AnyVilleVille

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

30th July 2016

Welcome to the fifth and final challenge from The Hammer Cup 2016, which has a Grand Prize of a NECA Gravity Gun, plus other prizes for second and third places.

This mod contains 10 entries, each with their own style and setting.

For this challenge, entrants were allowed to use ANY previous Ville theme, except one of the previous four from The Hammer Cup 2016.

Basic Details
  • Title: AnyVilleVille
  • Filename: hl2-ep2-sp-mc-thc16-c5-anyvilleville.7z
  • Size : 186MB
  • Author: melc311, Crowbar, Mark Allan AKA Officer_B, Erik-Silver Toomere aka ESToomere, Ethosaur, Gwydion Brain AKA Agameofscones, Abraham lee AKA iohnnyboy, Niker107, Rekurer, Derek AKA 1upD
  • Date Released: 30 July 2016

Download Options

Download to your HDD [186MB]
You can still use it with Gauge once you have downloaded it.

Manual Installation Instructions
  • Copy the THC16-AnyVille folder into your …\Steam\SteamApps\sourcemods\ folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • AnyVilleVille – THC16 should now be listed in your Library tab.

If you require more help, please visit the Technical Help page.

Authors and Entries

This is the order within the mod.

Castle Siege by melc311
Dark Life by Crowbar
Dimension C by Mark Allen AKA Officer_B
Ebullition Discontent by Erik-Silver Toomere aka ESToomere
Necrophobia by Ethosaur
Osmotr by Gwydion Brain AKA Agameofscones
Rest a Shore by Abraham lee AKA iohnnyboy
Reversed by Niker107
Tea Party by Rekurer
The Last Commute by Derek AKA 1upD

Theme Details

For the final challenge, we wanted something as open as possible but still quite defined. We have considered many previous challenges as potential options for this one but no particular one seemed right.

Therefore, we have decided that entrants can select ANY previous mapping competition/challenge from the past EXCEPT the previous 4 used in The Hammer Cup 2016.

Entrants may only select ONE theme for their map.

For those that are new to the site and think the challenges are a new thing, you might be surprised to learn that I have been running them since 2010.

Special Rules

In addition, to the 1 extra week, there are also three other obligatory requirements for this challenge.

1. ALL entrants MUST include a readme text file. The file MUST be called the entry’s name. For example, Outbreak-readme.txt. The file MUST include the author’s name and the theme chosen. It can also include any other information and credits etc.

2. Entrants MUST send a image that will be used as the background image, chapter image and Steam gridview image. No HUD or weapons should be visible. Separate images for each use can be sent if the author wishes.

3. Any files sent MUST be named after the entry’s name plus the suffix: “thc16-c5”. For example, “Outbreak-thc16-c5.7z”. Do NOT use something like AnyVilleVille.7z”.

Ideally, a map would end with a fade to black and screen text displaying the map name, author and theme name, but this is not compulsory.

Theme Use

The judges will be looking for a clever and surprising interpretation of the chosen theme. That doesn’t mean we hope for or expect strange entries, just that we have already played maps with that theme so you will have to do something special.

As always, quality over quantity is valued, so plan very carefully and make sure you allocate enough time for external testing.

That’s it. Good luck to all entrants!

Winners and Points

To Follow

Full Points Allocation

To Follow

Your Chance to vote for your top 3 favourite maps.

Which is you favourite 3 AnyVilleVille entries

  • The Last Commute by Derek AKA 1upD (3%, 7 Votes)
  • Tea Party by Rekurer (4%, 8 Votes)
  • Reversed by Niker107 (16%, 33 Votes)
  • Rest a Shore by Abraham lee AKA iohnnyboy (7%, 15 Votes)
  • Osmotr by Gwydion Brain AKA Agameofscones (5%, 11 Votes)
  • Necrophobia by Ethosaur (16%, 33 Votes)
  • Ebullition Discontent by Erik-Silver Toomere aka ESToomere (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Dimension C by Mark Allen AKA Officer_B (14%, 28 Votes)
  • Dark Life by Crowbar (11%, 22 Votes)
  • Castle Siege by melc311 (20%, 41 Votes)

Total Voters: 83

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Menu Music

Brane Scan by Kelly Bailey from Half-Life 2

Credits

The RunThinkShootLive.Com intro video was made by ĜL1TCĦ³.
Rob Martens for converting my intro video into .bik format.

Custom Gridview Images

Ten gridview icons are included in this file. To use the included grid view icon, select “Gridview” in Steam (top right corner).
Right click on “AnyVilleVille” and select “Set Custom Image”.
Then browse to the SourceMods folder and then to AnyVilleVille/steam-gridview-icons folder and select the image. Then click “Set Image” and that’s it.
Of course, you can create your own custom image if you prefer.

General Mapping Challenge Rules

Maximum two maps per mapper per competition.
The map must be original and not have been released publicly before.
The map must run in system with only Ep2 installed
By entering the competition you grant PlanetPhillip.Com & RunThinkShootLive.Com the right to release the map as part of the Ville Mod.
Maps must not appear before the release and for one month after the release of the mod.
No assets from retail games other than HL2, HL2: Ep1 or HL2: Ep2 are allowed.
Other assets are allowed with written permission from their original authors, which MUST be included in the entry.
Phillip’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into about it.
The map MUST have a proper name.
The map MUST have a proper filename: MapName_ABC.bsp (ABC is replaced with the code for the mapping challenge)
All entries must be sent to: [email protected] no later than the deadline.

Sponsor

This challenge was partly sponsored by Nodecraft – High Performance Game Servers.
https://nodecraft.com/r/runthinkshootlive

AnyVilleVille Teaser Trailer

Screenshots

Coming Soon.

Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Maybe
Play It Later
Play It Now!

12 recommendations, average score: 4.5 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.25 (what's that?)
Total Downloads
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 12 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 11 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 2 Hours, 12 Mins
Shortest: 1 Hours by crowbar
Longest: 3 Hours by DolmoTheDouglas
Total Time Played: 26 Hours, 18 Mins
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48 Comments

  1. Finally, will play in few hours. 🙂

  2. Play It Later
    Introduction

    I don’t know how long it took me to beat this. I played small chunks of it over 2 days. I guess it was around an hour. At first I thought this is going to be a really good Ville, but later maps really went downhill. If I had to guess I think some of the map lack some very needed playtesting. A lot of weird decisions were made, and you will see me using the word “weird” a lot. I use that instead of “bad”, because often it feels like some things were intentional decisions by the author and not just an oversight or something, so maybe it’s just me, maybe I just don’t get it.

    The review might have degenerated to a rant towards the end, sorry about that.

    Castle Siege by melc311
    It is great!

    The map is impressive right from the start, although it also immediately starts with overlapping music which was weird. The onscreen text at the beginning was kinda pointless, I’m pretty sure the player could figure that out by himself. Especially the crossbow part confused me, because after you enter the base you never get any crossbow ammo anymore. Combat and exploration were both fun and well implemented. There was clear progress and good pacing.
    Visually it was also good and varied too, although sometimes the level geometry was a little simple, still overall a good looking map.

    The only real problem of the map is the final fight. It’s supposed to be the climax, but it doesn’t really work as one. The fight was way too easy, you could almost just tank all the damage from the gunship because you get 200 armor. Also the gunship didn’t move at all and was very far away. It wasn’t horrible, but kind of a downer towards the end, where the map
    needed a climax. And that is the only reason that this map doesn’t get a “Personal Favorite” from me.

    Dimension C by Mark Allen AKA Officer_B
    It is good

    The strongest aspect of this map was its presentation, although visually it didn’t look THAT good, and towards the end it became a little weird. But If I understood correctly, everything that happened here, happened in the head of the player character or something like that, so it’s cool. The thing is, chess isn’t like the most interesting crossover, and I kept questioning why I’m playing chess when I want to play custom HL2 maps, and I AM a chess fan. Imagine someone who isn’t a chess fan, he will hate this map. Still a good map. Final fight was way too easy, impossible to loose honestly.

    Ebullition Discontent by Erik-Silver Toomere aka ESToomere
    It is okay

    The map isn’t bad, but there are a lot of weird decisions. First of all right at the start you see multiple item crates you can’t break because you have no crowbar, so what’s the point? It confused me because I thought I missed the crowbar. Most areas in this map were also really dark, my flashlight was always on, and that was also kinda pointless, because the map didn’t do anything with the darkness. The first big combat encounter was extremely tedious and I wasn’t sure if infinite enemies are spawning and I’m supposed to do something else. It was also impossible to die there, because you get million supplies.

    From there I felt a little lost, wasn’t really sure where to go, then just took some path and got to places, but it felt like I’m doing something wrong. I’m guessing this was CrossbowVille? The map didn’t do anything special with the crossbow, when you get to that big fight later, the fights are like any other fight, but you only have the crossbow, and that can easily become frustrating, when you get assaulted by shotgunners, AR2 riflers and hunters. Especially when all these come from the place where all the supplies are. When I have only the crossbow I would expect some sort of sniper gameplay, so maybe I could do like a turtle strategy from the place where all the supplies are. Also I think the enemies spawn right next to you in one area, but I’m not 100% sure.

    From there I stopped playing, because the map got too frustrating and wasn’t very fun. If I missed something good after that, then I am sorry. The map isn’t bad as I said, but has too many problems in my opinion.

    Necrophobia by Ethosaur
    It is good

    Overall a very solid map. It had cool moments and clever ideas, especially things like the dead zombie which has a crowbar stuck in its back and wakes up when you pick it up, I love things like that. There were some things I’m not a huge fan of though, but most of them are nitpicks. Interactables shouldn’t be items you can pick up like a physics objects. The on-screen text which appears when you inspect an item was too long most of the time. It took too long to display all the text and the text itself was too long, it should be more compact IMO. I mean it was optional anyway, so not a big deal. Although the texts didn’t really reveal anything interesting to be honest.

    At first I thought this will be a Resident Evil crossover and that’s why you can interact with all these objects, but no, it was just there. Visually and atmopsherically the map was a bit rough, but good. The fog looked really weird, although also really cool at some areas. The lighting wasn’t the best, maybe the map could use a bit of ambient lighting. The level geometry was too basic most of the time, but it was a big and long map, and nothing felt like filler. At two section the map forces you to fight poison zombies, which was boring and pointless, because you can’t die to poison zombies unless you play really dumb. They are tedious to fight too because of their huge health pool.

    At one section I felt a little lost, where you have to get the car working. The setup was weird too. You don’t find the car first, you find gas canisters first, and for some reason you take them with you, the player doesn’t know why, but the player character could also not know why. Then when you find the car it says “Oh a car! It needs gas though”. I’m not a fan of things like that. Also the key was hidden in a weird spot and the light of the fire made it hard to see. At this section I almost wanted to quit the map, although it wasn’t really bad.

    Another very weird decision was that Grigori is speaking, but there is also on-screen text for lines he doesn’t have, and that combination was just weird as hell. I would prefer if it was consistent and we only have on-screen text, or the author recorded some lines himself even though he might not be a good voice actor. Overall the map was too easy, but still felt scary enough to be a HorrorVille entry and the cool moments made up for most of the small problems. An impressive map.

    Osmotr by Gwydion Brain AKA Agameofscones
    It is dire!

    RANT WARNING!
    Wow. This was easily the weirdest map of this mod. When I first loaded the map I was impressed and thought: “PLEASE be a Metro 2033 crossover! Please be a Metro 2033 crossover!…”. And it was. I was so happy about that, especially because the map seemed to capture the atmosphere of the Metro games really well. But from there the map went downhill really fast and the author made so many extremely weird decisions. And btw my fps dropped from 300 to like 90, so if someone plays with 60-120 fps or so normally, then he can’t play this map.

    Where do I start? At the start! I didn’t understand that the cart is interactable. I pressed the “Use” key, but nothing happened, because I didn’t look at the exact right spot, but nothing on the panel really looked like an interactable thing, maybe a light sprite would be good here? So I ignored the cart and went on foot, and the thing is, you don’t need the cart at all anyway. If you don’t take the cart, you can completely ingore the first station too. And the first station was also weird as hell.

    There are item crates, but you have no crowbar, there is a pistol, but when you go to take it, you get into a trap, and the pistol has almost zero ammo anyway, so the map just kills you there immediately for no reason. Taking the pistol there is completely useless, there are waaaay too many zombies and zombine at that station, so you have to move around weirdly and dodge them to find the lever room, which is just a room with a lever. Doors don’t make sounds, the lever didn’t make a sound. It felt like I’m playing a glitched version of the map, and because of that I stopped playing.

    Later I heard that it isn’t actually glitched, so I played it again, this time with the cart. The 2nd station was abysmal. What the hell was the author thinking? First the turrets, what the hell… Then the combine just stand at their spot like nothing is happening, the AI doesn’t do anything except shoot you when they see you. Also I thought the pistol at the first station has so low ammo, because this is supposed to be a Metro crossover, where ammo was very scarce, but here you get like 4 weapons at the same time with practically infinite ammo, and you fight tons of enemies in a tiny area.

    Some of these enemies are shotgunners, others are Elites, which was unfair as hell. This map fails as a map in general, but it especially fails as a Metro crossover. The author got the tunnels right, but that’s it. There should be more exploration, more quiet moments, more horror elements, more psycho elements, and the best thing the author could do is to start the player in an inhabited station, where the player can move around first and listen to the NPCs, just like the beginning of Half-Life 2 (or Metro 2033).

    Then the map just ends. It is apparent that the author had time problems. At first I thought this will easily be a “Personal Favorite”, but then it got worse and worse. Maybe this review degenerated too much into a rant here, sorry for that, but I am a huge Metro fan, so I expected more, and when you do a crossover you should at least please the fans IMO, but maybe others will like it. As I said, the tunnels look great and it captures the atmosphere of Metro for the most part. Oh the map was also completely silent, it desperately needs some atmospheric sounds or music.

    Rest a Shore by Abraham lee AKA iohnnyboy
    It is okay

    Why do I get shot by a Gunship while an NPC is talking to me? And why couldn’t I understand anything the NPC said? Things like that give the impression that the author didn’t test his/her map at all, but maybe it is just different on different PCs? I don’t know. At the end we see that the theme was ChaseVille, but to me this didn’t really feel like a chase, more like hide and seek. Visually the map wasn’t great neither. The fight at the end was well made though. I don’t have a lot to say about this map, but that’s because it doesn’t has a lot to offer, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great neither.

    Reversed by Niker107
    It is okay

    There were moments where I had no idea what I was supposed to do. For example in that big room with the arena fight, I killed all enemies, but nothing happened after that. I was running around, searching for something, then I randomly picked up a gravity gun from somewhere and THEN the map automatically continued. Artificial things like that can be really annoying, especially if the gravity gun isn’t obvious to find. Maybe it flew away because of an explosion, but that’s not my fault.

    Then at this fight you get attack by sooo many enemies at the same time. You have two turrets, but the only reason it’s not unfair is because the enemies kept getting stuck in some physics props or at each other so they couldn’t really move towards me and died. The arena fight itself was setup well though and it solved the problem of an arena fight where the player already has access to all the supplies.

    The end to this fight was weird as hell though. An NPC shoots some display to shut down the combine shield wall. Why can’t I do that? I also didn’t like the think part, because there wasn’t really any thinking involved. I just did what I could do and completed this section. Although why can’t I ignite the fuel with weapons or explosives? Oh I have to use the flares which are in some weird place.

    Then when the RUN part starts the map crashed. I should restart and replay it, but I wasn’t in the mood to continue, I didn’t like the map that much. Still, it wasn’t really that bad.

    Tea Party by Rekurer
    It is bad

    The map was boring most of the time. The objective was very boring and something you get in old MMORPGS maybe. Also I missed one of the earlier caches and had to look for it for ages. Then when I found and destroyed it, million enemies spawn out of nowhere RIGHT next to me.
    Again, another map which clearly lacked playtesting. Visually it has a comic style, it looks like those simpsons maps from Counter-Strike Source. Not a fan of that, but it wasn’t too simple.
    Not THAT bad, just not that much fun to play.

    The Last Commute by Derek AKA 1upD

    Didn’t complete this map. Not being able to sprint was a bit annoying and later I got stuck, didn’t know how to progress. It didn’t help that every area looked the same. Not exactly this author’s fault though. After some downers before this map, I just didn’t have enough motivation to look for how to progress.
    Maybe I will replay it later, or I’ll watch Phillip’s stream when he plays it. Sorry.

    1. Metro 2033 crossover? Freakin’ A !

      I’m still going to try it even though I know I’m going to be disappointed.

      1. “Metro 2033 crossover? Freakin’ A !”

        That was exactly my thought, but then things happenend…

  3. Phillip you misspelled “ihonnyboy” in the “authors and entries” section.
    Because of that the name is also misspelled in my review because I copy pasted. I dont want to edit it because I fear that weird things will happen the comment.

  4. Play It Now!

    “It’s like all the villes in one!”

    I’m not a reviewer (this is my first review), so hopefully I’m able to make something worth reading.

    Castle Siege

    It is great!

    I like the premise of sniping from afar and then fighting to the main base. When the map first started, I thought it was some sort of ‘stealthville’ and started playing that way.

    Dark Life

    It is great!

    Combat was satisfying and the mechanics worked out. I know nothing about the game it’s based on, so I wouldn’t know how to judge it.

    Dimension C

    It is WOW!

    The aesthetics are very good and the puzzles were, well, I can’t say because I didn’t figure them out. Why? I don’t know how to play the game it’s based on.

    Ebullition Discontent

    It is okay

    The start is cool, but the rest just feels dull. It just throws a few dozen combines at you. I did get to practice my crossbow skills though.

    Necrophobia

    It is WOW!

    A lot of work went into this entry, I can tell. The horror atmosphere is perfect. I also liked the pick-up-objects-and-read-it system.

    Osmotr

    It is WOW!

    The mapping is absolutely superb and the atmosphere is spot-on. The moment the map loaded I knew which theme it was and what it crossed over with. Close quarters combat was satisfying as well.

    Rest a Shore

    It is okay

    It did its theme good enough and I was able to skip some of the antlion encounters with clever Gravity Gun shots and speedrun tactics.

    Reversed

    It is great!

    I loved the combat and the holdout with the rebel turrets was my favorite. Its theme was also my favorite ville.

    Tea Party

    It is good

    Colourful graphics galore! Unfortunately, it is not enough to make it fun to play. The few weapons you have are not enough to combat enemies efficiently nor is it good a completing the objective. Once you get the shotgun, it’s much more easier, but getting it depends on where you go first.

    The Last Commute

    It is good

    Level design was a bit basic and repetitive, but that probably the point. I liked the bits where you were vulnerable and no real weapons and the final part was great.

    Edit: I appear to have messed up the ratings images when editing some text. Whoops.

    1. never edit your comment on this site! NEVER.

      😉

      1. Why would you not if something needs editing?

        1. I think its because the review De-formats and it makes it look bad. It needs fixed so we can fix things if they need editing.

          1. Ah! That explains why the review looked kinda messy.

          2. I know what you mean… I’ll get through a review and be like, “MUST RESIST EDITING!”

      2. I always delete my review when there’s more to say because it removes the rating.

        1. Jamaicandave

          Ahh, is that why I’ve seen comments on the site with meta data at the bottom but no rating at the top.

        2. No, that might not be it. I delete ratings if the text review is very short but the playtime is long.

  5. Im really impatient when it comes to writing good reviews so I just want to say most of these maps where pretty well done but I could tell some where a bit rushed towards the end and not quite played through enough, of course you could say the same for my maps though. But atleast we got 10 Entries and a lot of different themes. Well done.

  6. As usual for a Ville – a very mixed bag, although there are a few really fun maps in here. Dimension C hurt my fragile little mind and I loved it!

  7. Cannot wait to DL this Ville, looks like an interesting set of maps … ! Proper review will follow after I’ve played through all of them.

    Too bad I couldn’t finish my entry before the deadline; too little available time. Oh well, I’ll release my fabrication as a stand-alone somewhere next month … !

  8. So, the only map I couldn’t finish is the last one. I defeated all hunters in the garage with the laser gun, but what’s next? I know you are supposed to go outside and fight Strider or something like that. But how?

    Oh, also Ebullition Discontent, I finished it on godmode. Too many enemies for me. And that ending was ridiculous, there was like 6 Hunters at once.

    1. I gave up on the last map too the two times I played it. Was kind of an anti climax to the Map Pack considering it was the last one.

    2. If you remember the very beginning of the map, you leave your car and get to the office. I think you can find your way out 🙂

      1. Got to the offices, got the crowbar, activated the laser but was lost after that. The map seriously lacked any sense of direction – as indiciated by the many people who couldn’t complete it. It’s a shame, I thought the car park areas were very well made and looked the part, the offices were good if not a a little bit uniformed. I noclipped at the end when I gave up and saw the ‘streets’ – which to be honest looked terrible – but I can’t comment on gameplay at that point, but from what I read it was somewhat of a gauntlet?

  9. Play It Later

    The end of The Hammer Cup 2016 is now upon us. This time with 10 entries. All of them very different. With the option to pick any of the previous Villes from RTSL and 26 days to create, the expectations were high. Whilst some maps did not quite make the grade, others rose far and beyond my expectations. This Challenge has defiantly brought THC2016 back to life after the previous challenge “TrapVille”. I would like to thank and congratulate each and every mapper who entered as it is an achievement to make a map in a short space of time and then send it in so it can get criticized by everyone! I would also like to congratulate those crazy people who entered all 5! (Niker107, Crowbar and Melc311) You are true legends in your own right.

    Now its time for the review. I have been brutally honest with all maps but also given credit where it is due. As usual, I have recorded play-throughs and put them on my YouTube channel for everyone’s viewing pleasure. Thank you Phillip for hosting these challenges and I hope The Hammer Cup will be even bigger next year!

    Castle Siege by melc311
    It is great!

    Castle Siege was using Forestville as the theme and it did just that. The forest didn’t play a big part but that did not matter as the maps surroundings looked great and it was well designed. The combat in most places was good as there was cover spread around and the map always gave the player the option to back down and find a spot. There was perhaps a lack of health around the house area were if the player took allot of hits from the hunters, it would of been hard to survive but it would not of been impossible in any situation. The final boss battle was well designed as the rocket crate was placed in a position that the player had to expose themselves to get rockets making it more challenging. It is clear a lot of thought has been put into this map and it is clear it earns a place as a high tier map.

    Dark Life by Crowbar
    It is good

    Dark Life was an atmospheric map that included combat, puzzles and a cool looking map. Dark Life used Crossover as it theme as it combined Half Life and Dark Souls. Having never played Dark Souls, it was hard to judge it on it theme but with what was in the map, it was good. The map implemented new game play mechanics (Presumably from Dark Souls) with the Fire health regenerator. This worked well as did the glowing items. It helped to easily spot things. The writing helped and did not have too much information which is a good thing. With a bit more detail, this map could look fantastic and that would go well with the atmosphere. All in all, a solid map that was fun to play.

    Dimension C by Mark Allen AKA Officer_B
    It is great!

    This map was the weirdest map that has come up in THC2016. This was obviously a crossover between Half Life and chess and the idea of you playing G-Man in a game of chess (In your mind) was brilliant. The beginning, before you began the Chess was good because it built up tension. It set the scene and made good use of sound to make it creepy. It was also good including the G-Man walking to the destination too ahead of you as it made you feel uneasy. After that, the Chess puzzles where well executed. This would be a problem to those who don’t know how to play chess hence the inclusion of the “Admit defeat” button. By using the button, it would make the map quite boring. For those who do know chess, the puzzles took a bit of thinking but not too long. The fight at the end was strange and overcrowded but still a good idea. It wasn’t obvious which piece had the guns to start off with. Otherwise, everything was clear. The map aesthetics in some places was questionable but other than that, this was a fun map with a brand new idea.

    Ebullition Discontent by Erik-Silver Toomere aka ESToomere
    It is bad

    This maps “Downfall” would be the fact its theme was crossbowVille. It would of served much better being HunterVille! The first battle area outside had too many enemies with too many things going on and not much ammo. It seemed messy and confusing. In the second outside battle where there is the combine defence area, it is too open. Especially when there is combine on the roof, many combine on the ground and then more combine soldiers get sent in. It’s overwhelming at points. Navigating this map is boring as it is just run then fight, then more running and more fighting. It needs more thinking involved. The final battle was no fun at all. Having 4 hunters against you is one of the hardest things and many times did I get trapped in the alleyway with no escape. With the hunters and striders, this area was so frustrating to play. At the end of a battle, you want the player to come away from it thinking it was hard but fun. I came away from this angry. The final battle was where it was most apparent that this should of been Hunterville. If the crossbow was replaced with every other weapon and the number of hunters in the area at one time was minimized, this could of been save but as it stands, it was not fun.

    Necrophobia by Ethosaur
    It is great!

    This map is a HorrorVille Themed map and it did indeed deliver. It had combat, puzzles, and jump scares! (No vent crawling though  ) It truly had a creepy atmosphere which kept you on edge. It had a good system with items like keys which were coloured green and it also used a basic inventory system were it would store the items to save you from carrying them by hand. This all made the maps really enjoyable. The thing I disliked is the writing on screen. I dislike this being done in any level as it brings you out of the game when you have to read the text. A story is better told through actions rather than words. That is really the only criticism I have of the map. Otherwise, this is Ethosaurs strongest map in THC2016.

    Osmotr by Gwydion Brain AKA Agameofscones
    It is okay

    I believe this was another Crossover map but I still have no idea of what! It may of said at the beginning but the writing was so small and the train went too quick to read it. I did go back but I missed some messages. Anyway, the map started off fairly well with the main train track area looking good. The station was alright although mobility was quite difficult with the amount of zombies and the lack of ammo. After pulling the lever and getting in the train again, it seemed like the map was going in the right direction. It sadly ended soon after. If there were more gates to open, it would have been a good map. If there were different stations each with a gate with a unique way of opening it, this map could be quite enjoyable. The combat wasn’t great and there was a part were you could easily get to a place the player should not be. This map is going in the right direction but it needs a lot more work for it to be a contender.

    Rest a Shore by Abraham lee AKA ihonnyboy
    It is okay

    Rest a Shore was a chase themed map but the chase section at the start was too messy. It did not flow very well as there were antlions attacking you while the gunship shot you and you tried to find the way to go. The map looked really good and had a certain feel to it making it feel authentic. The voices were to quiet and what I could hear of them didn’t match the characters face. It didn’t really work. As for the generators, two of them did not work when I played. With the one in the cave, I jumped from the roof over the gate but I had to no clip through the gate were the antlion detergent device should of been on. The final battle lacked in excitement as the setting was not very interesting. There is not a lot more to be said about this map. It seems it lacked a certain kick and I feel the chase part could of been more of a chase rather than a mad scramble to stay alive.

    Reversed by Niker107
    It is good

    Reversed is a fun take on RunThinkShootLiveVille. You obviously do all of these things but backward. It had its good points and also its weaker points. To start with, the room with the two turrets seems to be broken as I could not find a way out of it when I played it both times. I had to no clip through the force fields. The map aesthetics were shaky in places and sometimes detracted from the map as a whole. Otherwise, this was a great concept that was entertaining. Especially when every citizen was brutally murdered! The think puzzle was such a good idea. There are not many puzzles like that around. The run part was tease and the ending was cool. Overall a mid tier map that with a bit of patching here and there, could be really good.

    Tea Party by Rekurer
    It is bad

    This map reminded me a bit of a CS Source custom map. The idea of destroying the caches was not bad but they were all in boring places. If there has been less caches, you could have placed them were you had to complete a puzzle to get to them. The combat was not very well done as there were so many enemies scattered about and not much cover or vantage points making it not fun. It was good that the player had to go underground but it was disappointing down there as all the caches were right next to each other. I destroyed the final cache left down at the docks then suddenly, a tonne of combine spawned out of nowhere. Enemies’ spawning out of nowhere is not a good idea in any case. Overall, the map needs a bit of work to make it a contender. I still don’t know how I feel about the custom textures! 🙂

    The Last Commute by Derek AKA 1upD
    It is bad

    This map has a hunter theme. This theme was very clearly implemented. The map however had a few issues. I will say what I have said before, text on screen telling the story does not work. It is confusing and it removes your mind from being in the game to just someone trying to play it. The game play was not enjoyable throughout the map with the exception of the gun that spun around and shot the glass so you could progress and also the hunters in the office that you had to sneak by. The map aesthetics were not done too well and the end of the map was a giant mess when you have to run down the street past a lot of hunters and a strider. I did enjoy the custom materials in this map and I highly commend the mapper for those.

  10. Play It Now!

    This challenge was above average comparing to previous 4 IMO. I had a lot of fun playing all entries except one. Let’s get started!

    CASTLE SIEGE
    It is great!

    As I read about the map that it is gonna take place in a forest, I got excited. I really like forest theme and open fields.

    Map is beautifully designed and polished. The trap on the bridge was smart and unexpected, it is even better to have an alternative way to get away from the trap.

    Action part was very well balanced and enough supplies to beat enemies as well as heal yourself.

    I wish castle were a little bit bigger. Other than that, I really enjoyed playing this one.

    DARK LIFE
    It is WOW!

    What a crossover!

    The moment I saw the CROWBAR as a BONFIRE to rest, I said, this is gonna be a quality work and fun to play!

    All the elements of Dark Souls were implemented perfectly. No need to mention about details.

    Asylum Dungeon part was very challenging and it was too many barnacles to deal with. That was the only part where I was prepared to die!

    Other than that, PRAISE THE SUN!

    DIMENSION C
    It is WOW!

    This one is outstanding!

    I felt like I’m in a chess museum.

    You play Chess with G-Man and he lets you make your move first, like a gentleman! Then, the journey begins when it is G-Man’s turn.

    Great job!

    EBULLITION DISCONTENT
    It is bad

    The Metrocop Mask made me think I’m gonna wear it and it’s gonna be a different and cool experience. However, I think it belongs to prisoned poor Barney.

    There were a lot of unnecessary areas to get distracted easily from what you’re supposed to do. You don’t even know what is going on around, that is another thing actually. I thought I was supposed to liberate Barney, but I was wrong again.

    Too many locked doors for no reason. Ammo crate for a weapon (SMG) that I’m not gonna get soon or can’t even use it because of it’s bad location. Very unbalanced combat, a lot of combines (limitless I guess) that you cannot deal with the supplies around (especially for crossbow). It was so frustrating.

    Repetitive areas made me get bored real soon. The final was just an imitation of HL2EP2’s Strider combat with Magnusson Device.

    It should have been called VulnerableVille or CombatVille I think.

    Map was also way longer than it was supposed to be IMO.

    NECROPHOBIA
    It is WOW!

    I think this one is like a mini-mod with a lot of details. The ambiance makes you feel lonely and desperate which is exactly how I felt in Ravenholm. Oh, Ravenholm? We don’t go to Ravenholm, you know.

    Putting barrels through a rooftop of a building (for climbing purposes obviously), and warning the player with “There is no escape” note as player tries to do so? I think, author got bored during creating that part, and wanted to mess around with players 🙂

    Speaking of ”There is no escape” note, I actually found a way to escape. It is located behind the house (where you get in the car) on the corner. If you walk through there, you fall to a platform and you can wander around. You can see the map from a very different angle at that point.

    The dead man in the bathtub scared me a little as I saw him on the doorstep. This kind of scenes remind me of The Shining movie. What happened the afterwards made me jump from the chair because as I saw the skull on the window, I thought it is a small detail and that would be all in there. Well, I was wrong.

    The combat in the church was short. They came altogether at the same time and it can be very easy if you go upstairs and drop some nades on them actually (that’s what I did lol).

    The lighting was awesome. Gameplay was fluent and I got more curious as I moved forward.
    To sum up, it was so great in any aspect that I never wanted it to come to an end.

    Here is a detail and a note I encountered during the gameplay:

    If you go back to mine (where you start in the first place), G-Man is waiting for you. “Some old clothes are in the washer” note made me smile.

    P.S.: Sorry for damaging the church with nades.

    OSMOTR
    It is okay

    I did not play Metro 2033, but I know what the story is about.

    In the beginning, I had to press ESC to read all the information on my way to first station. As I arrived to first station, I got the message telling me about stealth is optional only in the first station. I was happy to hear that, but I did not find a way to do that because as elevators fell (which is inevitable), all zombies got up and attacked me. Maybe some of you might have found a way already, but I could not.

    In the second station, combines showed up and it took just 2 minutes to deal with them. Then I went through the stairs and map ended. That was way too short IMO. I was just warming up to the map.

    The only interesting point was the hidden area with Magnum reward which you can’t even enjoy it because of the shortness of the map.

    REST A SHORE
    It is good

    Voice acting was good overall, but the radio message was a bit annoying in the beginning because it was repeating itself over and over in a few seconds.

    Escaping your way among antlions and combine gunship was a little bit challenging. The way you start the generators was exactly how it was supposed to be. I like maps/mods that use physics to solve things in HL universe.

    It was an expected final battle, but it was a fun map in general.

    REVERSED
    It is great!

    The first scene made me feel that I’m in a hospital in BM and woke up from a coma.

    You wake up as hurt and try to survive in a building which is covered by snipers. As you manage to LIVE, that’s where you see a G-Man sight which usually means you’re still in trouble. You get your wepons, set friendly turrets and SHOOT to clear your way with rebel friends you save and the ones they join you afterwards. It was a very intense combat that I liked a lot.

    When it came to THINK, you have to check what’s around and carefully think about what can be done with the elements given to you. It was not that hard actually. That oil reminded me Portal gels btw.

    I knew everthing I had was gonna be taken from me to make me lighter so that I’d RUN away easier. It was a very similar way to the one in HL2 combine base, but this time you don’t get a super gravity gun. Maybe the system was broken, that’s why haha.

    After all nonstop running, I was murdered. I think author made the order LIVESHOOTTHINKRUN instead of RUNTHINKSHOOTLIVE just because it would be so ridiculous if you died at the end of LIVE part. Author wanted to kill the player from the very beginning and made the order to fit his EVIL (REVERSED of LIVE) idea.

    TEA PARTY
    It is good

    You start in a warship and try to find and blow the caches that are located in the Combine Base.

    The environment was definitely not from HL universe, but it was very nice and all the elements fit to the map if you consider it as one part. All the custom stuff in this map seems to be ported from a game, but I’m not sure which one. I predicted it might be Minecraft but with smooth edges. I can be wrong.

    When you clear the area from combines and the caches, combine reinforcements welcome you to your ship with their fresh brewed black tea. You meet them, and join their TEA PARTY. After the party, everybody goes home 🙂

    It was a small, but a very decent map.
    There are 2 secrets if you look around carefully.

    THE LAST COMMUTE
    It is good

    You are an engineer working for Salvotech, and start from a parking lot on your way to your office. Something happens, you wake up to Seven Hour War and try to figure out what’s going on.

    You’re directed by text messages and your tech company’s weapon clears your way out. To find your way, you need to wander around and be fast at the same time, because now it is HUNTERs’ shift to secure the company from humans.

    You get in trouble in the parking lot surrounded by several Hunters, your company’s super high tech weapon saves you again.

    I really liked custom security skins (reminded me of BM H.E.C.U. guards) and Hunters with flashlight. Seeing custom skins/weapons/enemies is always good in HL universe.

    There is also one hidden creature if you stop by to say hi on your way to exit.

  11. Play It Later

    A mixed bag of entries, although better than the last Ville.

    Castle Siege
    It is great!

    This map looks a treat, but I didn’t feel it was much fun as it could have been. The Combine just beeline straight at you every time and never try to take cover. The Gunship battle at the end was tepid – it just stood in one place getting pot shots on you whenever you had to go and get more rockets. Kind of a shame because, like I said, the level looks great. There are definitely shades of the White Forest Inn area of Episode 2 here, with a winding road between buildings. I had this down as a “It’s Good” originally, but after playing the rest, I upgraded it to an “It’s Great” because despite its combat foibles, it’s better than most of the other entries.

    Dark-Life
    It is good

    It’s a homage to Dark Souls. Not too bad. The space for fighting the Hunter was very cramped and I wasn’t fond of how the Strider had buffed health. I liked how many of the support columns were destructible. I’m ambivalent about this map.

    Dimension C
    It is good

    I’m rather divided on this one. Technically, this map is quite clever. It starts off like it’s going to be a horror map, but gives way to something quite surprising. But on the other hand, is it fun? The puzzles wear out their welcome, but it’s actually the final bit which bugged me the most. I feel this map makes a mistake that the author’s previous maps did, having these “everything and the kitchen sink”-style combat sequences. Here, health and rockets literally rain down from the sky constantly, and you’re going to need it because there’s just no way to avoid getting shot. As Crowbar said, it’s hard to lose this battle, but at the same time, it’s pretty sloppy. Trying to take on a swarm of predominantly melee enemies with an RPG is just silly. I loved the giant G-Man peering in on the scene, though.

    Ebullition Discontent
    It is dire!

    Just dire. I guess the idea here is that you’re meant to use the Crossbow, but you are pit against dozens of Combine Soldiers, Hunters and Zombies at a time – sometimes in limitless numbers – and being unable to pick up any of their guns is ridiculous. Especially since there are at least two SMG ammo crates. Why? Early on, you have no weapons at all and wind up passing by countless supply crates you cannot open. Why? There are tons of locked doors, and you’ll end up trying each one and getting nothing out of it because they aren’t telegraphed correctly. Why? And yet, the map is enormous. For me, the map never ended. I’m not sure if it glitched or what, but it wouldn’t surprise me considering the author’s previous entry. My advice? Don’t keep building these huge, sprawling maps until you can nail the gameplay in a smaller one.

    Necrophobia
    It is great!

    A fun horror map. I appreciated the time you get to spend with Father Grigori. I don’t have much to say about this one other than I thought the choice of fog color could have been better. This was probably my favorite map in the pack, and yet I have so little to actually say about it. I liked the ambiance, I liked the pacing, I liked the map.

    Osmotr
    It is okay

    A weird map that has you piloting a ramshackle train cart through some subways, stopping at various points to do things. There is some explanatory text at the start that, quite literally, flies right by you. I have no idea how you were supposed to read it. Something about stealth, but only at the police station? At the first stop, you have a ton of Zombies and no weapons. I managed to find a Pistol, but I wasn’t going to waste bullets shooting the item crates. Because there were so many Zombies (and so much clutter), I ended up camping out on the railroad tracks where they couldn’t path to me until the Zombine’s grenade thinned them out. The second stop is optional. The third greets you with two turrets to the face, which sucks. I guess this is the “stealth” part. The Combine, who seem completely unable to path to you, pack a punch, but I have no clue how I was meant to “stealth” here. It’s just a long, linear corridor with Combine watching at the end. And then the level ends abruptly.

    Rest A Shore
    It is great!

    Looking back, I liked this one more than I would have expected, considering that it uses some of the most annoying enemies in the game – respawning Antlions and Rollermines – but on the other hand, it did keep me moving like any chase should. There are times when it gets a bit frantic, but it’s not overwhelming. I liked the strange Gravity Gun crank turning mechanic, although it could have been introduced better. Although it was structurally basic, the lighthouse was an interesting location. The radio message repeats way to frequently at the start. I liked the bit where you dropped out of the vent and surprised that poor rebel.

    Reversed
    It is great!

    A RunThinkShootLive, or LiveShootThinkRun entry, as it were. With the exception of the Snipers at the start (seriously, folks, stop giving out the Crowbar like this, it’s so fidgety), it’s a fun map. The Think part was well designed, although trying to get down from those high shelves was needlessly tricky. The Shoot section was juts on the verge of being too long, but the Calvary and friendly Rollermines made the last wave interesting. The ending was a bit weird.

    Tea Party
    It is good

    I have no idea what this entry was intended to represent. Visually, it reminds me of Wind Waker with the cartoonish water and seagulls all over the place. Whatever the style is meant to evoke, it is consistent and fairly well made. The idea is that you have to run around an island destroying caches of something. Unfortunately, I ended up running all over the place to hunt down one I missed. Then, you have to run back to your ship amidst a ton of enemies who appear from out of nowhere. It’s not too bad, but there’s not much to it.

    The Last Commute
    It is good

    This entry is not without its issues, but it’s actually a neat concept. A man goes to work on the day of the portal storm, which results in a catastrophic explosion and a scramble to get back to his parked car to escape. Yes, it’s structurally repetitive and the Hunters don’t work particularly well, but it’s an idea I could see others exploring in the future. It is far better than the mapper’s previous entry.

    1. Especially since there are at least two SMG ammo crates. Why?

      I believe they’re actually supposed to be crossbow ammo crates.

  12. Loved the fun and challenges. I love to see some the mappers put more thought the prize is worth it!

    1. Aaron, I have removed your per map recommendations because you simply put the title and recommendation and that’s not how they work here. They HAVE to be accompanied with a proper review and just like the overall recommendation, they should be a visual representation of a proper text review.

      FYI for Everybody: The text review, playtime and overall recommendation must match. For example, if somebody spend 3 hours playing a mod and writes two sentences, I simply remove the recommendation image. Nobody is forced to write long reviews, but you can’t use a recommendation image without a proper review. Short reviews for short playtimes with a recommendation image are fine.

  13. Play It Now!

    This is a really excellent pack of maps I think; there were lots of maps that were great. I thought there were some entries that were more fun than others, but every map I played had some redeeming factor that made it an enjoyable experience.
    My feedback for some maps might seem a bit nitpicky… please don’t get offended, it means there wasn’t much I could constructively say for your map to improve it!

    Castle Siege
    It is great!

    Wow… this was a great way to start the map pack. Straight away you see excellent displacement work and lighting, a great soundtrack and an overall excellent atmosphere. You have a clear objective, with the foreboding castle looming in the distance. I thought the battles along the road to the castle were perfect – just enough cover and enough enemies and enemy aggression to make battles tense. If I could suggest anything, a little bit more ammo could be good.
    When getting to the castle, I felt it dropped off a bit but it was still pretty fun. The castle itself was fairly blocky, but I guess it is source engine. The only thing I could recommend would be to model some archways and details, but that may not have been possible with time constraints. I also felt the end boss fight was a little bit underwhelming due to the enclosed space in which to fight the gunship – it was pretty easy to just blast rockets at it and avoid getting hit by ducking behind all the jutting walls etc. The combine section of the castle was very well designed stylistically though, it definitely matched the HL2 Citadel sections very well.

    Dark Life
    It is okay

    I’ll just let everyone know I haven’t played too much of Dark Souls, but I have passed the Undead Asylum so I understand what this map is trying to pay homage to. This map has pretty nice lighting, however, there is a lack of detail with many straight, hallways with nothing to really look at in them which severely hurts the atmosphere in my opinion. I realise this is likely due to time constraints in making models. I did however find that the sewer/dungeon area made excellent use of smoke for a cool atmosphere. The boss fight with the hunter was a little odd, it was very cramped and at that point ammo was pretty limited so it was fairly dicey for me. The end boss fight with the strider was also extremely easy to cheese by hiding behind pillars and quickly popping out to get a rocket out. Apart from this I don’t think the map really did anything wrong as such – there were enough enemies (there perhaps could have been a few more even, although that would require more point_templates or whatever was used for the respawning enemy trick – which I really liked by the way, good use of the i/o system), the lighting was fairly good and it paid homage to Dark Souls quite well. It just felt a little empty to me and lacked any of the traps in the Undead Asylum I remember and as I don’t think it really hit the mark of the cold, desolate atmosphere of Dark Souls… it could have been a bit harder too.

    Dimension C
    It is WOW!

    Oh wow… this map is absolutely incredible. It might not be too much of a looker, but this map is something so original I really want Officer_B to expand on this and make it a full map pack/mod. I don’t even play chess and I loved it! The map starts out with a spooky-ish intro that holds a lot of mystery – I had no idea of what to expect. When it came to arriving at the manor – I really couldn’t believe it. The manor itself isn’t amazing in terms of graphical fidelity, but it really doesn’t need to be. Sure, more sprites and lighting, decals, better textures and models would all improve the map, but it really is the idea that is done so well that drives this map forward. The puzzles were challenging towards the end and I’d be really keen to see how fiendish they can get. I appreciated the music, it set a nice mood which contrasted heavily with the prior intro sequence, which I thought was awesome. In terms of improvement – man, the chess pieces really need to be models. Brushes just don’t allow for the detail needed for those kind of things. I think also little cutscenes showing the bars blocking the door opening after getting a checkmate would be a nice little touch. I also noticed a bug in the elevator, where the pawn kind of floats in the air. The final boss fight was a lot of fun and very chaotic, but the music needed to be higher energy in my opinion. You could also have the king fall down instead of break into a couple of tiny pieces of rubble, that would look better also I think. Overall, an excellent idea that has been executed extremely well and I would like to see expanded. I’ll even make the chess piece models for you!

    Ebullition Discontent
    It is bad

    Unfortunately I didn’t particularly like most of this map, although it did have its moments (mainly at the start). The first map looks fantastic (apart from fog not matching the skybox…google ‘Seamless Skybox Fog’ for an easy fix), however it really falls apart because it is absolutely infuriating. Only having the crossbow really pranks you hard. I had to go down to medium for this, I don’t think it’s possible on hard. The level design overall is relatively straightforward and not confusing. It has some cool scripted sequences with a dropship coming in. Most of my issues with it really come down to being restricted to the crossbow. Ammo is in fairly dangerous spots so getting to it with enemies rushing you is risky. There’s also not enough checkpoints in my opinion. There was also a bit where the combine blow down a door but no combine come out – I’m not sure if this is intentional, but It’s a bit weird. The second map I think was just unfinished, so I won’t comment on some of the graphical issues there. I think there were far too many hunters and not enough ammo for them in this section. Overall, this map(s) has an excellent atmosphere but has a few bugs that just make it a bit annoying to play at times. Of course there’s parts were it’s awesome to nail a combine or three to a wall with a crossbow bolt, so there’s that.

    Necrophobia
    It is good

    This is a nice entry. I mainly like the atmosphere here and it does a good job of sucking you in. It has a pretty good ambience and some great displacement work. I especially liked the organic fleshy tumour things. I thought the story was a little cheesy and there were a couple of grammatical errors, but that doesn’t really matter. Like the last map, the fog didn’t match the skybox (you should fix that if you’re going to do a re-release). The tone of the map was pretty cool and I liked the architecture of the church. I found a lot of times I just couldn’t be bothered fighting the zombies so I just left them and ran off. I think this was due to there not being too much ammo in some parts of the map. I also am not a fan of jumpscares, and I felt like the ones in this were pretty predictable. The soundtrack was used well and the shooting bits were fun (particularly in the church and dancing around old mate’s skeletal remains with the two poison zombies in the mines). Overall, a good atmosphere and nice attention to detail in some areas – I think the only reason I didn’t enjoy it more is I’m not too much of a fan of horror and a couple of bugs that annoyed me more than they should have.

    Osmotr
    It is good

    This one kind of straddles the line between good and okay for me, but it was a nice experience regardless. This one is obviously influenced by Metro 2033/Last Light and does an excellent job of that – the swinging dynamic light illuminating only your cart and a small radius around you makes for an eerie atmosphere that could’ve been improved with some soundscapes. The map is pretty consistently well detailed, however there is a section where support beams are textures on walls rather than brushes or models, which looks very flat and not very good. I think the creator could’ve increased the radius on the point_messages at the start so that I could read them because they went by too quickly for me.
    There was also a stealth section involving hiding from zombies which was very well done and lots of fun. The map is fairly short though – you get off the cart to open a gate (like in On A Rail) and then get back in until you arrive at a metro station. This part was alright, but was plagued with some very annoying issues. It looks great and very representative of the station as I remember it, but there were too many enemies crammed into a confined area and the hitboxes on some of the wooden walls was odd – you could see through them but couldn’t shoot through them. And then after that ordeal, it just kind of ends…very abruptly. It wasn’t bad and I certainly enjoyed the atmosphere, but the metro station was a bit of a mess I think. All it really needs are fixes for the collision and fewer enemies, but it really sucked a bit of the fun out of it for me.

    Rest a Shore
    It is great!

    This map is very good – I think it’s between good and great for me. It has some nice displacement work that is akin to HL2’s – a little blocky, but I think it gives it a nice charm in this case. Definitely reminded me of the highway 17/sandtraps chapters. It also features some voice acting! And I must say, it’s not bad at all, albeit a little quiet at times. There were a few times (opening the gate with the rebel on it) where the number of antlions was huge, which kind of annoyed me but it wasn’t a huge deal when I lured them into the generator room and blasted them with the shotgun one by one. I also noticed that near the end of the map (where the gunship battle takes place) that there is no 3D skybox which kind of broke my immersion a little, but that’s easy enough to fix.
    The gunship battle was absolutely awesome but it really needed some music to turn up the intensity. I liked the race through the house, dashing past windows and knocking rollermines off the cliff especially. Overall a really enjoyable map with just a few things to tidy up and improve.

    Reversed
    It is great!

    This map is awesome. I liked the intro sequence and the atmosphere it brings you to, followed almost immediately by a quick change of pace to shooting bad guys. The soundscapes are well chosen and the music choice is good as well. The standoff (like in EP2 with the caves of antlions) was pretty fun, especially when you got the rebels coming in to help with their rollermines – they could have been orange rollermines though for less confusion). There’s a weird texture stretching issue in the holes around some of the walls, but that’s hardly a problem really. I really enjoyed the layout of the map – you never felt out of cover or with nowhere to go and it was fairly intuitive. The puzzle was well designed. I think the standout moment was the final part – the ‘run’ aspect of the map. The combine shields switching on in front of you and the twisting corridors with combine running around made for a really thrilling experience. I think the ending was a little anti-climactic with you getting shot, but it works.

    Tea Party (my map)

    Although I’ve been mapping for a reasonably long time (3-4 years), I haven’t been very prolific – I’ve made some CS:GO maps and worked on a heap of car-poral keys maps (which aren’t exactly masterpieces or intended to be) that are yet to be released. I’ve got a reasonably deep understanding of source scripting and the I/O system but I lack knowledge in designing engaging environments – so that’s what I am entering these contests for. After fixing all the problems people had with Mayan Mystery (including the floor that was ‘weird’ – contrary to popular belief, intended and not a bug, and the lighting), I was thinking of the next theme I wanted to roll with. I enter these trying to be as original as I can be and practice wildly different themes that I would normally not bother with.

    Tea Party was inspired mainly by a Sven Coop map called Toon Run. I love cartoonish art styles and I really wanted to have a go at doing it myself. So I got the textures I wanted from HL2 and manually converted them using photoshop. This took a fair amount of time but I think it was worth it. I also learnt how to make animated textures (as seen in the water) – that texture alone is 20mb!
    I also got a bit of inspiration from some old counter-strike source gungame maps I’ve played in the last year, but Toon Run was what inspired me mostly.
    Tea Party was a bit of a mess to get working – and even now there’s a couple of things I’ll likely change. Texture work took up the bulk of my time, but there was also the ship…
    The ship is made of a mix of brushes and ‘models’ – by models I mean proppered brushes I needed to fix in blender so hammer didn’t have a fit and change the position of all my vertices. i initially proppered the whole ship but the lighting wasn’t very good…it’d be nice if valve backported lightmapped prop_statics from TF2 to the EP2 engine.
    In terms of the objective of the map, I think I probably could’ve done better, but I was running out of time and needed to think of something.
    Overall, this map taught me a lot about cartoony environments (duh), a bit about using AI properly (although I could’ve improved this further with a bit more time I think) and gave me some more practice with logic_cases and math_counters. It was a lot of fun to make, hopefully people like it more than Mayan Mystery.

    The Last Commute
    It is okay

    This map is alright I guess, but it does straddle the line between okay and bad for me. It has some nice gameplay elements that save it in my opinion. Overall, the map isn’t much of a looker – the lights are too bright/close to ceilings often, the stairs are a little weird, there’s random fences and things that don’t make a lot of sense in terms of why they would be there and it’s very blocky. If the author wanted to do a re-release, I’d suggest setting light brightness to lower than 200 and use a mix of linear/quadratic/constant falloff (and move the light further from the ceiling), as well as place some more cubemaps (some weird reflections in places). But – the hunter stealth sections are a tonne of fun. Sneaking past the hunters with their search lights was very tense, especially in the car park hiding amongst the cars. The mounted turrets don’t really make sense, but they were fun enough. I felt the layout was kind of confusing with many areas looking the same, and there’s a glitch at the start where you can see through the floor when you get knocked out and wake up. Not being able to sprint was a bit annoying in the final boss bit fighting the hunters, but it was doable. It was pretty tough though – I realise you were meant to get to the turret and blast the hunters with it but it’s difficult when you are being shot at by them. I would’ve used a func_tank for a fully mouse controlled turret rather than a two button spinning one as well. The escape at the end could also do with a bit more detail and it felt a little rushed and redundant. But those stealth sections…they were lots of fun!

    Conclusion

    This pack of maps was lots of fun and I found enjoyment in parts of every single map. Hopefully some of you take my criticism and improve further on what you already have and release an even better version sometime later down the line!

  14. Haven’t played the mod yet, starting it now. But god damn it, Phillip, you cracked me up with that intro. Just casually sitting in a car. You should definitely have said something like “Alright, remember, finishing Half-Life is just the beginning? Now… can somebody get me out of this traffic jam– *fade to black*

    1. Do Phillip’s intros need their own Recommendation Image?

      1. If we did, we could have the following choices:
        He’s Drunk
        He’s bored
        He’s Excited
        He’s Depressed,
        He’s Annoying me.

    2. Actually, that was the first take. I tried a few others but idiots on the road made me shout and swear.

  15. Play It Now!

    I really enjoyed the variety of these maps.

    My overall favorite is Necrophobia, with Reversed being a close runner-up.

    Castle Siege
    It is good

    This entry had nice presentation and I enjoyed the combat. However, I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t find any ammo for the crossbow once I got to a certain point. I thought the final battle was a little too simple in that small space

    Dark Life
    It is okay

    I thought the fire mechanic was interesting, but I found the bright lights showing me where stuff I could pick up was kind of annoying.

    Dimension C
    It is great!

    This was a very clever entry with great design. I enjoyed the first of the puzzles but they got repetitive. The final combat enemies were very innovative and I loved the giant Gman watching over everything.

    Ebullition Discontent
    It is great!

    I enjoyed this entry as it had lots of content, great layout, and interesting navigation. I especially liked using the Magnusson devices at the end for the final battle

    Necrophobia
    It is WOW!

    This was a fantastic entry with some good surprise elements, re-skinned enemies that suited the theme, and a nice appearance by Father Gregori. I thought the green object mechanism was useful and the final underground area was terrific.

    Osmotr
    It is okay

    I really liked the train in this entry but unfortunately that was the best part. The combat area at the beginning was difficult with virtually no ammo to use and no crowbar. Once I got near the end I climbed up a clunky wooden ladder (which maybe I wasn’t supposed to use) and then fell through some boards which were supposed to be solid. The ending was also just a black wall and needed polish.

    Rest a Shore
    It is great!

    The layout and ant lion combat start this entry off nicely. I thought the roller mines were placed well to make things interesting. The final combat at the lighthouse was decent but not spectacular

    Reversed
    It is great!

    A very clever twist on the RTSL theme. I thought the running section was clever and kept me motivated. I enjoyed the puzzle in the warehouse, and thought the elevator part added to the story. The only thing stopping this from being a PIN was too many enemies in the enclosed combat area. After the first few waves of them this gets tiresome.

    Tea Party
    It is okay

    This was an interesting idea but the design was very blocky and rough.
    I also thought the location of the caches should have been more challenging as they were really easy to find

    The Last Commute
    It is okay

    This entry had a lot of repetitive sections which reduced the fun factor. There was an invisible wall at the top of a staircase which seemed like a design flaw. I liked the laser gun, but wish it played a bigger role and that you could control it better than just rotating in one direction. The driving part at the end was very basic and could have been better. I fell into the gap the first time but only died when I tried to exit my car, which makes no sense.

    Overall I enjoyed playing these entries and will definitely play most of them again!

  16. Play It Later

    Nice mappack with a broad variety of maps ranging between mediocre and brilliant. I’ll review the map from (in my opinion) best to worst:

    Necrophobia
    It is WOW!

    Absolutely the number one for me in this Ville. A horror-based creation with eerie and sometimes bizarre environments, mysterious apparitions and good gameplay. The text that appeared when Father Grigori spoke was a little bit confusing, but this minor con couldn’t prevent this map from being brilliant in my opinion. Gotta say I kinda dig the horror-genre … !

    Castle Siege
    It is great!

    Solid fabrication with very nice visuals and entertaining gameplay. I really like throwing stuff at enemies with the Gravity Gun, so the inclusion of these elements in Castle Siege was a great plus. Small con was the limited area at the end during the encounter with the Gunship. Despite this, still a very good entry.

    Dimension C
    It is great!

    I don’t know anything about Chess and had to throw in the towel after randomly pressing some buttons during the puzzles, but this entry was interesting to play anyway with a large number of … interesting enemies at the end. Dimension C with its original gameplay and mysterious environments took the third place for me personally … !

    Reversed
    It is good

    nice take on the RunThinkShootLive theme. The waves of incoming Combine during the shootout were severe at points but there’s plenty of stuff lying around to deal with them. Not recommandable to those longing for a happy end ; )

    Rest A Shore
    It is good

    lots of pesky Antlions making your life miserable while making sure you aren’t spotted by a patrolling Gunship. Yes, Rest A Shore can sometimes be unforgiving … ! The generators can only be activated when spinning the wheel with your gravity gun. Didn’t knew that immediately and suspected a bug, so I tried to bypass the gates. I actually succeeded in jumping over the second gate … ! This entry wasn’t flawless but absolutely not bad either.

    Dark Life
    It is good

    Visually nice fabrication and in general a good gameplay, though it got a bit crammed while fighting off the Hunter and Strider.

    Tea Party
    It is good

    Arr … ! Time to kick you out of the castle you Combine landlubbers … ! Tea Party offers a cartoony style and an open environments while slaying scores of Combine. Mind you: while this map is well in the ‘lower half’ of my classifications, it still isn’t bad.

    The Last Commute
    It is okay

    Appearantly taking place during the initial invasion of the Combine. Being stealthy while still lacking decent weaponry with all those Hunters walking around certainly benefits you. I was surprised one can actually make one of those decaying cars drivable.

    Osmotr
    It is okay

    The initial ride through the tunnel was really atmospheric and visually one of the most impressive moments in this Ville … ! However, enemies aren’t very willing to move at all most of the time and this map ends rather abruptly. Perhaps time worked against this map … ?

    Ebullition Discontent
    It is okay

    Barely in the ‘Okay-region’ for me. First half of this huge entry actually isn’t bad at all and the first massive wave of Combine I dealth with by blocking myself in and tactically throwing grenades in groups of advancing Combine. After that, it took me half an hour to find out how to advance, but this could be something on my end. However, the final battle with a large number of Hunters and two Striders was waaay to severe and I ended up sprinting and bunny-hopping most of the time, though I ended up dead anyway many times. I barely managed to defeat the Striders with less than 10 health remaining, ending the map.

  17. Play It Now!
    Castle Siege
    It is great!

    Very high quality map. Interesting environments, well designed combat.

    The gunship battle was not very exciting considering the gunship couldn’t move anywhere, but seeing it crush the bridge upon dying was a nice touch.

    Dark Life
    It is okay

    This map has areas that are visually interesting and not very standard for HL2. However, gameplay mostly consists of weird battles in tight corridors.

    Dimension C
    It is WOW!

    This map is very innovative and weird. I loved it despite being too dumb to solve the last one of the chess puzzles.

    Ebullition Discontent
    It is good

    Overall solid map, but I felt that it did a poor job of explaining where I am supposed to be going. There was plenty of backtracking involved with no clear sign that I am
    supposed to be backtracking. Also, I managed to reach some interesting places I was obviously not intended to be able to reach. 🙂 http://i.imgur.com/Wfe5vD3.jpg http://i.imgur.com/d6w57zO.jpg

    Necrophobia
    It is good

    A decent horror map, but honestly I find zombies to be a boring enemy. I did like seeing stuff I hadn’t seen before in a custom map, like those large animal carcasses.

    Osmotr
    It is good

    Text goes by way too fast to actually read without turning around every time, pls increase range of those point_messages.
    Also you really shouldn’t ever make an area perfectly dark. There should be some small amount of ambient lighting around to help you see. Bringing in those dynamic lights into an entirely unlit environment also caused pretty obvious visual issues, which is just a problem inherent in the Source engine and how it handles prop lighting. (poorly)
    Also, you can’t shoot through this obvious hole that you really should be able to shoot through: http://i.imgur.com/6hDXRcN.jpg Seems like collision models need some fixing.
    I am giving this map a pretty good rating because honestly if you were to light this map up more reasonably I think it would be a good experience.

    Rest a Shore
    It is okay

    Infinitely spawning enemies really ruined this map for me. I had no clue how to solve this one so I just jumped over the gate from the roof of the house: http://i.imgur.com/u7u9SDx.jpg I did put the plug in the socket but it did nothing.
    Here I ended up just noclipping. This time there wasn’t even a plug or anything. http://i.imgur.com/0BoddNo.jpg
    The ending is quite good with how you show the player where the RPG is but then you make the player have to work for it. It’s too bad that at this point I was already not enjoying my experience due to dying a million times at the previous puzzle and having to noclip past it.

    Reversed
    It is great!

    A very enjoyable map. I think that one big combat arena sequence dragged on a bit long, so I was worried that the map might lack variety. But right after that the map pretty much got done with combat and the rest was rather different. I thought the flammable oil puzzle was quite creative, even though the operation of the crane thing seemed a little confusing.
    Overall I liked this map.

    Tea Party
    It is great!

    A fun cartoony aesthetic and a silly plot. I appreciate it when a custom map doesn’t take itself too seriously.
    I found 0/2 secrets so I might go back to this one later to see if I can find them.
    Good map.

    The Last Commute
    It is bad

    This map is a maze and I have no clue where to go and what to do.

    1. Miigga, I have approved your comment and corrected the issues with formatting. For future reference, please sue the headings for the names of maps and then add the Per-Map Opinions after that. You also didn’t include an overall rating, do you want me to add one?

      1. Turns out I am not good with computer.

        Sure, you can add a PIN as my rating.

  18. Am I the only one who has troubles with the map names in the main menu? See this picture – http://puu.sh/qnqe5/3fd6d37e0f.jpg

    It would be so much convenient to have map names as the name of the map (duh!). Or is this problem only on my end?

    1. They should be the map names. This happens when the name of the mod folder isn’t exactly the same as the text file where they are stored. Did you change the name of the mod folder?

      1. No, I used Gauge and dropped the downloaded zip archive in there. At least now I know what the problem is, thanks!

  19. Darth_Sylph

    when i go to extract the file, i get an error message saying

    “could not extract the file “THC16-C5-AnyVillVille/sound/custom/hiddenswitch1.wav” from the archive “hl2-ep2-sp-mc-thc16-c5-anyvilleville.7z”: the archive file is corrupted”

    and
    “could not extract the file “THC16-C5-AnyVillVille/sound/mod/dawg/dd_brief_1.wav” from the archive “hl2-ep2-sp-mc-thc16-c5-anyvilleville.7z”: the archive file is corrupted”
    and
    “could not extract the file “THC16-C5-AnyVillVille/sound/mod/dawg/dd_brief_2.wav” from the archive “hl2-ep2-sp-mc-thc16-c5-anyvilleville.7z”: the archive file is corrupted”
    and…well, you get the picture, all the sounds from the ‘dawg’ folder failed to extract,

    i can still play it (i think) but that’s a bit of a problem you got there, might wanna fix that

    1. Your downloaded file is corrupt. Redownload it again. There is nothing to fix, the archive is OK

  20. Working my way through these offerings and so far, Just finished “Rest a shore” , I am impressed!
    Playing them in listed order, mostly 10 to 20 minute play-throughs but two are hour-long doses of action and horror!
    More later when I review them all.
    Leaving a fair gap between the different entries makes them feel fresher when playing and leads to fairer reviews, or so I’m finding. Just an idea…

  21. asterixer

    All maps are playable under Linux without Problems.

  22. Play It Now!
    Castle Siege
    It is WOW!

    HOLY SHIT. This whole map blew my Goddamn mind. First of all, bonus points for starting out with a sniping section. I had a lot of fun scoping out the area, leading the target and accounting for bullet drop and so on. Then the fight up towards the castle ramped up the difficulty nicely with some wonderful ambush points and the ability to turn the tables with props and such. The only weak point was the boss fight with the gunship. It felt a bit cheap forcing the player to take cover behind the single combine barrier and run for the RPG cache, taking advantage of the glitch where you use the crate and get the ammo a second later, regardless of your position. Overall though, this was fantastic.

    Dark Life
    It is good

    I get the impression that Dark Souls is a well loved game… Personally, I’ve never touched on it in the slightest. Having said that, I have a vague understanding of its mechanics and I believe that they have been emulated here rather well. It was certainly challenging, but I’ll admit that I had a lot more trouble beating the Hunter than the Strider. Overall though, I’d say this was a pretty solid and challenging entry.

    Dimension C
    It is WOW!

    Incredible. I was dreading this when I thought it was going to be all about chess. I’m certainly not a chess player and have been openly mocked in the past for my total inability to think ahead or act strategically. Saying that, I managed to solve as many of the games as I needed to get to the finale which was as tense as it was absolutely hilarious. The gman overlooking the whole thing was brilliant, and you just KNOW that I had to try shooting him. I was not disappointed. When it was all over and I was whipped back out to the real world, I completely lost it at what I found. Right up until the very end I was convinced that this was going to be based on RunThinkShootLiveVille, but once again there was a twist and it floored me. Incredible.

    Ebullition Discontent
    It is bad

    I had a really hard time with this one. The crossbow is useful only in certain situations. It is not great for facing off against hundreds of combine soldiers who are running right for you. I got really frustrated with this entry because I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be defending an area for a certain amount of time or if I had an actual goal that I had to run for. There were moments when I would disable a combine force field but wasn’t sure which one, so I had to run around looking for it with my ammo and health dwindling. Oddly enough, the final battle with the Hunters and Striders was the easiest part. I can’t fault the dedication to using the crossbow as a primary weapon, but it just needed fewer enemies and more direction.

    Necrophobia
    It is good

    I’ve said before that I’m not really into horror maps or mods as they are very rarely scary. I’m sorry to say that this was no exception. It was horror themed, for sure. The only things that startled me were a couple of jump scares, but that is base level stuff. That said, this was a fun little map when the action kicked off and I liked the hints of an overarching story, although as it common with horror themed creations, nothing was really explained, so the newspaper articles were ultimately meaningless. Gets positive marks for the action, but zombies in dark environments are so overdone.

    Osmotr
    It is okay

    Inspired by Metro 2033 I believe is what I read during the intro, not that I can be sure because the text was so small and flew by so fast, and it’s another game series that people rave about that I’ve had little to no involvement with. What I can say for certain is that if Metro 2033 plays anything like this map you can keep it. “Stealth is an option” i believe is the lie it told me. I crept out of the first room after getting off the train and all hell broke loose, countless zombies and zombines waking up and pulling the pins their grenades. Naturally I had no weapons for reasons best know to the mapper so I had to run through the station watching large chunks of my health get blasted off. Further down the line with my life signs dwindling, I get set upon by turrets with no sign of cover between them and my train. I had to make several attempts at a mad dash with my 14 hit points before finally getting the chance to heal up. Then I got to fight a bunch of combine in a wooden maze… I didn’t like it.

    Rest a Shore
    It is WOW!

    Another phenomenally fun entry. Running from the gunship all the way to that Goddamn lighthouse, and with the antlions as well. I knew from the start what I had to do thanks to the custom voice acting, which I had mixed feelings about at first until I met the doc. That medic has now joined my list of all time favourite Half-Life characters, canon be damned. He will sit proudly in my mind alongside Odessa Cubbage and White Forrest’s “radio operator.” Once the antlions were subdued by the thumper, I was treated to a frantic climb to the top of the lighthouse for a final showdown. Ridiculously fun.

    Reversed
    It is great!

    Those God damn snipers at the start made me say some terrible things about Niker… but everything after that more than redeemed him. RunThinkShootLiveVille was one of my absolute favourite villes that had some astounding entries. Taking the title of this entry into account, the list has indeed been reversed Live Shoot Think Run. The shooting section included your standard HL2 defence section, putting turrets, hopper mines and rebels at your disposal for a short, action packed assault. The think section, while a little bit plain was still clever, but I didn’t really think ahead at any point. I just kind of did what was infront of me at the time. Pull the lever, break the wood, throw the flare, etc. Then there was the run section, which was a lot of fun. Quickly throwing objects or enemies in your path, the alternative route was always clearly in your site beforehand, meaning that the whole sequence flowed wonderfully.

    Tea Party
    It is okay

    The style of this one was certainly unique. The cartoon style textures work will with the theme of a single pirate invading a castle to destroy caches of… something. One thing I will say is that I wish the trees had been handled a little better. They don’t look so great and navigating around them during combat was especially frustrating. As for destroying the caches, I found five of them relatively easily. The other three apparently blew up on their own as I was trying to find a way into the castle. I’m not overly sure which Ville this is based on and I don’t recall it ever being mentioned. Overall, the gameplay was pretty flat. Combine soldiers were the only enemies used and after a couple of minutes you are desperately awaiting something else to pop out.

    The Last Commute
    It is bad

    I like the idea behind this one. It’s basically the Half-Life premise. A normal day at work when all hell breaks loose. I like that there were custom skins in this one as well. Having said that, it looks pretty unfinished and severely lacking detail in certain areas. Not only that, but the actual progression is broken. I walked up to a gate with a padlock on it, and got the message telling me I needed to find something to break the lock. The problem is, I knocked into the gate and the lock just kinda fell off. I carried on through the various dreary rooms with the action music blaring while I didn’t really do anything. Then I finally came across the shotgun, in a security office, which basically let me camp and take out the Hunters while they ran fruitlessly into the wall. I feel the player should have been forced to engage them in the open, as this is where the Hunters shine. So, I’m sorry to say it, but for a Hunterville based entry this was pretty poor.

  23. Play It Later

    I agree with most of what’s been said, but I’ll make a quick comment on each map.

    Castle Siege
    It is great!

    Really liked the combat in this map. The balance was good, and the winding path meant some push forward/pull back movement, with side areas creating some non-linearity. The scenic view in the final encounter gave a different feel than you usually get in Combine environments, though as others have said, the fight didn’t have enough meat to make it a satisfying finish.

    Dark Life
    It is good

    Evokes its inspiration very nicely. There was a Bloodborne-inspired map in the original CrossoverVille, so these maps make a nice pair. The hunter fight is a bit bizarre, but is very much in the spirit of the source material. Something about a close-quarters duel that begins without fanfare and forces you to dance around, awkwardly landing occasional hits, definitely evoked Dark Souls for me.

    Dimension C

    I’m fairly content with how my map turned out. I have to admit a weakness for novelty over substance, but I was happy to see people dredging up old memories of chess.

    Ebullition Discontent
    It is okay

    There are some very nice environments and detail in this map (The brainwashing machine in the intro area is fun), but like the combat wore me down, as it did for most people.

    Necrophobia
    It is good

    Some fun spooking in foggy woods, with cool details. Lengthy, but it didn’t wear out its welcome. I liked the big climactic sequence, and the various scares were original enough to not feel predictable. The little nuggets of story were a bit silly, and the typos didn’t help. I’m trying to imagine the interview that leads to a report of ‘Local man claims dark presence in woods.’
    “So what’s in the woods?” “A dark presence.” “No, I mean, what did you actually see?” “A dark presence.” “So… you saw something bad?” “Yes, very bad.” “But what?” “I already told you!”

    Osmotr
    It is okay

    The environments were nice, and definitely evoked the Metro games. But the combat in the final area felt like I was bumbling into a bunch of enemies who were just standing around, and the map finishes without any fanfare.

    Rest a Shore
    It is great!

    I’m surprised that quite a few people were down on this map, I liked it a lot. It builds up the antagonism with the gunship from the get-go, and the antlions were handled well. It had some ‘ooh, subtle quality!’ moments: the group of antlions cresting over a hill at you, surprising the lady by falling out of the vent, and jumping through the house as you get shot at through the windows.

    Reversed
    It is great!

    I had to cheat my way past the snipers at the beginning, but the rest of the map flows well. The shooting sequence is a good re-do of the antlion bit in Episode 2. The final chase sequence lasts a while and actually feels frantic, and the twist on the theme at the end was clever.

    Tea Party
    It is okay

    A clear case of making the level first, then building in a ‘find all X’ objective to force the player to explore. Pretty much the same thing I ended up doing in my entry way back in MiddleVille. Neat visuals, but lacks any exciting sequences.

    The Last Commute
    It is great!

    Another case of me enjoying a map others found to be a bit lacklustre. I’m a sucker for super-open and nonlinear layouts that you can navigate like a real building, which this map has (whether from accident or design I can’t say.) Very cool to drive around an ‘ordinary’ car- never thought of rigging that up.

    I’ve been a bit flippant, but really and truly- congratulations to all entrants. It’s hard enough getting in anything finished, let alone something that has the good fortune of being fun to play!

    1. Local man claims dark presence in woods.’
      “So what’s in the woods?” “A dark presence.” “No, I mean, what did you actually see?” “A dark presence.” “So… you saw something bad?” “Yes, very bad.” “But what?” “I already told you!”

      So, it’s the plot to Alan Wake. 😉

  24. Play It Later

    I don’t think there’s much more I could possibly add to the many reviews already here. I must say though that we had a varied bunch with one or two I didn’t really care for if I’m honest, but overall not a bad ville of goodies. I was shocked to find myself having a second play of Tea Party and this didn’t feel anything like a HL map. But this was a great idea and something different too. Reminded me of old Doom maps really with the size of it and some of the ideas. I really enjoyed sniping those guys in the towers too. And sneaking up on the fellas turrets was fun!

    Yeah a good bag of HL goodies here but not the best overall.

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