Discovering Entropy : Zero

by James Bailey

It’s always refreshing to stumble across a community made game (or mod) looking to bring a unique experience that only further compliments the source material. The discovery of this particular mod was exciting — a pleasant reminder that the community of Source modders, having already created so much, still have much to give. Seeing as though Valve haven’t released an official title for the Half Life franchise in over a decade, our only fleeting contact as of late being a gender-bent fanfic posted by an ex-writer, an expansion of such quality is more than welcomed. Such is the case of Entropy : Zero, a mod which fits comfortably into the Half-Life universe and set 11 months before the events of Half Life 2.

Entropy : Zero was launched back in October of last year (the same day as 10th anniversary of Half Life 2: Episode 2). Taking inspiration from Half Life: Opposing Forces, the mod puts players in the shoes of a Combine Metrocop, stranded and left to die in the nearly abandoned City 10. For those who don’t know, the Combine are the bad guys in Half Life 2, and playing as one means that you’re an enemy to everyone who’s not affiliated with the fascist regime. In typical Half Life fashion, players will have to fight through onslaughts of enemy forces, defend against zombies through dim underground corridors, and occasionally figure out the odd puzzle. The story is split into four distinct chapters, each with their own flavour and aesthetic which further builds the narrative.

The original concept for the mod was created and developed by Breadman (John Richardson), who started production in early 2016. To keep his followers updated, Richardson would openly communicate the mod’s progress on Mod Database, and even wrote longer articles detailing the creative process (check out the Challenges of Development and the Concept and Creation of Entropy : Zero). Since its release, Entropy : Zero has undergone a version update, with the latest patch (V2.1) issued on January 14, 2018.

Entropy : Zero is an ambitious venture that becomes even more impressive after realizing that it was mostly all done by one guy. As a fan of the Half Life franchise, it was truly a joy to dive back into the fully realized universe — the project clearly handled with both care and proficiency. Since its release, the mod has received very positive reviews on Steam and has been cited for its challenging difficulty. If you own Half Life 2 + Episodes 1 & 2, you can download the game for free. For more of Richardson’s work you can check out his portfolio and below you can watch a trailer for the mod.

Image Source: Entropy : Zero

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.