Quantcast
Indie Nation: Research and Development - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


Indie Nation: Research and Development


1:00 PM on 07.19.2009
Indie Nation: Research and Development photo



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.






Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.






Indie

9:30 AM on 10.20.2014
Fairy Bloom Ultra Encore now available on PC

Fairy Bloom Ultra Encore is out now for Windows PC, Playism has announced. The action game has a jaunty premise, following a fairy tasked with defending a flower from a swarm of aphids. Yes, really. You'll need to pulverize ...more



1:00 PM on 10.19.2014
Hey, Destructoid! What games are you playing this weekend?

Covering the PC gaming news beat requires that I spend a lot of my time researching the newest titles and the latest industry happenings for the site. Admittedly, I love to learn about new things and I especially enjoy sharin...more



9:00 AM on 10.19.2014
WayForward passion project gets picked up by Amazon

Til Morning's Light is a new original I.P. from WayForward, published by Amazon, to appear exclusively on Amazon Fire Phone. It reminds me of what Platinum and Nintendo did with Bayonetta 2, According to WayForward's Ad...more



View all Indie






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more