Posted: December 6th, 2005
Last Updated: August 7th, 2006
Latest Release: 1.01 (1.5)
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Eclipse is a very unique Half-Life 2 mod which showcased itself very early on in Half-Life 2's modification history. Although it is somewhat short, it is a very good example of what Half-Life 2 can produce, both graphically, and game play wise (with the use of the source engine's physics). It takes place in a third person view. Third person is controlled fairly poorly, mostly because no official Valve products ever use third person in their games, so they never felt the need to develop and integrate it more into the engine. As such, third party modification teams have to use what the Source SDK does have for third person view support, and work off that. Even though third person view can be glitchy at times, I still believe the Half-Life 2 engine has more support for this feature than Half-Life did.
This is a fairly graphically demanding modification . This is probably due to the extensive amount of detail in the background and landscape and the smoothing (or blooming) shaders. You actually need a certain video card to run this game as well supposedly. You need at least an ATI Radeon 9500, or a Geforce 4, unlike Half-Life 2 itself, which requires less. After the initial development, a hotfix was released to allow more graphic cards able to run this modification, as well as fix some steam errors.
One shader/effect I found particularity interesting was the right-click charge up. The filter made the screen extremely sharp and contrasted, something you would see when pumping up the sharpness on an image about 100%. There was a couple interesting puzzles as well, which took me a couple minutes each (although it will take longer to less adept puzzle gamers). Overall a great little experience, and I hope they take this (demo) game further in future modifications, although, since it was a class project at the Guildhall at SMU and most have graduated/moved on to other projects, it's extremely unlikely.