*NOTICE* I just finished playing this mod and here is my final verdict.
MINERVA: Metastasis, what may appear as a generic, fanmade Half-Life 2 mod on the outside actually appears more on the inside. I have played many Half-Life 2 mods and this one definetely goes on my list of one of the most interesting if not one of the best Half-Life 2 mods I have ever played. The mod is mysterious which really fits into the Half-Life universe, the story is told via text which may seem horrible on paper with many flaws, which it does don't get me wrong, but it gets the job done and in a way gives MINERVA its character.
The level design in MINERVA is very similar to Half-Life 2's level design yet also has some variation with the mod being more maze-like than Half-Life 2's which in my honest opinion gives the mod more variation and gives an immersion factor to it. The mod is also surprisingly challenging compared to Half-Life 2 and I was playing on Normal difficulty! I mean its not rage inducing hard but the beginning levels do stir up a challenge with the mod throwing enemies at you in tight corridor-like locations. It the kind of hard difficulty which does test you, makes you think and makes you aware of your surroundings and makes you think of plans to take on the many Combine foot soldiers and aliens head crabs and zombies that you will encounter.
There is a lot more to say about MINERVA, the design of the levels and the detail that the mod developer placed are truly amazing, the gameplay and pacing is spot on and the mod just truly feels interesting to play. Many things in MINERVA are also interesting with the themes of Greek Mythology being in the game with the Narrator telling you your mission objectives via text.
The story in MINERVA like I said is mysterious with a lot of what is going on is confusing but atleast there's forums to explain whats going on. A lot with MINERVA also fits in with the Half-Life universe that I feel that someday Valve should incorporate into that next Half-Life game that we are all waiting for. When you get to a certain part involving a portal you'll see what I mean, not spoiling it that is.
In the end MINERVA is a must play, it really makes you happy to play a good Half-Life 2 mod, its short yet sweet, and plus it makes you think more as to what Half-Life 3 could be.