Hunt Down the Freeman (opens in new tab) is an interesting idea—a member of the special forces team sent in to clean up the mess at Black Mesa in Half-Life swears revenge on Gordon Freeman for wiping out his pals—and a very bad game. Accusations of asset theft didn't seem to hold up, but it was broken, buggy, and poorly designed.
But there is one good thing about it now: The achievements. Noticed yesterday by Twitter user Squibbus, they were recently added by M3sa, the one developer who hasn't washed his hands of the whole thing at this point, and they are doozies.
M3sa said the achievements are based on suggestions from the Hunt Down the Freeman Discord, which themselves were largely drawn from inside jokes and memes about the game. "game SUCKS I go to BED," for instance, is a literal (and complete) Steam user review (opens in new tab). They're mainly intended as a joke, but M3sa acknowledged that they also reflect frustration with the state of the game, and their role in it.
Despite the surprise addition of achievements, M3sa said that no work has been done on the game itself in a long time, and expressed doubt that any more would occur.
"I have a build I've worked on to replace weapon sounds and improve some maps' playability, but they aren't public right now," they said. "All my files are spaced out between two computers and it's kind of a pain in the ass to get them back together in one package, and then on top of that, uploading the build to Steam is messy. It's a lot of work for something that made my life hell for a year."
On top of that, M3sa said they still haven't been paid for all their work. "I was paid about half of what I was owed. Some people weren't paid anything, including some of the voice actors," they said. "I was brought on like two or three months before it was released. I was only supposed to be on for two weeks, but it stretched out for months because the project had such a high turnover rate."
M3sa doesn't expect that payment to ever come. The studio behind the game, Royal Rudius Entertainment, is gone, and the lead on the game, Berkan Denizyaran, is now employed at Activision. Because of that, they're not pursuing any kind of legal action to try to get what they're owed.
"I've put it pretty much behind me," they said. "It was kind of a clusterfuck."
The achievements are real (opens in new tab), by the way, but not actually achievable within the game: M3sa said that the only way to get them right now is with third-party software.