Author’s Note: “You had just been transferred to this unit . Being in the army was more boring then you had expected.
At this new base, they had spent the last 2 days unloading crates from a place called “Black Mesa”.
Crate carrying – how exciting!
That’s why you jumped at the chance to go on a routine mapping mission. Anything to get away from home.At the end of the mission, you were calling back to your unit for routine Apache pickup….no response.
Probably just a downed transmitter, looks like your gonna have to walk all the way back. brings back memories of Bootcamp hikes…..
(If your wondering, Foothold is the term for when a military establishment is taken over by the enemy in a covert manner, and yes, for those other people – I DID get it off that episode of Stargate SG-1).”
- Title: Foothold
- Filename: of-sp-foothold.7z
- Original Filename: fhold.zip
- Size : 1.59MB
- Author: Richard Hamer
- Date Released: 08 February 2000
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The second, and best I reckon, of Richard Hamer’s mods. Starts slow with not much ammo and builds nicely to a climactic battle, with couple of interesting puzzles along the way. Really good scenery and environment design.
From the Readme:-
This map has VERY FEW human enemies. I love the new Opfor Aliens so much that I thought they would take centre stage. There are still some Black Ops, but only at the end.
Actually there are loads of Black Ops in the second half, and that makes a good mix.
About 30-60 mins on skill 3.
Foothold is the new level pack from Richard Hamer, author of Mistaken Identity and Mistaken Identity 2 (which has been withdrawn from circulation due to instability). If you read my review a short while ago of Mistaken Identity, or if you ignored my sage advice and played it anyway, you’d know that Richard’s first HL map was overall pretty poor. I have played MI2, and that was not much of an improvement in my opinion. However, Foothold is a significant improvement, although it can’t really compare to the other OpFor episodes released to date.
You are cast as a soldier returning from a routine mapping mission. When you lose contact with your scheduled chopper pickup, you must walk back to base. You just know it’s not gonna be an easy walk, right?
There are a couple of standard puzzles thrown in along the way, and there are a couple of tough combat sequences (especially the finale). Although you get many weapons to play with, ammo is relatively scarce, and I found the badass pipe wrench to be my weapon of choice in many cases. Health, however, is plentiful.
Although Foothold takes place over 7 levels, the only real action you’ll see is in the last three. The final battle is especially challenging, and was actually pretty fun to try it a couple times after I was butchered. There is a good mix of enemies here – mainly aliens (both Xen and Race-X), with some Black Ops near the end.
As I said above, Foothold is a significant improvement over Richard’s other work. However, he still has a long way to go to rival the good levels out there. The architecture is not bad, though not impressive either. The outdoor areas, in particular, need some work to make them look convincing. Texturing is another area that really begs for improvement; there are many questionable texture selections and some texture misalignments. Another amateur mistake was present: having several not-quite-seamless level transitions. For example, at the end of one level you are in a brightly lit vent. When you change to the next level, it is pitch black in the same vent. Consistency goes a long way toward professionalism.
As in his Mistaken Identity maps, Richard uses too much dynamic lighting (i.e. flashing/ flickering/pulsating). Not only is that annoying after a while, but it really drops framerates in those areas as well. The vast majority of light in the original Half-Life came from texture lighting, in which certain textures give off light. Not only does this type of lighting look better, but it also looks much more realistic. Foothold has virtually no texture lighting in it, unfortunately. Richard could take a cue from Valve and use more texture lighting and much less dynamic lighting in his future levels.
Foothold also lacks the extras that can really make a level memorable. There was good use of the CD music, but I didn’t notice many ambient sounds that improve the feeling of realism. Also, there are precious few scripted sequences, which if done well can really enhance an encounter.
Foothold is by no means a bad episode, but it falls well short of the other quality OpFor levels. Richard is currently working on another OpFor episode, Double Helix. If he pays attention to the shortcomings of his other maps, it could definitely be an episode to keep an eye on.
This review was originally published Tuesday, 10th October, 2000 by Unquenque.
This review was originally posted on the Ten Four website, which is now offline. The full review is republished here by permission and more details can be found on the About page.
There are a couple of nice touches in here but overall it needed a bit of work.
Without doubt the best part was the rope and pipe combination, which was well done.
I got the feeling that too much was ideas connected together without too much thought for the overall end product.
Play it if you want to play most things but expect a difficult ending.
1 Hour, 5 Minutes
Phillip – could you please post manual installation instructions?
It seem’s not to like MapTap. It creates a 7z folder in
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\xxxx\opposing force
That’s what it is supposed to do.
It downloads into MapTap but then disappears from the list once the download is finished.
Yes, it does. That’s strange. I played it through MapTap. I wonder how it worked before but not now. I’ll do some research and get back to everybody.
But it doesn’t show up in MapTap and can’t be started with the console????
The folder it creates is simply an uncompressed one with the contents of the 7zip folder + 2 other files. I’ve had this problem before with MapTap (yes I’m running the laterst version).
Have you “reported” those particular files? If people don’t tell me which archives don’t work, I can’t fix them. I’m working on a fix for this file as I type.
It’s working now.
When it happened before I just installed manually and forgot about it assuming the problem was at my end. Now I know others have had the same problem I’ll report in future.
Okay everybody. I have uploaded the new version of the file and tested it in my MapTap and it worked perfectly.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Ok this definitely worths the effort as inmediately you can see a quite more elaborated work with a serious layout to get a fluent gameplay forward through the maps, the combat is intense especially at the end yard where u fight the shock troopers (i love that ennemy, because it challenges you to combat with a clever strategy, like hunters in HL2) and the black ops troops.
The only turn down for me is that in some levels is easy to find deadlocks where I had to use noclip to follow the right path, besides that this mappack worths the combat and gameplay, very basic but fine to have some entretaining time.
Another one that I’m not sure what I think of it!
Some interesting features such as the rope to get to the pipe made it feel above average, but I really didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I would. It looked OK and some of the combat was pretty hairy, however, although it had its moments that were fun it wasn’t really that good.
There were also a few bugs that I encountered such as flickering signs on walls and in the area below the fan, I killed most of the houndeyes, but two just were glued motionless to the spot.
This is one of those mods which should be quite good, but there are just enough problems to prevent it being really fun. Similarly to Under the Black Moon, we begin stranded in the desert and have to get into Black Mesa before we can get out. The level design is OK but quite blocky in places. There are a few glaring graphical issues, like many of the decals glitching through walls. In addition I had to noclip in more than one place due to getting stuck in the geometry.
There are quite a few basic puzzles thrown in, for example the first area involves flooding a canyon so that we can jump into it. However in this instance the water kept turning invisible for me, making the solution a little confusing!
I also had a problem with the very small supply of ammo that is available, often making otherwise average combat too difficult. If not for this the battles would have been quite enjoyable and varied.
There were a few nice set-pieces like a Surface Tension-esque cliffside, but the issues just get in the way. As I said it was quite similar to Under the Black Moon, so I would recommend you play that instead.
I agree with many of the comments here – it was a good use of the Op4 assets for the most part, but it seems a little jumbled together. There are some good ideas here (I liked the canyon puzzles and the use of the barnacle) but overall it falls flat. It also seems a bit unbalanced – there was too much health (I was at 100/100 on medium for quite a bit) and not enough ammo.
The mapping is passable and there are some clever layouts, but a bit blocky and often the wall signs are at the same depth as the wall so you get the “z-fighting” glitches.
The final battle is quite challenging, and I liked it. I think perhaps you don’t have to take down the Osprey but it sure makes life easier since it has a very short flight path and resupplies Black Ops frequently.
Overall an average pack. Probably a bit above average when just compared to the other Opposing Force packs out there. Might be worth your time.
This map started out with mapping echoing Welcome To Black Mesa and Under The Black Moon where you have to navigate cliff sides.
The maps have nice use of Chapter titles and Music to create atmosphere. It also uses some of the features of OP4 (like the barnacle grapple area’s and the ropes) instead of just being a Half-Life map with some OP4 weapons.
It however has some questionably texturing and bad r_speed’s and the difficulty can be pretty ridiculous. Sometimes the level changes wouldn’t match up (like you would be able to see but after the level change it would be pitch black).
After a routine mapping mission soldier called the helicopter. No response.
We start in some cave. Landscape looks decent, but not without occasional flat cliffs. There’s a big pipe with a wheel nearby. I rotated the wheel and jumped down. There I started to swim in invisible water. The way forward is obvious – there’s an opening in the cliff.
Next location – we’re high in the mountains. Parts of the mountain are not lit at all (black) which is not realistic since it’s daylight.
Soon we see a police car and meet Barney and Otis, who look well in the roles of policemen. There’s z-fighting on the road to the right from the car. In the facility, the “no storage keep clean”, “danger: asbestos”, “biodome” and “emergency override” signs z-fight with a wall. Z-fighting doesn’t end here, we’ll see more of it in the next locations.
We find a facility with zombies near its entrance. The changelevel is done near a door, and if you go back you might get stuck in the door. The author should have set “wait” “-1” on the door so that it would never close and “Starts open” flag on the door in the next level. That way, oddities and chance to get stuck would be avoided.
We go through the facility and fight zombies. It’s nice to have the heavy wrench.
Then through sunset ruins, here our enemies are various creatures X. Here’s another design flaw: color of environment light doesn’t match color of the sky.
In the night area where the train takes us, there’s a helicopter which infinitely spawns Black Ops, which is not good. There’s a switch which doesn’t seem to do anything: we hit it, but opposite door is still locked. I used noclip to get behind the gate, approached the helicopter and the game faded to black and showed final credits. Noclip also shown that it wasn’t compiled properly – it was build inside a big hollow rectangle textured with sky texture to prevent leaks.
The gameplay is done well. Sometimes we have to use barnacle to proceed. The design is decent, but spoiled by z-fighting. Overall, this could be a nice mod if it had better design and didn’t have its flaws.