I wrote a Steam review after finishing the game today:
But for more specific Feedback, I played on normal and for any chapters that involved the HECU I was Required to Quick save before every firefight as I could not figure out a effective strategy beyond Staying at max range with the revolver Kiteing people or corner camping with the shotgun. Every other tactic would just get me killed or so hurt that even scrounging every healthpack and pickup I could find I would be going in to the next fight a few shots from death. The Dam Apache fight took so many attempts until I gave up and just didn’t even try to find cover and just tried to health race it with the gauss gun. I managed to come out the other side with 53hp and no healing left.
The ichyithosaus were also a pain to fight in the non Xen levels as the water reflection meant I couldn’t see in to the water to shoot them and with 50hp I was one bite away from death. Eventually I got past the Dam by just making a dash for it through the drain on my 5th attempt at doing so. Then the Apache fight at the bridge I tried to use cover but that just got me killed so I just had to face tank it again and managed it on my 3rd attempt.
The key issue with the appache is that it’s clearly based on the gunships from HL2 but doesn’t have the Rocket Shoot Down Mechanic which means that it will just stay constantly laser locked on you shooting non stop instead of being distracted by incoming missiles.
Then just after that is the Wacka mole area with the tank and around 6 + Soldiers. the issue here is when you get spotted it doesn’t matter which entrance you then try to jump out of they are already shooting at you and the tank is trying to shoot at you through the ground. The only plus point about the current balance is that it did encourage me to use Snarks as a distraction to good effect.
The Xen Levels were perfect, The combat was well balanced(although giving the player unlimited health, ammo and armour for some segments was a bit of a cheaty shortcut, it was a nice powertrip after a long game) and the environmental storytelling was amazing. The Infested outpost with the perfectly creepy HEV Zombies and the Vort Village were two stand-out highlights.
I feel if the HECU gets a AI Polish there won’t be any major gripes with the game and I will err towards this instead of the original for a Halflife Experience(Although for nostalgia sake I will still most likely still play the GoldSource Version from time to time just so I can experience the secrets and side areas that were trimmed in black mesa)