You are Bob Dewey, Black Mesa janitor. You arrive at the research facility for another day at work: cleaning up the mess those smart ass scientists leave behind, refilling the soapboxes in the toilets, listening to Barney’s stupid jokes and reading Penthouse Magazine.
It’s not the most exciting job in the world, but it pays good and you get lot’s off free doughnuts. As usual, those scientists create black holes and open gates to other alien worlds filled with creatures who eat human flesh for lunch. Nothing special, but this time, they really messed it up and those aliens found a way to our planet.
And guess what, you are in the middle of all this. While Gordon Freeman kicks alien arse, Corporal Adrian Shepherd fights Freeman and Barney Calhoun tries to save some scientists, you just try to save you own butt and get the hell out of Black Mesa. It’s a bigger mess you have to clean up this time…
This was October 2021’s Classic of the Month mod.
- Title: Case Closed
- File Name: hl1-sp-case-closed.7z
- Original File Name: caseclosed.zip
- Size : 8.95Mb
- Author: Steven Delrue AKA EraserX
- Date Released: 20 October 2001
- Copy the caseclosed folder into your Half-Life folder.
- Restart or start Steam.
- Case Closed should now be listed in your Library tab.
If you require more help, please visit the Help page.
The playthrough below is part of the Classic of the Month Event, run by Don AKA Unq.
Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
5Last 7 days
19Last 30 days
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 7 Users
Average: 1 Hours, 21 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 55 Mins by DarkRanger57
Longest: 1 Hours, 59 Mins by Blobbem
Total Time Played: 9 Hours, 26 Mins
If you believe this release is missing important tags, please suggest them in a comment?
Source maps for Case Closed
This is definitly a well done mod. It starts out fairly easy, and progressivly gets harder. The weapons and armor and health items are all placed logically throughout the maps. The playtime is excellent, I got a few hours or so out of it, which is pretty good for an add-on that no one pays for and thus, the artist doesn’t get compensated for. You should really go get this one, its a keeper.
You might not be able to play it though more than once or twice, since the surprise is lost in many of the great scripted seqences. The story is that you are Bob Dewey, a janitor at Black Mesa, and you go to work thinking all is well. Then, those fools who call themselves scientists decide to shoot for the moon, and you get the idea as to what happens. Monsters through the walls, Marines everywhere, and by the end of it all, things get to be upside-down crazy. Go get it.
Good: Great scripted sequences; beautiful architecture; everything is well-placed
Bad: A few distance drawing errors
Cool mod, but disappointing that you are still gordon in effect. A new selection of hud weapons would be really juicy!
I must say the map design is incredibly detailed and well thought out.
This is a excellent mod, I recommend it to all. Its also available to play in coop mod in Sven Coop, at http://www.svencoop.com.
Another good episode, but the basic gameplay is to get from point A to point B fighting through enemies and solving simple puzzles. The combat is a fair amount and you get plenty of ammo to use against them. There are some nice ideas in this series though, like the Xen experimental rooms. There’s also a fun level in this episode towards the end, but I don’t want to spoil it for you, so you’ll find out when you’ve played it.
Design is good, not too complicated, nor basic. It has a nice style which continues throughout the series and doesn’t get random at all. For example, all the sewer areas follow the same style as the last sewer which is good. Also, the levels don’t get a boring flat look all the time, they have nice details here and there and the ceilings are not flat.
Co-operative version of this series for Sven Coop is also available. Coop in this series make it more interesting and makes combat easier. You also get to fight more and different type of enemies along with using the Uzis. It also has new spawn points as you progress which is useful.
Another good series you should definitely try out, especially for Sven Coop. Good design, great gameplay although nothing too original and a fair combat.
Ummm…the plot of this mod sounds almost exactly to same as Half-Life: Cleaner’s Adventures. Is there really a difference?
The maps are the Stars in this mod. 4/5 but if anyone ask me, this is a Half life map with a liblist.gam and new theme.
The item and enemy plaicing make them a good challenge.
Hi, Im actually stuck here! I’m in the room you see fom the lift you go down at the games opener, with the yellow loading arm. I can’t seem to find a way out, other than a hatchway on the roof of the office building. I can’t jump to reach it, can’t seem to duck jump to reach it and, I can’t find a jump booster for the HEV either. Can anybody help me out here?
Use the space and control keys to jump up on the pop machines.You should of done a training course first 😉
Things to like.
1. Great maps
2. Extra gore
3. Grenade in the face AI
4. ‘memoirs of an Invisible Man” inspired section, of which there should be more.
5. The ending, is he dead or off to be transformed into a cybernetic killing machine by the G-Man?
People in this thread seem to think Case Closed is a glowing example of excellent mapping, but I could never sympathize with them. I always found the interior environments boxy and uninteresting, while interior and exterior environments alike suffered from a lack of texture diversity. I also didn’t particularly like the enemy placement: enemy encounters seemed to progress far too quickly, to the point where you’ve fought a whole host of different enemies only a few minutes into the mod. I’ve always prefered a more methodical approach that leaves new enemies to be encountered throughout the mod. This mod’s saving graces are its Xen section and a portion near the end where you get flipped upside down. It’s too bad that more wasn’t done with that section. Overall, worth the play time, but there are more interesting mods that you could play.
This is an ok mod, but i’ve experience every kind of sensation and emotion from mods from the romance and happy ending of azure sheep, the excitement of deliverence, the terror of theyhunger etc.
This is the only mod i’ve ever played in which I experienced boredom.
we still love you “Case Closed’
All I can say about this map-pack is:
For those of you who want new models that really match the mod theme (player hands and weapons), take a look at the Half-Life Improvement forum for custom stuff for this mod.
i downloaded it and it starts find. when I get to the crashing of the elevator it crashes with . node graphic out of date rebuilding, but never rebuilds. I am running steam. any ideas ,help.
Try giving it more time. Sometimes I get the same message, and the screen looks frozen, but it always resumes the game after a while.
This was my first HL mod… and I still love it! Good thing for me I started with a good one ^^
Well it certainly has replayability. It was (almost) as exciting as it has been the first time, many years ago. I especially liked the unexpected events and explosions. The mapping is very good, considering the year it appeared. It’s like there are some lessons some where, but few bother taking them or at least check the maps before them, as an example; this guy obviously started a tutorial of some sort, too bad he didn’t finish it – I hated the lighting. Also great combat. You get plenty of action & thrills for just 12 mega. And no bugs!
After reading the comments, now that I think about it, it is kinda linear and I wish there were more open spaces and crossroads, more exploration and puzzles. But while playing it, the lack of puzzles didn’t bother me, I was too preocupied fighting the well placed enemies (plus the alien grunts had good AI) and distinguishing figures in the dark ;)). Trying different angles/weapons wasn’t always necessary, as there was plenty of health & ammo along the way and the combat was medium to easy, except that time when I got out of the water and there was a grunt waiting for me with the shotgun 😐
Enjoyed the Xen part, and the change of gravity (except the chairs glued to the ceiling tempered down the wowness I had in the past in this section).
As for the ending. The first time, it just blew me away, I didn’t have that much experience with HL and it felt so good finishing it (mainly because of the GMan-Terminator theme combination), but now it was too abrupt and, well, too dry, because my character was terminated after all that trouble.
Still, I have no regrets replaying this mod and rating it a 5, it’s a shame it doesn’t have a higher rating.
This was fun but I prefer cleaners adventures.
Walkthrough and homepage both are 404. Can anyone point me to the new locations?
The home page works for me, although the Case Closed section is giving a PHL “page not found”.
What walkthrough are you referring to?
If you are stuck or looking for some specific information, why not ask here?
Yes, well, thank you. I’m stuck in a room in level “x9”.
When entering the big room, there is a big yellow robot at the center, a big shaft up and down to the right, and an exit seems to be on the roof of a yellow corrugated iron shanty at the far left side (looking from the door).
I don’t seem to be able to jump onto the roof via two “refreshment vendors”. Maybe I’m just not “twitch” enough… ?
Excuse me for being dumb. I just found out about the crouch-jump… 🙂 Continuing fine, thank you all (you may delete my requests and annotations for good – except that the links are in fact a bit broken).
Really well-made mod. My only gripe is that it doesn’t bring anything “new.” Same old suit same old weapons. As I said, more of a gripe than a con. I was never stuck or confused, everything flowed together really well. (Which I find to be an important factor). In conclusion, a pretty good very-well made mod.
Come, get some!
I have mixed feelings about this mod. On the one hand I felt the attention to detail was admirable in some places. I especially liked the design of many of the corridors and lights. That said, it some ways it took away from the feeling of being in Black Mesa, whose corridors are simpler.
On the other hand I felt that too much attention had been paid to the small details and not enough to the overall effect. I never felt any changes in emotions, it was almost as if I were playing a very linear mod, not in the sense of “no choices”, but in the sense of excitement.
I would find myself entering large areas and hoping for a fantastic battle and getting a battle – all the way through. There were no highs and lows – just one arousal level.
As with so many of the longer mods I have added to the 100SDoN event, I would have cut this down by a third. Made some of the areas bigger battles and definitely removed some of the corridors.
The ending was disappointing, not because it was happy, but because I feel all mods should end with a great battle.
Let’s not forget this is nearly ten years old and for its time it was a really good release. But now we have seen and played much more, I would say this lacks the WOW factor.
I can even see why some players would find this mod boring. I still recommend you play it, but don’t expect too many thrills.
Oh i’ve played it a long time ago and I still remember the name of this mod . I reccomend this mod. PLAY IT NOW!!!
I played this many moons ago but don’t remember all too much about it. For its time it was no doubt impressive but nowadays it doesn’t hold up all to well expect for the level design.
One of my main issues with the map pack is that it’s incredible linear; you’re never issued with a choice in terms of exploring except for some areas that are all too sparsely placed making it an overall very boring and unexciting adventure.
Another issue that I had was that it was too easy even on normal difficulty. There are way too much stations and health packs/batteries scattered about all around the facility. Never ever was I in a stressful situation and never was it any fun. Towards the middle you get an unhealthy supply of AR2 grenades from fallen human grunts making the battles against them unfairly easy mostly because they are so conveniently stacked up when you run into a group.
Apart from these grunts you also run into Xen aliens that mostly consists of headcrabs and alien slaves. After about a third into the pack you duke it out with alien grunts but they don’t put up much of a threat.
Overall, I think it went on too long for its own good. You progress through maintenance areas and sewers for a good amount of time in the beginning to the middle, which isn’t all that too exciting, while making a few trips outside the facility until you gain access to some sort of research facility that looks much like Lambda Core. All this looks great with nicely detailed corridors and rooms together with good lighting and ambient sounds and a few impressive architectural areas easily on par with Valve’s own design. Problem is there’s nothing going on, you go from point A to point B fighting off a few grunts and aliens but there are no memorable parts or set-pieces except for that one area in which you’re traveling upside-down, which I thought was genius nonetheless.
But to sum it up, I think it would’ve been better if it was shortened down in length; just because you make a lot of maps for a mod or map pack doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be great, less so when the author’s obviously spent more time detailing the maps instead of focusing on scripted set-pieces and a story, which by the way was completely absent.
Towards the end you’ll think for yourself if it was all worth it due to the horribly disappointing ending. But if you’re not after exciting gameplay or a good and consistent story then it’s probably worth checking out.
I really enjoyed this mod, much better than the last one.
This is only the third mod in the 100SDoN that I have actually played before, and like Zhouy and Abandoned Workshops said, you can also play it in Sven Co-op although I myself have never tried it from start to finish.
While it is repetitive in parts, and there is a fair amount of ARnade spamming, I thought it was really enjoyable. The difficulty wasn’t that hard although it was tough in areas. You know that you’ve put a well thought out fight when your players can bounce satchels off of boxes suspended from the ceiling. The difficulty got really easy towards the end however most of the fights required you to think as well as shoot. The whole upside down area was nicely done, and we need more mods with strange areas such as that.
It was very enjoyable, and is a must play.
Yeah, now that you mention it I played some parts of it in Sven Co-op about a year ago. It wasn’t all too fun though; 12 players trying to cram themselves into one tiny elevator and generally cramped hallways.
this was one of my favorite early half life mod’s. their is the lawyer mod too, which is good. but the janitor is great. with a surprise ending too.
Another pretty solid Black Mesa style mod. It suffers from a bit of the boring hallway syndrome, but overall the gameplay is pretty good and it’s worth a download.
I think this is another example where some judicious editing would have really focused the experience into a nice, tight package of fun. As it stands now it’s a little too long and there are some dull parts (although not really repetitive, thankfully). There are a couple of “cool” (but not quite WOW) moments near the end that are definitely worth seeing. But leading up to those points, I think Case Closed is a little standard. That is, it very much follows the progression of Half-Life in terms of enemies, difficulty, settings, etc. There are a couple decent puzzles mixed in but I can understand people getting a little bored.
There isn’t too much challenge since you get some serious firepower early on (like the crossbow, and a LOT of contact grenades), so I suggest perhaps playing on a difficulty level higher than your normal to really get the most out of this mod. I was excited and scared by the Garg near the end, but disappointed to find that you don’t even fight him. In fact, the ending was terribly anticlimactic.
This is a quality pack but not a must-play.
Nice little mod with good combat and enough supplies to keep you going
Of course I remember this one, and the reason because is in the “top of the pops” is because it was one of the first modies I play for HL1 back in 2007 or so…., so also I put it so dear to my heart because of the strong nostalgia element this one gives to me, is maybe simple in the lay out and story, but that’s part of the fun, I mean simplicity could offer good ressuls, I mean, here we are a Janitor!!!, is so cool that HL1 offers many roles to experiment and then gave birth to new mods, and that’s part of the magic in HL saga, a common guy on hiis daily job journey that has to overcome a freakin mess just to save his own life that simple element makes HL really epic, forget about Crysis or some game else”!!, as I saw on one funny picture on the web, that showed up an image of the main crysis character, FORGET IT. YOU NEVER BE THAT EPIC!!!!
A real blast from the past and a good one at that, after playing this a long time ago I expected I would have forgotten most of it, I didn’t and that made it a little to easy this time round.
Some old mods in the 100 that I’ve played in the past, I can remember bits of them, but with case closed it was like having a walk through in my head. The thing that struck me at the beginning was the scientists have their lab coats, Barney’s have their blue uniform but a lowly janitor gets an HEV suit!
OK the game starts slowly and builds up, the action is just right for fun play although its probably isn’t much fun for those who like hardcore action. It has a look of BM about it but nothing special and flows along quite nicely (for me anyway), the only part that I didn’t enjoy was the platform jumping in the disjointed BM part of the Xen world.
The ending was a bit weak, if they had let Bob live he could have teamed up with Doris from BM staff canteen in HL2, what a team the would have made.
Before there was a mod “Help Wanted” where we played as a cleaner of dangerous substances. This time we will play as an usual janitor.
Everything is very detailed, there will be an elevator ride, similar to the train ride at the start of the original Half-Life.
For the first half of the mod, the progression is quite monotonous – grey rooms, surface, sewers, grey rooms, caves, surface… There are walls breaking, destroyed railway, rivers, but it’s still boring. There’s no story development – we just go forward, fighting back monsters and soldiers.
In the second half, there’s less monotonousness. There will be interesting events where we turn on various equipment.
Conclusion – it looks like an expansion pack at first, but if the first level make you think that this is it, you’ll be disappointed. This mod is just an action. There are less interesting events than I’d like to be. The architecture is very detailed and impressive, but it’s not Black Mesa, and not Xen. The nonsensical ending adds evidence to that. Is this mod worth playing? If you like pure action, it is, just don’t expect an expansion pack.
i enjoyed it first time round and again really got into it,i know when I really enjoy a mod as I tend to stop playing to leave a few more maps to go back to,maybe a few too many grunts to kill but not many crabheads thank god,for some reason missed the crossbow got loads of ammo for it but not fired in anger,really enjoying these nostalgia days keep them coming,when a lot of there old maps came out I had no idea how to save them to the console so this has given me a chance to play all the old games for half life 1 so thanks for that phillip
Wow, this must have been one of the best mappacks from the nostalgic 100 that I have played yet! Great level design with much attention to detail, nice scripted scenes and a cool upside-down section. The only things I disliked were the beginning and the ending! Why did the allegedly janitor arrive with a Apache combat helicopter? This made no sense. Even less sense made the stupid ending. My character at that time would have blown the soldiers to bits!
Okay, I finally got my account working again so I can use the Recommendation System :)! This almost would have been my personal favourite, but start and end messed it up. Although it would be so easy to fix them both, just by editing the on-screen text. Bob can’t be a janitor arriving by Apache, he must have been some military man. And in the end he must have been captured and not eliminated. The end is illogical now…
A real classic and quite entertaining mod with unique leveldesign containing lot’s of massive, rusty machines and equipment. The small valley with the crashed railway bridge is the memorable place I remember when stumbling over the mod’s name.
I really enjoyed playing this after many years. Thanks to Phillip for this daily HL “ration’!
I tend to agree with Phillip’s views with this one, I too found the mod uninspiring, it never seems to challenge the player and just rides on the same even keel throughout.
The Grunt and alien encounters are all much the same all the way through, never reaching any great level of confrontation, and without any staged pitch battles we just go through endless similar corridors with the same gameplay, so earning the boring label posted by others.
The combat is on the easy side and I would suggest playing on hard level, although that’s not going to generate much in the way of a challenge either, these Grunts just die without too much effort.
I think that this is one of those mods that has not stand the test of time, when first released I highly rated Case Closed, but now think it very average without any WOW facture and being very tame devoid of any memorable moments.
I totally agree to dougjp (see above) this is one awesome action mod, no “hours” of crawling through 100’s of ventilation shafts or diving in huge water ares (yawn! This is HL!) just simple straigh-forward action, little puzzles and overall a superb-looking mod.
I don’t have anything to mad about, maybe it’s a bit too short hehe
Story in HLSP maps – critical, or trivial? It typically depends on the map’s complexity or lack thereof. Defying the trend is Case Closed, a rather ambitious release (consisting of 17 maps) that clearly fails to make good on its story.
Think of this as an “extension” of the Black Mesa events from another point of view (similar to Opposing Force and Blue Shift), that of a janitor. Another day at work, but this day happens to be the one when Gordon Freeman unleashes chaos. Thus from there the events unfold as janitor “Bob Dewey” simply seeks to survive on his own and make it out of Black Mesa. Important to note, however, is that the beginning and ending areas are the same (!). Further inconsistencies offset the story – Dewey’s hands are HEV-orange, and there’s nothing to remind the player this is from a janitor’s perspective, let alone based on an escape mission.
Story aside, gameplay is fairly good. The variety of alien and human enemies keeps combat interesting, as does an interesting twist about halfway through – the inversion of the levels. It is rather fun to walk through inverted levels, if a bit strange, though there’s no effort to capitalize on the effect due to lack of combat. Other than during this brief part, combat is fairly tricky, though not very difficult. Spicing things up are an assortment of puzzles and scripted sequences (especially ones that eliminate any chances at backtracking), a few of which are cleverly pulled off.
Not so nice, however, is the general lack of compelling elements. Level design, while good most of the time, is inconsistent with a lot of brief falls to mediocrity and boredom, enough so that they’re actually noticeable (and sometimes detrimental to enjoyment). Then too there’s the absence of large, involving set-pieces to pull the player in.
With lack of consistent execution and story presentation, along with an anti-climactic ending that fails to resolve the story (contradicting the title), Case Closed has flaws that could have been easily avoided with proper focus and beta-testing. Still, it’s fine as far as HLSP maps go since it plays acceptably well.
This review is republished here by permission and was originally published Thursday, 8th November, 2001 by Calyst.
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.
Very much agree with Unq and Mel – quality yes, must-play no. It all feels a bit safe and average, and the ending is very disappointing. Rating-wise somewhere between PIL and Maybe?, but with so many more exciting mods out there, perhaps more the latter.
1 Hour, 25 Minutes
In Case Closed in the part where you are in Xen and you are trying to go in a green portal it just throws me out and says Runtime Error: abnormal program termination. Please if anybody can help me that would be kind :)!
I played this mod way back in the day (I think it was one of the first singleplayer Half-Life mods I played as a matter of fact) and felt I should go back and play it again to review here.
Overall I love this mod because it takes you through a lot of well made environments, connected by a lot of exciting firefights with human and alien enemies. The only downsides to these are the maps can start to feel a bit samey and repetitive, and while the firefights are cool, you never once have a fight that feels too big or challenging I.E. there is no big climatic battle. Also, without any music (even default Half-Life tracks) it just feels kinda dull.
On the topic of being anticlimactic, the ending. A lot of people have brought it up. I swear I thought it used to be different when I first played it, but I must be misremembering. Anyway, it is a little disappointing, but I still think this is a mod worth playing.
1 Hour, 30 Minutes
The Black Mesa research facility is a sprawling complex home to hundreds of personnel from security guards to scientists, so it makes sense that such a large, underground base would require the need for cleaning staff to ensure the place is spick and span. After all, those white, sterile halls aren’t going to stay clean by themselves. This is where Case Closed comes in – a short, 2-hour singleplayer campaign where you play as 37-year-old Bob Dewey, a janitor currently employed at Black Mesa, who finds himself amidst the events of the resonance cascade and attempts to escape the facility alive.
Almost immediately are you thrown into the chaos caused by the resonance cascade as you descend an elevator, a stark contrast to the usual slow build up of events leading up to the event as per the story in the original Half-Life and its expansions. There is no story telling devices within Case Closed, such as cutscenes or voice-acted dialogue, but the premise is simple enough that a story isn’t needed. All you need to know is that you have to escape. Be warned however, if you do play this mod on ‘Hard’ then you best prepare to fight as efficiently as you can the moment you pick up a crowbar.
This is because the mod is rather stingy with health and ammunition. I had to make constant use of cover, make conservative shots and break open as many breakable crates as I could find to replenish my supplies. There are a severely limited number of medical or HEV charging stations to be found within this mod’s levels, of which are nicely designed, if a little linear, and faithful to the original game without requiring too much back-tracking. There’s also a nifty cameo appearance of Xen following a strange upside-down section of Black Mesa that briefly helped alleviate repetition from the frequent sewer and Black Mesa halls that take up a large portion of this mod’s level design.
In terms of enemies, expect to fight the standard military grunts far more than aliens in Case Closed. Whilst the forces of Xen pop up every now and then, you best become acquainted to fighting against the military with the rather small arsenal that you’ll have at your disposal over the course of Case Closed. You’ll start off with the original crowbar, but will soon pick up other unmodded weaponry like the pistol and shotgun to amass an inventory of only 8 weapons of the 14 from the original Half-Life game. Music, too, is lackluster. In fact, the only music in Case Closed is the end credits, with the unusual choice of using the main theme from the Terminator movie. A conservative use of the original Half-Life soundtrack, if nothing else, would have benefited to the atmosphere of this mod as music can liven up the exciting moments that are to be had.
The ending to Case Closed is pretty abrupt, but I find it fitting and appropriate to the Black Mesa incident. I wish there was some sort of boss battle or gauntlet to overcome before the ending though, and I also wish that the mod gave us more insight into what being a janitor within the Black Mesa facility would entail. You don’t even get to clean a toilet. Despite its shortcomings, Case Closed is a respectable attempt at creating another side story for the original Half-Life that doesn’t outstay its welcome, offers classic combat gameplay, faithful level design and challenge to someone who wants to fight as another Black Mesa employee. I would recommend Case Closed, providing you play on an easier difficulty setting if you aren’t looking for a tough time, and don’t mind the simplicity that the mod has to offer.
1 Hour, 59 Minutes
Case Closed follows a janitor named Bob Dewey as he tries to escape from Black Mesa and…. yeah, that’s about it really.
The whole mod feels so random and it desperately needs context. I can’t believe I’d find a mod with much less narrative and context than Residual Point/Life. You basically just go from place to place, with minimal puzzle and lots of combat.
Pacing is non-existent. You arrive at Black Mesa by helicopter(?), the janitor must be really valued here. Then, the Resonance Cascade and you get knocked out, all within the span of two minutes. Then, when the Marines are introduced, you are given the Crossbow right away, which makes a lot of fight with them quite easy especially with the grenades for your SMG. You also pay a visit to Xen and a dimension that is upside down, but those are very short-lived.
I don’t like the ending, because it doesn’t feel justified and it is completely random, just like everything else in the mod.
Case Closed has somehow managed to slip by me all these years and I’m not quite sure how.
A fantastic and lengthy map pack with stunning visuals throughout. I was not surprised to see that the author was also a member of the Quake mapping community. From the insane difficult to the thinly veiled monster closets, this whole thing has a very old school feel and I loved it.
There are occasions where the mod could have done with a little more time in the oven, specifically narrative wise. The player has very little interaction with the Black Mesa personnel at the start of the mod. Then the action just kind of kicks off without much fanfare and you inexplicably have an HEV suit and are ready to roll. Also, Barney and the HECU seem to like calling you Freeman, despite you not playing as him.
There are also occasions where the means to progress is not always clear, with some winding corridor sections leading to a button which opens a door you passed five minutes ago. It’s not always clear that you have to backtrack, but fortunately these moments of confusion were few and far between.
Overall, the look of this map pack is what sticks with me most. It’s got a lot of nice little details and stellar lighting or the most part, with only the occasional bland looking areas in amongst the good stuff.
The main thing to take away is that this is all the work of one guy. Considering the length and the quality of the level design, that’s astounding. There is also a custom .dll file and a mention in the credits for some custom coding, but honestly I’ve not got a clue what was different from the base game.
Play this now. It’s an underrated gem as far as I’m concerned.
1 Hour, 10 Minutes
A fun collection of levels with some interesting twists sprinkled in. Not too challenging and lacks enemy and weapon variety (you’ll mostly be fighting grunts with mp5s, and since that’s the gun you’ll have ammo for the most you’ll be using it a bunch) and most of the levels end up being shooting through various corridors. However, some of the design twists later on in the mod are enjoyable, and there are a couple of encounters that are pretty fun. A worthwhile way to kill an hour, but nothing that will impress you by today’s standards.
Surprisingly more difficult than I was expecting, but not in a unfair way. Combat and environment starts off a bit average but picks up in the second half.
After you teleport is where I especially like the mod. Starting out upside down, than to a surprisingly pretty Xen, fit with a torn up office, than to the office complex, than to a corridor to see that you are still in Xen, was both pretty funny and also really cool. Felt like a great way to make that bit come full circle.
Shout out to the beginning. Having the cascade happen right as you get into the elevator was hilarious. Mod does not waste any time. Also the bonus of have a janitor arriving via helicopter.
Escaping from the explosion at the end was fun to.
Biggest issue with the mod is the combat is not very varied. You deal with groups of about 4-5 HECU grunts. Either that or 2-3 Vortigaunts and maybe an alien grunt. Rarely any bigger or smaller. I can see how it feels stagnant to some. No doubt could’ve been diverse when it came to enemy type. I still like the combat, but yeah.
I wished it played into the janitor theming as well. The new arms are nice, but idk, kinda wish we had like a plunger or something. Again, not an issue. It IS a vanilla mod so I’m not surprised that there’s no new weapons. I just feel playing more into the janitor theme would’ve been nice.
Good mod all around. Not my favorite but I had a decent time with it.
1 Hour, 27 Minutes
Great mapping, fair combats and not much puzzle outside a few areas.