Hello and welcome to Challenge 5 in the Lambda Cup, a series of five Source single player mapping challenges.
If you are new to the Lambda Cup or mapping challenges, please see the event’s homepage: THE LAMBDA CUP 2018.
The theme for this challenge is “replay”.
Get ready to play through 9 new maps!
- Title: ReplayVille
- Filename: sdk-2013-sp-tlc18-c5-replayville.7z
- Size: 292MB
- Authors: Dalannar, AnonymoScoot, Steven Cabbage, LordDz, Skorly, 1upD, Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH, Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon, Rocky B, Jmp
- Date Released: 29 December 2018
THIS VERSION CURRENTLY CAN NOT BE USED WITH GAUGE. SORRY
- 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 sdk-2013-sp-tlc18-c5-replayville” folder into your “SourceMods” folder.
- Restart or start Steam.
- RTSL.TLC18.C5.ReplayVille should now be listed in your “Library” tab.
If you decide to use the Per-Map Opinion Images, please either watch the video below or use the file below:
For this challenge, we would like to you create a map that is fun to replay – or that specifically rewards you for playing through again. Variety is the spice of life, so offering the player different experiences during playthroughs is key.
One way to do this is by offering the player choices. Choice of path, or weapons, or companions, and so on.
Randomness can also make significant changes to the experience. Random enemy locations, random timing of attacks, or even random map layout changes that can lead to interesting playthroughs are all fair game.
Ideally the player’s choices or any random elements will impact the playthrough and offer variety on a replay.
Full details of the theme can be found on its announcement page.
This time there’s a twist: our latest research has developed a new function for the Gravity Gun. By finding and attaching a rare Stasis Crystal, the now-enhanced Gravity Gun has the added ability to freeze an object in space. Don’t worry, it’s not permanent – but the object will remain in stasis indefinitely until you use the Gravity Gun to move it again.
Use of the Stasis Crystal is optional in this challenge.
Mappers can give players the classic Gravity Gun or the Super Gravity Gun – and both versions may be enhanced with the Stasis Crystal.
We envision the Stasis Crystal having many uses, from blocking, reaching areas, puzzle-solving, attacking, defending and probably many others.
Listed as they are displayed in the mod itself:
Multiverse Learning Center by Dalannar (Tutorial map, not part of the challenge)
Master Chef by AnonymoScoot
Mind Collapse by Steven Cabbage
Uprising by LordDz
Aqua Drainage by Skorly
Divergence by 1upD
Die Another Day by Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH
Postmortem by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon
Way Through the Woods by Rocky B
Dungeon by Jmp
The order of the maps was generated via random.org
Remember, the judges scoring is based on the final map submitted BEFORE the deadline. The actual released versions of maps and therefore the ones you played, may differ significantly from those initially submitted.
Here are the top three places, the tightest challenge perhaps we’ve ever had!
- Winner: Die Another Day by Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH: 87 Points
- Second: Aqua Drainage by Skorly: 86 Points
- Third: Way Through the Woods by Rocky B: 85 Points
Note: Abraham was unable to judge and score this challenge due to personal circumstances. Dolmo has kindly stepped in as a replacement judge.
Full details of all the points can be found on The Lambda Cup 2018 Public Points Spreadsheet.
Phillip, Don, Dan, Crowbar and Dolmo are the judges for this challenge.
Time for you to share your thoughts! Vote for your top 3 ReplayVille maps. Poll closes 30th January 2019.
Which are your 3 favourite maps from ReplayVille?
- Dungeon by Jmp (5%, 10 Votes)
- Way Through the Woods by Rocky B (3%, 6 Votes)
- Postmortem by Matt71490 AKA Event Horizon (8%, 15 Votes)
- Die Another Day Jean Knapp AKA XBLAH (19%, 35 Votes)
- Divergence by 1upD (7%, 13 Votes)
- Aqua Drainage by Skorly (16%, 29 Votes)
- Uprising by LordDz (19%, 36 Votes)
- Mind Collapse by Steven Cabbage (21%, 39 Votes)
- Master Chef by AnonymoScoot (2%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 89
The Lambda Cup 2018 consists of five mapping challenges, each with a different theme.
Entrants will receive points for each challenge they enter.
At the end of the event, the best 3 points totals from the challenges they entered will be added together for each entrant.
These totals will decide who wins the Grand Prizes.
This means that entrants do NOT have to enter each and every contest to win the grand prize but they will need to have entered at least 3 challenges to have a chance of winning the grand prizes.
For more details visit the Lambda Cup homepage.
0.9 – Developers’ and Judges’ Version. First versions of maps. Version used to judge the entries.
1.0 – THIS RELEASE. No known issues.
Niker107 created the Mertz Module models.
Dalannar created the Multiverse Learning Center map and Salamancer created various custom textures for it.
Thanks to all of you for working on such short notice!
Caleb West AKA CW3D created the extended remix of Brane Scan originally by Kelly Bailey from Half-Life 2
There is 1 custom gridview image included in this release.
To use it, switch your Steam Library view to Gridview. Right click on RTSL.THC2018.C5.ReplayVille and chose “Set Custom Image”. Click “browse” when a small windows appears and navigate to your SourceMods folder and the “sdk-2013-sp-tlc18-c5-replayville/steam-gridview-images/” folder and select the image of your choice.
You can of course, create your own image and use that.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
6Last 7 days
44Last 30 days
Using Gauge: Users
Manually: 9 Users
Average: 3 Hours, 38 Mins
Shortest: 1 Hours, 30 Mins by fingunray
Longest: 6 Hours by Winterman
Total Time Played: 39 Hours, 59 Mins
This release is currently not in a collection
If you believe this release is missing important tags, please suggest them in a comment?
Excellent, I’ll get stuck into this later on…
Yep,, been waiting on this!!
At first I didn’t like the maps from this challenge, but once I played again, I could pick a few that were good. I think most of us didn’t fit well the theme. I don’t consider random spawning enemies as a replayable factor. It should be used between deaths so the player doesn’t know by heart where every enemy is. But still it’s not a reason enough to play again.
This map looked bad, but I guess looks weren’t the objective here. It introduced a “new” gameplay, kinda like that Too Many Crates mod. What I really missed were autosaves. I had to cheat in my last playthrough so I wouldn’t have to play it all again as I was almost at the end. I didn’t see any replay value, except if it was to consider that it was “open world”, so I didn’t had to follow a linear path.
It was hard to hear the dialog at the start, and I missed what I was supposed to do. I guess it had to do with the different routes the player could use. The squad was more annoying than helping, but it was a nice add. I didn’t like that the helicopter had it’s health lowered to speed up the fight. The final battle was cut short because of that.
This map was interesting, it had a nice environment. Some areas nailed the dark atmosphere, but others made it hard to see. The story is sad, but it reaches it’s climax in the middle of the game, and the following scenes almost make me forget about it. There were a few different options given to the player that could give different routes, so the player should really play again to test them all.
I’m not evaluating my own submission, but I published a Developer Commentary, in case anyone is interested.
This map clearly had two routes you could follow. Each one spawned different enemies and different weapons. What I didn’t like was that the combat was too repetitive, and enemies spawned from places that had already been cleared up. It was the only one who used the mertz module, which is a plus, but it was only used to clear some pathways, much like an alternative crowbar. Another nice point was that it had a story behind, but it was a bit hard to understand it.
This one was my favourite, because of it’s looks. It has a HL2 Beta feel that the author nailed it, in my opinion. The map was really long, which is not a bad thing, since it was not tiring. I also died a lot and I think a few autosaves should be tweaked, and I hated the helicopter fight: because it dropped infinite bombs and because it flew really high or really low, and because of the dark environment, it was hard to spot it. But anyways, this one was my favourite.
The way the author used the theme here really nailed it. He cleverly used the autosave feature to allow the player to die and spawn as another character while the timeline stood intact. The combat sequence was long and there were a few things that could be better, but considering the theme, the looks and the gameplay, this entry was the one that most fitted the challenge.
It was mostly combat, but it was nice. The environment and sound were good enough, and the combat was frequent so it had a nice flow. I didn’t see the replay value except for maybe using different weapons to do the run again.
This was the first map available in the challenge and, in my opinion, it was really bad. Maybe I missed something or what I was supposed to do, but for me it looked like it was just a bunch of npcs randomly spawned inside narrow corridors and tight rooms. I saw no replay value there. Please, let me know if I’m wrong.
My favourite, as I already said, was Aqua Drainage. The author ended up using the same theme as me, but designed it with a totaly different atmosphere and gameplay. Also, the length of the entry was more than enough, which is a nice thing. Second place is Uprising, that introduced a nice gameplay feature that really fitted the theme.
2 Hours, 55 Minutes
My map mind collapse has three ways to complete, u just should go straight ahead the street in the beginning
Its my fault, I didn’t sigh that my map has three different ways to complete it
You are not to blame Steven. The problem is that these days players don’t take the time to explore anymore, it’s all instant gratification, binge, fast run and get to the end quickly. I am from an older generation, my first computer was a C64 and we needed to load games with a cassetteplayer and the games were meh at best…But I learned to enjoy the moment and play the games to their fullest, that’s why I did not miss your inventive three different paths. Didn’t even have to look hard. Great map by the way. Rgds.
“Am I at fault? … No, it’s the players who are wrong!”
If you take the first route presented to you, you’re locked in to it, so unless you’re aware of the different paths then you could leave the map thinking that was the only one.
Babbling on about how old you are, and therefore superior at games sounds pretentious, and as someone who also likes to take his time and explore every route, your attitude makes me cringe.
What could have been done to improve the map is somehow signal to the player the possibility of different routes, even if it’s something as simple as a light cue. The checkpoint could be distinctly blue, whilst off at the end of the road you see a very distinctly orange light illuminating the doorway to the other path, and then the manhole could be red, etc.
Not everything can be blamed on “Players these days!” And it’s a bad mindset to fall in to.
Touched a nerve did I?
Unless you have a rebuttal, I think you just admitted you were wrong. Very well.
Rebuttal: alternate path clearly visible behind Barney at junction. You missed it, payer at fault. You are wrong. QED.
I agree with Trivvy. Players are not supposed to go around exploring stuff. If this wasn’t called ReplayVille, people wouldn’t even wonder if there was an alternate path. Steven Cabbage’s map was great, top of the competition, in my opinion. But for me, he placed the bifurcation in a spot the players couldn’t reach anymore if they took the main route [watch my walkthrough and you will see that even when I’m showing the alternate path, I accidentaly get stuck between the gates and can’t go back].
That’s just my feedback. And shark, if you expect players to only play the map the way you thought they would, you are gonna have a bad time. If this review was for you, I wished you took it as a positive feedback, which you didn’t. The same thing happened to my submission and at the last minute I almost didn’t submit it, but considering the context of these competitions, a map is better than no map.
I also agree with Trivvy. I think Steven handled it in a good way, and took constructive criticism well. But shark, there was no need to mention how your older and superior and that you owned a commedor 64. The player shouldn’t have to search for the paths. I think the map was very well constructed, and I especially enjoyed the section where your in the front of the Nexus building. But I think the routes should of been a bit clearer.
Entitled to my opinion like you. Why are you picking on me for pointing out certain behaviours of players ?
Because we gave constructive feedback, not like you. It’s never the player’s fault. I have just watched someone on youtube accidentaly break my map because he kept spamming the class selection menu. My fault, not his.
Well, I disagree. When you get to the bifurcation and look straight ahead you can clearly see the open door behind Barney, if you missed it it’s because you moved too quickly.
My age has nothing to do with it and my comments remain valid and calling me pretentious just shows some people’s touchiness about their own abilities as players.
You missed it guys, suck it up. Maybe you need a flashing arrow saying “THIS WAY”?
Some players don’t bother to explore and have an urgency to get to the end thus missing half the fun. Others seem to require handholding at every corner, that also takes the fun away.
Tell me, what did you observed on this very Earth that every modern players are like this? At first, I respected you, now you’re falling on being narcissistic.
For starters the review I reacted on: that’s how this whole debate started. It is obvious that the reviewer did not take his time explore the area but was very quick in criticizing the mapper for not making the different paths more obvious. I got a s@#%load of criticism for defending the mapper and in the end provided clear evidence that the mapper did put hints in the right place and that the player is at fault for not finding them. Now all of a sudden I’m a narcissist? Dudes, get a grip…
Furthermore there are plenty of “walkthroughs” on YouTube where it’s all about speed and get to the end as fast as possible; there are even “speed runs” for crying out loud! There are whole areas which are not explored at all. May I draw my conclusion that playing has generally become more “get-to-the-end” oriented rather than explore and see what’s there without being called nasty names?
If people disagree they should do it with verifiable evidence or solid arguments, name calling does not qualify.
One thing I would agree to you is the fact that the secret path is as good as it is. Just my opinion.
But was it necessary to brag about you being a gamer from like, what 1960s? It can give you a bad look, man.
On your topic of speedruns, that is the WHOLE POINT that it exists! The players who has done these are those who have known the glitches and exploits by either playing or researching. Take Half-Life 2 speedrun for example. You won’t see the players picking up a lot of ammo or fighting a lot of enemies. This is because speedrun is about completing the game in the shortest amount of time as one can conceive. That means you will always be moving to the next section while only killing enemies that are absolutely necessary to progress. Here’s a thing, enemies in games are secretly avoidable, except trying to avoid them would make playing the game much harder, because they are presented in a way that you feel like you must kill them to progress. That means Lambda Caches are, while can help them, hunting for them becomes trivial. Plus, you won’t be needing a lot of health or ammo if your whole point is to progress without doing a lot of fighting. So yeah, they won’t walk to that off-beaten path if they would only find a dead end, that’d add more seconds to the clock.
For walkthroughs, they are essentially “guides” on how to progress. They would tell the viewers how to get past these sections. These people have also played the games multiple times too, so they can memorised the encounters and the levels like the speedrunners. I’m pretty sure they won’t take the path that would only lead them to dead ends or at best some collectibles/easter eggs. (Unless they are doing 100% walkthrough, but then again collectibles may or may not included, and easter eggs very less so.) That is because they are here to tell the players what to do to progress. They played the game for like 20 times beforehand, so they know that this path only leads to one item or pointless collectibles so yeah, why would they take time on that? They may appreciate the scenery, but they’re not doing a Let’s Play.
wasn’t bragging about being an old gamer, you missed the point about things going slower and therefore giving you more complete gaming experience. Sorry you didn’t get it.
I might also add that there are still some games that helpfully rewards exploration, such as Borderlands, Dead Space, Wolfenstein, DOOM, or even some cases Call of Duty!
I’m gonna have to agree with Shark. I’m not convinced a person exists who didn’t see the big blue open door straight ahead of themselves in an otherwise empty colorless alley before finding the “walk toward a metal wall” path that requires you to veer left.
I have no idea what the hell I am supposed to do in this map. There are different floors with each containing different enemies, but I don’t know why I should kill them or leave them alive. I couldn’t find an exit or anything. Maybe I am doing something wrong?
For the visuals, they are very standard.
Liked this one. You need to get into a building where Dr. Breen is. You can choose to get into the building from the front (which is the most action-packed) from underneath (sewers with zombies) or from behind (with snipers and some Combine). I liked all three of them, and how they are all different from each other.
One thing that I didn’t like was combat with the Combine. In a lot of areas you get barely any cover, meaning you will often have to run in areas where you are completely exposed.
This entry has a pretty neat idea. Everytime you die, you get to take control of another rebel. And believe me, you will die A LOT. The creator made it so that you are extra weak, so if you are being shot for 3 seconds, you’re done for. The thing is, you get a loading screen everytime you die, and the loading screens in this mod are quite long. This means you will spend most time in this entry waiting for the loading screen to finish than actually playing.
Also, I loaded another map while still in this entry once, and the more-damage-effect was still present. This is kind of breaking a rule about applying settings that affect other maps. Please don’t bring down the rating for this entry for that, as this is a pretty good entry and most players won’t join another entry while playing one anyways.
Jesus this map has A LOT of different paths. Although most of them lead to the same thing, it was still enjoyable to replay this entry and try the other paths.
Apart from being a good entry for the replay-factor, it’s also really good at all the other aspects (combat, level design, etc.). The end is quite epic with it’s final battle.
I had a lot of fun playing this entry. Replay-factor was there, combat was great and the map looked quite good. I almost have no complaints about this one.
This entry made the best use of the theme Replay. You can choose from four different classes, each with their own weapons and abilities. It was really fun to play with each of the classes, because each class plays differently.
The visuals are great, apart from some weird purple reflections. This is for me the winner of this competition.
This entry had the best atmosphere. Good use of lighting and other effects give the world a disturbing feeling. Shame that when the combat kicks in, the atmosphere is basically erased. The transition is also very sudden. One moment you are crawling underneath a infested city, and the next moment you are in a hospital with six Combine Soldiers around the corner.
One of the biggest issues this entry has, is the optimization. I noticed a lot of framedrops. There were also visual issues. Some decals suddenly turn fully white, buildings will disappear when looked at a certain way, it really distracts you from the perfect atmosphere this map has.
Replay-factor in this entry was trying to help as many rebels as you can escape. This is done in a very good looking map, the good use of effects like rain make it worth looking around in.
One of my (only) complaints were that the rebels tend to stop following you and just stand still. I had to regularly check behind my back to see if my squad was still there.
The final battle was a bit short and not really spectacular in any way. Other than that I don’t really have any complaints.
Although simplistic in it’s level design, this entry plays quite well. You are chased by a monster in a building and you need to find batteries to open a door. The replay value for this entry was collecting as many gold bars, these are found everywhere around the map.
The music was a really good choice. It perfectly captures the situation you are in, and it makes you feel a bit uncomfortable.
My biggest issue with this entry is that it is very easy to get lost in the map due to the simplistic level design. When I found a key I had to jump around the map for minutes before I eventually found the place I was supposed to be.
3 Hours, 30 Minutes
This was the first map challenge to be posted during my use of the site. I really liked the idea and was waiting in anticipation for it to release. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed either!
When I entered the map, the objective was pretty clear. You have to put various items into a big pot to make a soup of some sort. The problem was, it just went on and on. There were various items on the bottom floor and zombies upstairs, there was even a hole to shoot zombies so they’d fall in a pot, but I never pulled this off. I feel like the idea was good, but it was badly executed. If there were less items required to finish it would have been better.
Mind collapse was okay, the map was well done and was fun to play but I couldn’t find any other paths than the one I took. I assume there is more than one, but I only found one where you walk down the main street and turn right. The creator was on the right track, but could’ve mde the paths more obvious. You could put combine shooting at you from one. Or maybe have a rebel usher you down another.
I really, really enjoyed this map. The basic idea, is that you go through a bunch of scenarios, where you quite easily die. Even on easy, death is prominent. When you die, it uses some form of quicksave black magic to let you continue playing as a different character in the same building, but best of all, everything you did on a previous life, is saved into your next life. If you’ve played a newer battlefield game, it’s similar to the opening sequences, but in a single space. Its a fantastic map.
Aqua Drainage by Skorly
This map is fantastic in game-play and choices. In itself, the map could do well in a number of competitions. It’s a good blend of game play and environments, and was fun every moment I played. In terms of choices, from the beginning you had the chance to go stealthy or just shoot everything, which I enjoyed. There were also some good choices. I’d definitely recommend you play this map.
I going to have to be honest, I did not get this map. I got that you have to put the plug into the teleporter, but after that, I was lost. I went to a different version of the room and for some reason, Judith was behind a bunch of planks. This and master chef were the only maps I did not complete.
I adored this map, and actually replayed it 2 or 3 times before moving on. It’s class based which is unique and works really well. As soon as I saw a screenshot on the RTSL twitter page, I was impressed. The actually class select screen works very smoothly, and the classes themselves provided different experiences of the map. The sniper let you climb a tower and use a custom made rifle to aid from above! Definitely a great map.
This map had some great story telling, you can read some notes and have a clear objective. The first time I played, I encountered a glitch where I did not set off a trigger in the bar so I had to restart. I also replayed this one, I wont spoil why, but I wanted to have another shot at the objective. The multiple paths were clear and well thought out and it was a decent map overall.
This map was quit fun, the choices were clear, but the map itself was a bit confusing. There was a section with toxic waste, but it didn’t harm me or my team, so I was avoiding it for nothing. I thought the finale was a bit anticlimactic as well, but the choices were fun.
I have mixed feelings about this map. I liked some aspects but not others. The gold collecting was cool, and I liked that you could go out of your way to get more, but I didn’t like having to collect the batteries. The guardian that chased you was pretty cool though. It was actually quite scary having a black mass hurtling after you!
1 Hour, 30 Minutes
I completed the whole ReplayVille today, and the best map for me was Mind Collapse by Steven Cabbage I think this entry was sticking to the point, making you play the map over and over again for different approach every time. First when i started playing the map i didn’t went straight to the first option, i simply went exploring, i went past Barney’s position and saw open door and noted it as a second approach for later, i completed the map map with it’s first approach.After that i played my second approach, i went in that computer room got out of it and i noticed an open sewer i noted that as a third option, i completed it for the second time, and the sewers were my last approach and again i completed it.
*Now let’s talk about the approaches:
-The first one “The Nexus Approach” (as i call it) was the most difficult approach in this map you face a lot of combine soldiers ,the elite soldiers and few Hunters and a few Striders…
The second one “The Snipers Approach” (as i call it) was not that hard except for the Antlion Guard area which was also very difficult.
-The third one “The Sewer Approach” (as i call it) was the easiest and quickest there were lot’s of zombies, headcrabs and a few soldiers with. (This was the best approach for me, and more stealthier).
Thanks to the Author who created this map and sorry, if there were some mistakes in this text because English is not my first language.
I’m with you, Mind Collapse was, for me, by far the best entry, it stuck to the point and was fun to play.
Thank you so much for you feedback.
No problem mate, you just done what is needed to be done, some of the entries were stupid, confusing, but this was my favorite!
absolutely…please make some more…
Too sad Philip left this site. There is not going to be any Villes…. Damn it!
Excellent – still not fast enough to crank the wheel and get through the door on game 3 – an age thing maybe 🙂
Well done every one of you for fine efforts….
As much as I’d love to say this was a “personal favorite” considering how great the theme was and the fact that this will likely be the last Ville ever (if not, the last Ville ever overlooked by Phillip), I don’t think it quite reaches the height of FusionVille. That said, there are some great maps in here, so lets get into it!
I was torn between “Dire” and “Bad” for this one, but I think I will give it a pass because its clear that this is a mapper who is still learning, and with that context in mind, it isn’t the worst map I’ve seen. The concept was nice, it was just executed poorly.
I know that everyone really loved this map, but personally, I just thought it was “good”. No disrespect to Steven Cabbage or his map, as the map is still quite fun, but I found it to be a bit uninteresting in concept and execution. This might just be a personal taste thing, as I generally prefer maps that stray from the typical Half-Life 2 style, but for me, this map didn’t do much that was particularly memorable or stand-out.
The only thing holding this map back from being “Wow” is the confusion I had on my first playthrough (granted, on an early playtest version, but from what I can tell it wasn’t any different in this regard), alongside the mild annoyance of waiting for the map to load after every death. Very interesting idea, and as far as “Use of theme” goes, this map takes the cake.
As with “Mind Collapse”, this one didn’t feel too different to an average HL2 map, but it was certainly entertaining from start to finish. One of the nicest looking maps in this challenge. Not much else to say about this one, Good job Skorly.
Its clear that 1upD ran out of time with this one, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Aside from some small nitpicks and confusing moments, there really isn’t much wrong with this map. At its core, the idea wasn’t too interesting as a “replayable” map, but as a one-off Half-Life map, I would say that this is certainly worth your time.
My personal favorite. I was between giving this a “Great” and a “Wow” because of the lack of soundscapes, but the presentation of the map makes up for this slack. If I had to provide a second complaint, it would be that the classes don’t play all that different to each-other (with the exception of one), but aside from that, this map is essentially perfect. Great job.
I plan to upload a development commentary soon, which I will link to here when I do, but for the mean time, I created this video going through the creation of the map: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlhRJepk-HM
This is another map that suffers from being somewhat bland/uninteresting to me, but yet again, I can’t point to any particular element of this map and say it is “bad”. Regardless, I still had a fun time playing, and my only real complaint aside from the aforementioned one is that the “Different Paths” approach didn’t really resonate with me here. Granted, I did the same thing, so I guess I cannot really complain.
I was between giving this an “Okay” and a “Good”, but I went with “Good” because the Antlion Guardian managed to make me jump five feet out of my chair when I realized it was still on my tail. I was pretty confused about this map on my initial playthrough, but I must commemorate Jmp’s very different approach to this challenge. While it might not be the best in terms of execution, at it’s core, it was a reasonably fun adventure.
Well, that’s it. The final installment of The Lambda Cup, and quite possibly the final “Ville” ever. Its sad to think that this may be my last challenge review I write on this site, but at the very least, I am glad to see that it ended on a high note.
2 Hours, 30 Minutes
The last challenge of the Hammer Cup 2018 is here!
What. The. F***. So judging from the title I initially thought it’d be some sort of fun cooking map that you can replay over and over. My God, how wrong was I.
To start off, you are given no clue or introduction on what to do. I explored the map after realizing gas barrels and propane tanks doesn’t make a good soup at all. I discovered that the weapons are somehow hidden inside the crates and nothing tell me they were there. Also, other than “Quality +1” there is no indication that you are doing it right.
From what I assumed, you are supposed to exit the kitchen and explore the apartment for the so-called ingredients. The map is a cluster hell of enemies crammed into a single room, you will be running back to the ammo crates every 20 seconds.
Hell, among the NPCs to fight are Barney and Alyx. I’m not sure if the creator catch this, but unless you have some sort of ridiculous GMod SWEPs you will never be able to take these two on.
While not much spectacular, it really pulls off the replay value. Now, this map in a nutshell is the “Follow Freeman!” chapter with each section of the chapter divided into paths and each path has its own sort of theme.
The first path is very combat oriented- I like it. Although, it could have used more cover. I didn’t expect my first fight to be three AR2 Soldiers and a Hunter in an open street. It was too open, in my opinion. The area in front of the Nexus is very barren and kind of feel artificial. The entrance is more spammable than a TF2 map chokepoint. The Elites were really trivial to fight, since you can spam the RPG.
The second path is puzzle-oriented. You got dodge-the-sniper, rooftop Soldiers, and dodge-the-Antlion-Guards. I’m not sure but did the Combine really teach the Soldiers to rappel even though there’s an enemy that can kill him when doing that? It was tense and really good. Although, I kind of disagree with some people, the door leading to this path is as subtle as it should be. Maybe change the light color, because it sort of camouflaged the door a bit too well.
The third path takes you into a Zombie infested sewer, before ending with Policemen. I somehow find it a little bit easy, easier than the rest. Probably because the supply crates keep feeding me shotgun shells.
The ending is a little awkward, how does Barney know that I have arrived and bust in? I also have to wait for a moment to shoot Breen, for some reason.
Absolutely fantastic. I did not expect this concept at all! As soon as you die, you get to control another rebel. This reminds me of the opening sequence of Battlefield 1. The creator also kind went off to the path of Entropy: Zero, you take more damage, a lot more damage. This is probably done because if you don’t die, you won’t get to see its gimmick. Fortunately, and also to compensate the fact that the Combine have faster reaction time, they also take more damage. The spawns of the items and rebels are randomized too, I think. Sometimes, I lament for getting a bad spawn because my rebel forgot to bring backup ammo. Also occasionally the map is glitch, from my playthrough I died from an energy ball, I switched to the next character, I kept dying over and over again because he kept getting hit by the ball and they won’t let me switch.
Partition for a mod that tells the story of the rebels around the World? Anyone?
This map not only uses choices for new gameplay, but also variation of enemies. I remember that on my first playthrough, I encountered a headcrab immediately, which didn’t on the second. While the paths lack its own theme like Mind Collapse, it’s a neat way for presenting choices, even though all paths are connected after some minutes.
My only complaint is that the final fight in the courtyard is a bit too dark, it was also a bit brutal. The chopper really gave a run for the money.
OK, 1UpD is pretty much onboard the Epistle 3 wagon now. I really like to see Mossman finally fighting, and also I really like the choices that were present. The combat was really solid and each choice has its own theme. One is Combine, another is zombie.
What I didn’t like was, like someone said, the enemies spawn from areas that you have already been. This makes their appearance really awkward and unnatural. There’s also not much variety in combat.
The ending caught me off guard, but although I really never see Judith as an actual backstabber though. You can also change the ending by being kind to someone in need, which rewards you with supplies.
DIRE! It’s ripping off a James Bond movie name, and does not in anyway feels like one! Just kidding..
The class system already earned a WOW for me. Overall, this map encourages you to try a different approach and it pulled it off successfully. I feels like there’s a reason why the Demo is a black dude. Hm….. *cue drunken Scottish noises*
However, there are some things I want to talk about. The Electronic class would shine more if only him gets the Gravity Gun, because Assault and Demo have it too so that means his arsenal didn’t stand out to me much. Also, he is advertised to have a shotgun but I didn’t get one and it’d make more sense if Assault has it instead. I also wish the gimmick of Demo and Electronic are used more, because the breaching charges and hacking tool just feel like “skip puzzle” button. I also was disappointed that the “Divert Dropship” ability is basically run back to the car before it lands, something that I already managed to do as Assault.
For the Sniper, she is OK, but it’s not much of a challenge playing as her. I’m not sure what “Rappel” is.
My squadmates’ pathing is a bit annoying, but I blame it on the engine. Also, I actually didn’t catch the RPG being “unlocked” next to me so I ran like Hell to the car after the Gunship showed up. It was also because I expected the Demo to do his job.
Matt, you have pulled it off. Not great, but I consider it an improvement even though it is plagued my constant framerate issue and red messages flooding my console menu. The map starts off quite nicely. I also like the atmosphere and attempt to tell a story, it was good. Occasionally, however, the map is too dark due to the lightning choice. I also like the fact that should I drink too much, I basically starts off with no weapons at all.
The Sniper is really unfair, he can see me through cover and can shoot right underneath his window, not to mention he is a surprise encounter so he will get a drop on you first.
The path splits quite nicely. Although, I’m not sure if there is any way to save Victoria.
As soon as I meet Victoria, all the drama and feelings evaporated when action sequence begins. It ruined what it tried to build in the first place. I really like how you managed to tie the ending with ActiveTransport, although still not forgiving the random teleportation it has.
One final minor flaw is I had no idea where to sit in the bar until I mashed buttons.
Really randomized and really good. Every zones and paths can be a lot different each playthrough. It first was frustrating for me but I subsequently managed to enjoy it.
However, I want to say that the Mountain Pass choice is absurdly a breeze compared to the Mines. The Mines would be better too if there was a car to block off the Antlion hole. Afterwards, it was alright. The toxic waste not damaging anyone was very weird. I also really dislike still having to defend my escorts at the train station and the final bosses’ health are drastically lowered.
This reminds of one of those “Slender clones” that flooded YouTube back in 2012-13. The puzzle was alright and really challenging. The Antlion Guard AI was good too, although, I have to know how to successfully hide from him. I found 48 Gold bars, I’m not sure where’s the last one since I got the 49th by noclipping. Overall, good. However, I really don’t see the replayability here.
It was a good Ville to end the Hammer Cup, after all, it was probably among the best ones yet for me. My first place goes to Uprising, second goes to Mind Collapse, and the last one goes to Divergence. I really like Uprising’s surprising take on replayability, which profited much for me. Honorable mentions to Die Another Day and Way Through the Woods.
Well, after hearing Phllips’ words on leaving RTSL, I was sad but I understand him. He’s already old anyway. I’m not sure if I’m gonna stick around after that, consider this what-can-be my last review on this site. I might stick around for comments. It was a good run, even if it was short. Thank you again, Phillips, for bringing me back to Half-Life 2. Until next time, farewell.
The year is 2019 and the original founder of PlanetPhillip/RTSL has retired. Chances are ReplayVille was the final Ville ever! Was it a good ville? Well, in my opinion it was. On to the individual maps:
At first I actually had fun in this map; I personally like wading through hordes of enemies with a large arsenal and lots of explosive physic-props available. However, that fun gradually faded away when I had to keep backtracking to the large room for new ammo to combat large numbers of sometimes almost invincible NPC’s (Barney, Alyx) that were crammed in tiny spaces. And I never knew that the main objective of the map was to cook props in the pot … Yes, the title of the map gives a hint but it really should be made more clear.
Clearly inspired by the overwatch Nexus chapter in HL2, this map wasn’t bad at all. Visuals were good, gameplay too although the battle with the Striders was a bit too static. I only played this map once but want to replay it sometimes these days as was the point with ReplayVille!
Hmmm, I didn’t liked dying every 20 seconds but that is a personal taste. It actually makes sense as the player actually is one of the vulnerable citizens against the trained and armored Combine. One thing to note is that if the player quits halfway through the map, THEN boots up the mod again and pick up where they have left, they’ll have normal HP again and the map becomes much easier. Still, not a bad entry!
A little rough here and there visually but the map is huge and contains a lot of gameplay. I assume there were a lot of paths to follow because I thought I was lost a number of times but managed to progress anyway. I didn’t really liked the part on the bridge with the APC and soldiers but everything else was fine and the distribution of ammo and health/batteries was well-balanced. Aqua Drainage takes a place in my personal top-3 in this Ville!
Fun fact: the thing that was the most dangerous for me in Divergence was the cable at the start. It even killed me due to weird physics! Not gonna blame the mapper though as this is probably a case of Hammer weirdness. The map has good visuals and was fun to play. I think Divergence was the only map in Replayville that featured (relative) new content as the stasis crystal and a stealthy ominous version of a Combine Elite.
First thing I noticed was the brilliant selection screen! Second thing to note was the splendid outdoor environment. I have to say that I got stuck a couple of times due to an invisible wall (In think?) in front of a door and a quite hidden button that wasn’t easy to find. Apart from that, the gameplay was decent throughout the map and the concept of the combine draining water from Earth to their homeworld was nicely implemented here. In my opinion, this map belongs to the top-3!
The first half of this map was really good with a magnificient atmosphere and a mysterious and somewhat sad story that gradually unfolds. The visuals in some places were extremely good, like in the snowy courtyard and the bar with the little colored lights on the railing. The second half of the map however takes a bit of a nosedive with rough combat, blander visuals and the excellent atmosphere of the first half virtually thrown out of the window. Regardless, this map is one of my personal top-3!
Hmmm, the onscreen text was a bit confusing to follow although I noticed some voice acting. The map seems quite large and looks pretty good as well, and the different routes are clearly defined. The gameplay throughout the map was once again good although a bit on the easy side.
Collecting batteries and golden bars in a dark maze sounds somewhat boring but personally I though it was an entertaining map. The danger in this map – an Antlion Guard – creates extra tension as one hit means a certain death. The lack of autosaves isn’t really great but luckily I was sort of warned beforehand!
So in my opinion the best three maps were: Aqua Drainage, Postmortem and Die Another Day. All other maps were good as well and followed closely behind except … well … Master Chef. Although I think Master Chef can certainly be salvaged by communicating to the player about the main objective and turn the number of enemies in small rooms down a notch.
2 Hours, 30 Minutes
I liked the Die Another Day map, it is not ordinary for its design and gameplay. Thanks to the author for this creation.
2 Hours, 4 Minutes
Play it now:
Die Another Day
The rest, not so much.
Well, I really don’t know if being absent from playing any HL2 mod in almost a year or more bias this review… But I know that definitely enjoyed this whole Replay-Ville theme.
I actually Found many entries actually worthy, or with a highly replay value, while others not so much.
For me. I agree the absolute winner is Die Another Day, as it was a very cool entry, I also just loved the whole military realism on it, and how the player can have fun mixing different strategies with the different specialists, although hacking devices were kind of bland.
Another solid one for me wasMind Collapse because this one actually offered many pathways to get your military objective done, in fact, I liked this one that much, that I port it on G-Mod and just have a blast playing with custom weapons and even a Tank!!!
In 3rd place, I’d place A Way Through The Woods, also with very solid military realism, and a fun way to progress with many paths and challenges. The only turn down for me in this one was the end, the Strider was way too easy to take down, and there were very few combines to combat in the final escape section, but the whole plot was simple, neat, and fantastic.
I also remark Aqua Drainage in a 4th position. because was fun to play and that Gnome detail added a nice humourous alternative ending, In that entry combat was very intense from the beginning, also with military realism, but the turndown for me was the helicopter battle, I felt it bland and glitchy, also why offer the player the RPG if he is going to finish the chopper with the bomb balls?
And finally, the fifth solid one for me was definitely Uprising I just love how the City 14 topic was used, I’ve always loved when authors dare to use realism in terms of the Half-Life Story-Arc, so City 14 is barely used as a topic in mods or maps, and here it was very nice to see the rebellion against the CMB explode from the perspective of many different citizens that took part on it.
The honorable mention in my opinion goes to Divergence because also used the topic of the Borealis in a very clever way and with a truly meaningful replay value. I loved how Mossman’s behavior could change if you take the right or bad decisions within the gameplay.
And well the bad ones for me were: Master Chef and Dungeon, as I felt those two used very clever concepts overall but were terrible implemented. In Master Chef for Example the whole mechanic of the map was totally broken, so play it was like a big zombie mayhem arena. And Dungeon was way too dark and it was very, very annoying to deprive the player of the flashlight… Maybe with some enhancements, those 2 could improve a lot.
This is one of the most enjoyable Villes I’ve ever played, or maybe I can say “replay”, Is totally worthy of your time and many entries are very clever and fun. So go on ahead and try it.