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avatar Shepard62700FR 18th February 2016, 21:29 PM

TL;DR

Don't waste your money on this, it's the worst HL2 mod I've ever played.

Long version

Here's my review of the newly released Prospekt.

For those who don't know what Prospekt is, it's a fan made suite of Half-Life Opposing Force whose author decided to send to Valve along with his C.V. to get hired. The author wasn't accepted but Gabe liked the mod so Valve ended up helping him and ended up being a paid HL2 mod after buying the licenses. Now on to the review.

My first disappointment is going to be the level design. I expected the maps to reach the same quality HL2 had or even HL2:EP2. I think I good portion of the maps could be recreated within GoldSource with "env_model" and sometimes there are no "clue" or "hint" to guide the player. For example, you arrive at an area where you have to press a button, then you have have an infinite antlion spawning behind your ass and you end up wasting 3/4 of your ammo before running everywhere and finding out you have to play Super Mario Bros to reach a ventilation shaft.

Second disappointment is the gameplay, you just run, shoot a lot of Combines, solve puzzles, listen to Shephard's flashbacks, repeat. There are very few variety in enemies, 98% of Combine, 2% of Headcrab, zombies, antlions. I was playing in Hard but I had to go down to Easy because the mod's author had the "great" idea of giving twice health to NPCs and not a little bonus for yourself. Seriously, emptying a clip of pistol in a Combine's head don't kill him on Hard. And speaking of weapons, the only arsenal you have is the standard HL2 weaponry without some weapons like the crossbow and RPG. I've finished the game (almost by speed-running) in almost 2 hours so I expect professional speed-runners finishing it in 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Third disappointment is the story, you are told at the beginning to help Freeman stuck in Nova Prospekt and you just hear some Shephard's flashbacks of his story before he get involved in the Black Mesa incident, that's all. Where is the powerful narrative element that we all loved in Half-Life ? There is none. There isn't a single friendly NPC.

Fourth disappointment concern technical aspects, I've already tried to validate the game cache and all but it seems that when you run the game on Low settings, you get the magnificent black/purple texture of Source, and let's not forgot how my eyes just bleed when looking at the game files.

I tried to find positive things to note but I didn't found any. Prospekt is just a paid map pack and a huge disappointment for those who liked Adrian Shephard and wanted to have a good time with him.

Comments

avatar Loulimi says: 18th February 2016, 23:21 PM
I'm not sure why but I really hate Prospekt even though I didn't play it. Is it because everyone is talking about it even though it doesn't seem to add new stuff nor seems different from HL2? Is it because the modder spent two years developing it and thinks he thus has to be paid?
avatar 2muchvideogames says: 18th February 2016, 23:32 PM
The author saId he paid 50000 U.S. Dollars to be able to sell this map pack. I saw Phillips stream of this and nothing was too impressive. But honestly I don't think he will make back his 50k cash
avatar Penguinboy says: 19th February 2016, 00:46 AM
Good review. I'm not surprised it didn't end up to be very good, but I'm a bit disappointed. I hope that low-quality paid mods like this don't start wrecking the reputation of mods in general (free and paid).
avatar Shepard62700FR says: 19th February 2016, 01:40 AM
Someone said in his Steam review that if you copy/paste the maps and some specific assets from Prospekt to HL2, there will be no difference at all and I agree with that.

Another thing that I forgot to point out : in the game's credits, the author thank you for the money you spent on Prospekt for "another Source engine based game". I fear for the worst that we'll have a similar thingy but with Barney Calhoun instead.

UPDATE : Looks like ValveTime.net disliked the "mod" too.
avatar Archie says: 19th February 2016, 01:42 AM
Bravo for giving it a chance, but I'm not at all surprised by your reaction. I stand by my comment in the thread, and don't plan on playing it. :P

Great review, I hope you're just as critical of The Core when it comes out! :]
avatar Tetsu0 says: 19th February 2016, 01:54 AM
Core sucks boooooo
avatar Shepard62700FR says: 19th February 2016, 02:05 AM
And "to put the cherry on the cake", the developer seems to hate everyone who disliked his mod. One streamer signed a NDA where he could test Prospekt before the game's release but he wasn't allowed to stream, talk, post stuff about it. He gave a review quite similar to mine to end up being banned from the Steam Community, full story here : http://imgur.com/a/ybBEC

Archie, I've been following The Core on ModDB for years and I haven't lost my habit of checking every month for any new stuff that I've might missed. You, Urby and other people involved with The Core are doing a perfect job and it will be a pleasure to play/review and even test the mod ^^

UPDATE : I managed to get the refund, I was close enough of not respecting the conditions.
avatar Penguinboy says: 19th February 2016, 02:09 AM
The whole thing about banning people on forums for poor reviews is very common with people and companies who make games and are trying to do something shifty. Sometimes they are just crappy games, and other times they're doing something blatantly illegal or misleading consumers. Occasionally it's just a dev with a huge ego who is unable to handle negative commentary of their work. In any case, it's usually not a good sign. Glad you were able to get your refund.

---

What is with this 'The Core' rubbish anyway? Everyone keeps talking about it but it's not even good enough to sell for ten bucks on Steam, so it must be even lower quality than this Prospekt mod.

I bet the people working on it are more interested in their custom voice acting and fancy trailers rather than working on the actual mod. Their ModDB is dead as well, they promised a Q&A video a whole year ago and there's still no video. Seems like yet another dead mod if you ask me.
avatar Shepard62700FR says: 19th February 2016, 02:42 AM
I guess we live in a world where you are no longer free to tell everyone your real experience in those reviews. Always getting the "censor"/"fake"/"delete" hammer ready to smash anytime and anywhere.

---

If The Core would become a paid mod then my status report erm... I mean review will be very demanding ^^

ARRANGEMENT also had years of silence and was classified as dead for some people too, but we were doing some stuff there and there.
avatar DiscoStu says: 19th February 2016, 04:46 AM
That Core thing is one big bold lie. They're full of hot air.
avatar Jessie says: 19th February 2016, 10:27 AM
I've seen screenshots of The Core, and man... It's like it's being mapped by a 10-and-a-half-months-old baby or something.
avatar Bruce says: 19th February 2016, 21:21 PM
what is it? i dont give a fuck
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