Half-Life HL
Reissues by kol
Posted 15 years ago2008-05-25 13:31:49 UTC • Completed • Half-Life
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kol kol
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15 years ago2008-05-25 13:31:49 UTC
15 years ago2008-05-25 13:31:49 UTC
5.00 (4)
full star full star full star full star full star Download (Hosted Externally)

Map of the Month winner for May 2008!

"Reissues" is a community compilation of 30 single player Half-Life 1 levels authored by a mix of various designers. Each one has created their own unique, self-contained chapter: you'll spelunk into ancient Egyptian tombs, scale mile-high cliff sides, and fight your way through several clever re-imaginings of Black Mesa - among other exciting setpieces!

Why did we bother squeezing this last bit of mileage out of a decade-old game engine? Because Half-Life 1 offers a unique feel and aesthetic that makes it a timeless classic; because great gun fights remain great fun fights, even without shiny next-gen graphics; because we love what we do, and we hope you'll love it too.


Commented 15 years ago2008-05-27 07:17:12 UTC Comment #16677
whats with the bugged sky in the "its safe here" mission?
Commented 15 years ago2008-05-27 09:01:48 UTC Comment #16678
Hmm.. Bit of a minor snag with the new version of spirit we decided to use. It fixed a lot of other major bugs, but unfortunately, this one slipped through. :(
Commented 15 years ago2008-05-27 09:20:02 UTC Comment #16679
This is a great MOD everyone HAS TO DOWNLAOD. I just played through several maps and my eyes dropped on the floor . It's amazing ! Pure detail . Interactivity ( in some maps ) . I even spend some time looking on the walls :))
Commented 15 years ago2008-05-29 06:55:52 UTC Comment #16684
It's Safer Here sky-of-doom bugfix:

r2d2rigo from the Spirit of Half-Life forums found a fix for the It's Safer Here skybox bug;

1. Start the map.
2. Quicksave.
3. Quickload.
4. Behold! 3D skybox without HOM that makes you wanna go on a killing spree!

Rejoice and thank r2d2rigo.
Commented 15 years ago2008-05-30 13:38:38 UTC Comment #16681
Great map(s) although I have some ideas to improve.

-The It's Safer Here map, at the end could you make the turret a little less powerful. I had a really hard time with that and got fed up with it.

-Loved the textures and all but, sometimes got abit of lagg. You might want to add some hint brushes (I have a new computer and still can't handle it sometimes)?

Overall Great map. 5/5
Commented 15 years ago2008-05-30 19:28:33 UTC Comment #16667
i haven't started playing any of the levels yet, but the intro area is superb and a superb idea. the only thing i would change is move the text lower to the portal for each map and make the text nicer to read. (you could even use fancey brushed holograms/distort for the each maps title if you wanted.)

the animated texture showing the portal to each map was a nice idea, as is the general design of the intro area; i like how some portals are smashed too.

Anwyay, i can't wait to try all the maps. i'll try to do different reviews for each section and post a link in here maybe rather than spamming your map comments with all my jabbering!

Great work putting this all together!
5 stars
Commented 15 years ago2008-07-01 00:00:00 UTC Comment #32801
Architecture — 9.1
Texturing — 8.9
Ambience — 8.4
Lighting — 8.6
Gameplay — 9

Epic 2-Part Video Review

Bottom Line

Overall, Reissues is a fun package and can be truly inspiring for level designers still mapping for GoldSource. It definitely was for me.
Commented 15 years ago2008-07-01 00:00:00 UTC Comment #32802
Architecture — 8.5
Texturing — 8
Ambience — 8.5
Lighting — 8
Gameplay — 6.5

Video Review

Bottom Line

Reissues is a truely inspirational collaberation of maps from a range of experienced designers. Gameplay can be a little sketchy in some areas and some bugs can ruin the experience. However, it is definatly worthy of at least one playthrough.
Commented 15 years ago2008-07-01 00:00:00 UTC Comment #32803
Architecture — 7.7
Texturing — 8
Ambience — 7.8
Lighting — 6.9
Gameplay — 7.2


Maps, as observed by the community, are wild creatures, often seen dwelling various areas of the Vault, such as Problem Swamp, Unfinished Plains, Completed Valley, etc. depending on their habitat and type (killbox, hollow cube, hollow cube spammed with prefabs, etc). Maps are bred by so-called "mappers" ("ten-year-olds" if the map can be specified as "killbox"), a special kind of Homo Sapiens obsessed with valves and hammers, declaring they are in possession of ancient powers called "hax". Recently, a certain "pack" consisting of thirty maps has been spotted in the valley, displaying a surprisingly great amount of overall quality. And even though many expected no less than close to perfect from map breeders like CampaignJunkie or Kol, the "pack" still managed to strike most with sheer unexpected awe. It was epic. It was Reissues. The people rejoiced.Reissues is a compilation of nine incoherent campaigns, all tied together by a single hub room and epic intro/ending sequences. Even though there is a lack of a more sufficient overall background story, that is forgivable, as pretty much anything tying together a variety of themes and events that diverse wouldn't end up making too much sense. For the same reasons, this review will also be separated into segments for each campaign. First things first. The intro. For the most part, it's kind of a buffed/more surreal version of the original Half-Life ending with Gman giving you a nice tour of various areas in Earth/Xen. The extra stopped-time twist worked excellent and did a great job showing off his powers, too. The only nitpick I could latch on to was in the tram where even though time had evidently stopped, the warp outside was still moving, making the scene look a bit odd. Overall, one of the best opening sequences I've seen in a HL1 map/mod in a very long time - short, sweet and beautiful. Moving on to the actual campaigns, the first one I played was Echo Transit by Snotball & Sjakal. And oh man, was it a bad start. Even if mostly adequate visually, it suffered from various poor design choices in gameplay. Utilizing vast enemy spam, annoying quicktime events and lack of proper direction at times, it is one hard fucker making you hog the quickload button more than a fat CS geek hogs his W key. For example, at one point you're supposed to destroy a rocket-firing enemy APC before it blows up this large crane. A normal sequence, however, to make things more fun, you're told you have to backtrack to the opposite end of a large storage yard to get an RPG and then run back to another area for its ammo. All that, low HP, waves of soldiers and the APC? Well why stop there? Give the player a rubik's cube to solve while he's at it. I can understand the authors trying to give their battles a more epic feel, but that was going over the top. There was a significant lack in originality too, as the main story was mostly a re-creation of Blue Shift's final chapters. Finally, what really nailed it, was the final showdown in the teleporter room. Unlike BS, where the teleporter takes you to a they-lived-happily-ever-after kind of ending once entered, the one in this campaign can actually gib you for no reason if you dare to not stand exactly at the right spot! One hell of a reward for all your hard work, eh? I guess this is a bit harsh, as there is plenty of potential in all those scenarios. They just need to be better-executed. Some more player guidance (finding some specific building in a maze of containers during a firefight was really hard during first playthroughs.), less pesky quicktime events and more creative enemy choice/placement instead of spam (a well-placed alien grunt can do wonders; hgrunts DO NOT come in containers!) would have more-or-less saved the gameplay. Contrary to how it played, Echo Transit looked fairly well for the most part. Architecture had a fair amount of detail and was adequate. Buildings outside looked believable and re-created the Black-Mesa-ish feel quite well. My favourite location was probably the teleporter room though - it had some very neat architecture and combined with nice lighting and ambience, definitely made the final sequence less painful. My only real complaint for the architecture department would be the underground train tunnels being too short to be divided by blast doors like that. Making each segment 3x longer or so would remove the awkward look. Pretty much like architecture, the texturing was all stock Half-Life textures, yet it looked right and did its job fine. Lighting was also adequate and even if not showing any special, looked quite realistic and well-tuned for the location. Ambience was great and even if not utilizing its full potential (env_sound for e.g.?), had some neat variety and nice little randomly triggered background sounds. Voice acting is also worth a mention here, as this campaign used it quite a bit. Even if a bit crude and lacking originality at times, it did a good job replacing the usual text messages or briefings. To sum things up, Echo transit looks good, has potential, however isn't quite up to snuff with the others due to poor gameplay. Starlabs: Satellite Trouble by SEThorian was the second one I played through. In it you are placed in the role of Carlos Freeman all of a sudden and have to infiltrate a science facility to set up a satellite uplink for Black Mesa (so much for originality once again - Half-Life: Uplink, anyone?) Gameplay-wise, this played well enough and was balanced, yet still had some issues. First, some of the sequences like grunts blowing up the weapon storage door wouldn't work sometimes, causing loads of fruitless backtracking and searching during my first playthrough. Something less random would have worked better in my opinion. Also, corridors caving in during the final scenes should have been done with more clarity for the player, as right now it was all trial and error. They did it fine in Half-Life's Forget About Freeman with some cracks and harmless debris to show you which part is going to collapse before dropping it on the player, so why not utilize something similar? However, even if these ending parts had issues, the ending itself was very little short of epic. Buffing you up with loads of gear, giving you a nice huge arena to fight in and sending in the meat can never be wrong in a finale, and even if you were somewhat overpowered, it was immense fun. The visuals department in Starlabs wasn't too shabby either with some nice custom textures used throughout its maps. Lighting served its purpose well and had some colour variation, yet most areas like hallways ended up being lit in an extremely boring, dull yellow. Ambience was rich enough and did a great job bringing the campaign to life and made good use of env_sounds in some places. Architecture was less impressive with fewer detail in some areas (uplink beam room, control chamber), however it was perfectly adequate and showed some creativity (crystal storage chamber, final fight room, caverns in the beginning). Overall I enjoyed this chapter and even if not too special, it certainly had the right gameplay formula for a HL map pack. I just wish it were a bit stronger on the visual side - textures alone just don't cut it anymore. Next up - The Scepter of Ra by Firebinder, which definitely gets my nearly-complete approval. First thing to catch your eye is the vast amount of custom content. New, beautifully crafted and animated models for scientists and monsters, excellent custom textures complimenting the neat new locations and of course some really funny custom dialogue lines. The whole experience has this lovely cheesy-ish retro action movie feel and getting a chance to play through your favourite Indiana Jones flicks with some extra cheese in the mix is absolutely adorable. Gameplay is well-balanced and fun with plenty of beautiful scripted sequences (loved the sarcophagus one), some great re-creations of famous Indy movie moments (running away from the huge boulder for e.g) and puzzles. My only real complaint is that the whole thing was too short to properly appreciate the new content - I would have gladly played through another couple of maps with that stuff. The visuals were mostly bang-on as well, from the cluttered (in a good, realistic way) offices to the beautiful tombs. Architecture was rich with detail, while the nice custom textures complimented it in a great way. Some cool destruction sequences added a lot to it and made the environment feel more alive than ever. The only area I found lacking was the landing yard in Malta, which looked fairly flat and boring. Some destruction (crater, more debris?) would have fixed that. Moving on, lighting was quite realistic and the emergency lights touch in the office after the zombies came in was a very nice touch. The tomb was lit in a realistic way, however, some more contrast would have helped there. Ambience was great as well with sounds accompanying every event ingame, making all of them feel realistic and complete. Some env_sound, however, would have worked really well in areas like the tomb. In conclusion, the Scepter was one sweet and extremely fresh experience. I demand a sequel so that I could "not kill everyone" again! Onward with the good stuff - Coil by our very own Kol (word play? ;> ), which could arguably be dubbed as the very best Reissues has to offer. I really can't think of any real criticism for it, it's just staggeringly damn good from start to finish. Gameplay is near perfect with each encounter being well planned-out and balanced. Enemy placement and scripting is executed beautifully with great precision, respect to logic and full utilization of what the environment can offer. Another thing making Coil great is complete non-linearity in layout. You're allowed to wander around this huge at-first-sight bewildering, yet very thoughtfully crafted complex, accomplishing the goals required for success in your own succession. That's the very first time I've seen non-linearity, the very opposite of what made Half-Life, work that well in a map pack for the game. Not only does that create a level of never-before-seen immersion, but it also gives loads of replayability potential. Even though no background story is given, the various scripted sequences you come across and the environment itself tell you little, but more than you need to know about what's going on. Accompanying gameplay, the visuals are just as amazing. Kol did a beautiful job creating a grim, hostile environment with a palette of fitting cold concrete textures and lighting. Architecture complimented both well with vast amounts of detail in every area and some great both model and brush-based props. Speaking of detail, a great deal of work went to crafting a realistic complex where few doors are closed and many can lead the curious exploring player to, even it gameplay/story-wise unimportant, yet well-made extra storage rooms, hallways, abandoned offices and so on, while not adding any confusion to the layout. Plenty of functional gadgets or panels you can turn on/off, open and search were a great addition as well. All that did a lot improving Coil's immersion. Ambience was just as good with a great variety of sounds, as well as extra env_sound effects utilized. I guess it's fair to say Coil alone makes Reissues worth a download and I will definitely be playing it again in the future. It's just beautiful, ten thumbs up, and a pat on the back - bravo. Next, It's Safer Here by tottmaster_c, the infamous 3D skybox campaign. Among the shortest in Reissues, this one proved to be surprisingly average. Gameplay was fairly simplistic offering little to no challenges at all. There was little variety in monsters as well, making most encounters predictable and boring. This is mostly because the chapter is supposed to be set in the Half-Life 2 universe, strongly narrowing the amount of HL1 monsters you can use. The final area with the machinegun wasn't as hard as others have claimed it to be in my case either, as long as you had some .357 ammo left. Visually, the only thing making It's Safer stand out was the skybox. Quite impressive for GoldSource, I agree, but it just wasn't enough. Architecture was fairly blocky and boring throughout, as well as texturing and lighting. The extra custom HL2 models were a nice touch, as well as the barnacle base goo, although the overall level of detail in the environment was definitely lacking. Ambience also was more-or-less a letdown, considering how rich HL2 was in that department. Overall, It's Safer Here could have done better re-making a Half-Life 2 environment. Some more ripped content like sounds, textures or props (or better brush-based copies of them) would have instantly made it work better, because right now, this is just pure average wrapped in a shiny skybox. Moving on, more sci-fi complexes and laboratories in Half-LifeManiac's Cyan. While starting off promising and ending a tad flat, it was alright to play through, but not quite there yet. Monster/item placement was good with some decent balance and the extra stuff to help like ceiling turrets was definitely useful, however it's the backtracking/NPC escorting combined with lack of story/explanation that ruined the potentially fun gameplay. First of all, if you're going to make us bring those annoying scientitst/barneys with us, at least make it easier for them to navigate their environment! Button-controlled doors, weird hallways (the science/medical lab ones), level transitions, elevators - all that makes it really hard to get those fuckers to follow you. I remember it taking as long as ten minutes to get those two scientists from their encampment to the fire door. Trust me, ten minutes of "I refuse to go another step!" are not what any sane person would consider entertaining (unless you're Jack Thompson.) Furthermore, it was unclear how long you're supposed to keep the suckers by your side. The two scientists, for example, were only needed to open a single door, while I kept them with me thinking there's more they'll need to do right until the final areas. Some kind of way letting you know you have to let them go (a dose of vent-crawling always works) would save everyone quite some time. Even though annoying in gameplay, Cyan's looks were nearly flawless. Combining some nice and highly detailed architecture, great custom textures and awesome lighting, it was definitely impressive. Worth mentioning are the custom suit and health chargers (loved the battery charger, epic care for detail). Turning on a light as the player approaches was also a great addition. Just like the visuals, ambience wasn't overlooked either with some great subtle & realistic sounds accompanying most areas. Getting that right requires quite some fine-tuning, so kudos to the author for the effort. In conclusion, this is one great-looking and sounding campaign, my only wish is that it were more fast paced and less centered around escorting NPCs. Great effort nonetheless, good job. Ansith's Labcoats Required, a short Black Mesa-themed campaign came next. Not much to say about this one, a simple scenario, no significant story or characters. Just a linear journey from point A to B with some shooting - nothing too impressive. What I missed the most in it were the good old puzzles you usually come across in Black Mesa themed maps. That alone would have improved the otherwise bland-ish gameplay. Architecture was probably the most lacking visual aspect with poor detail and general blockiness in some areas, specifically the larger chambers. Texturing was fairly crude and lacked originality with only the basic Half-Life content used. Ambience and lighting seemed rushed and lacking as well with dark and perfectly silent areas. Knowing Ansith's mapping potential, this was quite a letdown in the end. Just another generic and boring trip to Black Mesa failing to show anything even remotely new. Dred_Furst's Encamped was another short chapter and while definitely better than Labcoats Required, it still proved to be full of holes in most cases. The first thing to strike me as weird was the lack of coherence and logic in and between most areas. The starting lobby, for example had only two major exits: one to an elevator and another to a weird room stacked with weapons and weird glowing holes in the wall. Other areas suffered from this too, as the distance between key facility locations was often as little as a two-minute run, which feels unlogical and makes the whole thing look rushed. Architecture ranged from average to lacking in most places, while texturing seemed rushed and due to a mix of sharp custom and old stock Half-Life textures, looked rather awkward. Ambience was sparse, but seemed to do its job correctly. Lighting, on the other hand, was horrible. With lights spammed everywhere, most rooms ended up looking nearly fullbright. It wasn't all bad, though, some locations like the generator room or the cavern behind it were alright and even had some more logical light placement. The teleporter beams in the final sequence, accompanied with nice particle effects looked very well too. When it came to playing this, however, Encamped did try to introduce us to something rather new for a Half-Life map pack, yet failed at that very badly. The idea of killing a controller monster in order to turn your foes against each other seems fine, yet in this campaign it just doesn't seem to bloody work. Shooting the monster does nothing and if you do it too soon, it can bugger up any scripted attack sequences, rendering your shots futile and thus wasting your ammo. Enemy spam also wasn't forgotten with the final battle being a prime example. Six alien grunts in a single room, little ammo, HP and no explosives left after taking care of a wave of human grunts and alien slaves. At least you're given a chance to just make a run for it, otherwise the ending would be downright freaking impossible. Apart from these flaws, I did like the way scientists communicate with you via realistically rushed text messages. It's always fun 2 c sum1 as smrt as einstein wr8 lke tht. Overall, an interesting concept, yet the execution really should have been much better. Finally, we come to Second Wind by the infamous CampaignJunkie. Just like MastaKilla, I left the best for last. And good god, was it good. I have not played any Half-Life map pack as close to my vision of perfection as this before. For starters, the story. Simple, yet immersive, told with finesse and style - it was simply beautiful. The simple, yet amazingly executed introduction sequence gave you more reason for your crusade than any cruddy text-based briefing. Once that was done, I was greeted with stupendous visuals for the GoldSource engine, showing insane mapping skills of the author. From crisp custom textures, the vast open areas with clean & detailed architecture to the lighting, everything was absolutely stunning. Each larger section of the map was a vista on its own and combined with a unique arabic mansion theme and a large variety of diverse, yet coherent areas - Second Wind looked so great it had me stopping every five minutes or so to just soak in the view. My absolute favourites would have to be the inner courtyard where you fight the apache (amazing lighting & shadows on the tower there) and the portal at the top of the tower (epic surrealism.) To imagine the scale of the sheer epicness of this mappack, you'd have to take HL2's Lost Coast, build a huge mansion into its cliff, change the time of day to gloomy evening and port it all to GoldSource. At perfectly playable framerates. When it comes to gameplay, this campaign plays no worse than it looks. Driven by the aforementioned awesome story, you visit a large variety of locations, all of which have plenty of different friends and foes. Even though combat was perfectly balanced, the main thing making Second Wind shine were the puzzles. With some of the most creative mind-bending stuff I've seen done in GoldSource, they made up a huge part of what makes Second Wind such a blast to play. My only complaint would be a somewhat lackluster ending combat-wise, however its sequence more than made up for that. In conclusion, I've only one thing to say: If you think you've seen it all without having played through this, I lack the words to prove you wrong. Doesn't matter what you like or not like, you simply have absolutely no excuse. Play.This.Now. I will eat my glasses and drink them down with motor oil if I ever play anything as epic as this for GoldSource.

Bottom Line

So there you have it. To sum things up, even though Reissues does have a bunch of average stuff, it is also bundled with some of the most epic scenarios you'll ever play on GoldSource. Even though my overall score is fairly low due to lower-quality campaigns outnumbering the good ones, it's still more than worth your time. Oh, and the ending? I'm not going to spoil anything but, the way it's tied to the Half-Life saga is absolutely freaking perfect. That concludes this horrible review. If you actually had the patience to read through this monstrosity, take a deep breath, go out for a walk and play through Reissues when you're back. It's worth it.
Commented 15 years ago2008-07-04 16:39:56 UTC Comment #16752
Here's a short review of each map i did:

Reissues Review

Amazingly good stuff. Thanks Kol and Co.! = )
Commented 14 years ago2009-06-17 17:27:07 UTC Comment #17598
Congrats on your MotM. :>
Commented 14 years ago2009-08-05 20:07:22 UTC Comment #5706
Can I edit submerged.wad textures and use it in my map?

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