Chemical Existence

  • Review Date: 2000-10
  • Author: Red Genesis
  • Genre: Half-Life
  • Rating: 93


While I was playing Chemical Existence I thought to myself, 'this would be a great game to make my next level for'. Moments later I remembered that it's not a game, it's already an addon for a game! With all new weapons, monsters, items, textures and levels, it's almost an entirely new game.

It kicks off with a lame story of you playing a programmer who is going to visit his sister in another city, but when you get there it's in chaos. Your car is blown up and you are left on the run. Soon enough you find a bomb and decide to blow the chemical plant up, which is spreading poison throughout the city and killing everyone.

Many cutscenes and scripted sequences were used to tell the story. In fact for about the first 1/3 there wasn't much action at all. Simple puzzles were spread throughout, as you would expect with Half-Life, nothing being too hard though.

Eventually you get more weapons and the enemies become more frequent. There aren't too many different enemies, mainly the humans with a few different weapons. There was a big ugly mutant in the sewers, but half the time it would just stand looking at you as you shoot it. The humans were very fun to fight. They were different to Valve's humans, they seemed to inflict more damage and kill you quicker. However, the stronger firepower evened it out. After fighting Human Grunts for so long, it was very refreshing to fight a different kind of Human that is still very tough.

The weapons were all very good. Unfortunately the only ammo you really get is for the Machine Gun and Sniper Rifle. Of course, these two were the weapons of choice anyway. There were even some weapons which I don't even think I tried! All the models looked fine.

The levels is where Chemical Existence stood out. They are some of the best levels for Half-Life that I have played. Something which Half-Life lacked was variety, but this definitely has it as you adventure through the city, sewers, bases and even a shopping mall! There were unique sections such as when you sit in a jetboat and kill the enemies that go by, or in the back of a jeep armed with a Machine Gun/Rocket Launcher. Along with all the sequences and explosions, it helped to make Chemical Existence very unique.

To find some bad points is tough. Every member of Red Genesis has done an excellent job, which is quite uncommon for TC's. Everything about is is great. It could have been a little harder I guess. Although I did play on medium and quicksaving was common, the fact that I only used one weapon suggests that it wasn't too tough. The final battle in particular was too easy. Your strolling along then suddenly some big guy with a couple of pistols is shooting at you. It took only six poisonous darts and that was it, the end.

If Red Genesis had kept working on this for another year or two and made it as long as a full game, I think it would have been very popular. I definitely would have brought it. Nevertheless it is still very long, keeping me busy for at least 3 hours. I think it is easily the best release for Half-Life to date, including Opposing Forces and Half-Life itself! I look forward to a sequel.