Half-Life 2 SP Mod "Transmissions: Element 120" Released & Impressions

Discussion in 'News' started by Hectic Glenn, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Hectic Glenn

    Hectic Glenn Site Director
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    te120 banner.png

    Rarely are we treated these days with many Half-life 2 mods worth writing home about, however Transmissions: Element 120 is certainly one worth your time if you're looking for a bit of Half-life to play.

    The mod is pretty short but you should get a good hour out of it, all in the faithful Half-life 2 aesthetic, with some excellent mapping which has clearly been thought out and strives to mirror Valve's standards. Like Research & Development, Transmissions has it's own quirky gameplay hook in a super gravity gun which essentially gives the player the ability to rocket jump when firing the gravity gun at the ground and jumping. Naturally, the mod's creator, Skokunin has been clever here and expanded this mechanic for use in other puzzles, including the two big combat arena sequences.​

    The early part of the mod does a good job at introducing the new gravity gun by showing you parts of the map you cannot access, then giving you the weapon to teach the player about their new found power. Skokunin evidently focused on making these earlier parts relatively tense and jumpy with plenty of zombies and dark tunnels. The use of QR codes for a particularly hair raising puzzle was really well done, my heart was in my mouth when a poison zombie clubbed me on the head in the pitch black darkness and dropped me to 9hp.

    01_te120_warehouse.jpg 03_te120_courtyard.jpg

    Although the final sequence is action packed and fun, for me it felt out of place with the previous darker first chapters. Perhaps with more build up prior to this sequence, with a more gentle escalation in enemy difficulty, it would felt like a more natural transition.

    Regardless, the mod looks great and has evidently been constructed with real care, with nothing pulling me out of the experience. I'd certainly give this a recommendation to play especially for the zombie hoard set-piece where I had terrific fun rocket / gravity gun jumping over the spinning girder. It won't disappoint.

    You can download the mod here, let us know your thoughts on it. In fact, if you really do like it you can give it a thumbs up on Greenlight too.
     
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  2. Aizawa

    Aizawa Party Escort Bot

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    the last fight was so extremely well designed
     
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  3. TheWiktor

    TheWiktor Party Escort Bot

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    The "life" in Half-Life 2 is supposed to be upper-case.
     
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  4. -smash-

    -smash- Content Director
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    It's cool. Brits don't even capitalize Nasa.


    The level of fidelity throughout the maps is great. One of the best representations of the Source Engine I've seen.

    As for the gameplay, I did like it a lot before the "jump gun" was introduced. The pit of zombies was a great little mechanic and exploring that underground area was intriguing.

    But once the jump gun was introduced, I didn't understand exactly how I was supposed to use it. During the first "boss fight" with all of the zombies rushing at you, I noticed that there were a lot of physics objects at my disposal, but the pacing was so off for me that I just ended up blasting the zombies away with the jump gun. Same thing happened with the final battle. I'll play this mod again to try new strategies.

    I didn't like the screen distortion effect associated with the discharging of the jump - it was a little too disorientating and distracting. Also the framerate was pretty bad for me and at times dipped into the 20's.

    But overall this is a nice little gem that everyone should try.
     
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    #4 -smash-, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  5. Shokunin

    Shokunin Headcrab

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    Wow, thank you Hectic for the great review!
     
  6. Lolcomputer

    Lolcomputer Party Escort Bot

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    So after playing the mod, and being absolutely astonished by your aesthetic design, I sensed a satisfactory feeling which I never had felt since playing Half-Life 2 for the first time. The game is brilliantly excecuted, and you hit the nail on the coffin, especially as to how reminiscent it is to Half-Life 2. Nothing can really be said, that hasn't already been said about Half-Life 2; the traditional segments could aswell has been the original game.

    But, because of the shortness of the mod, I understand that you didn't have a large chance to develop on your pacing. The pacing could have been drawn out further, so you could have had individual sections between each big fight. It didn't feel outright misplaced that there were two big fights after one another, but it could definetely have been improved with more deepened and explored mechanics.

    And because of that, the new gravity gun, essentially the selling point of the mod, felt like an artificial non-physics driven grenade launcher. You barely used it for the traps layed around, and you quickly found out, that it was much easier to shoot them directly in order to kill enemies, rather than shooting other objects that would eventually kill enemies.

    Although that, the last part was really nice. You'll jump from building to building, grabbing rockets and killing off the striders; It felt incredibly satisfying. The enemies running around the streets added a nice adequite challenge to the striders; rather than just tediously firing rockets all the time, it gave you action non stop, so you wouldn't fall into a mindless grind of strider killing.

    All in all, I enjoyed the experience, and all of the segments are incredibly polished. Although that, the overall coherence between the segments could have been improved, i.e, the mod wouldn't hurt from letting the player explore the mechanics between the big two fights. That is all, I think. It's a very good mod that I would recommend to everyone, in fact, I already have done that to a couple of friends.

    And goodness lord, is the game pretty... This may be one of the most finest looking mods I have ever seen in my life.
     
  7. Aizawa

    Aizawa Party Escort Bot

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    I dont think that the purpose of the new gravity gun was to shoot objects to kill combine, but to be very mobile. Its like a rocket-jump without self-damage and without fall-damage. Shooting objects was just bonus.
     
  8. Lolcomputer

    Lolcomputer Party Escort Bot

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    Exactly, hence me saying: "You'll jump from building to building, grabbing rockets and killing off the striders"

    It was in the first big fight, I personally thought you didn't have a lot of orpportunities to use the traps layed around, as they were too inconvenient. It was a lot more convenient to just shoot the enemies directly. I thought that was a bit of a missed orpportunity, although nothing inherently bad, as it was still fun to shoot enemies with the new gravity gun.
     
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  9. Vincent Pride

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    I honestly envy people who have so much free time on hands and do not have to worry about making their ends meet.
     
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  10. Hectic Glenn

    Hectic Glenn Site Director
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    Did you post in the wrong thread or is this relevant to this mod somehow?
     
  11. Vincent Pride

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    No, I'm referring to the mod author, who has spent 2 years of spare evenings and weekends on it.
     
  12. Shokunin

    Shokunin Headcrab

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    I'm not sure if you're saying you envy other people or envy me for having free time? This mod was very challenging for my family and I using what little free time I have. I am fortunate, and grateful, but by no means was this easy.

    If you're in a situation with 2 jobs or more, I wish you the best and hope things become easier for you.
     
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    #12 Shokunin, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
  13. -smash-

    -smash- Content Director
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    • Like Like x 4
    #13 -smash-, Apr 5, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  14. TheWiktor

    TheWiktor Party Escort Bot

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  15. Lolcomputer

    Lolcomputer Party Escort Bot

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    #15 Lolcomputer, Apr 6, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  16. Aizawa

    Aizawa Party Escort Bot

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    not surprising, the quality of the mod is by far above average. I always get a smile on my face when someone makes a mod and then gets hired. Something like that only happens in video game industry.
     
  17. Tollbooth Willie

    Tollbooth Willie The Freeman

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    Transmissions

    Sexual Element Gonorrhea

    This is giving me vibes of another mod, Radiator. Will check this out.

    God bless anyone who can stay on that dev team long enough to deal with Randy Pitchford and Anthony Birch longer than 2 months before they kill themselves. Best of luck.
     
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  18. Omnomnick

    Omnomnick Retired Lead Content Creator
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    Anthony Birch doesn't work at Gearbox anymore.
     
  19. Lolcomputer

    Lolcomputer Party Escort Bot

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    I know this is out of topic, but... I think you've overdone yourself.

    [​IMG]

    Though, great to see that you're keeping the forum alive by posting digressive banter! A+
     
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  20. Hectic Glenn

    Hectic Glenn Site Director
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    Willie is the venereal disease of the forum, no matter how many times we get rid of him, he keeps coming back. Often itchier than before.
     
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  21. Tollbooth Willie

    Tollbooth Willie The Freeman

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    My favorite VD is the clap, because for me the applause never stops.
     
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