By: Guest Reviewer

On: October 10th, 2007


[Guest review by MedO]

Adam Foster recently released the last part in the first episode of Minerva, his amazing Half-Life 2 mod. I’ve played through it a few days ago and I think it’s vastly better than Valve’s own HL2:Episode1. In fact, it’s one of the best games I’ve played in the last few months.

The story takes place in the Half-Life universe, on a tiny island somewhere in the Baltic Sea that has been burrowed out by the Combine. You are dropped off there by the unknown and unseen character calling herself Minerva, who sends you (sometimes cryptic) text messages to inform you of important events or sometimes just to insult you. She doesn’t seem to care about your life, but wants you to survive as long as possible to gather information, and cross the Combine’s plans. Guided by Minerva, you begin to explore what the Combine are up to, descending ever deeper into the island’s underground.

One very nice thing about the mod is that you’ll rarely see the loading screen, because they are created in a very economic way – there’s almost an hour of gameplay in each map. Since you are descending ever deeper, you have several layers of rooms on the same map, all below each other. The long time you spend in each map sometimes allows you to see into areas you will only reach a while later, and makes it possible to have enemies appear in a realistic fashion: sometimes you can see Combine hurrying along above or below you some time before they actually get to you, which adds a lot to the feeling of realism in the game.

(The Minerva Development Blog is here.)

  • MedO

    Thanks for posting this Derek, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did :)

  • MedO

    Oh, and please, someone remove that Goatselike screenflooder link by Brooker.

  • Nikica

    Where is this screenflooder, anway Derek Hasslevania (http://del_duio.sitesled.com/Hastlevania/HasslevaniaHOME.html) will be released November 21st, let’s not forget about this game !!!

  • Zetetic Elench


    I’ve been waiting for this for a very, very long time.

  • Quiest

    link on the page says “external module required” and links you to buy episode 1 o.O
    Do I really need that to play this? I hope not :(

  • MedO

    I’m afraid Episode 1 is required, because a lot of models, materials and even some of the new enemies from Episode 1 have been used in the mod.

    However, these are only used in the third part of the mod as far as I know, either the first two parts are playable without ep1 installed or you can maybe dig up the old release with only part 1 and 2, this will definitely only require Half-Life 2.

  • MedO

    Aw, too bad you can’t edit your comments. I just noticed I still have the old version in my install folder, so if anyone is interested in getting a taste w/o buying episode 1 I’ll upload it somewhere.

  • Quiest

    Would be awesome if you do so! I wanna play it!

  • wormguy

    Guess this is another incentive for me to buy Orange Box.

  • MedO

    I’ve uploaded the old release to http://www.uni-koblenz.de/~smaxein/metastasis-2.exe

    Metastasis is the name of the first episode, which was released in three parts. This download contains the first two.

  • Advenith

    I actually only got Half-Life 2 a couple months ago, and Minerva was the first mod I played. I’ve gotta find out what happens in the last chapter by this point.