Half-Life: Anti-Climax

for Half-Life

16th March 2019

Half-Life: Anti-Climax is my take on the “battle you have no chance of winning” the G-Man offers you once you decline his job offer at the end of the Half-Life campaign. Is there truely no chance to win or can you lead Gordon to victory and freedom?

Basic Details
  • Title: Half-Life: Anti-Climax
  • File Name: hl1-sp-anticlimax.7z
  • Size : 9.8 MB
  • Author: Hezus
  • Date Released: 15 March 2019

Author’s Notes

The idea for Anti-Climax came in late October 2018 for the 20th birthday of Half-Life and was developed on and off for 4 months. I always wanted to create a Single Player MOD for Half-Life, but I never got around to it. The idea of what would happen after rejecting the G-Man has been in my head for years and several of the other game concepts you’ll see have been with me for a long time, so I’m very glad to finally put this all together into one released project!

Download Options

Download to your HD [9.8 MB]

Installation Instructions
  • Copy the anticlimax and anticlimax_hd folders into your Half-Life folder.
  • Restart or start Steam.
  • Half-Life: Anti-Climax should now be listed in your Library tab.

If you require more help, please visit the Technical Help page.

Screenshots

WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

1600 x 900

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

9 recommendations, average score: 4.78 (out of 5), standard deviation: 0.17 (what's that?)
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Meta Review Data
Statistics based on 8 comment(s) with meta review data.

Installed:
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 8 Users

Time Taken:
Average: 1 Hours, 41 Mins
Shortest: 0 Hours, 50 Mins by Unq
Longest: 3 Hours by vancanucksfan
Total Time Played: 13 Hours, 31 Mins
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21 Comments

  1. Unq
    Play It Later

    In case you don’t recognize the author’s name, Hezus has been mapping for a long time (particularly for Sven Co-op, but also for other mods and Black Mesa as well) – but this is his first release for Half-Life single player. Overall it’s a solid release. I found it nicely designed although there are a few annoyances.

    At first glance this seems to be a small map pack at 3 maps, but it took me close to an hour to complete (and I didn’t even get the “good” ending which is pretty challenging). As the text describes, this pack is a great “what if” scenario based on the end of Half-Life if you were to refuse the G-man’s offer. And you’re taken on quite an interesting journey before really coming back to that battle and ending it.

    To be honest, a good chunk of my playtime was actually trying to figure out where to go. Important hint: keep a close eye on the first teleporter you reach – it changes colors every few seconds, which means that your destination changes every few seconds. This was not obvious to me and I was very frustrated until I discovered this. A much better indication of this would have been to create custom sprites, perhaps showing the destination area, for the teleporter rather than just color changes.

    You’ll have to visit the Lambda Complex as well as a couple Xen areas to complete your goals. One thing I really liked about this pack was how the areas and goals were intertwined – this is certainly not a linear experience. I really liked the (unfortunately small) Lambda Complex areas you get to visit. They were really well designed and could have nicely fit into the original game.

    Let’s be clear on the next point I’ll make: I like Xen. I think the idea of Xen was the perfect final act to Half-Life – BUT I do think that of course the gameplay suffers quite a bit in the jumping sections. Relatively speaking though, that is not a huge part of the Xen chapters in the original game and I’ve actually come to think of Interloper as one of the best chapters in the game. That said, I found that Anti-Climax unfortunately repeats a lot of the same misjudgements in design that the loathed sections of the original Xen suffered from. There are a few jumping areas in Anti-Climax, and I found them pretty frustrating. One issue was that sometimes there were alien grunts in the area, and hitting any of their hornets in mid-air stops all your momentum instantly. Another is that in one section, you’re jumping island to island (which normally isn’t hard) – but a number of islands slant downward at their edges, and it’s really difficult to get a decent jump in Half-Life when you’re moving downward on a slope. These parts were frustrating for the wrong reason.

    I don’t want to dwell on the drawbacks; I really did enjoy Anti-Climax and it’s definitely worth playing. The tie-in to Half-Life’s finale is really well handled, and there are a couple of nice twists that this pack throws your way. I really hope to see more HLSP from Hezus in the future.

  2. Play It Now!

    Anti-Climax is a gorgeous looking pack of three maps that expertly draws out the playtime to last around an hour.

    Having only recently seen the mod appear on ModDB, this release caught me totally of guard. However, given the fantastic attention to detail on display in the screenshots, I just had to dive in as quickly as possible.

    First of all, let me just say that anybody going into this mod expecting your usual Half-Life game play experience is going to be very surprised, in a good way. The mod uses only a handful of areas to deliver a solid follow up to Half-Life’s bad ending. The key is that the means to progress are multifaceted puzzles that require you to teleport between these different areas to complete them.

    Solving these riddles is satisfying, but not without headaches. The mod suffers from an overall lack of narrative, in that it isn’t always clear what your goal is. The first location I found myself in was the lambda labs and I genuinely thought I had broken a sequence somewhere before returning to the main teleporter during an act of desperation. It is also possible to miss key elements. I think I must have walked over the keycard three times before consulting the included walkthrough.

    Lastly, the one section of Xen that includes floating islands is riddled with clipping issues, making the dependence on accuracy in your jumps a rather frustrating experience.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is an overall fantastic map pack with a satisfying and challenging conclusion (especially when shooting for that good ending) but it is marred by Goldsrc’s technical issues regarding complex terrain, and at times struggles to convey your primary goal.

  3. Well, that was disappointing, starts up OK…at least the credits do, but after jumping into the teleporter all I get is a black screen…there’s nothing to play…any known bugs ?

  4. ….or am I NOT supposed to jump into the teleporter ?

    1. I guess not…more happened when I didn’t, but it’s too hard for me to play..don’t like it.

    2. Unq

      Exactly, don’t take the teleporter in the tram. It’s a recreation of the end of Half-Life, and it starts when you refuse the G-Man’s offer… so you have to refuse his offer. 🙂

  5. Personal Favourite

    This map was super cool! Really difficult but not to any unbeatable or ridiculous extent. The level design really felt like it was part of Half-Life and I actually really wish it was. The use of sound effects and dialogue was extremely well done and nothing was over or underused. I haven’t got the good ending (unless that’s just stepping into the portal at the beginning) or found the pink Xen pod, but even without that I have to say this mod was one of my favourites!

  6. Wesp5

    I didn’t really like the map. The idea was great, but it already started off bad by presenting you with much too much of the thing everybody hated about Xen, which is the jumping! It even became worse in the second outside Xen map in which it was indeed much too easy to overlook the keycard. Also there were several logical issues, like how is the player supposed to guess that the yellow crystal is teleported back to Xen? I assumed it would be some kind of riddle with the other teleporter. And why would anyone assume that a Vortigaut would teleport in and open that locked door? That’s a completely stupid Deus Ex Machina…

  7. Didn’t like it at all right off the start. Too hard, too dark, seemingly nowhere visible to go, then die, repeatedly. If I was in the wrong area then its a basic design problem. Deleted it off the hard drive.

  8. Play It Now!

    i finished it in medium difficulty, first without walkthrough and I got bad ending then I went to your walkthrough to see what I’ve missed.

    Overall this is a « short » in size but pretty difficult mod as I’m not a great lover of jump+crouch / long jump.

    But, then, I liked what you did with that random teleport thing, what’s interesting is that you want to tell a tiny story without messing too much with HL lore (everything that happens stays within HL1 and HL2 boundaries), it seems you really wanted to make that « a battle [you] cannot win » so it is overall intended to not casual gamers.

    It could really fit as a « cut content » of HL1.

    I liked also the light hearted tone here and there and especially in the good ending

  9. Sam
    Play It Now!

    I really liked this mod. The concept is good, the execution is brilliant and it just clicks together.

    In terms of actual gameplay, it’s very heavy on long-jumping. I liked the original Xen levels, and this mod replicates them very well- the tilted surfaces make frequent quickloading necessary when trying to make a long jump, however.

    The storytelling is also well-done- finding what to do isn’t too difficult, and even though the levels are non-linear there’s still a definite plot.

    Technically the map is well-made- there were only a couple of problems including a sticky door in the weapons lab which was hard to get past, and the Xen jumppads not always working but overall it was well-made and very fun.

    I’d completely recommend it. It feels just like part of Half-Life 1 and is brilliantly polished.

  10. Hec
    Play It Now!

    Can we say that an “instant classic mod” is still possible within the Half-Life community, here now in 2019, right after 21 years! the beloved HL was launched? Well… Anticlimax proves exactly this. Because the whole work is an instant classic mod.

    And it is because of that mere great concept nobody had worked with, I mean, that final possibility of GMan offering Freeman a battle where he could’ve no chance at all to win…

    Here Hezus the author of this mod just made a masterpiece, exploring that not developed story-arc, and really does it delightfully offering us a bundle of 3 maps and some alternative endings. I guess if HL would’ve offered this possibility of an alternative ending on its moment the game could’ve been even more epic than it was back in 98.

    Now, you may ask if this mod is that good why recommend it as a Play it Now, and not a Personal Favorite? Well, this is because the game is not easy to beat. And also the possible multiple endings including the bad one, the good one, and the joke one, are just not accessible to get and that is indeed very frustrating in my opinion. I got -I guess is the usual one- the bad one so although the feeling of ending it was pretty nice after all those hard jumping sections, I just dislike this kind of issues related to alternative endings. Because what is the point to put them there if they are far beyond than challenging. I think if authors offer alternative endings then those MUST be accessible to the gamers, call me a lazy guy if you want, but that just increase the chances of having nice replayability instead of just having a frustrating time killing yourself hundreds of times just to get some other endings you already can watch on a youtube video.

    Despite that, and that the xenian section was also hard to jump. This mod as a concept is a great work that came to light and I guess every HL worthy and veteran player, should try out almost as a mandatory experience.

    Play it Now.

  11. Unq

    Updated download to v1.11, adds a longjump training map and improved Xen sections along with various fixes.

  12. Play It Later

    This is a really interesting idea that suffers from some bad execution. Let’s go over the good and bad things.

    Good things:
    – The environments were for the most part really well done. I especially liked the floating islands area
    – I liked that there was a twist with the enemies. I didn’t figure out what was going on with the vortigaunts until the very end though
    – The mod has at least 2 different endings which made it more interesting. Also the enemies you face in certain areas (floating islands, pump room) can be different when you replay the mod

    Bad things:
    – Overall this is a mod where you have to play and keep dying until you figure out what you are supposed to do. So from that point of view it isn’t very enjoyable. I don’t mind a challenge but sometimes this mod was ridiculous and you could easily miss things. For example, I didn’t realize that I was supposed to go back and get the crowbar while trying to survive in the first jumping area. So there was a lot of unnecessary dying and frustrating gameplay at first.
    – The first jump you have to make in the floating islands area without using a jumppad also really frustrated me. I guess I’m not a long jumping expert and I died so many times that I gave up and noclipped past it. On subsequent replays I figured out what I was doing wrong and fixed it, but it lowered my enjoyment of the mod.
    – I didn’t understand the transporter at first and of course when I tried it I ended up dying because I went to the wrong place. Once again after several plays and documenting how it worked myself it became usable.

    Overall if the author had spent just a little more time making it enjoyable on the first pass I think I would have enjoyed it more. I don’t like mods where you suddenly die from things you couldn’t foresee, and this mod was like that. Once you know the secrets, though, it’s not bad to play a second time. My long jumping skills are definitely better now than they were before I started the mod!

  13. Play It Now!

    Perfect just dowland now and play

  14. Hec

    How can you get the “good ending”???

  15. Personal Favourite

    The leveldesign and therefor the atmosphere in this mod are truly outstanding and very close to what I consider to be the original feel-good Half-Life style.
    The puzzles are rather hard, especially in the beginning, but not impossible and let’s not forget: there is always F7.
    The Xen levels are very creative and absolutely authentic.

    Funny Quote (me): “Huh, so this is what an Alien server room looks like.”

    Very very good work!

  16. Whereever you go, you just always get rickrolled

  17. Hec

    Please, anyone, tell how we can get the good and the joke ending.

    1. Good ending: SPOILER: After you free the vortigaunts, go back to the lab area and go up to the locked door (near the laser). A vortigaunt will let you in so you can get one of the weapons. Use the transporter to go to the area with the alient grunts and kill all of them

      Joke ending: same as above but SPOILER: make sure a number of vortigaunts who are fighting with you survive. I don’t know how many or if there is a specific one that matters

      1. Hec

        GREAT! I’ve already got, the good ending thanks to your advice!! many thanks!

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