You find yourself stuck down a mine shaft. Alyx looks on and offers you hope. Take the gravity gun and use the traps the miners left to kill anything that stands in your way.
In this level, I wanted to create a unique Half Life 2 experience that focused on creative ways to use the Gravity Gun, and on fully exploring the physics of the Source engine. I also wanted to challenge my scripting abilities by crafting highly refined gameplay scenarios. Because the player has no ammunition and no direct way to attack enemies (other than head crabs), I proceeded to build and script a level where the player uses only the environment to survive, defeat foes, and navigate to relative safety. An alternate vision of Ravenholm seemed the best choice to create an environment of tension and suspense, where the players spelunk in the hazardous and trap-riddled mines under Ravenholm in an attempt to reach the surface and rendezvous with Alyx.
Gameplay emphasizes spontaneity, improvisation and creativity, and centers around the thrill of watching enemies fall prey to your wits. This demonstrates the underlying theme of the level: vulnerability and conquest. The player is apt to feel vulnerable with only the Gravity Gun, but when traps are sprung and the tables are proverbially turned, Gordon transforms from the victim into the conqueror, and zombies transform from assailants into victims.
- Title: Underbelly
- File Name: hl2-ep2-sp-underbelly.7z
- Size : 1.26MB
- Author: Richard Milner
- Date Released: 05 August 2010
- Copy Milner_Underbelly.bsp into your Half-Life 2: Episode Two Maps folder.
- Launch Half-Life 2: Episode Two
- Open the console and type map Milner_Underbelly.
- Press enter/return or click the Submit button.
- Play and Enjoy.
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WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
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Gotta love the Guildhall releases for what they try to do. This one attempts to use, what I call “Passive Combat”, where you don’t have to attack the enemies directly but use things around you you.
The level stuttered a lot on my PC and I don’t know if that’s due to the level itself or my specs. Let me know if you have trouble too.
The design and layout feel pretty realistic and the game is fun. I got stuck once because a log rolled too far but it wasn’t a big problem to reload. Having a crowbar in addition to the gravity gun would have helped, because I got cornered once and was lucky to be able to jump over the zombies.
The criticisms I do have are quite minor really. Firstly, it was too easy. I would have liked to have seen slightly larger areas (but of course it’s a mine and that’s not always realistic) to move around in. Larger areas might have allowed the author to create slightly more complicated puzzles, which could have added to the difficulty.
The other point is that when crouching the player moves very, very slowly and I don’t understand why such a basic mechanic was changed. Going through the few vents was very frustrating and I resorted to crouch jumping every time.
I recommend you play this level but be aware it’s pretty short, quite easy and lacks a real feeling of accomplishment.
I love passive combats! Man, how I love them. Guess what? This map has a lots of them. And its a wonderful map.
This map follows this story: you, Gordon, gets trapped inside a mine shaft, and you have to go back to the surface and regroup with Alyx. Only aimed with your Gravity Gun, you’ll have to use traps laid by miners to kill the enemies you find on your way. Simple, short, sweet.
Traps, wow, I love traps. Ravenholm, while scaring the heck out of me, in Half Life 2, was one of the most fun parts of the game- it was exploring a concept introduced earlier, the Gravity Gun, something that Valve does a lot (introduce a concept, level so player can get used to it).
However, this map loses in three aspects. Number one: its a mine, so you aren’t going to get beautiful level designs and all that jazz, but at least he could have worked a little bit harder on that. I found myself getting bored of the wood walls and blocky rooms after a while. Two: too short. By the time I was getting all “wow, wow, can’t wait for more traps”, the map ends. Its like giving a kid a lollipop that she had 2 years ago and loved it, but just letting her lick it for 2 seconds, then taking it away. And number three: there was this one puzzle that could have been so much more:
[spoiler]Its the water puzzle. You walk up to this room where there are some plugs near some water, and some planks covering it, in which 2 zombies are in it. Obvious thing to do: destroy planks, eletrify water, kill zombies. However, the exit to this room is at the other side of the water, meaning that if you want to get to the exit, you will die because of the eletrified water. In the end, all I did was get a door that killed a fast zombie, kill those two zombies, destroy the plank and walk to the other side on the un-eletrified water. Kinda ruins the point of it.[/spoiler]
Nitpicking aside, this map is like a cake that your mother baked. You have been waiting for her to finish the cake, and when she actually does, you take one piece, eat it and “oh man this is delicious, let me have more”, but then you realize that your mom took the cake away from you.
I have replied to your spoiler comment in my own spoiler comment to ensure that yours isn’t wasted.
[spoiler]You can take out the plug to cut the electric.[/spoiler]
I somehow can’t do that.
[spoiler]just press the “use item” button on the plug, or perhaps the fusebox right next to it. The plug will drop to the floor. you can’t pull the plug out with the gravity gun’s right click.[/spoiler]
I personally feel that although the game mechanic was fun, none of the traps really felt fun or original to me. Most of the time it was a “walk down the corridor and blast away the supports’
While the mapping was generally OK and the gameplay amusing, it also lacked a lot of polish (such as the (lack of) simple use of ambient_generic entities to make alyx talk)
As Phillip said, it’s very short and lacks a clear defined goal, and for me (being the story/atmosphere fetishist) that was a major detraction.
Anyway, despite this, it managed to bring a smile to my face when I see a wave of zombies flattened by a log, so I suppose it can be commended
I rate maps via stars, not the comments. I gave it 3 stars due to the length and (for me) the lack of any deep gameplay. The furthest the puzzles went was the area with the plug, and beyond that it was pretty straightforward. Move forwards, hold left click and win. Almost reminds me of my TF2 pyro-playing days.
However I think that you should definitely give it a go, as it is amusing for the short time it takes
I agree. 90% of the traps that used the gravity gun was just “punt supports = activate traps” The other problem I had was that far FAR too many traps could be misfired and result in teh zombies easily surviving and you left with no real way to attack the zombie. Narrows corners made getting cornered a severe problem, which was compounded by the inability to do basic things, like picking up small boulders with the gravity gun. Fortunately you could still damage enemies by punting objects into them, otherwise I would have died on numerous occasions.
A short but well constructed map with cunning ways of disposing with Zombies.
A shame there was not more; I was hoping Aylx would lead the way to more adventures.
Very enjoyable I hope we get more. The author has an eye for detail making the sets very realistic such that I felt very immersed in the gameplay.
Some fun moments and it was too short. Certainly worth playing, however I consider Play It Later to be suitable.
Hey, it was different from the norm…good, bit too short, but interesting concept, I agree that if you get the trap wrong, you are going to be in a world of crap. Still, that’s what God mode is for….lol.
for a quick game I would suggest PIN. I love the concept of just the gravity gun for a change. granted the use of it here was limited but this could be expanded to all new areas with different styles of traps. It would have helped to have been able to grab a boulder or two as backup for missing the timing of a trap but sometimes no firepower weapons is a nice change of pace. It is a really short play so that’s a negative But at least Alyx missed me and was happy to see me lol.
I liked this one, even though I was expecting to find a crowbar along the way, but never did. That didn’t matter much because getting around the zombies was not that difficult. However, some extra paint cans, bricks or other items laying around to pick up and fire at the zombies would have made this map a little more fun. The map could have used some loose head crabs running around to cause some grief. It was too easy. The mine environment was nicely mapped.
I didn’t mind that at all and quite glad I played.
I would have like more objects to chuck around.
I had to leave a few Zombies behind and I prefer a 100% cleansing policy, wipe them out.
This was fun! Doing that you had to kill zombies with traps. Thats a good change! Some traps I liked, some were basic, boring, funny, weird, and all sorts of things!
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I actually had no idea my level was making the rounds. Not a complaint! 🙂 I’m happy to hear the full range of comments. I wanted to address a couple things I noticed repeated in these reviews, to provide some context for how this level was developed:
1) Length: Yes, this level was scoped deliberately small. Very small, in fact, to minimize grief and sleepless nights. I had a 4 week dev period from cradle to grave, starting immediately after a couple weeks of learning Hammer. Naturally, this was in addition to several other projects, both team and individual, much with new tech or tasks. Busy times. I’d love to develop a “sequel” or second half that takes off where this ended (or before it begins), to employ some more traditional HL2 gameplay with our iconic AI partner Alyx.
2) Difficulty: Ironically, I scaled the difficulty down *dramatically* because playtesters kept saying the level was too difficult. Of course, modders are hardcore players who are more than up to a mid-range or greater difficulty. Hence, I’m with you guys. But as developers, well… the word of the majority rings loud.
3) Misc: Most of my time was taken up making sure that the level couldn’t be broken… again and again. At the beginning, I could have never foreseen quite how many contingencies I had to take into account. There were a couple final solutions to forcibly teach the “passive combat” mechanic: repeatedly place wood into players” line of sight, and simply take out (nearly) every physics object in the map. I think it helped in the end, compared to previous iterations. 🙂
Again, thanks guys! Cheers.
Yay, I loved it! I loved Ravenholm and this level is not just shoot with ggun, I like to see the environment work for me. It’s a must play.
As fun as it is to see the traps play out, there’s really not much gameplay in this. It’s basically just breaking stuff with the gravity gun and crawling around vents. The environment and the idea are nice, but I think the traps should’ve been either more well-hidden or more complicated. Some irregular zombies would’ve helped too (fast, poison, zombine), or maybe even some turrets or hopper-mines. I know it was made under a time limit, but in my opinion this isn’t really worth playing.
The intro and ending have texts. Seriously, why does it have to be texts? The combat is quite boring tbh, even with traps. Is it puzzling? No, the traps are set in obvious design. The enemies are just regular zombies. No antlions, no poison zombies, and no zombines. There’s only one fast zombie I’ve encountered but you could easily avoid it because it’s locked up. Regardless of what difficulty you’re at, most of the traps kill zombies in one hit which makes the whole map easy. But other than traps, you could easily avoid them.