Sunday, June 21, 2009

Space Lasercore for Half-Life


Level name: Space Lasercore

Author: Tommy "Tlax" Pettersson

Release date: 27 August 2004

Size: 1 052 ko

Number of maps: 1

website: author's page not updated since 2005



You are Gordon Freeman and you are now a soldier in the administrators MR.G-man army.You base is on a space station, A attack on one of the earth installations send you on a mission.

Review :

Tlax came up to half-Life community with a impressive release in 2004 called Timefall (check is website) after no other major release was done but a lot of small put together things especially for the TWHL competition were done, they were always short but really impressive, with a mix between puzzles, cutscenes and well put together archtitecture, this one is certainly not an exception, I'm especially impressed by the map size...regarding all what it contains.

Design is perfectly using the feature of Half-life, starting with a small cutscenes and after a mission briefing before you jumps into action with the help/protection of barney, the architecture is the grunt base theme but imaginative with as major highlight the laser core. the attention to detail and layout makes your progression enjoyable with help of allies and some (tricky) puzzle.

Gameplay is quite hard but weapons and ammo are there to make you rush through this map trying to protect Barney even if puzzle are not that evident it certainly add some intesting thing on what to do next, use of custom and original content give a good fluidity to this somewhere short release.

In conclusion: I didn' t find any trace of this one even not on the author site it's defenetly a 'Hall of Fame' one at least for me .

Playtime: 30 minutes

Rating: A B C D E (92%)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Small Pile of Gibs for Quake2


Level name: Small Pile of Gibs

Author: William 'Spog' Joseph

Release date:
20 August 1998

Size: 2 076ko

Number of maps: 1

website: here

download: at 3dgamers edge


*Mission background*
A long range scan from a TCM battlestation has discovered a newlybuilt Strogg installation hidden in the mountains to the east ofCerberon. Further surveillance reveals that the Strogg are usingit as a resource for their war effort, and taking advantage of the natural geological features: Essentially they are pumping uplava from deep within Stroggos' crust, and using it to melt thetip of a glacier that is creeping towards the installation. Thiswater is then pumped out into the natural streams and rivers,where it flows down to Ceberon and provides an invaluable supplyfor munitions and vehicle factories.Obviously removal of the installation would help the TCM attackforce, but a defence system around the mountains prohibits anaerial attack, and the dangerous terrain prevents ground forcesmoving in. Thus we are using subterfuge and taking advantage ofa brief maintenance period, when the installation is less activeand minimally guarded. We have encoded two data CDs with a hugelydestructive computer virus, which when used on the installationcomputers, will annhilate the operating systems. This allows usto shut down the installation, without the need for a wastefulphysical assault.You will be sent in via a drop pod, targeted at the upper areaof the installation, very close to the control computers. Toprevent the Data CDs being revealed if you are captured(unlikely as the installation should be almost deserted), theyhave been dropped to nearby ledges surrounding the top of theinstallation. Thus you may have to do a small amount of searchingto find the CDs and apply them to the installation computers.Once this is accomplished, you should return to your drop podand activate a homing beam that will trigger a teleport fromthe nearest TCM battlestation - the drop pod has just enough powerreserves for this, so don't waste any juice once you land.I would wish you luck marine, but the simplicity of this missiondoesn't really warrant it, as there is very little that couldgo wrong - easy in, easy out!!

Review :
I won't be different about any other review done on this one, This is THE LEVEL for Quake2 even perhaps the best sp level ever, there is nothing that impressive in it and if you look to some part, building or the whole montain, it's quite classic but when you will finish this one the only word is a WOUAW. It's difficult to explain bu when you make a map you have some idea to put in and on a certain point you won't be able to push you idea futher due to the limitation of the engine or the complication you may enconter. For this one the author knew exactly what he could do and manage to do it in the perfect respect of mixing all argument needed to build a map, he wasn't good to do several things but the whole thing like all of us dream to make some release was made...
Design is perfectly put on the industrial base design that is so good for Quake 2 experience with a complex castle/base designed into the montain with water, caverns, buildings and so on it's so huge and immersing that if at any moment you fall down or doesn't find what's next you may turn arround for quite a while, area after area your only mains objective will get on your nerves...but when will i be able to finish...and when you find an item or a solution it's only to a small step forward, all this was done with only original featured with is another remarkable touch

Gameplay is also brilliant with over 200 stroggs the challenge is everywhere without any hords attack but respawning and enemy placement was also perfectly manage, like weapons items and health given you at the best moment it can, In addition to this map you can also sneak for 8 secrets zone well worth to find and add with the perfect realism touch. Finally this huge and tremendous work come also with a technical perfect fitting balance you won't experience any slowdown, attention to perfectly fitting view will encourage you in you qwest and will release the 'conceptual grandness' of this one while you progress. Exept for the map done by Billy boy for duke nukem i never saw something comparable in a one simple unit.

In conclusion: William have produce what a lot of mapper never did before the nearly perfect map: it's huge, complex, enjoyable and so good looking that it's certainly the one you should never miss.

Playtime: 1 hour

Rating: A B C D E (98%)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Help Wanted for Half-Life

***Previously reviewed on my french blog***

Level name: Half-Life : Help Wanted

Author: Bryan 'Zouave' Dillow

Release date: 31 October 2000

Size: 9 768 ko

Number of maps: 10

website: author's page not updated since 2001

download: At author's page


according the author's page the mission just started as you apply for a job just after you recieve you degree. The offer follows:

Sanitation Engineer
Immediate Openings for full time position in laboratory setting. Ideal candidate must be able to handle vigorous w
ork schedule, possible overtime, and pass drug screening and background check. Hazardous Environment Suit to be provided to you on site. Please apply to the Human Resources Department, Black Mesa Research Facility.

and so, It's your first day at work. The job is simple enough, put on your HEV suit and head over to Sector C. If somebody spills something, clean it up. What could be easier?

Review :

Black mesa... never heard about? this mission is then what you are looking for to travel to complex that become similar through one of the most popular game from the last decade...Your new position is a sanitation engineer, so put on your suit and jump into your first day a labor everything is running well for you first day sadly for you just on the moment you are close to the experience zone something went wrong and so the accident happens.

Design is a lot inspired by black mesa, perhaps a little to much and lovers of this theme will cetainly appreciate it while other will just complain about 'another black mesa' experience... The design is well manage there are a a lot of detail really enjoyable (but you could easily be lost through the extension of detail that makes you take the wrong way) and will really catch you attention through your progression, this really give some good remembering the author also add some custom content through texture and skybox ( a bunch of them are available on his website).

Gameplay will directly immerse you with the original intro scene, after a good mix between search and puzzle, that can easily orient you gameplay if you didn't find the pied de biche (perhaps it is no available), if this is the case you only way to survive the first part is to run... after the challenge will increase with you progression but never with frustration, everything is well balance and will make you progress to the outdoor area that just stop your progression with future possibility since the project was abandonned

In conclusion: Even if it's not completed it's cerainly an enjoyable experience to play through and a recommanded experience for all half-Life fans.

Playtime: 50 minutes

Rating: A B C D E (82%)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Ubilitus for Quake 4


Level name:Ubilitus

Author: Victor 'EFX' Lundberg

Release date: 07 July 2006

Size: 43 952 ko

Number of maps: 2

website: here but dead?

download: at map factory


None mentioned, it's a classic mission with two main objectives: first regroup with the rest of you team and take the elevator, second shut down the power and escape through the transport bay

Review :

This is the second experience from EFX with mapping after a map made for doom3 that was quite a good suprise. Ubility is something more consistant with not simply mapping but also some coding and scripting to let the player be immersed in a well put together experience.

Design start slowly with a basic design and layout in a linear way that is quite crafted and limited in term of environment to the way you progress, after the design become more complex and fitting with more inteconnectivity, the progression make some backtracking, the bad suprise are here and there arround the corner, the internal lighting and the perfect colored touch Quake 4 can provide shine through those new areas and so the player got better and better immersed while he is progressing. The use of elevators is this map add something that was for me only well used in some Half-Life modifications, the squad experience is also something that let you progress with a better feeling. The author add here and there some extras below a ladder behind a corner like in all those old FPS where the quest for secret places add a interesting touch, some autosave and cutscenes are also present to better prepare the player for what comes next...sadly you will only see the outdoor through several view at the end but will never be able to make some outdoor battle.

Gameplay is mostly base on the shooter aspect there are no puzzle to solve here and only a few activating button that make you travel form place to's mostly a battle from you (and you squad in the second map) against the evil forces. health and weapon are well placed to make it challenging but never to complicated and this until the end battle a little bit thaugh but not that difficult. The interaction with you squad is really a good point because it can support better challenge through more enemies present at the end it's perhaps a little too classic but it's still fearly enjoyable for arround an hour of intense immersion

In conclusion: For a second release of the author it was certainly a success perhaps too oriented to combat and limited only to indoor environment but regarding the playtime it was really enjoyable and well worth to play.

Playtime: 1 hour 15

Rating: A B C D E (92%)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

First Poll : What's your favorite Science-Fi FPS Serie

the title was:

What's you favorite Science-Fi FPS serie from all time

here are the result :

I would really like to thanks all the people (20) who participate to this first one and hope they enjoy sharing their opinion with me.

there was no real suprise for me and just put in evidence that through the viewer of this blog, Half-Life serie is the most liked...I wouldn't really expect it to be so dominant...

for the second poll I will take this first one to orient the coverage of this blog that is not only dedicated to Half-Life serie (even if both make the most covered maps & mods) but also to other FPS game.

For the second Poll I will Just ask you to make a (multiple choice) on other game you would like to see reviewed more often (duration of this poll will be two months

Sadly I'm limited in choice sothat I could add Build game that I may cover in the future if people ask for so the third Poll will be dedicated the the Build Engine games ;)

Please if you choose other just post a comment to tell me which one(s)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Calamity for Half-Life 2


Title: Calamity

Bobby 'Spas12' Cardona

Release date:
28 may 2009

Size: 94 047 ko

Number of maps: 5

website: author's portfolio

download: palnetphillip's page

Author's Note:

Half-Life 2 calamity is an exciting new addon to the Half Life universe. Battle the violent combine regime, obliterate zombies and Xen creatures, and learn even more knowledge surrounding the rise of Earth's benefactors. Calamity is around 1-2 hours of solid gameplay filled with tense combat scenes and puzzling conundrums mixed within the deteriorating setting of one of Earths last thriving cities - City 17.

Review :

This time there is a consequent pack to be added to this Blog. The story behind seems to be from the classic half-life bottle, during the accident in black mesa you where teleported to city 17 you mains objective is to progress through the city and access the hiddenbase...for the rest I won't spoil the ending...Even if I didn't really understand what really happening at the end.

Design is really above average (not constently) but still for me average, the attention to detail the way different enviroment where mix, the general ambiance through custom music everything is here present to make this mod shine through your eyes, the only mixed feeling is that you always feel to be oriented in you progression there was never an alternative route it's straight forward (especially regarding the outdoor part) but it's not monotonous and you never want to stop until the end which is a gage of quality. The author gives you also some break through radiotransmission listening with custom voice, which even if not from perfect quality and perfectly fitable through it's content was well used to give the player a break.

Gameplay gave me more a mixed feeling even if it was well set together, some places of battle where quite challenging to be close to provide some frustration (especially the loading screen part,the sniper area and the descending jump part of the fortress) puzzle where negligable even if the hall with those red containers didn't directly shine to what was the task to do and certainly make me waste 15 minutes to figure it out, for the rest everything flow together to really keep the player perfectly busy, not always in the best way through those bad surpise like for example the exploding barrel in your face when you open the access corridor or those sily respawing fight that keeps you busy without any other choice than to survive...

In conclusion: In general, it was an enjoyable release that has certain repetitive flaws that could provide more frustration than enjoyment if you prefer to solve puzzle instead of shooting combines but thought it's light custom content, above average design and quite efficient playtime it's certainly a recommanded one... not highly but still recommanded one.

Playtime: 2 hours 30 min

Rating: A B C D E (89%)