The end of May already, the Year went by pretty quick. I rather have this done at least once a month rather than a list of crappy single player maps anyways
I actually started on the NeoTokyo review two months “Date Last Saved 3/14/2013” but I was too cold to care, than it got really hot than cold again for no other reason to annoy me.(remember kiddies, only morons will tell you climate change is a myth) I need to move down south. By which I mean a country where their workers aren’t payed a slave wage and their internet prices aren’t inflated.
Devin has a mini review of Episode 2 of Factum Solus. [link]
The original being one of the few Portal mods I don't hate to do most requiring unreasonable twitch reaction times.
I also have a review for the latest version of Exterminatus, Beta 7.50, with new weapons tweaks and graphic updates. Read it, play it or be executed for Heresy.
Ah NeoTokyo, this one is quite ancient but still good. Not going to be bother linking to a past review, because I am not looking through the super admin account for that as the last one was done before groups didn’t exist. So old in fact that it’s still on the oldest version of Source, and its original was on Unreal Tournament 2004.
Anyways the premise of Neotokyo as you can guess that its cyberpunk game in the style of Counter Strike. This makes it Special Force vs. Special Forces in the form of NSF and JINRAI. NSF are loyalists while Jinrai are rouge agents. Since this is sci fi you get futuristic guns.
One of the odd things here is that not only are there no crosshairs nor are there iron sights. Sights are replaced by a zoom effect, which makes sense as you’re an operative with advanced technology.
The Desert Scout Rifle of the assault class might lead players to think it might be OP. But the one headshot kill is actually realistic, since it uses a dual purpose anti material and personal round. It balances out the superior speed of the Recon or the Machine Gun and other long ranged weapons of the Support class.
Since this is a team work based game you shouldn’t be getting yourself picked off by snipers anyways. However the same can’t be said of the assault rifles as they are overpowered compared to shotgun and sniper rifles. Other weapons are balanced. No one class felt that overpowered compared to another, but the support does seem absurdly slow to scout and assault.
Since there weren’t as many players I tested the weapons against bots. They seemed quite stupid as they don’t attack and even get stuck on maps. To get an accurate impression of gameplay its best to go up against real players. Which is how I released that assault rifles could use a damage nerf, as spraying should not be the way to win in a tactical shooter.
NeoTokyo’s community is actually quite skilled and knows how to use proper teamwork. Except for one jerk who camped and used his team mates as bait rather than flanking with his team. Camping is one of the worst things you can do in NeoTokyo as the objective besides killing the other team is recovering The Ghost in the large maps. Very few seem to not have it, so like a proper CS style shooter, its best to stick with a team mate. Also both teams get anti camper weapons such as grenades.
NeoTokyo does feel like it’s a bit dated but that’s to be from a mod that’s at least ten years in the making. This came out long before Valve released Source SDK Base 2007. However it’s still better than some newer games. If you like tactical shooters this is a must play, and I urge those who don’t to try playing it at least once. NeoTokyo is going to be distributed via Steam Greenlight in the near future which I also hope comes with a more up to date version of Source. As this would make an already great Source mod even better.
Graphics: 4/5 Textures and models are amazing for Source 7, but a bit lacking compared to Source mods on a more up to date version.
Game play: 3.5/5 All weapons except assault rifles are balanced, as players can just spray them to get kills. Grenades might seem cheap but that’s because their explosives and supposed to kill multiple opponents.
Content: 5/5 One of the best total conversations for Half Life 2. Too bad it doesn’t have the player base it deserves.
Audio: 3/5 Weapon sounds are realistic and there is a lot of ambience. However Neo Tokyo’s amazing soundtrack is never heard during gameplay. As there was too much assault rifle spam in this version.
Fun factor: 3/5 Not a problem with the mod itself, but NeoTokyo has very low number of players to get a good opinion of the mod. As I was hardly ever able to get enough points to have proper weapons as team mates
Exterminatus Rival Species 2 beta 7.50 [link]
The only 40K mod for Source that has been released at all, ChormeAngel’s
Exterminatus. This so far is the only one that is multiplayer as well. I have no idea if any even exists for Source now as the other two seemed to have died out due to lack of interest by their creators. Chrome himself could use help especially with new maps sounds and props as there still some Half Life 2 content used in the mod.
Starting with maps, Space Hulk has been removed as this map favored the Space Marines and was not fun to play as either side. As Tyranids had very little places to ambush from and the Space Marine team would get bored and end up fodder so that the other team gets Carnifexes. The only other map that is unbalanced for gameplay is City Conflict by Dark Marine and Hive by well I never asked. City Conflict favors the Space Marines, as its easily defended if the Marine team uses the right classes(Ie not Melee based classes), and over watches the area properly. Otherwise, Nids will steam role.
Hive favors towards Tyranids, mostly due to the first and second Marine caps being much closer than the Tyranid Spawns are. Also the Nid spawn is dynamic as there is a bridge that lowers when the blue console is capped . Nothing cool happens when the Astartes has captured the pipe. Well except for when the final area that opens when Tyranids capture the pipe area themselves.
The rest of the maps are well balanced as, with Lycantium and Tarsis Ultra being the most balanced. Lynantuim has two areas for Teams to attack from and this allows either team to cap their spawn quickly if they don’t pay attention. Tyranids however has easily defendable positions every area a running fire fight, though every class but Carnifex is able the small corridor. However, it does leave Space Marines easy to snipe if they do use it.
Trasis Ultra is one of the more fun maps to play. It’s even balanced towards both teams and an advantage is gained if teams work together in groups. Space Marines will have to watch out for Lictors as they can easily cap and swing things in their favor. Good things Scouts are not implemented yet.
There are new weapons for both teams. The Tyranid tier 3 has had the Venom Cannon since 7.25 and nerfed back with manual reload. As it was overpowered, though it feels more like a simi automatic battle/sniper rifle instead of a proper anti tank weapon. As it can overwhelm Space Marines teams that make poor choices. Ie, they end up not choosing to use Plasma, Melta weapons(Veteran, Specialist) or the Bolter(tactical).
The only overpowered Space Marine weapon is the Terminator’s Storm Bolter as the new armory shrine gives him literally unlimited ammo. As its more like a double barrel shotgun rather a machine gun version of the Bolter. It should more like Counter Stirke’s M249 to the Bolter’s M4.
On the other hand, the Power Fist is an outright useless weapon even against Genestealers, which is screwed up as basic Terminators are supposed to excel in close combat. It’s why they have teleporters in first place as First Company Veterans shouldn’t be owned by anything that isn’t a power weapon or has an additional attack.(i.e. Warrior Talon)
If I had the skills, I’d try my hands Assault Cannon and Chain fist for use as a part of war gear combos.
The new Space Marine weapons are the Plasma Gun and Flamer for the Tactical Specialist. The Veteran’s Chainsword has been replaced the much more useful Power Sword. It can even own a Fex up close, making it the most balanced combination with the Plasma Pistol. Still the Plasma pistol is the inferior of the two Plasma weapons.
The Specialist Flamer is much like the Melta gun but has less range and damage. For some reason it pushes back the large classes while doing very little to the Genestealer and Warrior, which should be the opposite.
The Plasma Gun best is the best addition to the Space Marine side. As it can either, be spammed or hold down Mouse 1 for a few second to make a much stronger charge attack. It evens the odds against Venom Cannons, Spores Mines, and the Zoanthrope psychic bolts and warp blast. With the exclusion of the Devastator weapons (Heavy Bolter, Rocket Launcher) it’s one of the best and most balanced weapons in the game.
However, one class each stands out as bad and outright useless for both teams. Even though the Pure strain Genestealer can easily kill a Terminator as close range. He will easily be owned by concentrated fire or the Power Sword. His hissing also ruins any chance of stealth as well. I think the community may have been trolling the devs before I started playing. As a Stealer Hybrid would been a much better and more balanced choice.(There are Autoguns that already exist as world models in the files.)
The same can be said for the Space Marine Assault class. As despite mobility provided by the Assault pack. Circle strafing and back pedaling make it easy for all Tyranids except for the Biovore is able to out maneuver him. Getting kills with these classes depend more on luck and lag rather than player skill. Only inexperienced or numerically overwhelmed players are unable to deal them quickly.
Stealer can be fixed by giving him alternate wargear such as smaller versions of the scything talons. Assault is in badly in need of better weapons then the bolt pistol such as the Plasma Pistol or a Hand Flamer. At the very least, the Chainsword could use quicker attack animations or be able to grind into enemies like a chainsaw.
The two classes that has fallen by the wayside is the Lictor and as mentioned before is Veteran for the Astartes.
The Lictor feels underpowered because his weapon load out is quite lacking compared to his second tier counterparts such as the Zoanthrope and Biovore. While his attack feels weaker than it should, as he should be doing damage closer to the Genestealer claws. His talons are also the most susceptible of any melee weapon to latency. This could be fixed by giving them more range
Note: When I learn how to model and compile weapons, make Flesh Hooks in Blender.
The Veteran feels mediocre due to his Plasma Pistol lacking compared to the Plasma Gun of the Tactical Specialist. The best way to rectify is if Plasma Pistol had a weaker version of the charge attack, as the Veteran really needs it. Inferno Combo is still useful in its intended role compared to the Plasma Pistol. Although one does wish both melta guns to be more fluff accurate.
Note: If I knew how to model for Source, I’d totally make Silenced Stalker(maybe version with no silencer for tactical), Scoped Kraken, and Combi-Bolters along with other specialized weapons for the Vet. We need some Sterngaurd representation here. Sterngaurd Sergeants are allowed to use Power fists and Lightening Claws with their Boltguns. Games Workshop is definitely smoking something.
( Maybe even create some Tyrannic War Veterans to piss off the purists.)
These strange gameplay are to be expected with such a small team and even more so a small amount of players. As Chrome has a small pool of testers to help with game balance. The best I can do for now is schedule games for the official group. [link]
In fact if wasn’t for the players that have shown up since the Fourteenth of May I wouldn’t have been able to do a proper review.
Now for some final thoughts, the Exterminatus beta 7.50 does need some attention when it comes to the utility of certain classes. However, when the right class is chosen for the job the tide of battle can turn quickly.
Despite not being fluff accurate Exterminatus is one of those mods with low player turn out that deserves a higher player base. For Warhammer 40k fans, this is a must play. For those looking for a fun multiplayer Source mod I urge you to at least give a try and download it.
Graphics: 4/5 Still the same score as last time.
This is because Half Life 2 content is mixed in with new props, sprites and models. Imperium force fields should not look like those used by the Combine. Though that can slide as the team is still very small.
Game play: 4/5 New weapons have made the old strategies of trying to sneak up on enemies useless as Tyranids can just shoot those hind and Space Marines have grenades. Unless you’re an Astartes Scout, a member of the Raven Guard (Ultramarines stand out) or a Lictor don’t bother trying.
That said discarding the classes and weapons that aren’t OP, UP or neglected makes for balanced gameplay. Plasma and Meltaguns can really ruin a Nid charge if used correctly.
Content: 4/5. This version has new weapons, but there are still two Space Marine (Terminator, Assault) and four Tyranid classes (Stealer, Warrior, Lictor,Biovore) lacking alternate war gear.
Chrome Angel himself has said that the implementation of Chaos Marines is possible with just Vanilla Marines, but noted that the amount of work involved makes this a low possibility.
That would mean no Obliterators, Mutilators, Berserkers, Noise, Plague, or Rubric Marines. Nor would there be daemons.
Since Chaos Undivided Legions seem popular enough I doubt there would be much objections. Maybe I should learning how to model weapons to get Hybrid Genestealers in for testing purposes as all three forces are able to use pretty much the same firearms.
Audio: 3.2/5 This version still uses rather dated sound files, not for a lack of trying though. As the bolter, sounds have been remixed somewhat but still use the same basic sound from the original Half Life mod.
The Carnifex actually has new sounds created by I’m a Turtle, and is as fierce as he should be. There is also a new reload sound for the Tyranid weapons, which is as gross as one expects. However many environmental and new weapon sounds are from Half Life 2, which prevents the audio score from being higher.
Oddly enough, there are 16 bit sound files that are unused for the Deathspitter and Meltagun. I managed to use Goldwave to get them to work in the game. Why Chrome doesn’t use them is a mystery. Well other then the fact that the Deathspitter sounds like it belongs to a Tyranid machine gun or anti tank weapon.
Replayability: 5/5 More classes, more dakka, power weapons, you can see where I am going with this. At least it isn’t as dumb as it is in Warhammer 40k: Space Marine where the Power and Chain swords have the same stats. What the hell Relic?
Fun factor: 4/5 As long as teamwork is adhered too, other players will block a shot meant for a Carnifexes and I’ve seen new players ignore Genestealers despite the fact that they have a Chain or Powersword. This isn’t 40K fluff where killing a Synapse Creature or Fex will cause them to fallback. You’re playing against humans playing as Tyranids.
Overall: 4/5 Major changes shake up otherwise repetitive game play. The only reason this isn’t higher is due to remaining Half Life 2 stuff, which looks out of place in a Warhammer 40k mod. In addition, the lack of representation of popular classes and load outs for both sides also prevents a higher score.
Features from Underhell Chapter [link][link]
A video from Half Life 2 – ICE, which shows off two new weapons and skins for the Combine Overwatch.[link]