Posts Tagged ‘the-orange-box-verdict’

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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RPS Verdict: Portal

By John Walker on October 10th, 2007.

Concept: A gun that shoots holes in the fabric of reality. Fire once to create an ‘in’ hole, and again to create an ‘out’ hole, enter one, and exit the other.

Application: A puzzle game, obviously. Elaborate obstacle courses only traversed via this dimensional manipulation.

Execution: Mellifluous.

Welcome to the playground

Hello? Can I Help You?

The fairytale story of how Portal came into being has all but entered into legend. A plucky group of Digipen paupers created a final year project, Narbacular Drop, that was shown at the annual Digipen event for visiting developers. The handsome princes at Valve saw it, and liked it. Valve invited the team to visit their castle and demo their concept. Before they were halfway through their presentation, they’d all been offered jobs by the king. And then a couple of years later, a beautiful baby Portal was born. And we all lived happily ever after.

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