You play as FBI agent Jeremy Hard, who has been sent in to Black Mesa to do something (sorry, but I didn’t pay much attention to the text on the screen).
You have Freeman’s identity card, so everybody thinks you are him.
Go do what you do best – shoot enemies and press buttons!
- Title: Hard
- File Name: hl1-sp-hard.7z
- Original File Name: hard.exe
- Size : 11.3Mb
- Author: W. Broisch
- Date Released: 01 April 2001
PlanetPhillip Download Servers
- Create a folder in your Half-Life folder called “hard”.
- Copy hard.exe into a folder of your choice, even the desktop is fine.
- Double-click the file and select the path to the folder you just created.
- Restart or start Steam.
- H A R D should now be listed in your Library tab.
If you require more help, please visit the Help page.
Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image. Please note, the first few maps are not shown here – I had the screenshot key incorrectly bound.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
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15 recommendations, average score: 2.93 (out of 5), standard deviation: 1.13 (what's that?)
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The name describe the gameplay but all put together in a well designed set
Not hard, but challenging at least. The first few portions of the mod reminded me of Doom…
Oddly coloured rooms that looked like dungeons, and monsters appearing from behind sliding doors/walls. It really picks up when you start fighting grunts, though.
Problems include: a strangely-placed ladder, some doors that lead to inescapable corridors, an out-of-place switch/trigger (that almost led to be quitting!), an obscure breakable roof tile (which I’m sure will lead to some aggravation) and a “break-this-crate-but-not-the-others” puzzle led to the frustration.
To be honest, a little bit of planning would have gone a long way to get rid of these frustrations.
Yes, it is Hard, but only in the sense that you’ll get stuck. A lot.
Regret to say I did not enjoy about this mod, and gave up after 20 minutes of opening doors and having headcrabs hit me in the face (a slight, but only a slight, exaggeration).
I have to disagree with Anonymous and shawn. This is a good mod. Not brilliant, but good. Gameplay is a challenge – that’s what we want is it not? Puzzles and triggers are sometimes hard to find, that is what we want is it not?
Giving up after a few headcrabs have hit you!!!!!! lol. Better go and lie down in nice pink fluffy bed then! 🙂
There are some original bits of design here that should be praised. One or two shakey bits of design where a trigger might not work and where you can miss out a fun sequence accidently.
Definitely worth a play though, and I’m looking forward to playing Hard2.
I highly recommend !
I liked this one. There are some glitches with switches and flaws in the doors 🙂 but overall a good long mod that’s well worth a play. As soon as I finished it I set about downloading Hard 2 – nuff said!
Just to add to my previous comment – it’s well worth playing Hard II as well. It follows on from exactly where Hard finishes. These two mods together are great and I hope the mapper is still making HL/HL2 maps – superb job!
I really disliked this mod. I wanted to give it an AVOID IT! recommendation but didn’t because I am sure quite a few readers will enjoy this.
To me the negatives easily outweigh the positives.
I found the jump sections frustrating, the puzzles weird and the changes between areas bizarre. Too often there were hidden passages and areas that just didn’t make sense.
I honestly feel the author had built different areas and then stuck them together in this mod.
It was hard too. Hard simply because of the number of enemies, rather than because of skilful placement.
Some areas were bland and other wasted. Yes, I know this was eleven years ago and this was the author’s first release and compared to many first releases it’s pretty good, but it just feels so “2001”.
By that I mean I get the feeling that at the time mods were about making the player really struggle.
I suppose at the time the only mod players were hardcore fans and that does make a difference to how you release stuff.
Anyway, all in all I didn’t enjoy it and am not looking for to HARD 2 tomorrow!
Or maybe we’re getting lazy?
I don’t think it’s that, more that the audience of modders is different. I feel an article coming on.
When you say the audience of modders is different do you include those who play post HL/HL2 games as well? If you do, you include a lot of a generation who haven’t heard of Half Life because of its age.
Some time ago you ran an article about the age of HL players, if I remember correctly many were, how shall I put it, of a more mature generation (with a few younger converts). If we talk about HL/HL2 specifically, I put it to you the audience (players) is pretty much the same age group that grew up playing Doom, Quake and Duke Nukem 3D etc (obviously there are some enlightened newcomers). What I’m getting at is that we, as HL players are the same as we always were, it’s just that we look back with rose tinted glasses.
If you think about it, there’s a generation growing up who were barely out of nappies (diaper’s to our colonial friends) when HL came out, who’s only experience of games is on a games console. Unless I’m mistaken there are few if any (free) mods available for console games.
Oh maybe that’s a shame, mm I think u should try it just a bit only. There are plenety of maps in there, also plenety of styles in the textures and layouts, I felt it more as a collage of many sp maps the author developed after the 1st one, there are some cool maps in there indeed, on the other hand is long, and there are some hectic puzzles. You could play it like informally or so, I mean i’m not supporting as a big real this 2nd part but I just think hard2 was better than the 1st part, I think it worth the effort.
Good single player Half-Life levels from first-time authors are certainly a rare species. While Hard, by German mapper W. Broisch, shines in a few areas, the experience as a whole is a little disappointing, and it falls short of the aforementioned ‘species’ by a bit. Don’t get me wrong: a lot of sections were fun to play through, and the challenge is certainly there. But the gameplay and design in this pack is so uneven that the end result is a rather large pack of medium quality at best.
You assume the role of Mr. Jeffrey Hard, an FBI Special Agent investigating the goings-on at Black Mesa. You just happen to look extraordinarily similar to a certain Dr. Freeman, so no one will be the wiser. But this just means you’ll have everyone and everything trying to kill you just like a certain Dr. Freeman, too. Such is life.
After enduring the excruciatingly long opening sequence, you are immediately confronted with a couple of puzzles. They are some of the highlights of this episode – the puzzles are scattered throughout the maps, and there are quite a few clever ones. It’s not chock full of puzzles, but there are enough to mix things up nicely. The pack is, however, rather chock full of firefights. You will confront quite a variety of foes, including several Gargs and a few tough military vehicles and encampments. Unfortunately, the author is also apparently a big fan of dumping snarks on you in tight areas. If there’s one thing I hate (besides baby headcrabs), it’s snark dumps in tight areas. There is typically plenty of ammo available while playing, and you get a decent variety of weapons. Although I did find tons of radioactive ammo, there seemed to be no tau cannon or gluon gun anywhere to be found, either of which would’ve really helped in a couple areas.
Another nice touch was the use of sequences – not the ones that involve other characters, really, but there are a bunch of ‘collapsing room’ type of areas and some traps that are pretty well done, especially considering this pack is from a rookie mapper. Half-Life’s music was used nicely, too.
But what ultimately sinks Hard is the level design. You never really get the feeling you are back in Black Mesa. Too many of the areas you visit are blocky, rectangular rooms. At least your progression is not strictly linear through this large pack, which is certainly a plus. And the environments are pretty varied, including a couple sections in the vein of ‘On a Rail’ that are rather well-done. But colored lighting is overused, and much of the texturing could use improvement. And the obligatory warning: a few areas have high r_speeds and will slow down your framerates.
Unfortunately, the author’s inexperience shows through in a lot of sections of Hard. There are a number of areas that the player shouldn’t be able to get to, but can. This includes the final area, where you can hop out of the train you are in and ‘break’ the map. You aren’t missing too much, though – the ending is extremely abrupt and disappointing. The pace of this pack is off in a couple sections, too. For the most part it is fast and furious as you conquer enemies and puzzles. But then there are sections that really interrupt a good thing, such as a subway ride that is long, uneventful, and boring, and another section that has you waiting a full minute for a slow-ass bulldozer to reach its destination. At almost 40 maps, this is a pretty long pack, though some of the levels are too short and could have been combined to improve gameflow.
Perhaps the most annoying aspects are the visual errors in a few of the maps, specifically the train-ride levels. There are several hall-of-mirrors effects in these levels, and one of them is particularly infuriating, since it also happens to be in the same direction from which an Apache is swooping toward you, guns ablaze. Other visual problems crop up when you can see long distances – often the distant scenery is not drawn and appears out of thin air as you approach. The responsibility for all these problems lies squarely with the mapper, and if thorough playtesting had been done these problems would’ve been revealed.
Despite the problems and the glitches in this pack, I did find it challenging and somewhat enjoyable to play through. While it definitely isn’t the prettiest level around, the puzzles are typically well-done, the combat is tough, and there are several neat sequences and set pieces. It’s not a standout, but with 39 maps, it’s a decent outing from a first-time mapper. But it does fizzle when compared to the other high-caliber Half-Life maps.
This review is republished here by permission and was originally published Wednesday, 18th May 2001 by Unquenque.
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.
Too long and a jumble of scenarios that often seem not connected to the previous one!
Unlike Phillip I didn’t dislike this one but it’s easy to see why.
The mod was fun in places but at times seemed to have a serious snark infestation, I can’t remember seeing that many in any mod or map. At times, like Brave Brain, it had parts that looked like copies of the original Half life, but as a whole it looks overall as though the author put all the maps in a hat, gave it a shake and put them together in the order they came out.
It also looks like the author had some original ideas, one that comes to mind is in the room with the pool table. There’s a chair in front of a picture, if you look at the ground around the chair there’s a semi circle(ish) that’s slightly raised, after giving the whole area (ground, chair and picture) a good welly’ing with the crowbar to no avail, so I noclipped through the picture after thinking of some old black and white horror films. Sure enough there was a room with a chair, picture and semi circle (and assassin). I reloaded three times to to find the trigger but couldn’t.
In places ” Hard” looked good and the new models (bulldozer and train at the end) were well done, but other areas were mediocre at best. As for gameplay, it was a mixed bag and Oh! Did I mention the Snark infestation?
If you can get over the disjointed maps, its worth a try.
The trigger in the pool table area is one of the pool cues
I know a lot of effort went into this mod but I really didn’t enjoy it at all. The difficulty was too high with not enough ammo to fight some of the bigger enemies, endless headcrabs and snarks, and way too many Black Ops. The enemy placement didn’t make sense either. You have grunts and aliens very close together in certain sections which doesn’t add up. There were too many death traps as well where you get trapped in what looked like a safe section only to find out you have no escape and are dead. I gave up and finished this on god mode to get through it, but it isn’t recommended
the name hard for this mod is correct as I am stuck on the first map where I am in a building taken there by a lorry there is a jeep one annoying crab head no crowbar a gate I cant open but a set of crates I can move but to where,there is a green light in the corner so I presume that is where I am heading but how any help please ??
You are right, you need to move towards the green light. I move a crate to near the steps, From there you should be able to work you way to the light. If I did, it’s definitely possible for most players, as I suck at jumping.
Agent Jeffrey Hard came to Black Mesa to stop the tyranny of HECU, says the story. But it’s not Black Mesa! It’s some square rooms filled with prefabs, some of them look ancient with torches on the walls, which is nonsense. Even the train rails sometimes have unrealistic 90 degrees turns. And it’s not without bugs (look at Barney’s chair, soda machine, tank).
Some notable things are headcrabs who break the elevator ceiling (but why there’s a room above its ceiling?), teleporter from Quake.
The trash compactor is an impressive place. I never knew that it’s possible to spawn debris in Half-Life engine.
The Hard puzzles turned out to be not hard. You just need to either break something or use some hidden switch. Much easier than Unknown Faction. The fast train is a hint that the player should act very fast: nice touch.
Just like in the Crash mod, we’ll see a Black Mesa entrance which looks like house. While the layout of this house is not as cool as in Crash, the sequences that we’ll see there are very entertaining. During the whole mod the way to progress will sometimes reveal itself and surprise us, because it was behind something that looked like, for example, a big computer.
There will be some baseness like deadly traps and mined medkit.
The fights are challenging – enemy placement is very dangerous and there are very few medkits and batteries.
Despite the originality, I feel that it’s not really worth playing because of the bad design and protraction.
From the beginning of this mod, I was feeling a bit wary of things to come and not because there was good tension build-up. As it turned out my misgivings turned out to be true and I spent my time slogging through this mod hoping that it would finish soon. Needless to say, I didn’t particularly enjoy this one.
Like the title of the mod suggests, this mod it extremely difficult. For me, this over-the-top difficultly completely ruined the mod. It just became frustrating and repetitive.
I found that enemies would either burst through a wall unexpectedly or I would walk into a room to find myself surrounded. In most cases this was combined with little or no cover, forcing me to fight at almost point blank range. To increase the difficulty further, I generally only had 10-20 HP left over from the previous fight. Then to top it off on a number of occasions, the room was spammed with snarks (The most irritating enemies ever designed for a video game), at which point I would die and I’d need to play the section over again.
I thought there were some very nice set-pieces through this mod. However, the downside was that between very good areas were very bland and uninteresting areas. Another disappointment was the fact that the transitions between different areas mostly didn’t make much sense. It looked like the author created a bunch of interesting areas and puzzles and just filled in the rest with random corridors, tunnels and rooms.
I think that if the good sections were taken out, joined together with a logical progression and kept to the general Black Mesa feel, I feel this mod would have been much more enjoyable, despite the difficulty.
As it is, though, I would only recommend this mod to those that really enjoy hard combat or masochists. For me, there just isn’t enough substance if you took away the hard combat, to make this mod appealing.
I enjoyed it…well, at least untul I got stuck after blowing up the generator…even no-clip couldn’t find me where to head for after that…still, I thought it was ok…oh, another bit was the break glass for track control….that sucker wouldn’t break no matter what I hit it with…ahh, the delights of no-clip again…
There is a switch box on top of a green closet which has a brown puddle in front. This puddle was previously electrified …
Man, I was pretty lenient in my Ten Four review. I didn’t really like this pack at all. As the name says, it was hard (which I liked) but it felt like it was unfair. All too often I would open a door to have a mega-powerful cannon pointed right at me with absolutely no cover. It was an exercise in frustration, trial and error, and of course quicksave.
I won’t go on too much. There’s a basic passable story here with some mission updates given. But Hard never feels like Black Mesa. Maybe it’s the sense that the grunts and aliens are just standing around waiting for you in every hallway. Or the couple of weird crypts you’ll come across. I mean, what the hell?
It really does feel like the author made a bunch of areas for various mods and then just threw them all together. Yes, it’s his first release but it gets a lot better than this. Pass on it.
If Ropes mod was the noclip fetstival, this is the “GOD festival”, I mean I know HARD name is one thing, but this mod has seriously difficulty level issues affecting the gameplay really bad, I mean I like the begining part like in the first 20 mins, but then, it was commonly to get out of ammo, in really hard impoortant battles, I think is a think twice and not an avoid it, because the level design is ok, and hhas important parts like the train systems, but really hard!!!!, if u are a real fan and no matter to put cheat codes, is ok to play this but the gameplay is almost as ackward and hectic as the assault on roswell mod…….
Hey BTW, when Hard 2 Is going to be available here on PP???, i’m alredy playing it for further reviewing!
I played Hard 2 is quite better than the 1st part, so lets hope we could see it here soon!
are 40 maps!!!, so be warned about that and the time to complete it!!
I added it the day after Hard 1. Hard 2
Ohhh what tha hell is going wrong with me or my eyes!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t see it published!!, oh im ashamed sorry phillip!, Oh indeed is really strange becuse I don’t see it I mean hard 1 appears in the main webpage list where mods appear but then it appears ispitatel, I don’t know why that happens maybe is my sistem, explorer or something…..
I gave up playing this after the first room since I had to noclip three times because I got stuck. Needless to say I won’t be playing HARD2.
Don’t Play it.
lol? I’m stuck at the very beginning in the truck, I can’t move nor do anything.. what’s wrong??
This mod doesn’t start out with the usual configuration. Check your key bindings under Options or just delete Half-Life/hard/config.cfg.
My problem playing the mod on Steam version of HL was, that the truck didn’t move until I used noclip. I don’t remember this bug being present in WON version …
Thanks Gilfrarry, now I know how to 😉
This 35 megabyte mod contains a lot! It may look small, but inside awaits around two hours of gameplay! (over 30 maps)
The story starts mysterious, being an FBI Special Agent who’s looking like Gordon Freeman.
After 48 hours without communication out of BM he investigates the facility.
Not knowing yet there’s even more mysterious inisde it!
And soon the very first puzzle has to be solved to proceed further…
“Hard” is a mix of combat and puzzles, combined with some music here and there and pretty neat mapping.
While the combat can be very tough due to often lacking of healing possibilities plus odd and mean enemy placement. That’s one minor flaw.
A bigger one is that many oddities will occur during playing.
This includes quite many strange and even ridiculous things which I don’t want to mention now. You’ll have to find out, and when you do, you will know what I mean…
Puzzles and some level designs are working hand in hand together.
This means, some puzzles can only be solved via using the environment.
There are quite many puzzles, and most of them are very cool, well designed.
Some can even be tricky, so I suggest to take a look around again, checking out if there’s anything useable nearby. You will not have to cheat to finish this mod.
Early already ingame, you’ll also find out that the story ain’t that important as it’s just proceeding, killing and puzzle solving. I first thought there’s more… what a pity!
The maps have very good lighting, it can be dark at some places but with use of the flashlight it’s absolutely okay.
Layouts and architecture are way above average in my opinion and therefore very good.
You sometimes have to backtrack a bit, but not very often and it doesn’t take long time.
If there would be way less of these nasty gameplay oddities, and fair balanced combat, this would get a higher rate than just a “maybe?” from me.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case and so it’s often rather frustrating than fun.
In the meaning of quickloading often…
Whatever, “Hard” is definitely worth playing, if you like puzzles and action!
And there’s “Hard 2″…
-Very good mapping, layouts, nice architecture and lighting – also some prefabs
-Nice mix of combat & puzzles
-Quite many, sophisticated puzzles
-Tough combat action (but unbalanced imo) incl. almost every HL enemy
-Some very cool ideas (won’t tell now), lot of variety
-Some nice, suprising scripts
-Long playtime (~2 hours)
-Many design oddities (interior, enemy placement, etc., etc.)
-Balancing – many weapons and firefights, but less healing possibilities
-No real story
-Can be frustrating quick
-Nothing for rookies I’m afraid
-No HEV at start
-Sometimes ugly graphics bugs making it hard to see enemies
-Sudden, disappointing end (check out “Hard 2”)
I like this mod and enjoyed it, even though I played it on Hard mode. Maps are good detailed and have a lot of various in design and gameplay. Yes, I used a quicksave often, but there is no need for using of cheats, just aim for a head if you can find it 🙂 . And for me Hard is much more interesting than Hard 2. So I give 5 stars for the first episode, because even when it’s hard, it’s not boring.
This is a good set of challenging maps. It may not tie out to any particular Half-Life storyline (for once the G-Man isn’t even there), but the levels are combative and often visually pleasing. Sometimes, however, I got stuck in a bugged area or couldn’t see beyond the map limit (don’t know what else to call it when the background bugs out), but not so much that it became annoying. The puzzles were often unclear and illogical, but I don’t believe the maps were designed with puzzle-solving in mind. The beginning was very challenging prior to obtaining the HEV suit. It wasn’t too difficult for a while, but as the end draws near, it becomes extremely hard, as the name implies. Overall, not the most difficult combat I’ve seen, but it meets a good standard. My biggest complaint is the snark spamming. Hate those [email protected] things.
Ideas were good, execution not that good.