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Half-Life 2 - 16 years later


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First digital game I bought. Remember leaving the PC on overnight to get it downloaded! They even eventually released it on the Mac - had one for a bit and could download that version for no extra cost. :)

 

Might have to download this again and give it another play.... :)

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7 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

Half Life 2 was 2004, in fact. 16 years.

 

You're right. I can't maths.

 

5 minutes ago, Monkeyspill said:

Will it still run on Windows 10 without any faffing around?

 

Yup. Loads up in seconds. I'm playing it at a rock solid 296 FPS :hat:

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I think at the time It was the only game that really understood how dramatic pacing worked. That's what makes it still so good to play. Personally I think it still looks really good. The weight everything has makes it so engrossing in a way that's difficult to explain. Like, other games are clearly more advanced now but not many are as convincing. For me it's completely flawless.

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I played it again a couple of months ago. It’s still wonderful. It’s possibly the game Ive run through more times than anything else I’ve got!

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I don't have a machine that could do my steam account justice anymore, but I recently tried playing the xbox version of Half-Life 2, and it was... an experience.

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Isn't it about time both were remade and released for the 'yoof' of today?

 

I mean for some perfectly inexplicable reason someone seems to think that saints row needs to be re-released for the world to endure? Why not both half lifes?

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It was the game that gave me an excuse to get a PC upgrade. :P And it felt so much more sophisticated than other shooters at the time, with actual characters and motivations and environmental storytelling. I think I ended up getting the first release on PC, and then got it again in the Orange Box (and maybe a third time if I picked up TOB on console, but I can't remember if I did...)

 

Admittedly there was an element of "fairground attractions" to it - look at our pack AI as the antlions run around! Look at our vehicle physics! Look at the stuff catching fire! - but there were moments of surprising and emergent outcomes during certain sequences, and it was just a fun world to play around in.

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I just finished playing this last week, first time since playing it back in 2004 and it's still as great to play as it was back then. To me it represented a time in games where it was about pushing forward in all aspects of the medium; narrative and technlogy, hand in hand, to create worlds, alternate realities, opposed to rollercoasters of entertainment we have now. Either that or a less cycnical me didn't see the industry as the business it was and turned out to be.

 

Anyway! I was quite suprised by the game length, my younger version must have got stuck a fair few times or just took the time to take it all in. Visually it's crazy how good it still looks, even when compared to the standards of today; it was such a leap in technology along with a visual style that just lends itself to aging gracefully. They really did nail that opressive, distopian, 'we've been taken over by aliens' vibe oh so well; which also does a lot of the heavy lifting story wise because there really isn't that much going on with the games narrative itself. What makes it stand out, so fun and engaging to this day is the still the physics and the unique situations you can put yourself in. Before an era of waypoints, corridor shooting and even mini maps; it really shines as an example of level design and how to create an engaging, well thought out virtual world.

 

I hate to say it but they really don't make them like they used to.

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I've still hopefully got the huge limited edition HL2 flimsy cardboard box, gold edition (pic below but no idea if as rare as they seem to think) with game, book was it, hat and god knows what else in the attic in our flat in London. I dearly hope it's still alright up there. :ph34r: I fear the rain may have destroyed it along with most of my old Edge collection but that's another story but will find out one day.

 

What a fantastic game and wonderful memories, another stone cold classic. 

 

 

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I played through a bit of the antlion section last night before bed. So good.

 

Another thing that strikes me is the real sense of loneliness that the game creates - it really does feel like you, alone, stranded in this hostile environment with very few allies and various things trying to kill you. It's such a pared back experience, but in a a good way. The lack of music, the fact that you're mute, the limited HUD, no objective markers or minimap or tutorial tooltips or radio chatter in your ear telling you what to do and where to go. The game just lets you get on with it by yourself.

 

The absence of any cutscenes or any points when control is taken away from the player feels contradictorily fresh and modern, too. To think that this game did the whole 'seamlessness' thing more than a decade before the God of War remake ever did!

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