Itâ€™s your typical day at the office. You know ride into work on the secret underground train while seeing a seeing Barney hanging out behind a door. You get to the office and change into your hazard suit and push the strange alien crystal into the analyzer when something goes wrong. You pass out and see a weird alien world and when you wake up the lab is destroyed and most of the people there are dead. To top that off those strange aliens you saw in your dream are now running amuck and most of your co-workers have developed the worst case of lice you have ever seen. Itâ€™s just another day at the office if you are Dr. Gordon Freeman.
The game has you cast in the roll of Dr Gordon Freeman who must fight his way out of his now under siege place of employment while being attacked by alien â€œheadcrabsâ€. Zombies who have been possessed by the head craps, Giant mutant Fish, Worms, other aliens, and even the US military. As you try to escape from the lab â€œBlack mesaâ€ you learn the details of what is going on in the facility through the in game characters themselves and not any cut scene you are never taken out of the immersion in the game by a cut scene. Also Gordon never speaks a word to the characters at all. This really creates a unique experience in that you can, if you want say something yourself (Iâ€™ve found myself doing this as I play it) or it makes you feel like your mind is too busy to even think of a response other than going and taking care of business. It also makes it feel more like you are Gordon Freeman not that you are playing as Gordon Freeman.
The game feature many destructible things in the game. You could use your mighty â€œCrowbar of Truthâ€ to smash open grates to crawl in the pipes, windows to enter rooms, or even terrorize the survivors in the classic â€œSurvivors? What survivors? WHACK!â€ as well as many puzzles that you will have to figure out in order to open new doors and pathways. There are no â€œKey fetch questsâ€ in this game. The closest you get is finding a nearby scientist or guard to pen a door for you. That is if you havenâ€™t wasted them already for a cheep sick thrill.
Half life was so popular that is spawned a few â€œModsâ€ and expansions that became really popular.
Just to clarify a little, the main post has the mod and expansion history a little scrambled.
HL was released in 1998 based upon the Quake engine, and included the Worldcraft level building toolkit, and allowed the community to customize and create their own stuff.
Some of the first mods I remember ever playing (in no particular order):
- ICE (HL Deathmatch with new weapons, maps and a grappling hook)
- Team Fortress Classic
- Action HL (the first 'real-world' mod I can remember)
Some months after Action HL appeared, I remember a friend asking if I'd seen this new HL mod called Counter-strike...think it was in beta2 at that point, but still fun as hell (you could detonate the C4 anywhere, for example).
Shortly after or during the CS wave prior to v1.0 release, we had:
- The Specialists
- They Hunger (I think? Zombies in some fashion...)
- Day of Defeat
- Natural Selection
Roughly around this timeframe, Valve started seeing the profit potential in boxing mods and expansions for sale, and I think
Blue Shift and OpFor came soon after.
I'm not nitpicking, merely supplementing the OP since he's new to the HL universe (and enjoying it), and it's a subject near and dear to my gamer heart
The first was Opposing force that put you in the roll of a marine that was sent in to clean up the mess at Black Mesa. As you go deeper into the facility you are not only attacked by the aliens set loose in Gordonâ€™s experiment but a new set of aliens dubbed â€œRace Xâ€. itâ€™s interesting to not that the Race X aliens were only seen in Opposing Force and was never seen by Gordon, Barn, the Decay girls or in Half Life 2.
The next expansion started off life as a bonus for the canceled Dreamcast version of Half Life. DC Half Life as it is sometimes called is considered by many to be the game that turned the Dreamcast around had it been released. It had the original Half Life on the disc set up to use either the Dreamcastâ€™s Keyboard and mouse or itâ€™s controller. It included a Bonus called Blue Shift that put you in the shoes of a guard named Barney who you saw behind a door as you entered the Black Mesa Compound. As Barney you rescue and guide a small group of scientist to a teleporter in order to escape. When DC Half Life was canceled Valve took the Blue shift content and release it for PC as an expansion. They also took the cleaned up models from the DC version and put them in with Blue Shift as their â€œHigh def packâ€ for the First Half life game.
Half Life Decay stars two Female co-workers of Gordonâ€™s who set a lot of events in motion that happen during your quest in Half Life. This was released on the PS2 version of the game and feature co-op play.
There was a little game called â€œCounter Strikeâ€ that used the Half Life Engine. In the game it had one team taking the roll of terrorist and the other as a counter terrorist group.
Half life 2 came out a few years later and there was much rejoicing in the gamer community. I wonâ€™t pretend to know anything about what exactly happened in Half Life 2 because I havenâ€™t played it yet. So rather than try to BS something up Iâ€™ll let someone else fill in the details on it. Suffice it to say that the Gravity Gun rocks, there are more head crabs, some crazy scientist has one for a pet, and it gave us Alex who is the Strongest female video game character ever.
Half Life 1 was ported to the â€œSourceâ€ engine at about the same time as Half Life 2â€™s release and gave the game improved graphics. Although many say the game play suffered a bit at the upgrade to Source. So far most of the Expansions for Half Life have been ported to source either by Valve or by Fan groups.
The guys over at Valve made a Demo for Half life that a lot of people got to play. However the Demo level was never in the Final game. After the gameâ€™s launch many people complained that it was missing. So Valve released it as Half Life Lost Coast. It actually fills in very little of the story but it was a lot of fun for those that played it.
Half Life 2 has had the first expansion to itâ€™s Story happen with â€œHalf Life 2 Episode 1â€ Episode 1 take place directly after the events of Half Life 2. There are a total of 3 episodes planned for this new story with Episode 2 due out soon and Half life 2 with Episode 1&2 and a new expansion called â€œportalsâ€ due out on X-Box 360 and PS2 later this year. There is no work on when Episode 3 will be release other than late 2007. Also there is no word on the console port of it either. My guess it will be a downloadable game over Live and the Playstation Store.
Half Life 2 proved so popular that an Arcade Machine was made from it. Although I only saw them in Japan and China last year. The looked to strip out most of the story elements and were pure Shooting action in co-op or VS mode.
The main reason I made this thread is that I just started playing Half-Life 1 for the first time ever and I can see that my hate of FPS games back then was very misguided as this is a great game. I started on Sunday and Iâ€™m already at the chapter â€œForget about Freemanâ€ and I know I am getting closer to the end soon. I have to say this has surpassed anything I had hoped for it and clears shows what an FPS done right can truly be.
I admit I am no expert on Half life since I just started playing them. so feel free to correct any mistakes I've made. And share your love for the good Dr. the G-Man, Barney, the Head-crabs or anything else Half life.