Chemical Existence (TC mod for Half-Life)

John "Jhoh" Cable & Josh "Jsoh" Cable 01/27/2003 

The first thing you see in this mod, a dark room full of crates. This is basically what the entire mod is like. But since was originally a Quake 2 mod, you have to give them a little slack, since that's what ALL FPS games were like back then.

John sez: It sucks.

Jsoh sez: Not much of a TC at all.


John: It sucks.

Jsoh: Don't see how that's much of a pro, but ok.

The new weapons are all really cool. Sorta.

Ok, the only part I can say was cool was the dream sequence, because it made no sense whatsoever and had the only good level design in the entire fucking game.


John: It sucks.

Jsoh: I guess this is where the review really starts.

Where the hell do I actually start? [Jhoh: YES JSOH, WHERE DO YO START HM? I DON'T KNOW LET'S FIND OUT.] This TC was being made for about 2 years or so. The amount of changes made were more than any other mod out there, perhaps. But where do I really start this review? [Jhoh: GOOD QUESTION.] How about the weapons?

The shittiest melee weapon in game history. In a dark room.
The weapons, while serving their purpose to kill bad guys, most look fucking dumb. The first one you get, a board with a nail in it, has a fucking terrible attack animation. It looks like you're simply trying to press the nail against your intended target. Just stupid. The laser gun looks like an ice cream cone with a handle attached to the top scoop. The rest of them are adequate, if you ignore the weight gain that occurs when you switch weapons. The fattest you get is with the sniper rifle.

The story is overhyped, like Sin's. You're some really fat guy taking on an evil corperation that is poisoning the atmosphere. Sounds like the type of story that riveted me to my chair, back during a movie called "Fern Gully" in 1990-something. There's also an evil black dood with a gun in each hand, that does backflips and is generally easy to kill. He showed himself in an early cinema scene that I missed the audio for. O well.

I read this quotation from a site that did their own review, take a look:

"There are already many rave reviews online which laud Chemical Existence as a MOD that presents a story and gameplay that rival Half-Life itself."

That is perhaps because of the fact that no one likes to bash some mod makers for taking two years to release shitty mods. And that's apart from the inherent sappy, fanboy-ish nature of the comment. I myself feel sorry for the makers of the mod, because they wasted a whole lot of time making this crappy mod when they all could have made better mods that, combined, would have been a longer play than CE.

The quoted statement itself is also myopic. The Half Life story was created by a professional writer, not some fan-fic hack retard. The story was also progressed through scripted sequences, not through third person cinema scenes. Third person cinema being the choice of exposition for the makers of Quake 1 and 2, Sin, and Unreal; possibly the worst games ever released by a major company, forfuckingever.

The story didn't even come close to Half Life's. I don't see who the above unnamed fan was trying to kid, other than his own whimpering soul. Did he play Half Life?

Dress up your map pack with an overcomplicated story about the end of the world or whatever, shitty gameplay still sucks ass.

From the readme:

"Chemical Existence is a TOTAL conversion that uses the Half-Life engine, everything else is change. Its more or less a totally new game. =)"

Everything else *is* change, they are correct about that. Minus the graphics and sound engines. :)!!!!!! Looks like it's not a TC at all. A TC doesn't actually exist in the natural world. No one takes a game engine and replaces 100% of the information and coding. Anyway.

I should probably point out that this TC wasn't a fucking stupendous asshammering waste of time to me, really. But no one on this planet seems to be taking it for the lackluster mod it is. Everyone is hailing it as the best thing they have ever played, better than Half Life, better than any other TC or mod ever released ever. They are morons, and I am the person that will set them straight.

Now I guess I should really lay into the weapons and equipment.

Your big flabby arm holding the sniper rifle, in patented DarkVision. The sniper scope view covers the darkness with an impenetrable green snow effect, making things even more impossible to see.
One thing I recall during my play experience was not having a proper amount of ammo for certain guns, while being overstocked on the machine gun. I believe that you don't get ANY clips for the laser gun, dart gun and tommy gun. The plasma rifle uses the same ammo that the laser gun does, too. You know, for a mod that only took me two hours to beat (even with cheats on, that was a lot of wandering), perhaps they could have left out about 10 of the weapons. And perhaps even added a proper looking melee weapon. How am I supposed to break crates with this board + nail that has no fucking force behind it?

John: I played without cheats, and he's right, you're understocked with almost every other weapon, and overstocked with the machine gun, giving you almost no incentive to ever use anything other than the machine gun.

Josh: The grenade is a joke. It has three different modes. Like the above weapons, you only see about 2 grenades fill your inventory. I dunno what the third mode even did, but I think the first was a 5 second fuse and the second exploded on contact. That was a messy trial and error. And the results of my trial: don't bother with the third selection.

Don't even get me started on the fucking bio suit. It took up an extra slot in my precious inventory, yet was only used FUCKING ONCE. The rest of the time, it prevented me from selecting a proper weapon by one key stroke, often causing me immense and unrecoverable harm.

Instead of health packs and stations, all you get are syringes. That's all. At no time can you get health any other way. You can carry ten at a time, which means that you might have to waste some when you don't really need them, leaving you with a few less when you end up running into the path of a stray bullet a few seconds later.

From the html manual included in the game folder:

"Health: Lets be realistic for a second here, if you take a gunshot there isnít much a bandage is going to do to stop you being slowed down. Chemical Existence however has the solution: Morphine. A good shot and you wont care what state your [sic] in and youíll keep fighting fit, well, until it runs out. Health is not activated by walking over it as it is in other games, the player has to spend time administering to his wounds. As such you have to select the health as a weapon and 'fire' it for it to have affect. You can store up to ten healthís [sic] at any time."

Here, the hero, as played by you, investigates a fucking HOLE IN THE MAP that they forgot to cover up.

Realistic? Last time I checked, this mod was based in a world that didn't fucking exist. Perhaps in this "ultra realistic" world, there's no fucking ammo for your guns anywhere and you can't just run over a health pack to heal yourself. But if you play the mod you'll know that health does administer immediatly, and their manual is either outdated or simply made up by some friend of the mod makers. And how realistic is it to carry 10 sharp needles on your person while straying into a lead-ridden danger around the next corner? Then again, he is only asking to be realistic "for a second." That doesn't leave very much time for realism, if I do say so myself.

And the last time I checked the benifits of morphine, well... you get the idea.

John: Yes, in the game, not only do the health items give you your health immediately, they put a drain on your unidentified meter at the bottom of the screen, which is either a weapons meter to gauge how long you can fire before overheating your weapons, or stamina. Or perhaps it means absolutely nothing at all, seeing as it wouldn't take stamina to keep firing a gun while standing still. We can't tell--the bar wasn't covered in the manual or readme.

Jsoh: Perhaps the meter measured fat cells!

John: Another thing, the health is morphine? Half-Life's story might've been sparse, but it didn't exactly have such gaping plotholes. The idea in this city is that it's suddenly overrun with drugs and pollution. You see drug addicts constantly having shootouts with the evil cops and helicopters. So if these addicts are so scary and evil, why am I shooting up morphine fifteen times an hour, every hour? Not even Sin made such idiotic plot mistakes, as far as I know. What are these people, 13 year olds?

As promised, drug addicts fighting with evil cops and helicopters. Lightning makes the area non-dark for a split second! Wow!
And the actual characters are SO FUCKING WEAK. If you're within earshot of the female junkie, you can hear her babbling to herself about how "that sounds like fun," or "yeah, that sounds good." Or, apparently the driving force behind her "character": "sure, as long as we get wasted." She says some random quote once a second, and it never makes sense, and it's almost always the same quote. Even worse: soon into the game you'll find a woman near a tiny speedboat, who says she's on your side. She looks like some leather super spy chick or something. So you think that now you got an ally to help. Here's the catch: not only is the boat too small to fit you and her on it, she won't even get on the boat. So why is she here? No fucking clue. She appears a couple more times in the game, having almost no purpose to the story or action other than driving a truck once. And this low-grade junior high storyline is supposed to be better than Half-Life?

You know something's wrong when a mod touts realism up the ass and includes enemies that will take a minimum of four bullets STRAIGHT TO THE HEAD before even reacting.

Josh: Like the ammo, you only see 3 fucking pieces of armor. Two are leg or arm plates of some kind, and one is a helmet. Where are the vests? What the fuck is going on with the armor? There was almost none in the game, save for the leg/arm things next to some crates in a dark room, and then a helmet next to a truck before an extremely irritating action scene I had to play through 3 times to figure out WHAT THAT BITCH IS SAYING TO ME. And when I found out what she was trying to tell me, I just wanted to quit playing and try to find something to eat.


John: It sucks. A chore to play. I'd rather do real chores, actually, instead of sitting on my ass simulating one that's twice as boring and ten times less productive, such as Chemical Existence.

Josh: And I agree with that.

John "Jhoh" Cable & Josh "Jsoh" Cable

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