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Half-Life 2

3 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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4 years ago

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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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 Worthiest Reticules Of All Time

The 50 Best FPS Ever Made

Gathering together the best shooters is no easy task, but if you're looking for a new PC FPS to play, look no further. Your favourite game is at number 51.

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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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5 years ago

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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Pretty 17 – Half-Life 2: Update Comes To Steam

Oho, 'Half-Life 2: Update' is an extremely cheeky name for a mod. Write it on the internet and a few thousand ears will immediately prick up. "Is more Half-Life? Means Half-Life 3? Check file structure! One file will have a 3 in its name! Is Half-Life 3! Rabble rabble rabble!" So no, this is not an official Half-Life 2 update, but it has got the…

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The Long-Lost Characters Of Half-Life 2

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…

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Freeman Rush: HL2 RTS Lambda Wars Free On Steam

Way back when RPS was a wee bairn, Alec gurgled and waved his flabby babyfists at Half-Life 2: Wars, a mod turning Valve's FPS into a Company of Heroes-ish RTS. Pistol squads facing off against headcrab zombies, breaking out RPGs to take down Combine gunships, and all that. Well, RPS has grown a lot since then, as has Alec, and so has HL2: Wars too.…

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Steam Music Player Out Of Beta, Valve’s Soundtracks Free

In almost every strategy, management or sim game I play, I will immediately turn off the music which comes with the game in favour of my own. That means that Steam Music Player sounds like a good idea to me even if I long ago abandoned mp3s in favour of streaming. The built-in functionality, which lets you browse your music library and control playback from…

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Feature: HUDlife

Tunnel Vision: Actual Games

I'm three columns into this series of Oculus Rift round-ups, and it's telling that so far I haven't covered anything that would fit the formalist description of a game. No, I'm not getting involved in anyone's tiresome war about Proteus or Gone Home, but sticking to a more universal whipping boy - the first-gen Oculus' issues with readable text, usable HUDs and motion sickness. Clearly…

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