- Games, Toys, and Hobbies
5 Dead Half Life Mods That Were Amazing
1. Zombie Panic (October 2003)
This game came somewhat near the end of HL1's life cycle, but had a good population around 2006-2008 and was very original. The point of the game was that you had a server with maybe twenty people, one person was randomly selected to be the zombie and the rest were survivors. The survivors would then scatter and look for weapons and tools while the zombie hunted them. Any killed survivor would be added to the zombie team to make things harder for them, so eventually you could have a dozen zombies chasing one human. The mod had amazing levels, and the public produced a lot of good custom maps and custom textures. Eventually the mod died out as the developer team worked on a source port and then a retail game, but there's a huge difference in the sequels, in my mind they don't match up to the original in sheer fun and ridiculousness. The HL1 engine had all kinds of glitches that made this game more fun.
2. Natural Selection (October 2002)
Originally released on Halloween in 2002 by Unknown Worlds software, Natural Selection was one of the most unique mods for Half Life 1. The game pitted two unique teams, the Marines and the Kharaa, against each other and the team differences played off each other beautifully. The Marines usually had one person electing themselves to play the role of commander and buy upgrades and equipment and decide movement of troops or attack areas. The Aliens/Kharaa were independent to each other and decided themselves what to do and where to go. Each team fought for control of resource nodes and the more one had the faster you gained them. Marines had a shared resource pool that the commander used, while the Kharaa each gained resources independently and could spend them as they saw fit. The game pushed the HL1 engine to it's limits with beautiful textures and models and great particle system. Each update to the game since it's initial version was completely different with many balance changes as it was a very hard game to balance due to the team differences. Competitive usually played 5v5 while casual games were larger at 16x16, so balancing for resource accumulation was important. Unknown Worlds still works on the retail version, Natural Selection 2, but the two games are very different creatures.
3. Global Warfare (June 2001)
Before Call of Duty was a thing, there was a HL1 mod called Global Warfare that was similar to counter-strike, but more based on arcade firefight action. There were two teams, the ALF (Arab Liberation Front) and the United Nations Coalition Forces. Maps were detailed and realistic even though the game was never meant to be an ultra realistic combat simulator, but the gameplay was fast like true deathmatch style. Players could choose to be Infantry, Medic, Radioman, Engineer, or Snipers and the game had four different map types: Territory, Demolition, Airstrike, and Intelligence. Engineers could plant C4 for traps or objectives and mines and even diffuse mines that were stepped on, the Radioman marked targets for airstrike maps and could call in supply drops and was equipped with a grenade launcher. The most unique thing about the game though was that respawning players were brought into the map via transports like a APC or Black Hawk helicopter from an outside base. If an enemy player managed to make it to your drop off point they could blow up the transport with a LAW or Stinger missile thus slowing reinforcements for several minutes. Overall it was a very good mod that is often overlooked today.
4. Front Line Force (November 2000)
Another game similar to Global Warfare and Firearms in that it was based on modern warfare was Front Line Force developed by Adrian Finol in 2000. The game was fast paced with modern guns, but with a heavy emphasis on team based gameplay with special accuracy bonuses for proximity to teammates. Finol passed dev lead to Dave Dynerman so he could start a career at Valve Software. Dynerman continued to update the game and went on to join Raven Software in 2003 with Tony Sergi taking over as lead coder. The mod had many well designed maps and weapons, and the team basis was a concept unseen at the time. Front Line Force also had map objectives and was control point based to emphasize teamwork. As Half Life 2's release approached, the dev team made a decision to halt work on Front Line Force as it would be hard to compete with other mods. Front Line Force.
5. Vampire Slayers (January 2001)
Released in January 2001 by developer RouteTwo, Vampire Slayers was a game where one team, the Slayers attempted to kill the other team, the Vampires. The game was designed in a similar fashion to Counter-Strike where each player had one life and sat out the rest of the round if they died. Players could choose from three different classes on each team with different weapons and abilities. The objective was to shoot the vampire enough to knock it to the ground and then use a cross and stake to kill it, otherwise it would resurrect and get back up. Vampires could suck the blood of dead players to regain health and were nimble and could jump high and move fast, and their attacks killed fast. Players could also kill a vampire with a crossbow by shooting it in the heart although this took a lot of skill to do. RouteTwo was a very good developer, towards the end of development he lost the enthusiasm for working on his game and let it die. He also designed a soccer HL1 mod that incorporated physics from Vampire Slayers. If a vampire sliced the head off a slayer, it could kick the head around like a ball which is what lead to the soccer mod's design. Towards the end of the game's life, a deathmatch mode was designed and even drivable motorcycles were designed. This mod had fast action and for a while had a competitive scene comparable to Counter-Strike, but alas the community ended up leaving slowly like what happens to most mods. The mod is still very good and needs a remake.