What if we tell you that there’s more to Half-Life 2? What if there were more ways to explore your love for Half-Life 2? We played a number of mods for Half-Life 2 and here are the best ones.
When it comes to FPS games, few are as memorable as Half-Life. It might have been a long time since you last donned the role of Gordon Freeman in bringing freedom to the people of the Earth from an alien race, wielding the honorary Crowbar and trusty 9mm. All of us could collectively agree that its sequel, Half-Life 2 was equally monumental and yet again made a huge leap forward, shaping up the current FPS continuum. The display of love to the game franchise was so immense that it saw hundreds of mods being released, later spawning the Counter Strike series. Half-Life 2 saw huge improvements in textures and lighting from the previous game and again got inundated with mods. Sadly, there are a great many mods that suffered after the SteamPipe update, and few are now completely useless. That said, the few working ones that we did come across have been simply amazing and have managed to breathe more life into a game (and an engine) that is many years old. Give these games a whirl, we’ve featured some of them on the SKOAR DVD this month!
You might wonder why this mod has such a vague title, but if you have a clear memory of the time you played Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One and Half-Life 2: Episode Two, it will start making sense instantly. Missing Information is the product of the combined efforts by developers (who call themselves Gabe’s Love Tub) from the Half-Life 2 Beta leak and E3 footage, with some extra models and textures. The mod is actually a whole chapter, suspected to be either either an early prototype for a level in Half-Life 3 or Episode 3. Nobody knows for sure Though the mod hasn’t necessarily used all the files of the leaked beta yet, expecting a full game from the developers seems far-fetched since all we got were a few updates and that’s about it. This mod adds to the story-line of the original and will feed rabid fans some fodder with regards to expectations from the (long expected) sequel. You will definitely enjoy the mod if you crave for everything that smells or feels like Half-Life, but do not expect a wonderful game since there are bugs and glitches here, including missing textures. It was, after all sourced from an unfinished game. To play Missing Information you need to have a copy of Half-Life 2 and the Source SDK 2007.
There are some mods that turn out to be so good, they end up as standalone games later and Underhell has the same potential. Developed on the source engine, you start in a house that is haunted by your wife’s ghost and we have to admit, the house is beautifully crafted. Playing this game alone in the dark gets really spooky, especially in a house where doors slam frequently, the piano starts playing on its own, topped off by the crazy nightmares you experience while in there. The impressive background score throughout the game certainly makes your pulse race while playing. Apart from exploring the puzzles in your house, not to mention having your wife’s ghost scare the life out of you (not literally, thankfully), your primary role is that of a SWAT officer. You can expect the gameplay to be quite tactical but the action isn’t really amazing. though the levels are OK. Oh and one thing to mention is that if you’re running low on armour, kick off the heads of your dead adversaries and pick up their helmets, it’s gory, we know, but anything to save our skins, right?
The Stanley Parable
The Stanley Parable was an interesting, narrative-driven first person game that let you control the main character, employee number 427, as he journeyed his office. The takeaway of the game is the wonderful and funny narration that keeps you hooked on to the game at every moment. The narrator’s deceptively serious commentary on your every step or rather the step you will be taking is entertaining and makes you anticipate what you might stumble into next. The mod version of this game also follows the same style of being hilarious and surprising. It’s all nice and good when following the narrator, but disobey him and you’ve had it. It’s really fun to play, and we’d rather not spoil the game by describing it further. Who knows, you might even end up buying the full game later. Again, you will only need the Source SDK 2007 to run the mod.
Based on another mod called SMOD (Super MOD), the Tactical mod adds to the customization and capabilities of SMOD, offering you a more realistic world and tactical gameplay. Basically, it’s a mod of a mod. It lets you play the original story of Half-Life 2 with a few modifications, such as the replacement of models of the Combine soldiers with that of SWAT officers. Although you’ll miss swinging the venerable crowbar, you will be slashing around with a tactical knife that drops dead those sneaky officers in a single blow. There are many new weapons and abilities provided that adds to the gameplay giving you a different feel to the game. You will need to own a copy of Half Life 2 and also the Source SDK 2007 to run this mod.
Abhijit "BabuMoshaaye" Dey
This ape-descended life form believed that coming down from the trees was a bad idea until he was introduced to video games. Has spent endless hours playing Prince of Persia, Hitman, Assassin's Creed, Unreal Tournament, Half-Life and Left 4 Dead. This makes it three sentences, Half-Life 3 confirmed.