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Author Topic: Half-Life 2 Impressions (Possible Spoilers)  (Read 31210 times)
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #400 on: November 21, 2004, 11:31:59 PM »

I think Valve negotiated the rights away from Vivendi in 2001.  That's one of the things in dispute with the current lawsuit- VU wants the IP back.  

Yeah, the story for both games is no great shakes when you put it down on paper.  What sells it is the moment to moment story telling.  Especially with HL2- the banter between characters is very natural.  The level design tells part of the story too- for example the first 1/3 of the game all takes place through their underground railroad so not only are you taking part in exciting action scenes but you are simultaneously getting information on how the Combine opresses its citizens, how the resistance smuggles  people out of the city, and how legendary of a figure Gordan Freeman is to both factions.
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« Reply #401 on: November 21, 2004, 11:38:33 PM »

Quote from: "bluefugue"

I am sure Valve have considered the possibility of a Half Life movie and I wonder if they have been approached by studios to discuss it.  I can't imagine they haven't, given the popularity of the property in the videogaming world.  I'd bet Gabe et al. would want to see it done, if at all, in a very classy way, not just a throwaway videogame-to-screen translation.  Although I'm not sure who actually owns the rights to the franchise... is it Valve or VU?

Actually Valve was looking at doing a movie over a year ago: link
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« Reply #402 on: November 22, 2004, 12:35:11 AM »

Quote from: "Jeff Jones"
I'm lagging behind in play time to you guys (work, real life, etc), and just finished the air boat level.
Don't you worry mate. I have just entered Ravenholm and OMG.. I am so scared I just have to stop for a breather. I know, I'm a wuss. I bet you would have overtaken me by now.

Ravenholm has indeed redeemed HL2 in my opinion. There's so much gaming goodness there and it makes me wonder why the length of the air boat scene. Don't get me wrong, the airboat sequence is fine. I just find it too long and tedious.

About HL2 being on rails... most FPS are on rails, that's true, but most don't feel like they are on rails as much as the airboat scenes. Like I said, maybe it is just too long for my taste.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #403 on: November 22, 2004, 12:53:47 AM »

Quote from: "belfong"


About HL2 being on rails... most FPS are on rails, that's true, but most don't feel like they are on rails as much as the airboat scenes. Like I said, maybe it is just too long for my taste.


Of all the sequences, the airboat scene felt like it belonged on rails- since you were confined to a canal system it made sense that it woudn't be freeform.
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Calvin
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« Reply #404 on: November 22, 2004, 02:07:19 AM »

I just wanted toc hime in with my impressions-I didnt actually really get started until last night late and this morning-I was playing Vampire and playing Halo 2 and sort of waiting until I could play hl2 uninterrupted to start it.

Anyways, I am not really reading this thread because of spoilers, I look forward to reading all the posts when I finish teh game-either way, I wanted to chime in with some of my own impressions. I just finished the air boat sequence (awesome by the way, I have no clue why some people dont like it-it might be a tad long, but the tension and excitement is so good, who cares if it drags a bit-its still pulse pounding excitement)

So far I love this game. Shooter of the last several years. The only shooter that I have enjoyed this much and been this impressed by was Call of Duty in recent memory, but even after only 4 hours or so I think HL2 is going to surpass it. THe graphics are fucking astounding. Imean, jaw dropping. I take screenshots of everything for no reason because it llooks so damn cool. The action is fast and frantic, the combat just absolutely perfect. The weapons are cool, the enemies are cool, the sound is awesome. All of it just works seamlessly together-I cannot emphasize how much the first part of the game makes you feel creepy, watched, and paranoid in a ver 1984 orwellian sort of way, then-as soon as the chase sequence begins the game is basically non-stop action-fast and frantic to the extreme, as you are constantly running for your life, dodging bullets, exploding barrels, depth charges, enemy machine gunners, Combine soldiers, everything. As many times as you stop and fight in typical shooter fashion you also just zoom through levels, frantically watching your health meter as you dodge the incoming fire, explosions all around you, machine gun fire whizzing past your head, clanging into the ground and your cover, pinging off the airboat. It is simply phenomenal! No game has even come close to creating this kind of atmosphere in recent memory other than Call of Duty. Wow.

I just got the gravity gun, so I am going to go enjoy myself smile
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #405 on: November 22, 2004, 04:03:51 AM »

I just passed the buggy level and the game is as good as ever!

Ravenholm was scary as heck.  Glad I'm passed it (it was great though).
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« Reply #406 on: November 22, 2004, 04:49:07 AM »

Rage, if you've enjoyed what you've played so far you are going to love what the game still has in store.  Unlike many devs, Valve really holds the best stuff for last.  The final several levels are just epic.
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Sam is the Man
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« Reply #407 on: November 22, 2004, 05:41:01 AM »

This game is the best EVAH. Jonsauce, I read your posts and feel like you are me...basically, giddily prancing around the house about HL2. Yes, I am doing it...not now, as I type, but in the short breaks between sentences.

I feel something I've never felt in a game before: the strong urge to share the experience with others. Namely, my wife...who acts impressed and excited about it for my sake but cannot really be expected to understand the way this game makes me feel: absorbed, paranoid, and dying to see what is next.

<SPOILER>
So many cool touches that add so much to the experience. I am savoring the game slowly so I am not very far in compared to many of you, but my latest is during the airboat level when the dude on the bridge throws down the supplies and says "Surprise!" That moment made me feel so much like I am a hero in an oppressed society. It was something you don't see in other action games...unnecessary things in terms of action but huge things in terms of mood.
<end spoiler>

I can't believe you are all saying it gets so much better, because right now it is so great. I have never played an action game through twice within a year, but I will play this again as soon as I finish. Wow...what an experience!
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Jeff
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« Reply #408 on: November 22, 2004, 06:15:53 AM »

Quote from: "Sam is the Man"

I can't believe you are all saying it gets so much better, because right now it is so great. I have never played an action game through twice within a year, but I will play this again as soon as I finish. Wow...what an experience!


Amazingly, it does get better. I just got the grav gun, and got to Ravenholm.

:shock:

Now I see what you guys mean. It just swims in atmosphere. The lighting, the music, the god-awful sounds. Creepy as hell.

The grav gun simply RULES. thumbsup

Btw, Sam, I'm right there with you about replaying it. In so many games I play, I think "ugh, I don't wanna replay that part again", but I'll be running through this one at least twice in succession.

One thing that struck me in Ravenholm, is that Valve is saying to us ... here's your toys, have fun! the way they set things up, they really let the player enjoy himself.  Shooters are fun because you get to kick ass, and Valve understands that. They let the player kick ass in a big way.
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Appollo
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« Reply #409 on: November 22, 2004, 08:19:35 AM »

Man I am having a absolute friggin blast with this thing now

SPOILER
I was in a prison and going along when the lights all start going out coming towards you.. then there is black and Alyx says "uh oh" or sumthing like it and then these red light sticks start being tossed out and whamo it was party time.. man that was one of the best firefights I ever had  Cool
END SPOILER

After my opinion of the game starting to slip it is now way back up again, only thing is I scared I'm getting towards the end...
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Toe
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« Reply #410 on: November 22, 2004, 12:59:43 PM »

Quote from: "Appollo"
Man I am having a absolute friggin blast with this thing now

SPOILER
I was in a prison and going along when the lights all start going out coming towards you.. then there is black and Alyx says "uh oh" or sumthing like it and then these red light sticks start being tossed out and whamo it was party time.. man that was one of the best firefights I ever had  Cool
END SPOILER


Wow, that sounds like it was ripped directly from Unreal. Cheap.
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Elenkis
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« Reply #411 on: November 22, 2004, 01:12:47 PM »

Quote
Wow, that sounds like it was ripped directly from Unreal. Cheap.


Heh, that's kinda what I thought when I got to that part.
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« Reply #412 on: November 22, 2004, 01:16:57 PM »

I just got through there last night and it's nothing like the scene in Unreal (other then the darkness at least). No worries smile.
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SpaceLord
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« Reply #413 on: November 22, 2004, 07:09:59 PM »

Finally got time to put some serious time into the game, here's my impressions.


I had to agree with everyone,  :wink: but Half Life 2 is awesome. From the cool character models, to the expressive faces, to the awesome physics. Now, to head back tonight and finish the boat levels...
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BigRedCat
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« Reply #414 on: November 22, 2004, 07:16:49 PM »

Quote from: "Toe"
Quote from: "Appollo"
Man I am having a absolute friggin blast with this thing now

SPOILER
I was in a prison and going along when the lights all start going out coming towards you.. then there is black and Alyx says "uh oh" or sumthing like it and then these red light sticks start being tossed out and whamo it was party time.. man that was one of the best firefights I ever had  Cool
END SPOILER


Wow, that sounds like it was ripped directly from Unreal. Cheap.


The difference is that the power is cut by the combine and the red lights are flares and manhacks which they toss in before coming in from all sides themselves. Not really similar at all.
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zinckiwi
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« Reply #415 on: November 22, 2004, 07:55:01 PM »

Played a couple of hours last night and snuck in a little bit before work this morning smile

I'm not much of an FPS guy. I played the original Half-Life up until the irritiating final-boss-with-the-achilles-heel and dropped it then and there. It didn't wow me any more than Unreal, and I probably enjoyed Elite Force more than either of them.

That being said, Half-Life 2, beyond all its technical merit (which is unquestioned) is the first FPS that I haven't felt the desire to take a break from. Usually I'll play for an hour or so, then just get bored, go off and do something else, and come back to it a bit later. If I had a whole day free I could see myself playing through Half-Life 2 in one shot, like a long novel that you suddenly realised you polished off in one day. The level design is exceptional, going from set piece to set piece with little (or none) of the wave-of-enemies type filler that most FPSes seemingly need to resort to.

Far Cry held my attention for about half an hour at a stretch... I don't know if I'll reach a limit with HL2. Biggest endorsement I can muster smile
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« Reply #416 on: November 22, 2004, 07:56:38 PM »

Quote

"We don't go to Ravenholm."

You know... all through the game they said stuff like that more than a few times "We don't go to XXX" and every single time I (correctly) thought, "Hmm, I'm guessing something will happen with me ending up there." Tongue

s
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« Reply #417 on: November 22, 2004, 10:33:38 PM »

Quote from: "Jeff Jones"
One thing that struck me in Ravenholm, is that Valve is saying to us ... here's your toys, have fun! the way they set things up, they really let the player enjoy himself.  Shooters are fun because you get to kick ass, and Valve understands that. They let the player kick ass in a big way.

i did my best to carry a saw blade  (or some other heavy object) just about everyplace i went in ravenholm and hardly used any ammo as a result.  the place really is a big playground from the grav gun, but the atmosphere and enemies keep it interesting...and Father Grigori is a great character.  my best moment in Ravenholm involved a fast zombie coming at me across the rooftops...as it jumped in the air from a roof above me, i launched my trusty saw blade, sliced him in half in mid-leap, and watched the body parts fall right at my feet.  it was a great moment and just one of many awesome scenes in the game so far Cool
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« Reply #418 on: November 22, 2004, 11:27:07 PM »

Well, I bit the bullet and actually sunk the 54.99 down to get HL2.  I've never been enticed to pay more than 44.99 for a game before, but this just had "gotta have it NOW" written all over it.  After an interminably long install (~30 mins or so), I've played through City 17 and have just started on my way to Eli's lab.  So far, so good.  Graphics are as good as everyone has said, and I'm blown away by the facial animations.  From the opening scene with the close-up of the G-man's face,  whispering, "Wake-up Mr. Freeman," this game had me hook, line and sinker.  I'll chime in with everyone else on the one major complaint:  the load times are annoying.  However, as someone else opined above, I'll take that trade-off for the graphics and the detail of these environments.  Awesome!
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« Reply #419 on: November 27, 2004, 11:40:53 PM »

I have just rejoined Alyx in the Entanglement level.  I have played this game in stretches like no other game in years.  I am really enjoying it.  I am literally yelling at the monitor, taunting the Combine troops to come get some.  The sound is awesome.  The explosions and gunfire really sell the immersion.

My only complaints would be the Sanford & Son gameplay in some of the puzzles, and getting stuck on some objects and not being able to move.  That seemed the only sloppy part of the game.
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« Reply #420 on: November 28, 2004, 02:31:52 AM »

Quote from: "Toe"
Wow, that sounds like it was ripped directly from Unreal. Cheap.


Really?  Because Unreal ripped that sequence off from practically every horro/monster movie in existance.

Not to bash, but I really think few games are all that original anymore, these days' we're mainly borrowing from classics.  But, in a good way.
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« Reply #421 on: December 09, 2004, 01:19:18 AM »

So I got to play on a friend's computer, for a short time anyways.

I played up until you reach a barrier on a catwalk above the train tracks in a tunnel.

So some stuff that I thought while playing:  Doom 3 is WAY more advanced in tech, I have no idea why so many people think HL2 is anywhere near close in that department.  Overall, HL2 struck me as being a prettier version of HL, not a revolutionary jump like Doom 3 as compared to Doom II. Maybe they put all the good stuff later in the game?

I liked D3's "Oh crap, things are getting out of control!" scene to get you in the game better than HL2's, which I thought looked good but was lame overall.  AI in HL2 is just about as weak as any other game, including D3.  In the beginning area, I'd throw something at a guard, he chases me for X amount of time and/or steps, then he gives up and goes back to the EXACT same position he was in, I walk back to him and throw the same object, he chases me....rinse, repeat.  I prefer D3's sound design over HL2, but that's more a personal preference than anything else I think.

Playing HL2 after playing D3 is like playing Diablo 2 after playing Dungeon Siege, yeah gameplay blah blah blah...but you can't deny that it still looks alot crappier.

Now the good stuff:  Facial animations are all that they have been made out to be and it adds to the fun big time! The overall attention to detail is amazing in alot of ways, starting with the main menus, hehe. I found myself doing double takes alot as I looked around in the game, there always seemed to be something worth looking at everywhere. Doom 3 really can't even begin to keep up in this area, they didn't put enough effort into stocking D3 with the incidental things that make a difference.  The way this game uses its physics is MUCH better than anything I've played, except maybe Max Payne 2.  Doom 3 wastes its physics system in comparison. I actually laughed out loud a couple of times when I saw something cool happen during a battle in HL2.  Liquids look pretty damn cool in HL2.  

Explosions- well, THIS is the way they should be done, these are the best explosions I can remember seeing in any game. They sound and feel right somehow. The only other thing I could want(and maybe it's in the game and I missed it) is if the explosions would occasionally rip arms or legs off the bodies as it blows them up, rather than just sending them flying intact.

In short, just like with Dungeon Siege & Diablo2, I wish I could combine the tech of one game(Doom 3) with the gameplay of another(Half Life 2).

One last thing, I noticed when I wanted to quit all I had to do was hit the escape key and choose 'don't save', after that I was back at the desktop. That's the way it should always be, I hate having to click through 3 or 4 windows of choices just to quit a game. One click should get me out.
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« Reply #422 on: December 10, 2004, 10:50:52 PM »

I'm coming into the discussion late so I'm sure I'm not adding anything new but the one thing that struck me is the level of storytelling in this game and how well all the elements are integrated in.  I've played through Halo 2 and am also playing through Metal Gear Solid 3 and I'm noticing the disconnect between the elements that drive the story and the elements that drive the action in those two games.

HL2 succeeds, I think, because it integrates the two components almost seamlessly.  And the designers seem to know when to move onto to something else, rather than beat a dead horse over and over.  There were also little touches, like the G-Man sightings, that were timed and executed so cleverly.  The characters are believable and have little nuances about them that add to their depth.

I'm enjoying HL2 much more than those other games because I feel invested in the action.  Not only to keep Gordon (and by extension myself) alive but to solve the mystery and see what's waiting for me at the end.  I think Call of Duty was the last game to make me feel that, though that game did it with a sense of chaos and danger.  HL2 is much more of a refined experience and is, in my opinion, head and shoulders above the other games I've played this year.

Good stuff.
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« Reply #423 on: December 11, 2004, 02:52:59 AM »

Well, finally got my PC fixed and fired up HL2.

<insert pic of jaw dropping here>

wow, granted I'm only a few chapters in, and I know I missed some things, but wow....  I'm running it with everything maxed out fairly smoothly (there is an occasional stutter but I hear this is a bug.)  I have to say this:  Doom 3 ain't even a contender compared to this game.  The atmosphere... watching the Tower as it changed using the telescopic lens... just wow.
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« Reply #424 on: December 11, 2004, 03:44:52 AM »

CeeKay - it just gets better from there. biggrin
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« Reply #425 on: December 28, 2004, 05:38:13 AM »

So I got this game for Xmas.  I feel I can play it with no reservation since honestly I did not ask for it, and of course I didn't pay for it.

I got to the part where I just got the airboat.

My earlier impressions still hold true in terms of the single player portion. I WILL finish it, since it is interesting enough for me to keep playing even though it's nothing particularly outstanding.

However, this thing really shines with the multiplayer portion.  CS:S is a spiffy looking, fun update of CS, which is cool since I do enjoy a few rounds of CS every now and again. Now I can play it and not feel like I'm playing an old game.

Deathmatch is just so much more awesome.  I haven't had this much fun playing deathmatch since the Quake 1 days.  Unlike CS:S, deathmatch really benefits alot from the physics and ragdoll effects.  Gravity gun+ragdoll+physics=worthwhile deathmatch.  I played about 2 hours straight of this and was LOL most of that 2 hours, some funny shit happens all the time in deathmatch. Deathmatch in HL2 is more fun than any new game I've played this year and so gets my nomination in the GOTY thread.  I am sooo looking forward to TFC:S, I get a stiffy just thinking about it.

In terms of install, I wonder if I benefited from a late joining of the party. I put cd #1 in at 1:45 pm yesterday and I was clicking on 'New Game' at 2:25 pm, that's with all up to date patches installed too, including CS:S as well as Deathmatch.  So it took a while but went smoothly the whole time.
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« Reply #426 on: December 28, 2004, 07:01:31 PM »

Hmm, I wasn't really even considering trying HL2 DM but after your post I think I will =)
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« Reply #427 on: December 30, 2004, 11:52:19 PM »

Could someone who reads this please go to www.hlfallout.net and click on the walkthrough link on the left side and see if it does anything?
I have been trying for like an hour and dont know if its me or them. Thanks.
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« Reply #428 on: December 31, 2004, 01:14:10 AM »

Quote from: "stimpy"
Could someone who reads this please go to www.hlfallout.net and click on the walkthrough link on the left side and see if it does anything?
I have been trying for like an hour and dont know if its me or them. Thanks.


Didn't do anything for me.  It started to load a page but after 3 minutes it's downloaded 11k and timed out.

I would suggest GameFAQs.  There are some walkthroughs there including one that is relatively spoiler-free, reminding me of the old Sierra hintbooks where there were three "levels" of hints given.  Can't like directly to faqs there, but it shouldn't be hard to find.
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« Reply #429 on: December 31, 2004, 01:33:10 AM »

That walkthrough link doesn't work for me either. Firefox here.
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« Reply #430 on: March 09, 2005, 11:43:56 PM »

After playing through the whole thing (finally...it's just my nature to put stuff aside half-way through), I can fully recommend this masterpiece to everyone.  Fantastic from beginning to end.
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