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Half-Life 2

2 years ago

Er… so Half-Life’s writer maybe just revealed the complete plot of HL2: Episode 3

The lesson here is "never go to sleep." All sorts of things happen while people sleep. Cats go on adventures, presidents threaten nuclear war and, well, ex-Valve writers post thinly-disguised plot summaries of the unreleased and, so far as best guesses go, long-cancelled Half-Life 2: Episode 3. Long time Half-Life scribe, the excellent Marc Laidlaw (who left Valve last year), casually tossed out a link…

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3 years ago

Black Mesa is dreaming of a Xen Christmas

So committed is third-party Half-Life remake Black Mesa [official site] to emulation of its much vaunted inspiration that it has now fully embraced ValveTime. Black Mesa was first released as a free mod in 2012, followed by a spit'n'polished paid version two years ago, but still with the notorious jump'n'fail alien world section from Half Life's final act missing. Plan was to rethink rather than…

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Feature: Praise be to Mod

Have You Played… Garry’s Mod?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. I know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for a game that let’s you be a janitor in a school riddled with drug dealers and class clowns. But also a game that will let you be a cop fighting robbers. But also a…

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Feature: Gordon Freemods

Best Half-Life 2 mods

Did you know that in 2004 Valve launched Half-Life 2 [official site]? And did you know that Episode 1 followed two years later and Episode 2 a year after that? Did you know it's now been ten years and besides a mass of rumours, bad jokes and conversations with unverified sources, Gordon Freeman's elusive third Half-Life outing - be that Half-Life 3 or HL2: Episode…

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Happy Birthday! Valve Turned 20 Yesterday

Happy 20th birthday, Valve! Yesterday. Happy 20th yesterday. Sorry, I only just saw the Facebook notification. On August 24th, 1996, ex-Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington made a beautiful baby who was mighty eye-opening. In the dreamy game of "What if...?" one curious hypothetical is: what if Valve never existed? There can't be many companies who've had nearly as much impact. Steam (eventually) revolutionised…

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Feature: Pretty pictures

10 Games Run Through The Prisma Photo Filter App

You might have noticed all your friends' avatars and profile pictures turning into comic book drawings or impressionistic paintings over the last few weeks. That's because of Prisma, a photo editing app for iOS and Android that let's you apply a couple of dozen filters to images you feed it. The app goes further than simply messing with the hue like Instagram does, using a…

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4 years ago

Feature: AKA why you like Half-Life 2

Why Are Most Videogame Characters Total Dicks?

I've just finished Mirror's Edge Catalyst, a first-person parkour game about Faith Connors and a scrappy band of outlaw runners and hackers who deliver secret packages under the noses of an oppressive corporate government. By rights you should root for these underdogs. If only they weren't all dicks.

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Feature:

Have You Played… Half-Life: Blue Shift?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. Gearbox's Barney-starring add-on is the black sheep of the Half-Life family, although at the time I never encountered any reason why that should be the case. My teenage tastes were perhaps less discerning then, but more importantly any return to Black Mesa was…

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Prospekt: Half-Life Opposing Force Fan Sequel Released

A fan-made, semi-official follow-up to Opposing Force, the Half-Life expansion Gearbox made, is now out. Prospekt [official site] continues telling Half-Life-y events from the perspective of marine Adrian Shephard, who's still chasing after Gordon Freeman. This time he's helping Gordo, though, causing trouble out of sight for the Combine during HL2's Nova Prospekt section and onwards. It's the work of fan Richard Seabrook, and Valve…

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Feature: Archipelagos and Sentinels

A Few Of My Favourite Monsters

We live in complex times. When I was a youngster, it was perfectly reasonable to buy a game simply because it had more monsters than the other games. Playing through shooters, RPGs and platformers alike, I'd be tempted to give up when I reached the point where no new enemy types were appearing. The very idea of a game with only one type of enemy,…

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Huh! A Valve-Approved Half-Life: Opposing Force Sequel

While you wait for Half-Life 3, your skin will weather and crumble and you'll become so aware of how much time you've wasted praying for a sequel to a shooting game that you'll suffer an existential crisis and move to the Himalayas to spend your days building windfarms out of sheep skeletons. Before that happens, you might get to play Prospekt [official site], a fan-made…

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Feature:

Have You Played… Half-Life 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. Okay, now we're nearly 300 deep into these recommendations we're clearly getting a little obscure, a little desperate, but it's still possible that a few people will have played this oddity. Half-Life 2 came out in 2004, but as there's been no Half-Life…

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Machinimagic: Valve Announce Saxxy Award Winners

"Laughter is the best medicine," say people who are about to discover laughter actually makes a broken nose worse. Laughter's pretty okay, though, as are other emotions - and creative mediums can help stimulate them. Valve have rolled out the red carpet (it smells rusty?) for the year's finest Source Filmmaker machinima, little films mostly starring Valve characters, declaring which are the bestest best so…

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Feature: Episodic

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...…

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Half-Line Miami: A Top-Down Arcadey Approach To Half-Life 2

I have just booted up Half-Line Miami [official site] - a mashup of Hotline Miami and Half-Life as created by student Thomas Kole. As someone who has never really played Half-Life 2 or Hotline Miami (I did about one level of Hotline Miami at a demo booth one time and apparently own it on this here PC - who knew? As for the Half-Life games,…

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5 years ago

Feature: Or map, if you prefer

RPS Discusses: Which Is The Best Level In PC Gaming?

Level 28! No, the other kind of level. The type that you run around in, shooting people or jumping on their heads and that sort of thing. Adam, Alec, Alice and Graham gather to discuss their favourite levels and/or maps from across the vast length of PC gaming, including selections from Deus Ex, Call of Duty and Quake III. Someone even makes a case for…

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Feature: The Fallout

How Half-Life Killed The First-Person Shooter

There is a peculiar irony to the impression people have of gaming. When “videogames” are lazily portrayed in the wider world, they inevitably show a soldier being shot through a gun scope. Hell, even within the highest enclave walls, people are wont to dismiss the poor taste of others by snarking, “They’d probably like it if it had a gun floating at the bottom of…

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Warren Spector’s Scrapped Half-Life 2 Episode

Today in News You Should Probably Be Glad You Never Heard About At The Time Because You're Already Disappointed Enough And This Would've Been Frustrating And Yeah I Guess You Would've Written A Lot Of Annoyed Comments On The Internet And TBH Neither You Nor I Want That But Boy, What If This Had Happened: Deus Ex director Warren Spector and his (now-closed) studio Junction…

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Feature: The Forgotten City 17

Everything I’d Forgotten About Half-Life 2

It’s over ten years since Half-Life 2 was released. The other day I found myself arguing that there still hadn’t been a first-person shooter released that was better. Then wondered if I was talking out of my hat. In an effort to learn whether Half-Life 2 is as great – nay, as perfect – as the version in my head, I’ve replayed it, and realised…

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Grav Gun Rocketjumping In HL2 Mod Transmissions

Zapping Combine soldiers with the supercharged gravity gun was a right lark, a fine moment in Half-Life 2. Today I've been larking around with a different type of turbo gravity gun in a new mod, and I think I prefer it. See, it lets me 'rocketjump.' HL2 mod Transmissions: Element 120 [official site] is a short singleplayer mod introducing a new zapgun. It blasts balls…

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