A Beach Party with Mission Improbable - posted by Klapaucjusz on Wednesday August 19 2009
Awakening briefly from our collective slumber, we are excited to present a Half-Life 2: Episode 2 modification called Half-Life 2: Mission Improbable, created by the talented Magnar Jenssen.
- A Simple Plan: Mission Improbable presents the good Doctor Freeman with a simple and familiar task: find the button/the plug/the switch, push the button/put the plug in the socket/flick the switch, kill everyone standing in the way. The formula is a right classic with many incarnations. What distinguishes the so-so GoldSource and Source mods from their more memorable siblings are, among other things, the originality of the design and the verisimilitude of the adventure's environment. Unencumbered by grand ambitions, magical architecture or swarms of instantly "teleported" enemies*, Mission Improbable simply does the job as a believable, well-designed piece of action set in, and compatible with, the Half-Life universe.
- Enter the Dragon: The first frames of a game are often essential in setting the adventure's mood and hinting at the upcoming challenges. In some mods, our character appears out of thin air in the middle of an enclosed space and starts hunting for the trusty crowbar. In Mission Improbable's opening moments, we are taken on a spectacular boat trip along the coast by the base of a huge rock formation supporting the lighthouse, which we will explore later in the game. We splash down into an interestingly lit (if somewhat geologically unusual) cave and start the mission. For this reviewer, this is one of the most spectacular game introductions he's experienced so far.
- A History of Violence: Smart and balanced placement of enemies and power-ups provide for fun and challenging combats. Frontal assaults will get impatient players either killed or severely wounded fairly quickly. As larger groups of Combine soldiers can usually be heard or seen well in advance, the design rewards sneaky and attentive players, while the few opportunities to recharge the suit's batteries will leave the running-and-gunning players quite vulnerable after the first encounters.
- Vertical Limit: While the area explored in the mod is fairly small, the judicious usage of vertical structures which we explore across 4 levels (sea, base and top of the lighthouse and port level) creates a good mix of (briefly) claustrophobic "indoor cleaning" with vertiginous open air exploration.
- Serenity: This reviewer had a lot of fun wandering around the set of Mission Improbable and would love to see more from Mr Jenssen's digital foundry. May his Real Life not get in the way too much.
* See our Ten silly sins of mod design for more information.
Download it from the author's site or from LocMirror.
This article posted by Trurl, 'cause Klapaucjusz currently has much more important things to be doing. Congratulations!