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creative42
15-01-2012, 05:58 PM
If I remember correctly, the original Half Life was followed by a game which told the story from the viewpoint of Barney. I was wondering why, especially after Episode 2 came out, Valve didn't get another developer to come up with something similar. It would make the wait for Episode 3/HL3 go a bit quicker, and also give us players another viewpoint of the story.

Also, I've been playing Episode 2 again, as well as Skyrim. At the end of Episode 2 there is a scene between some NPCs where the resistance trainer won't carry on with a training session until one person will leave the building (he'd been disrupting the lesson). Wouldn't it be good if there was a game where you played this character after he'd left the building and was left to fend for himself? How about if it used the same game mechanics as Skyrim i.e. it was an open world game and you could move freely from one location in the Half Life world easily, and basically have a good look around. Must admit, not quite sure how it would (or if it would at all) but I hope you see what I mean.

fearlessgoat
15-01-2012, 06:26 PM
Good topic.
Having played Half-Life: Opposing Force, which is a very good game in itself! For some reason I didn't pick up any of the other adventures like Blue shift etc.
It is kind of weird Valve stopped the side adventures. They did have a big fall out with Gearbox over CS. Gearbox did most of those games, if not all of them.

Flint
15-01-2012, 06:32 PM
I think the episodes were supposed to be the 'replacement' for the expansion packs, this time continuing the story directly rather than offering alternate views.

coldvvvave
15-01-2012, 06:40 PM
Gear Box games are alternative continuity. Countrary to a popular belief Half-life does have a plot( although I don't think it was properly written until HL2 was finished) and someone at VALVE probably thought that it was a good idea to stop adding non-canon branches to it.

Snargelfargen
15-01-2012, 06:43 PM
Valve have one of the most famous brands in pc gaming thanks to Half-Life and the mods it spawned. They are probably being very cautious with the next installment of Half-Life, since it will have to live up to incredibly high standards. I doubt they would outsource it at this point.
Seeing the world from the point of view of someone in the resistance would dfeinitely be interesting. A lot of the fan films that have been released focus on that too, maybe Valve will take notice.
Thanks for reminding me of the games anyways! I picked up all of the orginal half life disks for 5$ at a thrift store a while ago, it's about time I play through them all again.

DigitalSignalX
15-01-2012, 09:17 PM
Half Life? Never heard of it. What is this game you speak of. Been playing valve games for years. And years.

Kadayi
16-01-2012, 12:25 AM
Half Life? Never heard of it. What is this game you speak of. Been playing valve games for years. And years.

^Truth

In between now and the release of HL2:EP3 other developers have shipped not only award winning games, but also the sequels to them. where as Valve have done everything but deliver the next installment of what was supposed to be a trilogy of quick releases before HL3. The continued non appearance of the further adventures of Gordon Freeman and his trusty sidekick crow-bar is heading deep into DNF territory.

Personally I think there's an expiry date on 'silent protagonist moves through linear series of tightly scripted maps' as it was a game style that was very much derived from the technological limitations of game engines back in the Doom days, and other genres have largely moved on from that. In recent years people have cooled quite a bit when it comes to that particular game style (BF3 SP, MW3 SP, RAGE) Vs the more RPG/Open world style games (Skyrim, DX:HR) where in player choice (beyond which gun do I use) plays much more of a part (think web 2.0 Vs web 1.0) in terms of empowering you the player. As a long time fan of the Half-life franchise I do think Valve might of missed their optimum release window by a good couple of years for EP3, and that whatever they eventually do release might well turn out to be positively pedestrian Vs what other studios are up to in terms of both public and critical reception (which would be a shame in many ways). The cinematic physics in EP2 seemed amazing at the time, but they pail in compassion to the kind of visceral immersive craziness that you can experience in say BF3.

SirKicksalot
16-01-2012, 12:38 AM
Gear Box games are alternative continuity. Countrary to a popular belief Half-life does have a plot( although I don't think it was properly written until HL2 was finished) and someone at VALVE probably thought that it was a good idea to stop adding non-canon branches to it.

I never understood this part about the Gearbox expansions being non-canon.
Valve specifically told them to destroy Black Mesa so that there's no chance to return there in a sequel. Worth noting that they did the same with City 17. I remember some Valve quotes about Adrian Shephard returning as he resonated well with players (no confirmations, just "yeah we might do it because so and so").

Lukasz
16-01-2012, 12:43 AM
*snip*
Truth.

With every year passing HL2-type gameplay becomes less and less appealing at least for non-hardcore fans. Yet changing it too much would kinda ruin the flow of the series. If it is HL3... it could work, rebuilding the gameplay mechanics and the whole game world.. Yet Ep2 did not end properly. It was a great ending but the game is definitely Empire strikes back and ROJ is needed.

deano2099
16-01-2012, 01:06 AM
I think the episodes were supposed to be the 'replacement' for the expansion packs, this time continuing the story directly rather than offering alternate views.

I vaguely recall an interview at the time saying that the first trilogy of episodes was just the start, and would continue Gordon's story, but there was, with this new model, the chance to do one-off stories from other perspective too.

Smashbox
16-01-2012, 01:14 AM
I can't believe I actually agree with Kadayi.

soldant
16-01-2012, 02:07 AM
Actually, it seems like (http://combineoverwiki.net/wiki/Episode_4) there was going to be an outsourced HL2 game... maybe. It's not concrete information but suggests that it's possible that Valve intended for a 3rd party to expand on other aspects of the game world.


Also I kind of agree with Kadayi in part; EP3 is too long overdue, to the point where if they release any kind of episode similar to EP2 it's going to be one massive joke. Four years for 4 hours of gameplay is a poor effort by anyone's standards. Valve really needed to do something worthwhile in 2009 to maintain interest. Instead they've pushed more ridiculous content into TF2, made L4D2 which nobody asked for, and then made Portal 2 which was good but just proves that the portal concept is ultimately a dead end.

But where I stop agreeing is with the "open sandbox games are the only way forward" part. Yes, the chaotic fun of BF3 or the self-directed gameplay of Skyrim is great, but BF3 isn't a single-player experience, and everyone bemoans Skyrim's lack of storyline and engaging characters. Since the Skyrim-world and deep-characters-for-all aspects are nigh-impossible to reconcile without an absurd amount of content and a development and talent team approaching the size of the North Korean army, there's still going to be space and time for these kinds of games. HL2's formula is getting outdated, but so long as the game's storyline and characters remain compelling I don't think people will really care too much.

Of course HL2's plot is just ambling around like a drunk homeless man with no apparent destination in mind, so I don't have high hopes for it at all.

Kadayi
16-01-2012, 07:45 AM
I can't believe I actually agree with Kadayi.

Believe. it.


But where I stop agreeing is with the "open sandbox games are the only way forward" part.

I'm not saying that's the way games should be, more that's what a lot of younger gamer's nowadays expect out of their games. We're in the early days of cinema with game development and albeit Valve have a great legacy of making silent movies, by on large audiences have really gotten used to the talkies now.

FuriKuri!
16-01-2012, 10:32 AM
I think the elephant in the room when saying there's an expiry date on "silent protagonist moves through linear series of tightly scripted maps" has to be COD... The series gets more popular year on year - you may have reached that expiry in a personal sense but Joe public certainly hasn't and shows no sign of doing so either. If HL went all COD like it'd probably sell a shitload, even if Valve drowned in tears of rage from the PC community for doing so.

Another spinoff with [Adrian, not commander] Shepard set during the initial combine war would be aces. It could certainly match the bombastic and explosive nature of COD even if it went more open-worldy. /daydream

Grizzly
16-01-2012, 11:22 AM
HL2 and CoD are actually quite alike though, originally drawing from the same school of gameplay.

The problem with Valve is that they will have to cut down the mightiest tree in the forest (which is HL2) by creating another even mightier tree(which is the HL game they are currently making) and then smashing them together. The problems lies in the difficulty of the size of the tree and the fact that they can not make a tool more suitable for the job (say, an axe, or an entirely different game) because nobody would like it.


Since the Skyrim-world and deep-characters-for-all

Fallout: New Vegas?

Kadayi
16-01-2012, 11:22 AM
I think the elephant in the room when saying there's an expiry date on "silent protagonist moves through linear series of tightly scripted maps" has to be COD... The series gets more popular year on year - you may have reached that expiry in a personal sense but Joe public certainly hasn't and shows no sign of doing so either. If HL went all COD like it'd probably sell a shitload, even if Valve drowned in tears of rage from the PC community for doing so.

Furi. The vast majority of people don't buy CoD for the single player experience. There is no elephant, because albeit the games share a perspective they are catering to very different audience needs.

sabrage
16-01-2012, 11:38 AM
I think Portal 2 proves that Valve's time in the sun with linear, scripted games is clearly not over.

And BF3 is a lot less immersive than any Valve game I've ever played. I'll take being able to see what the fuck I'm doing, thanks.

FuriKuri!
16-01-2012, 11:39 AM
Oh absolutely true but up until Modern Warfare 2 (where the effort pretty clearly started going more toward MP than SP) I'd say that the singleplayer side of it played a pretty significant role in entrenching the game in the public's appetite - think about how many people fondly recall the Pripyat mission in MW1 for example. MP may remain the focus but a pretty significant proportion of the players will play through the SP and this is generally the discussion point - look how bad Homefront was received and primarily because it had a poor SP campaign. I fully believe if they really dropped the ball on SP it'd have a huge impact on the series even if it flew in the face of common sense since all people *really* care about is the MP.

And considering the number of folks that bought Half-Life purely for Counter Strike... Well. ;)

Kadayi
16-01-2012, 12:24 PM
Sure people will play the SP aspect of MW3 or BF3, but frankly that they are mediocre experiences is secondary to peoples concern because they are there principally for the multi-player. Homefront had no real pedigree to it in terms of expectation and that's largely why it failed.

Sure plenty of people bought HL for CS, but in my experience as a CS player a lot of those people never even bothered playing HL itself (I was in a CS clan for a few years and hardly any of them had played HL much to my surprise). The point is Valve games sell well, but they don't sell gang busters like they used to (Portal sold 2 million units which is not bad, but it's no where near what Skyrim did in terms of business). Valves impact on the industry as a developer (Vs steam) has diminished over the years.

The point is though that what happened in the past doesn't necessarily dictate the future. Saying 'look look!!' at what happened 15 or 8 years ago isn't necessarily a model that holds true as the market place, medium and audience evolves.

ado
16-01-2012, 12:27 PM
Linear, scripted games will never go out of fashion. Some other form might take over as the "most popular", but that doesn't mean the death of linear games. Because (like it or not) the controlled design of these games provides for the best storytelling, be it visual, textual or subtextual. It's the only format where you have actual control of the pacing of the game, and games that use this well become quite an unforgettable experience that transcend their linear limitations.

But in my personal opinion the linear design method peaked with Portal. No game will use this format as effectively, because the nature of Portal circumvents a lot of the problems of the format like the "death" problem. The game isn't designed to be a combat gauntlet but a cerebral one, so it doesn't punish you by killing you and forcing you to repeat sections over and over, but by making you stuck in rooms looking at walls and forcing you to actively try and find solutions for progress. This makes for an uninterrupted, fluid and therefore much more immersive experience. It's short length works towards this as well, since you can complete the game in a single sitting.

But that kind of does paint a poor picture for Valve, who constantly try to be innovators, and their future games. So if they want to make HL3 a revolutionary game like it's predecessors (which everyone, including Valve, seems to be expecting), they might have to move it from it's linear corridor shooting roots. But then another question arises, if they do change the format of the game to such a degree, will it still be Half-Life?

soldant
16-01-2012, 01:23 PM
Fallout: New Vegas?
I don't know why everyone keeps bringing that up. It wasn't that deep. The scope is smaller though than in Skyrim, where people seemed to expect that every single character and companion had a Mass Effect-style characterisation, especially since Skyrim had a massive improvement on Oblivion in terms of animation (which isn't saying much, I know). Trying to do Planescape: Torment with full voice acting, 3D animation and so on would be pretty friggin' awesome, but really friggin' expensive, and it'd probably come on a BRD or something. FONV wasn't a bad game and it was a big improvement on that snoozefest Fallout 3, but the characters aren't really that deep, nor is the storyline. I actually think it's one of Obsidian's weaker efforts.


But in my personal opinion the linear design method peaked with Portal.
I think the big problem with Portal and Portal 2 is that Portal was a short game that stopped just when it needed to. It was short but sweet, and didn't outstay its welcome. Portal 2, on the other hand, went on for ages and basically relied heavily on Valve's storytelling capabilities and jokes, which are par for the course with Valve now. The portal gameplay mechanic all boils down to "Put thing through portal" and they've run out of possible uses for it. Portal 2 thus dragged on for a bit too long, and although the environments were entertaining, I think most people got a bit tired of the portal mechanics by that stage. Valve are good storytellers. Their stories are starting to slide, but their presentation is exceptional.


But that kind of does paint a poor picture for Valve, who constantly try to be innovators, and their future games. So if they want to make HL3 a revolutionary game like it's predecessors (which everyone, including Valve, seems to be expecting), they might have to move it from it's linear corridor shooting roots. But then another question arises, if they do change the format of the game to such a degree, will it still be Half-Life?
They've painted themselves into a corner. You can't have Gordon Freeman talk, it'd be like suddenly deciding Commander Shepard doesn't have a voice in Mass Effect. You can't really make it non-linear, because it's telling a set story and following a specific plot... presumably, I mean they could be making the whole lot up as they go along for all we know. You can't cut out the shooting aspect, because it's an FPS at its core, you can't suddenly morph it into an RPG or free-roaming environment like STALKER, because of the strong drama element and reliance on scripted sequences. Basically HL2 is like CoD4, just with much better characters, a slower pace, and no velvet-rope enemy arenas.

I really don't see how they can change the game formula because it's too well established. Either they follow on, or they break off onto a different storyline tangent and ignore Gordon Freeman. The problem is that following Ep2 they MUST go to the Borealis, they MUST check on Mossman, and they MUST make steps to uncover whatever it is that's there. They can't suddenly ignore that whole thing given the way Ep2 ended. And to be honest I don't think it matters... so long as Valve's storytelling capabilities are up to scratch, and the engine gets a good overhaul, everyone will be pleased.

Duckee
16-01-2012, 01:27 PM
Gunman Chronicles anyone?? I loved this game to bits. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5hKyx5bLRI

Flint
16-01-2012, 01:45 PM
Gunman Chronicles was a really good total conversion Half-Life mod. Gunman Chronicles was not a really good standalone game wheeled to stores at full price.

Kadayi
16-01-2012, 01:52 PM
They've painted themselves into a corner. You can't have Gordon Freeman talk, it'd be like suddenly deciding Commander Shepard doesn't have a voice in Mass Effect. You can't really make it non-linear, because it's telling a set story and following a specific plot... presumably, I mean they could be making the whole lot up as they go along for all we know. You can't cut out the shooting aspect, because it's an FPS at its core, you can't suddenly morph it into an RPG or free-roaming environment like STALKER, because of the strong drama element and reliance on scripted sequences. Basically HL2 is like CoD4, just with much better characters, a slower pace, and no velvet-rope enemy arenas.

I really don't see how they can change the game formula because it's too well established. Either they follow on, or they break off onto a different storyline tangent and ignore Gordon Freeman. The problem is that following Ep2 they MUST go to the Borealis, they MUST check on Mossman, and they MUST make steps to uncover whatever it is that's there. They can't suddenly ignore that whole thing given the way Ep2 ended. And to be honest I don't think it matters... so long as Valve's storytelling capabilities are up to scratch, and the engine gets a good overhaul, everyone will be pleased.

Pretty much where I'm coming from, but I kind of think that after episode 3 that it might be time to draw a close to the franchise and move onto something else (similarly I don't want a Portal 3).

Icarus
16-01-2012, 05:40 PM
I agree with Kadayi; I don't want a Portal 3. I think Chell's story is done and I think GLaDOS' story is done. On top of that I think that any attempt to expand the gameplay mechanics (on top of gels, lasers, bounceplates and light-bridges) would just make it needlessly complex.

I do, however, want Episode 3 and/or Half-Life 3. Every time Valve announce another project that's not Half-Life related my goodwill towards them shrinks just a little further. (Do we really need a new Counterstrike game, do we really)

creative42
16-01-2012, 07:54 PM
But where I stop agreeing is with the "open sandbox games are the only way forward" part. Yes, the chaotic fun of BF3 or the self-directed gameplay of Skyrim is great, but BF3 isn't a single-player experience, and everyone bemoans Skyrim's lack of storyline and engaging characters. Since the Skyrim-world and deep-characters-for-all aspects are nigh-impossible to reconcile without an absurd amount of content and a development and talent team approaching the size of the North Korean army, there's still going to be space and time for these kinds of games. HL2's formula is getting outdated, but so long as the game's storyline and characters remain compelling I don't think people will really care too much.

Yeah, I guess with the HL2 world it wouldn't really work. To me HL2 doesn't feel dated because I enjoy it so much (Episode 2 especially), but I understand that other types of gameplay have taken over. Hopefully, like you say, if Valve gets No.3 right it should do ok...although I still wish there had been a game from another characters' viewpoint - I'm sure another developer could of kept it in line with Valve's aims for the Half Life world.

Kadayi
16-01-2012, 08:05 PM
I do, however, want Episode 3 and/or Half-Life 3. Every time Valve announce another project that's not Half-Life related my goodwill towards them shrinks just a little further. (Do we really need a new Counterstrike game, do we really)

Albeit I haven't played it (my CS days ended a few years back). From what I've seen I can't say CS:GO looks like it's going to be winning hearts and minds from MW3 or BF3 in terms of audience, and it's debatable whether it's likely to draw away the die-hards still playing CS 1.6. If anything it will likely just kill off CS:Source.

spcd
16-01-2012, 09:05 PM
Albeit I haven't played it (my CS days ended a few years back). From what I've seen I can't say CS:GO looks like it's going to be winning hearts and minds from MW3 or BF3 in terms of audience, and it's debatable whether it's likely to draw away the die-hards still playing CS 1.6. If anything it will likely just kill off CS:Source.

CS:GO = source. The CS:GO maps work on CSS. There are CSS servers using the CS:GO maps. probably ripped from the beta.

So Valve is just updating CSS and letting us pay for it again.

CS1.6
CS CZ
CSS
CS:GO

....

Kadayi
16-01-2012, 09:36 PM
So Valve is just updating CSS and letting us pay for it again.

Have they actually said they are charging for it? I'd of thought there was probably more profit in going F2P with throwing in a clothing store for that 'individual' look.

Duckee
16-01-2012, 09:41 PM
The notion that people are outraged by having to pay for something is just ridiculous. They are not forcing you to pay for it, you can perfectly choose to keep playing CSS if you believe it is the same game. Also, they have not said that it is a priced product as far as I know.

On a related note, CSGO is for me just an attempt to reinvigorate pro CS.

spcd
16-01-2012, 10:09 PM
The notion that people are outraged by having to pay for something is just ridiculous. They are not forcing you to pay for it, you can perfectly choose to keep playing CSS if you believe it is the same game. Also, they have not said that it is a priced product as far as I know.

On a related note, CSGO is for me just an attempt to reinvigorate pro CS.

It will depend on how much it will cost... They are making you pay for an update for an existing game. Because this is an update. You could call it an expansion pack. I hope they will price it that way.

You can say you are not FORCED to buy it. But who wants to keep playing an inferior version (CSS) when there is an updated version?

I am not saying CS:GO will suck. I just think it sucks it's basically the same game, because you could rip all the content and insert it in CSS and it will work. And those games are released 8 years apart; Dont you see there is something wrong with this?

Imagine Skyrim was just Oblivion with different textures; new items and they added some new quests. And they charge you full price for it?

JayTee
16-01-2012, 10:41 PM
But who wants to keep playing an inferior version (CSS) when there is an updated version?People playing on Steam at this moment:

79,030
100,121

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (http://store.steampowered.com/app/72850/)


71,176
75,325

Football Manager 2012 (http://store.steampowered.com/app/71270/)


56,579
76,495

Counter-Strike (http://store.steampowered.com/app/10/)


44,889
64,047

Counter-Strike: Source (http://store.steampowered.com/app/240/)


It's not unheard of :)

spcd
16-01-2012, 11:15 PM
People playing on Steam at this moment:

79,030
100,121

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (http://store.steampowered.com/app/72850/)


71,176
75,325

Football Manager 2012 (http://store.steampowered.com/app/71270/)


56,579
76,495

Counter-Strike (http://store.steampowered.com/app/10/)


44,889
64,047

Counter-Strike: Source (http://store.steampowered.com/app/240/)


It's not unheard of :)

I was talking about CSS <-> CS:GO while ignoring CS 1.6.

-----------------

The reason CS1.6 is more popular is because it's consistent. CS1.6 has been CS1.6 for a long time now. CSS gets updated now and then. The behaviour of the weapons change all the time. Almost every year they fix something that changes the recoil. People hate this because they have to keep adapting; and this is not good for competitive gaming.

Also CSS has some other problems. Like when you move behind a wall to get cover, you can still die. Some people call it the die behind a wall effect. The netcode isn't as good as the netcode in 1.6. Also a lot of people complain about the hitboxes.

CS1.6 is a much better game for competitive gaming. The only reason why you should play CSS is because the graphics are better, and that is not a valid reason imo.

Valve wanted CSS to be the updated version of CS 1.6, but they failed in this. Instead they shouldn't have tried to make a replica of 1.6 with CSS, but they should have made a different game with new mechanics and new maps. Not the same game on a new engine.

Now with CS:GO, they are just making the same mistakes! CS1.6 will stay the biggest; CSS will die; CS:GO will be an updated version of a broken game. Hopefully they can fix it; but I doubt it, because they haven't fixed CSS after so many years.

Instead of remaking the same game over and over again, they should innovate and change stuff. They won't be able to replicate 1.6 and succeed. But they might be able to create a different CS game.

Quake 3 was totally different to Quake 2, UT2004 was totally different compared to UT99. Why does Valve keep creating the same game with different graphics? This time they don't even use a new engine.

deano2099
17-01-2012, 02:19 AM
Was Half Life 2 really that revolutionary? Gravity gun and physics puzzles. That's about it, isn't it?

Nalano
17-01-2012, 02:36 AM
People hate this because they have to keep adapting; and this is not good for competitive gaming.

Excuse me while I laugh at the thought of competitive gamers complaining about having to adapt.

ado
17-01-2012, 03:59 AM
To be quite honest I don't want a Portal 3 either. Portal 2 wrapped that series up pretty tightly.

But when it comes to HL3 i think the least of it's problems is the plot. Yes it's a tangled mess, but it's the Laura Palmer of videogames. As soon as you try resolving everything and explaining the mystery it will loose all it's charm. Rather keep the golden goose laying those golden eggs than taking it to the butcher.

So when it comes to plotting the HL series all I can say to Valve is: learn from Twin Peaks and Lost!

soldant
17-01-2012, 04:36 AM
So when it comes to plotting the HL series all I can say to Valve is: learn from Twin Peaks and Lost!
What, perform basically no plot progression, answer each question with another question, and then end it with a huge anti-climax that basically says nothing?

They've been following the LOST formula for ages now.

spcd
17-01-2012, 09:52 AM
Excuse me while I laugh at the thought of competitive gamers complaining about having to adapt.

And why is that? Isn't that something very normal? If you learn something; and then finally you know how it works. Then they change it and you have to start again.... and then a year later again... and then a year later again... it's frustrating for some people that their game isn't consistent.

I don't play CSS competitive. So I don't care so much. But apparently most people care; that's why they keep playing 1.6.

Lukasz
17-01-2012, 09:55 AM
Was Half Life 2 really that revolutionary? Gravity gun and physics puzzles. That's about it, isn't it?
it was. a bit overyhyped maybe it was a ground breaking game.
beside gravity gun and physics puzzles you had:

highly polished action game with intense storyline
Ravenholm level
Interesting characters
Bleak world which you could see how it slowly dies because of combine action
interesting weapons besides gravity gun

It really was a pinnacle of scripted fps. No game before it really do what HL2 did which of course does not mean that HL2 is the best.
So while from perspective of time, after dozen or so scripted FPS, HL2 mechanics are a bit stale... back then the game was really something.

soldant
17-01-2012, 10:22 AM
it was. a bit overyhyped maybe it was a ground breaking game.
beside gravity gun and physics puzzles you had:

highly polished action game with intense storyline
Ravenholm level
Interesting characters
Bleak world which you could see how it slowly dies because of combine action
interesting weapons besides gravity gun
Interesting weapons? They cut out all the "interesting" weapons from the previous game. They were all pretty standard. Ravenholm wasn't even slightly scary or intense, mostly because the Source engine's lighting (particularly for that time) tended towards high levels of ambient light. The storyline isn't "intense", it's just entertaining because it has a whole bunch of questions and mysteries which aren't explained (and apparently won't ever be explained). The "bleak world" isn't anywhere close to what it was supposed to be, in fact the current world is bright and happy by comparison.

HL2's greatest achievement was the characters and pacing. The characters were convincing and well acted, and the game never took control away from the player for these scripted sequences. Well except for the Citadel parts and the meeting with Breen at the end, but it was done in context so we'll let that one slide. Also Valve understood that constantly throwing enemies at the player leads to fatigue, thus they made sure the player had some downtime to just look at the world and to explore. Unfortunately a lot of that downtime meant you'd play another variation of the see-saw physics puzzle we've all come to know.

It's a great game, but it isn't really revolutionary.

Lukasz
17-01-2012, 10:38 AM
Interesting weapons? They cut out all the "interesting" weapons from the previous game. They were all pretty standard. Ravenholm wasn't even slightly scary or intense, mostly because the Source engine's lighting (particularly for that time) tended towards high levels of ambient light. The storyline isn't "intense", it's just entertaining because it has a whole bunch of questions and mysteries which aren't explained (and apparently won't ever be explained). The "bleak world" isn't anywhere close to what it was supposed to be, in fact the current world is bright and happy by comparison.
What current world?

Back in 2004 they were interesting weapons. Pulse rifle which makes people disappear, crossbow sniper which pinned people, grenades you could pick up, antlion bombs.
and if for you ravenholm was not scary then that is just you. back at the time it was praised for its intense atmosphere.
[quote[
HL2's greatest achievement was the characters and pacing. The characters were convincing and well acted, and the game never took control away from the player for these scripted sequences. Well except for the Citadel parts and the meeting with Breen at the end, but it was done in context so we'll let that one slide. Also Valve understood that constantly throwing enemies at the player leads to fatigue, thus they made sure the player had some downtime to just look at the world and to explore. Unfortunately a lot of that downtime meant you'd play another variation of the see-saw physics puzzle we've all come to know.

It's a great game, but it isn't really revolutionary.[/QUOTE]
almost everyone back then disagrees with you as it was praised by everyone almost.

FuriKuri!
17-01-2012, 10:51 AM
Back in 2004 they were interesting weapons. Pulse rifle which makes people disappear, crossbow sniper which pinned people, grenades you could pick up, antlion bombs.

I found HL2 to be disappointing on many levels (even at the time), but the weapons were definately one of my biggest caveats. Picking up grenades or pinning people to walls wasn't worth losing the trip mines, satchel charges, gauss gun, bee gun, snarks... What did we really get in return? Antlion thing of limited use and a somewhat unpredictable alt fire on a machinegun.

The wealth of weapons in HL (moreso if you count Opposing Force) completely eclipsed HL2 in every way possible. Oh, and the less said about the 'crate of infinite ammo' mechanic, the better.

Flint
17-01-2012, 10:54 AM
The weapons weren't all that special though, even in 2004. Most of them, including that crossbow, were taken straight from the first game (while leaving out all of the more unique weapons), the pulse rifle is basically just an endgame assault rifle with a different name and the antlion bombs were only usable in a couple of levels, after which they became dead weight. The weapon selection was always one of HL2's most unspectacular points (that, and the Citadel chapters at the end), almost as if Valve intentionally downplayed everything else to give more weight to the gravity gun.

I wouldn't say HL2 is really all that revolutionary, especially when compared to the first game, but to its credit I do think it did start the increased attention towards physics and object manipulation in action games that's still going on today.

EDIT: Whoops, didn't mean to repeat what someone else just said. I'm such a slow poster.

soldant
17-01-2012, 12:12 PM
What current world?
The HL2 gameworld as it is today, and back on release. Ever read HL2: Raising the Bar? If not, check out the Combine Overwiki. The original world was supposed to be much, much darker and bleaker than what we ended up with. The Combine were far more invasive and oppressive, the outlook was much worse, and life for the citizens was way more downtrodden. The world was originally choked with pollution, with a much heavier Combine presence, and citizens were stuck in factories undertaking major manual labor.


Back in 2004 they were interesting weapons. Pulse rifle which makes people disappear, crossbow sniper which pinned people, grenades you could pick up, antlion bombs.
and if for you ravenholm was not scary then that is just you. back at the time it was praised for its intense atmosphere.
Um, they weren't interesting for 2004. Most of them are carried over directly from Half Life, except there's no portable Tau gun, no laser backpack thing (can't remember what it was called), no snarks, no detpacks, no tripmines, the grunt gun... the Antlion weapon is the only one that qualifies as interesting, and it was useless for anything outside of Nova Prospekt. Let's see, what else did we have? A 9mm pistol, a revolver, an SMG (which somehow fires a grenade), a shotgun, the crossbow from the previous game, fairly useless grenades, the crowbar... oh, right, the Combine assault rifle, which happens to have a pseudo-grenade thing which bounces off walls. Yeah, I've never seen anything like that before. Come on, that gun wasn't particularly interesting. The alt-fire only really because useful against Hunters in Episode 2.

Actually Flint's probably right, Valve cut out a ridiculous amount of weapons, probably because most of them were pointless and served no real purpose, but I get the feeling that the gun designed to take pride of place was the Gravity Gun... especially given all the see-saw physics puzzles, and how the supercharged it at the end so that you didn't need anything else.


almost everyone back then disagrees with you as it was praised by everyone almost.
Something can be universally praised without being revolutionary. A "revolutionary" game does not automatically receive universal praise either. Half Life 2 was a fantastic game, well deserving of the praise it was given, but it did not revolutionise anything. The original Half Life was revolutionary because it made popular the idea that an FPS didn't have to result in non-stop killing from Start to Finish. That opening sequence with the test chamber, and the subsequent rush through the facility after the initial disaster, was pretty damn new, and set up a similar formula for other games where the first level is just walking around getting a feel for the place.

Nalano
17-01-2012, 04:22 PM
And why is that? Isn't that something very normal?

And here I thought pro gamers were pro specifically because of their ability to adapt. And changing it up once a year isn't exactly Calvinball.

Lukasz
17-01-2012, 04:57 PM
I did read Raising and it is shame they did not create longer train ride featuring more of the oppression but I still believe it was well done: the empty shores, the home invasions, falling apart town, re-purposed prison, the rebellion, desolated roads
About everything else you guys said...
I guess I see your point.
except crossbow

it is not the same as one from previous game. the first one shot bolts. the one shoots massive rods which pinned people down, have an arch when flying through air as well as set speed. it was a unique weapon although similar.

Nalano
17-01-2012, 05:03 PM
I'm hard-pressed to name any game with physics puzzles prior to HL2. Yeah, HL1 was more innovative - what with the cohesive narrative start to finish, the "it's all one big complex" feeling instead of discrete levels, the pin-em-down-and-flush-em-out enemy AI, etc - but HL2 had its moments.

deano2099
17-01-2012, 06:17 PM
Something can be universally praised without being revolutionary. A "revolutionary" game does not automatically receive universal praise either. Half Life 2 was a fantastic game, well deserving of the praise it was given, but it did not revolutionise anything.

Indeed. My point was that people are talking that HL3 will need to be revolutionary just like the first two were. But HL2 wasn't. It was just a very good shooter with one new mechanic.