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| Jack In, Kick ass -- Dystopia Mod for Half-Life 2 Released (14 comments )|
by: kevinSpiess (156) | Posted in cluster FiringSquad Editors Challenge Round 1 Prelim 2
Posted 75 months ago ( edited 75 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
After three years in development, Dystopia, a cyberpunk themed, total-conversion mod for Half-Life 2, was released this weekend. Featuring 7 complete maps (and 3 more maps for an additional game mode, ‘Phistball’), skillfully rendered models, 18 different weapons, advanced lighting effects, and utilizing the proven Source engine, Dystopia is primed to make an impact on the FPS community.
|» MEDIA (10)|
The game's models look cyber-refic.
Turrets watch over your spawn points.
Controlling cyberspace is vital.
Your arsenal includes modern and Sci-fi weapons.
Choke-point? Check. Minigun? Check.
Dystopia greatly benefits from teamwork.
Objectives must be hacked and defended.
Cyberspace tunnels visually represent the fiber optic cables of 'meatworld'.
Punk objectives are generally either targets that need to be destroyed, or hacked.
If you are going to stab people in the back, you'd best use a samuria sword.
Focused on realizing the gaming potential of the cyberpunk genre – popularized by films such as The Matrix, table-top RPG’s like Shadowrun, and the inceptive science-fiction novel Neuromancer, by William Gibson – Dystopia has a downbeat and dirty visual theme going on. Battles will take place over spray-painted, post-apocalyptic streets and inside hi-tec, sterile fortresses complete with massive tunneling lasers beams and multiple paths to achieving game-deciding objectives.
Building on the game-genetics of the likes of Team Fortress and Battlefield, Dystopia offers a team based, multiple-objective frag-fest played out over rounds lasting generally from 16 to 20 minutes, with players evenly spilt onto two opposing sides: you will either fight as a security agent on the side of the Corporations, or will fight tyranny beside your criminal-minded brethren, the Punks.
What really helps Dystopia stand out in the crowded room of FPS shooters is by introducing a depth of strategy that is unmatched by many other offerings in the genre. With every respawn, you have a host of 'loadout' options to customize your agent. The first choice is between three armor classes: either Heavy, Medium, or Light. Next, you get to pick one of four primary weapons available to each class. While the weapons tend towards the typical, near-future FPS deathmatch arsenal that may be too familiar -- such as the laser sniper rifle, minigun, grenade-launcher and assault rifle -- Dystopia also offers a few more unique offerings, such as the Tesla rifle, a electric-beam firing weapon, and the Ion Cannon. After weapon choice, the player must decide on the added feature of cybernetic implants. The smaller the class, the more space you have available for these performance enhancing implants. The implants you choose can greatly compliment your particular playing style: for instance, you can have the Stealth implant, which offers limited invisibility if you want to play a sneaky role in the match; or you can have the Wired Reflexes implant which gives you a quicker reaction time – which is good if you are a gunslinger. With a total of 14 implants in addition to the class and weapon choices, the flexibility offered in choosing your specific 'loadout’ is immense.
Additionally, as an almost revolutionary concept introduced to the FPS genre, in each round there are two battles going on simultaneously: while the main battle rages in the game’s ‘real world’ – also affectionately known in-game as ‘meatspace’ – a second battle can be fought over the map’s ‘cyberspace’. Cyberspace is the games visual representation of the map’s computer networks, and is populated by players who opted for the ‘Cyberdeck’ and 'Enchanced Cyberdeck' implant. Vital strategic assets are offered in the cyberspace world, such as being able to open short-cut doors, or controlling the enemy’s turrets. The cyberspace maps have a unique feel to them, and they look like what people might have thought the internet was going to look like, back when William Gibson first coined the term ‘cyberspace’, in the early 80’s.
Although the challenge of learning the complexities of Dystopia's maps may dissuade many players from sticking with the game, early evidence indicates the game’s potential popularity: the previous, pre-release demo of the game has been downloaded more than 300,000 times and Steam server stats on February 25th show that Dystopia Version 1 has climbed into the top 10 of Steam games played, despite the relatively low number of servers presently offering the game this soon after its release.
The mod is roughly 500 megs, requires Half-Life 2, and is offered through numerous mirrors directed from http://www.dystopia-game.com/
|14 User Comment(s) • 10 root comment(s)|
| twophayse (8) Feb 27, 2007 - 02:52 pm|
|» Great ad, bad editorial|
This is just some marketing spiel for the mod. Is it fun? How does it compare to similar projects? Do you know any background info on the creative team behind the project? What made you interested in writing about it?
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| kevinSpiess (156) Feb 27, 2007 - 05:29 pm | Edited on Feb 27, 2007 - 05:39 pm|
|In my defense twophayse, the mod was only released this weekend -- I wrote the article within like 24 hours or so of the games release, so you can't really expect a full-on review of the product. Could I have said more? Sure -- but I wanted to err on the side of brevity, and write an article that was to the point. I think all your questions are addressed at some point in this page, but to tackle'm one by one: Is it fun? Yes -- very fun. How does it compare to similar projects? As stated, similar to Team Fortress; mod-wise, it is a accomplishment comparable with the likes of great Half-Life mods such as the first release of Day of Defeat. Do you know any background info on the creative team behind the project? I've been following the game for about 6 months, so I know a bit about the dev team (they are from all over the world, with many in Australia), but wasn't able to research this point too much due to the fact that their server forums were down this weekend for the release of the game -- nor did I feel that more information on the dev. team was vital to the article (that could be an article on its own). What made you interested in writing about it? Dystopia made me interested in writing this article; I like the game, know that many people will enjoy it, and feel that the mod deserves more exposure.|
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