Half-Life: Abridged – Map Labs #5

for Half-Life 2: Episode Two

17th August 2019

This clever Map Labs challenge was a partnership with the great folks at Lambda Generation. Here was the challenge:

Imagine this: Your friend is too lazy to play Half-Life. They tell you that they’d rather experience the games in an abridged form of some kind. A little annoyed, you walk back to your desk and start creating just that.

Take a chapter from any Half-Life game, and make it WAY smaller. That’s the challenge! Half-Life: Abridged.

The challenge recieved a whopping 22 entries and 3 bonus maps! Here they are, enjoy!

As always, if you’re interested in learning more about Map Labs and maybe even participate in their upcoming challenges, visit the Map Labs Discord!

Basic Details
  • Title: Half-Life: Abridged
  • Filename: sdk-2013-sp-mlc-hlabridged.7z
  • Size : 446 MB
  • Author: Jakob // Tea, Aleksandr ‘alex_mmc’ Lavrinovitš, White_Red_Dragons, iiboharz, Jackathan, Cosy Kibble, DeanAmythe, Gabriel ‘Agente P’ Romano, StookyPotato, The_GuardianTM, JanKaszanka, Salamancer, Nev, PercyVader, RockyB, ThatsRidonkulous, Skorly, Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon, Steven Cabbage, Skorly, Jean ‘XBLAH’ Knapp, Strontvlieg, Adakam, Half Way Lambda, FRAG, Mista Heita
  • Date Released: 16 August 2019

Download Options

Download to your HD [446 MB]

Manual Installation Instructions
  • Make sure you have the Upcoming branch of the Source SDK Base 2013 Singleplayer installed in Steam and run at least once. (Properties – Betas – select upcoming from the dropdown list).
  • Copy the “abridged” folder into your SourceMods folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • Abridged should now be listed in your Library tab.

Reviewing

If you decide to use the Per-Map Opinion Images, feel free to use the file below as a template:

Abridged-Review-Template.txt

Entries

Listed as they are displayed in the mod itself:

Sector A Training Facilitea by Jakob // Tea
Black Mesa Inbound by Aleksandr ‘alex_mmc’ Lavrinovitš & White_Red_Dragons
Anomalous Materials by iiboharz & Jackathan
Office Complex by Cosy Kibble
They’ve Got a Hostile by DeanAmythe
resid_proc by Jakob // Tea
Bad Ethics by Gabriel ‘Agente P’ Romano
Forget About Freeman by StookyPotato
Welcome to Black Mesa by The_GuardianTM
WE’RE PULLING OUT by JanKaszanka
Day of Red Letter by Salamancer
Black Mesa Open by Nev
Kravenholm by PercyVader
Father Grigori’s Wild Ride by RockyB
HWY 17 by ThatsRidonkulous
Nieuw Perspectief by Skorly
Intrasslad by Salamancer
What Cat? by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
“The universal union” by Steven Cabbage & Skorly
The Half-Life 2 Exhibit by Jean ‘XBLAH’ Knapp
Urban Flight 2 by Strontvlieg
Minifiend by Adakam
On The Debris by Half Way Lambda (bonus map)
BlastPit by FRAG (bonus map)
Shortcut 17 by Mista Heita (bonus map)

Community Poll

Time for you to share your thoughts! Vote for your top 4 maps in the mod. Poll closes 1st September 2019.

What are your top 4 Half-Life: Abridged maps? Yes, FOUR!

  • Minifiend by Adakam (4%, 6 Votes)
  • Urban Flight 2 by Strontvlieg (4%, 7 Votes)
  • The Half-Life 2 Exhibit by Jean 'XBLAH' Knapp (8%, 13 Votes)
  • "The universal union" by Steven Cabbage & Skorly (3%, 5 Votes)
  • What Cat? by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Intrasslad by Salamancer (12%, 19 Votes)
  • Nieuw Perspectief by Skorly (3%, 5 Votes)
  • HWY 17 by ThatsRidonkulous (17%, 27 Votes)
  • Father Grigori's Wild Ride by RockyB (8%, 13 Votes)
  • Kravenholm by PercyVader (4%, 6 Votes)
  • Black Mesa Open by Nev (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Day of Red Letter by Salamancer (4%, 6 Votes)
  • WE'RE PULLING OUT by JanKaszanka (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Welcome to Black Mesa by The_GuardianTM (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Forget About Freeman by StookyPotato (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Bad Ethics by Gabriel 'Agente P' Romano (8%, 13 Votes)
  • resid_proc by Jakob // Tea (1%, 1 Votes)
  • They've Got a Hostile by DeanAmythe (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Office Complex by Cosy Kibble (4%, 7 Votes)
  • Anomalous Materials by iiboharz & Jackathan (9%, 15 Votes)
  • Black Mesa Inbound by Aleksandr 'alex_mmc' Lavrinovitš & White_Red_Dragons (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Sector A Training Facilitea by Jakob // Tea (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 58

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Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
Each map has 5 screenshots.

1600 x 900

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
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Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Reader Recommendations
Avoid It!
Think Twice
Maybe
Play It Later
Play It Now!

3 recommendations, average score: 5 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0 (what's that?)
Total Downloads
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 3 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 3 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 3 Hours, 23 Mins
Shortest: 3 Hours by vancanucksfan
Longest: 4 Hours by DeanAmythe
Total Time Played: 10 Hours, 10 Mins
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6 Comments

  1. Anon_1802373

    Looks like I forgot to include custom sounds in the final build of What Cat, you can find those here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/19Q2sZoiHECnSCrLlmLketFbYaPlmg2oj/view?usp=sharing

  2. Personal Favourite
    Sector A Training Facilitea
    It is okay

    I didn’t really expect this chapter to be abridged for this competition, it’s just a tutorial. Luckily the abstract/simplistic design made this a bit more interesting, but that’s really one of the only things it had going for it. But considering what this was based of, it doesn’t surprise me.
    Shadows looked weird around edged in a lot of places, I think smoothing groups would solve this.
    Overall, it’s good considering what it was based of, but I didn’t see anything that stood out except for the abstract/simplistic design.

    Black Mesa Inbound
    It is okay

    Again, decent entry for what it was based of, a chapter where everyone uses host_framerate. I was hoping there would be some interesting takes on the tramride, maybe something funny, but the ride was pretty dull and I thought there was less interesting stuff to see than in the original. I liked the part after the tram ride more, as I had a few laughs here and there.
    Visuals were a bit underwhelming, big open areas with not a lot in them. Especially the final area looked like it was put there last minute to make it in time for the deadline.
    Overall, an okay entry that didn’t really have a lot that stood out to me and was a bit boring to play.

    Anomalous Materials
    It is WOW!

    This chapter had quite some opportunities for comedy, and that’s exactly what’s done here; had some good laughs here!
    The voice acting was well done, although it felt weird to me to hear another voice come from Kleiner but that’s just me.
    Visuals were well done for the most part, a few underdetailed areas here and there but nothing too bad.
    Overall, really well done entry that made good use of the chapter it was abridging.

    Office Complex
    It is good

    Although the visuals were a bit underwhelming, I think this entry was pretty good. That’s probably because of my love for indoor close-quarters shotgun combat. I just found it fun to play, which for me is one of the most if not the most important aspect of a map.
    My main issue with this map is the lack of cover at times, which can be a problem with Vortigaunts and their hitscan attacks. Often your only means of cover are the walls.
    As I mentioned the visuals were not great, with this I mean bland lighting, underdetailed areas, textures that aren’t aligned well, etc.
    I had a few problems with the electrified water section at the beginning; firstly, I didn’t know that the water was electrified until I stepped in it, some sparks or tesla effects would have helped here. The boards on which you jumped had motion enabled which meant it wasn’t smooth to walk on. Also, it could’ve been a bit more clear that the breakable glass was breakable, but I figured it out pretty quickly anyways.
    Overall, a decent entry gameplay wise, and not so much visuals wise.

    They’ve Got a Hostile

    This is my entry so I won’t rate it. Personally I think it turned out pretty well, although I wished I had more time to flesh out the final area a bit more.

    Residue Processing
    It is good

    Nice use of color correction here, adds a lot more to the atmosphere. Although I did think the transition between the different color corrections was way too noticable.
    Gameplay wise, the map is like the chapter it’s abridging, platforming over conveyor belts, avoiding hazards like toxic waste. It’s very nicely abridged too.
    Overall, I think it’s a good entry that abridges the chapter well. Visually I thought it was a bit underwhelming though.

    Bad Ethics
    It is great!

    Right of the bat this map shows you it’s gonna look good. This map had me going “Wow!” constantly.
    Now, how does it hold up gameplay wise? Pretty good as well! Close-quarters AR2 Combine combat, love it. I thought the ammo given was a bit too much though, I never had to worry about anything regarding that.
    The abridging is done well, I could recognize almost everything, even with the change to the visual themes.
    Overall, great entry that succeeds on all criteria.

    Forget About Freeman
    It is good

    Although I was missing some key parts of the chapter, the abridging was done well. Visual wise, I think it looked pretty decent, especially the section with the chasm I thought was good looking.
    Gameplay wise, you have combat against headcrabs and Vorts. I think the combat against the Vorts was not great, mainly because of their placement and the areas they’re placed in. Placing two Vorts on a small ledge with only one place to hide behind isn’t fun and feels very cheap.
    I wished there was a bit of Soldiers vs. Aliens going on, an aspect I really liked about the original chapter. It’s not that bad that’s it’s missing, but I really would’ve liked to see it.

    Welcome to Black Mesa
    It is okay

    A bit of a mixed bag for me. I liked the Combine setting, something which is also in the next map.
    The laser section was a bit annoying, precise movement like that is a bit hard to do in first-person.
    The map really went downhill when the Vorts came in; those bastards take away all your suitpower in one shot. This wouldn’t have been that big of an issue if the areas they were used in provided for it; they don’t. The Vorts are used in large open areas, where they can basically snipe you, while you’re armed with a shotgun.
    For the abridging part, I can’t really say, I’ve only played Opposing Force twice and that was a while ago.

    WE’RE PULLING OUT
    It is good

    Unlike the previous map, I actually recognized a few parts here, but I won’t give extra points for that because that’s just me.
    I found the visuals to be pretty good at first, but the last sections looked really underdetailed. By far the best looking area is the one with the fire and the smoke coming out of the floor; it’s a very simple section yet it’s so good looking, very good job on that.
    Luckily there were only two Vorts to fight here, so it didn’t bring down the gameplay score much.

    Day of Red Letter
    It is WOW!

    Perfect. I love it more than the entirety of the chapter it’s abridging.

    Black Mesa Open
    It is bad

    This would’ve gotten a better rating if the map actually worked properly… you have to shoot a hoppermine through a ring, which triggers things. Throwing the hoppermine through it didn’t do anything for some reason, until I used noclip and just flew through the ring with the hoppermine.
    Once the map actually works, it’s disappointing. You fight some Metrocops and Manhacks and that’s it.
    Visual wise, the outside area is okay, the inside area is quite empty looking.

    Kravenholm
    It is good

    From death traps to headcrabs dancing to abstract low gravity jumping sections. Yeah I’m not making this up.
    Very well done entry. There are nods to the original chapter, but it also does completely different stuff while keeping those nods in there.

    Father Grigori’s Wild Ride
    It is great!

    Abridging the chapter by making it a ride would sound lazy, but it’s actually executed really well here. Especially how Grigori moves and how his lines sound really give the impression of a horror theme park ride.

    HWY 17
    It is good

    While this map on its own is very good, I don’t think it fits this competition completely… the only part from the chapter that’s included is the bridge section, and this part isn’t even abridged.
    Now for the map itself, it’s good, as I mentioned. Visuals are on point, and the combat is fluid and works well. The part where you backtrack, which I won’t spoil, is very creative and I haven’t seen anything like it before.

    Nieuw Perspectief
    It is good

    Captures almost everything I liked so much about the original chapter. Combat all around!
    There are some flaws though. Firstly, I thought the map was way too easy, the Antlions basically do all the work for you. This could’ve been solved with more Combine or less Antlions.
    I think the entry needed some more originality. It just felt like I was playing a map in NP, which at first glance is good, but what I like to see in these competitions are creative takes.

    Intrasslad
    It is good

    Love the idea of an Ikea NP. Executed very well too. Comedy was on point, had some good laughs.
    Visual wise, the map was decent, some areas were a bit underdetailed though, especially in the beginning.
    I didn’t find the last few combat areas very fun. The section with the water was very frustrating especially. I found the area to be way too open, I couldn’t find a spot where I could properly hide from all the gunfire. The enemycount is also way too high.
    The section with the flares wasn’t that fun to play due to lag, at times my framerate would go down a lot.

    What Cat?
    It is okay

    Nice idea. That’s all I can really say. I didn’t really find anything else that stood out to me. The visuals weren’t that great, especially in the sewer areas. The combat was pretty decent though, and saved this entry from a lower rating from me.

    The Universal Union
    It is great!

    Definitely one of my favorites. I love the supercharged Gravity Gun, and being able to use it again is wonderful as always.
    The visuals are definitely one of the best if not the best thing about this map, the Combine feel is captured really well. There are huge areas which look amazing.
    I think my main complaint would be the lack of originality, which I also brought up in Nieuw Perspectief. But what isn’t there is overshadowed by what is there.
    Skorly and Steven, you should definitely work together more often by what I’m seeing here. I would call you two “S&S” but that’s a little too close to “SS” so I’d rather not.

    The Half-Life 2 Exhibit
    It is okay

    I liked the idea here, but that’s one of the only things I liked. The gameplay basically consists of just walking through the map, the only thing to do is look at things.
    The visuals are pretty good, although some areas didn’t look as nice as others.

    Urban Flight 2
    It is okay

    That collapsing building was definitely one of the best things about this entry. The sound effects mixed with the visual effects made for a very cool-looking sequence.
    I’m not sure how this entry got a 7.3 for visuals. Apart from the outside area, which looked decent, I found them to be quite underwhelming. Every interior room looked underdetailed and a lot of them looked bland.
    Out of Nostalgia, Visuals and Gameplay, the latter is the best one in this entry. Nostalgia would be second, I thought the chapter was abridged nicely and had some nice twists on it, but I still missed a few things. Antlions coming out of the ground being the main one. This was quite a big part in Urban Flight, simply having a few Antlions in the beginning would’ve done the job for me.

    Minifiend
    It is great!

    One of the most underrated entries on this competition. I thought it met all the criteria; it was very well abridged while also having a few twists, it looked good and it played well. How this one ended up at the 15th place is beyond me.

    On The Debris
    It is bad

    Sorry, but I did not really like this one. Firstly, the trams; they worked clunky as hell, and that is if they even work at all. If you accidentaly step out of the tram, be ready to go to the end of the track by walking there.
    The visuals were underwhelming to say the least, especially in large open areas. In these areas the lighting was also really bland. Some of the smaller indoor areas look better though.
    The combat was the best thing about this map, and even that was… not great. At times you enter a large area with your tram (if you’re even on it) only to immediately get shot by Combine because there isn’t much cover.

    Blast Pit
    It is dire!

    Well… we got here. I feel very sorry for FRAG. Basically the story is, I put a message in the end of my entry saying the next chapter would be Blast Pit by FRAG, who hadn’t submitted the entry yet. I went on vacation about the same time the deadline was met, so I couldn’t send any fixes/updates for my map. FRAG’s entry was basically unfinished, but he submitted it anyways so the message at the end of my map wouldn’t look stupid… which I’m grateful for. So, see this entry as FRAG being a nice guy.

    Shortcut 17
    It is great!

    Sadly this was a bonus entry, otherwise it probably would have gotten high scores! Visually the map looks really good, visual effects are used well and combine that with nicely detailed areas.
    The gameplay was a little less stunning, I thought the driving section didn’t go really smoothly, after you crash down into the pit with Antlions I was confused as to where I was supposed to be going.
    The abridging was done well, I missed some parts but overall it was pretty good.

    Conclusion
    It is WOW!

    Definitely one of my favorite competitions so far. It has been a lot of fun to play and to take part in.
    I noticed some lens flares appearing here and there, did I start a new trend or something? If so I’ll take all the credit for it thank you very much.

  3. Personal Favourite

    This is definitely one of the best map lab competitions so far. It has a lot of entries (25 in fact), and it will take on average about 3 hours to finish them all. And guess what? The vast majority of them are really fun to play! So here’s my review for every single one.

    Sector A Training Facilitea by Jakob // Tea
    It is good

    I did not expect to see the training room “chapter” in this, considering that everybody already knows how to play the game, but hey, someone did it anyway! One major difference from the start is the style of it, which is very simplistic and every wall, ceiling, and ground has its own solid color, which comes at the cost of the detailing, which there’s almost none. Something else i’d like to point out is that the ambient sounds don’t fit with the theme much at all. Don’t get me wrong it’s still better than nothing, but the ravenholm tunnel sounds specifically don’t fit into a bright map like this whatsoever. Using the general concrete quiet would’ve been be a better choice in my opinion.

    Black Mesa Inbound by Aleksandr ‘alex_mmc’ Lavrinovitš & White_Red_Dragons
    It is good

    A classic from the original Half-Life. This re-creation is nicely done, it includes the most important areas from that chapter (except the helicopter in the outdoor area). Although I noticed some strange artifacts with the projected textures of the tram, but i’m 99% sure that’s source engine buggyness, and not the fault of design. The detailing on this map is good, but not perfect. The tram is mostly empty, and some areas such as the one with the rocket don’t have much to show apart from the lighting coming in from the sky. But i’m sure that most of these were because of time constraints.
    And finally, something’s up with barney. He walks in an awkward way, and he pressed buttons 180 degrees away from them for some reason. Doesn’t affect anything, but i’m curious as to why he does that.

    Anomalous Materials by iiboharz & Jackathan
    It is WOW!

    I can clearly see why this map won the 2nd place. It has lots of highlights. For starters, it resembles anomalous materials perfectly. The test chamber also looks shockingly similar to the one in Black Mesa! The lighting is almost exactly the same as it is in Half-Life 1 and Black Mesa, and the custom textures and models make that even better. It also has voice acting with moving lips, which is another very cool touch! All of this bundled with the small amount of jokes in the map make this a must play!

    Office Complex by Cosy Kibble
    It is great!

    This one has very good gameplay. There’s always the right amount of enemies. Not too little, not too many (although there was 1 room that had too many zombies, but that’s okay since zombies aren’t a big threat anyway). Furthermore, the starting section when you get out of the elevator has some minor problems. Just like how many people have pointed out, there isn’t a clear indication that the water is electrified and there are some ways you could fix that, such as adding a loud buzzing sound to the wire, making the room darker and have one light focus on it (the wire) and the rest being all dark etc. The layout and structure of the map are mostly based from Black Mesa, which is nice to see. I also like the fact that you replaced the battery with the one from BM as well. Moreover I noticed that the console had a spamfest of errors for a lot of props during my playthrough. Turns out that BM has some custom sound scripts for when you break things like plastic, which were not included with the map (again, very minor things but I wanted to mention them anyway). And lastly the detailing on this map is not bad. The geometry is okay but the lighting feels static throughout the whole map. there are no flickering lights or constract between colors. If there were I feel like this map would have looked a lot better visually. But that alone wouldn’t be enough because there’s also a lack of ambient sounds. It’s pure quiet, which doesn’t make much sense, and it makes the atmosphere feel dead.

    They’ve Got a Hostile by DeanAmythe
    It is great!

    Another great entry. The layout again is very similar to We’ve Got Hostiles, but this time it’s all with HL2 assets only! (it’s not only this map of course) The detailing is very well done, and the lighting never feels repeated. The outside courtyard is also a very neat idea with all of its cars and distant buildings, and the whole atmosphere with the bombings and the shootings makes it really feel like you’re in an alternate Black Mesa facility. The gameplay is also well done and it’s fun, but the outdoor battle was a bit unfair. there are too many combines heading your way at once, and once the first fight ends the game only gives you like 2 seconds before another wave comes in, with little to no resupplies. Needless to say, I did manage to win because there was enough cover.

    resid_proc by Jakob // Tea
    It is great!

    A well crafted map with lots of detailing and color correction. Some areas are a bit underdetailed but that’s fine. Gameplay wise, there isn’t a lot of enemies to shoot, just like in Residue Processing. There was also a lack of barnacles, and I expected to see the scene where barney gets grabbed by them again recreated, but that wasn’t implemented.

    Bad Ethics by Gabriel ‘Agente P’ Romano
    It is WOW!

    This entry is gorgeous in terms of detailing and gameplay. At first, you couldn’t tell that it was Questionable Ethics unless you looked at the title of the map. But after a few minutes, you see an obvious area that was in the original chapter and then it instantly clicks. The detailing on the corridors is what mind blew me the most! The gameplay is also very very fun and enjoyable, which is mostly close quarters combat since you’re in an indoor area most of the time. The enemy numbers always felt right. There was also this one combine soldier who was sleeping upright in one of those corridors. I’m guessing that guarding the area was too much work for him, so he had to take a nap to kill time.

    Forget About Freeman by StookyPotato
    It is great!

    What I especially like about this map is that it is Forget About Freeman in a HL2 theme, BUT the layout is not 100% the same. It was given it’s own spin on it, which is really cool to see. The visuals are great, both the geometry and lighting. The gameplay is really good as well, even though I felt like the map was too short. But I can definitely tell that there was a lot of work put into it!

    Welcome to Black Mesa by The_GuardianTM
    It is great!

    This is another entry that doesn’t click right from the start. But it’s until you see some specific areas that give away the chapter that they’re based off of. The visuals are great, it really captures that citadel theme. Although I wanna mention that it’s not perfectly clear from the start that you are a combine soldier. Perhaps a scripted sequence where a soldier talks to you could fix that. Gameplay is a bit mixed for me, due to the vortigaunts, but the rest is really good. Since I always play mods on the hard difficulty, and since this map didn’t modify the vortigaunts attack damage, this meant that…..even on 100 health and 75 suit power I would die in ONE single shot. That’s right! The vortigaunts can hold an insane 10000 volts energy in their hands and throw it in your face with 100% precision! Now that’s a lot of damage!

    WE’RE PULLING OUT by JanKaszanka
    It is great!

    A pretty similar theme to the previous entry, and it plays in almost the same way (it doesn’t include any vortigaunts that you have to fight though). And in this one you are also a combine soldier, which again isn’t clearly noticable, but it doesn’t matter much. Very good visuals, and well balanced gameplay. Something I wanted to mention however, is the starting area. From the fog and the sound effects, you can clearly tell that this is supposed to be the destroyed citadel. But, it would have been nice if there was more going on, such as debris and bodies falling in from above, walls being on fire etc. But I can understand if there wasn’t enough time to make all that eye candy.

    Day of Red Letter by Salamancer
    It is WOW!

    11/10 I wonder why this map didn’t win smh

    Black Mesa Open by Nev
    It is okay

    I got mixed feelings about this one. I mean, the idea of a map that forces the player to throw an annoying ball into a basket isn’t very fun. Most people including myself were annoyed by how it bounced about every time you tried to get it in. The only highlight are the visuals (sorta) and the metrocops that use a container to transport themselves. I think this map would have been more well received if it was all about playing fetch with Dog instead.

    Kravenholm by PercyVader
    It is great!

    The start of the map is literally gorgeous. When I first saw it, I thought I was literally in valve’s Ravenholm map. It captured every detail of the intro of ravenholm perfectly. It almost looks copy pasted, but it’s not! After that though, and the good details start to slowly fade off. The gameplay is nice, but not perfect. After you get inside the first building, there are far too many zombies. And while I could easily avoid them, some other player probably will not and will get killed by them as they will easily trap you if you wait for too long. The spike section that comes after is a nice touch, but the sound effect is far, far too loud. You should have made them all silent, and used just 1 independent ambient generic for every trap instead. The crab rave dance party is also a very cool touch, but spawning a bunch of Grigoris after that wasn’t needed. I also liked the sudden twist after finishing half of the map, but the map itself becomes very underdetailed after that. Although it continues with the premise of a ravenholm recreation.

    Father Grigori’s Wild Ride by RockyB
    It is good

    A very unique recreation of ravenholm. This time most things happen independently, with the player doing very little to change what’s happening since you’re in a cart all the time. It has good visuals in some areas but not so much in others. The gameplay is good, but sometimes you can’t easily see what you’re supposed to do, and in that case the map punishes you for that, which isn’t exactly fair if the player isn’t guided properly (i’m specifically talking about the section where you had to burn the zombies and then turn off the fire again, and most players couldn’t turn it off because they didn’t see the valve). Also, using the gravity gun to pull the levers instead of the use button wasn’t a good idea either in my opinion. But the nostalgia is definitely here in this one, as the radio-filtered Father Grigori speeches brought back memories of when I first played ravenholm. And this really reminded me of how we never got to know what happened to Father Grigori after he gave his farewells to Gordon. Another wasted opportunity, Valve.

    HWY 17 by ThatsRidonkulous
    It is WOW!

    An amazing entry with lots of great details and amazing gameplay. On top of abridging a section from Half-Life 2 very accurately, there are also some great ideas thrown in it as well. If there’s anything bad to say about this map then it’s nitpicking things that don’t matter.

    Nieuw Perspectief by Skorly
    It is great!

    A very good recreation of Nova Prospekt. Most areas are very well detailed, apart from some such as the last outside section which felt a bit empty since there were only crates and barrels to fill it in. The gameplay is also well done, it’s as good and fun as the original chapter in HL2! Something that I thought was missing was the vortigaunt that was slaughtered on that chair behind a forcefield gate from the original chapter. It was a very memorable area in HL2, and adding it in would’ve been worth it.

    Intrasslad by Salamancer
    It is WOW!

    Definitely one of the best of the competition. It has everything you would ask for! It’s very humorous, it has outstanding detail, it’s well lit, and it’s very fun! And, it has it’s own spin on the Nova Prospekt chapter entirely! No more prisons, this is an ikea factory! The only weak point is the “It’s a trap!” section, there are too many enemies coming at you at once, and even the machine gun turrets can’t save you if you’re not careful enough. But if you take enough cover then it becomes somewhat easier.

    What Cat? by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
    It is good

    Being a tiny cat is an interesting idea, it changes the gameplay a lot and makes it feel less Half-Life 2, which I always love to see. The movement’s been changed to resemble….a cat? But it resembles the movement of Quake 1 more to me. And the smaller size probably makes you a harder target for your enemies if it also modifies the hitbox, in which case that makes the map easier to beat. Visuals are good, and the gameplay is very fun. However, there was a small but annoying problem. During my playthrough the 2 rebels that followed you with Barney got always stuck. One of them even managed to go up a thin piece of concrete debris and it got very frustrating trying to get him back down. And even after that I could hardly even get them to get past the door frame. A couple of hint nodes could have fixed this issue, and some npc clips could fix the rebel going up that debris part as well. But all in all it was a good entry.

    “The universal union” by Steven Cabbage & Skorly
    It is WOW!

    Wow! This map along with others is mind blowing to me! It managed to capture the feeling of the citadel perfectly! I could clearly tell that the layout had been carefully constructed to resemble it as much as possible. And the end result is perfect! I really enjoyed this one! It has everything you would expect from a citadel level! Combine soldier battles, elevator sequences, breen mocking Gordon for choosing to act with such willful disregard for humanity’s future, strider battles, everything!

    The Half-Life 2 Exhibit by Jean ‘XBLAH’ Knapp
    It is great!

    Now this is something I surely did not expect! A map that recreates small pieces of every chapter from Half-Life 2? Brilliant! And the execution is perfect, it has all the key moments from Half-Life 2 in one single map! I also like the fact that you added sound effects to some of them, it made the atmosphere of each area even better than it already was! Now I wish there was a place like that in real life. But only one can dream.

    Urban Flight 2 by Strontvlieg
    It is great!

    This is a recreation of….well of course you already guessed it, Urban Flight! It has very good gameplay, the enemies are not too few and not too many either. And there’s supplies exactly when you need them. The visuals are very good in some areas and in other not so much. The outside area is the biggest highlight ever. The collapsing building in the background is an amazing touch, I still wonder what went on behind the scenes there! I’d say the whole skybox is literally better than what Valve did with episode one! It has more variations of buildings, freaking clouds (seriously that’s a very unusual yet amazing touch!) and collapsing buildings! The tall industrial buildings are also something that gives you a much better sense of scale, whereas in Episode One there was only the citadel as a tall point in the sky. Now there’s way more and it fits a lot with city 17’s atmosphere! I also like that the gunship battle had something unusual as well, you didn’t have to kill it with ordinary anti-air weapons, but with the grenade launcher on the smg, which is something I haven’t seen before in a gunship fight! Say did Alyx have diarrhea at the start of the map?

    Minifiend by Adakam
    It is good

    A short but solid entry. It has very good gameplay and is nicely detailed, although there was a corridor that didn’t really fit in well with the silo theme due to how narrow it was (the corridor with that turret in it), it should have been a lot wider. Also, I felt as though the first fight of the map had the potential to be even more fun. If you gave the player lots of flares but no guns except the gravity gun, it would make for a very fun and unique fight where you had to burn your enemies using only flares. That hunter probably had to be cut though.

    On The Debris by Half Way Lambda (bonus map)

    I obviously won’t rate my own map, so instead i’m going to say a few things that some people have commented on.
    First, I didn’t have enough time to polish the map as much as I wanted since I started building it when I had only 1 week left, so some areas will look nicely detailed while others a lot less and so on. Perhaps I should’ve made it shorter so I could detail it more easily, but then I was worried that people might complain that it’s too short or things like that. So I decided to hit the 10 minute playtime mark, but with the cost of less detail. Was it worth it? I think it was, because it really taught me at how much time detailing a map takes, which is a lot without a doubt. I was planning on making the tunnels have more complex geometry to them and have the dark blue lights that the original chapter had, as well as remaking the lighting in the train warehouse. But all in all, i’m still glad at how it turned out. But these things, they take time!

    BlastPit by FRAG (bonus map)
    It is bad

    This one is an unfinished map unfortunately, it had a lot of potential, but it still has some small highlights, even if unfinished. Firstly, the lighting, which isn’t all that bad. The start of the map has a scary, dark tone to it, which is a lot different from what you would expect. And I always like surprises like that! Furthermore the idea that the tentacles are lost skulls with a bit of remodelling is smart, but they are glitchy and can get stuck if they follow you for too long, but it’s still a nice workaround for an npc that doesn’t exist in the code. However, that’s where it starts going downhill overall. A few seconds after moving forward with the jalopy, you fall into a toxic sludge pit no matter what, and it doesn’t damage you at all, so you have to use noclip to get out. After that you get to the tentacle, you activate oxygen fuel and power without any enemies to stop you and then the map ends.
    But don’t let this discourage you. You had the courage and the guts to release a map even if you knew people wouldn’t like it and that it’s very unfinished, which is a brave move. I hope you have better luck next time in another competition!

    Shortcut 17 by Mista Heita (bonus map)
    It is great!

    Another solid map! I also liked this one a lot! For a start, it has amazing visuals, both for indoor and outdoor areas! The jalopy section reminded me of the wasteland in the Half-Life 2 Beta, which I liked a lot! The dark colors of the wasteland combined with the bright orange sunlight led to a lot of contrast, which looks gorgeous! The gameplay is also a lot of fun, but there was this one case with the combine soldiers inside the jalopy warehouse, which I think was too hard, mainly because the game only gives you the smg up to that point, which the soldiers are a bullet sponge to, and they were really hard to kill because of that. I also felt that the last battle had too many enemies coming at you at once. In my opinion the shotgunner shouldn’t have been there.

    Summary

    This is unquestionably one of the best competitions that map labs has done so far! There were so many creative ideas, and most of them led to well executed, well polished maps! And i’m very glad that I managed to take part in with the rest of them. Will there ever be another competition that will be better or as good as this one? Who knows. Maybe there will be, maybe there will not be. Only time will tell.

    …Damn how did this review end up so big?!

  4. Personal Favourite

    A great set of maps. I really enjoyed playing them – they had great variety and some very clever twists. There were too many entries to review them all, but I can say that Anomalous Materials was my favorite. It had a fantastic environment, great dialogue, and lots of humorous moments.

  5. cryptoratedump.com

    I also seem to experience FAR, FAR more ‘script errors’ (doors not opening — forcing me to utilize ‘no-clip’ cheats’ to progress through maps) than other Half-life 2 ‘gamers’ do.

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