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Half-Life {What i don't understand}

Discussion in 'Gamer's Hub' started by The_wand_mirror, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Ramza

    Ramza

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    I agree with that. Casuals outnumber actual gamers (same thing goes for movies and music). It doesn't bother me that much though. They are the ones keeping the industry alive, after all. Yeah, there are lots of sequels, shovelware, and lots of dumbed down games for the masses. But on the other hand the indie game industry is bigger than it's ever been. There really is something for everybody.

    Don't agree about Half-life 2 though. It's NOTHING like the annual franchises like Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty, or sports games or whatever. It improved greatly upon Half-Life 1, and it deserves the sales and praise it's been getting over the years. The game's quality is what made it popular, not a 50 million dollar ad campaign.
     
  2. The_wand_mirror

    The_wand_mirror

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    Well i guess i only played it because of the gravity gun, then again you play portal only for the portal gun but there it's obviously no game without it.

    Half-life 2 though would've been a very mediocre shooter in my opinion, but maybe i shouldn't be judging it from present time. I do remember buying it, pretty sure it was on sale back then. It was also the time i still liked shooters.

    But the next thing i don't understand is people making pixelart in minecraft, when you think about it you surely can make pokemon sprites to show of in a showcase but a dude seriously made all 150 pokemon in minecraft... how useless is that, but then again the people who do this appareantly have too much time or something...
     
  3. Ramza

    Ramza

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    Well, the only people I hear complaining about games like Half-Life, are people who play FPSs purely for the gun gameplay (Unreal Tournament, Quake, those kind of games). I'm guessing the same goes for you as well, because I can't imagine anyone who cares about things like story, atmosphere, acting, etc disliking Half-Life.

    Lots of people find modding to be more fun than actually playing the games. And Minecraft is basically one big level editor. I don't really care about the game myself, but I can see how someone would find that kind of thing fun. Recreating all 150 Pokemon sprites does seem a bit like a waste of time to me, but hey, if that's what he enjoys doing. All fine by me. :p
     
  4. brad.dude03

    brad.dude03

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    This thread is a bunch of bullshit. WHAT ELSE IS NEW, HIVE.

    There's a reason Half Life as a series has a reputation for being the greatest shit on earth: because it was, for its time. You have to remember that the first Half Life game came out well over a decade ago and pretty much redefined what could be done with the first person shooter genre, and with video games in general. It was evocative, scary, had good graphics for the time, actual physics, and one hell of a mind-fuck for a plot.

    Half Life 2 is the same way. Part of the reason people love it so much is how cryptic the story is. You never truly know what's going on- you're thrust into a world and you want answers, and you slowly, very slowly, uncover them, only to have 30 more new questions by the end of a game. The number of posts speculating about who the G-Man is on the internet must be in the millions by now, and you don't get that much fan interest and speculation in a story if it's not a damn good one.

    While the episodes may have been disappointing in their length (especially since we haven't heard a word about HL3 yet), there's really no denying that HL1 and HL2 both broke the barriers for what could be done in video games at their time of release. While neither might seem terribly impressive now (go play the original Doom, one of the most influential games of all time, and then try and compare it to a modern shooter), it definitely was at the time.

    And if Half-Life 3 ever comes, watch out. It will be huge.
     
  5. dead-man-walking

    dead-man-walking

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    Erm, what about people who dislike its atmosphere or story's tone? You don't seem to realize that you're also generalizing here. :/

    And even if a game's story, atmosphere, characters and whatnots are good, if its gameplay is bad then its gameplay IS bad, no exceptions. There are people who focus on gameplay aspects, there those who focus on modding, those who focus on story, and whole lot of different other types.

    As for Half-Life 2, no comment since I never played it :/
    Although I once played Half-Life 1 on a school computer. The prologue is long as fuck.
     
  6. Hoops

    Hoops

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    The way I see it, Half-Life and Half-Life 2* are two very, very different games.

    Half-Life is about Gordon Freeman.
    Half-Life 2 is about a rebel war.

    You may say that Half-Life is about the Black Mesa incident, but that's not the center of the story. Gordon is.
    Half-Life is about one man wreaking havoc in a research facility. One man that goes against both a race of cross-dimensional aliens and the whole military. Both that are, at some point, out to get him. Hell, the military men constantly talk about Gordon as if their mission is solely to capture him. The Nihilanth, leader of the alien invasion, even contacts Gordon directly, saying to him a handful of cryptic, eerie remarks, including Gordon's full name.

    And then, you have to think about what Gordon does in Half-Life. He takes out countless men in the military to a point where they give up on the hunt (i.e. "FORGET ABOUT FREEMAN"). He takes out entire armies of alien forces, travels to their dimension and pretty much kills their leader.

    There is an invasion. There is the Black Mesa incident. There is the military. But Gordon, and Gordon alone, conquers it. That is if you don't count the police officers (especially not Barney) and the scientists (note that they were all portrayed as cowards, albeit understandably so) that helped him out.
    This really makes the player feel in control. The sort of feeling that really makes you believe that your actions affect what happens. I'm not talking about some form of interactivity, I'm talking purely about the story; were it not for Gordon, things would not be the same. This is more important than you think. In Half-Life, I felt like nothing happened unless I made it happen. I felt like the story that took place couldn't have without me. There was no outside help to drastically aide Gordon; there were no coincidences, or luck that ensured Gordon's success or survival; it was purely Gordon Freeman, or, the player.
    Because Gordon Freeman, of course, is the player. In the first game, you know nothing about him other than his name, that he's a physicist working for Black Mesa, and that picture of his, what was it, daughter or wife in his locker if I recall correctly. Everything else is up to the player's imagination.
    So what happens in Half-Life is that it creates a type of experience that, in my opinion, is absolutely phenomenal, and with the more perfect ways of telling a story in video games. The kind where it really feels like you're experiencing and affecting the story yourself, and instead of witnessing a story take place on a screen, you are the story, basically. I'm not saying Half-Life is the only game in the world that does this, but I think it hit the nail precisely on the head, whereas Half-Life 2 (and many other games that attempt the same form of storytelling) didn't. At least not as well.


    Now, what's different about Half-Life 2 is what I said at the beginning of the post. It's no longer about Gordon Freeman. It's about a rebel war. A war between humans, the rebels, and an alien race, the Combine. So what happens? A different type of experience is created. Everything that happened, would it be so different were it not for Gordon?
    He's no longer man vs. the world.
    Whenever I did something really massive in Half-Life 2, like take out a gunship or strider, or foil plans of the Combine, I never felt like it was Gordon (me) to thank. Gordon is given the rocket launcher. Gordon takes out the gunship. The bugbait, the Gravity Gun, the crowbar, the vehicles, etc., these were all handed out to Gordon. "Here, take this."
    I'm not exactly saying that just because these things were given to Gordon instead of him acquiring them himself that it makes you not feel as important, it's more because if it hadn't been for Gordon, someone else would've just done it. Doesn't matter if that other person would've succeeded or not, just that it could've gone either way.

    This isn't my only problem with Half-Life 2. Gordon Freeman is treated like a child. "Good job, Gordon!", "You can do it, Gordon!", "Nice shot!", "Let me follow you, Gordon", and the list goes on. He's also constantly being taken care of. It's basically just "here, do this, then that", and when he does it, everyone cheers "you did it Gordon!"
    Although, maybe he isn't as much a child as he is a mindless brute. They plan everything for him and he does what he's told. I feel like this completely besmirches the Gordon Freeman I got to play as in Half-Life.

    If you
    combine
    the last two things I said, you get a pretty depressing result. Gordon is a weapon, a replaceable weapon, at that.

    There were other faults with Half-Life 2 as well, which I don't feel necessary to go into. It would probably be nitpicking. However, many of those faults and somewhat the two I pointed out, are there because they kind of had to. It was the change of direction Half-Life 2 went in. It was a completely different premise. I can appreciate that. You don't want to create the same game twice. There are still things that I think should've been done differently.


    Now I've just covered how the story was told in each game. This is not the only thing I base my judgement of the games on. There are obviously an abundance of other factors that determine a game's quality. Most of which, as has been said, are done extraordinarily well in the Half-Life franchise. I decided to talk about the storytelling because I felt like that's where Half-Life 2's main shortfall is, and, well, it's also just a very important factor to me.

    They're both really great games. I absolutely loved playing both. In the end, I like Half-Life better. Not because I'm some sort of hipster and certainly not because of nostalgia because I hadn't even played either game until February and March this year.

    *When referring to Half-Life 2, I mean Half-Life 2 + episodes 1 & 2
     
  7. Rui

    Rui

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    Glad you're discussing Half-Life 2, since there already is a thread for Skyrim. Allow me to rename the thread, gentlemen!
    ~Thread renamed
     
  8. Ramza

    Ramza

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    Heh, I guess I kind of was. :p
    To be fair, I did say I can’t imagine anyone who cares about atmosphere and story disliking Half-Life. And if you check out user ratings on Metacritic, for example, you’ll see that none of the negative reviews are criticizing those parts of the games. Most complaints about Half-Life 2 actually come from Half-Life 1 fans, strangely enough.
    Of course. But the gameplay in Half-Life 2 is far from bad. It just might not be the type of gameplay you’re interested in. Someone looking for a fast-paced, competitive shooter probably won’t care much about the Half-Life series. Someone looking for games like Deus Ex, System Shock, or Stalker however, probably will.

    @EroticSideburns
    That's actually one of the reasons why I enjoy Half-Life 2 more than the first. I don't usually like those ''you're the only one who can save the world'' stories, unless there's a good reason for it (I dislike many of the traditional JRPG stories for the same reason). I can't remember anything Gordon did in Half-Life 1, that someone else couldn't have done (it's been a couple of years since I last played the game though, so I could be wrong).
     
  9. Hoops

    Hoops

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    No no, it's not about saving the world. It's about overcoming your enemy.

    Because he was alone. In Half-Life 2 he constantly gets help. He constantly gets weapons thrown at him. And, he never does anything himself, he's always being ordered around. They plan, he executes.

    I do agree, though, I dislike when the main character is some "chosen one", who's special for some reason. But when you look at it, they emphasize that more in Half-Life 2 than they do in Half-Life. Gordon is, I quote, "quite the returning hero". He's treated like he's special. Just listen to the dialogue in the game.
    In Half-Life it isn't flat-out shoved in your face that you're some kind of hero, you just are, in a way. You prove yourself to be, at least, by, as I said, overcoming your enemy. But what's even funnier is that in Half-Life you're not really a hero. You're not really fighting for anything good or evil. You just prove really cunning and skillful with a damn gun, and you wear the HEV suit.
    In Half-Life 2, you're a hero (treated and portrayed as one). There's a distinct good side and a distinct bad side in Half-Life 2, and what's Gordon fighting for?

    Well, Gordon's true motive is up to the player's imagination to think of (for now). I like to think that instead of trying to save humanity or bring down the Combine, it's more related to G-Man and other characters from Black Mesa or even Aperture Science. I like to think that it's completely personal.
    But I digress.
     
  10. The_wand_mirror

    The_wand_mirror

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    Hey this thread wasn't just meant to be about half-life, but whatever go ahead...
     
  11. Rui

    Rui

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    ^^^^