Posts Tagged ‘Half-Life 2: Episode Two’

The Last Eight Years Of Gordon Freeman’s Unpublished Diaries – RPS Exclusive

An envelope arrived in the post this morning. Thick, stuffed with books. Diaries, in fact. Someone has sent me Gordon Freeman’s diaries from the last eight years. I don’t really know what to do about this. I mean, this is obviously big news, but this is also someone’s private life. But what if it was Gordon himself who sent them? What if he wants the… the misery therein to be exposed?

I’ve decided on a compromise. I’m going to publish some extracts, picked almost at random from the lot. If Freeman wants them taken down, he can get in touch and we’ll honour that right away.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Long-Lost Characters Of Half-Life 2

Better than kings - gods!

The leaked Half-Life 2 beta is an old, old story – and how it happened, and what happened next was documented masterfully by RPS chum Simon Parking a few years back – but a recent fan compilation of all the characters in it who never turned up in the finished article is fascinating. This is the Half-Life 2 that never was, and yet, to some extent, it does exist after all.
Read the rest of this entry »

Half Life 2 Magnifici-Mod MINERVA, The Director’s Cut


I hate Adam Foster, creator of last decade’s rapturously-received Half-Life 2 mod series MINERVA (not to be confused with BioShock 2: Minerva’s Den) and more recently a Valve employee. I hate him not because he is talented, not because he works at a cool place and not because I have a pathological distaste for people called ‘Adam.’ (Smith, you’re fired). I hate him because today he has made me feel SO OLD.

One of the first long-form pieces I ever wrote for RPS was an interview with Mr Foster about his excellent, thoughtful mod, and its fine accomplishments in level design and mood. That was in 2007. Now it is 2013. Six years later. And I am posting about MINERVA again. He now works at Valve, and meanwhile I’m still typing words into the same CMS, but older, grimmer, fatter. At least I’ve changed my chair twice since then. Something Foster has also done is repackage and spit’n’polish his mod for a well-deserved re-release on Steam today.
Read the rest of this entry »

Garry Announced Kinect Support For His Mod

Haha. Yeah, Garry knows what to do. I’ve posted videos of his Kinect experiments below, and you can see exactly why the infamously aberrant Half-Life 2 mod actually needs Kinect support by watching those. Readers with memories will recall that we talked to Garry about his plans for the mod earlier in the year.

The Kinect support will apparently arrive “this week or next”.
Read the rest of this entry »

There Are Six Sides To Every: CUBE Mod

The award for the funkiest Gravity Gun goes to...
The movie Cube, the TV show Lost and, Portal are all broken down and reassembled in CUBE, a Half-Life 2: Episode Two mod about self-assembling test chambers. Unsurprisingly, I spent a lot of time stuck, but in a good way. CUBE’s an odd one: accomplished and beautifully designed in most respects, but always on the cusp of crashing. Engine errors are as ubiquitous as new puzzles. I’m still working my way through it: there’s hours of content and multiple endings to complete, but it’s worth picking up and persevering if you miss Valve’s elaborately designed roomy puzzles.
Read the rest of this entry »

CANVAS Teaser Is Sinister, Awesome

Canvas is a Half-Life 2 Ep 2 modification that, as mods go, is one of the most impressively produced efforts you are likely to see. It tells the story of a girl with psychic powers, her psychically animated/possessed teddy bear, and the disappearance of her father, which the pair must investigate. Canvas is a 3D puzzle game, where the protagonist and her companion bear must use their powers to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies. Intriguingly, it’s also set within the worlds of various paintings, which they must enter to unravel the mystery.

The teaser is below, and it’s genuinely worth watching.
Read the rest of this entry »

RPS Verdict: Half-Life 2 Episode Two

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.

Read the rest of this entry »