Half-Life: Before is a community-made mod for Half-Life, created by a Ukranian mapper known as Andrey "Gua" Vincevich. It was released on Steam through Steam Greenlight on March 5th, 2009. Many fans of the series consider this to be one of the worst Half-Life 1 mods ever made.
Why It Sucks
- The mod only has one map, meaning you can beat the game in less than 20 minutes. This makes it one of the shortest "story" driven HL1 mods in history.
- An awful and lacking storyline. You are a Black Mesa scientist sent to a parallel universe to retrieve a crystal from the ship of its Black Mesa counterpart named Black Rock. Said crystal is also implied to be the exact one that caused the Black Mesa Incident. Not only is the story absurd, but it also contradicts Half-Life's canon, since the crystal that caused the resonance cascade was actually given to Eli and other scientists by G-Man, not retrieved from the parallel universe. That wouldn't have been a problem had the mod not been promoted as the prequel to HL1, or was released way prior to The Orange Box.
- The mod just gives you the best weapons immediately with no build-up, such as the MP5 and Crossbow and there are too many medkits. This makes the mod rather easy.
- You can literally beat the mod by typing in 'sv_cheats 1' in the console.
- Awful grammar.
- It can freeze your computer after completion, forcing you to reset your computer.
- The boss fight is literally just a Nihilanth with the Barnacle's mouth. Also, it runs way too fast and you will have to keep running while shooting while fending off attacking enemies during the boss fight. Even with the help of sv_cheats 1, the boss fight is still frustrating. For example, using the Noclip command and clipping through the wall while fighting the boss doesn't mean that you avoided him. The boss can even clip through the wall.
- The music is average, and it's extremely loud. And thanks to the fact that you can't change the volume options in game due to the game's use of FMOD for the music, you'll be hearing this music unless you turn off the sound from the system settings.
- Bad puzzles. For example, one puzzle involves you shooting an explosive barrel to detonate a pole.
- Poor map design, with tons of mediocre shooting gallery segments.
- Tons of invisible walls.
- Self-advertising: There's a newspaper that says "Interview with Andrey Vincevich. This guy is a fucking genius. You should learn how to do maps like this guy, OK?".
- The original mod used to have copyrighted music in it and was eventually altered to have music from the Half-Life score instead. The original copyrighted music, however, had horrible audio quality.
- Poor texture design. The bodies of dead sailors have hilariously twisted faces, scientist headcrab zombies are dressed like Black Mesa ones, despite the fact that Black Rock scientists wear different clothing (zombified soldiers and guards do have appropriate textures though), the sea has a square-shaped horizon line and the ship itself looks really bland. There is also a scene with a falling scientist, who still wears Black Mesa clothing and on top of that, instead of falling into the sea (like he is supposed to), he falls through the part of the ship.
- It uses Spirit of Half-Life, a modified game engine, which it shows how capable of GoldSrc engine is, despite the poor textures.
Tyler McVicker's joke(?) review on the mod