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Diversion - a single-player map for Half-Life 2 Episode 2
Made for Gamebanana's "The HL1/2 Short But Sweet" Mapping Contest
Author - LexxoR
Building time - ~21 day
UPDATE - 2 APRIL 2013 - VERSION 1.1
-reworked second part of the map
-a lot of minor changes
The following is a review, not just straight feedback for the designer.
The map opens with a brief text description you find yourself in, and then hops into a quick cinematic sequence of a group of rebels beckoning you to cover them. Optimization seems to be low initially as my frame rate lingers around the 40 – 60 mark (Fully optimized maps in the 200+) but I can forgive for the large vista that is displayed before me. The cries of birds can be heard as the rebels begin to make their way along the pass before me.
One thing that I definitely was not expecting in this contest was re-thinking how to use a weapon. Where I would previously use the crossbow to pick up static, slow moving enemies in the distance, I was now being asked to predict the Combines path to which I would be firing at. This resulted in multiple attempts to complete this section, but was eased by the use of checkpoints. The area I was overseeing was not particularly detailed, but mainly left blank so the main focus of the player is set on the NPC’s.
On later play, you are given the opportunity to walk around this area you were overseeing, where annoying, the emptiness has nowhere to hide. In an ideal world with a longer design period, I would have liked to have seen signs of a pier, or pieces of scenery that suggest a higher water level at some point. Additionally, the water texture seemed to clear to be noticed a lot of the time, a darker or higher colored version might be more suited.
Once I escaped the shed by means of helicopter attack I was met with another open vista, but still sadly, quite un-detailed. The lack of obstacle s made that brief section not only more difficult, but also So much less life-like. Saying that, diving into a presumably abandoned garage and tunnel, only to be met by a surprising amount of detail, and a small ammunition box did please me very much.
Small, diversion for a moment, I’ve just restarted the map because disabling AI and flying around the map seems to bugger things up a bit and I’ve been given quite a nice surprise. Taking out one of the guards before he has a chance to notice the rebels gives a little grenade tossing scene, instead of having to gun down an additional 2 guards. Fucking. Yes.
Anyway, back on track. AI seems to be pretty well planned out, as each side takes cover against fire and runs to more secured areas after the wooden crate I happened to have shot leaves them high and dry.
reaching the factory, the allies engage in another sequence with the heli, bringing it down and thus letting me continue. It’s a well done sequence, but all feels let down after entering the garage, seeing the faces of my conrads and not a word being spoken. Again, time limits and such can’t have everything, but if a later update is made, I would love to see more dialogue (and some more detail why not), it would really transcend the map from pretty good to pretty awesome.
Weapon and health supplies seems to be a little too generous at times, giving the player a full room filled with ammo for each weapon tends to give them a very cocky approach to game-play, as a pose to the dirty, fleeing rebel I felt like only seconds ago.
tunnel connecting the train-yards feels a little odd. Architecture is fine and dandy but the lack of pipes and the placement of flares tends to draw me out of the experience again. The lights seem perfectly capable of producing light, and the flares are mainly used as a temporary light source. If I might, I think this would be a great place for an ambush by the combine, emphasizing the weakness of the rebels in the face of the combine. Whatever, just my 2 cents.
watchtower protection scene is I feel the strongest designed in terms of detail, and AI planning, but annoyingly, is the least fun part of the map. Perhaps it’s because I’m not a fan of those kinds of scenes but I just found it all a little dry. The option is given to leave the gunning to the AI, leaving you to attack on foot, but I just don’t trust them. I blame their shifty eyes. The appearance of hunters is a surprise at first, catching me off guard when my health was low. This is the sort of thing I liked about this map, the feeling of being out-gunned and out-manned in the face of the combine. After a brief exchange of bullets there comes a short walk through a (very) un-detailed forest-grassy-plane-thing and then the ending.
I loved what was in this map, I feel like it could be so much better with more time and work. As it stands it’s a very polished, very fun entry that forced me to rethink my usual strategies when playing Half-Life. Worth a play, and definitely worth the 2nd place prize!
im gonna dl hl2 episode 2 and give this map a whirl. I'll comment on it, but i may refrain from rating due to me being int he contest. Look for my comment when i edit this. Looks very nice to begin with. BRB
> **Posted by StealthShadoW**
> > **Posted by LexxoR**
> > > **Posted by StealthShadoW**
> > > you need to edit it so it is gamebanana-Hl1-HL2 short but sweet.
> > Thanks, fixed!
> Cool. Just wondering, have you ever really mapped before?
Yes, I'm learning Hammer since 2006 but few last years I was busy because of education. Now I'm back! :)
> **Posted by LexxoR**
> > **Posted by StealthShadoW**
> > you need to edit it so it is gamebanana-Hl1-HL2 short but sweet.
> Thanks, fixed!
Cool. Just wondering, have you ever really mapped before?