have satisfactory recorded custom speech.
In the first part of the series, we had a mixture of external and internal maps, but in the second part the balance was completely shifted to internal ones. The latter did not impress me in the predecessor, but in this part their quality has increased a lot. Excellent architecture is blended in with a good layout of elements and an exceptional combination of colors and lighting. Many scripted events also contribute to a very good visual impression. The maps are well connected to each other, partly because of alternative routes, which, as in the predecessor, are copies of each other, and there are also quite a lot of secrets. The variety of puzzles is pretty modest, because most of them consist of pressing buttons / switches, but there are quite a few jumping challenges (even in lower gravity environments), all this is further enhanced by traps.
The set of opponents is more modest compared to the predecessor, but still very varied. In the first part you will be mostly attacked by soldiers of all kinds, and here and there they will get the help of machineguns and female assasins. In the second part the Xen monsters prevail. Fortunately, the latter are sufficiently numerous to not slow down the pace of the action. Thus, the fighting is very tough, not only because of the enemy numbers, but also their good positioning and brutal ambushes. Your weaponry is pretty good as it contains almost all weapons from the original, and ammunition is sufficient. A small shock may be the start, in which you must survive without H.E.V suit, but there are enough treats around to get you through it. The goodies are numerous enough for the difficulty of Medium, but due to the ambushes, I would recommend Hard only to the most persistent players. I completed the game in about 1 hour of play time.
When Half-Life 2 fans read the name Boreality, they will immediately get their hopes up, for it being a hidden reference to the Borealis research vessel that should be seen in a never-issued third episode. Unfortunately, it is probably just a coincidence, since the modification was published several years before the mention of Borealis in Episode 2. You play Gordon Freeman, who, after an unsuccessful evacuation with the helicopter, is forced to jump out with a parachute mid flight. He lands in an unfamiliar snowy place, which has a small cosy-looking cottage in the vicinity.
This game is pretty appealing architecturally. The upper living rooms pass well into the giant complex underground, there are several paths to the next level, which means that you will have great freedom in exploration. Many people will dislike this openness, so this is a double-edged sword. There is some walking around in the dark and swimming, but the amount is low enough to not make it frustrating. Puzzles are interesting, although they are not overly difficult. Levels include Xen monsters: Headcrabs, Alien Slaves, Bullsquids, which can result in several surprises. Unfortunately, they definitely exaggerated with the Headcrabs and as you near the end, you will probably get annoyed by them. Your arsenal includes a crowbar, a revolver, and shotgun, that is all. Ammunition is just right, and the same applies to medkits and batteries, but if you play wasteful, you could have problems.
With the exception of snow and ice, there are no visual surprises. Occasionally, the background music is turned on, and a there are some custom speech parts. You will need approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete the game on Medium. The Training room and the bonus level are the same, so I recommend that you do not start the first on it's own, because the HUD will be missing.
In Brave Brain you play Thomas Redgrave, a research assistant who works in Black Mesa laboratories. After you arrive at work a hour early, you decide to go to the Hazard Course to kill some time and refresh your skills. But something happens during training and the situation quickly turns into a disaster. Since the story takes place in parallel with events in the original, you will be able to meet the heroes from Half-Life and expansions. Sometimes NPCs explain the situation to you, but I would wish for the custom speech to be better.
The map design strongly relies on maps from the original and expansions, and some are even directly re-created. On the one hand, this makes the architecture very good and the maps visually convincing, but on the other hand, the levels lack originality. I didn't like some parts between the maps, because they were too simple, and on some of them lightning was completely off. I was also not keen about the simplistic Xen segment, but it was fortunately rather short. The levels are satisfactorily connected to each other, but I was bothered by too much crawling through ventilation shafts and pipes. Puzzles are not limited to pushing buttons, but also contain several jumping challenges (you also have a long jump module), and here and there you will have to escort and protect the NPCs. In some places parts of the level are also transformed via scripted events, which is very well done.
The set of opponents could be characterized as being classic, and includes all kinds of human and a limited range of Xenian opponents. The enemy placement was mostly unconvincing, as the emphasis was on their numbers, but fortunately, the scripted occurrences of opponents were much better. The latter provide quite a few dramatic moments, especially if you have low life points. A limited range of weapons from the original is joined by a movable machinegun in one of the levels, which I thought was a great idea, but it could have been more refined. Amounts of ammo, healing packages and batteries are just right to complete the game at Hard, and to do this you will need about 1 hour and a half of gameplay.