Lunar Descent

for Half-Life 2

26th November 2017

“Lunar Descent is an action-adventure game, set on the Xterrier Lunar Colony. It mixes brutal combat, exploration and resource scavenging. To stay alive, players must be careful when dealing with enemies and ever mindful of their limited supplies.”

About

“It is set in the same universe as Dissolution, but is a totally standalone campaign. There is a heavy emphasis on both setting/location and survival (in the sense that you have to scavenge for supplies in order to survive). Combat is intense and enemies can only be bested if you gather the necessary supplies.

Lunar Descent features a totally new setting for players to explore with a rich backstory to become immersed in; an original soundtrack to complement the atmosphere; and an engaging plot told with the help of various talented voice actors from the community.”

Story

“When an insurgent strike throws lunar civilisation into chaos, Victor Redmond must fight not only to stay alive but also to protect the last bastion of humanity. However, it quickly becomes apparent that there is more at play than a dissatisfied band of thugs.

Lunar Descent takes place in a universe where humanity exists solely in a scattering of off-world colonies, run by the mega-corporation Xterrier. Players will be able to explore the economic capital of Xterrier’s galactic empire, the Xterrier Lunar Colony, and dig deep into its history.”

Key Features
  • Exploration — Lunar Descent rewards players who explore the open and expansive locations with more backstory and supplies.
  • Survival Gameplay — Ammo is scarce, health is frequently low. Players will need to make every bullet and health point count, and scavenge for supplies in order to survive
  • Deadly Enemies — A single enemy has the potential to kill the player if they are careless. The player is weak against bullets; but enemies are also weak against the player’s.
  • Immersive Story — Xterrier society is at risk from armed bandits intent on causing chaos. However, there are much bigger forces at work under the surface, which threaten humanity’s existence.
  • Atmospheric Soundtrack — Original soundtrack complements Lunar Descent’s atmosphere.

Basic Details
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Download Options

Download to your HDD [497MB]
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Manual Installation Instructions

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

  • Copy the lunardescent folder into your …\Steam\SteamApps\sourcemods\ folder.
  • Start or restart Steam
  • Lunar Descent should now be listed in your LIBRARY tab.

Panoramics

Videos

Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

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

9 recommendations, average score: 3.11 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.99 (what's that?)
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 9 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 9 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 1 Hours, 15 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 30 Mins by ambbb
Longest: 2 Hours by
Total Time Played: 11 Hours, 11 Mins
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24 Comments

  1. Cool to see that it’s finally released ^^

    The last time I saw anything about this mod was back in December of 2015, when I was a playtester for it.

    1. Duke

      Well, I’ve wandered around aimlessly for 20 minutes, looks nice, but I have absolutely no idea what a hack kit looks like or where they might be and the bottles of booze on the shelves don’t seem to do much…is there a walk through for this ? Much as I like the scenery and complexity…it’s a bit boring so far.

  2. Play It Later

    I gave up when the lady started shooting me and apparently my bullets had no effect on her. What’s the point?
    Nonetheless, this was certainly a well crafted mod, very reminiscent of black mesa.
    The countdown with the bomb was a nice and original idea, as well the fact that there weren’t a lot of enemies but those few were really tough.

    1. Duke

      lucky to find a Lady…nothing happening here..

      1. Should reviews count when it’s obviously an unfinished playthrough?

        I mean it’s not GSTRING where you can play 24 hours and still be only at the middle of the mod, being stuck far too many times.

  3. shark

    Sure it works. bottles only give you health if you need it, hack kits are further on in the game… you’ll see. Plenty of action and stuff to explore. It got annoying for me when the scandinavian lady started yelling about bombs that you cannot defuse on time without cheating…

    1. I did it without cheating. You just need to run and have perfect aim.

      1. Sounds like I am totally screwed then.

      2. A. Shift

        “Just”. I played on Normal and could only defuse two of bombs, with lots of save-scumming.
        After that I was left with no health and no time to pick up any of healing items, because if you stall in area, next bomb countdown begins on it’s own. And protagonist can’t sprint for his own life’s sake – literally. So you’re supposed to find the bomb without dying (and sound is really not enough to pinpoint it’s location), then probably watch it blow up 2 steps away from you, then somehow repeat it again perfectly. Or resort to cheats.
        I didn’t have such trouble for the rest of mod, this sequence is just badly designed, on par with stalker escort from Entropy Zero.

    2. Duke

      just no idea of where to go or what to do…for me if it isn’t immediatly intuitive, I wander off and go find something more interesting to do, like the washing up for example…

  4. Think Twice

    This mod takes annoyance to a whole new level. What was he thinking. The first half hour or so starts out slow and then has some decent combat, but then it goes downhill from there.

    There’s many a retry moment as bugs stop well aimed bullets from doing anything, unfair combat, no understandable explanation of why a book picked up in some room or something pushed on a wall makes a noise and a face appears on it? means anything or helps gameplay but adds some partial symbol top right, bomb diffusal that is a retry many times effort finally getting it, and then what? a SECOND bomb diffusal task starts and is pretty much impossible. Its like the player is being told ‘suffer you sucker players!’.

    Fair warning. So the mod basically self destructs, ‘hoisted on its own petard’ as it were. Rated ‘Avoid It’ or ‘Think Twice’, take your pick.

  5. Maybe?

    An accidental F5 ate my previous review, so here it is again, albeit shorter.

    This mod has left me mixed feelings. There is definitely something interesting about it, but the implementation is all-around average. The mod suffers from many mapping/design flaws and the few interesting elements are not enough to save the overall experience.

    Gameplay
    The base difficulty is much higher than standard HL2 as the author went for realistic style gameplay. Bullets hit hard and any mistake you make is a harsh punishment. Unfortunately this implementation will result in utter hell and frustration for most players in several mandatory sequences of the mod known as bomb sequences. These bomb sequences will require you to have near perfect timing, movement and aim and pray you do not quicksave at the wrong time as otherwise you will be stuck in a failure loop unless you reload an earlier save.

    This is likely the biggest mistake of this mod. Implementing a punishing gameplay works if the experience is tailored for it. It’s not the case here.

    I appreciated the introduction of hacking tools, which you can use to unlock a few locked doors throughout the mod which rewards you with various items. There is however another fundamental issue here: The most important story element of the mod requires you to get three items hidden behind a few of these doors and if you happen not to find enough hacking tools, you’re missing out on that. I was lucky and opened the correct set of doors on my first playthrough, but I’m fairly certain it would have left a sour taste if I happened to miss out on the only thing that really matters in this mod because I opened the wrong door.

    There’s also no melee weapon for some reason. There wouldn’t have been much use for it, but it still would have been nice to have.

    Story
    This is the part that redeems this mod, but there’s also so little content it’s hard to really talk about it without spoiling your experience. As I pointed out above, if you miss the books then you’re missing out on the lore of the mod, which is a shame.

    The world is definitely interesting but it’s like we’re given the cover of a book to stare at and that’s it. Subtitles would have been a nice bonus for a mod that so heavily relies on voiced storytelling.

    Mapping
    The mapping is okay in general and the abundance of custom art does a great job at making you feel elsewhere. The problem is rather the layout of the maps, which once combined with the regular lack of direction makes navigating the levels a very confusing experience.

    A bigger issue is the soul of the mod. I honestly was wondering for the first 15-20 minutes if I wasn’t experiencing a bug as there was absolutely NO npcs anywhere in sight, which is extremely confusing. There are plenty of lit spaces that seem to indicate there are people there, but there’s nobody at all. There should at least be a few people in the streets, or working at their lit workspaces, but no. There is nothing at all.

    Conclusion
    This mod is all around wasted potential. There is something good going on there but it is flawed on many aspects and feels incomplete. It’s worth playing through it once, but expect to be frustrated a few times.

  6. Play It Later

    I found this mod really slow at first until I got the hang of where to go and what to do. After that it was decent with some unfortunate flaws.

    The good parts:
    – The environment was interesting to explore around although a little plain and lacking a lot of detail
    – The voice acting was pretty good and helped the story
    – The weapons (although limited to 2) were effective
    – The hack kits and health kits could be used when the player needed them

    The not so good parts:
    – The enemies did a tremendous amount of damage to you with a single shot, and I was playing on easy
    – The crazy woman near the end was apparently indestructible. I wasted a huge amount of ammo on her
    – I found it impossible to defuse the bombs in time unless I turned on god mode to quickly deal with the enemies

    It’s definitely worth playing, but you will need to invest some time before it gets interesting.

  7. We really need to get a total conversion section going.
    We could add GString, Get a Life, Nightmare House 2, Zombie Master, the masterpiece known as Underhell, and much more.

    1. You mean this: Total Conversion Tag? Admittedly, it’s missing a few mods but the system is there.

  8. asterixer

    it runs under Linux, but there are no enemys. So please use Windows with this mod.

  9. Think Twice

    I’ve had just as much fun playing this mod as I had with Fast Detect. I didn’t finish it, stopped after half an hour when the ooooh-spooky-mystery-shotgun-woman spam was unleashed.

    From a esthetic viewpoint it is alright, I like the moon concept and the architecture. Most of it looked fine with a few exceptions. I did find the beginning quite strange and uncanny since it is supposed to be a busy place full of people, yet you can’t see a single soul. And then after the terrorists strike there’s suddenly a bunch of dead people. :thinking: The voice acting of the main character and the woman was good.

    At the gameplay compartment this mod severely lacks. You have this one shot pistol which makes the rifle completely obsolete. Enemies do tremendous damage and kill you in a second. This itself is not a problem, when the gameplay and maps are build around it, like long range shooters (Arma) or shortrange horror games with melee enemies. Now, you either wait in a corner until they one by one come to get shot, or you’re some CS player with amazing aim and you one shot all of them while strafe jumping. The section when 3 bombs get planted is really absurd, I was just slowly collecting the stuff when suddenly the timer of another bomb way out went off.

    And to put the cherry on the cake and what made me ragequit was some shotgun lady which kept spawning and 2 shotting me, while she would take around 4 kilograms of lead in her chest before she would go down, absurd.

    It feels like the modder put 0 thought in gameplay and only put thought in how it looks, ooh deja vu. In my humble opinion gameplay should always be first priority. And if people actually like this kind of gameplay I say no you don’t you are lying.

    If I didn’t like the esthetics and voice acting so much I would have given this a ‘Avoid it’.

  10. Phillip says Maybe

    This review contains spoilers.

    First off, I’d like to applaud Aaron’s continued commitment to creating non-Half-Life mods, each with its own atmosphere and feel.

    That said, in general, I don’t appreciate that work as much as others. Creating new universes is difficult as a lot needs to be considered.

    Some of my observations may just be personal preferences but some may be more common.

    Let me start with the story. In itself, it’s certainyl not a bad story but the talk about humaity’s survival seems a little over the top considering we don’t really know much more than we are presented with. A base on a moon sounds cool and alluded-to previous events also adds some depth. However, I feel that Aaron has made the story too intrusive. Often times, players of mods need a clearly explained setting and a simple goal. Having a detailed story doesn’t automatically make a mod better. It’s only better if the story is part of the gameplay.

    I read the three “books” and as unimpressed. What’s the deal with the girl and the white flashes? She is the alien? Don’t tell me “arh, but that will be explained in a future mod” because that stuff doesn’t work with me. yes, it’s cool to have extra information that can be used in other mods, but not if that information affects what happens now.

    The setting sounds cool, but I felt this was the mods biggest weakness. Almost everything lloks like it was built on Earth. Okay, who am I to say what a moon base would look like, but bricks and iron wrought gates feel out of place.

    At the beginning, you wander around with really knowing where to go, at least I did, and eventually I stumbled upon the correct office. The whole base is empty, yet the soundscapes suggest lots and lots of people around every corner. There are no NPCs walking around to interact with etc.

    The voice acting was good, very good in some places but the script drove me crazy. This is not the first mod that tries to sound “well-written”. I strongly dislike my playing character talking to me and telling me what I feel, so that was a HUGE turn off immediately.

    Onto the combat. I played on easy and very much nenjoyed this aspect, but I often do with “brutal” mods or even “one shot, one kill” styles. Enemy placement was good and the addition of the bombs to diffuse added a sense of urgency, although made no sense at all.

    The idea of the hack kits sounds great but let’s be honest, they are just keys in disguise and we all hate keys, don’t we?

    Some where do we stand? Did I enjoy it? “Meh” is my answer. I can’t fault the vision of the mod but its execution is not to my likling. Visually, it’s too bright and almost cartoony. The story and setting? Another “Meh”. The story telling and voice acting? Yet another “Meh”.

    The gameplay, epspeically the combat and level layout was fun but it’s not enough for me to say I really enjoyed it, becasue I didn’t. I was actually happy when it finished.

    All in all, I feel the author would be better off spending his time and effort in making a mod less ambitious in scope but better at what he seems to do best, level design and combat.

    I will say, I like the feel of the underground levels more than the open areas.

    Now all this may come as a surprise considering I used the “MAYBE” recommendation image, but there is a chance that you may enjoy this this and as such, if you like total conversions and non-standard Half-Life stuff, then you should at leats try it.

  11. Think Twice

    DISCLAIMER: As usual, I sound a bit harsh in this review. That’s nothing personal against the creator, I’m just very critical when I review maps.

    I’m dubbing the protagonist of this map: John Monologue

    When I heard that this mod had a heavy emphasis on exploration, alongside the inclusion of hacking tools, all wrapped in an “immersive” story, I was expecting some sort of basic attempt at an immersive sim game based off of HL2. Sort of like a discount Stalker game. Given how much I love having choice in my games, that’s what drew me into the mod.

    What I got instead was an extremely linear mod with only one enemy type (well, technically two, but I’ll get to that), two weapons, and a campaign that focuses entirely on telling a disengaging story, and nothing on creating a well-designed gameplay experience.

    Remember those hacking tools I mentioned earlier? I never even used one until over halfway through the mod. They’re just computer chips, so I thought they were physics props. And the mod NEVER explains to you to look for them. Just that “hacking tools” exist. (Yeah, let me just shove this computer chip on a keypad until it unlocks. That’s how hacking works, right?) And just in general, the mod is not good at conveyance. There were multiple times in the mod where I simply had no idea where the mod wanted me to go. Particularly at the beginning, nothing ever told you to use those keypad scanners. I thought it was just another prop. You have to teach these mechanics to the player.

    As for the linearity… ordinarily I wouldn’t complain. It’s a Half-Life 2 mod, so linearity is just what you would expect. It’s just that I was told that there would be rewards for exploration, but that only pertains to a few rooms with extra equipment that you can hack into. I was hoping for some degree of nonlinearity in the actual level design, give me options as to how I reach my objective. But there’s not even nonlinearity in the combat encounters, which even most Half-Life mods do. And given that the combat is designed to feel realistic, that could make the encounters so much more memorable!

    Speaking of which, let’s talk about the combat. At first I thought I liked it, but I don’t. I like the fact that your bullets hurt when you shoot people, and you can’t just run around willy-nilly. You have to be careful and aim carefully. (I recommend using the pistol when you have ammo for it, it one-shots everything!… At least on normal it does.) The problems arise when you get to the bomb defusing sequences. These are downright badly designed. Take the slowpaced, realistic, you-die-in-like-five-hits style combat from before, but now make it so you have to hurry up and defuse a bomb, or else you fail the mission. Who in playtesting agreed that this was a good thing to do? Luckily, I was a surprisingly good shot with the pistol, but I can easily see someone getting stuck here for over a half-hour. (And don’t forget, one enemy that only ever uses one weapon!)

    Let’s talk about the story. You work for some giant intergalactic mega-corporation that rules the blablabla, suddenly there’s terrorists everywhere, and blabla, scientist person tells you to run around and shoot stuff, it was aliens the whole time, and blablabla. I couldn’t help but feel the entire time like this was ALL stuff I had seen a dozen times before. There’s one interesting thing about the story, you can pick up three satanic bibles to find out that aliens have decided that humanity is worthless and making the universe kinda nasty, so they need to destroy us from the inside out. Actually, writing that out now, I changed my mind. That’s not that interesting. The ending was actually pretty well done (besides them trying to get you to feel for the death of a character that has never been mentioned before), with some alien talking to you about how you want to save humanity, and he’s not sure whether to let you save it, or keep trying to commit genocide; and I remember thinking I’d actually like to see what’s next. Do I get to fight aliens? Well, the narrator is all like, “but that’s a story for another day” and then the mod just ends. The only point in this mod where I felt actually engaged in the story, and then the mod just drops off and ends. Also, near the end of the mod, they try to introduce a story element by having some scientist lady hunt you down and shoot you with an auto-shotgun. She was invulnerable, so I figured it was going to be like an alien isolation thing where you need to hide from her… but no. She just always knows where you are at all times, you just have to run from her. Also, her auto-shotgun kills you almost instantly. Balancing! And I know I said that this was a story element… but I have no idea what she’s doing here. I don’t know what she contributes to the story. She’s just sorta there.
    So… yeah. I wanted to like the story, but I just can’t bring myself to care.

    Next up is the atmosphere. It does a bit better in this department, though not by much. The mod looks gorgeous from beginning to end, with a very clean visual style that I like. The models aren’t spectacular, but they work. And they work well. The problem I see is just how BARREN the world is! Like as you’re walking down this moon city on your way to work, there isn’t one, single, solitary person doing anything anywhere. It’s just you! There’s soundscapes to imply a bustling city, but there’s literally nobody living here except me! And apparently the 4000 terrorists that show up later. Also the music is pretty decent, taken by itself. It kinda reminds me of the newer Minecraft music, like this peaceful, benevolent, electronic music that keeps you calm. But it’s not what I want to hear when I’m shooting terrorists that have been contracted by an intergalactic council. There’s a time for peaceful music, that’s not it.

    Now, with all this said, why did I give this mod an “Avoid it” rating? Initially I was going to give it a “Think twice” rating, but after writing this review, I realized something: There was no point in this mod that I truly felt like I was enjoying myself. There were moments when I felt excited for how much fun I thought I was going to have, but those moments quickly faded away to utter frustration. There were just too many times when I felt like the I was just continuing to play the mod because I had to finish it, so I could write this review. If that’s the vibe I’m getting, that’s the ultimate tell-tale sign that I cannot recommend this mod. Maybe I’m being overly harsh because I was hoping I’d be able to give it a “personal favorite” rating when I read the description, but after all that I played, it really just felt like it left a bad taste in my mouth.

    1. Looking back on this, I feel I may have made a mistake in giving it an “Avoid it” rating. That rating should really be saved for real bottom of the barrel content, but there are some things in Lunar Descent that are actually well made. I think that it was ultimately my horrendous disappointment that made me feel like it deserved the lowest rating. It was so easy for me to compare what I was playing to what I felt like I could’ve been playing, that I just couldn’t help myself.

      Having said that, everything I actually said in the review still stands, except for the last paragraph. I was just a bit too harsh on the review score.

      1. Would you like me to change it something else?

        1. Sure. You can change it to “Think twice”. Thank you.

  12. Maybe?

    I don’t know what to feel about this mod. I think it’s part of something bigger, like Dissolution (have yet to play it), so I’m not gonna criticise the story much.

    Lunar Descent has an interesting concept, tactical gunplay is featured here, along with medkit collecting mechanic. It also has survival element to it. On paper, this sounds cool but in practice you need to tone the game to fit this concept.

    I don’t get the story much but according to the description, I feel like you need to play Dissolution first to understand. But even if you are new to this universe, you will barely understand anything at all. Who are the insurgents? Who is the lady with the shotgun?

    I also appreciate the voice acting, it was OK. But because I’m bad at listening to something like this, subtitles would be OK. I also like the textures, it looks lovely and refreshing. It also helps navigating through the city.

    The gameplay, however, was good. Enemies can kill you in 3-4 hits, making running wildly into them is very unforgivable. It also encourage you to take your time. This concept plays out sweet for 75% of the game. I also like the idea of eating/drinking to heal.

    The gameplay was good up until the final part of the game. When the Insurgents plant the bomb all over city is when the things go south. The bomb will explode in 30 seconds and it is protected by 5-10 enemies. The timer is too short, you would probably blow up at least 2 times before getting it right. It’s not fun. At all. Especially for the bomb in the church part where all tactical gameplay is thrown out of the window and have you getting shot by 10 enemies with only 1-2 cover. I need to ask why the playtesters approved this idea.

    And the last part with the lady is frustrating too, her shotgun blast does too much damage. While this makes her a scary opponent along with her haunting voice, it becomes frustrating because she instantly respawn when you “kill” her.

    The recoil system. I don’t get it. It doesn’t make sense that your Assault Rifle barely has any recoil and only has bullet spread, while the pistol somehow kicks like a mule. It also somehow does more damage than the assault rfile! You suppose to have this as a sidearm! Is this a Desert Eagle or something?

    And last but not least, I really dislike how the city is completely void of life. No citizens can be seen, at all. Even during the intro where you are supposed to see people walking around, doing things. Adding citizens before, during, and after the Insurgent attack would make the game feels more real. And the levels won’t look dead. Maybe having you see them dragging citizens out of their homes and executing them would make you learn to hate them.

    In conclusion, Lunar Descent has an interesting gameplay concept. Played out sweet, but ruined by the late part of the game. But it also has very nice texture and well-made voice acting which kind of compensate for that.

  13. Hec
    Play It Now!

    I think I liked this one. Overall it felt like a cool total conversion and we have to keep that in mind. The story always was interesting and as a whole, the philosophical and political context inside the mod felt like one of those dystopic mods out there. And though I think the king of dystopic mods still is G-String, this one was a quick medium length interesting one.

    I know many, many people are complaining about the hard ass difficulty skill in the combat, but for me, that was no issue at all!. I have always considered myself as a hardcore combat gamer in HL2 and the hard super realistic battles in this mod was a well-welcomed challenge for me. So I really liked that and also loved the new weapons inside the mod. It was just great to have a great headshot and literally battle strategically in order to overcome hard situations against many rebels.

    I think for me this mod is a PN because it also gave me lots of nostalgia. I felt it like a modern mix of the classic and also hard: Night at The Office HL1 TC Mod and some elements of the also beloved classic Counter Strike Condition Zero stand-alone game. Deactivating those bombs felt like a real old school dynamic some people may hate, but others like me just love, and also is a thing we don’t see too much in mods nowadays anymore.

    So yeah, despite all of the dislike with this mod, I liked it, I hope it has a continuing part some day, and listen to the feedback and recommendations provided by the community.

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