Posts Tagged ‘episode-two’

Laidlaw Lays It Out

By John Walker on November 11th, 2007.

Half-Life2.net have a quick interview with Marc Laidlaw, science fiction author and story writer/designer for Valve on the Half-Life games.

Asked how the episodes have changed the way they develop the plots, he explains,

“They forced our hand…instead of jumping forward another 10 years and letting players fill in the gaps for themselves, we’ve gotten the chance to develop some of the elements deliberately. But we’ve also had the chance to spend more time working on our characters and letting more of the plot emerge from them and their dynamics, rather than simply out of the demands of saving the world as quickly as possible.”

Read the rest of it here. (Warning: it contains some fairly major spoilers early on).

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No Jokes Aren’t Funny Anymore

By Kieron Gillen on October 25th, 2007.

[I've been saving up rants about the Orange Box for a while now. Pretty much all of them feature the word "Paradigm", so be warned: sit down, pour a drink, prepare your rotten vegetables to throw. This one's probably the most essential one, so it's going first, just to make sure I remember to do it.]

CRY SOME MORE!

The Orange Box: Christ, it’s bloody funny, isn’t it?

Now, we, as PC Gamers, were kind of expecting bits of it to be funny. Team Fortress’ character shorts had prepared us a little for the tone of the game, and the graphic style was obviously a radical break from the Marines (Space, or otherwise) FPS monopoly. But when Portal was discussed, we tended to dwell upon it taking Narbacular Drop‘s reality warping puzzle-play and bringing it to the people – that is, we were interested due to its mechanics rather than anything else. And as for Episode 2… Half-life’s Half-life. If it’s funny, it’s in a random character moment as a break from the normal Orwell-does-a-disaster-movie tension. We were expecting them to be GOOD. But we weren’t expecting Team Fortress 2 to be as rampantly hilarious, Portal to be so funny that it’s driven us all a little bit mad and even relative-straight man Episode 2 to play up its wit to an unprecedented level.

While we’ve a few months to go, it’s increasingly looking like the Orange Box will be the definitive PC “thing” of 2007. Absolutely the heart of the mainstream zeitgeist in the way that Doom or World of Warcraft or Starcraft or the original Half-life were in their respective years. And it’s funny. The heart of PC Gaming is funny.

This hasn’t been true since 1991.
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A Gnome Is For Life

By John Walker on October 16th, 2007.

There’s an obscure achievement in Episode Two, where you’re asked to send a gnome into space. Which involves picking up that gnome at the very beginning of the game, and bringing it with you to the very end. If that sounds hard, it’s not nearly as fiddly and challenging as you might imagine. And one Excellent Hero has made a photographic documentary of the journey.

PC Gamer’s Tom Francis posts the adventure on his blog, explaining the tricks and tactics taken along the way, as well taking some absolutely hilarious photographs. Well worth a read.

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RPS Verdict: Half-Life 2 Episode Two

By John Walker on October 10th, 2007.

A New Day

It’s imperative that you play another first-person shooter immediately after finishing Episode Two. Any – it doesn’t matter. Because you need to remind yourself, after the six or so hours, that games aren’t anywhere near this good. Games aren’t so precise, so damn perfectly laid out. Games don’t hide tutorial and training such that you never notice them. Games aren’t built with such ludicrous care that they never leave you lost or frustrated. But Episode 2 is these things with such an air of nonchalance, such a relaxed ease, that it’s vital to remind yourself it isn’t normal. You’ll need perspective.

Byebye City 17

It’s like a perfectly constructed sentence. You likely don’t notice a perfectly constructed sentence, just won full off mistakes. Errors and niggles stand out, well written text is absorbed. The great book’s structure sits modestly in place, letting its tale sweep you up and carry you somewhere wonderful. Videogames tend to have a nasty habit of reminding you they’re a videogame. We accept this – it’s part of the deal. When it doesn’t happen, it’s only upon reflection that you realise.

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Episode Two: So Close We Can Taste It

By John Walker on October 8th, 2007.

Wednesday (to be renamed “Orangeboxday”) is approaching with a crazed inevitability, and we’re all out of control. So here’s something to make it worse, whetting your appetite while wetting your pants. Another exclusive screenshot of Episode Two.

Eek!

Click pic for embiggenment.

Don’t forget that at 8:01am UK time, and 12:01am Pacific time Wednesday, as The Orange Box begins unlocking on your Steam account, Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s verdicts of both Episode Two and Portal go live. You’ll want something to do while Steam awakens and the final blob of downloading completes, so what better than our (completely spoiler-free) detailed opinion on both games.

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Episode Two Pre-Loading

By John Walker on October 3rd, 2007.

Rush to your Steam account – Half-Life 2: Episode Two is ready for pre-loading.

As is now traditional, here’s a never-before-seen screenshot of the game to celebrate.

The JohnwalkerMan has all the grabs

Click for enlargement.

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RPS At Valve

By John Walker on September 25th, 2007.

We’re chuffed to declare that RPS will have reviews of Half-Life 2: Episode Two and Portal at the moment the Orange Box goes live on October 10th. Nowhere else on the net will be publishing reviews before this date, so frankly, check us out and our fancy new haircut.

Fetch my crowbar

Today was spent in Valve HQ playing the latest chapter in the Half-Life story, and tomorrow morning I’ll be leaping through Portals, before interviewing anyone I can nail to a chair. Expect to see interviews here in the next couple of weeks before release.

More details later this week.

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