What If Gordon Freeman Had A Body?

You've got to hand it to him

(I was going to title the post Gordon ‘The Body’ Freeman, but I figured people would just think it was porny fanfic). James Benson, the chap behind the splendid Dance Fortress video has gone for a rather different tack for his next project. He’s cut a new trailer for the original Half-Life, demonstrating how the game might look if Freeman was a real physical presence rather than just a hand with a gun. The first-person perspective remains, but it’s now augmented with believable arms. Arms that open doors, climb ladders, prise open vents, raise to protect the face from leaping Head-Crabs and even pick up and don a certain pair of spectacles that have fallen to the floor. I would like to play this non-existent videogame.

One might argue that it possibly interferes with Valve’s aim of backgrounding Gordon’s presence in favour of your own (see also: silence, no Gordon character model in HL2), but that hyper-physical take, akin to Mirror’s Edge or Dark Messiah, rather seems to suit the game well.

Of course, deftly cut video footage and actually playing from that perspective are two different things, but let’s enjoy the fantasy anyway:

Apparently this is 99% composed of original animation bone skeletons, models, skins and whatnot, which makes it even more of an accomplishment.

Thanks, DrazahLn.


  1. godkingemperor says:

    This makes me feel fortunate Half Life didnt come out today

  2. quantumdot says:

    I registered just for the privilege of saying this, so here goes (long time reader, first time account-er):

    I’m really, really glad this is not in the game. While I do enjoy body animations when they’re well-done, this looks and feels very COD-ified to me, with the sprinting and the pistol-waving and the dodging and jumping. Not having played COD, I could be wrong of course. But I don’t like the flavour of cover-to-cover shooting in my Half-Life, no sir.

    That said, I do have to give major props to the animator. Even though I did feel as if most of the animations were janky and ill-fitting for Half-Life, there was obvious skill behind the work.

  3. SiPlus says:

    Gordon has body, but in Half-Life 2 he is made off shiny metal and has no eyes.

  4. thesilverzim says:

    I like it that you have more game ideas like mirror’s edge but in this case i have a feeling that at some points there are too much animation because it would really suck if you had a bigger animation accidentaly start because you did a wrong combo or pressed the wrong button during a boss fight.

    But in other cases like the beginning where you dropped the classes it would be just awsome.
    i would love it if hl had that that kind of animation

  5. Zman6258 says:

    I think that a push button animation greatly helps a game. It just makes me think “Am I tele-kinetic?” when I’m holding a giant RPG with both hands, and I go up to a button and it loooks like it pushes itself. Just a half second animation, though. Duke Nukem Forever had great animations in that sense: you could see your hand holding the object, instead of having it float in mid-air.

  6. Hatamoto_Chi says: