Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Indie Nation: Research and Development

1:00 PM on 07.19.2009 // Anthony Burch

Our "Indie Nation" series highlights kickass independent games.

Here is everything you need to know about Research and Development:

- You can download it here 

- Despite being a mod, it is better than the entirety of Half-Life: Episode One and most of Half-Life 2.

A puzzle-based mod where your character is never allowed to wield a gun, Research and Development has better level design and more imaginative situations than most first-person games I've ever played. You know those moments in really well-designed puzzle games like Braid or Portal where a solution reveals itself and you think, "wow -- how clever"? Research and Development has about a dozen of those. It also combines action and puzzle-solving with remarkable dexterity, and is seldom frustrating throughout its 2-3 hour running time.

I know we're only halfway through 2009, but I would be extremely surprised if another mod came out this year that trumped Research and Development in terms of imaginative puzzles and exhilarating level design. I mean, don't get me wrong -- the Radiator series is truly fantastic if you're in the mood for introspective examinations of the human condition, but Research and Development provides clever fun in a way very few games -- nevermind how many modifications -- are capable of. 

Even if you don't like the kind of games I normally suggest, I find it hard to believe you won't enjoy Research and Development. Get it here, or hit the jump for more theories on why this mod is so goddamned good.

I have to admit: with very few exceptions (the Antlion siege in Episode Two foremost amongst them), I really don't care for the gunplay in the Half-Life games. In this respect, R&D immediately endeared itself to me in refusing to give the player a gun. It's not that there's no combat; it's that the game focuses primarily on setting up terribly imaginative puzzles that just happen to revolve around killing large amounts of people.

At one point, for instance, you'll come across a group of Combine fighting a bunch of zombies in a flooded generator room. Rather than taking them on with a gravity gun (since you don't have one, at this point) or running past them (since the game will automatically kill you), you might notice a loose power cable connected to a generator, its other end caught on one of the generator's many metal protrusions. Grabbing the loose end of the cable, you lower it into the water. Running back into another room, you hit a power switch -- and celebrate as everyone in the room, zombies and Combine alike, are fried by your violent ingenuity. 

It'd spoil the  R&D's charm to explain too many more of its puzzles (even writing the previous paragraph made me feel a bit guilty), but suffice to say that if the dude behind this mod doesn't get a job at Valve, I'll be incredibly surprised. The mod's creator managed to take all the base mechanics found in Half-Life 2 and push them further and harder than I would have ever thought possible. Just when you think you've seen everything the game has to show you, it'll throw out something entirely different that will almost make you wonder if you're still playing the same mod. 

Some unfortunate game-ending bugs aside (typically doing with scripted events not going off when they ought to), I honestly haven't seen this level of polish and ingenuity in a mod since God knows how long. Considering how long it lasts (my first runthrough took me about two hours) and how much variety the creator packs into every stage, I almost feel guilty playing this game for free. Every subsequent level somehow manages to top the one preceding it (save for a single, fucking irritating level near the game's end involving a suspended bridge and a rotating  cargo container), until the spectacular final levels. 

Seriously, I dunno why you're still reading this. Get Research and Development here.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Project M is gone. One less Smash game to suck at!
Torchman avatarTorchman
RIP Project M.
JayfromtheSun avatarJayfromtheSun
Have a [url=]Harvest Moon 64 Review [/url].
Parismio avatarParismio
I thought it my PS Plus would end at November 30th, but it turns out it ends at the last day of December... Well alright then.
Alright guys, check this out; I'm going to write a paragraph, double space it, enlarge the font, then put a cover letter page over it and hand it in to the professor. What do you guys think?! I am best riter. #iwantareallife
TheCrazyEven avatarTheCrazyEven
Valve has lost almost all my respect: [youtube][/youtube]
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I wish more cartoony games would come out. Nintendo makes plenty but there should be more high quality games with whimsy. Where's Jak IV? A proper Crash? Anything that doesn't just involve mashing one button? Realism is fine, but there's a LOT already.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Okay, that's Fallout: New Vegas done. Can't wait for the next one to come out.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I'm new to Ultra Street Fighter IV and I suck and I still dig it a lot
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
R steepled her fingers and smiled as she looked over at S and Z. "We have stopped two shipments of breasts from making it to America as well as Europe, meaning those will be added to our boob coffer. In time, all the breasts shall be mi... I mean, ours.."
siddartha85 avatarsiddartha85
I finally backed Indivisible. After hearing about Red from Transistor, I played the demo again. That platforming is solid and I'm used to the combat now.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Man, I completely forgot how awesome Pokemon Black and White's soundtrack is. The Vs. Trainers theme is probably one of the best I ever heard, if not the best in the entire series: [youtube][/youtube]
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Indivisible's campaign is over $1.4 million! just a little more!
Dum, dum, dum! Another blog bites the dust! And another done, and another done! Another blog bites the dust! #RIPtumblrbecausefuckit
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Ugh, I've been sick for what feels like 3 weeks. If I die I leave all my games casket because they're mine. Stay away! *hiss, hiss*
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Apparently the upcoming Tri-Force heroes update makes the local-play only items possible to get for everyone. That's pretty great!
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What youtubers y'all watch? I need more.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Playing For Glory earlier today, some guy beat me and changed his name to "ifukdu_up". I won next round and he changed it to "ILETUWIN". I then 2-0ed the little sucker, and he left the lobby. I took great pride from this incident.
Dalek Sex avatarDalek Sex
Henshin into a person with a larger disposable income.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Why the hell are we suddenly accepting micro transactions in fully priced games? It used to be only acceptable in free-to-play games but its sickening that even AAA developers like microsoft are on the bandwagon.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -