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Half-Life is 10 Years old!


Morgoth

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It's way too linear, and not half as innovative as people said it was. Also it shares its narrative with Doom.

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Linearity != bad.

 

Deus Ex is linear too.

 

Agreed, of course. Plenty of linear games are awesome.

 

I didn't say it was linear, I said it was too linear.

 

Anyway Deus Ex, while linear, had fairly open ended levels with different ways to approach each map.

 

 

Oh, and platforming in a FP game where you can't see your feet is generally idiotic.

 

 

Actually, my disdain for HL partly comes from only having played it after a bunch of FPSes which were much better than Half-Life. System Shock comes to mind.

"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

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I heartily disagree, but then I played the game when it was new and it was a blast to play. For $1 it's a fantastic value IMO.

 

It turned me into a Valve fanboy, so I think it'd be best for me to just vacate this thread.

 

Funny, I don't think all that highly of value or HL, I do believe there are some excellent games associated with source... Regardless I say move along and buy some gum.

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Is it more interesting than Half-life 2?

 

The problem I had with HL2 (the big problem, I've had way too many problems with it) is that Valve uses lots of scripted events. But those scripted events are incredibly dull and ordinary. I'll explain.

 

Scripted event in Call of Duty 4 (heavily linear scripted game):

During a particularly rushing escape scene, a copter turns the corner of a building. You shoot it in the engine part (or something like that) and it crashes. The crash is devastating, throwing dirt everywhere and slowly drifting towards you and your captain, while screeching against the two walls to the sides that basically make it so you can't escape. The copter is still exploding and literally looks like it's going to tear you in half. It stop at the right moment but hurts your captain.

 

F***ing awesome. And that wasn't even one of the best moments it had to offer.

 

Scripted Event in Half-life 2:

You are walking on a street. In front of you there are cars blocking the way, and there is a large hole into an underground parking lot right in front of them. You walk towards the hole, obviously thinking to go in, and one of the cars goes flying, after being hit by a strider. You are forced to retreat into the very large hole.

 

... okay. I was going in that hole anyway. Not much of a problem, and the car didn't really look like it could hit me. I guess the strider posed some sort of threat, but I could take a thousand bullets before dying. And there's no real sense of rush anyway.

 

That's it. That's the most awesome scripted event of HL2.

 

Also:

-No ambience.

-No mood.

-Long cutscenes that say little.

-Only the Gravity Gun is actually innovative (and it is really awesome, I'll admit that).

-The only interesting characters are Dog and... that's it. The rest are really really forgettable.

-No plot hook. Why am I saving humanity?

-Incredibly dull environments (apart from the Citadel, which was okay, I guess).

-Stupid squad gameplay (get the **** out of my way).

-Combat gets about as staetegic as "headshot or no headshot" (excluding the super gravity gun parts).

-Dull art direction... or was there even one?

-Terribly clich

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It is my opinion that Half Life is more valuable than gum. Also, HL1 came out in a time when I was less scrupulous and more unemployed, so I never actually, uh, purchased it. Buying it now for $0.98 magically wipes the slate clean and puts me on good moral footing. If only more companies gave me a way to clear my conscience for under a dollar.

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I thought the first three levels Half Life were great. Good mood and feel. Well done weapons. Creepy. Verging on survival horror.

 

It all went down the crapper later though. And what was with that ridiculous level where all you did was jump around inside a processing plant or something? Horrible horrible horrible.

 

The soldier AI was pretty close to revolutionary as far as single player fps gaming experiences.

Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.
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DO you remember the totally awesome zombie mod for HL? They Hunger. It was a three part mod. Very extensive. You play some guy in the country who finds himself in the middle of a zombie invasion. I only ever got to play the first 2 parts. It was one of those rare mods that was better (at least in feel if not production values) than the game it modded. One of the very very few playing experiences that actually had me "scared". The crypt/graveyard/church sequence in the first episode was pretty unnerving.

Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.
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When the original Half Life came it it was revolutionary in that it featured a lot of stuff that would become ubiquitous in the FPS genre for the first time:

 

* Scripted sequences (Call of Duty would never have existed without these).

* AI more evolved than just advancing/shooting (I remember hiding in a pitched gunfight and hearing "Fire in the Hole" as not one but *two* nades landed right next to me).

* Complex puzzles in a 3D environment.

* An actual storyline with (semi-) interactive NPCs.

* Complex environmental hazards not seen before (slippery floors, electricity, acid, radiation, automated machine guns etc).

 

Sure after 10 years it doesn't stand up as well as it did on release, but it was pretty amazing to play when it came out. Sure some of the later alien levels are a bit silly but Black Mesa really seemed like a real place and some of the levels (such as Surface Tension) are still fun to play through today.

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Is it more interesting than Half-life 2?

 

The problem I had with HL2 (the big problem, I've had way too many problems with it) is that Valve uses lots of scripted events. But those scripted events are incredibly dull and ordinary. I'll explain.

 

Scripted event in Call of Duty 4 (heavily linear scripted game):

During a particularly rushing escape scene, a copter turns the corner of a building. You shoot it in the engine part (or something like that) and it crashes. The crash is devastating, throwing dirt everywhere and slowly drifting towards you and your captain, while screeching against the two walls to the sides that basically make it so you can't escape. The copter is still exploding and literally looks like it's going to tear you in half. It stop at the right moment but hurts your captain.

 

F***ing awesome. And that wasn't even one of the best moments it had to offer.

 

Scripted Event in Half-life 2:

You are walking on a street. In front of you there are cars blocking the way, and there is a large hole into an underground parking lot right in front of them. You walk towards the hole, obviously thinking to go in, and one of the cars goes flying, after being hit by a strider. You are forced to retreat into the very large hole.

 

... okay. I was going in that hole anyway. Not much of a problem, and the car didn't really look like it could hit me. I guess the strider posed some sort of threat, but I could take a thousand bullets before dying. And there's no real sense of rush anyway.

 

That's it. That's the most awesome scripted event of HL2.

 

Also:

-No ambience.

-No mood.

-Long cutscenes that say little.

-Only the Gravity Gun is actually innovative (and it is really awesome, I'll admit that).

-The only interesting characters are Dog and... that's it. The rest are really really forgettable.

-No plot hook. Why am I saving humanity?

-Incredibly dull environments (apart from the Citadel, which was okay, I guess).

-Stupid squad gameplay (get the **** out of my way).

-Combat gets about as staetegic as "headshot or no headshot" (excluding the super gravity gun parts).

-Dull art direction... or was there even one?

-Terribly clich

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  • 2 weeks later...
I agree that some of the sequences in HL2 were idiotic when you look back at them (stares at the 10 minute break between getting to Eli's lab and finially doing somthing). I donno HL2 holds a spot in my heart because of the loveability of Barney and Alyx (of course Alyx really shines during the episodes and barney is just awesomeness "I see your MIT degree really served you well...") probably one of the greatest scripted sequences I ever saw was actually in episode 2, you're blocked in by a strider when all of a sudden from behind a house dog just LAUNCHES onto the strider and promptly rips it to pieces before coming and saying hi to alyx.

 

I think that HL2 suffers from the fact that the transitional history (what happened between Gordon going to Xen and returning aboard the train) is only explained if you look at the paraphenalia that you find lying around Kliner and Eli's Labs and even then its still extremly hazy.

 

Half Life 1 was innovative because of the enemy AI which at the time was pretty incredible, and the scripted sequences that told the story. Only problem is that Valve took what made half life 1 revolutionary (telling a story without cutscenes) and made the sequences longer with large gaps in what happens, and then revolutionized things again by having a really cool physics engine. Iirc one of the devs once said that they NEVER wanted to take the control out of the players hands which is why the "cutscenes" are the way they are.

 

I think valve made a mistake when they made Gordon a mute. this make him a blank slate for the players sure but it also makes Alyx's come ons seem out of place. Also in Half life 2 alot of the ambiance for me was when there were other people around (well, not the squad combat but when there were just civilians) like the crying couple in the very beginning as you rush through their apartment. Or Dr. Kliner telling the population of City 17 to get down to reproducing in Episode 1.

 

Good show, old man! I agree with your assessment completely.

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