Many Source mods, new and old, have been taking advantage of Steam Greenlight as of late. From Aperture Tag, to Portal Stories: Mel, to Estranged, and many others to boot! Some authors may be coming under fire for deciding to release their projects on Steam with a price tag. However most want to utilize the Steam service for its advantages in reaching a wider audience, easy installation and regular updates at no cost to the user. The newest one to add to the latter’s list is 2009 classic Joutomaa, by Sauli “Mephasto” Saarimaa.
Released in 2009 and then re-released in 2010 (known as Joutomaa: Redux on Planet Philip), Joutomaa follows the story of Filip Valkas; a citizen who lost his family to the Combine during the Seven Hour war. The G-man has taken interest in him and has spurred him to join the resistance against their new overlords and escape from “Citizen Containment Zone 19”. It may not be the most original story to come from a Half Life 2 mod, but it has a certain nuance that helps it stand out from the rest of its peers.
The voice acting is actually quite impressive; especially considering it’s a community made mod, which is admittedly rare. The environments are well designed both mechanically and aesthetically. The pacing of the gameplay might have a few hiccups every now and again, however. And it may force some intense resource management for the majority of the time, but Joutomaa manages to follow the Half Life 2 formula fairly well regardless.
As of mid-January, Saarimaa announced that Joutomaa had received over 70% of the votes needed to pass through Greenlight! So with any luck, this little gem from the Source modding community may very well end up on the Steam store in the near future for no price at all. So head on over to their Greenlight page to cast your vote and help Joutomaa join the ranks of some other quality mods that have made their way to Steam! Also feel free to check out the developers’ new real-time strategy game on Steam Early Access, The Hive, and give the team some feedback. As anyone who’s sold anything on eBay might tell you, not enough people give feedback these days.