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[Half-Life] Unforeseen Consequences documentary now available

Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
edited December 2018 in Games and Technology
Holy god it's been 20 years. What have I done with my life.

CURRENT GAME STATUS
Half-Life 2: Episode 3 - Probably Dead
Half-Life 3 - Probably in Development Probably in Development Hell
Black Mesa - Xen due out Q2 2019

Black Mesa has been released on Steam in Early Access for $20.

It includes multiplayer (with six maps) but still no Xen. There IS a trailer for Xen now, though.




The Steam release of Black Mesa includes various fixes, upgrades, and new features since Black Mesa’s mod release.

-Heavily updated single player experience – The Black Mesa single player experience has greatly improved from the mod release; new visuals, new voice over, updated gameplay encounters, stability changes and more. Xen is not part of the Steam release of Black Mesa, but will included as a free update when it is ready.
-Black Mesa Multiplayer – Fight with or against your friends, in two game modes across six iconic maps from the Half-Life Deathmatch universe: Bounce, Gasworks, Lambdabunker, Stalkyard, Subtransit and Undertow.
-Custom Modding Tools – Use the same tools the developers used to create your own mods, modes and maps for Black Mesa and Black Mesa Multiplayer …
-Fully integrated Workshop – … and then share your work on the fully integrated workshop!
-Complete Steam Integration – Collect trading cards, backgrounds, emoticons, achievements, and everything else you would expect out of a Steam integrated game.
Why Early Access?
“Making a game with the scope and scale of Black Mesa is a massive undertaking. Back in 2012 we made the decision to release what we had completed up to that point, and were blown away by the community’s response, feedback and improvements to our work. We want to keep that relationship alive and well by using Early Access as a tool for allowing our community to participate in the final phase of Black Mesa’s development.

In addition, we simply didn't have the resources to create Xen as we would like it. Our ambitions go beyond the original Xen section found in Half-Life. We have a standard of quality that we have to achieve. By using Early Access, we are allowed the resources to bring you the remaining chapters with the quality that you expect.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
“We currently have the first ~85% of our single player campaign completed. For the last 15% we want to not only recreate it, but improve upon it to make it an enjoyable and memorable experience. We feel it will take us considerable time to get the last 15% up to our standards, and putting a time estimate on it would be a total guess.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
“The conclusion of the single player campaign, with the addition of the Xen chapters
Final polish on the Earth-based chapters of the single player campaign
More multiplayer maps
More multiplayer gameplay modes”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?
“Over 10 hours of single player campaign. Multiplayer deathmatch and team deathmatch with 6 completely re-imagined Half-Life 1 maps on the Source Engine.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?
“Yes. Black Mesa will be $19.99 USD during the Early Access phase. This will be bumped up to $24.99 USD when in retail.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?
“We intend to work closely with our community as we complete the final portions of Black Mesa. We started out as a modding team aiming to do true justice to a Half-Life: Source port, and we won’t forget our roots.

The Black Mesa game hub and forums will be the primary points of interaction with our users. Many team members regularly browse these areas to discuss ideas with the community, and to show progress on game development. Community feedback will be sorted into groups and taken into account as we develop.

We also support Steam Workshop, and will be watching and encouraging developments there.”

Fan-Mod Half-Life 2: Update is out now! You can download it right off Steam!
2004's Half-Life 2 was a landmark for PC gaming and the First Person Shooter, setting the standard for immersion, animation, and physics-based play for years. Meticulously developed by Half-Life community member Filip Victor, Half-Life 2: Update offers both long-time fans and first time players the most visually advanced, stable, and fully-featured version of Half-Life 2 to date in one free mod download.

features:
-Complete lighting overhaul including enhanced lighting, more detailed world shadows, and full High Dynamic Range Lighting (HDR).
-New particle effects and improved fog.
-Countless bug fixes, correcting both visual and game-based issues.
-An extensive Community Commentary Mode featuring the voices of well-known Youtubers, including Caddicarus, Brutalmoose, Ricepirate, Balrog the Master, ProJared, and Ross Scott from Freeman's Mind .
-Retains the iconic Half-Life 2 visual style and gameplay.
-All available in one free standalone download!


Learn more here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/290930/

New Games
Episode 3 is MIA, having little to no content officially revealed about. Valve released abou 3 pieces of concept art in 2007 and 2008, but they haven't mentioned Episode 3 by name since 2009 and they said in 2011 that they're moving away from episodic content. Various code references appeared in games and SDK's over the years for Ep3, with the most recent being from a leaked DOTA2 beta client in 2011. There was a concept art leak last in 2012, but it appears to be from mid-2008.

Half-Life 3/Source Engine 2/Left 4 Dead 3
-April 2012 Gabe Newell began a coy game of referring to their next story driven sequel as "Ricochet 2," referring to the difficulties in continuing such a fan-beloved story. Given that the first one had no story, this was almost certainly code for the next Half-Life game.
We end up changing our minds as we’re going through and developing stuff, so as we’re thinking through the giant story arc which is Ricochet 2, you might get to a point where you’re saying something is surprising us in a positive way and something is surprising us in a negative way, and, you know, we’d like to be super-transparent about the future of Ricochet 2
Source: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/04/23/gabe-on-ricochet-2-delay-but-he-doesnt-mean-ricochet/

-August 2012 - References are found to Source Engine 2 in the Source Filmmaker program, though they were later removed. Valve would eventually refer to the current Source engine as "Source 1 Engine" Source: http://www.valvetime.net/threads/exclusive-next-gen-source-2-engine-is-in-development.215336/

-November of 2012, when a bunch of visitors from 4chans /v/ messageboard were at Valve, Gabe Newell confirmed that they were working the next generation of the Source engine and that "Ricochet 2" has started production. Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=rHen8KxsXYI#t=81s

-June 2013 - References to Left 4 Dead 3 and Source 2 are found in the Steamworks SDK. Source: http://www.valvetime.net/threads/references-to-left-4-dead-3-and-source-2-found.243524/

Later in the month, Valve's internal project tracking was alledgely accessible by the outside world for a brief period of time, and it showed Valve employees on mailing lists for Source 2, Left 4 Dead 3 and Half-Life 3. The Left 4 Dead 3 list had a greater number of people than the Half-Life 3 list, which would imply that it has more of Valve's focus at the moment. Source: http://www.valvetime.net/threads/updated-half-life-3-left-4-dead-3-source-2-much-more-found-on-valve-project-tracker.243580/

-August 2013 - A visitor to Valve alledgedly snapped a pic of a changelog tracker that had references to Source Engine 2 and Left 4 Dead 3. Source: http://www.valvetime.net/threads/source-2-left-4-dead-3-appear-on-valve-changelog.243781/

-October 2013 - There was ANOTHER alledged project tracker leak which was much more widely reported. This leak again shows people on lists for Source 2, Left 4 Dead 3 and Half-Life 3, with the team sizes having grown.. Source: http://www.valvetime.net/threads/valve-jira-database-accessed-once-more-hl3-l4d3-source-2-groups-expand.243965/

-August 2014 - Valve stealth launches Source 2 as part of the DOTA2 workshop. Source: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/08/07/its-valve-time-source-2-now-powering-dota-2-tools/

-February 2015: Reference to “physics_testbed.exe -game hl3 - open” is found in the codebase for DOTA2 Souce: http://www.valvetime.net/threads/minor-half-life-3-reference-found-within-dota-2-workshop-tools.245732/

-March 2015: Valve officially announces Source 2 at GDC 2015. Source: http://www.valvetime.net/threads/valve-announces-source-2-steam-link-gdc-2015.245772/

Current Games
Black Mesa, the fan-made recreation of Half-Life 1 on the Source engine, was released September 14th, 2012 and can be obtained at http://blackmesasource.com/ It features an entirely remade experience most of hte original Half-Life, ending before Freeman arrives on Xen. Xen will be coming at a later date in a free update and there is a retail Steam version in the works that will feature reworked visuals, new Soldier VO, numerous bug fixes and gameplay tweaks.

There are numerous modifications, enhancements, addons and fan-fixes released for Black Mesa. I'll list some of my favorites below

Surface Tension Uncut: This adds back a few mission levels to the Surface Tension chapter. These levels were cut from the original version of Black Mesa, but the author felt they provided important story cues, related to showing the Aliens beating the Marines into their retreat. textFAMGUY1 has rebuilt those levels from scratch and added them to the game.

On a Rail Uncut: Also made by textFAMGUY1, this pack adds back levels missing from the "On a Rail" chapter of Black Mesa. Likely cut due to the chapter being unpopular, the chapter was reduced from 10 maps to a mere 3, severely cutting down the sense of "journy" it was supposed to give the player. Like Surface Tension Uncut, textFAMGUY1 has rebuilt the levels and added them to the game.

Black Mesa: Uplink: A recreation of the "uplink" demo from Half-Life 1 in the Black Mesa game; integreates as "chapter 0" in the chapter select menu.

Black Mesa: Xen (Improved Maps from Half-Life: I have yet to try this one, but I'm told is a straight port of levels from Half-Life: Source to Black Mesa, meaning they won't look terribly good; but if you really want the proper ending to the game, this might be a viable alternative until such time as the Black Mesa team releases their own version of Xen.

Closed Captioning Update: Fixes a lot of typos and incorrect subtitles and closed captions from the original release, and has multiple versions compatible with various other Black Mesa mods.[/url]

HECU HL1 Radio chatter swap: I personally found the new voices for the military grunts in Black Mesa to be atrocious; if they bug you like they bug me, then this pack might be for you. It replaces their dialog with the original voices from Half-Life. It also includes a replacement for the alien noises and some HL1 music, but you don't need to install those if you don't want to.

Classic Vortigaunt: Updates the Vortigaunt skin to make them colored closer to their HL1 incarnations (darker and more mottled) A minor mod, but I like how it looks.

Crowbar Impact Sound Fix: A very minor mod that makes fixes the audio of the crowbar so you'll hear a the "woosh" even when you hit something with it.

Old Games
Half-Life/Opposing Force/Blue Shift are still being updated by valve from their recent porting to the Steampipe file format, and to the linux/mac formats. They've already fixed a lot of longstanding issues and will hopefully polish up the last few before too long. Half-Life 2/Ep1/Ep2 is in a similar place

If you want to hear more about the creation of Half-Life, including how the development of the game was essentially restarted halfway through the project, check out this archived article called “Final Hours of Half-Life” that details the history of Valve and Half-Life’s development. http://web.archive.org/web/19991011210909/http://www.gamespot.com/features/halflife_final/

There’s also a sequel article about Half-Life 2 that’s pretty good as well: http://www.gamespot.com/features/the-final-hours-of-half-life-2-6112889/
If you want to play through the older games, here’s some stuff that can enhance your experience.

High Definition Pack – When Half-Life: Blue Shift came out, it included a “high definition” model pack which was eventually ported to steam. In the current version of Half-Life, this can be activated/deactivated in the Video Options menu.

Half-Life: Uplink – Originally a free demo for Half-Life, Uplink has three exclusive levels not found in the main game. You can download a mod version for Half-Life at http://www.halflifeuplink.com/steamlink/

Half-Life: decay – decay was an exclusive addon for Half-Life only released on the PS2 version of the game, but some enterprising fans have ported it to the PC. I won’t lie though, it’s a bit buggy and can be crash prone, but outside of tracking down an old copy of Half-Life for the PS2, this is the only way to check out these levels, also made by Gearbox Software. Available at http://decay.half-lifecreations.com/

Half-Life vs Half-Life: Source
One question I get a lot is which is better: the original Half-Life or the remastering of the game onto the Source Engine. I prefer the original, but I’ll go over the pros and cons of each
Original
+Compatible with HD Pack
+Compatible with mods
+Same engine as the expansion packs, for a more comparable experience
-As with most old software, it has some flakiness running on modern machines

Source
+Better graphics (Crisper visuals, better shaders, better water effects, enhanced backgrounds/skyboxes)
+Better stability
+Better physics (including ragdolls)
+Better AI (Enemies are harder to cheese, allies have much better pathfinding, and less group limits)
-Music issues (Music cuts off during level transitions, which has issues given HL1 was often designed with music right before level transitions.)
-Scripting issues (Monsters sometimes activate before they should, or notice you when they shouldn’t, which can interfere with scripted sequences and dialog)
-Not compatible with classic mods
-No official HD pack

Undead Scottsman on
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Posts

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    Wait, the Steam version of Op4 doesn't have the original tunes? Wow, and some of those tracks were my favorite from the HL1 games.

    dt3GeqU.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    It didn't last time I checked, but then again I've had the mp3's installed for a long, long time.

  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I was first introduced to half-life around 2000 when me and a buddy started hanging out at LAN centers. Counter-Strike was the big thing back then and we spent shit-tons of money and hours there playing it 'cause neither one of us had a computer that was worth a damn.

    Then I discovered a list of mods that'd been included at the LAN center and started playing Team Fortress Classic and Natural Selection from then on.

    Few years after that I finally got a decent computer so I bought the game and got to play Half-Life proper. I'd never had time to get through it at the LAN center.

    It's great game and I have a lot of nostalgia for it.

    I was super stoked when Half-Life 2 came out and it didn't disappoint. In particular I enjoyed hearing all the old voices from half-life again (Kleiner, Barney, GMan).

    I was actually doing another play-through of HL2 early tonight but I had to stop.

    For some reason, that game makes me nauseous. Every time. Never had that problem with other games.

    RT800 on
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    I do know if you threw in the HL1 disc in the drive when playing Op4 it'd play those tracks instead (since it read all the music off the disc). Maybe there's some sort of oddness going on involving that from the porting? I guess the easiest way to test it would be to uninstall all the HL1 stuff from Steam except Op4.

    I only have the original game and expansions on disc, or I'd end up trying it myself.

    dt3GeqU.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    RT800 wrote: »
    I was first introduced to half-life around 2000 when me and a buddy started hanging out at LAN centers. Counter-Strike was the big thing back then and we spent shit-tons of money and hours there playing it 'cause neither one of us had a computer that was worth a damn.

    Then I discovered a list of mods that'd been included at the LAN center and started playing Team Fortress Classic and Natural Selection from then on.

    Few years after that I finally got a decent computer so I bought the game and got to play Half-Life proper. I'd never had time to get through it at the LAN center.

    It's great game and I have a lot of nostalgia for it.

    I was super stoked when Half-Life 2 came out and it didn't disappoint. In particular I enjoyed hearing all the old voices from half-life again (Kleiner, Barney, GMan).

    I was actually doing another play-through of HL2 early tonight but I had to stop.

    For some reason, that game makes me nauseous. Every time. Never had that problem with other games.
    Yeah, I'm due for a play-through of the series here one of these days. Funny story, I had to double check some facts while making this post and I realized I had never actually played more than maybe 30 minutes of Unreal and I didn't really remember how it's level structure worked. I remember suffering a similar thing to what I describe above where, having missed the boat all those years ago, playing the game more recently didn't grab me. This time, however, I tried to keep an open mind and actually enjoyed it and played it for quite a bit longer than I needed. I'll probably finish it and the expansion before I do my rounds in Half-Life.
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    I do know if you threw in the HL1 disc in the drive when playing Op4 it'd play those tracks instead (since it read all the music off the disc). Maybe there's some sort of oddness going on involving that from the porting? I guess the easiest way to test it would be to uninstall all the HL1 stuff from Steam except Op4.

    I only have the original game and expansions on disc, or I'd end up trying it myself.
    Valve just plain old didn't bother porting the Op4 cd music to mp3 format, so the game defaults to the (kinda crappy) Half-Life soundtrack mp3s that come with the the steam version.

    For awhile, the steam version of Half-Life didn't have MP3 music either; if you didn't have a disc in the drive, you didn't get any music. When they finally added mp3's to Half-Life, I'm guessing they just didn't think about doing it for Op4 and moved on to bigger things.

    Undead Scottsman on
  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    As a long time video game player (since, what, '85 maybe?) I have a horrible confession to make.

    I've never played ANY half-life games.

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X Laugh hard, run fast, be kindRegistered User regular
    I have a worse confession; my first HL experience was the PS2 version. And it wasn't great. I made it to the bit where you're in a nuclear reactor? And there's high catwalks over drops into goo?

    I then bought the HL compilation thing, complete with CS, Blue Shift and Opposing Force, but my PC wasn't good enough to play it. By the time I had an adequate PC, HL2 was out.

    I've tried to get into the original a few times since, never stuck with it. D:

    Oh brilliant
  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    I did not play half life until probably 2007 or 2008. Fucking loved every second of it. Even with old graphics its still so goddamned good. When I was younger I remember seeing all the Half Life game boxes at wal-mart. There were like five of them for Half Life, Blue Shift, Team Fortress, and Counter Strike. All I remember thinking back in those days was, "that must be some shitty shovelware, I'm gonna buy thief 2 instead"

    while not necessarily a bad choice it was still wrong

  • milk ducksmilk ducks Registered User regular
    A buddy of mine does these Errant Signals for YouTube, where he basically analyzes or reviews a particular game or game concept. This is one of his early ones, where he talked about Half-Life. It got a lot of attention when someone posted it on 4chan, lol. Anyway, OP, I figured you'd be interested. It goes along with your post pretty well.

    gtrmp
  • GrimthwackerGrimthwacker Registered User regular
    Mr_Grinch wrote: »
    As a long time video game player (since, what, '85 maybe?) I have a horrible confession to make.

    I've never played ANY half-life games.
    Amend that mistake. NOW.

    My personal introduction to Half-Life was the Game of the Year edition back in the early 2000's when I was finishing up college at UNC Chapel Hill - it was the first time I'd actually used mouse & keyboard to play one of these fancy new PC first-person shooters on the laptop I brought for school work after growing up on a steady diet of Doom/Wolfenstein on a gamepad and console shooters like Turok and Goldeneye. Took me a while to adjust, but the game itself blew me away. I brought the Blue Shift/Op For combo right after finishing it, and loved the hell out of those too. Later on I'd pick up the original XBox port of Half-Life 2 (my only option at the time before my family brought a better desktop PC) and my first Steam purchase was Episode 1 shortly after it was released.

    Funny as hell, after recently going through the HL2 games in the Orange Box, some part of me couldn't help but think of how much FPSes have changed in the past couple of years and how stiff and stilted the gameplay was sometimes, but the rest of me was still engrossed at just how well everything was executed regardless. Once that little bit of immersion was achieved everything else didn't matter much. Seeing that Black Mesa Source video kinda looks like what a current-age Half-Life might be, but it's missing that extra Valve touch, that je ne se quoi that's hard to pin down.

    Remember kids, you can help get Half-Life 3 released by buying as many goofy hats as possible from the Mann Co. Store! Just get your parent's wallet, er, permission first!

  • Skull2185Skull2185 Registered User regular
    Mr_Grinch wrote: »
    As a long time video game player (since, what, '85 maybe?) I have a horrible confession to make.

    I've never played ANY half-life games.

    Duuuuude!

    You're on Steam, I'm sure like... ~$10/$15 will get you Half-Life and The Orange Box. Go Go Go!

    Everyone has a price. Throw enough gold around and someone will risk disintegration.
  • KrathoonKrathoon Registered User regular
    Really, it is best just to play HL1 old school. Just add the HD pack.

  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah The koopas, the troopas. Philadelphia, PARegistered User regular
    Or wait for Black Mesa Source.
    ...though that may never come out...ever.

    Half-Life is easily my favorite FPS series. The gameplay, story, atmosphere were just so top notch for it's time. Then Half-Life 2 with the source engine pioneered some serious shit, and it's still kicking. I played through all of HL2 again earlier this year and I was still impressed by how beautiful Episode 2 looks. And the world is just, so engrossing. Valve really knows how to make shooters.

    vH0O2se.gif
  • darklite_xdarklite_x I'm not an r-tard... Registered User regular
    Are we pitching mods out too? Because for Half-Life 1 there's a series of single-player mods called 'They Hunger' which are just fantastic. For Half-Life 2 I also enjoyed the mod 'Nightmare House 2'. I'm not sure if Nightmare House 1 was for HL1 or 2 so you'll have to look that up as well.

    Steam ID: darklite_x Xbox Gamertag: Darklite 37 PSN:Rage_Kage_37 Battle.Net:darklite#2197
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    My favourite HL1 singleplayer mods, I think, were Poke646 and Sweet Half-Life (though I can't remember exactly why on that last one). Oh and Todesangst was pretty sweet. Really there were a lot.

    For HL2 it is impossible to praise Research and Development too much.

    Also Black Mesa is going to be pretty great.

    Blog | Impromptu Games | twitter | patreon

    totally buy my video game InFlux on Steam or Humble Store or GOG or Amazon!
  • Skull2185Skull2185 Registered User regular
    Counter-Life for HL1 was a pretty neat little mod. It kinda merged CounterStrike and Half-Life. You could buy CS weapons and armor at Health stations, or maybe it was HEV stations. Maybe both?

    The only mod I had for HL2 when I have it on PC was Smod. That was pretty neat. All kinds of cool weapons to use. Cluster Grenade Bananas, PSP's that fired explosive UMDs, Kar98 rifle and the Strider Cannon were some of my favorites.

    Everyone has a price. Throw enough gold around and someone will risk disintegration.
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I recently finally got HL1 and 2. I went to start playing it a few nights ago and during that long ride in the monorail car with the opening credits, somehow one of those sliding door locks went right through the car and stuck there. I was already tired, didn't feel like sitting through it again so I quit. I'm sure I'll revisit it at some point.

  • SmallCaveGamesSmallCaveGames Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    That video kind of made me angry. All his critisms are pretty terrible. He desribing something awesome that the games do, and what HL does so much better than most FPSs, and then just gives some general opinion on that approach being "stale" or something. No it's not stale, it's pretty unique (like you just said) and now you're calling it "okay."

    Like Alyx is extremely unique. Gordon Freeman is an atypical protagonist. That's the point. HL took a new approach, but still made players feel like a hero, feel important, and made Alex highly appealing (what's the alternative? pair up with a fat bitch to not save the world?). Yes, she's the ideal to the gamer community without being tits on a stick - that's the point. And her dialogue is solid, she has multiple unique interactions (her father, her pet dog, her stepmom), while being tough yet innocent. Perfect, stop there - because that's 100% more than what most games accomplish with their female characters. Saying that's not enough, or just there to satisfy the male hero in all of us, is ridiculous.

    I could go on...the guy never really made a point. He just admitted how much above the standard the games are, and said it could be better. Of course, everything could be better - but this is widely recognized as some of the best. You can't compare it or judge it based on things that never existed.

    SmallCaveGames on
  • milk ducksmilk ducks Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I think the point he's trying to make is that nothing should be considered so sacred that it's beyond criticism. The Half-Life series is fun, and it's well told, and it's important to gaming in general, but it does have a community surrounding it that's not afraid to pick up pitchforks and set shit on fire whenever someone says anything bad about it.

    I think his criticisms are valid. But again, he's a guy I know outside of YouTube. We went to school together. So it's not the first time I've heard him make these points. I think the fact that HL1 and HL2 both begin and on rails is one of the most interesting observations, honestly. The games are great, but they're roller coaster rides and you really don't have any control over what's going on. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's worth mentioning.

    milk ducks on
  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    I can still remember the first time I heard com chatter from the Marines as they were coming in, and feeling truly fucked for the first time in a video game. Half-Life is right up there in the best hours of my gaming youth with Doom, Descent, Civilization, SimCity 2000, Tie Fighter, Dark Forces.

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    So, my first introduction to Half-Life was Half-Life 2. I loved every second of it and usually get the itch to play it once or twice a year.

    Here's the thing: I've never played Half-Life 1, but I want to. My problem is that as soon as I looked into it, I heard of Black Mesa Source that was going to remake HL1 with HL2's graphics and engines. So I decided to wait. Now here I am, nearly a decade later, still waiting to play HL1.

    So, should I keep waiting, or just give up and get HL1: Source?

    Also, have you guys heard of Freeman's Mind? Hugely awesome LP. Starts off a tad hit or miss, but quickly becomes the best thing ever.

    steam_sig.png

    Battlenet ID: MildC#11186 - If I'm in the game, send me an invite at anytime and I'll play.
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2012
    First of all: everyone saying "I haven't played Half-Life" needs to just play Half-Life. Not Half-Life: Source. Don't wait for Black Mesa: Source. Just play Half-Life. Really.

    Second: great analysis in the OP. I think you're pretty much right about everything.

    Third: haven't watched the video yet, but if his criticism is "the game is super linear/on rails" then I don't really see the point. It's like, yeah, nice job, you realized that the game is linear. If you don't like that sort of thing then that's okay, but it's not inherently a failing for a game to be linear. Games are an interactive medium in a lot of ways, but they always have to hold some stuff fixed, and Half-Life decides to be interactive at the level of combat, not at the level of traversing an environment. I'll shut up now since I haven't watched the video.

    edit: started watching the video and he's just... wrong about a lot of stuff. I love how he says Gordon Freeman is a Mary Sue because, among other things, everyone is super respectful to you in the first game, and one of the quotes he chooses to illustrate this is the scientist saying "Gordon doesn't need to hear this sort of thing" which is basically when the scientists are trying to cover up the fact that they're shoving you into this test chamber that's quite possibly going to blow up and kill the shit out of you.

    Fourth: thanks for linking my thread about Mission: Improbable in the OP! I agree with @LaCabra that Research & Development is stupendous too for HL2 single player, and I would want to add Minerva and even Mistake of Pythagoras to the list of fun HL2 SP maps. For HL1 there are too many to mention: Poke646, SweetHL, USS Darkstar, They Hunger, Someplace Else, Peaces Like Us... anyone who wants more Half-Life/HL2 single player should check out Planet Phillip and especially the hall of fame.

    Fifth: my first experience with Half-Life was a while after it came out. I had heard great things but buying new games was expensive. My friend wanted to play Counterstrike, but he was too dumb to figure out how to install it, so he just bought CS 1.6 in the store and gave me his copy of Half-Life so I could play with him. I decided to try out the single player because why not, right? Other people were around so I turned off the sound. I started the game, sat through the opening cutscene on the tram, got to the end, decided the game had froze, and quit. That's right: the fact that the opening of the game wasn't a cutscene, that it was actually just the game itself, was so innovative that I didn't realize what was going on and kept waiting for the cutscene to end. That really sums up for me how groundbreaking Half-Life is/was.

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  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Registered User regular
    Maybe that is why Episode 3 is taking so long, perhaps the rotating crew of Valve employees who work on it are trying to bust up "the rail"? I know I hope they would just continue that rail over to the Borealis and Aperture Science, but perhaps they are trying crack the nut of giving Gordon setting choice (as opposed to our wonderful tactical choices) and telling G-Man to take a hike (down an interdimensional wormhole). All I know is I desire to bring the pain to the Overseer jedi slugs somehow for making Alyx Vance cry, hopefully involving theoretical physics somehow.

    I really enjoyed your OP, Undead Scotsman.

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  • milk ducksmilk ducks Registered User regular
    Third: haven't watched the video yet, but if his criticism is "the game is super linear/on rails" then I don't really see the point.

    It isn't, but you should really check it out, anyway. He's been under a lot of fire since someone linked that video on 4chan, and he's actually planning on doing a follow-up on this particular segment. Which is good, because I think he makes a lot of good points, but maybe it needs a fresh perspective.

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    I would love it if Chell was in HL3. Even if just a cameo or a mention. Portal Gun + Gravity Gun + Valve level and puzzle design = Epic fun times.

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  • milk ducksmilk ducks Registered User regular
    I think one of the things I remember most about the original Half-Life was that it was the first time I experienced a game where enemies reacted to what I was doing. I remember getting to the surface, being attacked by enemy soldiers, and retreating into a tight alley so they'd have to come at me one at a time. Tactics like that worked in all the games I'd played up until that point, but not in Half-Life. I basically lost my shit when someone chucked a grenade in, rather than charging in with his buddies all single-file.

    I mean, that was the first time in a game where an enemy flushed me out of cover with a grenade. It doesn't seem all that ground-breaking now, because I think that's pretty standard, at this point. But back then? Man, that was crazy.

  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    Half Life was and is a great game series, I just wish we didn't get Duke Nukem class time gaps between releases. No, Portal does not count.

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    Portal kinda counts.

    Also, I just got Half-Life 1 from Steam.

    Yay me!

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  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Registered User regular
    Oh man, tell me about it Milk Ducks, that was one of the first things to stand out to me when I first played the Uplink demo all those years ago - it almost felt like a different game (at that time) each time I played or even just reloaded a save after death, because of how the enemies would respond to my actions, it actually proved a challenge and on some level made me empathize with the soldiers, these were characters that were actually seemed to have some notion of self preservation.

    I must have played Uplink a million times - I too came late to the Half-Life party, picked up a Platinum edition box from a bargain bin IIRC in 2001. The thing that convinced me to do it? So many mods. Counter-Strike's appeal soon waned but Sven Coop? Box Wars? Natural Selection? So awesome. All these years later and it doesn't seem like many of those mods made their way to Half-Life 2. Oh well, such is the world of free games thanks to the kindness of other's free time I suppose, I hope I don't sound ungrateful for all the fun they shared.

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  • chiasaur11chiasaur11 Never doubt a raccoon. Registered User regular
    milk ducks wrote: »
    I think one of the things I remember most about the original Half-Life was that it was the first time I experienced a game where enemies reacted to what I was doing. I remember getting to the surface, being attacked by enemy soldiers, and retreating into a tight alley so they'd have to come at me one at a time. Tactics like that worked in all the games I'd played up until that point, but not in Half-Life. I basically lost my shit when someone chucked a grenade in, rather than charging in with his buddies all single-file.

    I mean, that was the first time in a game where an enemy flushed me out of cover with a grenade. It doesn't seem all that ground-breaking now, because I think that's pretty standard, at this point. But back then? Man, that was crazy.

    Have you ever played Minerva?

    It's got the core Half Life 2 AI, but it can show off better than before.

    Things it's been documented doing:

    Forming search teams to flush out the player
    Running back to cover to find a better gun
    COUNTING YOUR BULLETS and GUESSING when you'd reload.

    Again, guessing. It's amazing.

  • DarmakDarmak RAGE vympyvvhyc vyctyvyRegistered User regular
    Half Life is an amazing game and Half Life 2 is one of my favorite games of all time. @Undead Scottsman, that was a good OP and you're a good man.

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  • chiasaur11chiasaur11 Never doubt a raccoon. Registered User regular
    Man, the firefight in the little town at the beginning of Metastasis is one of the best ever.

    No wonder Valve hired the guy.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Maybe that is why Episode 3 is taking so long, perhaps the rotating crew of Valve employees who work on it are trying to bust up "the rail"?

    My pet theory is Episode 3 is being crafted entirely by Adam Foster, the man who made the HL2 mod Minerva: Metastasis.

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  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Registered User regular
    I love pet theories ... which reminds me, why is fan fiction a bad thing? It wouldn't surprise me in the least if it were to be discovered various authors have had a go at fan fiction at some point, whatever gets the creative juices flowing. Alpha version writing if you will.

    I used to have a ton of Half-Life setting theories, especially in regards to G-Man, but I don't recall the details anymore.

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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    I'm fairly sure Ep3 is dead as far as being an episode, which kinda sucks because I really wanted Half-Life 3 to be a huge departure from Half-Life 2 (Like how Half-Life 2 was a big departure from the story and location of Half-Life 1). I imagine we'll now see a Half-Life 3 that begins with finishing off the storyline from Half-Life 2 & Episodes.

    So while I very much do want to run aroudn fighting Combine in the snow, uncovering lost Aperature Science secrets and getting revenge on those pudgy Combine Advisor bastards for what they did; I'd really hate for the first quarter or third of Half-Life 3 to be sadled down by that storyline. Half-Life 3 should be a fresh start on a new chapter; not the last few paragraphs of a chapter that started eight years ago.

    My dream is that Valve does both, releasing Episode 3 and Half-Life 3 on a new, next gen engine, within a short timespan of each other. But that will never happen. :(

  • Mild ConfusionMild Confusion Smash All Things Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I love pet theories ... which reminds me, why is fan fiction a bad thing? It wouldn't surprise me in the least if it were to be discovered various authors have had a go at fan fiction at some point, whatever gets the creative juices flowing. Alpha version writing if you will.

    I used to have a ton of Half-Life setting theories, especially in regards to G-Man, but I don't recall the details anymore.

    The bolded. Let me link you to some Mass Effect, Tali fan fiction...

    On subject. I'm always amazed how much personality that Freeman has, despite being a Silent Protagonist that we never actually see. I think it's the first-person view. When we do something, like save the world, it's as if Freeman is doing it and we are watching him do it through his eyes.

    I know that sounds reduntant, but there is a stark contrast between what I feel with Gordan and what I feel with... say Soap in Modern Warfare as an example.

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  • PentaghostPentaghost Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Along with Age of Empires and Blade Runner, Half-Life was my introduction to PC gaming. Even though FPS games are probably my least favourite genre, I will always look back on Half-Life very fondly. I haven't touched it in years so I can't really comment on how well it has aged. I must have played that game dozens of times, though, not to mention being heavily involved in TFC at its height of popularity.

    I remember sitting in class on a Friday afternoon, and while everyone else was talking about whose party they were going to go to, or what pub/club to meet up at, all I could think of was how excited I was to get home and play my weekly clan match. Good/incredibly sad days. Sigh.

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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Ah, yes, the Gman: Interndimensional Man of Mystery. I could probably talk for hours about him. One of the biggest reasons I want to see more Half-Life games is because I really want to know more about him. Maybe I'll write up a quick post after work about what we know about him, and what my theories about him are.

  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Registered User regular
    I love pet theories ... which reminds me, why is fan fiction a bad thing? It wouldn't surprise me in the least if it were to be discovered various authors have had a go at fan fiction at some point, whatever gets the creative juices flowing. Alpha version writing if you will.

    I used to have a ton of Half-Life setting theories, especially in regards to G-Man, but I don't recall the details anymore.

    The bolded. Let me link you to some Mass Effect, Tali fan fiction...

    On subject. I'm always amazed how much personality that Freeman has, despite being a Silent Protagonist that we never actually see. I think it's the first-person view. When we do something, like save the world, it's as if Freeman is doing it and we are watching him do it through his eyes.

    I know that sounds reduntant, but there is a start contrast between what I feel with Gordan and what I feel with... say Soap in Modern Warfare as an example.

    If you are always bringing up the worst you can find, of course fan fiction is going to seem like a bad thing. But what about the best you can find?

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  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    Portal kinda counts.

    It has the barest of bare connections to the story of Half-Life. While great games, as a fan who wants some resolution to the Combine conflict and Gordon's fate, it's sort of irritating to hear people claim Portal is a legitimate substitution.

    I get what you're trying to say, but it's no substitute for Half-Life 3. That's totally on Valve.

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