Posts Tagged ‘Half-Life 2’

Unlimited Hyperborea: Half Life 2’s Missing Information

Joe Martin is a Half-Life 2 obsessive who often wells up with actual tears when he thinks of the content Valve cut during development. Imagine his joy at finding the Missing Information mod, which collects workable snippets from the stolen HL2 beta and assembles them into a Steam-compatible mod. Joe takes a look at the parts of HL2 Valve didn’t intend for us to see, and wonders if the game we got was the best it could have been.

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What Happened To Black Mesa: Source? Part Two

ICONIC IMAGERY.

The rumors of Black Mesa‘s death have been greatly exaggerated. It has, however, been over three years since Gordon Freeman went for an all-too-brief jog in his shiny new hazard suit. No, gaming’s favorite man of zero words and 1000 crowbar swings per minute hasn’t suddenly affixed a chainsaw to his gun or moved his adventures to an unnamed wartorn Middle Eastern setting, but a lot’s changed.

Once upon a time, this was Valve’s firstborn with a fresh coat of paint. Now, though, the Black Mesa team’s pouring its own blood, sweat, and tears into one of gaming’s most sacred holy grails – for better or worse. Only time will tell. But how much time? One more year? Two? Half-Life 2: Episode 3 (aka, a billion)? And what state is the remake in now? I spoke with project lead Carlos Montero about all of that and more.

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Interview: What Happened To Black Mesa: Source? Part 1

Back in Black Mesa.

The universe has a weird fondness for improbable coincidences. Name your franchise Half-Life, and it takes half a lifetime to come out. Create a robust mod based around a game in that franchise, and its development mirrors that of its crowbar-wielding, hazard-suit chic father series nearly one-to-one. The lofty promises, the incredibly lengthy periods of radio silence, the incessant cries of “vaporware” and “it’ll probably be a huge letdown” – all of it.

Maybe, though, that part’s not such a coincidence. To hear project lead Carlos Montero tell it, Black Mesa‘s an obsessively redesigned, rebuilt-from-the-ground-up love letter to Valve’s opus. The goal, then, is to improve on something already considered by many to be perfect. And that, as it’s turned out, has been a lot harder than Montero and his constantly fluctuating team first assumed. So, first up, we’re delving into what exactly has taken so long – especially in light of 2008’s rather stunning trailer that promised a release date of, er, three years ago.

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Gabe On ‘Ricochet 2’ Delay. He Doesn’t Mean Ricochet.

Gordon always looked like a bit of an areshole in that picture, I must admit

The appearance of Valve’s Gabe Newell on the inaugral Seven Day Cooldown podcast seems to have generated all the headlines in the world. Apple’s new boss didn’t really visit Valve, DOTA2 will use a brand new kind of free-to-play and, now, why ‘Ricochet 2’ has been so long coming. There is, I’m afraid, absolutely no way that ‘Ricochet 2’ is a veiled term for another game rather than a sequel to weirdo Tron-like jumpy multiplayer mod Ricochet. And doubly-definitely not a game that might have a ‘Half’ in the title. No sirree.
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30,000 Gamers Ask: Where’s Half-Life 3?

Rise and shine!
Looking at Steam’s Stats page, Half-Life 2 is currently sandwiched between Plants vs Zombies and X3: Albion Prelude. But this weekend, if the Call For Communication Steam Group pull it off, Valve’s own game should be somewhere near the top ten. The protesters are hoping that the surge of players will send a message to Valve: “we want to know what’s happening to Gordon Freeman.”
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Hey, Valve, What’s Going On, Eh?

Valve have created themselves an interesting situation. Presenting themselves as bastions of consumers, remarkably accessible to gamers, regularly inviting in groups of modders – often to give them jobs – and always being present to offer a quote on how customers deserve to be treated with more dignity, they establish themselves as being our friend. And then from that position, they sure do like to muck about. And as Eurogamer’s Tom “Tom Bramwell” Bramwell mentioned on Twitter this morning, it’s hard not to sympathise with a growing body of Valve’s customers who are asking for better communication.

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The Lyrical Mermaid: Water

Coincidentally, my neighbour is cooking kippers right now, so I had a sort of smellovision for this trailer

If there’s one downside of having an SSD as your main hard drive, it’s that you find yourself aggressively removing any and all games you’re not convinced you’ll play any time soon. And so it is that I have no Source-powered games on my PC right now, and need to sit through a 5GB SDK download just to play this 200MB mod. While I wait, I’ll show you what it is I’m waiting for – Water is a mini HL2 mod about a singing Mermaid with magic powers who isn’t wearing a shirt. No Jamaican lobsters and crying here though: this puzzle-blessed action-adventure makes fish-people all grimdark, by the look of things.
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Mods And Ends: Radiator And THAT

Kitchen sink drama

Something old for you today, which you may well have seen before, but I think it’s worth reminding people of. It’s Radiator. I’ve included something new for good measure, but nothing blue because this isn’t a wedding, it’s a little article about mods. Sorry if that’s disappointing. You’re going to be even more disappointed if you don’t like pretentious artsy mods. I’m talking the kind that have trailers with sombre piano music playing and try to evoke a sense of loss while definitely never having guns anywhere in them at all. Imagine you’ve walked into a small cinema in Paris. Instead of popcorn and nachos, the butler (for there is a butler) provides you with a glass of port and invites you to take a seat. He places a keyboard on your lap and a mouse in your hand.

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Escape From City 17: Part Two

Lambda Lambda
Another Valve-inspired short film to enjoy this morning. Many years ago, John showed off part one of the Purchase Brothers guerrilla-style Half-Life homage, and now they’ve only gone and released part two. It uses the same blend of live action and game footage to fine effect. They spent $250 making this. To put that into context, Michael Bay spent 742 billion dollars on each of the Transformers films. This contains marginally less robots hitting one another but otherwise it’s far superior. Remember to watch in HD.

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So, Yes: The Stanley Parable


Okay, Internet! Okay. I’ll play The Stanley Parable. Jeez, I’ll play so you’ll stop hassling me. I’ve got tea to drink and stuff, y’know. I mean so what, yes, it is my kind of thing. And I do like wry and creepy first-person games, and The Stanley Parable is one of those peculiar story-driven, non-linear, thought-provoking, brilliant-constructed, acutely clever, well-written mods that we love to post about, but some of us want to sit about watching Chinese action movies at ten o’clock at night, and totally don’t have time to download 450mb of Half-Life 2 mod (which you only actually need Source SDK to play) and then wander through corridors figuring out what the hell is going on, and smiling all the while at that incredible voiceover.

It’s brilliant. Exquisite, even. I can’t spoil it by talking about it, but there’s a trailer below, if you want to take a look. But you shouldn’t look. You should play it.
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Another Impressive Half-Life 2 Movie

What I see when I wake up each morning
Half-Life – Singularity Collapse is an impressive Half-Life 2 fan movie which you can see below. It’s a first-person movie, and features quite a bit of the protagonist looking at his hands, for some reason. Fortunately it’s also heavy on the action, including a Highway 17 style buggy driving sequence, which is particularly awesome. It’s not short on the special effects, either, with a bonkers hi-tech reactor sequence, explosions, HUD weirdness, and lots of explosions and gunplay. Worth a watch, I would say.
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Germany/August/Mystery Valve Showing

He looks like he's made of cologne. hahahahahahahahaahahahahahahah

With Bellevue’s finest opting not to make an appearance at E3 earlier this month, we’ve all been left in the dark THE TERRIBLE FRIGHTENING DARKNESS about what’s next on the plate for Valve, and when we might see it. DoTA 2? Portal 2 expansions? Something, at long, long bloody last, to do with Half-Life?

Well, in August we might find out.
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Mod News: The End

Sniff

This is it. The end. This column you are about to read will be the last ever Mod News. Sniff. It’s been a pleasure, guys.

But no, really, it has. Over the past year, I’ve had a fantastic time as RPS’ mods guy, and it’s been a real honour to write this column every week – even if it is essentially just a roundup of all the latest happenings on a particular gaming scene. I can assure you that the end of Mod News coincides with the Hivemind’s bigger and better plans for mod coverage in the months ahead. You’re being left in very safe hands.

So, folks, would you join me for one more dance? Here’s the last and final week in mod news, including stuff for Half-Life 2, Neverwinter Nights, Oblivion, Morrowind and Stalker.
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Mod News: Clever Girl

Quite a lot of mod news this week, apparently, even though there’s very little for you to actually play. There’s a long-awaited update from Jurrassic Life, as well as plenty of other gubbins related to Half-Life 2, Crysis, Stalker: Clear Sky, Portal 2 and Dirt 3. That’s a lot of games! Read on to find out what’s what.
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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.
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Well Sourced: Clear Skies Movie Hits Part 3


The extraordinary labour of love that is the Source-powered Eve Online fan movie Clear Skies has now reached its third episode. You can download that in full here. This work of machinima is one of the most extensive and dedicated I’ve seen, and it’s awesome to see that it’s still going. The incongruity of the Half-Life 2 characters in space hasn’t really lessened, however… I’ve posted a stream of the original first episode below, so those who are unfamiliar with it can get a taste. Go take a look.
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Mod News: Silence Is Golden

It’s been an unusually quiet week in the world of mod news. Perhaps all our humble developers have been scurrying away in front of their PCs actually getting some work done, and that’s why we’ve seen very few items of news but another collection of new releases and updates, ready for you to play right now. This week: the first Portal 2 mod, a new version of Action Half-Life 2 after several years, fan creations for Oblivion, Fuel, Battlefield 2 and – goodness me – a bunch more below the jump.
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Stop, Drop, Roll: Action Half-Life 2 V2 Out

Two men dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight, yesterday.

I played a lot of Action Half-Life back in the day- it’s a mod which adds leaps, rolls, kung-fu and so on to Half-Life multiplayer, as well as a small collection of colourful weapons, each of which is (in theory) the equal of any of the others. It also boasted some of gaming’s most legendary map secrets. You can read my love letter to AHL here, or read my account of an expedition into one of those secrets here.

It therefore fills me with a delicate, Monday morning joy to announce that Action Half-Life 2 version 2 has been released. If you own Half-Life 2 you can get the installer here, a Linux server binary here and read some details as to what’s new and watch a trailer after the jump.
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Life-Less: No New Valve Game At E3

Look how she's frowning at you for your silly rumour-mongering. Don't you feel stupid now?

A bunch of folk seem to have become convinced that Valve would be revealing something at E3 next month. Each and every rumour about Valve does of course involve Half-Life 3/Episode 3, and this one was no different. The long-awaited next slice of Gordonery would finally be shown at E3, whispers claimed. People became excited, but they shouldn’t have done. Valve will not be revealing a Half-Like game at E3. They won’t be showing off their other known project, DOTA 2, either. They won’t be revealing any kind of anything, in fact, as a mass mail-out by Valve has just confirmed that “we are not showing any titles at this year’s show“. That doesn’t, of course, mean they won’t be showing something later in the year, but if there is anything to show it certainly won’t be then. So that’s that. Got it? Good.

Oh, I do regret writing this post now. “News: there won’t be any news.” HOT SCOOPS Y’ALL.

Mod News: Excuses, Excuses

Where were you all last week? I turned up and no one was here, honest! What’s that? No, I’m not crossing my fingers behind my back, and you definitely didn’t see him heading off on holiday. What nonsense. Anyway, to make up for it, here’s an extra-long edition of Mod News to cover the past two weeks. This time: Crash Bandicoot, a Warcraft III art mod, a surprising number of trailers and a bizarre remake of Deus Ex…
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