The Citizen

Half-Life 2 HL2
The Citizen by Playbus
Posted 10 years ago2007-11-11 14:27:48 UTC • Completed • Half-Life 2
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Name
The Citizen
By
Playbus Playbus
Type
Map
Engine
Source
Game
Half-Life 2
Category
Completed
Included
BSP
Created
10 years ago2007-11-11 14:27:48 UTC
Updated
10 years ago2008-05-21 16:31:17 UTC
Views
6386
Downloads
2170
Comments
32
Rating
4.67 (6)
Reviews
4
full star full star full star full star full star Download (Hosted Externally)

Map of the Month winner for November 2007!


-- Mod of the Month : November 2007 WINNER --
http://www.twhl.co.za/motm.php?id=5

We're now on Version 1.1 :D

In case you haven't seen the thread...
The Citizen is a Single-Player mod, set parallel to the events of the original Half-Life 2. The player takes the role of an ordinary man, pushed over the edge by the oppressive regime controlling his life.

His home trashed, his family dead, The Citizen leaves his apartment for the last time. He seeks new friends, and a way to help the human resistance to smash the iron grip of the Combine. What follows is a winding tale of betrayal, determination and grief.

Many obstacles lie in his path which require a sleek combination of agility, stealth, intelligence, and sheer violence to overcome.
This is the mod that Kasperg and I have been making for the past 8 months.

We hope you enjoy playing it, as much as we enjoyed making it.

You can read more about the mod, and see screenshots, a trailer, and other reviews of it on PlanetPhillip with the following link:-

http://www.planetphillip.com/posts/the-citizen-half-life-2/

One note - the crackly sound on the trailer is only on the trailer, it doesn't happen in the game. :D

First person to find the secret ending gets a skip full of w00t. :D

32 Comments

Commented 10 years ago2007-11-11 15:03:31 UTC Comment #15930
There must be an alternative host.
I get 10kb/s... urgh.

I've been looking forward to playing this, but whith that download speed.. sorry :<
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-11 15:16:33 UTC Comment #15931
Sorry about the host.

If it's bad for you - use this one:-

http://timmeh.me.uk/mirrors/The%20Citizen.rar
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-11 15:23:09 UTC Comment #15932
Sorry to DP.

I decided to update the main download link with that one. It seems a lot faster, and it won't make you wait in line.
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-11 17:42:00 UTC Comment #15938
Great!

I'll try it tomorrow then, and then I'll try to make you guys a decent review.
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-11 18:38:45 UTC Comment #15940
Downloading!
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-11 20:02:21 UTC Comment #15941
DO WANT.

Have to wait until tomorrow though.
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-12 16:23:02 UTC Comment #15956
The sendspace download link is temporary until I find out what happened to the other host.
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-12 16:24:42 UTC Comment #15957
Host seems to be back. :)
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-12 16:29:51 UTC Comment #15958
I don't think I opened the .rar right, shouldn't it be appearing in my games list?
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-12 16:30:58 UTC Comment #15959
edit: Ignore me. I just checked the readme.
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-14 15:15:32 UTC Comment #15981
I haven't played through its entirety yet, but I like it so far.

I know you're not going to make any major changes, but I get frustrated at times when negotiating tight corners in the air boat.

Unless there is a vast area to drive the air boat, getting it around small spaces can be trying on the nerves.

I've found a few Easter Eggs so far. They're nicely incorporated into the game. :)
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-14 15:32:12 UTC Comment #15982
I forgot to mention. I think text prompt is overused at times, especially in the beginning.

For example, once the guy told you to get his TV for him, I don't think it's necessary to spell out it again. And many of the text prompts, like "Follow her" and such, are not needed, in my opinion.

Some earlier parts would be better if the lighting is brighter, because the player doesn't have the HEV suit yet, so there's no flash light to illuminate certain dark areas of the map.
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-14 15:32:40 UTC Comment #15983
Thanks Satchmo. I'm glad you're having some fun with it. :D

We will definately be doing an update at some point. Since release, there are a few fairly big bugs that have been uncovered. They don't affect everyone, so there's a fair chance you'll get through without problems. But if you do see any problems, let us know. We're going to fix them.

If the airboat is annoying you too much, it won't stop you finishing the game if you want to leave it behind. And even if you keep it for as long as you can, you won't have it for a very long time.

I hope you enjoy the rest of it :D
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-15 02:06:00 UTC Comment #15987
There are occasional radioactive slime puddles that force me to keep the air boat.

One more thing, the detonator for the explosives (where there are two rappelling Combines plus a sniper) was very difficult to trigger. Most of the times when I "used" it, I ended up picking up the entire device instead of triggering the detonator.
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-16 00:49:51 UTC Comment #15998
sounds worthwhile, will download and play today. review tomorrow
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-16 14:31:57 UTC Comment #16001
Link has died again, but should be back soonish. For now, go to planetphillip to download.
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-17 15:32:37 UTC Comment #16014
Pretty good mod, worth the wait. The mapping looked realistic in pretty much every area, and looked very hl2 like. The only problem i had with the mod mainly was that sometimes it was unclear where to go. As stated earlier it is not needed to have text prompts repeat what people have already said, but i scrambled around in the begining for about 20 minutes before i realized to talk to the girl in the basement, i was expecting to look for a key, and having the player go up to someone and talk to them usually isnt in the HL2 style, so it was something i didnt expect. Voice acting could have been alot better in a few points where you would expect that person to have a higher tense voice, or just talk louder in certian situations. However this mod is too good to be spoiled by these few things :)
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-24 21:34:59 UTC Comment #16041
I had a chance to play some more.

I am sure you are aware of this problem already, but inside the church, you have some model occluders that prevents the Combine soldiers from being rendered. As a result, if you fight those enemies from inside the church, they're invisible.

You have to move the occluders further back, behind those soldiers.
Commented 10 years ago2007-11-26 15:20:57 UTC Comment #16047
I knew there were some occluder issues in the church but I didn't realise they could obscure soldiers. I'll look into it. Thanks!
Commented 10 years ago2007-12-15 23:08:07 UTC Comment #16109
heh, just noticed i hadn't rated yet. I shared my opinion pretty clearly in the thread, though.
Commented 10 years ago2008-01-01 00:00:00 UTC Comment #32777
8.0/10
Architecture — 8
Texturing — 7.5
Ambience — 8.5
Lighting — 7
Gameplay — 9

Guest Video Review

Bottom Line

Overall, The Citizen was worth waiting for. It turned out to be a mod that features refreshingly different gameplay elements, almost professional voice acting, funny dialogs and moments, which brought back some nice memories of the Half-Life series.
Commented 10 years ago2008-01-01 00:00:00 UTC Comment #32778
8.8/10
Architecture — 8
Texturing — 8
Ambience — 10
Lighting — 9
Gameplay — 9

Video Review

Bottom Line

Overall, The Citizen is an extremely well designed mod which, despite a few small nags, is immensely fun to play throughout, and as it ends somewhat abruptly, I look forward to being placed in this unnamed citizen's shoes again in The Citizen 2.
Commented 10 years ago2008-01-01 00:00:00 UTC Comment #32779
7.6/10
Architecture — 9
Texturing — 8
Ambience — 7
Lighting — 9
Gameplay — 5

Guest Video Review

Bottom Line

Though this mod is the best thing to turn up in the TWHL map vault this month I wasn't looking forward to it in the same way I'm waiting for 6 - D or Flat-Life. However, having played it I must admit I was pleasently suprised. The maps are just as gorgeous as you would expect from a Playbus / Kasperg production and if the duo ever release an update which fixes some of the gameplay elements (e.g. Reducing the number of F**KING MANHACKS!) then It would be worth replaying. Until then, I'll keep waiting.
Commented 10 years ago2008-01-01 00:00:00 UTC Comment #32780
8.0/10
Architecture — 8
Texturing — 7
Ambience — 8
Lighting — 9
Gameplay — 8

Review

This mod, being a collaboration between some of the best independent mappers out there, Kasperg and Playbus, was definitely something to look forward to with great anxiety and huge expectation. Five minutes after the first release, when pretty much every PlanetPhillip member had already finished it and found all the secret areas, half the community here had already gotten their hands on it. Lots of discussion was spawned and before you know it - TWHL was being torn apart by intense arguing, which later evolved into flamewars, resulting in other, much stronger repercussions.To Citizen or not To Citizen?That was the question. Answer time.- The two following paragraphs contain my horribly long-winded opinion and overall thoughts on gameplay in this mod. It's more tips & suggestions for developers, so feel free to skip it if you're not interested in that kind of stuff. ;) Gameplay-wise, this mod definitely had its weirder choices and faults. Probably the first things you notice are some holes in the story and NPC actions, where it's sometimes unclear what you/they are doing and why.In the beginning - you're thrown straight into action with metrocops bursting through your door and administering the recommended negotiation technique. Beating the shit out of you. Strangely, this event stays as the only ingame-shown reason, besides the short briefing, for you to have ever joined the rebels in this mod. Even if PlanetPhillip's description does mention your family being slaughtered by the Combine, no more detailed ingame info makes you question the whole reason for The Citizen (TC) to have started his crusade in the first place. A slightly longer story or even a dramatic scripted flashback scene, where you actually get to see CPs execute your family, would give your actions a lot more purpose and depth; kinda like Alyx's first encounter with the Hunter in Ep2.Another problem with that in the beginning, which pretty much everyone, who's played the mod has already complained about, is that you're given no info on your current goal. At this point, I was wandering randomly in the building, searching every area, pressing buttons that shouldn't be pressed, until I randomly used this girl with a white shirt, who then directed me to one of the rebels residing in the building. Being noted to search the residents for your contact, who's wearing this and that or some other hint would've saved everyone some time. Frustration in the beginning is very bad for any mod, so such stuff, even if intentional, should be kept for later chapters, when the player's already accustomed to the style of gameplay.It's also strange that most rebels trusted you way too much for someone they're seeing for the first time, like Argento, who gives you his only keycard to a door five steps away from his apartment. Now, unless the lucky sod has so many copies of the card that he can actually give one away to every random rookie like you, I have absolutely no idea why he doesn't just walk over and open it for you.However, some of the weirdest gameplay choices were featured in Crossing the Road - the sewers level, Finding Friends - the airboat sequence and in the end of Holy War - the strider battle. In the Sewers, first thing you notice are the unusually large and unrealistically designed buttons, which are used to open codelocked doors. Sure, they're meant to be obvious and big enough for the player to be able to use them, but let's not go beyond I-Just-Wet-My-Nappies-Baby-Mode. I also find the idea of writing the button combination required to open a specific door right next to the door itself beyond plain logic. A number like this usually shows the number of the room behind the door in real life, so most gamers are used to ignoring these, while level designers usually use them to add some extra detail to a map. Another thing weird is that the designer of this level had a huge urge kill the player if he had the nerve of wading into chest-deep water, so to do so, he thought of placing leeches, creatures usually found in the sea or lakes in HL2's universe, in a sewer environment. Sure, I'm no alien fauna expert, but not having found one single leech in the original City17 sewers from HL2 simply makes you wonder why the ones in TC have them. And speaking of fauna in that level, there's no other monsters but one zombie to be found there. A headcrab or two and maybe a barnacle in the large sewer pipe would've added some more action to the level, plus, if the player hadn't found the crowbar yet, that would've made him wonder why he's being attacked with his pants down and maybe force him to explore his surroundings more carefully.As for the airboat sequence, I'm sure almost anyone, who's ever played HL2, would expect it to be an immense experience with you dodging mines, rockets and bullets while quickly searching your nearest pile of rubble for something to do for a ramp and jolt you in the air at high speed, flying over combine soldiers with them desperately yelling they won't be home for dinner into the radio as you land on what used to be their heads. It's only natural - the airboat is fast, light and doesn't sink no matter how many mines you run over with it or how many other projectiles hit it. However, Kasperg & Playbus thought of making something opposite to the epic stuff seen in the original sequence and make it a simple, short, slow and linear trip. There were barely any areas where you could speed up for real. The way I saw it, the boat served as a quicker way to get from chokepoint A to B, since in the chokepoints themselves - it was pretty much as useless as a lifejacket in a sea of beer.However, it is the not-so-epic strider battle being one of the biggest disappointments in the mod. It somewhat reminded me of the EP1 final strider encounter, just even more cramped, with the poor biomechanical monster having almost no chance of utilizing it's full potential. So, you take it out, along with a sniper and another wave of combine. Nothing too challenging if you stay close to the RPG rocket crate. That battle has loads of potential, so really could've been executed better. The surroundings should be made much bigger, allowing the monster to actually move; if you don't feel like making the area by Elvet at least three times bigger - an alternative would be moving the whole thing to the church area in Holy War. Being a much bigger arena, it would provide some nice destruction moments (like the hospital gunship fight in Ep1) and much better gameplay.Some bugs were also present. From smaller problems with doors not opening at Elvet Theatre because of dodgy grunt assaulting, to more serious stuff like buggered entity setups, making your teammates attack you in the final chapters, or letting you nearly skip some parts, like the reinforcements bell in Holy war; these bugs, even if mostly avoidable, add quite a bit of frustration and deteriorate the experience.Of course, it's not all bad decisions and problems with gameplay in The Citizen. On the contrary, some parts were innovative and just plain awesome.Getting to use physics to kill your enemies was, even if not used much throughout the mod, a very nice idea. Falling on a CP's head, crushing the nonce or letting a crate that appears to weight a couple of tones do it for you was not only fun, but also an effective and fun technique of eliminating any threats when unarmed. Speaking of gameplay techniques, where weapons play a secondary role, stealth elements were also added to some of the levels. I actually found it a nice alternative to the usual ones, like scripted scenes or vistas used to relieve tension brought up by intense combat sections and eliminate fatigue. Stealth parts of TC vary from plain sneaking in corners, avoiding patrols and pressing the right buttons in order to advance to probably the awesomest experience in the entire mod - disguising yourself as one of the Combine. Not only did it feel a bit like Hitman and you actually got to see how Barney feels when disguised as a CP, it also looked very cool with neat mask imitations. These parts could easily be dubbed as the fat layer of topping with cherries ontop of the cake that is this mod. Also, if you're more of a Rambo type - each stealth section could've been replaced by a fragfest on up-the-arse-nightmare-mode. Variety in gameplay is one of the main factors that determine the replayability of any level/mod, so adding some is indeed a great idea. And speaking of combat - even if a bit dry and plain in the beginning, I must say it was very well-executed in the end. Having well-designed arenas with lots of vertical gameplay, objects for cover, good enemy and powerup placement, it was a blast to play. Neat random additions, like the Combine advisor or Gman making the occasional spooky appearance also added to the fun factor, though I think some of these appearances could've been utilized in telling the story, rather than just staying there for show. My favorite scripted parts were the scanner sequence and the final ending. Not much to say about the scanner part, it was just cool. Think Microsoft Flight Simulator Combine and you'll pretty much have a good idea on what it's about. As for the ending - I'm not spoiling anything, but the whole setup kind of reminded me of Ep1. It was quite clean and the use of some HL1 sounds gave it a nice feel.That's it for my thoughts on gameplay. Concluding this monstrosity, I'd like to say that, even with the bugs and problems, I really enjoyed playing it. The good parts mostly did a good job covering up the bad ones and with some bug fixing and tweaking - it could easily evolve into something truly fantastic.Continuing with the good stuff, architecture, being Kasperg's fort? and something Playbus has also already mastered, was superb in most areas. Buildings outside looked clean and realistic, with height variation and detail to make them look real and convincing. My favorites were the ones in the very beginning including the one you were residing, with a very nice 3D skybox blending with them and the church, which, even if smaller than the usual ones you see, looked quite authentic and actually felt a bit like a holy place. I also liked the original and well-crafted dome-like glass roof with its supports above the basketball court next to Argento's bar. The warehouse itself was also very well-made with nice and detailed supports fitting its architecture very well. Inside areas, however, even with the really good-looking ones, like Breen's compound, or the stage in Elvet Theatre, seemed to lack the detail and diversity the outside ones had. Rooms and corridors, like ones in the theatre, or subway tunnels in the end of Finding Friends ended up being bland, undetailed or with weird design choices, which made them feel a bit like HL1 sometimes. The large sewer pipe in Crossing the Road could've also used some more detail, maybe grates in the ceiling, giving it some daylight and creating nice contrast in lighting.Texturing was solid throughout, though I did find some texture choices pretty strange. For example, one of the buildings in the alley where you escape into the streets in Lockdown had a rather weird metal texture applied to its roof, which looked more like industrial floor tiles. A hotel building in Lockdown also had a wood texture applied, which is weird, since you'd normally expect tile or metal roofs in a city. The list goes on with supports in of the corridors seen upon leaving Elvet, where a texture more fitting for a round object was applied to a blocky support beam, making it look even blockier, some more strange roof texture choices and the use of big shattered window textures on ground level, which normally would be seen on top floors (to hide the fact that you can't go through the hole in the window, even if it's big enough for you) in Holy War and some weird choices in the subway tunnels right before the airboat part ends. However, a texturing glitch you'd normally never ever, ever, ever expect to find in any levels that Kasperg has at least tested, not to mention helped create, was in the large staircase leading out of Elvet in the beginning of Infiltration. It actually had the repeating stair texture problem, which Kasperg's covered and endorsed multiple times. A must-fix there! D:When it comes to custom textures in TC, most of them were quite well-made and used right. Some textures, like the bookcase one could've used some more visible bump/normal mapping to accent the detail and make them look less flat. Custom Combine propaganda signs were also a nice addition.Much like texturing, ambience was also pretty solid, however, some areas, like the apartments in Holy War, some parts in Finding Friends, seemed to lack some of the nice background ambient used so often in HL2, which instantly gives any area much more depth and realism. Sound choices were overall good and finding some good ol' HL1 stuff was pretty refreshing. Of course, the main aspect making this mod bloom in the sound department was custom voice acting. Some characters did sound robotic or had strong, sometimes hard-to-understand accents, but the overall result was very pleasing and well-executed, even if performed mostly by amateurs. My favourite characters were Argento and Larry, performed by Jason Fielding and Eric Soderstrom respectively. Larry's voice did sound a bit akward sometimes; I'm guessing either the pitch was turned down a bit or the actor had quinsy on recording day, however, his phrases sounded very well with just enough emotion to make it real, while not going over the top. Well done. If I were working on a mod that needed some voice acting to be done, I'd definitely contact those guys. As for lighting, it was plain superb. Lots of contrast and variation in almost every area really covered up the lack of detail in some inside areas, as well as enhanced the already good-looking ones. My favorite area was the one around Argento's bar in Infiltration. The orange-lit basketball court, combined with dark bluish night lighting gave that area some lovely contrast, as well as interesting shadows due to interesting architecture of the roof. Some inside areas, however, like ones in the Elvet, were quite dull and boring lighting-wise. Some contrast, at least in light intensity would have worked extremely well there and might've hid some of the boring and blocky architecture.

Bottom Line

Overall, I think The Citizen was worth waiting for. With great gameplay elements, overall good looks and lots of room for improvement, its one mod you shouldn't miss. In short: To Citizen!
Commented 10 years ago2008-01-18 13:34:18 UTC Comment #16256
Well done, worthy <b><a href="http://www.twhl.co.za/motm.php?id=5">MotM</a></b> winner. :)
Commented 10 years ago2008-01-21 08:39:34 UTC Comment #16268
Woo!

A few people have mentioned, in the reviews and also elsewhere, that they're waiting for the update. Well, the update is still coming, and is in fact mostly complete.

There's just one snag that needs to be gotten around, and that has been hindered by Kasperg's mysterious vanishing from my internets lately. I haven't heard from him in weeks.

:(
Commented 10 years ago2008-02-04 18:51:26 UTC Comment #16329
Overall, it's a nice mod, but there were some moments that really annoyed me.

Anyway, visually it ranges from ok-ish (too narrow, cramped and linear parts, such as the flooded city part) to pretty good (other city parts - great backgrounds!, the convention center).
Technically, it also fluctuates: some parts were neatly done, others were buggy and easily broken (convention center - elite mask was pitch black? tv show room shields didn't open, nothing happened?).
The same goes gameplay-wise. Some parts were fun and had good combat and puzzles. Other parts were horrible (strider + sniper + assault afterwards, without even pointing at the RPG?!).

There's some points I'd definitely change:
  • Leeches in sewers? That water is fairly shallow, while HL2 learned us that leeches only inhabit deep water. Don't break HL2 'rules', or if you do, make it obvious that you do.
  • Instantly killing the player when he steps out of the shop early in the game is not fun nor necessary (just put a sniper somewhere, or a raid car with machinegun or such, that'll get the message across to stay inside without the frustration of an unforseen instant-kill).
  • Providing endless supplies of manhacks can be extremely frustrating, especially when combatting soldiers and trying to find some sort of button or whatever else will open a door. That's when I see cheating as justified, heh. Kudos to ent_remove. Stupid manhack spawner. ;)
  • Provide more sense of direction. Some parts are just guesswork for a newcomer. Various area's don't focus on where to go next. With lighting, architecture and scripted events, a player can be 'guided' to a next area.
All in all, a fair mod, but some points just hold it down. Some fixes and tweaks here and there and I'd really enjoy it, but for now, I'm sorry, it doesn't really do it for me.

PS: Is the elite suit supposed to blind you? ...
Commented 10 years ago2008-02-06 06:26:12 UTC Comment #16331
No, the elite suit going black is a problem which only happens when running in DirectX7 mode.

It is fixed in the update, along with many other things.

The update is back on track again, and will be released pretty soon.
Commented 10 years ago2008-02-10 18:29:58 UTC Comment #16370
Ah, ok. I'll give it another go after the update. Good luck with it! :)
Commented 10 years ago2008-02-20 16:44:28 UTC Comment #16433
New version is done. The current host is a bit poo, but hopefully I'll get a faster mirror soon, and also more download links will be available from PlanetPhillip soon.

Changes in the new version:-
  • Overlay problems for people running in DirectX7 mode are fixed.
  • Fixed the squad turning on you in certain circumstances.
  • Fixed being able to get into jail without offending. ;-)
  • Fixed the churchbell spawning too many NPC's
  • Improved skyboxes in some maps
  • Some minor general gameplay changes
  • Some minor acting scene and cue changes
  • Some lighting additions and changes
  • Some decal additions and changes
  • Additional detail work in some areas
  • Additional dramatic music at the ending
  • A small scene has been added to the secret ending, along with Andy B's Explorer Award plaque :-D
  • Added texts to indicate when an easter egg is found
  • Repositioned all existing in-game text
Enjoy!
Commented 10 years ago2008-05-10 13:28:27 UTC Comment #16626
link is broken =[

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