It was written in the ancient scrolls of Xian that, during the last Crelat of Xen time, a portal would be opened between two universes and a being would cross the void and cause the second re-birth of Nihilanth, and all Xen would be drained of their lifeblood, their knowledge.
And that, in this time, the Xen race would be oppressed by the armies from the far side of the portal.
It was also written that once the portal was opened, a human known as “Freeman” would cross the galactic transverse into Xen space, and set free the three sacred Telnorps, the guardians of the gate who had been captured from the ancient enemies of the Xen, the Zan from the Theldran galaxy.
And so it was that the prophecy came to pass, and the weakened Xen were powerless to resist an onslaught from the Zan. In the dawn of the first Ashaan of Xen time, the elders of the high council sanctioned an uneasy alliance with the perpetrators of the impending disaster, the Human race, in order to restore the sacred telnorps, and thus sealing the Zan gateway… forever.
The ambassador of the Alien Investigation Unit on earth was called upon to “redeem” the situation by employing the use of the very individual who had inadvertently caused the situation…
This was April 2015’s Classic of the Month mod.
- Title: Absolute Redemption
- Filename: hl1-sp-absolute-redemption-steam.7z
- Previous Filemames: redemption21.exe / redempt.zip
- Size : 27.10MB
- Author: Maverick Developments
- Date Released: 01 November 2000
- Note: This mod was originally released as “Redemption”.
Download to your HDD [27.18MB]
You can still use it with MapTap once you have downloaded it.
- Copy the absoluteredemption folder into your …\Steam\SteamApps\common\Half-Life folder.
- Restart or start Steam.
- Absolute Redemption should now be listed in your Library tab.
If you require more help, please visit the Technical Help page.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
28Last 7 days
88Last 30 days
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 21 Users
Average: 3 Hours, 16 Mins
Shortest: 2 Hours by 2muchvideogames
Longest: 6 Hours by Zekiran
Total Time Played: 71 Hours, 47 Mins
If you believe this release is missing important tags, please suggest them in a comment?
I absolutely loved this mod. Glad to see it make its way to PlanetPhillip 🙂
This is a very nice mod. Its been probably 3 or 4 years since I played through it, but I recall enjoying it. I recommend playing it alone for the amusement park levels.
This team also made another pack, a Western-themed SP/MP mod called “Wanted”. Its available at http://www.maverickdev.com/wantedhl/. I don’t think it’s listed here, but there is an old Quake 2 demo of it.
Maverickdev does very good games, I like them.
I very much enjoyed this mod on a recent playthrough. Took me a while to update all the models though – the ones included are Low-Res and I find it impossible to use them nowadays. Oh well, Ce La Vie.
The levels are, for the most part, pretty well done, with the exception of one or two “where the hell do I go now?” moments during the third act. Otherwise it’s all pretty damn good. One thing I did particularly like was battery-powered lights that shut off if you picked up the battery. Very clever.
There’s some new models and voices. The new models are a Russian Barney and some reskinned Grunts. Nothing special, but they’re nice all the same. The voices are mostly imitations of Barney and the G-Man and are pretty good. And there’s some new tunes in the mix as well – you’ll notice them in Half-Park!
It’s a good mod, but there’s a few minor problems. First is te above-mentioned “Where the hell..?” problem that does occasionally creep up. Secondly, it does get a tad hard in places. Finally, in the original version of this mod you accidentally get zapped to the first level of Quake II, but in the “Absolute” version you get sent to Stone Henge instead! Bah! In all, it’s a good play. Give it a go.
Maverick does do some rather good mods, I’ll concede. Their other big mod was Wanted!, which was originally for Quake II but got ported over to Half-Life. I remember playing the Q2 demo and not beong all that impressed… the HL one’s much better. Try it out if you can stomach the 100Mb + download.
this is a very good mod but the park was the best part but they chold have made the park a bit bigger
I didnt like this so much. I’d rather play Sven Co-Op or something other coop online play.
Ah well,one of the few very good large old SP-Mods for HL. Played this ages ago & enjoyed
playing it. At the time Redemption was new some
criticism was heared about the amusement park.
BTW: The beta of Redemption beamed u into an
early Quake 2 Map instead of Stonehenge at the
beginning of the game.
Large? I’ve completed Redemption at 20 min. (with some tricks). But is it able to get the Redemption where you get beamed to the Q2 map instead of Stonehenge?
I doubt you’ll find the old version anywhere Zhouy. I remember playing that beta with the Q2 map ages ago. It was a rather funny surprise, but when I played the latest version of the mod (this version), they’ve changed it for some reason. Copyright issues I guess.
Actually, I think I have the first version of this mod from an old cover disc. I’ll have a look. And if you’re very, very nice, I’ll include the hi-res models I use as well.
The earlier version wasn’t a beta, as some people seem to think, it was just the first version of the mod. The updated a few sections of it – the mentioned Stonhenge/Quake2 part and a slightly different stage on Xen at the end – but for the most part is was the same.
I was searching through all of my downloaded SP packs for HL, and I could not find this great one. I just love this! The Russian Barney’s voice is really hilarius.
The bad: Long intro, Gman’s voice, the ending is… well, unrewarding.
The good: The best designed levels out there, long gameplay, original story.
The other: Very challenging at first, you’ll learn to hate black ops in this one. Non-linear gameplay at the complex. Like three battery charges in the whole game.
Pretty good, russian barney was a crackup!
Intro is boring but the gameplay is interesting
I love this mod. It can be confusing at parts (and also I was being stupid), but it’s really fun. Especially the amusement park level.
There’s a walkthrough available.
Afro-Dude, what’s bad with gman’s voice ? I think it really sounds like gman in the original Half-Life.
I finally did get to play this mod, and I will say it is probably the most stupid ass thing to ever happen to the series, a waist of my life trying to get it to work.
This is a good mod but I found the first mission to be the most difficult, everything from there on was pretty easy. Which is the opposite of what you want from a mod. If like me you have problems killing assassins then the only way past the first mission is to save EVERY contact grenade you come across and only use them against the assassins. Never died so many times as in the temple section of this mod.
Loooong introduction, but I suppose it’s better than a boring tram ride. It’s terribly hard at the beginning and at the end.
Another gripe is that the objectives are to release these creatures named ‘telnorps’. The problem here is that these things are tiny as hell, so it isn’t very obvious where they are all the time. I was stuck at one part, and I actually had to go a map backwards just so I could smash a dome to release one.
Plus, the complex level had me scratching my head more than a few times… You have almost no sense of direction, and it’s almost *too* open-ended to work.
However, if you overlook all these frustrations, you’ll find a sincerely cool mod, with the sweet spot right in the centre. The second mission is where all the creativity shines and the difficulty is just right. It may be worth the price of admission itself… Ha, ha, ha. You’ll get it if you…
Whoever voiced these characters get a medal!
i have played this mods years and years ago when I was new to half-life, I used to think this was the continuation story of hl-1 then I learned about mods (it had to do with CS) and well all in all if and only IF you are willing to auto-save your ass off in the first mission, then you are good to go, the amusement park level is awesome and the complex is to much ” where in god’s land am i?” ( you’ll note I use god’s land instead of hell, I feel creative today) enyway the levels are great and fun the story back’s up a lot and the buterfly’s are yellow remember that if oyu are first time players (it is of high importance)
I really enjoyed playing this. There are three missions to complete. It reminded me of the original Tomb Raider, especially in the Himalayas. The second and third missions, especially the third, are interestingly non-linear. There is also plenty of humour which makes up for the fact that this is a “Russian” mod and will hurt-you-plenty.
The quality improves through the game with it own uniqueness, a must play for all..
I always wondered if anybody ever played this game anymore. I did the Barney voice oh-so long ago for the mod 🙂
I must admit to using god mode to finish the game.
Oh! I loved HL back then…strangely doing the voice-over for this mod helped move me into acting and now I host a kids show in my neck of the woods.
Have a great day!
Nice Mod, I heard about it in 2000 and rediscovered it now! Lot of fun and any problems to install it!
I played this mod when it was new. I had to download the damn thing at 1.5-3kb/s
Yeah I only had a 56k connection at the time but it was well worth the wait.
Recently I’ve been wondering about this game but couldn’t remember the name at all until I found this site with a download link. ^.^
Now it’s only taking me 5 minutes to get it and I’ll be enjoying it again.
WOW! I love that Game. <333
Im happy that I found it again! XD
I will play that game NOW! X333
YOU HAVE TO PLAY IT!!! <3333
this mod is the best mod I played in my life and its sounds are original did valve creat but the half-park secuirity guard looks difrent than the pictures
For the record, I also thought the intro was too long, but Phil was adamant that I record it as written and not interfere with the story editing. Oh well, lesson learned.
– JWF, voice actor, “Redemption”
WOAH WAIT BACK THE TRUCK UP
Did Derick post in this thread??? Ha ha ha WIN.
Finally played it and review it a well worth episode containing 32 maps with the dark of the gman through it’s voice acting.. I love it
The carnival map is totally awesome! The rest is OK, but I play this for the carnival map.
The game installed itself to my Condition Zero directory; I came back to the game today and let the installer search a second time for the directory to find out where it’d been installed the first time. Moved it over to the Half-Life directory without any trouble.The first couple “missions” were nifty, although I found it very easy to break the scripting. Windows move without their doorframes, stuff flies off into never-never land, and at the beginning of the game I was able to block “Barney” from opening the teleport Chamber door by keeping the scientist on the steps.The game certainly is very hard. I was getting messed up on the first map – even on Easy! – needing a few tries to get through some areas without help. They did leave some well-thought-out secret goodies here and there, and sentry guns were always able to be taken out with a single well-placed grenade without putting myself in danger.But now I’m at the third mission and I’m bored out of my mind. That hurts things, unfortunately.
i am on a quest to collect all the games I used to play. im so glad to see this game again but I have a huge problem.
i install the game. it locates my folder correctly. no problem there. I open halflife choose custom game and activate redemption. still no problems. I click on the new game I choose my difficulty mode. and “halflife encounters a problem and needs to be closed”
i have no idea what the problem might be 🙁 any suggestions or solutions?
the first mod I played, I finished it like hundred of times…
the models have new faces, new things to say, great stuff you wont regret….!
The Following review first appeared on Hangar16.com and is reproduced here with permission. For more information about the re-publication of Hangar16’s reviews, please see this Forum thread.
Hello, friends. Have you ever finished a spicy Tex-Mex dinner and found that, thanks to the habaÃ±ero peppers, you can no longer sit down? Do your pants have permanent smoking rings in the seat? Does your furniture smolder for hours after you *do* attempt to sit down? Have you ever burned down an entire tenement merely by passing gas? Well friend, AssIceÃ¤ medicated hemorrhoid cream is for you! Sing it, Johnny!
“I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher”
“And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire“*
That’s right, try AssIceÃ¤… for that irritating Ring of Fire in your life! Available at Walgreens.
[* “Ring of Fire” Painted Desert Music Corp. (BMI)]
There was this prophecy about these alien butterflies, see… and then they were released and… you have to get… them… back… or something and then…then…forget it. What you need to do is play the mod; the story is made clear as you sit and slowly decompose through the intro. Just rest assured that once again, you are Gordon “My Shotgun Has A First Name, It’s O-S-C-A-R” Freeman, some guy with a Van Dyke and a bitchin” powered suit in a special shade of orange (well… it’s gray, this time). Okay, okay… some specifics: thanks to your actions in Half-Life, three sacred alien butterflies, called Telnorps, have been captured by several parties (not frat parties, or anything… hell, you know what I mean). Since these Telnorps are somehow important to the survival of the Xen race (I’m not going to explain it further than that, because every time I think about it, my nose starts bleeding), your mission — given to you by the G-Man — is to recover the Telnorps and return them to the Xen homeworld. Yes, it’s that easy. Trust me. No, no… I’m not laughing at you. I just thought of something really funny. Really.
The splash screen states that this mod was “activated with Immersion TouchSense Technology“. I wonder… does this mean I no longer have to pay someone to stick their hand down my pants while I’m playing? I hope so, since I’m running out of twenties fast.
Anyway, what we have here is the free-for-download, previously-commercial release of Redemption; the ending has been totally redone so that it doesn’t suck, and the irritating bugs have been ironed out so that you may now focus on the irritating gameplay. Oh okay, fine… it isn’t all that irritating. But it isn’t easy, either.
Imagine, if you will, a place that transcends both time and space; a place that we see not with our senses, but with our minds. That place is, of course, Hawaii. I’ve never been there, but people tell me it’s nice. And like most people, all I want to do is get bombed on fuzzy pink drinks and watch half-naked hula girls shake their stuff. But I gotta review these mods, so I’ll have to do with that hula chick on that Dove Nutrium commercial, or whatever it was. It was something to do with lotion, at any rate. In my mind, hot hula girls + lotion = happiness in the Fortress of Sorrowtude.
So this is a review of contrasts. Translation: since some of you have played the original version when it came out, I’ll proceed with most of an eye toward sort of comparing the old version to this new commercial version… or not so much “comparing” as “mentioning it every once in a while“. Happy? Good. Now shut up and read. Since I liked the original version — mostly because it was free — I’ll focus on the positives. Meaning, I’m probably not going to gripe about the excruciating gameplay in some areas and why I would’ve been happier drilling sheet metal screws into my skull in others.
It’s a good idea to start at the beginning… usually. The intro is still rather lengthy (closer to “Gone With The Wind” in spirit than “Berlin-Alexanderplatz“), but that’s leavened by the fact that they picked a good guy to do the G-Man’s voice. Not quite him, but the inflections and general creepiness are quite close.
After that, you get to follow Barney around the halls to the teleporter room… which is slow going, but it lets me get used to the Shift key, something I only use for capitalizing letters and sneaking across tiled floors in Thief.** And speaking of the teleporter, things have changed since the original; originally, Barney accidentally sent you to Quake 2’s first map… one of the funnier moments in HL mod history. Now it’s… Stonehenge? I suppose copyright issues (or whatever) were to blame here, but Stonehenge does look impressive (which I’m guessing doesn’t extend to real life). Find the sign that tells you not to move the stones. They traded off in-joke nudge-nudge-gamer-funny for eye candy, and it’s okay by me. I’ll bet they’re glad I approve.
[** Silver Sorrow Mind Control Attempt Successful! Warren Spector and Randy Smith, you are receiving a mental command from Silver Sorrow! Obey or face a never-ending onslaught of whining! Mr. Spector, Mr. Smith: Please Make Garrett Run Faster in Thief 3. That is all. Thank you.]
Moving on. The first scenario takes place in a monastery in the Himalayas. Apparently the Asssssniiisssaas live there, and they have one of the Telnorps. The private army of a guy named Geussetelli (a powerful man who is trying to acquire the Telnorps for his own collection of priceless trinkets) has beaten you there, but they’re having no luck whatsoever getting the friggin” thing. Fine… where they failed, you’ll succeed. You hope. It’s not easy, but this is one of the most beautifully-rendered scenarios I’ve seen yet…so that makes up for the disturbingly descriptive stream of maledictions issuing from my person. The biggest drawback here is when you leave the monastery by some caves: I’ve always hated baby headcrabs, but it took a mod like this to really put that hatred into focus. After that, you get to move on to other things.
What really gives this mod depth is the little touches, such as the cutscenes showing — in a generic sense — your trip live, via satellite. Granted, it usually just shows the satellite, but that’s okay. We didn’t really expect a scene similar to the one from Willy Wonka where the kid is transmitted into a TV, did we? Of course not! The rest of you sit down and stuff a sock in it. And no, there won’t be any further bathroom breaks.
And so to C… as in the Carnival, that is. It’s Half-Park! You’ll enjoy your trip to this Xen-riffic theme park (situated somewhere in a foreign country, one can only conclude…who knows? All I know is that the security guard Boris, possibly an Eastern-Bloc version of Barney, is your friend), where you can Gib A Geek, take a leisurely swan-ride, look at the monsters” menagerie, or even grab a fried taco and spend the next two hours applying copious amounts of AssIceÃ¤
to yourself in one of the park’s many finely-appointed public restrooms.***
[*** For information on this soothing solution for what ails you, see our Abstract section. Thank you, won’t you?]
And hey! You get to wreck the freaking carnival! Is that great or what? Like it or not, it’s your fault, obviously; after activating a mysterious flying saucer, things go completely wrong. Creatures start breaking out and killing people…and after hearing Boris tell that joke about “It’s Not Unusual” to have Tom Jones Syndrome, I wasn’t sorry at all. Don’t get me wrong, though; I’ve told that joke a zillion times since then… mostly to the same person. Needless to say, I keep my back to the wall. Anyway, some have expressed dissatisfaction over the Half-Park maps, and I’m *somewhat* in agreement. If I was forced into going to this thing in real life, I’d probably pitch a tantrum in the parking lot. As far as the game goes, it’s nice to look at. Bright colors, calliope music that soothes the soul by Playing Over and Over Again Until Jesus Krishna Montezuma I Can’t Stand it Anymore Just Give Me a Shotgun Please For The Love Of… you get the idea. Okay, so it really isn’t *that* bad. But now you can see why I don’t go to carnivals or fairs or theme parks. I can get the same experience by sitting home and eating salmonella culture directly out of cans of ten year old Vienna sausages while simultaneously mutilating the soles of my feet with a serrated steak knife. And don’t get me started on Renaissance Fairs (aka “Ren-fests”, or in my neck of the backwoods, “Medieval Fair”), wherein all participants, in my perfect world, would be dragged into the street by their testicles (or other dangly bits) and flayed alive before being shot in the back of the head.
I admit, I’m a little antisocial.
But speaking of carnivals, I was kind of hoping to see something on the same twisted wavelength as Blood’s carnival, but it’s probably a good idea that wasn’t made to happen… Kicking a security guard’s head into a goal to win a prize might be fun to *me*, but you know someone’s going to raise a stink about it. But at any rate, it’s sorta twisted fun anyway. Once the Telnorp is free, you can move on.
And here you are at Geussetelli’s warehouse, having been smuggled in via crate. What follows is a slightly confusing**** trip through a sprawling, nicely-rendered warehouse. If you can get through this place without losing your mind, you’re doing fine. I liked it, but that may be because I’m a masochist. By far, this is the most difficult part of the mod, so be prepared to run this marathon; it ain’t short.
[**** “Slightly confusing” in the sense of “Non-linear Thermodynamic Theory is somewhat difficult to grasp, initially.”]
I might mention here that the process of getting to the end of the third segment differs drastically (or not) from the original. Before, you got to pick up a longjump module to help you through this section; how I solved the problem of getting to the other side of the roof — while on the rooftop, natch — was to do an odd little jump onto the ledge and walk around. Here, you go to a door that explodes, you go through, go to another map and screw around there, then return to the previous map to find that an A/C unit close to the ledge is broken, enabling you to get onto the ledge to walk around. Again, I’m not 100% sure about the solution in the original, but that’s how I had achieved my own cut-rate Nirvana… my skill at problem-solving back then could best be described as “needs improvement.”
So now we’re at the finale… wait, no. We’re in a safe house *on our way* to getting to the finale. Boris explains a couple of things, then you gear up and head for a meeting with the G-Man. NOW you’re at the finale… Xen. Dear, sweet Xen. Low gravity and Xen Masters make your trip to the Border World one of precious memories. How they linger… like a sucking chest wound or a nasty case of road rash. Oh, and what a difference there is now. Featuring some excellent terrain work, this vision of Xen is something to be pleased with… once you get outside, I mean; up until then, a cave is a cave is a cave, if you get my rather considerable drift. Still, your basic goal is the same: get to the containment unit and release the Telnorps. Return to the cave and activate some stuff. The End.
So in essence, the commercial version of Redemption is largely the same up until the end. Several horrifying bugs have been removed; including one that plagued me to no end in Half-Park: after the Shi’ite hits the fan, you come to the area by the fun house ride where a light post was supposed to fall and kill a prone Boris… right there was when the game would lock up tighter than Hillary Clinton’s sphincters. So I’m glad to see that I can finally play without having to devise ways of avoiding that area.
Oh, look… I’m out of words. Me go watch TV now.
Summary? A fresh coat of paint, some detailing work, cleaned upholstery, a new set of tires, and we’re looking at the best damn used 1984 Subaru GL hatchback that money can buy. And Absolute Redemption is pretty good, too.
So Remember: if you have any questions or comments, please feel free and contact His Holiness, the Pope. He’s always glad to help out. Hey, he may even let you wear his big-ass hat!
Rating? 4.7 out of 5.
Annoyance Rating: It wouldn’t be polite to say…
TW, may be your control settings corrupted? Try to set them manually (or try to delete config.cfg in the mod’s folder).
I have just replayed this mod. Good background story and cutscenes, but the gameplay rather confusing, especially in the final part.
This mod was good fun to play. I thought the maps were great and varied, and the I enjoyed the more open-ended level design. If I’m not mistaken, the AI was slightly better as well, compared to the original half-life (if I remember right, the grunts used the grenade launcher a lot more often, which made camping techniques a lot more tricky). My only real problem with this mod is that, on the third level the level is so open-ended and non-linear that it can be really difficult to find out where to go. You can end up pressing a button which activates something you have to go 2 maps back to find, but overall it was good. I did get stuck on the roof, where the door locked behind me and I absolutely couldn’t find anywhere to go. I ended up grenade jumping over a fence, but I’m almost certain it wasn’t the right way to do it.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this mod and it was great fun to play. I definitely recommend it.
The first section in the monastery was a lot of fun, the second is bizarre and the third has too many impossible jumps. I don’t like cheating, but it gets really wearing doing the same thing over and over. I do know how to crouch-jump, but I had to use noclip. There is no way you can jump the fence on the roof to reach the door. I will not replay this
Many of you will remember the last Maverick Developments release, Drug Barons. That unit was one of the very earliest third-party efforts and was generally warmly received. Redemption, of course, is in a very different league, featuring eight times as many maps and many more peripheral elements in the way of new skins, textures and sounds.
The additions to the standard Half-Life pool are many and, more importantly, of a very high quality. The new textures are all good while the new speech is even better with the extra G-Man phrases being particularly well impersonated. The usual characters have been redressed in some decent new skins and you’ll also get to meet Barney’s Russian cousin, inevitably named Boris. All of the extras have been implemented with the upmost attention to detail and you certainly won’t find any lo-fi Doom textures or pointless new weapons here.
Onto the levels. Pleasingly, one of Drugs Barons’ biggest flaws is almost entirely absent from Redemption, namely the excessive r_speeds. Save for the very end section, this ran without a hitch on my machine, something that certainly couldn’t be said for their previous work. Thankfully, this doesn’t come at the expense of quality architecture because Redemption is generally a good looking, solidly constructed piece of mapping with the temple in the first episode being particularly noteworthy. The new textures have been used well and, though there are areas that could have done with just a little more attention, it’s all comfortably above average.
Your journey begins with quite a lengthy introduction by the G-Man himself. It probably goes on a little too long and the extended exposure to the G-Man causes his voice and mannerisms to become increasingly grating while also removing a lot of the mystery surrounding him but it still sets the scene nicely, just as the other pauses in the action carry it along. The actual levels may not present a coherent storyline but then nor did Half-Life’s; at least you get a very real sense that you’re doing something rather than simply drifting along as in many maps.
The Redemption saga continues through three episodes and a brief finale. The first finds you exploring a mystical temple, one of the best looking sections in the whole unit. While it was certainly pretty, it was also a little too hard, especially for the very beginning. The whole place was positively crawling with ninjas and though the ingenious health dispensers, providing you find them, help to balance it out a little, it was still a bit too much a bit too early on.
After the temple, it’s swiftly on to a carnival, an environment not seen since Duke Nukem 3D, if my memory proves correct. Like the ninjas’ hideout, the carnival is brilliantly realised and packed with suitably silly interactive rides. In many ways, this was my favourite part of Redemption where Phil Daniels, the mapper and ringleader of Maverick, really let loose. The return journey after yet another minor accident – of the kind which seems to happen to Gordon every five minutes or so – is similarly enjoyable.
The final episode is set in more familiar territory, returning to the well-worn base/lab themes that feature in most levels. The implementation is of a much higher quality than the majority of releases, however, rivalling the careful construction found in Dave Water’s Mission of Mercy, and though the route through was perhaps little convoluted, it was just as much fun as the preceeding two segments.
The only place where Redemption really fell down was right at the end which is, surprisingly considering many gamers’ reactions to Half-Life’s latter portion, set in Xen. Unfortunately, there probably isn’t a more significant area where things can go wrong in my opinion; though the beginning is undoubtedly important, the end is what you look forward to and what everything builds up towards and when it’s not up to scratch, you’re inevitably disappointed. Though the finale is far from a total failure, it’s probably misjudged; the setting is fine and has been used to good effect in other levels but this emulates the annoying jumping-from-floating-rock-to-floating-rock action found in the original game and could have been a little better. However, it has to be said that a satisfactory conclusion is exceedingly difficult to achieve in Half-Life thanks to the lack of a decent boss monster.
Looking at the overall package, though, there’s really no faulting what Maverick have achieved with Redemption. The most important target has certainly been met: it provides you with a hell of a lot of fun, even relative to the huge download, and manages to sustain it for a long, long time. There are plenty of original twists and surprises – just wait until you see what happens when Barney tries to teleport you at the start of your mission because it had me laughing out loud – and the whole thing just works perfectly. Though declaring this as being at the top of the pile might be pushing things too far, I think it would be fair to say that it’s joint with the current champion, USS Darkstar. Even if the aesthetics aren’t up to Neil Manke’s standards, it excels in other areas and is definitely a release that no self-respecting Half-Life player should miss. One of the very few must-have Half-Life units so far.
This review is republished here by permission and was originally published Wednesday, 20th October, 1999 by Morgan.
This review was originally posted on the Ten Four Website, which is now offline. Permission has been granted to republish the full review and more details can be found on the About page.
I just came across a very old CD (bundled with the PC Zone Magazine – December 1999).
The CD contains the very first version of this mod, I thought I’d share it with you guys. After all, it’s part of the Half-Life history 🙂
Here’s an online preview of the aforementioned magazine (courtesy of “archive.org”):
And here’s the mod (you will find some interesting differences between this original mod and the other versions). Enjoy it:
Phillip, could you add it to your mod data base?
So I finally figured out what happened to the install and started playing.
I never found the download to fix issues, since as above Fileshack discontinued their services just before I got to this mod. :/ So I’m going to lay blame on the fact that I ran likely without proper fixes to the game, for a good number of the issues I have with it. The fact that adding the ultra mode weapon pack to it *changed the name of the game to “Ultra Definition Redemption” and thus made it hard to intuitively find it on the steam library listing didn’t help much to begin with …
So. First off the good:
The idea is sound, it’s a very solid plan of action that you think you’re heading into for this mod.
The voice acting is stellar, whoever was doing Gman did an incredible job of sounding like he had inhaled a squirrel – just as Gman in hl1 did (I am much more partial to his deeper, more resonant voice in hl2).
The maps themselves were fun and amusing, with very clever items and appearances.
The game play when I could do it, was tough but fun.
And then… the bad.
There was zero direction for the player to understand what to do and where to do it, in each individual map. Running around and getting lost on numerous occasions and basically quitting in frustration should not be a part of the learning curve of any game or mod. The reason it took me so darn long to play a mod like this, was because of trial and error and getting lost too often.
The bugs. Basically … getting stuck in places and issues with death triggers had me yelling at the screen on numerous occasions. This game needed to be playtested by more than JUST ONE GUY.
The ending was so lackluster! I’m not sure whether I was doing something right or wrong, but… if you’re going to have Gman in the thing as a featured central character? Let him tuck you away again at the end, just a fade to black was an incredible let down.
What I’d have done differently? Make sure that the player knows where they’re going and what to do, at all times. Make sure that triggered events *actually happen* and/or don’t happen at the wrong time. Don’t punish the player for exploration, only to turn around and remove a death trigger haphazardly for no apparent reason, on a map that you’d been over a dozen times before… Tie it up with a good ending, not just fading out :/
Anyway this thing got away with a “Think Twice” from me, only because it had a lot of good points. But it definitely was never going to warrant a play it now or even a Play it Later, because of the tremendous flaws in it.
It might be playable and counteract some of that downside if Planet Phillip’s download of it was updated with the fix file somehow. But I do not see how anyone could ever have warranted a resoundingly positive review of this, what appears to have been a great try, but a stunning fail at the same time. I enjoyed parts of it a lot, but not in equal amounts to how much table flipping and rage quit I had to do to get there.
Phillip if you could, I’d like to revise my review after having played the not-buggy-as-hell version. 🙂
As I expected in my review from last year, the version that I played was just *riddled* with bugs. Making it that much harder to work with. Now that said, there were still plenty of times I got stuck in doors, and there was one game-breaking bug which I still don’t understand how it happened (Where I picked up a new weapon I think, and then went back to the AR, and suddenly no weapon switching, no ammo in the weapon, even though there was ammo listed. Couldn’t reload the weapon. Had to go back to a prior manual save as both quicksave and autosave were broken in this way. This was in the 3rd section I want to say climbing out of the muddy water at some point).
But with a bit more smoothness, the fact that there’s still zero guidance to the player meant that at least half the time I spent playing (right around the same 6 hours as I listed last time) was spent running back and forth trying to figure out what to do or what had just happened. I think I ran past the same apparently open hallway in the Carnival about a dozen times, before I went online for a play through, and saw where to go…
So my overall complaints about the weirdness of the mod’s direction still stand. But the compliments on the look and feel of it, definitely the voice acting and all the rest of the ‘good parts’ (including some pretty difficult fights here and there, but only here and there) make for a better than Think Twice.
I’d like to revise my review to PLAY IT NOW. Worth the time and effort, but it might be frustrating with all the doubling back and confusing directionless areas. (Also, I played at Medium this time, not Easy.)
Glad you stuck it out. I think you just have to leave another comment with a new review image, and the system should detect that you’ve revised your review and mark the old one as outdated.
What can I say about this old mod. It’s mostly for old timers but new faces can also get a kick out of it with some help here and there.
I first started playing it after hearing about it at my friend’s recommendation, after laughing at the ‘Dizzy Lizzy’ catch phrase he mentioned in passing. Unfortunately I stopped playing it as I got stuck after ehh spoiler ahead but no spoiler tags: releasing the first butterfly, as I was supposed to crowbar this gate that visibly lead no where and I just didn’t bother with it at that time, it was not obvious at all, and it was one of many things to NOT be straight forward and obvious in the mod. But a few weeks later my sp buddy and I fired this up and gave another go through this hardcore and unfair mod and I could finally finish it. I must say, my favorite part was of course, the ‘Dizzy Lizzy’ ferris wheel ride hehe
I could easily skip some parts and triggers and ‘break’ the game, getting in areas I wasn’t supposed to be in at that point in the game, but after fully exploring it as it’s definitely non linear I managed to unlock all the triggers, so be sure to not miss any routes or you’ll be frustrated as hell. Having only ONE betatester as the credits state, that’s understandable but definitely not forgiveable. Also, that damn door to the power room would’ve been another reason for me to rage quit, as it turns out it was to be crowbared, but not all parts of it sounded like they would break! So even if you did try to crowbar it once or twice for some mad reason, you would’ve been encountered with no sign that this is the right path. There’s just not enough sign posting and the visual language could’ve been stronger, specially with the butterflies and the new mechanics and buttons. And of course harsh and countless enemies with not enough first aid chargers, and goodies being hidden in obscure crates while normal crates would be unbreakable. But still has some nice touches like, oh, the entire carnival chapter! and awesome visual effects for a freakin HL1 mod, like with the butterflies, plus the starry sky while building the 2nd teleport and of course the ones in the end. I liked the custom sounds as well, though most of them kind of sounded like humans making bird sounds? And I guess the Russian voice actor can be funny for English native speakers.
In all honesty I think the mod gives us too many weapons, almost the entire hl1 arsenal if I’m not mistaken, and I would’ve preferred more ammo and less weapons instead. I easily forget that I have this wep, and that wep, plus when one runs out of ammo, which would happen v often as this was scarce, it would not freakin change to another weapon automatically! That’s HL1 for ya, so I ended up re-playing a lot of sections because I tend to do that anyway to end up with most hp and most ammo at the end but this just made it a lot longer… And would’ve been even longer if my friend wouldn’t’ve helped me.
Oh and having this loooong story being told to you through text and through a G-Man style speech is really hard to follow and comprehend, so that’s a shame but +1 for trying.
So yea, give this a play sometime.
There are plenty of things to say about this mod. But I guess we could define it first of all like a classic in HL1 modding history yeah no doubts about it. Why? well because this is an old school mod, and now 14 years later since its release we could say we don’t have mods like this one anymore, not for HL1 nor HL2.
This is an old school classic, because as a mod has a pretty similar structure or layout, to the original HL1 game, you know, a big cinematic intro, pretty cool voice acting part (indeed in this mod maybe we have the best custom voice acted part for the G-Man ever created) and then pretty neat levels in which the story actually deploys itself.
The whole quality of this mod is overall high, and as I try this mod with the Ultra Definition pack available on Mod DB, which I highly recommend you to use if you want to play or, as my case, replay this mod, brings definitely a plus in gameplay terms, because thanks to that UD pack this mod feels as it was created yesterday, but not!! is from 2000, and you know what? its details are carefully polished that now in 2014 still feels fresh, exciting and pretty good.
Also this mod is a perfect example of how complex ideas, can perfectly be achieved in mapping terms, the scenarios where we play are original, fun and entertaining, the battles also are super cool in those scenarios, then the puzzles you may found are perfectly fitted inside those maps. The first map is amazing and absolutely does its mission of making you feel HL is not only about Black Mesa, you can also have adventures and great fights in places like the Himalayas or an Amusement Park, Half-Park actually, one of my favorites maps in mods for HL1.
I guess Absolute Redemption, or Redemption, whatever you like to call it. Is a classic because it was maybe one of the first mods in showing us what a mod is about, and is about precisely to modify an original game and still be fun and offer great entertaining value, by deploying a intense story in cool scenarios and actually be like another game with something to say via its gameplay.
Now maybe if I have to think in the cons of this mod, I could mention that is kind of easy to get confused in some complex maps, specially in the “Gusselini Import-Export” facility, and I guess that’s that way because that map has a lot of backtracking which it’s not particularly good in level design, and also because that map looks like a perfect Sven Coop map, but apart from that, there are very few down points to state. Of course you can say the plot or story is silly, and lacks realism, but come on!! 14 years ago sounded cool, and even now I think is pretty interesting that Freeman just saved Xen from an invasion!! so its a quite original story specially if we think it was written by the developers 14 years ago.
Overall, I think this mod is now a well deserved must play and a classic one in HL1 modding library. is also one of the first mods many gamers first played related to HL1 and also just for that reason deserves to have a great ovation, because with this first quality mods, Half Life gamers and modders constructed a quite solid community that just won’t let the Half Life game-saga itself die. That’s quite symbolic of course but I think is a fact, mods make we play HL1 and HL2 over and over again thanks to the work of creative modders which invent new stories and exciting atmospheres for us to play.
So if you haven’t yet played this, do it!! do it now! is a classic.
2 Hours, 20 Minutes
As has been said, the cut scenes, especially at the beginning, were too long. Yes, it helps tell the story but it causes too much frustration.
The first part was fun to play and the design was detailed enough to make exploring interesting and the gameplay was challenging enough to keep me on my toes.
The second part, whilst being very creative, was not so interesting for me. I wasted a lot of ammo on the Gonarch, which I didn’t need to and was very happy to get out of Half Park.
The third was definitely my favourite but it was as confusing as hell and I got lost a lot. The gameplay was by fair the most challenging.
Finally, Xen provided a change of pace and a nice finish.
All in all, it’s a great piece of work and I bet if I had played this the month it came out I would have been blown away but now its definitely showing its age.
It deserves to be considered a classic but I suspect it will get slightly lower recommendations than people would have originally given it.
2 Hours, 37 Minutes
I have removed a lot of comments because they were out of date. I have also removed quite a few recommendation images because the review was too short, especially for a mod that would have taken over 2 hours to play.
Just to make this more interesting, I’ll post a video playthru of Redemption and NOT Absolute Redemption. It’s an older version of the same mod with a few differences. More info in the video description. (And don’t worry, I skipped the intro for you)
Absolute Redemption was the first mod I ever played, even before half life. There were so many places to get stuck at, including the very first room where you, for some reason, had to USE the door behind you to exit. And the first mission of the three starts you off with the hardest challenge, the temple of assassins. Then we got Escape from the Carnival of Horrors, followed by Wandering Aimlessly in a large warehouse complex filled with soldiers.
Other things I remember was the ‘stuck in floor’ transition bug near the giant snack machine in the carnival, if anyone else ever saw that. Theres also a bunch of scripting problems I saw while playing that was due to the use of uninterruptible ‘aiscripted’ sequences causing strange AI behavior. Those weren’t really a big deal in the end and the recommendation here is to Play it Now!
Before my stream for Classic of the Month yesterday, I hadn’t played Redemption since at least 2000 or 2001, and I’m not sure I played the Absolute version at all. It is still fun and certainly a classic, but I have to say some of the shine has come off this mod since the old days.
Even though the opening briefing/cutscene seems interminably long (~8 minutes I think!), at least the background story laying out your mission is fairly well-done. You have to set free the ‘telnorps’ (butterflies from Xen) over 3 quite different chapters. I did like the variety of the locations – Himalayan mountains, a warped amusement park, and a sprawling ‘base’ more akin to standard Half-Life maps. I really think putting the very challenging Himalayan section first was a poor decision, you immediately get thrown into battles with grunts and a bunch of assassins without much health to keep you alive.
There were some odd design decisions too that were puzzling. In the third chapter there are several health chargers, but they don’t look like HL’s health chargers, they just have the standard first aid symbol on them so it’s easy to mistake them as just decoration. Same goes for the health fountains in the first chapter, you just don’t know they give health. There was a scripted sequence with an assassin where she kicks one of the fountains to break it, but that was near the end of the chapter and I have no idea how many I missed before that.
And while I did enjoy the ‘base’ in the third chapter, the nonlinearity was taken a little too far. Some more signposting, and clarity on the effects of your actions would have helped a lot.
On the positive side, I really liked the mapping and the combat in this mod. The opening chapter is the toughest, but you’re in for a decent challenge against grunts and some sentry turrets in the third chapter. Given that it’s quite nonlinear, you have to do some backtracking as well and sometimes there are nasty surprises in your way as you retread.
I really liked the Half-Park chapter, it was a nice break from the tough first chapter. Of course, once things go awry it’s a pretty fun path that takes you back to the start. I thought the really slow swan ride was a huge mistake though – once you’re on edge and primed for combat, having a several minute slow ‘tram’ ride really undermines the pacing of the map.
The Xen finale is also pretty well done. There’s virtually no jumping needed, and thankfully it doesn’t go on too long. Overall, still a classic but its flaws are more apparent to me after all these years.
2 Hours, 50 Minutes
I’m curious now about whether the updated version is available? As my review was pretty harsh, but also pointed out: it might just be the bugs were *that bad* in the unpatched version. If the new non-fileshack’d version IS available, please inform so I can go back and revisit what *should* be a really awesome map.
Yes the download above is a newly packaged version I put together of Absolute Redemption. I’m not sure how many bugs were fixed but it is the ‘latest’ version.
Okay fantastic, I’ll reacquire this and replay it 🙂 Thanks!
This is still a terrific HL1 mod with a lot of content. The intro was a bit long but once the action got going it was really good. I found the combat difficult but not so bad that I couldn’t survive. I was just about dead in the 1st section due to those tiny headcrabs but then a healing pool nicely showed up. I must admit I was a little confused about what my mission was. I completed the collection of each “object” without even realizing it.
The amusement park area was quite difficult and I got lost several times. Kind of like being at a real one. The rides were terrific and everything was interesting. But again I didn’t quite realize that I had finished my objective, so that was kind of odd.
The third part of the mod was very difficult to me. I got lost many times, and I never did figure out how to disable the security system in the area with the locked door and 3 fuel barrels. I gave up and noclipped through that part. The scope of this section was quite impressive, but I found it very hard to know where exactly I was going. It’s nice when a mod isn’t just a linear progression, but this one took that to the extreme. I also noticed that the zoom on the crossbow didn’t work which definitely made things more difficult.
All in all this was a really good play despite the mod’s age. Definitely a PIN for me, despite the navigation challenges.
I probably rated it a PF when it first came out, and maybe when I replayed it years later as well. As others have said, its now showing its age. Not the graphics, but the gameplay and the “one too many” false “almost” jump areas resulting in frequent confusion, not knowing where to go or what to do, trying to make a jump work that never will.
However there is no doubt about the massive effort which must have gone into making this, and it was a benchmark back then. Even though I found it somewhat annoying to play in parts, I can’t rate it lower than a PIN.
I played this mod a long time ago, way before i actually played Half-Life in fact, back then, i only managed to get to the baby headcrab cave before i decided to walk out frustrated, then again, i was about 7-ish back then.
Present day, returning to Absolute, i have to agree with everyone, the intro is too long, a possible solution could be by giving the essential info like the telnorps/prophecy at the intro cutscene, and everything else like zan observation/Guisetelli thing as either optional stuff at the intro or told as you go between missions.
There’s an slight inconsistency that i’m pretty upset about though, the suit that i’m supposed to be wearing is supposed to be the black and white Mark 6, but the function of the suit, HUD, and the weapon models do not represent that fact, there’s literally no difference than the Mark 4 from the original besides the welcome sound! I still even got hurt going through cold water! Some pointless new environment suit that was.
The Himalayan mountains starts off with fights against grunts and turrets, it’s not too hard thankfully with some supplies scattered around and the brushes looks nice and mountain-like, the only complain i got is that i couldn’t go back after getting to a certain area, since i like to save things to use later, it sucks to be saving a bunch of medkits\ammo to use later, only to found out that i can’t return when i truly really need it.
The difficulty amplifies the moment i enter the temple, the assassins placed around the dark temple proved to be quite frustrating since i can barely see them until i up the brightness a bit, while the health pool helped, i actually only found it by accidentally touching it while frantically fighting the black clad monk ladies, should have probably put some more visual clues there.
Back to the spider cave, i really hate it, there’s so much baby headcrabs there that i’m sure they’re respawning somewhere, i finally finished it though, going to the second area.
Half Park was ok, though confusing as all heck to traverse in, even the maps placed there didn’t help squat, especially the place where you need to use the swan, when i got to the lit up water area after the power surge, i didn’t know i had to use the swan, i just went along the edges of the area, losing health when i need to go around corners until i came to the destination, finding a moving swan on the way,.
The gonarch is also annoying, since i found some RPG ammo, i thought i actually need to fight the darned thing at first, finding out after wasting all my ammo and dying a number of times that i just need to run away.
The garg with the second telnorp was cool though, thought i need to use up all my explosive ammo until i saw the little guy lit up the gigantic blue beast, onward to Guisetelli’s.
Guisetelli’s base is just plain confusing to get through, corridors and stairs look so much alike and i got lost for hours.
I guess that’s the thing about this mod, i’m fine with non linear gameplay, but for goodness sake give some visual clues! Even a bunch of signs plastered all around Half-Park and Guisetelli’s Warehouse would have been heaven against these big arse place that look so much alike otherwise.
It’s MUCH worse when i found out that to break into the generator room, i had to bash the UPPER PART OF THE GODDARN GRATE DOOR, i lost a bunch of minutes until i tried using both explosives/crowbar to bash everything to find a way.
Xen was short and VERY easy, a disappointment after going through challenging combat with grunts and turrets.
Ending was also disappointing, just enter the portal, and done.
Overall, a pretty good mod that has balanced combat (At least after the assassins), confusing mazes like areas, good looking brushes, and a story that’s so forgettable i actually forgot what i was doing at some point.
It would be great if someone make this mod for hl2 ep2 😀
Overall this mod is fun but drags in certain places. By now it’s probably become obvious from other reviews that the early cutscenes drag on wayyyy too long. That being said, they’re higher quality cutscenes than I’ve seen in a lot of mods, and the voice acting is actually pretty good. In addition to the fact the story itself is pretty clever.
The three main segments are each pretty unique and neat in their own right, though I felt I got confused a lot and had to do a lot of backtracking. That in itself isn’t unusual, but in a lot of cases it felt like the backtracking was intended with no real intuitive way of making you do it other than exhausting all your options in one area. I may be a layman at this, but it doesn’t feel like good game design.
All that can be forgiven for Russian Barney though. I’d play any mod as long as he was in it.
At any rate: give it a play if you’ve got no other mods you’re dying to play at the moment. It’s not too bad.
I’ve sworn I would have NEVER touched this mod again several years later; but to my amusement – or irony if it’s better for ya – I’ve changed my mind in a complete reverse when it’s already 2016.
Before all the tl;dr stuff, I’d like to take a rewind at how I played Half-Life – which is rather 10-year-old-ish due to the fact that I didn’t met Half-Life itself in the flesh until 2005. And “Absolute Redemption” – under the name “Redemption” in that custom game menu at the time, is the very first Half-Life-related stuff I’ve ran into, in 2003.
There is one thing you HAVE (and I HATE) to admit for most Half-Life based mods: that they’re far from player-friendly in the first place. Even for mods that tries to lead their players into doing something intended, there will be unforeseen consequences. I believe I’m not the only one who has been stucking in MINERVA at a Combine elevator for 30 minutes or more smashing buttons and walls trying to get a lift on.
(Which is certainly entertaing when Minerva blamed for my physics on my accidental hit on the glass above me.)
So, here came Absolute Redemption for me: a 13-yr-old Chinese little squeaker who hasn’t yet been able to build an acceptable storage of English vocabulary, fails at this game HILARIOUSLY, noclipping and godding through the levels, wondering what da heck he’s just been playing for the whole MONTH.
You can call that retardation and I certainly wouldn’t agree more: since I’ve always been intelligence-challenged and I should too, deserve quite considerable blame. But here’s the thing – even if I wasn’t English-illterate then, I would still fail miserably at figuring out “what should I do to open this damn gate” or “how am I supposed to reach through the pipes”.
I prefer to attribute such situation to level design, as I stated before, as non-player-friendly.
Don’t get me wrong. The level layout (especially Chapter 4) of Redemption is absolutely terrific for being progressively open-world, for a MOD. Apart from the annoying map-load as a result, it was unbelievable as a retrospect. That should sum up the reason for it being included in the official Counter-Strike installation.
Quite enough for the sunny side, with some confessions maybe. And here we go, flipping over to the other edge.
Open-world design is not something can be done as easily as said: there’s plenty of EA stuff on Steam for evidence. Players can run into a very simple yet game-refunding, thus-I’m-downvoting problem: what am I supposed to do next? And if you happen to have a player-base full of OCD, well, it’s not looking good for ya.
So, when you progress to Chapter 4, here comes the EXACTLY same problem. You circle around the facility trying to open the next door, pushing buttons which may or may not have a clear reflection on what has been triggered, blasting enemies which results no obvious clues, annnnnnnnd end up stucking in a circle. It happens to you that you may need a MAP to get this over; the map may eventually progress due to your svencoop-style effort or excellent memory.
Yes, it’s fun while it lasted, and that’s one of the reasons people call it HARD. But: it doesn’t change the fact that the game did not have player-guidance in mind, Valve-style or not. I cannot possibly score this 5 while a far more mature MOD like Minerva is out there.
That’s too mean, right? I mean, this is a MOD rather than a commerial product, isn’t whining and ranting on “player-friendly” too much to ask?
Guess what? Care or not, this is the SAME reason for giving it a 4, not less.
Last year was definitely not promising (or promised to be more grammatically accurate) for gamers. I bet some of you guys are fed up with that massive amount of flawed products which fail to last more than 10 hours at max of fun.
Yeah, modern games are MUCH, MUCH MORE player-friendly, in a disasterous cachet, directed by Micheal Bay and designed in a literally time-killer way. Say, you can pick up unlimited garbage round and round with a megaton of bugs for just 59$, what a bargain!
And then, comes the news of Sven Co-op 5.0, at the very end of the year.
“Hey they’re alive. Why not checking some really old stuffs then?” The very idea of googling up old mods took me back to WantedHL, and from there, to Absolute Redemption under the very same developer, Maverick Games.
It is definitely NOT friendly, even after all these years. Chapter 4 is still a nightmare for me. But in the meanwhile, that is some quality time wasted in a quality way. Again, it IS fun while it lasted. At least I didn’t end up like a drunk man at a club wondering if he’s earned something from the girl he offered a shot last night.
When I’m finally put into limbo by G-Man for protection, I realized how harsh and ignorant I’ve been. Look, maybe it’s due to my cynical impression against last year’s gaming, I can’t help wondering what was really FUN, be it a game or mod?
I’m really not at liberty to say for the lack of an answer; however, you’re free to try this MOD for yourself. It is by no means the BEST MOD EVA, but it’ll certainly worth your time.
Thanks for reading my long and random rants, for tolerating a first-time-poster, and my apologize in advance for any typos, grammatical OCD triggers, and mistakes.
BTW I’ve recently replayed Minerva, gave a shot to TWHL Towers and they’re all terrific. Makes me wonder why level design nowadays has become [s-word].
– Wait a sec.
There’s just no need to wonder. The answer is SOOOOO obvious. I myself already have little time for gaming, and I can imagine a situation where people need more games in fast-food style. It’s the BENEFITS. I should’ve KNEW it.
Ironically I’m looking forward to Uncharted 4 to be as scenic as possible since I’m not expecting “level design” of any sort from it, which is good news for pathetic me. (smiliey here?)
Two things are blatantly obvious to me after trying this monster-of-a-addon for size: Redeption is the best single-player experience for Half-Life as I speak and we’ll probably never receive another free release from these guys again.
Instead of repeating everything Morgan said, I’ll attempt to take a look at Redemption section by section because there were three entire episodes with their own theme. The sheer size of Redemption is beyond description, any one of these three episodes would’ve been good enough for a fantastic experience on its own.
Let’s start of with your first battleground at the himalayan mountains. In my opinion, this was the best of the three main parts in Redemption and probably the very apex of Half-Life SP editng as of now. The ragged rocks, chilling water, really brought the majestic himalayas to life. There were times when I could not believe this was Half-Life, it just felt like something out of Tomb Raider! Of course, I hated Tomb Raider for its long lulls in action, thankfully, there’s none of that here. The fights with the human grunts were very well-done, but the best accomplishment was the pure adrenalin rush inside “the temple of ninjas”. The fighting just got more and more brutal, and it really made me wish this first episode was the last of the three because it was by far the most memorable and the toughest.
After the unbelievable, flawless design and the edge-of-your seat thrill of the himalayas, you get a comical sigh of relief as you go to a “carnival of all places”, as quoted by the G-man. The attention to detail and the creative touches in Half-Park (name of the carnival place) was something that would’ve once caused us to say, “Only Neil Manke”. Half-Park felt vaguely familiar to Neil’s USS Darkstar, there was indeed the same “accident” and “Xen running loose” ideas behind it. There was also the same kind of sheer wonder and amazement that one experienced in USS Darkstar, except maybe even stronger because there were interactive rides such as the creepy Ghost House and the spectacular Farris Wheel in Half-Park. There were even PC Zone Magazines lying around the place… I wonder where the guys at Maverick Developments got that idea from 🙂 While the Carnival was the Tour de France of creativity in Redemption, it was also a tad too easy if you know when and how to run away. To give you some tips to avoid death, I don’t think you’ll have enough firepower to kill neither the Gonarch nor the Gargantua and even if you could, it’s not necessary; better off saving your ammo for the next awesome episode.
While the himalayas and the carnival were both completely new themes to Half-Life, the guys at Maverick Developments also found it necessary to showcase their lofty base-designing skills as well. Guessutelli’s Imports will be familiar grounds for most Half-Life players, as it’s a typical base style areas infested with grunts. What will strike most players, however, is its intricate connectivity, immense and unparalleled size, as well as the superb design. Navigating through Guessutelli’s Imports is harder than any of the previous two episodes and getting stumped can be easy but the great layout means you won’t be stumped for long. The grunt fights are very well setup with plenty of challenge and creativity. You’d imagine that killing a hundred human grunts in a huge base would start to get boring, well let me assure you that it won’t in this base!
All three episodes were of extravagant size and unbelievable quality and all three are linked together through a complex storyline. While the storyline doesn’t exactly fall under an epic because of its ambiguity, it does, as Morgan said, give you a sense that you’re doing something rather than just drifting. The story does make enough sense to make Redemption feel very mission-driven while you’re playing. But what impresses me most is the fun factor and humorous undertone maintained throughout many of the thirty-two levels. Unfortunately, I cannot say all of of the thirty-levels because I agree with Morgan in that the ending to Redemption was disappointing.
With many Half-Life players already saying that they disliked the jumping puzzles in Xen from the original game from Valve, Maverick Development should’ve been wary about repeating Valve’s mistake. But they did repeat it, and in worse fashion as well. In the original game, at that dreaded platform jumping place, with the loads of controllers and slaves, at least had health powerups, hiding places, and most importantly, at least those hatable controllers didn’t keep on teleporting into the action! The ending for Redemption has a whole flock of controllers to pester and inevitebly kill you. They just keep on coming back into the scene after you kill them and there’s no health or hiding spots to alleviate the tough situation. Finally, the platform jumping is even more annoying than in the original game because you often have to wait a long time for a suitable platform to float by.
While the ending gave Redemption an acrid aftertaste, it is fortunately only a tiny part of the whole package. If you don’t want the frustration then I recommend you bail out of Half-Life once you reach Xen! Both visual quality and framerates will dip to record lows for Redemption, so it’s not worth the trouble. Of course, you won’t bail out because the build-up for a fantastic ending has been too strong, but what actually happens will be more mundane than you could ever imagine. The ending was indeed the only part of Redemption that felt rushed. But, because a five-hundred carat diamond has a small dent in it, doesn’t mean it’s worth less than millions of dollars 🙂 In other words, Redemption is still the finest and most extravagant single-player Half-Life addon available despite the poor ending.
Although I wish Maverick Developments nothing but the best, I don’t think I’m the only one wishing that they have time for another “showcasing” before some company gobbles these guys up 🙂
This second opinion review is republished here by permission and was originally published Thursday, 13th July, 2000 by Jiang.
This review was originally posted on the Ten Four Website, which is now offline. Permission has been granted to republish the full review and more details can be found on the About page.
(spoilers I guess)
Absolute Redemption is a mod that gives me a vibe it was more fun to create than to play. It starts the player off with a couple minutes of exposition from the G-Man. Recording new lines for a mod is pretty rare and difficult to pull off well. The voice actors in this mod actually sound close to the characters they’re portraying (G-Man, Barney), so hats off to them. The exposition goes on for a while though, and is frankly not that interesting. It’s a lot of mystic babble about Xen and the importance of the captured butterfly creatures the player is tasked with rescuing.
It’s clear the mapper(s?) has a lot of skill with the engine, and wants to show that off to the player. A teleporter mishap sends the player to Stonehenge. One can walk around and admire the scenery for a bit before entering a portal to the proper destination. It’s sort of neat I guess?
Anyway the player goes off to rescue the first butterfly creature in the Himalayas. It’s an interesting setting and not one seen very often. Outdoor areas are not the Goldsource engine’s strength, but the rocky environment lends to believable corridors that work well. Custom assets are everywhere, further exemplifying the developer’s skill. I noticed the MP5 gets a substantial accuracy boost, which is alright since the average engagement distances are greater. One part that stuck out was the temple filled with assassins. Using explosives destroyed some of the torches lighting the place, making it darker. Pretty neat environmental consequence for a common tactic when fighting assassins.
The next part is a carnival featuring creatures from Xen. This is where the mod starts to falter. There’s no fighting for the first half of the carnival level. It features a tunnel of love, creatures in cages, and a roller coaster among other stuff. It’s basically a sideshow of neat little things the mapper came up with. That’s all they are though, little distractions that were probably fun to make. It doesn’t make for compelling gameplay and is ultimately forgettable. All that effort could have been spent crafting better fights or new locales. Predictably, the creatures break free and wreak havoc across the park. This part went by quickly for me as it’s easy to bunnyhop past most of the enemies.
I would have definitely taken the carnival over what comes next though. The final butterfly-thing is located in a shipping yard run by the big bad. The creativity that showed in the previous parts is absent here. The mod goes down the least original path it can take: a concrete corridor shooter against tons of soldiers. I get that this is an old mod, and I’m not sure how overused the trope was back then. However this is something I’ve done in a bunch of Half Life mods and games outside the series. The design here can be mean at times too. Often it’s unclear where the player is meant to go, and it turns out the player needs to backtrack to a door which has opened up for whatever reason. The shipping yard took up what felt like a third or more of the mod for me, so the lack of creativity combined with the length left a bad taste in my mouth. I know the developer could have come up with something better than this.
The ending sends the player to Xen for a brief moment. The large “eye” in the middle of the map looks cool, and sneaking past a Gargantua is always exciting. Just as the mod seems to pick up again, it ends. The butterflies are returned to Xen and the player teleports away. What a shame. For a while it seems like the mod is preoccupied with creating interesting locales and gimmicks over interesting gameplay. However it doesn’t even follow through with that once the player reaches the shipping yard. The team behind this mod clearly had a lot of talent and a lot of passion for the engine, but I’m not sure it was aimed in the right direction.
Perhaps – like many – the first HL1/GoldSrc mod I’ve ever played, besides CS 1.6.
It’s a particular experience, long and with varied places to go and visit, and there is also one particular place where you can see numerous cut monsters from HL1, in a zoo.
I’m still a bit disappointed by some particularly difficult parts, some places where I didn’t know where to go, and a disappointing “finale” where I was expecting a better climax.
but, still, it’s one of the first mod’s who tried to imagine and make us play the HL1 aftermath, or the gap between HL1 and HL2?, and it’s still a great experience to do, near “pro” level in terms of modding.
3 Hours, 30 Minutes
The first two maps are the most interesting, with the circus being a nice high point and offering some down time as well.
The third is a warehouse/complex. With way too many places where it’s unclear where to go or what to do at at least three distinct points in the chapter, this made me almost give up on this mod. With /so/ much done in the other chapters– The shipping mogul only has one interesting room in his entire complex, and it has some artifacts and paintings in it! I imagined this would be like the “top. men.” warehouse in indiana jones, but it’s 99% buildings you fight soldiers. This wouldn’t be a problem if the levels didn’t have spots where you need to find the ONE place to go with six or so distinct areas to get lost in each.
The xen mini-chapter is more interesting than the warehouse, at least.
Absolute Redemption follows Gordon Freeman after he’s hired by the G-man, but he turns out to be more human than canon. While this mod comes before Half-Life 2, when G-man reveals a bit of his line of work, it is a bit weird to see him talking…. more like a human.
Anyway, Gordon Is tasked to search for these…. uh, butterflies to do something. The damn introduction is a bit too long and drawn out for me. Telnorps, the butterflies, are scattered in three different locations and at this point, it already sounds like an adventure/spy movie plot. I really like the idea.
The first butterfly is in a temple in the Himalayans. Difficulty of the fight here escalates rather too quickly, you immediately start fighting with the mercenaries (basically the Marines) and then immediately the assassins. You can also miss the first Telnorp completely and run to the end of the level, wondering why nothing happen. I also don’t think they clearly told me that the Telnorps resemble butterflies even.
The second and third parts have much more balanced fight compared to the temple. The second section of the story takes place in an amusement park. It was a joy to roam around with working rides, but then you really don’t know which ride is the progress as only one security guard give hints about where you need to be.
Third section of the game sends you into a warehouse full of mercenaries. The most action-packed of all but also the most confusing. Because there are so many optional areas and mercenaries spawn on your backtrack, it really feels confusing whether you’re heading the right way.
I feel like the Xen part is underwhelming since it’s not very long and I find the ending underwhelming. The Zanian lore could be explored more too. (Just like Half-Life 1)
I also like the HD models, they are all very detailed and most of the weapons sound crispy. For some reason, I really can’t zoom with the sniper rifle. (Crossbow reskin)
It was an OK experience overall for me. I love the amusement park as it really was entertaining walking through there. Even if I don’t like the platforming in the tunnel of love.
Cool, play it! (sorry, but I don’t have time to write longer desc)
Can someone please post a fix for this? View is broken sideways like I’m dead and can’t do anything like getting a suit does nothing…
Just checked, this installation works fine for me. When you start the mod, do you get through the (very long) opening cutscenes?
Perhaps try verifying the integrity of the Half-Life game files in Steam and try again?
The level design could use some work, but, overall, it’s good and quite enjoyable.
3 Hours, 30 Minutes
I have the Half-Life: Generation pack and it came with this mod. However I can’t seem to get the intro working. It just skips straight to the game. Any advice?
I see I haven’t got any replies yet. Well anyways the mod seems to work well otherwise. The other cutscenes work normally.
Great work. Nice collection of maps with different themes.
– The visual of the mountain and the temple is very nice.
– Since there are not many health packs, fighting many black ops was not easy for me.
– I like that I can enjoy the attractions in the park.
– I love the section of riding the duck boat for escaping.
– I like the flow of clearing each floor -> go to the main storage -> go to the art room -> go to the roof -> escape.
– The combats are not easy (especially when facing the grenade launchers) but not impossible.
– Since I’m not good at finding paths, I got confused many times and visited the same area multiple times.
– Short but nice level as the final of the mod.
– After saving the butterflies, I couldn’t find the hole near the ‘sphere’ before searching the walkthrough.
In conclusion, the mod has a high difficulty, but because of the great visuals and various kinds of themes, playing is not boring and is very fun. Great mod.
I understand that Absolute Redemption (AR) is considered a ‘classic’ however I played it for the first time in 2021 so I have no nostalgia or historical context for this mod, I’ve played it with a fresh pair of eyes.
The first things I noticed in the (overly long) intro were a) the grammatical errors in the text and b) how good the g-man voice actor sounds. Bad grammar isn’t a big deal or anything but it does sort of tie in with the rest of the lightheartedness and humor in the mod.
AR has a number of new assets but nothing radical, it’s the new Barney and hgrunt textures that really stand out as well as the new level textures.
AR has four main levels – the Shaolin Temple, the Carnival, some military facility and Xen.
Right off the bat the Shaolin Temple map impressed me with it’s sense of adventure, detailing and new assets. The Temple also informed another theme that runs through the entirety of this mod and that is ‘good/great levels but poor gameplay’. The Temple is the perfect example of this, you almost feel like Lara Croft climbing the mountain and exploring the temple but then the last chunk of the map has you fighting baby headcrabs on a brown, rocky floor meaning you can’t see them at all. At this point they essentially act like mines and you have to slow to crawl to pick them off before they attack as there a lack of medikits.
The Carnival is fantastic, I adore this map. It’s nicely non-linear and your first time through the park there’s no monsters allowing you to explore and enjoy the rides and games. Here’s a quick list of some of the rides:
– You can win live snarks from a shooting gallery
– Bitchin’ slide
– Test your strength and ring the bell *DING*
– Freak show of cut content (Hello chumtoad my old friend)
– Swan ride
– Slowest roller coaster known to man and alien – Mission to Xen
– Ghost Ride (also slow)
– Holographic Gib a Geek (everyone hates scientist)
– Ferris wheel
The Carnival also showcases more of the mods humor with an example being a full sized zombie popping out of a 4′ trashcan. Unfortunately, on the next level things take a nose dive.
The Military facility (base?) is a non-linear collection of mostly bland hallways. It’s very often unclear where you need to backtrack to and progress. It does have a neat spin where there are teleporters around that the military use to ambush you as opposed to the usual trope of aliens teleporting in. Honestly, this map felt like it took up over half of my game time as it did to a player on youtube who’s walkthrough I had to refer to to figure out where the hell to go. This map could be cut in half and it would be much, much better. Having this boring and frustrating map take up so much time pushed out a lot of the fun memories I had of the prior two maps. Pretty much the only thing this map has going for it is the brush based Gordon Freeman model you see driving a jeep in the map leaving cinematic.
The final map, Xen, is also pretty bleh. It’s nothing special but it gets the job done. It actually felt very similar to the Temple, I suspect that it’s a chunk of the Temple just retextured to look like Xen. I haven’t bothered to check and confirm that so if anyone knows let me know.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this mod. If you haven’t played it and decide to play it after reading my review do yourself a favor, when you get lost and confused for the 5th time in the Military Facility just skip the map, you’re not missing out on anything.
2 Hours, 30 Minutes
This is more of a historic mod than anything else apparently being one of the first half life mods, and it looks really good.
The carnival level is especially memorable!
Dang, it looks like nobody has made an add on restoring the Quake 2 map over Stonehenge now that it’s a mod again. I’m guessing transferring level files from WON Half-Life to Steam requires the source files for that?
It is a bit confusing on the second half of the mod, but it’s a fun mod, so go and play it. Also the mapping was great and so the voice acting
2 Hours, 30 Minutes
I played this many times and most of the time on low difficulty.
But because im reviewing lots of mod on hard i gave it a shot a while ago.
The himalayan mountain has very tough combats with soldiers and female black ops
The carnaval is the easiest with only xenians
The military base and xen aren’t much of a problem either.
oh and gman voice actor is WOW.
Play it it’s impressive.