Transmissions: Element 120

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

A short single player experience set in the Half-Life Universe featuring a unique gravity defying weapon that allows you to jump buildings and sustain large falls.

The story takes place at a mysterious date & location after the events of Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

Where are you? Why have you been sent?

Basic Details
  • Title: Transmissions: Element 120
  • Author: Shokunin
  • Date Released: 29 March 2015 / Updated for Steam June 2016

Download Options

Download via Steam

Awards

Transmissions: Element 120 is a HALL of FAME entry

Panoramic Image

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Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Videos
PlanetPhillip

Please forgive the incorrect “Cremation” overlay.
The playthrough/walkthrough below is provided by PlanetPhillip.
See more of my playthroughs on this site: VP: PlanetPhillip.

Custom Gamer

The playthrough below is provided by Custom Gamer.
See more of his playthroughs on this site: VP: Custom Gamer

Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

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

22 recommendations, average score: 4.82 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.15 (what's that?)
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 23 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: 3 Users
Manually: 20 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 1 Hours, 22 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 40 Mins by Tobias Janderå
Longest: 10 Hours by Bolx
Total Time Played: 31 Hours, 34 Mins
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69 Comments

  1. Phillip's Favourite

    I have to admit I was very wary of this mod because the author had recently asked for testers over on Interlopers. He said he had been working on it for 2 years and waiting until something is nearly finished is never the time to ask for testers.

    However, the responses were so positive I needn’t have worried.

    The initial start leaves you no doubt that you are in the Half-Life universe, but it also suggests a new feel and that feeling is not wrong. Very quickly you are shown new elements and gameplay.

    I’ll try not to include spoilers but there are a couple of new mechanics that are nicely done and a new weapon that IS a mechanic. I was so impressed with it, I’m going to try and have a *Ville challenge based on it!

    The environments are very well designed and polished, with a dark, abandoned feel to most. The gameplay was never boring and I felt I was moving through a flowing and believable area.

    There are two battles, with the first allowing you to really understand and enjoy your new weapon and the final battle outrageously fun and challenging. It’s the stuff of endless replays.

    If the author doesn’t already work in the gaming industry, I have little doubt he could if he wanted to.

    My little nitpicks include at least one invisible wall and some strange level change locations. The title is misleading as is the description; there is little or no story here and to be honest, that’s the only way I could see this being improved. Some custom voice acting and a clear objective given at the beginning would put the cherry on the top of an already amazing cakemod (yes, I just created a new word!).

    Go play it, go play it now and don’t look at any of the screenshots of videos.

  2. Personal Favourite

    I am speechless.

    This was one of the best releases I have ever played. This will include spoilers, so if you for some reason have not played it yet, stop reading and go do so.

    The Gravity Gun have had some modifications. Its not the same again. Now it shoots a ball of pure gravity that propels anything it hits. Shoot it on a box and it goes flying. Shoot it on the ground and you have a rocket jump..I mean gravity jump.

    The gameplay and pacing was perfect. You never felt rushed and you had time to experiment with the new mechanics at your own pace.

    The ending battle was my favourite. It takes place in some sort of industrial slums, wich suggest that the mod is not set in City 17 or maybe some old parts of the city. You bounce around on the rooftops, searching for health and rockets while being attacked by a bunch of striders. You watch as they slowly destroy the building you took refuge in, wich makes no place safe, so you better kill those striders fast.

    All in all, the quality of the mod is comparable to Mission Improbable and it will be on of those mods that will be brought up when you talk about mapping and modding. “Oh you remember that one mod where you used the gravity gun to jump around?”

    Play this mod, no excuse is acceptable.

  3. JG

    This was an absolutely fantastic mod when I played it, and I’d have no hesitation giving it a Personal Favorite, but was it intended for release? I was under the impression he was seeking testers for an eventual release, but it was still presently in beta.

    1. but was it intended for release? I was under the impression he was seeking testers for an eventual release, but it was still presently in beta.

      Yes, it’s been released on his site and other well-known mod sites.

    2. Before the interlopers round of testing, there were a couple rounds on mapcore, and before that there were some rounds with friends.

  4. Personal Favourite

    “HOLY CRAP!”

    There’s no better feeling in gaming when you can’t help but say that out loud. There are a few moments in this mod that warranted that very reaction. Firing the modified gravity gun is one of those moments that springs to mind. I attempted to pull an object over to find that there was no secondary fire mod. I was a little disappointed. Then I tapped the primary fire button and…

    “HOLY CRAP!”

    It annihilated the entire room I was standing in and I stood motionless, almost in shock, surrounded by the sound of broken glass and twisted metal falling to the floor.

    The levels are very cleverly designed to take advantage of the new movement mechanics offered by the new weapon but I did have some teething issues at first. I would be searching for the path to progress in some cases for what seemed like forever, before finally realising that the answer was literally in front of my face. This problem went away about half way in however, and soon I was bouncing around the place like the entire mod was set in a giant inflatable castle.

    The final arena took full advantage of this and along with it’s destructible buildings courtesy of the strider’s partical cannon, was an absolute joy to play in.

    Even the smaller areas where there is no action going on are painstakingly detailed and have a real sense of place. Boots hanging from a bunk bed by their laces, a would be rebel sniper dangling from the ceiling while being munched on by a headcrab and so on.

    My only quibble is the plot. It takes place in an undefined location at an unspecified time after Episode 2. We only really have the authors word for that as there isn’t a lot to back it up in game. Reading the various rebel journals lying around provided a nice bit of depth but had I not noticed them the plot would have been basically non existent.

    Oh, and the QR Codes? I scanned them with my phone to nitpick but sadly they read exactly as the game states. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I loved this and I am going to make sure to recommend it to everyone at SnC. ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. Personal Favourite

    This mod has so much going for it that it’s difficult to know where to begin. The environments are utterly gorgeous. There were a couple of moments where I was happily launching into the next puzzle when something would catch my eye and I’d suddenly stop and just go ‘woah’ as I soaked in the location. This could be an area I’d already been in for ten minutes, but I had been enjoying the gameplay so much I hadn’t even noticed how beautiful everything was.

    The puzzles aren’t complex, nor overly taxing, but are fun to solve and maintain a good level of pacing and progression. I knew from the layout of the very first map that I was in the hands of someone who had well thought through his puzzles, as – in typical Valve fashion – every mechanic is introduced in a safe environment before being put to the test later.

    Obviously I can’t review this properly without giving due diligence to the Gravity Concussion Gun. This thing is inspired. Suddenly progressing through maps feels like it did in Portal, and I thoroughly enjoyed putting your mapping to the test by trying to jump onto as much as I could; grinning when you’d predicted the move and put a little bit of environmental story in these otherwise impossible to reach places.

    The last fight is a little too easy, but utterly bombastic and hilarious, with so much in the environment designed to crumble and fly in the wake of the action. As boss fights go it’s pretty much flawless.

    The QR codes are a nice touch – especially seeing the stencils dotted around – and I was particularly pleased to note that when I scanned the screen with my phone, they were in fact completely legit.

    The biggest flaw is the story, or lack thereof. It’s a tricky thing for you to handle, given that the player is Gordon Freeman, but I feel that interfering with the canonical Half-Life plot would have been preferable to just not explaining anything. Either that, or have the player be someone else. Voice acting would have gone a long way to really sell the environmental story you’ve painstakingly added to most areas, and whilst picking up a clipboard and being able to read about the struggle of an unknown rebel group is fantastically immersive, it felt like it should have lead to something more.

    Overall this is fantastic.

    Oh, and as far as bugs go? The only one I noticed was in the huge zombie pit. I got cornered going the wrong way and had to shoot my way out – unfortunately this lead to a new batch of zombies spawning right next to me, clear as day – obviously something that should have happened behind the scenes.

    Great work.

  6. Anon_1390419

    Ugh, get a good system or you’re not gonna like this mod one bit (unless you like looking at pretty pictures while going at 1 fps)

    1. Ran it on my 5 year old setup and got 60 FPS throughout…

      1. I don’t know why, as I can play the majority of HL2 & the Episode based mods at the highest settings without any bother at all, but after changing the screen resolution to 1360 x 768 this one went to a crippling 3 fps. Even after lowering everything back to medium it was so slow that I gave up. I might try it with – autoconfig when I get chance, but wonder why it’s so different to all the others?

        1. Sorry for those have performance problems, it is a very demanding mod due to the dynamic lighting changes & heavy use of reflections & decals. Generally it should run around 30fps or greater on machines 2 years old or newer.

          Can you post your specs for me?
          Just to double check, do you have the latest video drivers?

          1. Darth_Sylph

            could you possibly create an OS X/Linux compatible version? i’m seeing all these glowing reviews, and I can feel this growing urge to play this,
            now, i could try the roundabout method of dropping the files into a mod that is OS X compatible, and manually loading the maps via the console, but there’s no guarantee that the Gravity Concussion Gun would work with that method…..

      2. JG

        On my equally old setup, I’m hard-pressed to get above 30 fps. It’s sort of understandable, but it is curious how it seems to impact some more than others. I wonder if there’s one particular feature that is more demanding on comparable hardware.

        1. Win 7 64 bit Sp-1
          AMD Athlon II x2 245 Processor.
          4 Gb RAM,
          ATI Radeon HD 4200

          The driver is up to date, and, as I said, runs the majority of other maps & mods perfectly well. I just fired up Black Mesa as an example and am only getting 20-25 fps now for some reason but that’s still smooth enough to play. I thought it had been much higher originally, but could be wrong.

          Before posting the above I went and had a crack at Ep2 and only got <12 fps, and it was noticeably more juddery than it was last time I tried to get the "save the buildings" achievement, so I'm now not sure if there's something else going on here. It was playable, but not like it used to be….

          1. Gypsy_Jim, I’ve had similar problems to what you’re describing on another PC with a bad power supply. Try unplugging as many USB devices and see if your framerate recovers in CS:GO, HL2. If it does, you might need a new power supply.

        2. The main thing is the updated dynamic lighting, it requires a large amount of ram and a fairly beefed up CPU/GPU to process it. I’m planning on adding an option to reduce shadow quality to help performance on older machines.

          1. Ceremony

            I’d love to play this mod, but… im stuck at around 15fps, despite having rather beefy hardware:
            16GB DDR3-1600
            i7-2600k @ 4.4GHz
            GTX970
            AX860i 850W PSU

            This should be plenty to run this mod as well as most of good looking, yet excruciatingly boring AAA games.

            1. Have you tried dropping down the video settings?

              1. Ceremony

                Checked gpu and cpu usage: gpu 90-100% and cpu @ ~25% (= 1 thread)

                Everything set to lowest value possible, except for resolution (1920×1080), im barely getting above 22fps. Still unplayable, not that this would be acceptable settings with my machine…

                EP2 runs at 60fps+ at 4k btw

                1. JG

                  I’d launch into a “Sonny, back in my day, 10 fps was unplayable” rant, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t be welcome here. ๐Ÿ˜›

                2. I’m shocked my system runs it and yours doesn’t. I know that doesn’t help you in the slightest, but I just wanted to say it.

  7. bkadar

    seems like a steam update has caused some problems because this and others are not loading and or running. ?

    1. Were you able to get the game working? I’ve checked for updates and just got it running. Did you install the Source SDK Base 2007?

      1. bkadar

        haven’t tried again, reinstalling hl’s and source . might be time to clean out all the games and start fresh. maybe a newer pc.

    2. I’m clearly not a mapper, but after reading around on this decided to run the 2007 SDK, seeing as how it was sitting unused in my games list. It got to the ident screen with the bloke with the valve in his head, and then the text one after, but then crashed out with the old “Failed to create D3D …etc etc ” error thing.

      I only mention it as it might be a clue… I’ve seen this recently which is what made me double check my drivers originally. It’s clearly not your fault, but it really is things like this that test my patience with the whole thing. Thanks for any other thoughts though/.

    3. What exactly is happening?

      The first time I started the mod, I tried to skip the intro video by hitting escape (which, for me, was just the message telling you to play in the dark with Valve music in the background), and the mod crashed to desktop with no error message.

      The second time, I thought I would wait to see if it produced an error message, so I waited while the “play in the dark” message was displayed, and my system locked up a bit and spun the busy cursor on my mouse, but then made it into the menu.

      If you’re reflexively skipping the intro video, like I always do, maybe try letting it play?

  8. Play It Later

    Unlike the other rave reviews I found this mod to be extremely disappointing in most ways. If this took two years to make I’m really unimpressed.

    There is zero plot. None. Not even a hint that there is some goal or story point to reach, just a poorly modified Gman speech at the start and end. While I normally give points for Gman, this time it simply did nothing to aid my understanding of what was going on. The name implies there’s some kind of transmission. Did they really mean “you’re dumped into a run down sewer and city block and will be teleported back when you’re done killing everything there”.

    The maps were… dull at best, and too complex outright for their own good. Again, doubling back and forth and recurring areas CAN be used very well, this mod did not do that. I just got lost, found myself ‘back at the start’ for no apparent reason, and since I had no idea what to do or why I was going to do it, … continued to play purely to have enough to go on for a review.

    The ‘new mechanic’ is awful when you consider people like myself who have never been able to use the ‘grenade hop’ feature found in team fortress games. I hate that aspect – it’s something you have to rely on here? Not for me. Having the skin of a gravity gun was a poor choice, since that’s not what it was. Without the ability to actually pick things up and launch them, this is merely a glorified rocket launcher. Unlike most folks who’ve said that they love this mechanic, I absolutely count the mod down from ‘play it now’ for using it as the central mechanic at all. If it had said, “bunny hop your way through the sewers” I would just have passed on downloading it.

    The thing with the squares to read? I don’t own a phone capable of doing that, so it literally did not occur to me to even bother looking at them. I gloss over those in real life, and have no interest in them being put into a mod. In-character, in-world? Why would the Combine not be using those? They would be more appropriate to be used by a borg-fitted technological outfit, than rebels trying to hide their tracks. Their messages made no sense and didn’t help me in any way to figure my way through the areas they were placed. It’s cute, but it’s hipster crap that doesn’t have any relevance to the Half Life universe.

    The end fight was god mode and noclip for me, no fun whatsoever. “Oh there’s ANOTHER strider now?” Without noclip I would not have found any of the ‘hidden’ caches of ‘one each’ rockets. If the ‘gravity’ gun can take out enemies and shoot an energy ball, why rely on rockets to kill off the striders? I stood under one of them and fired off the grav gun balls for a minute and a half before giving up and seeking out the rest of the rockets. If you’re going to have something that warns that you’re going to hurt yourself using it, it should be more than capable of destroying your enemies as much as the blockaded doors and rubble you move earlier.

    I guess the inconsistency of the ideas found in the mod bother me as much as the way it made me feel useless and stupid to not be able to properly fire off the gun to ‘jump around like a bouncy castle’. Not being able to look directly up or down means always firing slightly off center, so always failing to reach the goal. I think of all the attempts I made, I managed to land somewhere I intended to twice. Why, also, were there turrets that shoot you when you’re meant to pick them up and use them? Frustrating, out of place feature.

    If I’d played this as recommended “in a dark room” I think I would be writing a lot worse about it. Every map was grimy grey. Sure there were nice details and well thought out locations – in the dark, at night, unlit. What’s the point of making good looking scenery if you can’t SEE it?

    At any rate, if you like grenade jumps, this is a ‘fun’ mod. If not, it’s very lacking.

  9. Hey everyone,

    I just got home from work and wanted to say wow. Thank you all so much for the warm comments. It’s awesome seeing everyone’s feedback, good & bad. I put a lot of myself into this, time wise, interests, to see the positive feedback is just amazing and very rewarding.

    Most of my experience is in mapping, code, and art. I tried to stick to my strengths.

    The bad too, I know it’s not perfect. I definitely wish I could have done more story wise, but without much experience voice acting & no experience in animation, I wanted to do less with a lot of fill in the blank to try and keep the quality as high as possible.

    The bad helps me to learn, grow for future work, and be a better designer. Not everyone will like it, but hopefully the majority are satisfied. When you slave over something for years you want everyone to be happy but I figured not everyone will be happy.

    Keep the comments rolling in. This is what it is all about. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. JG
    Personal Favourite

    This mod is a Personal Favorite, no doubt about it. It’s going to be a mod that we’re talking about for years to come, belonging in the same sentence with works like Mission: Improbable.

    Transmissions takes place in a rebel outpost which contains a secret: a modification of the Gravity Gun that not only shoots Combine energy balls, but also creates concussive blasts that propel the player upward. Sure enough, the Combine want in and what ensues are several fun arena-style battles with lots of physics mayhem thanks to your new toy.

    The first thing that you’ll notice is that the mod looks fantastic. All of its custom assets blend in seamlessly with existing content and there are lots of special lighting effects and shadows. Combine hold flashlights, Zombies cast dramatic silhouettes on the walls and darkness itself is used as a mechanic in the early sections to hide your presence from enemies.

    Physics objects are everywhere, from intricate collapsing scaffolds to drop ceilings with individual tiles that can be punched out. The effects are comparable to Valve’s “cinematic physics” in Ep2, but they aren’t predetermined and faked like those are. By having all of this, Transmissions does something even today’s “next-gen” games can’t seem to do – it makes a pretty environment that is also highly interactive. What’s also great is how the gun invites players to use existing objects in new ways. For example, the giant concrete pipe segments can roll along the around and crush Zombies. The I-beams hanging from the cranes can be spun around and turned into makeshift blades. On a gameplay level, the strongest aspect of this mod is its integration of physics into combat, which is a uniquely Half-Life 2 thing that a lot of mods fail to do (heck, Minerva doesn’t even have a Gravity Gun).

    However, this does seem to come at a hefty performance cost. On my machine, this mod barely passes 30 fps. So, that’s something to keep in mind if you’re running on weaker hardware. Whether or not this is a true negative is questionable.

    I also feel, as Zekiran did, that more could have been done in terms of a narrative. I feel that mods of this caliber should make some attempt at one, whether that’s a Faceposer scene or a voice on a radio or tape recorder. Something to help establish the scene always helps. I don’t feel that the bits of narrative that do exist really work. The Rebel-Combine skirmishes happen outside where the player is normally looking, and the clipboard notes are very hard to read. The QR code graffiti is interesting, although the hint to view them can be easily overlooked. And I’ll never understand why the Civilian-modified turrets saw me as an enemy.

    I also had problems with the “Zombie pit” area because I did not grasp the light-dark mechanic. Seeing Phillip play this part, it makes total sense. But, I feel this segment, easily the weakest part of the mod, could have been done more gracefully.

    Overall, this is definitely a mod you need to play. It has a lot of fun ideas, looks great and doesn’t outstay its welcome.

  11. Personal Favourite

    This was an absolute work of art, and like others have said, will be talked about for years to come. My number one wish is that the author make another map!

    It took me a long time in that room to figure how I should use the gravity gun, why I was in that room and how to get out. I got confused by the adjoining corridor and the opening and closing door to it. I have no idea myself how to better introduce a new mechanic that nobody has ever seen before, but I wish there was some way to speed that up. I said I played this for an hour but it might be more.

    I found the final battle to be difficult but, as with other parts of the mod, possible to do. Its not like some maps that make things freaking ridiculous just for the sake of doing it, there is a flow to the action that keeps you trying harder to overcome the challenge? I can only conclude that the author has a special talent. Please mappers, have a close look at this one.

    The graphics and detail, wow! As others have said, I too stopped many times and admired the detail, the additions where nobody else would have bothered. You can play this map just to look around and its worth it. That coming from someone who normally won’t mind if there are graphic flaws as long as gameplay is enjoyable.

    Thank you so much for “making my day”!

  12. asterixer

    A Short review to play this under linux. It doesnt work completely. You can start the mod, the light things work, the zombies are blind if the light is off work, but you dont get the new weapon. I had fun because enabling cheats and play with the mega_phys_gun throwing objects and enemies…etc. For the full fun you have to play it under Windows.

    1. @asterixer: how did you get this game to work on linux? I tried to adapt the gameinfo.txt file and using the 420 steamappid (hl2:ep2). Also tried to include sdk 2007 vpks files.
      No success. Any idea?

  13. Personal Favourite

    Wow. There’s not much more to say; it was visually pleasing (if not a bit too dark at times), displayed clever mechanics, and had fun game play. The first half is a bit slow, but the rest of the mod more than makes up for it.

    I LOVED the new “weapon” implemented, it was so fun and satisfying to use! The final arena is a blast in every sense of the word, and using the gravity gun/rocket jumper thing to move yourself around made it a one of a kind – probably one of the most fun arenas I’ve played in a Half-Life 2 mod.

    Bottom line: play this mod now!

  14. Personal Favourite

    I absolutely loved this mod. You have to pay attention throughout to pickup a lot of clues, and it can be pretty spooky in parts. There is a fantastic new mechanism that you have to learn to use to survive and it is terrific.

    I won’t spoil it too much for those who haven’t played it, except to say that is a Personal Favorite for me. Download and play it, then play it again, then store the files somewhere so you can play it again later.

  15. Personal Favourite

    every now and again there comes a mod ( or map ) thats simply amazing … and “transmissions-element-120” is one such mod …. it offers some of the best lighting ive seen in any hl2 mod or map and for one man to create such a mod is outstanding …..
    but not only does it offer amazing visuals it gives us a new way of moving in the shape of the manipulated gravity gun … however learning how to use it is another ball game but once you get the hang of it your laughing
    even the audio/sound is good .. and pumped through my x-fi extreme audio soundcard and seinheisser headphones your treated to a amazing aural experience !
    2 years to create a mod shows the author has staying power but as he stated at the end the support from his wife and family is paramount … finding the time to create a mod around family and children isnt easy so top marks there !
    overall a amazing mod and a well deserved “personal favourite ” … infact so much so im going to run the mod again ( on hard ) after submitting this review ……
    well done !

  16. Personal Favourite

    I wasn’t expecting such a good experience playing this mod – it’s one of those mods that just don’t feel like a mod. It feels like valve quality, and it is valve quality.

    First off, some new mechanics have been introduced, which greatly help the pacing without requiring physics puzzles. But the main part of this mod is the new weapon, and boy it is amazing. It is as revolutionary as the physics gun – you almost won’t use any of your other weapons, trust me. It’s just too fun to use. The mapper still gives you other weapons, just in case you want old gameplay. The downside of that new weapon is that most of your battles will be in arenas, so don’t try to escape – fight like a freeman.

    Now, the city is well designed, with a lot of physics props – that makes the battles feel real, with the buildings falling into pieces while you fight for your life. Even on hard difficulty, you can slaughter without thinking about your health – you can find a lot of hidden supplies with the new mechanic. Don’t waste your rockets, though. (don’t worry, again, no boring combine gunships)

    “I want more of this mod, it was too short !” Yes, that’s how you know a mod is great. So stop reading this and go play it, already !

  17. JG

    This mod must hold some kind of record for ratio of Personal Favorites to everything else! But it’s well deserved, in my opinion. ๐Ÿ˜€

  18. Lkod

    Wow, this is a great mod, especialy with the small bits about the rebel group.

  19. Personal Favourite

    Lately, do you feel as though Half-Life lacks Fus Ro Dah? Well, have I got the mod for you!

    This mod is beautiful. If you play user-made content long enough, you start to forget what good lighting looks like. That’s not to disparage community mappers – it’s just that lighting is hard. Really hard. And this mod nails it. Particularly in the final battle, in which you find yourself in a moonlit construction site bathed in Combine spotlights, the lighting is spot on. The only other mod I’ve played recently with lighting this good was Black Mesa. Some color correction effects also appear to have been applied, giving the mod a slightly noire feel.

    Environments are also impeccably detailed. Early in the mod, we find ourselves in a sewer area that feels fresh, new, even real – it doesn’t just feel like another cookie-cutter videogame sewer. Abandoned industrial areas and construction zones are strewn with debris and equipment and overgrown with weeds and shrubbery.

    As good as it looks, it is – as noted by other reviewers – extremely demanding of your video hardware. My PC is a modern gaming beast, powered by an overclocked GTX 970, and playing on the highest settings, I still found myself stuttering in some of the areas. I also encountered a couple graphics glitches. In some areas, there was come cubemap weirdness, causing my crowbar to shimmer like the rainbow. At the beginning of the mod, some sort of reflective/lens flare overlay was stuck on my screen, resulting in a bizarre effect whenever I turned my in-game head. And at one point, I went through a load screen while the aftershock effect from the zero-point projector was still playing out, and the twisting/dazed effect ended up stuck on my screen.

    So, it looks great. But how does it play? For one thing, it’s short – much shorter than I was expecting, given that the new game menu shows four chapters. But there’s nothing wrong with sacrificing length for a really polished gameplay experience.

    The new zero-point energy projector gives you the ability essentially to rocket-jump without taking damage. This is a rare way of navigating HL2 environments, not seen since the pole-vaulting of the old Zen Monastery mod (track it down, if you can – it’s cool), and it’s implemented well – although I would have appreciated more rewards for exploring the environments with the new method. I spent a while trying to jump into an open vent in the lab right after picking up the projector (the one in screenshot 17 – it’s open on the other end). I don’t think you can get into that vent, and if you can, I don’t think there’s anything up there. Most of the environments were high-walled, with the only rocket-jumping opportunities being those that you needed to progress.

    The projector also insta-ragdolls most enemies. You accumulate an arsenal of weaponry, but I never used anything except my crowbar in the early game; the projector, after I got it; and the rocket launcher, to take down Striders in the final battle. The projector consumes some of your suit’s auxiliary power when fired, but not enough that I ever ran out during combat and needed to switch weapons. It might have been nice to balance it so that it recharged slowly enough to force me to use other weapons during combat – or even for it to require ammunition, which, to prevent you getting stuck, could be scattered in infinite crates, left by the resistance as they beat their retreat.

    In the early game, you use your suit zoom to decode some QR codes that give you hints about how to proceed. I’ll quote Egoraptor here: “Is this a puzzle?” It felt neat, but it added very little – all it really succeeded in doing was delaying the delivery of the hint by several seconds. Why could the hints not have just been written directly on the wall? Particularly because I had to be told, with a HUD hint, how to decode the QR codes – I would have never thought to zoom in on them otherwise. And then, the first time the HUD hint appeared, I had already passed a couple QR codes without decoding them or even knowing to decode them, and, completionist that I am, I wanted to know what they said. But, the path back to them had been blocked, not just in one place but in two, so I ended up hopscotching back through all of my saves in order to find them. The QR codes were a neat concept, but I feel they would have been better executed by peppering them around to get me curious, then having me find a code reader and teaching me how to use it, which would have sparked my natural desire to explore and figure out what all of them said.

    Also in the early game, there was an extremely cool section where you move under cover of darkness. The four QR codes were all providing hints to this gameplay element. It was a great gameplay device, and I would have liked to see it explored more.

    All in all, this mod ticks all of the boxes for a Personal Favorite from me: it’s beautifully put together, and it introduces something novel, and does it well.

  20. hi, sorry but the gravity gun on the table of the laboratory is not there, is it a bug?

    1. That’s very strange. It sounds like a problem with the installation rather than a bug.Try copying the folder to a new location and installing it again.

    2. You need Windows to find the Gun. Linux and OSX dont work. Maybe thats the Problem?

  21. bluclint

    Sorry for my English, unfortunately I do not speak English.

    Wow it’s amazing how I took the gun gravity.
    I mean, the first time I loaded the game with “map tap” and I found other abnormalities than that of the gravity gun. For example, the plates that I needed a bridge to pass the pit of zombies could not take it and I had to activate the “god” but came to the laboratory the gravity gun was not there, I approached the table but nothing.
    Now I loaded the game directly from steam, the gravity gun was not on the table, but I approached the table I took the same ….. amazing! mah! I do not know what happened, the important thing now is taking the gravity gun.

    1. Phew, I’m glad you have it. Can you see the gun now you have it?

    2. JG

      I think some people on the HL Reddit expressed the same issue. I’m not sure anyone knows what causes it, though.

      1. Yeah, I don’t think it’s related to MapTap. At least I hope it’s not.

  22. Jottl

    If the mod maker is still considering a stripped down version of this mod with lower graphics card requirements, I’d love to know when the release date is planned. Even with all the post processing and model/shadow details turned down along with a very low screen resolution, my poor and ancient 9600M mobile gforce card can’t run this mod at a usable frame rate ๐Ÿ™

  23. Play It Later

    An interesting mod but not quite a PF, fun to play (mostly) but again not quite a PF despite many others PF’ing it.

    I have to judge this on it’s requirements as much as anything else, namely Source SDK Base 2007, now that might not be a bother to many, but there are a lot of people who are not on an unlimited download broadband package! Source SDK Base 2007 is around 3.8gb and it’s update is 1.2gb (I recently put a bigger HDD in), so those who have capped allowances, typically 20 or 40gb have to download (if they haven’t got it already) about 5GB before they can even play the mod!

    I played this because of all of the PF’s and noticed that a few people had low frame rates so I turned it down to 1024ร—768 but it still lagged in some parts?

    OK! I said it was fun to play, but only in parts.
    The pit with the Zombies! I used almost all of my pistol ammo trying to thin out the crowd but when I decided jump in it was almost like AI was disabled and they all gathered in discussion groups (much like the upcoming UK elections)?
    As for the new use of the gravity gun, I’d prefer it to be a one off not a rocket jump, yes it was interesting but not a new idea.

    Did I enjoy this? Yeah sort of!

    1. but not quite a PF

      If it’s not quite a PF, why isn’t it a PLAY IT NOW?

      1. The reason I gave it a PIL was because, as I was writing I realised that I was writing about a mod that didn’t really grab me. To give it a PIN would not sit with what I had written or have been an honest opinion.
        As I thought more about it, before I played I was expecting I would give it a PF then during play it seemed a PIN, but reading my opinion before hitting the submit button it became a PIL.

  24. asterixer

    Its also possible to copy some HL2 maps to the maps dir of the mod, and play hl2 maps with the new gun:
    – sv_cheats 1
    -map d1_canal…..
    -give weapon_physconcussion

    1. Darth_Sylph

      interesting idea…..xD

  25. Play It Now!

    The beginning of this mod is frustrating. The idea with the barcodes on the walls is a clever way of delivering instructions to a player but with good level design the player shouldn’t need instructions.
    If the author had just written what you had to do on the walls in plain english i’m sure many people would have taken issue with that. Putting a code on the wall that tells you what to do just adds a single step to the process. Not much of a game there unfortunately.

    I would have much preferred the codes to be used for map makers commentary or story in some way rather than instructions to the player on what to do.

    Once you get the combine ball gun the fun begins.
    The zombie onslaught area was well designed with the player having to watch multiple routes. Would have been nicer if the player had been encouraged to move about a bit more. I stayed rooted to the area where i hit the switch on the generator. Wasn’t overly clear what turning the generator on did either which was a bit frustrating. assume it activated the door lock.

    The battle finale has Valve quality detailing and is beautiful. Probably one strider too many unfortunately and ran out of rockets. The combine balls from the AR2 damage striders in HL2. I couldn’t work out if the balls from the GG damaged them or not. Was a little disheartening when I felt like i had no way of damaging the final strider.

    The only real downside of this mod is the performance. A large amount of projected textures are just too much for the engine to handle and i experienced significant slow down in quite a few areas including the finale… optimisation is an important step in any mod.

  26. DaZ
    Personal Favourite

    I cannot believe I only just got around to playing this. I think this could really be my mod of the year 2015!

    Absolutely wonderful visuals and atmosphere. The visual upgrades to the source engine are very welcome and make the levels shine, without being annoying or in your face. One of the most beautiful source mods I have ever played.

    As for the new weapon and game play mechanics surrounding it. Wonderful. And right up my alley ๐Ÿ™‚

    The thing that really impressed me however is how masterfully the new weapon is integrated into the environments. It’s not just a new weapon because new weapons are fun. it’s a fundamental shift in how you traverse a space and the author has accounted for that with his level designs. You should have seen the grin on my face as I was playing the final combat area of the mod!

    If I had to criticize, I would say two things :

    1) it’s too damn short. My insane “this is awesome!” grin turned to a horrified frown when the mod suddenly ended, just as it had hit its stride!

    2) It took me a while to work out what to do in an area near the beginning of the mod, an area with a pit full of zombies. You turn off the lights and the zombies don’t attack you when drop into the pit. This is very jarring for a long time Half-Life 2 player as it is completely incorrect behavior. I didn’t want to drop into the pit for any reason because I thought I would just die.

    Aside from that. Bloody fantastic!

  27. Play It Later

    Firstly, I downloaded this from the SPUF when he made a post about it.

    I was impressed by the fact that he did the whole mod on his own without a team.

    When I started the mod, I found the intro a notch too long, but for that hard work, I would not care.

    When I woke up, I felt in HL2 universe straight away due to being in a train maybe?

    I was a little confused on what I had to do when I stepped out the train. However, when I came near the fence with the lock, I understood I was looking for some kind of tool to break it. But I spent 10 minutes figuring where I had to go.

    Once I finally found the correct path, I thought this could have been made a little more obvious (like the use of red light?) to help find my way.

    Walking in the sewers, the lighting was blood-curdling because the blue lighting really gave an excellent look to the place (even though my favorite color is red).

    I found myself sometimes in some dire situations like the turret behind the concrete wall.

    I was not really sure to why there was that many zombies in the pit guarding the rotor?

    Coming to the modified gravity gun room, I took the weapon and then fun started.

    Once I felt good with it, I proceeded.

    It was rather easy to find your way out, especially when you use decals properly.

    Grabbed the shotgun and the ammunition around.

    When I got back to the tunnel, I was greeted by the soliders (still wondering where they came from?), so I tested the power of the weapon – epicness.

    When I was outside, the colors were splendid.

    When I got to the warehouse (is it one?), I was wondering why was it so empty?

    Besides, it was clearly some good level design here.

    Once I found how to get outside, I was greeted by more soldiers and a first strider.

    I got rid of the soldiers first using my GG.

    I could not see if it made damage on the strider, though.

    So I switched to RPG and shot him down.

    Then 2 more came and I felt uneasy on the fact I could not find any ammo crates for the rpg.

    What would I have done if there was no more rockets?

    I was a little disappointed with the end.

    Overall, it was an agreeable experience and that is why it gets a “Play It Later”.

    1. JG

      I’ve been told that the rockets infinitely respawn behind the scenes and that you’re intended to use the ammo finder on your HUD to track them down.

      Yeah, I didn’t figure that out either.

  28. Hec
    Personal Favourite

    I can see now why this mod is getting so much PF’s recommendations, and mine is not an exception. Is because this mod is so original regarding its concept and innovative in some aspects of gameplay. In fact, this reminded me a little bit to the other greatest of all the time “Research and Development” mod, also build up around the Grav. Gun.

    I really don’t know why I hadn’t played and reviewed this as soon as was released. Possibly because i quite lacked of motivation recently about playing mods. Well I have to say this mod surely re-motivated me for good again! restore my faith in the fact that here, now in 2015, we still may have great projects for our old and beloved HL2.

    Now going to the point. I really liked the way the player is introduced into the mod atmosphere-environment. Is just quite much similar to that hooking feeling that makes you explore a lot, in the HL2 starting map at the train station. Well, here we start again in a train place. I also loved the aesthetics of this mod quite grey and dark, very eerie and sometimes spooky abandoned places that chill your skin!! I don’t know why my brain related that to some HL2 beta project.

    Anyway, the exploring it was always rewarding and very fun, I love those codes and the way to decode them via the zoom key with the HEV suit. In fact once I found the first codes I felt like something was watching me, inside that map, was kind of a scary moment in there I loved for some strange reason. This makes me think that all in this mod is gradual, you’re very well introduced to the universe inside this mod, and once you find the lovely modified Gravity Gun, you know very good battles are ahead.

    The middle arena where you find the zombies after you plugged a cable, is fun and a great way to get familiarized with the new weapon mechanic; and after that once you reach the final arena and you start the assault against the CMB and their Striders, you realize you are in a pretty awesome battle against the CMB. There you can rely on the new weapon but not get stick to it all the time as you know you have to find some RPG grenades in order to kill those Strider, and shoot some bullets against those annoying CMB soldiers that escort the Striders. Then once you beat the last strider the finale is as hooking as the start of the mod with that spooky G-Man encounter.

    Now, the previous doesn’t mean I didn’t have technical troubles with this mod. In fact I have, and I’m kind of sad I wasn’t able to enjoy this mod in a 100% quality standard. I mean if I put some percents on its performance I’d say I played this mod between a 50 to 88-89% of its potential. Why? Well because I had some terrible stuttering times struggling with low FPS’s especially in the beginning chapter, in the zombie dark pit part, and sadly, in the final arena of the mod ๐Ÿ™ , I really don’t know why, probably my old laptop is starting to give up with some mods… As it’s now close to be 5 years old. I hope the author can provide a patch for low standard PC’S, if not I’ll try this one in another desktop PC i have which is so much younger than my old beloved laptop.

    In conclusion this is an outstanding mod despite the technical glitches i had. Because is very original and is one of those mods you will remember for good, I could say is like an instant classic between the HL2 modding repertorium. And deserves to be in the pantheon of great releases, next to Minerva, R&D, and some other great ones.

  29. Nchalada

    First up, system is fairly old, c2q 6600 @ 3ghz, 8gb ram, gtx580 1.5gb, various drives…
    Even on the lowest settings, I’m getting horrible stuttering even in the main menu. I’ve tried to “reinstall” it, but nothing seems to clear it up. Both sound, mouse cursor, and movement in the mod all stutter like crazy. If I don’t move the mouse, i can play @ ~30fps, but if I touch the mouse at all, nothing but stutter.

    The maps play alright, and the modded grav gun is awesome!

  30. Personal Favourite

    This mod is amazing. I was really tempted to try it when i saw the screenshots and then somehow I got bored because i was stuck on a puzzle (with a turret) and left it abandoned for some weeks, then when resumed it i was so glad i did. It is probably the best looking source mod i played and quite clever with its special features, fancy effects and unique gameplay mechanics. I dont have a lot more of things to say, itยดs quite short and plot bare, but i canยดt find words to emphatize enough how outstanding its design is. The final battle was tough because it forced me to run around looking for rockets, i know i had ammo on my compass but i couldnยดt tell if it was rockets or just any other supply. I also loved how explorable and dynamic the environments in the last arena were. Reminded me of Dishonored with its teleport feature.

  31. I don’t see the gravity gun either. The mod doesn’t show at all in the Steam Library, so I’m not sure what to do next.

  32. I have a question, this mod have Poison Headcrab/Zombie? ;-;

      1. Well, i noticed one poison headcrab on main menu

  33. Personal Favourite

    Yes. This mod is probably one of the highest quality mods every created. Not only does it looks incredible, it also offers a new weapon which isn’t just a gimmick but actually a lot of fun to use and useful too. Great level design, great encounter design, some nice horror moments and I love the final battle. Has some performance problems though.
    This is definitly a must play FOR ANYONE.

  34. Personal Favourite

    The MOTY 2015, a fantastic, Valve-like quality piece of work, it’s short yes but each minute is a new mechanic never seen before, like a silent and stealth first part with clever use of light and dark and sound… and then, the last part with a modded g-gun now a “rocket/gauss jump” gun in great battles against large map’s with zombies, then Striders!!!

    It has to be done, it’s beautiful and clever, perhaps “one of the closest things that can be linked to a HL3″…

  35. After all the rave reviews, I decided to come back and try again. Launching the game through Steam seems to lead it to the wrong resolution, and when trying to correct that, it crashes.

    So, using “-autoconfig” in the launch settings…? Same result.

    Launching through Gauge went well, as in, for the first few sections it ran as smoothly as I could have hoped for, though the gravity gun is missing, which makes getting out of that area extremely frustrating, without cheating, though it is possible with patience, but then I got stuck in the pipe where the only way forward is using it. I can’t quite get that far though, as it stops to the loading screen at that point and then…crashes…

    I have up to date drivers etc etc and after reading everyone else saying how good this mod is, am determined to try to get it running properly…..

    Next chance now is to delete, and re-download, then try again. Any other suggestions welcome, please….

  36. Play It Later

    This mod honestly didn’t excite me as much as I expected it to, based on other people’s comments.

    I thought the puzzles were really finicky. I’m still not sure if using barrels to block the bullets was the correct way to pass the turrets or not. It wasn’t really communicated well. The puzzle where the zombies wouldn’t hit you in the dark didn’t work very well because it was still difficult to move around them, and they would still hit me occasionally if I got stuck.

    The new weapon was cool for rocket jumping without taking damage. It was fun to use at times in combat as well. I really liked the defensive portion with the zombies coming while the generator powered up or something. The strider section I didn’t like as much. A new one spawned immediately when the next one died, which leaves you wondering if they’re spawning infinitely while you are supposed to accomplish another objective. It didn’t help that there was no crate with infinite rockets either. If you use up all the rockets, it’s possible you have no way of finishing. (I’m not sure if the new weapon does damage to them; they take so many hits anyway that it was hard to tell.)

    Overall I think the puzzles were innovative, but awkwardly designed. This mod tried to do new things that didn’t translate very well into the Source Engine, and as a result could not be executed to their best. This was a fun mod to explore, but it didn’t “wow” me, and indeed it frustrated me at times.

  37. Personal Favourite

    One of the greats. A mod that can be replayed with much enjoyment every time. Because the level design is rich, natural, and Valve-quality — except that the modder has excellently layered on a lonely, dark, and “abandoned” atmosphere of his own. This mod includes new spins on existing HL2 horror and thrill elements flawlessly. The mechanics with the new gravity gun are original and incredibly fun. The finale is intense and doesn’t feel at all contrived like some other mods’. For these reasons I have probably played this mod four or more times since its first release. On Steam you can download it with some additional achievements, too. The only cons I can think of is that this mod is too short and lacks a prominent story, though it certainly has all the potential to include such things. [*Oops. Playtime should read 40 minutes.*]

  38. asterixer

    There is now also a Linux version of this Mod on Steam. Thank you very much!!

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