I can appreciate that the game should be challenging. I actually like it. But certain aspects are really bullshit, to be honest. This game wasn’t lacking for time to beta test, but on normal difficulty, the soldiers are too accurate and do WAY too much damage. I have to reload zones multiple times because two half-missing bursts will take me from 98/75 down to 60/0, and one more burst from there leaves me at 20.
The guns are also really poor feeling. The shotgun and pistol do their jobs, but the .357 feels fiddly and inaccurate (iknorite?) and the combat rifle has too small of a clip to kill two soldiers, even when you are hitting every round home, along with too poor of an accuracy compared to their OWN rifles.
Zombies hit hard enough, headcrabs are really hard to hit for some reason with anything but the crowbar (I used to hit those little bastards midair with a pistol) and I feel the chargeup time on the vortigaunts is too fast, and does too little damage. I like the bullsquid spray, but with every ranged monster, bullsquids a slight exception, I feel like I can NEVER get the kill without taking a guaranteed hit or ten. it just isn’t that tactical feeling, when it really should be (the AI is great!)
My only concern with almost everything’s AI (soldier in particular) is that they respond to your presence way too fast. Add a minor, 0.2-0.5 second delay before a monster recognizes your presence, because their reaction speed is so computer-tastic that they always get the first shot off, even when they shouldn’t. I don’t feel satisfied or rewarded for good shots or good play, like I do in HL1 or other games where my good aim and suprise attacks leave my opponents wrecked and me without a scratch. the first time I felt like I did something cool was sending a satchel charge up the lift in power up. I then had to reload five times because every time a soldier that I knew precisely where he was, at about 20 yards, just as I round the corner to clock him with a .357 round, he and his mates manage to pump a full burst into me and take off all of my suit power and half of my health. It’s just not fun having to redo fights simply because the AI is better than you can possibly be.
Hopefully this can be taken as constructive criticism. Patch the combat rifle’s clip to 50, increase the accuracy just a tiny bit, improve the .357’s accuracy dramatically and take that stupid iron sights motion out (it’s just so out of place it’s laughable) and increase the vortigaunt charge time and damage to where we can kill them before they shoot if we see them first, as well as take the soldier combat rifle damage down a ton, as well as ding the accuracy they have about 5-10%. The combat rifle soldiers should NOT feel as terrifying at any range as the shotgun wielding ones are when their barrel is six inches away from your face!
Also, make the blast pit tentacles more distractable. grenades should distract them for more seconds, and they should have more random patterns of banging. I was more successful just sprinting, which felt dumb.
(this feedback is based on gameplay up to on a rail)