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Return of The Order

Gameplay
The Order have returned and taken over your headquarters. So the task is simple, to once again stop them and take everything back once more. The level will start by placing you in a cell with a acolyte guarding outside and upon escaping that area you are given some simple objectives to complete during the course of the level. Gameplay is mostly button pushing and fighting off you foes to reach the next location, however there are a few interactions with some NPCs.

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Riot Act

Gameplay
You take the role as Jamil Lee who was caught and imprisoned in Nova Prospekt. The door of your cell opens of which you decide to take revenge and cause your own riot act. You take control just inside your cell and the adventure starts pretty much here and throughout a series of maps that take place in Nova Prospekt. However the modification is a very enjoyable one at that with plenty of variety, action and locations with a decent sense of flow. This one includes some new voice acting, not a whole lot but a good amount to make some of the cutscenes feel fresh when encountering them, such as the one at the start after going up the flight of stairs.

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The Heist

Gameplay
The Combine have a weapon based on the Gravity Gun and you play as a part of the Resistance whose job is to sneak in and steal the prototype. This is a short one, with a small amount of variety throughout. You can sneak past the combine, charge in or fight them off. Other enemies soon take part such as head crabs and a Strider. The helicopter ride was a nice touch but fell through the map the second play through. A balanced and quite enjoyable short experience.

Design
Set in a pretty standard city and industrial district with a small warehouse on the lower levels close to a railway. Structure and texturing is above average, with some moderate lighting throughout but nothing too special about it to mention. Map is also set at night with a slight dark ambience throughout the map too add to the stealth aspect.

Conclusion
Short, balanced and enjoyable map with some standard above average design throughout.

Overall Rating: 70%

Type: Singleplayer
Author: Josh Black
Download: Here

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Zen Monastery

Gameplay
You take the role of a monk and the shrine you’re in is under attack. This one would have been a really dull experience if it wasn’t for the few new features included during play. The first weapon you own is basically your hand which acts quite like the primary gravity gun fire but you can also attack enemies and shoot far away objects. This gets upgraded a little later, giving you a secondary fire mode. Then other feature is pole-vaulting which can be used as a weapon as well. Some places in the maps can be too high for the player to get to, which makes the pole-vault quite fun. Then ofcourse the final boss, which is a dragon can be slightly enjoyable to fight against but the whole mod doesn’t come across as a satisfying experience and could have been better. The only enemies beside the boss you enecounter are Combine Soldiers throughout each map, is small, boring packs.

Design
Very average level design throughout which is structurally simplistic except for the exterior entrance map, but could have been much better. Lighting is below average which lacks mood and looks really bad in some areas leaving a lot of dark, boring patches throughout. There was also some intense blue lighting in early stages which is not good for my eyes. Level transitions are also quite terrible, no sense of flow between maps and feel awkward when doing so. Finally the level design doesn’t come across as anything rememberable but it’s bearable to play through.

Conclusion
Quite a dull experience, except for the new features and boss fight, which is set in some average looking levels with bad transition between them.

Overall Rating: 65%

Type: Singleplayer
Author: Team Gasket
Download: Here

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Toxic Waste Junkies

Gameplay
This is a short modification that isn’t anything rememberable that comes across rather dull during play. A majority of the time you’ll be passing through very small maps doing simple puzzles or participating in very easy fights against either zombies or the Combine. The puzzles themselves aren’t exactly difficult to solve, rather straight forward and nothing entirely special leaving no satifaction as you progress further. The maps also lacks any ambient sounds throughout which makes the place seem far too quiet, the torch fires on the walls could have used crackling for example. As mentioned earlier, playing through this can be quite dull but it does have a few interest pieces here and there such as the wooden bridge puzzle or the last area.

Design
Average in most places throughout, except the last location which is the best visually compared to the previous levels, but nothing special overall. The design is very blocky structurally and lacks shape, a lot of constructions were badly made in a majority of the levels. The lighting is average, it does lack some mood and doesn’t look exactly great either in a majority of those areas as well, some places do have some moderate lighting that works but could be better. The short mod also uses some new models throughout which do fit the enviroment quite well, and something visually different to look at when pulling those levers or walking through the map.

Conclusion
Simple puzzles, easy fights in an average design set of short levels that can come across quite dull, but has a few nice moments.

Overall Rating: 62%

Type: Singleplayer
Authors:

Jack K.
Austin M.
Jonathan M.
Daniel M.
Julius S.
William C.
Kamal S

Download: Here

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Ubilitus

Gameplay
Two maps that follow the gameplay style as the original maps do, where you’ll find yourself working alone and with two AI soldiers part way through. The maps start off rather moderate and simple enough to get started but the pace of action and difficulty soon pick up while remaining balanced with supplies. The AI soldiers did get in my way a few times when retreating backwards but other than that they can be a real help. Action can get intense as you’ll find enemies in the distance trying to pick you off, high on ledges or coming up from behind here and there, which adds some variety throughout.

Design
The first map takes place in a dark, underground area which uses a brown, gritty look which creates a dark, eriee atmosphere throughout. This changes once the second level comes around using a lot more lighting and more blue tones. The structure and design is typical much like that seen in the original levels for the game, however the second part has some nice differences here and there, as well are a few large rooms. The texturing is moderate and done well, but nothing too special about it either, and as for the lighting, it remains quite dark throughout with several bright fixtures here and there.

Conclusion
Enjoyable, balanced and variety gameplay set in a detail map similar to those found in the original game.

Overall Rating: 85%

Type: Singleplayer
Author: efx
Download: Here

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Strombine

Gameplay
Ah, something a little different for a change from the high tech theme for this engine. This time set in an industrial factory setting most likely on Earth while introduced to a few small fights and other gameplay features. These are basically inspired from Half Life 2 using ideas such as holding valves to open a large gate, infinite ammo crates and ofcourse snipers, which is where the name Strombine gets its name as explained on the author’s website. This map was an enjoyable expierence, although short it was a good enough length with a good balance between supplies and enemies.

Design
Being set within an industrial factory it deffinitely catches that look while being quite big at the same time. Structurrally the map is well formed throughout, detailing both the play area and ceilings using plenty of arches, angled windows and walls with some great texturing throughout that fit with the theme perfectly. Lighting also helps create the atmosphere as bright white sunlight shines through the factories windows, with the light fixtures that keep it rather moderate throughout where only a few dark areas exist.

Conclusion
Short, enjoyable map set in an industrial setting with balanced gameplay with similarities to that of Half Life 2.

Overall Rating: 90%

Type: Singleplayer
Author: Matt “Lunaran” Breit
Download: Here

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BobspX: Xenocide

Gameplay
Much like that of his previous maps, BobspX takes a mission based approach with viewscreens to tell a story, the aliens side of it this time however. Reading these gave the map some immersion, and as expected some simple tasks to do such as finding two powercells to open the big door further within the map. Some modified protective drones to spit rather than shrink you have been placed throughout as the main foe, but doesn’t come across as too difficult. The train section is rather epic and builds tension trying to get away.

Design
As always, detailed with some good structures throughout, and plenty of small rooms except the large alien corridor later in the map. Texture choices were good and aligned well, and lighting seemed moderate where everything blends well together. Sprites have been postioned to work with the HRP to keep things more realistic upon playing with it.

Conclusion
Short, enjoyable finale to the Bobsp series. Best played with the HRP.

Overall Rating: 88%

Type: Singleplayer
Author: Bob Averill
Recommended: HRP
Download: Here

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Hotel Carone

Gameplay
Takes place after your third mission from the original game and assumes you never killed Lebedev. The NSF have taken over Hotel Carone and guarding hostages in the process threatening to kill them. There’s also the problem with explosives in the underground parking lot and canisters of ambrossia they may find. It’s you’re mission to sort these problems out and head back to UNATCO HQ once done. There are four missions, the first is a mission briefing and to stock up on supplies and augmentations.

The next mission however takes place in the hotel and can be approached in many different ways which gives the player several ways to accomplish they’re task. Back door, vents, elevators and stairs are available to gain access to certain areas. From the start you get plenty of skills points to start yourself off and more to gain later as you complete primary objectives. If an alarm is set the hostages will start becoming victims whichs adds to the difficulty. Enemy hitpoints can also be adjusted at the difficulty screen before playing. Most of the second mission is for the player to progress with care, or face some consequences. Once returning to UNATCO HQ, a small twist takes place causing another two missions after the second.

Design
Remains above average throughout keeping a consistant realistic approach to both the interior and exterior locations by adding in the right about of detail needed. Structurally the building has large and small locations, the building has several accessable floors which stick to a similar layout throughout while some have different designs. There is a mix of rich and modern textured floors and a couple of bare areas that are offlimits. The hotel rooms have exactly the same furniture and layouts in each, but some may be damaged by the NSF. Lighting is moderate but some corridors have some dark patches which don’t look too nice considering the brightness of the lights, and the issue with red lights on the fire exit that don’t emit anything. Other than that it looks good in the larger areas. The design remains consistant and detailed throughout all the missions creating a believable looking enviroment.

Conclusion
Four mission modification with an unlinear approach to the tasks which remains enjoyable throughout, with decent lighting and design.

Overall Rating: 90%

Author: Carone
Download: Here

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Hell Station

Gameplay
Much like the author’s other maps, nothing too difficult or special where it sticks to a simple action orientated map with some keycard hunting. The level is short but keeps an enjoyable flow with plenty of supplies around for the player.

Design
Set in space, the design keeps a consistent and solid look throughout resembling the space levels in the original game. Structurally the map is simple with nothing too complicated or over detailed, however much like Pipeline’s other maps look good. Lighting and shading is moderate and again consistant but some areas suffer from too many corridor locations.

Conclusion
Short, enjoyable space themed map with good design throughout.

Overall Rating: 85%

Type: Singleplayer
Author: Pipeline
Download: Here