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Author Topic: Paranoia - Released!  (Read 19574 times)

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Jstanf35

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2007, 08:14:39 PM »

That was a good review, and I agree with just about all of your points - especially the atmosphere ruining heavy metal (I watched Ghost of Mars and all I could think of was that the film would of been better with 80s style synth music rather than what they used instead)

I loved the knife though, the animations made it fun to use against the slow zombies.
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D3ads

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2007, 08:19:33 PM »

I didn't need it, I just used my pistol the first time and had shitloads of ammo and guns later so using a knife would be ludicrous!

**spoiler**








The spider was pretty cool, it was only used once though! If it's meant to be a boss then it needs to be much tougher, two shotgun blasts and it was dead.
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SaxonSwine

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2007, 10:42:28 PM »

It was a well written review ;)  Sorry D3ads I have more trashing to do.

I played it through to the end.  I was left aghast... to revise my previous comments, in essence Paranoia is just a grunt fest, with a few zombies thrown in.  Looking back at the overall game, it is extraordinarily repetitive, you go into a room, and "oh theres a monster/terrorist/nothing!" bang bang bang.  There are no puzzles in this, just lots and lots of walking around some random bunker, for reason in particular.
I had to use Noclip at times too which is pretty unforgiveable.  If you add an NPC to a game, for gods sake, give them room to move around you in a corridor.  I don't want them to get me stuck in a doorway, whereupon I try and move the bastard says to me "sorry, you're in my way".

The storyline is laughable: "here are our super awesome zombie spetsnaz soldiers, which we're keeping in a lab!" (5 minutes later) "oh no, the super awesome zombie spetsnaz monsters have escaped, and they've got guns too!".  Theres also the usual "oh my god whats this strange looking zombie person.  Stop, I say, stop! Argh!  I couldn't bring myself to kill a zombie! Argh!  He's killing me!"

The zombies just annoyed me, it took too many bullets / knife hits to kill them.  At one point my retarded Spetz buddy decided to stop shooting the zombies.  So the zombies decided to kick the crap out of him.  Except Spetz buddy is invincible, so he stood there for a few minutes taking it like a man.

The intro set piece where the team lined up sort of reminded me of Call of Duty, though its just that single sequence.  The remaining firefights only had about 2 or 3 enemies to an area, so it was nowhere near as frenetic as COD ever gets.
I think I was too generous with my score before, this is actually worse than Chemical Existence, even The Specialists seems fun compared to this. 0/10.  I won't even give consideration to the "work" that went into it, because nearly everything was ripped from other games, the details don't mean diddly squat if something isn't fun to play, and if you can play through it in about an hour.

If you want to play a good single player HL TC, see Poke 646, "Wanted!", They Hunger, or dare I say Heart of Evil.
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halflifedave

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2007, 11:24:24 PM »

Don't forget about Invasion :P

I've only partially started the game. The opening has a good atmosphere to it....but the level design is terrible. It's so easy to get lost during the start of the game. For some reason I was a little dissappointed with the models in the game. Since Stalker is fine with model conversions perhaps I will make a stalker themed model pack for the game  :)
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your evil twin

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2007, 01:13:34 AM »

9/10 of the way through the game I realised that one of the things making the game hard was that I couldn't tell when my shots were registering, because there was no blood. "Content lock" wasn't switched on or anything, but for some reason all teh violence settings were turned off. This became obvious when I killed a soldier with a grenade and he froze mid-run and then vanished, rather than gibbing.

I think this was simply a mistake, as the mod includes custom gibs. I found I could simply renable the gore using console commands. If i remember correctly, the commands are:
violence_hblood 1
violence_hgibs 1
violence_ablood 1
violence_agibs 1

Now you can actually see when you've hit an enemy.

Also, the game includes a couple of short intro videos (very short, just a few seconds), but for some reason they didn't play. I found they wouldnt' work in windows media player and even navigating to the mod's folder caused windows to sieze up. I was able to play the intros by browsing for them in Video Lan Client. It's not an amazing intro or anything, but it is a shame that it doesn't work in the actual game.

Anyway, aside from those bugs, I just finished the game, and I really enjoyed it. It had some problems, but the pluses far outweighed the negatives.

I didn't really get lost during the intro, as I enjoyed exploring all the dead ends anyway, and when outdoors it was just a case of heading to the next building with an open door. The other Russian soldiers were pretty entertaining to talk to, and I enjoyed reading the various log books scattered about. Loved how if you tried to speak to a soldier in a gasmask he'd complain he couldn't hear anything in that mask.

I didn't mind the heavy rock music as much as some people here. In fact it seemed pretty appropriate during the first encounter with zombies. Pistol with just a few bullets, several fast-moving zombies with tons of health that can absorb lots of damage... aaaargh! The heavy metal music seemed appropriate to the arrrgh of the situation. But I agree it didn't quite fit everywhere.

The story was a bit rubbish, standard stuff about creating horrible monsters when trying to engineer super-soldiers, but the horrific scientific experiments were given more plausability thanks to the detailed scientific log books, which had records of earlier experiments before everything went wrong.

The atmosphere was great. Seems to be something Russians really excel at - both STALKER and Paranoia have a real creepy vibe to them. The dirty rusty look to everything was also STALKEResque. I felt like I was in Chernobyl's  X16 or X18 labs in STALKER. A bonus was that unlike STALKER there were also some high-tech sterile labs (with loads of great detailed office and lab equipment) that contrasted well with the old disused sections.

The graphics enhancements were great - when exploring the gloomy labs the flashlight and bloom effects looked very much like the graphics quality of STALKER. The textures didn't fair quite as well but I wasn't expecting amazing textures with incredible bump maps as this is the Half-Life 1 engine, not the Half-Life 2 engine, having noise textures and bump maps is impressive in itself.

Most of the custom models were pretty good too; the Russian soldiers were decent, the terrorists were OK, the foreign black ops soldiers looked great and some of the monsters were fantastic! The weapon models were decent, the sound effects were fine, my only criticism is that the shotgun's firing sound was weak.

Also, I found I used all the weapons quite a bit - the huge machine gun let you fire loads of bullets but it slowed you down, not good when zombies are coming from more than one direction. The AK and Groza and the pistol allowed more freedom. The Groza's scope couldn't be used in conjunction with the visor, so when needing visor protection you were forced to use the less-accurate AK. The knife was disapointingly weak, sometimes it could take ten secondary-fire knife stabs to kill a zombie, but the knife animations made it satisfying to use despite its weakness.

People are complaining about problems with hitboxes, I didn't have such a problem... I think perhaps they are just finding it hard to tell if their shots are registering due to the blood being inexplicably turned off. As I said above, put in the console commands, turn the blood on, problem solved.

The voice acting was great. Well, perhaps it is hard for me to tell, I don't speak Russian, but to me the voices sounded good, and the English subtitles seemed good 99% of the time. There was lots of dialogue, either from NPCs I was teamed up with, or soldiers elsewhere in the facility, or commands from base. This frequent communication gave the feeling of actually being on a military mission, rather than the Half-Life experience of being the lone hero who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I only had one instance of a friendly NPC getting stuck - this problem is very prevelant in the official expansion Opposing Force, so it is a bit unfair to fault Paranoia for having that problem. Most of the time the NPCs were very well behaved, with their progress being determined by scripted routes triggered by the player's progress rather than attempting to actually constantly follow the player's footsteps (that's the sort of thing that causes NPCs to get stuck or be in your way).

In many ways Paranoia did stuff a heck of a lot better than Opposing Force. In Opposing Force you were supposed to be one of the badass soldiers from Half-Life sent in to kill aliens, silence witnesses and kill Freeman, but in fact you never received orders and your objective was just survival against the odds, just like Gordon. You were also a lone hero as you only briefly teamed up with fellow soldiers, who were expendable unless they were required to open a certain door. You'd usually have to leave them behind for totally aribtrary reasons, such as their inability to crawl or jump or climb or get on a train. You never felt like a special forces soldier on a mission. In Paranoia, you're just one of the team - all your comrades are badasses, and you're just especially badass, and you and your comrades count on each other. The early sections have you working together with squadmates; then you get seperated by disaster, but after the scary zombie labs you get to team up with a comrade again and spend the rest of the game kicking ass with a buddy. That's what Opposing Force should have been like.

It was a shame that the friendly NPCs in Paranoia were indestructible as sometimes you could leave fights up to your comrade (though this was somewhat balanced by the NPC's poor accuracy, you'd need incredible patience to wait for him to kill every enemy). It would have been better if instead of being indestructible he had regenerating health like Alyx or Barney in Half-Life 2, so that he'd die if overwhelmed but shrug off normal injuries. That way you wouldn't have to worry about babysitting a vulnerable NPC, but you'd need to save him if he was swarmed by zombies.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed Paranoia. I'd give it at least 7/10 or 8/10. I don't know why people are being so harsh.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 01:29:57 AM by your evil twin »
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Frostbite

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2007, 03:25:29 AM »

I don't know why people are being so harsh.
One reason why I hate it is because it uses content from other games, that just shows that these devs are too lazy to make their own content.

Any praise shouldn't be given to them, since they used nearly every Condition-Zero: Deleted Scenes animation for the soldiers, and they also used a lot of sounds from it as well.

But that's one of many reasons, which i rather not get into atm >.>
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Greaser

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2007, 07:40:18 AM »

Pff, I agree but also disagree.

+
Models and sounds were great. Intro with all these deadends was pretty fair too, I always like exploring bases before action (I loved HL intro). Textures weren't that good as supposed, but good too. Atmosphere of mod was fine at the beginning, than a bit boring.

-
Although models were great, there was anything but fun in a fights against human opponents. First I was very suprised when they didn't die after my professional headshot, after some time, I became pissed. If they made fights more realistic and less stupid, I'd give 2 marks more. Zombies were one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Scary and fast too. If they took away that extremely stupid rock or whatever music, I'd give another 2 marks more. Mod itself was short, but repairing enemies and cutting rock music off would make it much better.
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your evil twin

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2007, 10:12:51 AM »

One reason why I hate it is because it uses content from other games, that just shows that these devs are too lazy to make their own content.

Any praise shouldn't be given to them, since they used nearly every Condition-Zero: Deleted Scenes animation for the soldiers, and they also used a lot of sounds from it as well.

But that's one of many reasons, which i rather not get into atm >.>

Whether or not the content is from another game doesn't affect the quality of the finished product.

Clearly these developers aren't lazy, cause the mod has a gazillion custom textures, new graphics technology, new gameplay features, etc. Since the mod isn't very long, it would have been a waste of time for them to create completely new animations for the soldiers when there already perfectly good animations already available. And it's not like using CZ Deleted Scenes content means people won't buy/play CZ Deleted Scenes and make Valve loose money. You'd have a point if the game's weapons were all the weapons from Condition Zero, or all the enemies were models ripped from Condition Zero, but ANIMATIONS? Jeez, only someone with loads of experience of that game would even notice. And Gearbox & Turtle Rock Studios were credited in the end credits.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 10:18:53 AM by your evil twin »
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SaxonSwine

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2007, 10:31:43 AM »

New gameplay?  There isn't anything new here.  This has been done before in HL, see Ops1942, Timegate, or even Deleted Scenes.  They aren't much better but they are just about slightly better (which isn't saying much).
Yes there are new textures, only in the WAD file though.  Oh, and the models use HL2, CSS and CZ meshes and textures, as well as their animations.  The point is they didn't make the content, but people are giving the Paranoia team credit for the content, when basically they don't deserve it (who even reads the actual credits?)

The hitboxes are indeed borked, as this picture shows.  Clearly the best way to headshot a zombie is to shoot to right of his head.  How obvious!

I hate to keep hitting a dead horse, but this really is a bad mod.
It's just one really long corridor, with enemies thrown along the way.  You can't ever evade them or use tactics to outsmart them.  You have to kill them.  Which in the case of zombies takes forever. 

Take Afraid of Monsters, that was a good horror mod because you didn't have to kill everything you encountered, you were encouraged to run past the monsters, which made it genuinely scary, and you were able to take a variety of paths to reach your objective.  This isn't the case in Paranoia.  Theres just one route you can take, and theres no avoiding monsters/terrorists, even you do avoid them, the game won't open a door until you do.

Also Paranoia is obsessed with "ambushing" the player with unseen zombies/terrorists, which Deleted Scenes also loved doing.  That isn't fun: the best bits of Half Life / Half Life 2 were when you, the player ambushed enemies.  It doesn't work well the other way round.  For this very reason "Snipertown" in MOH sucked.  The endless ambushes become predictable too, which combined with the endless corridor level design, don't let you play run-and-gun.
Considering that there is very little cover for the player when an ambush occurs, all you can do is crouch and shoot, wait for a terrorist to pop up from behind a crate (ohhh the crates) and shoot them.

I don't ever remember having any trouble with the OP4 Grunts, they were always pretty good I thought.  And I can't say I feel part of an "elite" CT unit here, more like a team of n00bs who get surprised by terrorists and zombies; the only difference is these n00bs have unlimited health. 
Comparisons with Stalker should extend only to graphics, Stalker actually had decent non-linear level design, which is a complete contrast to Paranoia.

As for voice acting, meh, do I really care if some General has stepped in dog shit?  I will concede it adds atmosphere, but it has been done before in HL - Todesangst 2 was pretty good at adding NPCs with their own unique dialogue.

The new graphics engine is too unstable, and in the end it seems unecessary, especially if you consider how other MODs without that tech look better (Poke646/Vendetta, CZ, DOD, etc).

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« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 10:53:00 AM by SaxonSwine »
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D3ads

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2007, 04:47:54 PM »

For fuck's sake, NEARLY EVERY MOD USES ILLEGAL CONTENT! I have rarely come across mods that don't have some kind of illegal content, let me show you:

AOM:DC - CZ, Silent Hill 3 and Max Payne 2 content
Poke646 / Vendetta - Kingpin content
Escape From The Darkness - Soldier Of Fortune 2 content
The Gate - RTCW and MOH:AA content
Public Enemy - Soldier Of Fortune 2 content
Hostile Intent - Max Payne 2 content

Certainly many mods will have used Doenerking's model props some of which are converted static meshes from Devastation.

Probably more that I can't think of right now.

So they used some illegal content, so what? Are the developers knocking on their door demanding they remove it? Nope. Like your evil twin said, just because they used some animations from CZ or HL2 doesn't mean that Valve are going to lose sales on their games. No one buys CZ anymore, HL2 is sold in the thousands every day, they've even said that they don't care about beta content being used so what's the problem? the CZ:DS stuff begins and ends with the animations and a few skins, they could have used loads of the CZ props but they didn't, because they spent a lot of time making new ones instead and have modelled their own characters (check out the models for Paulina and the medic, very impressive). Like it or not, without using the content they did, Paranoia would never be released, face the facts, animating all the actions they wanted would take a Hell of a long time.

Only TC's I can think of that don't use illegal content as far as I know are They Hunger, Heart Of Evil and Wanted, which all use a lot of HL stock material anyway.

To say the Paranoia team did nothing but steal illegal content and claim it as their own is stupid.


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James

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2007, 07:35:32 PM »

I don't care about the legalities of using the content in their mod, but the fact that it felt like they relied on CZ to help them out seemed a bit too much. Sure, doing all their animations would take a asidjasidjasid long time, but there were things (such as the gloves) that just...Well, reminded me too much of CZ. It was also a bit distracting to see animations that were a bit too recognisable over and over again. Like a film using the same set from another. It just feels weird. I haven't played this mod for long, so I can't say if it's good or bad, but I did get pretty bored pretty quickly.

I admire the scale of what they've accomplished and I'm never one to bash another person's mod once it's released (within the bounds of reason of course) but they could've gone the extra mile and added a few things to replace their retail content. Hell, even using their own V_ model hands would be nice.
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Meneias87

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2007, 08:13:06 PM »

I wonder why sounds, models, textures, etc. are illegal content while ideas, characters, history and such are not. There are even mods using TMed names. "Resident Evil" is one if you are wondering.
And really, why should any player or fan be worried about it?
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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2007, 09:12:50 PM »

I wonder why sounds, models, textures, etc. are illegal content while ideas, characters, history and such are not. There are even mods using TMed names. "Resident Evil" is one if you are wondering.
And really, why should any player or fan be worried about it?
because you actually have to do work to create them. :/ and it is illegal if you use the name in any commercial way.
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James

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2007, 09:34:18 PM »

I wonder why sounds, models, textures, etc. are illegal content while ideas, characters, history and such are not. There are even mods using TMed names. "Resident Evil" is one if you are wondering.
And really, why should any player or fan be worried about it?

Yep. I suspect that was a poorly concealed dig at myself, BUT, if you read the posts properly, you'll see that it's not the legality that's really cared about, it's the principal of relying heavily on that content. The odd bit or piece is cool, but when even the view hands aren't their work, alarm bells start ringing and you start to wonder why.
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Jstanf35

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Re: Paranoia - Released!
« Reply #44 on: December 05, 2007, 10:26:09 PM »

Quote
Take Afraid of Monsters, that was a good horror mod because you didn't have to kill everything you encountered, you were encouraged to run past the monsters, which made it genuinely scary, and you were able to take a variety of paths to reach your objective.  This isn't the case in Paranoia.  Theres just one route you can take, and theres no avoiding monsters/terrorists, even you do avoid them, the game won't open a door until you do.
Criticising a HL mod for being linear when it's parent game and just about every other mod released for it is linear as well is completely unfair, and to compare it to AoM like having diverging paths is the standard for HL mods is ridiculous.
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