Friday, February 11, 2011


"Comatose" is a single player HL2 mod by Aspik where you're bleeding uncontrollably, so you have to take all these pills (clotting agents?) as you try to escape a building in some sickly yellow apocalyptic city -- a great summation of my daily life in New York City.

 Warning! Mechanics spoilers / design analysis after the jump...

I really like the quippy bullet point format we adopted at the late ModMatic, so I guess I'm going to dust that off...
  • Crank that. This is basically the premise of the "Crank" films, distilled into a frantic puzzle-fest. Cleverly, your constantly dwindling health doesn't really dwindle that fast, and there's plenty of health to go around to give you enough time to brute-force your way through most puzzles...
  • All +use'd up. Some props are interactive, some aren't. Several puzzles require digging through stuff. The result? You might just spam +use as you never have before.
  • Sky's the limit. One of the most detailed 3D skyboxes I've seen in Source; you can see abandoned cars below and countless buildings bathed in this nasty toxic yellow light. Make sure you have color correction enabled when you play. 
  • Letters to the editor. This Aspik guy really likes spelling out words with letters. Like, a lot.
  • Bathroom stall. Valve really loves wall decals, using them for gameplay / sign posting -- but also for subtle narrative, their main storytelling function being: getting you to wonder who exactly sprayed that Lambda decal or who scrawled "the cake is a lie" in a crawlspace. Aspik makes gratuitous use of wall decals but it's not clear who wrote it, why they would help you, how they would know what they know, etc.
  • The Neverending Story. In fact, the whole narrative is really nonsensical in general. I would spoil it for you here, but I really have no idea what happened -- and then at the end Aspik tries to directly tell you what happened and it gets even more confusing. Maybe it reads better in the original Russian.
Anyway, you should play it. Download @ ModDB (158 mb)

Don't forget: you are a STAR.