Half-Life: Field Strength A new mod for Valve’s 1998 shooter, launched this week after 13 years in development. Created by three veteran modders named Hazard Team, whose previous work includes 2009’s prequel mod Half-Life: Sensing, Field strength is a bigger project. Taking inspiration from Opposing Force, the mod’s 34 maps tell the story of a Marine who is sent to Black Mesa to suppress an alien invasion and silence the scientists working there. The mod has received a very positive reception, with one ModDB user calling it “one of the best mods I’ve ever played”.
Hazard Team started work on the mod in 2009 after Induction was released. Originally called Soldier’s Adventure, Team Dangerous wanted to make a “classic” Half-Life mod that, in the words of its programmer Roman Chistokhodov, “tells the story of events in Montenegro from another character’s point of view.” The mod Initially focused on the Marine Corps’ overt attack on the Black Mountain facility. “The opposition started with the Osprey crash, Adrian Shepard was unconscious for a long time, and skipped most of the Half-Life storyline,” Chistokhdorf said. “We’re trying to fill that void and show some HECU action ahead of the evacuation order.”
The mod’s action is divided into two parts, which Hazard Team internally refers to as “Heaven”. Day 1 focuses on the Marines’ early encounters with the Xen aliens, and the map is largely made by the mod’s co-creator, whose nickname is KRSK. Day 2 is, as Chistokhdorf says, “a classic ‘trying to escape the black mesa'” trope. The two parts of the story are woven together by an unseen broadcaster who walks you through the wider events at the facility, a addition Chistokhdorf says is “inspired by games like Bioshock and SOMA. “.
Field Intensity is a massive project that adds custom content as well as new maps and stories. The mod was originally based on the Opposing Force game library, but in 2017 Chistokhodov started developing his “own version” of the Half-Life SDK. “Eventually it allowed us to drop the Opposing Force game library and use our custom implementation instead,” he said. “Having that freedom opens up a lot of new possibilities, so I’ve added new enemies and weapons beyond the confrontational power.”
As for why the mod has been in development for so long, Chistokhdorf explained that development was “intermittent” due to “shifting interest or lack of momentum.” “There was even a time when I wanted to drop it entirely, thinking the Half-Life mod was outdated and nobody would be interested,” he said. “But I see that the Half-Life community is still there, many mods are still in development, and some are even released on Steam.”
Hazard Team is a Russian and Ukrainian tuning company that has been working together for many years. The Russian invasion of Ukraine had an impact on the team. Modder KRSK, who worked on the first part of Field Intensity, could not be directly contacted due to conflicts, although Chistokhodov said they were “in touch with him on a daily basis at this time”. When I asked Chistokhdorf what he thought about the timing of the launch, he replied: “We’re glad we were able to launch successfully. The reviews have been great so far and people love it, so it’s not in vain. We Gather all feedback and watch the playout video to see where we can fix and improve the mod.”
You can download Half-Life: Field Strength here.