- Mar 30, 2012
- Overlook Hotel
Over the years Half Life community built many astonishing and tremendous things for the magnum opus of Valve. This list is the prove of that, and will help new users who want to have at least a little bit of knowledge where to start and what to expect. There are many other, but I think that we shouldn't try to scrap the bottom of the barrel and just focus on the good one. Let's begin !
Update: Half Life 2 modifications list
I'll just note that:
- I always used the first release of the game. The one that came with the WON key. I've always played on this version with both expansions, including patches which were included on Opposing Force and Blueshift. My reasoning is simple - the custom content will always work here. No scripting errors, crashes or dead ends where you wonder in circles. I don't know anything about the problems with the Steam edition. Suffice to say, they are encountered, and I won't search for solving every one of them. Maybe 90 % will work, maybe not. Just a friendly reminder.
- Usually installing mod is very simple - you need a custom directory (which is most of the time already made in the archived file already); drag and drop it into the HL home directory. It's good to start everything from looking at readme.txt file from the extractor level just to be sure that it doesn't need any extra steps. After that you just click on the "Custom game" and there you activate the desired mod.
- I didn't want to make any screenshots, because it would be a too big work for such a big list. But thanks to the great youtuber ParkJinSung2509 you won't be restricted to read only my summaries (and quotes). Which were made after playing them long ago. I could just stop and it would still be a great list. But when I see a friendly worshipper like that I just couldn't resist and linked to each of his playthrough. Yes, he made all of them. It will give you a nice first impressions and how each mod plays. He is using the french version, so sometimes it's funny to have a dual voiced game, but it isn't a big deal. Most of the mods have download links in their description so it was even more faster for me to make that decision.
- Funny voice acting, posters with naked girls, and more. Some things will make you laugh, some of them cringe. It's the modding community in the nutshell. You will be surprised many times, I can guarantee you that.
- The list contains only single player modifications.
- All modifications can be downloaded from this site - http://www.runthinkshootlive.com/hl/
Absolute Redemption – Absolutely good. You are teleported, somewhere alone in desolated mountains fighting your way through the marines squads. Later on the plot thickens and you move through diffrent locations.
Adam – „You are Adam from the planet Esidarap. This planet is pristine with no violence, weapons or pollution of any kind. The members of this society have never been exposed to the evil ways of other primitive planets and Esidarap’s world council want to keep it that way.” Relatively short episode. I was hoping we would be controlling some kind of alien, but we are humanoid.
Afraid of Monsters – Well, that one is spooky. Pitch black locations, scary monsters, you get the drill. Sometimes it’s just too dark to even know what you are doing, and just have to stop playing. It has a nice wtf moments, I admit.
Azure Sheep – It's like entirely new Blueshift expansion. And it’s way better.
Black Operations – A mod where you play one of the most persistent enemies from Opposing Force, the Black Ops guys. „You are sent to eliminate DR. Gallagher, former member of the Black mesa science team, who is hiding in the Dead end night club.” There are some comics story parts like Max Payne.
Update - there is a redux version of this mod, which has updated graphic engine.
Boreality – Solid Gordon Freeman fan fiction. Some funny interactive objects included.
Brave Brain – „You play as Thomas Redgrave. A scientist working in Area3 Research labs. The story is parallel with the events at Black Mesa, the same day when Gordon Freeman and Scientists in Sector C caused the whole event.” Another big mod with new features.
Black Guard – Another modification where you are playing a blue helmet security guy.
Case Closed – We’ve been playing all diffrent people in the series, but what about the janitor’s? Somebody had to clean all that mess, right? Laugh all you want, but this is a very nicely done mod.
Chemical Existence – Woah, this time it’s a total overhaul! Entirely new story, with many puzzles (there is even a walkthrough!) and weapons. It’s like a weird mesh of sandboxy sci-fi fps with some dialogues in between.
Cleaner’s Adventures – Similar hero as in the previous mod. It has a great custom soundtrack.
Cry of Fear – From what I’ve read this mod was later on a stand alone title. And it’s not a surprise when you play it. Intro with that music sets you in a right mood for the whole game. There are so many new elements that you couldn’t see in the original HL. A must try for all the fans of horrors.
Dead Sector – Another horror themed mod. There are some nice outdoor locations mixed with the inner facilities. It was made by Czech guys and never translated but it’s worth a try for it’s atmosphere alone.
Note: Thanks for info Riskbreaker. There is a translated version in english.
Escape – After the Black Mesa incident... Save your own skin from the military and creatures warping in from Xen. It’s one of those „alternate beginning” mods where you are more or less doing the same thing as in vanilla version, but there are many changes in the levels structure, so it’s interesting to try it. There is also a second part of this mod.
Escape from the Darkness – This modification has a new setting, which looks like a tropical jungle. War between military and Xen aliens is going strong. We must escape from this hell.
ETC – This one starts in a later part of the original game, which looks diffrent of course. It’s more straight forward and involves more fighting sequences. It’s not very long but it has so many awesome moments that is worth at least one walkthrough.
Fate Reversal – „What if Freeman weren't held in stasis during the portal storm that ravaged the Earth and caught the attention of the Combine? What if Freeman had a chance to prevent the Combine invasion from ever materializing? What if Freeman could reverse mankind's fate? Fate Reversal is a 10-map single-player mod for Half-Life. In this mod you come across a variety of locations (including cities and space stations) instead of spending the entire duration in the confines of Black Mesa research facility.”
Halfquake trilogy– Interesting mix in the title, but it’s more of a fps puzzle game really. You hear a voice in the beginning which tells you to move on. You are sort of a lab rat trapped in the maze and have to reach your destination to beat the game. It has some really tough moments, but back in the day it was something way diffrent than many other mods, so I would say – try the first episode and if you like it, go for the next two.
Heart of Evil – Vietnam meets zombie aliens from HL. You shoot native guys too. I remember how much ammo you had to put into the zombies. It’s one of the most open mods I’ve seen. You can roam through some segments back and forth if you need to. One of the biggest, and probably the hardest mods that were ever made.
Hour Glass – it’s mission based and involves time travel to various planets.
Intolerable Threat (needs OF expansion) – „As Gordon Freeman, you must face down the Administrator for the last time.The Administrator has taken control of “HANGAR 16″ a government command and control facility in the desert. From here he is possibly planning a coup against the government of the United States, and vengeance against those who have opposed him in the past.You need to meet with an agent who has the access codes to enter the heavily guarded base, infiltrate it and prepare the way for friendly forces to attack.”
Invasion – One of the most impressive mods made by french community. Improved graphics, new weapons, entirely new campaign, plus fantastic soundtrack. The marines are tough as nails and there are some nice puzzles too. All voice acting is in french, but there are subtitles, so don’t worry. Simply amazing work.
Ispitatel 4 Classic – Hillarious mod made by Russians. You can interact with some of the computers, and there are new modified monsters. Just watch the intro if you don’t believe me.
Krypton – First we need to get into the military base. Many fighting sequences and some very obscure puzzles.
Life’s End – You are late for work, and you hear from your supervisor that you are fired. Excellent beginning of the day, wouldn’t you say? Thanks to doctor Freeman it just keeps getting better.
Lost in Black Mesa – interesting mod, due to the combining the graphic effects of the Half-Life FX modified engine with the Super Definition models it looks very dinstinctive and fresh. Too bad it’s so short. Graphically it’s very impressive.
Mistake - You wake up in an abandoned facility. There are no people left, only destroyed lab equipment, blood on the floors and the walls. Not knowing what is going on, you want to get out from this place. There is a prequel called Mistake -1.
Night at the Office – You are one of the penil pushers in a big corporate building. The terrorists attack it, and you are the only one who can stop them. Gameplay wise it’s like taking Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard, shrinking it and merging it with HL.You have diffrent floors in the building and you must up and down, not having any gun in the beginning. Very unforgiving enemies.
Nuclear Winter – You will need Opposing Force expansion pack to run it. It’s a fictional story about the conflict between Middle East/Asia and USA. No aliens in this one. It has all the features of the original OF, like team squad members and new weapons. Some of sections of this are very memorable, puzzles included. It comprises 29 new maps plus a ton of new scripted scenes, models, artwork, character voices, sound effects and music.
Operations 1942 – Call of Duty take on HL with basic stealth system.
Operation Black Thunder – Another mod where you play a soldier. Most of the game takes place in the desert setting of the original HL.
Quantum Leap – 20 levels made by 15 diffrent people. This could be an incoherent disaster, but the variation of each one of them make QL good. It was surprisingly good, you are moving through diffrent levels many times but the designer bar is set high on them. I like to think of it as a „Half Portal” mod.
Paranoia – HL mixed with Stalker. No, it’s not a sandbox, but has that special Slavic feeling. Probably because the guys who made it are Russians. It’s remarkable how many new things is included here.
Peaces like Us – „Mankind found an entrance to XEN world. an investigation team met with the uncanny alien in that place. Then, mankind succeeded in becoming a friend with them. After that, a scientist team built a joint laboratory in the world of XEN. But, something bad there was approaching…” This mod has friendly aliens in Black Mesa wondering or doing some jobs. Very nice music and relatively long.
Poke646 – One of the most well known mods for Half Life. We are one of the scientists working on closing the Xen portals. Unfortunatelly we are hit in the head by some pipe and left alone. Now we must try to reach out our fellow egg heads. Excellent new graphics, custom weapons, custom music (like DJ Shadow), superb puzzles. This looks professional and polished from the start till the end.
Point of View – Those dirty humans will pay for invading Xen. Become the Vortigaunt and show them what you are made of!
Portrait of Freeman – It’s like a quick energy coktail of everything that we faced in the original campaing. Ufo boss at the end.
Prison – From the creators of „Trap” comes another modification. This time it’s a survival fps with some puzzles.
Project AMOD – I remember the first part with the big skyscraper and the helicopter. It uses some weapons from Counter Strike, if my memory serves me right. Very combat-heavy mod.
Rebellion – This mod must have the longest boring intro I’ve ever seen. Thankfully it keeps getting better after we start playing it. It has a camera system, where you can look without being shot on the spot. The sound of weapons will make your heart pound.
Residual Point – If Black Mesa remake had some changes to the base game, RP is a full remake of HL made by a Korean. Or at least it tries too, because it’s not so long. Nevertheless, it’s an impressive piece of work for just one men.
Residual Life – Another big, quality mod. Too bad the authors rushed the ending so much.
Riot in Progress – As soon as I watched intro on yt I was reminded what was going here. G-man as a devil with a demonic voice, now that’s something ! The plot is explained to you so I won’t spoil it. Very ambitious project, it’s more of a intreactive city during the winter time made in Half life. Of course with some limitations. It has some annoying platform puzzles, and you must have gems to be able to save. Wacky ride, although it could be more forgiving during the fighting sequences. If you don't go mad in the beginning, then continue your journey.
Sweet Half Life – „There is always one of those weaboo mods here everywhere” I told myself as I was looking at the new menu screen. Fortunatelly it’s only a false alarm and it plays like a good campaign for HL.
Tactical Espionage Action – The terrorist took hostages in a labolatory. You are one of the black ops guys from the original HL. There are radio talking heads from MGS, you have a camouflage suit and there is a stealth system implemented (very unforgiving, I must say, probably due to the primitivity of it). There is a TPP view mode, so it really feels like a bastard child of Splinter Cell.
The Alpha Unit – „Tells the story of Corporal Daniel Fletcheur. Fletcheur during his mission is injured in a clash with Gordon Freeman, and as he is the only soldier to have crossed paths with Freeman still alive, the government decides to assign him to the alpha unit, for a final mission to Black Mesa, which is to retrieve data from the Anomalous Materials Laboratory.”
The Challenger Deep – There is a TCD with 2 in the title. That’s the better, polished version which has the same premise as the original one. It takes place in the underwater base.
The Conspiracy in Shadow 2 – I don’t have the first part, so it was probably some quick demo or a learning ground for modders. You play some sort of a commando, and have diffrent tasks to handle. One of the biggest mod to my knowledge.
The Gate – Half Life meets Indiana Jones meets time travelling. Will you be good enough to stop evil plans of Adolf H. ? Includes John Williams music tracks.
The Real – looks like someone really liked to crank up the difficulty level. Due to the damage level of enemies, this addon is recommended for hardcore fans only. Or try some editing the config files. That will work too.
The Trap – „Welcome to the Trap complex. Here, you will be subjected to numerous tests for dexterity and ingenuity. Please do not try to leave the elevator before it stops… The goal of your mission is to leave the trap and receive an award. Each section will consist of several chambers, in each chamber you will find the portal capable to transfer you into the next chamber”. If you like thinking puzzles in 3d then it’s your mod. Russia stronk !
The Unknown Menace – For fans of James Bond and espionage.
The Xeno Project – It starts right after our „agreement” with the G-man. The terraforming of Xen started, we must report into the lab. Some splinter cell group of soldiers who don’t like dem aliens are attacking the facility. We are teleporting into the part of Xen. If you like that part of HL, than it’s your mod!
They Hunger – Influenced by George Romero’s films, this mods takes a spin on zombies and monsters in general. With the help of the PC Gamer, the authors were able to really put themselves on the spot in the modding community. Excellent level variety, three episodes filled with something new, with a big, cheesy plot to sit through.
Time of Trouble – typical HL mixture of levels and puzzles.
Timeline trilogy – Who doesn’t like time travelling ? This mod is takes you to diffrent places and timelines (duh). And of course there will be something about World War II. I played it once but couldn’t get to it another time. There are too many wide spaces and long corridors for my taste. If you endure the beginning, try moving onward.
Todesangst – There are two parts of this mod. The first can be finished in a short amount of time. But the sequel really erases that mistake and brings more gameplay to the table. So just go for that immediately. There is more action compared to the first one, areas are bigger and easier to navigate. It is simply way better.
Ultimate Attack – I hope you like Black Ops guys, because you are one of them again. New locations mixed with the old ones revisited from the Opposing Force.
Under Black Moon (needs OF expansion) – „Can you believe your luck? Travelling in a transport plane you get shot down!You survive and things only get worse.Work your way through the area into the base and do whatever you have to do to get picked up.”
USS Darkstar – Half Life… In Space ! (dramatic 50’s music plays). Darkstar is really huge ship so you will have a really good time with it. The scientists are making experiments on aliens, so you know what happens next.
Visitors – nice intro built in in-game engine. „You play the young lawyer Dr. Alan Green, who was sent to the desert as a safety evaluater to carry out a safety report of Black Mesa. But then you have to escape out of the desert, after the serious disaster occured..”
Mini-campaings (mostly they have a typical HL gameplay with no custom textures/weapons/etc.):
Alternate Path – It changes the part of the HL of original campaign.
Dav Train + Dav Sub – Two parts of the same big modification.
Fight For Life
Prize – If you like wandering through old catacombs and solving riddles
Radix – Do not press the button !
Zombie Edition – It’s like playing an alien in the second AvP game. You start as a puny headcrab. Find some juicy scientist and let the carnage begins!