Leon has created 42 SP maps in total, spread out over 4 separate mods: “LeonHL2_1”, with 4 maps, “Coastline to Atmosphere”, with 15 maps, and the infamous “Strider Mountain”, with 17 maps.
Final Project was first envisioned as a “thanks and goodbye” gift after Phillip, of PlanetPhillip, organized a little donation project to get Leon a new video card (an NVIDIA 275 GTX!). Leon was moved by this, and started a new, smaller SP project: Final Horror, a more horror-centric 4-map mod.
However, Leon is known for always moving beyond his original plans, and we have “The Final Project”, a 10-map mappack that features approximately 10 hours of gameplay. It also has a great ending, that ties right in to Leon’s beginnings in mapping.
TFP features action, puzzles, and surprisingly, a stealth section. The previously mentioned horror sequences only appear in the first few maps, and in a very crude way. The action can get pretty tough at times, but that’s mostly a trademark of Leon’s maps. The mapping also suffers from occasional lack of detail, but I suppose Leon wanted the maps to feel more surreal? Who knows.
The gameplay is enjoyable, and doesn’t suffer from the problems Strider Mountain had. At times, it reminded me of Coastline to Atmosphere.
However, the place where TFP does shine is in its brand new “Easy-Hard” difficulty selection, which allows you to select the difficulty of a particular level right in the beginning of the level, in case you’re having problems. There’s also some help if you’re having trouble with certain puzzles.
TFP also features a really brief plotline based on a mapper’s final project. It only appears in the beginning, after that it’s just action. It sounds like a really interesting and original idea, but it’s not executed… at all. Quite strange.
One good point is that TFP got some external testing, and it shows. It’s quite more polished than Strider Mountain.
Overall, no matter how many complaints one can come up with, Leon’s work is still great fun to play, especially this. I’m still on the fence when it comes to my verdict, but it’s his final Source project, and it’s not as bad as you might imagine, so come on.
Give this a try, cause it’s worth playing.