Entropy Zero

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Be the bad guy in this modification for Half-Life 2 : Episode 2 and step into the boots of a stranded Metrocop, left for dead in the abandoned City 10.

Experience a time before the fall of City 17 – 11 months before the deployment of Gordon Freeman.

Bring the brutality and chaos of the Combine regime to the hidden rebel sanctuary of City 10. Endure the bitter cold as you fight your way through rebel shanties, infested tunnels and subway systems.

Survive the Combine plague, and reclaim the Combine stronghold known as ‘Pillar 10’.

Features
  • Tear a pathway through four chapters of violent chaos.
  • Employ a deadly Combine arsenal including a Stunstick, Manhacks and a prototype AR2.
  • Experience combat without a HEV suit. Think fast and shoot first… or succumb to bullets and claw.
  • Lore-rich environment – unravel the story behind the sanctuary of City 10.
  • Face the music with a custom soundtrack from the likes of Morch Kovalski (AKA Yackson) and Spencer Baggett.
  • Full closed-caption support.
Requirements
  • Half-Life 2 + Episode 1 & Episode 2.
  • Source SDK 2013 (Beta)
Warning

Entropy: Zero contains flashing lights that could affect you if you are photosensitive. Please be careful when playing if you suffer from epilepsy or photosensitivity.

Basic Details
  • Title: Entropy Zero
  • File Name: Non applicable
  • Size : 7.98GB (Estimated)
  • Author: Breadman
  • Date Released: 10 October 2017

Download Options

View the Steam page

Manual Installation Instructions

There are no manual install options for this release. It must be installed via the INSTALL button on the Steam page.

Videos

Coming Soon

Screenshots

Coming Soon

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

7 recommendations, average score: 3.71 (out of 5), standard deviation: 2.2 (what's that?)
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 12 comment(s) with meta review data.

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Using Gauge: 0 Users
Manually: 12 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 2 Hours, 20 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 37 Mins by HashtagMC
Longest: 3 Hours, 20 Mins by IdiotGamer
Total Time Played: 28 Hours, 1 Mins
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29 Comments

  1. Comfort Jones

    I’m not finished with this mod but so far I am seriously not enjoying my time with it. Baffling design decisions, extremely accurate high damage enemies in incredibly narrow spaces, etc. really just making this a slog.

  2. I’m in the same boat as Comfort Jones. Highly frustrating mod even on medium difficulty. There’s a section about 2 hours in where you have to guide a stalker through pitch black corridors while zombies and fast headcrabs continuously spawn all over the place — if the stalker dies it’s game over. Even worse every enemy deal an insane amount of damage to you — zombies can kill you in just a couple of swipes.

    I really don’t have the patience for shit like this anymore. If I would I’d give this an “Avoid It!” ranking.

  3. Think Twice

    Oh my God….this mod [exhales] it was such a mixed bag of good and bad.

    The story was OK, the beginning was top notch. You really feels like you were a Combine Policeman yourself. It started out good but I’m not sure about the Vortigaunts’ intentions, they suddenly appeared in the Combine base is is causing a…..reactor meltdown? That ending is quite gruesome, I might add. But what is exactly the “CFLU” though?

    The gameplay, however, is the most frustrating gameplay I’ve ever had. The weapons are OK, you got the stuntick, the pistol, the AR2 prototype, the shotgun, the manhack, and the SMG. The recoil system is a nice addition. Adding headshot sounds from CS:GO kinda felt weird, but it’s satisfying to hear it.

    The writings on the wall really adds the atmosphere to the situation, the long one was so well-written. The music are very entertaining to listen to.

    Now the very long list of negative parts.

    The negative part is that enemies do A LOT of damage even on NORMAL, you armor is like a piece of paper instead of actual armor. An SMG-wielding rebel can tear you to shred in mere seconds. Fast zombies’ leap attack does 50 damage! 50 DAMAGE! It sometimes make combat part some sort of trial and error.

    There are also 2 instances that the game activated “holdout scenario” without giving you any warning and very little time to prepare. Looking at you, zombie section in Chapter 3.

    Talking about chapter 3, it is home of the most frustrating events you can ever get. The zombie holdout section activated immediately as soon as you entered the area. The fast zombies also keeps spawning even the attack has ended, it makes you think the attack is still going. The infinite fast headcrabs are also annoying.

    This is not even the most frustrating part, that part is where your nightvision malfunctioned. You have to protect the Stalker who has a flashlight mounted on his head as you navigate through dark tunnels. Him and the flares are your only source of light. But you have to protect him from walking into the Barnacles and being attacked by the constantly respawning zombies. Not to mention you can’t even see the barnacle clearly and you must spray and pray. The zombies and headcrabs also poses annoying problem, they can one hit kill the Stalker. Even YOU can kill him. When a Zombine pulled out the grenade its basically game over.

    Some of the puzzles in Chapter 4 really confused me, coupled with my frustration, I decided to use noclip. I really couldn’t solve the “zero-gravity” room puzzle legitimately.

    The boss fights…..There are 2 boss fights out of 4 that are completely unfair, both of them are the Vortigaunt boss fights. The creator seems to forget AR2 energy ball completely kills anything it hits. Killing the bosses with this will break the game, the scripted sequence will not be triggered.

    The final boss was completely unfair, you have to dodge lasers, Vortigaunts’ lightnings and energy ball at the same time. Not to mention you have a second to jump onto the platforms before the floor became….I don’t know, radioactive?

    In conclusion, Entropy Zero is a good mod, but the unfair gameplay literally tears it apart.

    I’m very sorry for my long “rant” there.

    1. I forgot to include this. The stealth section in Chapter 2 is my favorite section. It maybe is trial and error but introduced kinda well. (If you read notes on the wall, of course.)

  4. I’m not done yet, so I won’t review yet, but I can already tell that this is going to be an “Avoid It” candidate.

  5. Avoid It!

    I wanted to complete this first before reviewing, but I quit for good after under an hour, so here is why.

    Beforehand, I’d like to say that I really like the idea of this mod, and that just like Element 120, this is a big load of wasted potential.

    General / Intro

    The first bad thing I noticed was that by default, the game was set to Hard difficulty. After correcting this, I started the game and was met with a short intro in the form of playing one flashback-ish map before the actual story. This is were I noticed the first problems.

    First of all, friendly fire is enabled, meaning you can kill your team mates. Said team mates also died way too fast, leaving me to explore the map on my own.

    After waking up from the prologue, I was stuck between a wall and a metrocop who kept pushing me into the wall, I assume this is a bug.

    The actual game started, then, and it didn’t get better. For instance, I noticed a wooden crate branded with a BMRS logo. Why? How? How did a BMRS crate (that looks nothing like a BMRS crate from Half-Life or BMS) survive for about twenty years, and how did it get to (presumably) Eastern Europe?

    It is unclear what the player is supposed to do, and I merely followed the only viable path until I accidentally stumbled into puzzles or enemies. Right at the start, after some headcrabs, a poison zombie got thrown at me – or rather, it spawned out of thin air. Such bland mistakes should not exist in a Steam release.

    Combat

    At this point, it becomes obvious that not only enemies deal way more damage than in HL2, the player does, too. I was able to take down the poison zombie with a couple SMG bursts. To make up for the increased amount of damage dealt by all parties, healthkits are spammed throughout the game, which just makes the entire change pointless – everybody deals more damage and everybody heals more, so why bother to change it in the first place? This is the same mistake that Half-LIfe: Prospekt made. Half-Life 2’s combat is very well balanced and changing it usually means f-ing it up.

    The enemy NPCs are extremely poorly set up. They mainly stand on one spot doing nothing, until they spot the player and attack him. It is way too obvious that they are only set up to attack the player and have no use in the story, as opposed to Half-Life 2’s NPCs who always made sense in the in-game universe. NPCs rarely talk, except when scripted. Due to the large numbers and increased damage, battles are an annoying shoot-die-quickload loop, even on Easy.

    Speaking of battles – the new recoil system. It might be a nice touch, adding some realism into good ol’ Half-Life, but it annoys the crap out of me because it limits the SMG’s usable range to ~10 metres. Seriously, I’ve gotten screensick from the constant shaking and it adds to the inhumanly hard combat experience. Also, for no apparent reason, the gun sounds have been changed as well.

    The manhack weapon is a cool feature, although bugged. When I first used it, the first manhack froze in the air and did nothing. Also, the manhacks have trouble following me – either they’re not supposed to, or the air node system is poor, either way they flew into walls more often than not.

    Mapdesign

    The level design was quite low-quality as well. Lack of details was covered up with an overuse of props, but nothing could conceal that most of the architecture was made up of simple cubes, without supports, struts or any details that make buildings look realistic. I know this problem as I am struggling with details myself, and I have found that the way to go is to team up with someone who specialises in detail, as I did for Andrew and my TeleportVille entry.

    The “writing on the wall” looks very artificial, aka way too clean and proper. Printed text might make sense on a wallpaper, but on a brick wall? Not so much. Also, the texts are rather simple, serving to break the immersion more than anything else.

    The entirety of the maps I played is way too dark. I had to keep the nightvision on almost the whole time, which just renders it pointless. Also, the lighting in general was pretty messed up – some parts were way too brightly lit, others way extremely dark.

    About halfway through the prologue, I found that one exit was blocked by an invisible wall. This is very bad practice, as it is easily mistaken for a bug and it should always be obvious why some paths can’t be taken.

    There were many beginner mistakes found in the maps. An example would be props such as fences with detailed surfaces that I got stuck on, these should be covered in invisible brushes to prevent this. Also, at one point, there were several health and suit chargers placed next to one another, implying that the author(s) didn’t trust their abilities to properly balance the combat.

    The player’s character comments on the gameplay, for instance saying “suck it” after killing an enemy. This, albeit an interesting addition, violates one of the number one rules of the half life franchise, which is to never break the immersion. I’d have preferred it if the protagonist just kept its masked mouth shut, as I was initially confused and looking for the source of the voice. Also, the Combine dialogue (“this kicks the shit outta my last job”) sounds extremely artificial and not life-like at all. This seems more and more like a parody.

    The stealth bit in chapter 2 was actually pretty enjoyable, albeit hard as Half-Life 2 lacks many mechanics that proper stealth games incorporate to make sneaking around easier. I encountered another bug here, a voice line played again half a minute after I killed the speaker. Here, too, too much text is used to explain something to the player. Good map design should be intuitive for players – rule of thumb, if you need to explain it, you’re doing it wrong.

    Summary

    Overall, this seems like one of those releases that have a great idea but fail to properly work out the details and rush to release so fast, they miss many details. I can only imagine this hasn’t been playtested or if, then by inexperienced players or uncritical friends.

    I do hope that the devs keep working on this and improve it, fix the bugs, balance the combat and give the maps the proper care they deserve. In its current state, this is a half-assed pre-alpha release at best, and you’re probably in for a disappointment if you expect something the quality of other Steam releases.

    1. Oh, and I forgot to add: the mod doesn’t introduce new gameplay mechanics very well. For instance, there are beacon-branded supply crates, but despite looking the ep2 way, they’re actually booby-trapped. This killed me the first time and could’ve easily been avoided by having an NPC run into one of these crates (scripted) and dying, making it obvious they’re dangerous.

  6. Play It Later

    Entropy : Zero gives you a really nice deep atmosphere vibe on how is playing as a Metrocop. Starting excellent and cold by a normal life day of a CP unit group to complete an Overwatch request to kill on sight any citizen they find in their way. I was surprised when testing out firing range area – I though I was going to shoot some props or signs to test my aim and recoil, but I was totally wrong when I pulled the lever. Good props on that.

    The ambient is truly amazing and well designed by far until third chapter. It was nice to walk by a different abandoned and destroyed city, still camped by refugees and rebels armed around the area. I loved deploying manhacks to help me out on some levels, a nice additional to this mod, I just needed to get used to use more of it since in Half-Life series you weren’t familiar with this kind of ‘help’ at all – but CP units always used their manhacks on the Canals level, so would make sense for me, as a CP player, to use more this little-flying fella.

    However, I must highly address a huge issue with upcoming levels itself after playing one hour. There was a part in the darker tunnels where I couldn’t visualize what problem or enemy was killing my stalker or making me fail to pass through that area. Then I figured how to ‘fix’ it by killing those ceiling monsters even when they’re already eating a zombie. Maybe a trigger issue wasn’t properly tested well before going to the public and how other people are dealing with this same issue. This goes for that annoying, stressful and ugly design part where you have to – or not have to(?) – go sneak and stealth surrounded by turrents everywhere. I couldn’t know if I had to go stealth mode, pass to prop by prop or drop down turrent by turrent or if I had to press a button to disable few turrents on some parts or block their view; but everywhere I go, there was a turrent shooting me like hell to kill me in few seconds. After innumerous attempts, I finally passed through that area.

    Also, there is an issue with final puzzles where you’re about to kill the final boss. I do think this mod wasn’t properly tested well and these hard puzzles wasn’t put it together to get player’s attention to know what he should do and where. Did I have to use a barrel to stop a laser and disable the energy area? Because if this was the answer, the first time I lost my barrel on another room and I couldn’t go back once I got in the area (where it has many human/stalker pots on the pillars). Then what am I suppose to do without that barrel? Puzzles must be designed in a way where it is possible to solve in the same room, accessible by any means and paths. From where I see, it was only one. And if you miss, you lose and have to restart or die to try again.

    Still, I admire and love how this mod put me into a different battle scenario from a Half-Life perspective. It was almost like playing Opposing Force. I enjoyed everything on it, excellent work you put into it. But be sure to have more testers or do more playtesting to not let these kind of silly issues go to public. Not every player is hardcore or professional to kill those citizens. There will be casual players who would like to try out a mod for fun and free time to relax a bit, not to get stress out even more where I got while playing those three levels.

  7. Play It Later

    From the very beginning of Entropy : Zero I thought that this would easily become a personal favourite. But sadly, after finishing it I can agree with Winterman when he says that it’s “a mixed bag of good and bad”. Although in my case, instead of frustrating gameplay elements, one of my main problems with the mod is how broken it is at launch. I ran into at least 3 game breaking bugs and one of them was on the final battle, taking away any enjoyment I could potentially have had and instead replaced it with half an hour of digging through the steam powered user forums to find a solution. And in the end the solution was to simply cheat…(I’ll include more details later in the review).

    The firing range set my expectations high with the idea that you would be killing rebels like it’s nothing and your character doesn’t give a damn about them, I thought it was a brilliant way for trying to show how the metrocops think of the citizens and rebels. And when the very first thing you do in the actual game is raid a rebel base with other metrocops by your side, I instantly fell in love with what I thought would be an amazing mod. Surely I was gonna get to see a bit of everyday life from the perspective of the Combine and maybe do a few more raids, I even imagined I would get to do something like the scene in HL2 where Gordon walks through an apartment complex near the beginning and sees them breaking into someone’s door while everyone else just anxiously watches.

    I was quite sad when I discovered that none of that would happen and, in fact, I wouldn’t even see any other metrocop. What we got instead isn’t necessarily worse, I definitely had a lot of fun exploring what was left of City 10 and discovering the lore behind it. But part of me still kinda wishes we had what I described earlier instead.

    I absolutely loved playing through the stealth section and reading the writing on the walls. It’s a bit unforgiving, but pulling it off felt quite satisfying and it was definitely worth it.

    Similarly, combat was quite challenging but in my opinion, satisfying once you finally got through. But it’s not for everyone, you can easily get frustrated if you end up dying over and over again. Keep in mind that I played on normal for the most part. I tried Hard for a bit and it’s insane how fast you die simply to an SMG, I can’t imagine playing like that against the Vortigaunts later in the mod. Also, for the Vorts, I have the same complaint as in Black Mesa: They attack very fast, so you barely have any time to dodge and since they do so much damage it can get a little too difficult at times. But other than that, I was happy with the combat in this mod (fast zombies definitely didn’t seem to do 50 damage at any point like Winterman says so I dunno what’s up with that).

    Entropy continues with the trend of terrible escorting sections. This time your own flashlight is out and you need to follow and protect a Stalker that has a flashlight on it’s head. This is by far the worst section in the game, because it generally doesn’t aim it’s light where you need it most of the time, so it’s hard to see where all the zombies are coming from and it doesn’t take many hits for it to die and having to restart. But what frustrated me the most was a glitch: there are Barnacles on your path that you need to kill before the Stalker walks into them and dies. There’s only one problem, some of them have invisible tongues! So you won’t know they are there until you lose. Then you have to memorize where your Stalker died so that you can shoot upwards and kill it. But remember that you don’t have a flashlight, so actually hitting it at all is a challenge.

    And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I ran into another glitch in this section. Once you finally get to the end, the Stalker opens an elevator for you. But for some reason the first time I got there, the door closed behind me and then…nothing. I was just sitting in there and nothing happened. I reloaded a few times and got the exact same result. I also figured out that, because of the way the door closes, you can actually go back out just before it’s fully closed and then you’ll be stuck outside of it with no way to get back in. After trying to find a solution on the SPUF, I tried it once again, doing nothing different from last times and…it worked?! I got in and it actually changed level like it was supposed to…why didn’t it work the first 4 times? I’ll never know.

    Luckily for me I thought that the other zombie sections where I didn’t have to protect a Stalker were quite fun and with lots of action going on, I really liked it despite the sometimes confusing infinite spawning fast headcrabs. I felt like there was always enough ammo and health to get by.

    As for the puzzles that came when you enter what I assume is the citadel of City 10, those were quite confusing and I’m still not sure if I got the correct solution for some of them or if I just got lucky. It was just way too unclear what you had to do or in what order. Sometimes was not sure if I was supposed to take damage by going through the red lasers, since there was usually a health and suit charge dispenser right behind it or if there was some other solution.

    I think it’s kind weird that they have two boss battles right next to each other, I feel like they could have spread them out a bit more but at least there was still enough health and ammo so it didn’t feel unfair or anything like that. Also, one again, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. In the boss battle against the Hunter, there are some weird laser-type things that come out after a while and I dunno what’s up with that or if that contributed to me defeating it or not. And for the final battle I spent a while just killing Vorts over and over again not realizing I had to go press a bunch of buttons. Now that I think about it, a lot of things in this mod are just trial and error rather than getting something like a direct explanation. The dev sort of just assumes you’ll figure it out on your own. It can be good in some cases since it makes the player feel even better when they figure it out, but other times it’s just super confusing.

    As for the final Vortigaunt, well uh, apparently there’s a glitch in that whole section where all the vorts can spawn inside of walls or under the floor. At first I didn’t think it was so bad and just ignored it, but eventually even the final boss spawned under the floor! I spent quite a bit of time just walking around the room having no idea what I was supposed to do or why there was some invisible vort shooting at me. Turns out it wasn’t invisible, I had to use noclip to go under the map and just fight him there… and since there are no places to hide there I couldn’t beat him legitimately, I had to use godmode as well. Also from what I can tell he looks exactly the same as a normal vort so you can’t even know what’s happening until you shoot at it for a while and realize it’s taking a lot longer to die.

    And that marked the end of the mod for me. Left quite a bad taste in my mouth after having to deal with that mess. Honestly I’m still in disbelief, how could something as important as the final boss spawn under the ground?! I was even considering giving it a Maybe. But after thinking about it for a bit, I decided to give it a Play it Later because I assume these glitches are gonna be fixed soon and if I had played it in a few weeks then maybe I wouldn’t have had to deal with that. I definitely would have finished the mod a bit faster if it wasn’t for the game breaking bugs and having to go into the forums trying to figure out what was wrong.

    At least the final cutscene was quite interesting and I liked it a lot, so it’s not all THAT bad. I also enjoyed the soundtrack, I think it fit very nicely into the mod.

    So in short, Entropy Zero is a mixed bag. An interesting mod with difficult combat and unforgiving sections. In my opinion it’s generally more satisfying than frustrating but others seem to disagree with that. Sometimes the lore is very interesting, but other times it’s confusing (What is CFLU?? Never explained). But the worst part is how riddled with bugs the first release is. Hopefully it will be fixed in the near future. Almost forgot to mention, level design itself was also quite good, filled with details, it hardly ever felt empty or boxy, and usually it wasn’t confusing where I needed to go.

    1. Oh, I almost forgot to mention. I was super excited when they gave me Manhacks, I thought it would be a great tool to have and it was nice not having to be on the lookout for them trying to kill me, but then you pretty much never use them again with one, very small exception. Unless I just happened to miss them or something. So that sucked.

      1. Reading another review, it really might have been just me missing them/ignoring them rather than the game not giving them to me. Whoops, sorry! Also, something else I forgot to mention, the voice lines of the player got old very fast and generally didn’t really feel very life like or like something anyone would say in that situation.

        Hopefully I didn’t forget to include anything else in my review, it got super long very fast already, I need to improve on that regard.

    2. Yeah, I may have to revised my review twice. One for better, less-raging version and another for newer version. I began writing right after finishing the mod like what I always do so I was filled to the brim with rage. I also have to check the fast zombie damage.

      1. Oh yeah I understand, after that last boss fight glitch I encountered, I vented a ton of rage to my best friend on chat before writing the review. If I hadn’t then maybe I would have scored it lower as well, he was actually surprised I still gave it a PIL after raging so much about it. I definitely wanna play it again once the glitches are fixed and hopefully I’ll get to enjoy it a bit more. And yeah I’d like to check the damage again as well cause if you can really lose 50 health with just one hit on normal difficulty then there’s something seriously wrong with the balancing.

        1. Whenever the fast zombies did their leap attack at me I did lose a ton of health (on medium difficulty), can’t confirm if it was 50 or not but it was certainly a lot.

        2. I checked it, fast zombies really does 50 damage if they do leap attack. This was tested with no armor on me. I also have to redo Chapter 4 because I spammed godmode and noclip like no tomorrow.

    3. I assume CFLU stands for Combine Flu? Perhaps a disease that targets only the DNA modifications applied to the Combine Overwatch (aka “transhuman forces”).

  8. I enjoyed the mod for some time, then quit at the place where everything is attacking from everywhere all the time.

    The author has lots of talent but simply forgot that its a game, made for gamers to enjoy. Its not a contest to see how many gamers can hate you. Luckily, only about 5% of all mods are made this way, and its been some time since one came along. I thought we were over this kind of thing. Too bad.

  9. Personal Favourite

    I went into Entropy: Zero expecting it to be a simple Combine reskin of Half-Life 2, “Shoot Rebels instead of Combine! Behold our reskinned hand models! Look! A blue HUD!”. But no, Entropy: Zero blew my expectations out of the water, it feels like a whole new game.

    Atmosphere

    The cold, icy streets of City 10 do much to bring immersion to the forefront and the locations visited are a very nice addition. The Rebel stronghold, the subway tunnels, Pillar 10; all are places that have groundedness in the lore, but are unique enough to be memorable.

    The main character’s pensive dialogue is also a welcome touch, it makes me feel like a jaded metrocop who’s seen it all.

    I will say that the lighting is too dark in some places, and I found myself recharging my night vision goggles (also cool) frequently. Thank goodness Valve made the energy reset quickly in EP2.

    Gameplay

    The gameplay in Entropy: Zero is its most glaring change: weapons have actual recoil and combat is much more unforgiving. This change in gameplay has had its naysayers, but I like it.

    Now, I might be committing Half-Life heresy when I say this, but: I am bored of Half-Life 2’s gameplay . I guess I’ve just played so much of it that I’ve just become disinterested in it. Entropy: Zero’s hardcore do-or-die is a fresh new experience that had me hooked through to the end. It makes me feel like one of the average metrocops that have been killed so many time easily, now you know what it’s like to be them. And I stand by that quote even as I shot my way through the stealth section (which is a fantastic challenge when done in loud).

    Speaking of which, I had no idea there even was a stealth section, there was little to no indication that I could sneak my way through the Rebel camp. I was given guns, enemies that fought back in a previous section, and more of those same enemies. So I can be forgiven for expecting to battle my way through the turret farm.

    My favorite part would’ve been the ‘protect the stalker’ part. This flips the game on its head by having you protect a feeble stalker with a light, while your night vision is disabled. The challenge in this section is brilliant and the way the game makes you feel dependent is excellent.

    Even though the tough combat is a far cry from what we’re all used to, but this dramatic change saved it from mediocrity.

    Puzzles

    The puzzles in this game are lackluster, with the puzzles in Chapter 4 being the biggest offender.

    The first one involving 12 buttons had me confused and randomly pressing them until the game let me pass. The next would be the laser fences. The first one was clear, you encounter it, presumably die, then find a barrel to block them in the same room.

    However, the later laser fence had me confused. You encounter a fence, and there is a Stalker in the next room (keeping it on?). So I try to open the door and get to him, but it’s locked. There is a vent above, can’t get to it. A nearby manhack dispenser gives me an idea. Deploy manhack and break vent (maybe the manhack will distract the stalker?), the manhack goes it… and kills him, opening the locked door and revealing another barrel to block the lasers. The whole reason I didn’t think about killing him is because you are taught to protect stalkers, like in the tunnel section. Changing the rules like that is a poor design decision.

    In the next room, I am greeted by a large area with many catwalks. I wander around trying to find a way to the next place for a GOOD long while before I notice a crate of infinite AR2 Energy Balls and a bright hole in the wall. Thinking back to EP1, I fire an energy ball into the hole and it explodes! I do the same to the other hole and the room goes dark, releasing many stalkers. One of them is trying to fix the hole, and, applying my ‘kill stalkers’ knowledge, murder them all. Bingo. The door is open and I am free.

    One problem: Why would a member of the Combine be destroying property of the Combine? You’d think he’d be trying to defend to from the invading vortigaunts.

    Luckily, the puzzles are very few, preventing too much frustration.

    Conclusion

    All in all, Entropy: Zero earns its spot in my personal favourites list due to its challenging gameplay, immersive locations. The graphics in this are simply exemplary and show what the Source engine can be capable of. This feels like an official expansion. Better than Prospekt.

    Other Notes

    The fact that the HUD reads the AR2 and Shotgun as ‘(UNAUTHORIZED)’ is a nice touch; cheated weapons also say “MASK CACHE ERROR/ITEM MISSING FROM CHRONO REPLAY”

    The whole thing about the game being a ‘Mask Playback’ is cool

    The ending is brutal, but fits the Combine

    Night vision is a good addition

    The ‘CFLU’ is an interesting way of giving City 10 a reason to be abandoned, even if it’s not elaborated on

    Soundtrack is awesome

    I like the recycled manhacks from Human Error, I don’t even care you don’t get to control them, not that it would be of much use

  10. For whatever reason, my review isn’t posting, so I’ll just say this: I like the new, challenging gameplay. A change for the better in my opinion. Makes you feel like the feeble metrocops you’ve gun down so many times in other mods.

    Personal Favourite

    1. It’s visible now. Sorry about that.

  11. Wesp5

    It crashes for me right at the start of the first map when everything goes bright. I never had any problems like this on the hundreds of Source mods I played here. Any ideas on what to do about that?

  12. shark

    The part with the stalker is just ridiculous. I had to play it in god mode with mat_fullbright 1 and still had a hard time to make it through.

    In a lot of places it’s not clear where you need to go or what you need to do.

    Pretty irritating mod.

  13. I could launch the game but as soon as I clicked on options, the game would launch a VR error panel and I couldn’t continue unless I used the default settings. I managed to change a few things in the confg. file but still couldn’t set difficulty or video resolution to my liking. Has anybody else had this problem and how do you correct it.

    1. I haven’t encountered this problem, but I’d suggest using launch options. Whenever I install a new Source game, I set the launch options to -autoconfig -window -width 1600 -height 900. The first one makes sure the video options are set to the recommended ones for your PC (the ones with an asterisk), the second launches in windowed mode and the last two choose the resolution.

      I’m not sure, but I guess this way, you could at least choose the correct resolution and hopefully get decent graphic settings.

      PS: Oh and as for the difficulty, these are just scripts launched if I recall correctly. You could try the -console launch option to get the dev console and execute the difficulty scripts manually via exec. You’d probably have to set the difficulty in a working Source game, then copy (& rename) the skill.cfg into your Entropy Zero cfg directory and run it via console.

  14. Play It Now!

    Entropy: “change within a closed system” Wasn’t sure what to expect after reading through the mostly negative assessments.

    A quick analogy. Similar to the plot in Blue Shift which portrays the story through the eyes of security guard, Barney Calhoun. The protagonist in Entropy is a stranded Metro Cop as he journeys through the cold hidden rebel sanctuary of City 10 to reclaim the Combine stronghold known as ‘Pillar 10’.

    Blue Shift game play did not significantly differ from that of Half-Life whereas Entropy-Zeros is intentionally different. Weapon and damage is commensurate with the Metro Cop role and has an immersive effect. The Overwatch Standard Issue Pulse Rifle has a sweet recoil and what isn’t there to like about having Manhacks to deploy?

    There are some dark areas and a couple of glitches that some beta testing could of caught but did not find them to detract from the over game play. Difficulty crescendos at a reasonable pace. The stalker spot light and the catwalk section can be a little disorienting from the standpoint of not knowing where to go.

    During the final Boss fight, I found the piles of snow in the corners helpful to avoid the lasers. There is a lot to like about this mod.

  15. I just wanted to say that this is probably one of the most “divisive” mods I’ve seen on this site yet. I mean, one avoid it, one favorite? Wow!

    I myself didn’t enjoy it very much, in fact I’d go as far as saying that it’s almost like a compilation of all possible level design errors that can be made, from having huge empty but BSP-valid spaces beneath your actual levels which cause the engine to get confused and spawn enemies down there, to improperly telegraphing how a level should be tackled (“stealth” turret section). Maybe I’ll leave a complete review or list of stop-doing-these later.

    1. You should see Leon Brinkmann’s mods. They’re pretty much divided into “love it” and “hate it”. He’s got a very special idea of how Half-Life should be played, to put it somewhat neutral.

      And yeah, this thing just stacks up beginner issues that most of us probably have, but in a release. I’m somewhat surprised such bad practice could get into Steam.

  16. Hec
    Play It Now!

    I liked Entropy Zero. It was a fresh release with a very original intention. Play as the “bad guy” and at the same time tell a story about the murky Combine.

    I really don’t know why this game has been -in general- so bad received by the critic. In my opinion, all of those judgments are just not fair. I mean, It doesn’t feel fair to me to complain about the difficulty skills, when you have the always available option to play in easy if you don’t like hardcore gameplay. And for me, playing this in the hard arse style was just pretty cool and challenging.

    Overall I’d say I loved the whole environment and aura of this mod. You know, its environment was pretty cool located in that big City 10. It actually feels like a real city in the HL2 Universe. And despite dark light issues (which I assume it was meant that way in order to force the player to use the green light “F” mask), the whole mapping was pretty well crafted and the maps had plenty of details. I liked it felt like a professional release, well worthy to be in steam.

    As I have said many times before. I am a hardcore gamer. I mean I like battles to feel real and gameplay that demand you as a veteran HL Gamer to combat always to the limit. Here in EZ, I think we have precisely that. Also, the rebels were tough to beat in battle and I loved that detail.

    I guess the part I liked the most was crossing the City surface, right before we get captured by the resistance. I also think the Stalker escort part was brilliantly planned felt challenging and its layout was clever. I know many people complain about this part, and I also died many times there. But come on!! It was a very original part of the mod. really stands out from others I have played. I like those creativity details as the developers exploited a new way to use the Stalkers.

    The story was pretty well told into the mod, and I also like the detail of the Main character talking to himself in that bad ass CMB voice. The ending was coherent and also a great end. As you always feel on the side of the CMB, and who knows, maybe opens a sequel possibility.

    About the shortfalls, I accept the fact that the zombies spawning was just badly done. I think that’s the more stressing part of the whole gameplay, but despite that is perfectly beatable.

    I also had a bug that just didn’t permit me to read any subtitle. I hope the developer gets aware of this.

    Anyway, in conclusion, I think this was a nice mod and its totally welcome as it will always be fun to play new HL2 modding material, especially if it’s developed into the HL2 Universe and creatively add new features and think in original ways to tell stories. I hope the developers keep their work going and offer a sequel, or maybe something cool and new like related to the 7hr war plot, which is by the way scarcely exploited by the modding community.

    Play it Now, and if you like hardcore battles then you just have to play this one.

    1. Well, I played it in Easy and it felt harder than playing HL2 in Hard mode. I was tempted to just enable godmode every few minutes, and I usually play Normal difficulty.

      I don’t know if you’re a mapper or a player, but I think from a mapdesigner’s point of view, the maps are far from well crafted.

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