You play as Corporal Daniel Fletcher and your mission is to recover data from the Anomalous Materials Laboratory.
Along the way you will encounter all sorts of enemies and eventually rejoin your unit.
Can you complete your objective?
- Title: The Alpha Unit
- File Name: hl1-sp-the-alpha-unit.1.1.7z
- Size : 47.1MB
- Author: Hichem Bourai
- Date Released: 9 January 2011
This mod was originally released on ModDB but it was clear that the release wasn’t quite right. A close inspection showed that a HL1 serial key was being used to make the mod a stand alone game.
I contacted the author and suggested he remove it with the offer of help turning it into a proper mod. I then contacted Unq who kindly agreed to take a look. After a few emails back and forth, he managed to package the mod as you see it here. I would like to thank the author for being responsible and Unq for actually doing the conversion work.
This is the updated version: 1.1 and fixes issues with the squad.
- Copy the alphaunit folder into your Half-Life 1 folder.
- Restart or start Steam.
- Half-Life: The Alpha Unit should now be listed in your Library tab.
If you require more help, please visit the Technical Help page.
Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
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I wanted to like this, I really did, but it just wasn’t good enough.
It suffers from 3 serious problems:
1. There are enemies in and around the level changes. This is bad design and shows a lack of beta testing.
2. Enemies spawn in groups and at set times. At first it’s a shock but then it’s just freaking annoying. Yes, I know that the BM incident meant aliens did “just appear” but not like this.
3. You have to move a squad and if one dies the mod is over. In addition, if one gets stuck you have to use a previous save. Again, that’s just crazy. In fact after a couple of levels with the squad I gave up. Playing should be fun and this wasn’t.
The start was not very good but after that I started to enjoy it. The design was a little blocky and basic but I was still having fun.
The author should have made a much smaller mod to learn from and then got bigger and bigger.
I recommend you play this only if you LOVE Half-0Life mods, but don’t expect anything polished or refined.
5 Word Review
Too many beginner errors included.
It is always interesting to see releases that incorporate the Opposing Force. I like the weapons, the enemies, the different feel. Alpha Unit started out promising, and overall it was enjoyable, but the frustrations I came across kind of colored my whole experience and overall I can’t recommend it.
There were some general frustrations in this pack, such as the way groups of aliens frequently teleported in about 5 feet in front of you. It’s kind of cheap although I don’t mind it occassionally – but here it was abused and really became old since after a while you just know when it’s going to happen. It always seemed to be the same combination of aliens too. Once I was kind of at a loss as to what to do to progress (was wandering around the same area hitting buttons) but then I finally stumbled on the right combination of things. It just was totally unclear.
But the most frustrating part in Alpha Unit was the way squad was handled. I don’t want to spoil too much, but for the last handful of maps you are joined by 5 of your fellow marines – and if any of them dies at any point, it’s game over and your last save is loaded. This was handled decently in Op4 itself, since you generally didn’t need to keep that many alive during the game (the only one I can think of is an engineer), and at least they can defend themselves unlike scientists. But at this point Alpha Unit becomes an escort mission from hell. I ran into 2 main problems: 1) quite often one of the grunts stopped responding to me when I “used” him to follow me (had to reload a saved game to fix), and 2) the grunts don’t stay put, so you can’t park them somewhere to clear out the area ahead to make sure they don’t die. The author uses a lot of scripts to make sure the grunts kind of keep up with you on their own, but sometimes they run ahead (like into the line of fire of an Apache). I had a lot of problems with these grunts, and they’re not optional – many level changes or invisible walls aren’t accessible to you until your whole squad is present.
On the positive side, the mapping is decently solid. Some of the architecture is basic and there are some sloppy texture choices/alignment here and there but overall it was a decent Black Mesa pack. There is a good amount of custom voice acting to tell the story and your objectives – it’s heavily accented but understandable and certainly a valiant effort.
If you’re really hunting for Opposing Force style packs (although this is packaged for vanilla Half-Life), go ahead and play this one. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about the frustrations.
Hey Unq, sorry about my ignorance, but what’s Vanilla Half life???
Sorry, it’s just an expression that means “plain.” This is packaged for Half-Life (that is, it does not require Opposing Force, since it includes the necessary files in the download).
Oh ok, Thanks Unq I got it!
Phillip and unq pretty much sums up the problems with this mod…..group of enemies just spawing right in front of you IN LIKE EVERY ROOM, giving you little time to react
near the end I just got frustrated by my squad either getting shot by the chopper or just not following me. In the end I just cheated and use the “map”cheat to go to the last map and finish
also the voice acting is terrible……I could barely make out what they were saying. subs would’ve been nice
It is true this mod certainly does not provide what it promised…
I actually was a beta tester and even contributed a small map for his mod. During my beta tests I complained about the same things as Phillip and UNQ mentioned + texture issues, black player hands at some locations & some pushable objects which were invisible ingame. But he seemed to ignore it or simply forgot about my reports I really can’t tell.
The way it is. It’s indeed frustrating in one of the levels 1 of my grunts got stuck as well and unfortunately I didn’t notice it in time. So I was without a functional savegame where he was still working. Restarting the maps in the console also wont work as your fellow soldiers were suddenly elsewhere and so were you. Probably left overs from his mapping. That means the player spawn point isn’t at the beginning of the level what makes it even harder. So I recommend to use only real savegames in this mod & no quick saves as they get overwritten.
With the npc bugs and tons of monsters every few meters this is even as it offers some decent mapping here & there a less enjoyable experience.
I do hope the author will release an enhanced version someday with all the issues fixed as the mod does have potential to be so much more.
So much of the problem is your squad,thank you for this review, it was my very instructive,
I’ll see what I can do to improve the mod,but I think that chapter (half-life: the alpha unit) is finished.
Ahh this mod. I was tracking this (along with Hazardous Environments) until they got released. When this one got released I was shocked to see that it was standalone and I got into a argument with the creator about the legality of it (and he wouldn’t admit that it was illegal). But I digress. Now about the mod: it’s… ehhh. I mean I love anything OP4 related but this was just really buggy and generally poorly mapped. I was tempted to give this a think twice but after thinking twice (did you see what I did there) I got quite a bit of enjoyment of of this.
I didn’t see the squad members getting stuck issue (ok yes I did, but if u stand in front of him he might start moving) so I didn’t run into the technical issues. There were some texture misalignments but the architecture in general (though a bit less impressive) can give the impression that the author was trying to recreate various parts of opposing force.
I’m not sure if the author has played bootleg squadrog or paranoia, but the way the squad is handled in this mod can easily frustrate most players. If you didn’t know, I’ll tell you. In those games, the skill.cfg is changed so that squad members have 99999 HP or something like that. That way, the squad gameplay is present, and the difficulty of keeping them alive is easy to accomplish. As it is right now, it’s too easy to have them get killed especially towards the end where groups of enemies appear suddenly. in front of you.
Therefore I am making a suggestion. If you go and change the skill.cfg to make the squad members have very large HP, and try playing again, the squad getting killed issue will be gone and that will make the mod more enjoyable to the typical player.
I thought this mod could have and should have ended when you got on the small elevator after seeing the Gman. The squad thing was a huge PITA and I eventually had to stop playing. I got all my guys into an elevator but then the button wouldn’t work. Did I do something wrong?
Got it to work eventually but it was difficult
Immediately I was turned off by this release. Those who know me know I LOVE a good HL mod, but when I see mods/maps use oversized prefabs I get really upset. I mean look at HOW BIG THE STARTING COMPUTER IS!
But the mod quickly turned me back on when I realized there was an actual story, voice acting and a plot! Not every day do we get to experience such a treat.
Long story short, this mod is fantastic. There are some really big draw backs though. Unlike Phillip, I found the teleporting monsters to be awesome, this is something I’m very used to in SvenCoop so I don’t find it as annoying or difficult. There was a part of the mod that really stood out, later on on level 0 you turn out all the lights and need to rely on nightvision. The issue with OF nightvision is that it only draws light a couple meters in front of you so fighting female assassins means you really need to run up close. I liked this forced gameplay style, normally im fighting assassins from far back, forced me to change the way I play Halflife. There were other bits like this too later on.
Unfortunately, the addition of the squad members towards the end was terrible. I found I was hiding them in the corners of buildings just so that they wouldn’t get themselves killed… this is really a poor gameplay choice.
I hope to contact the designers of this mod, I think it would make a fantastic Svencoop campaign.
I would suggest playing it, but be aware you will need to do some squad control later on so you don’t pre-emptively loose the mod.
OK, I managed to finish this mod despite it’s problems. A word of advice if you are playing it for the first time. Do full saves (not quick saves) frequently when you start working with the squad. You will need to go back to them at different times.
I thought the mod was pretty good before the squad part was introduced. I didn’t like the enemies just appearing out of nowhere so frequently, and I felt I didn’t have the right weapons for the big ones, but I got through it. It was fun to be back in the Opposing Force world and explore Black Mesa again. I had some difficulty understanding the voices and what I was supposed to do, but I figured it out. Overall it was reasonably fun and the mod could have ended at the small elevator point and I would have been happy.
Once the squad was introduced the mod became a lot less fun because they were hard to control, and if any of them got killed the game was over. My characters got stuck several times and I had to wait at various points for the NPC’s to decide to follow me. Having 5 of them to look after was especially difficult. I usually tried to leave them somewhere and do the fighting myself.
I would give the first (non-squad) part of the mod a “Play it now” and the second part of the mod a “Think Twice” rating due to the buggy NPC’s. Overall it’s a “Maybe”
I’ve played this in stages rather than in one go because in truth it’s not that good, although it seemed it might be fun it didn’t live up to it!
it’s negative an positive points have already been indicated by other comments so I won’t repeat them. From the beginning it wasn’t that interesting and the looks really needed (a lot) more polish. I got as far as the second lift with the squad before calling it a day.
What has surprised me however was how quickly this went from being removed from Moddb to being made into a proper mod. At the time Phillip asked for people to check (10th Dec last year) it to confirm his suspicions (I’m curious to know how many others responded). The author, on his page on Moddb had already been to told the mod as it stood was not legit, but he claimed it was and if I remember correctly even said he had permission? From the wording at the time I would have thought he would be resistant to others telling him what to do.
So I have to congratulate the author for doing the right thing and well done to Phillip and Unq for bringing this to us all (legitimately) so speedily. That said however I didn’t enjoy it. I won’t say avoid it because the author has put a lot of work into this but it’s a close call.
I will be the strange divergent from the others,. recomendation in here.
Because, ALTOUGH I know and recognize that this mod have many annoying issues at the begining with the over-spawning ennemies at the levels transitions ant so, and specially controlling the squad at the end. I really liked the initiative of this mod, I mean I loved the way they mix the HL and OpForce elements, ennemies and the lovley weapons, that by the way I recomend to use the impulse 101 in order to have more fun if u love weaponery as me!
Well, the voice acting was pretty poor and kind of mediocre, and some dialogue I just couldn’t hear it, but I didn’t mind, I loved how this mod gives you intense harcore batles and I just liked that because that was something we just don’t see too much in mods this days.
Also and despite this was a rockie’s mod, I think it captured the pretty basic feeling of Black Mesa combat just well.
So in final words: It has its gameplay issues, but if u love environment and old BM nostalgia, then u have to try this.
PD. well it really nedds to polish more and I hope the modder improves in the future, i’d like to see an improved verssion if it hapens in the future, and also I think this would be great and delightful in SVEN COOP, but I don’t know if that’s possible.
Stuck after screenie #46 as the Gman enters the lift, saying mission failed, what did I wrong or not in time? 🙁 Give me a hint please!
Do you remember a glass door at the end of a corridor lower down? You need to get to there as quickly as possible before a huge explosion.
Barely, but that’s what was in my head, just couldn’t find it, will search for it soon hehe, thanx Phillip! 😉
a new version of the mod will be available soon
Opposing Force-style mod with lot of action and a squad to command.
-Decent level design
-Nice combat sequences, good balance but still easy
-Plenty of ammo, health and HEV batteries
-Surprising moments, scripts
-Quite many enemy types
-Mostly indoor, hallways tubes mostly
-Too easy difficulty imo
-Annoying squad members being dumb as bread :/
A 1.1 version was just released. Apparently it fixes the squad.
Do you know if there’s an official site or so? Or is it already downloadable? Maybe I wanna retry it..
It will be available form here in a few hours. Sorry, I am at work right now and will link to it when I get home.
Version 1.1 is now available from PP. The link above links to it and the updated version address issues with the squad and should make the mod much more playable.
Ah thanx Phillip, will replay it soon.. let’s see what really changed 😛
Frankly congratulations for this mod, great job! it’s always fun to replay one of the soldiers who tracked down Freeman 🙂 ,I do not understand why such a good mod had a terible critical.
Okay, after replaying it in the new version 1.1 I have to admit it was a bit different, but I’m not meaning the squad as I didn’t recognized any difference there BUT elsewhere:
1. Is it possible the difficulty is a bit harder?
2. Minor graphic bugs like flying objects and scientist skin suddenly changed (the scientist who’s trapped behind the electrified water @ screenshot 32)
3. The game kept crashing after loading the map where the “We are alone” chapter starts, always exactly after opening the first door.. somehow it worked later surprisingly
The last thing I want to say, is, that after replaying it, I must say this is a very good mod because of the things I mentioned in my first review already.
Meaning it has over-average design, plenty of action and is good balanced. Also good story.
So now I raise my suggestion from “play it later” to “play it now!”