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One of the very best video game series of all time. You'll find no shortage of people here who worship at the altar of Gordon Freeman. 

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At one point in my life I played Half-Life far more than I played Doom. Half-Life got me interested in 3D mapping and 3D modeling and I hunted for mods and custom resources almost every single day. I had a huge collection of Half-Life stuff that I eventually lost in a hard-drive crash. It legit bummed me out so much that it was pretty much the day I moved on from the game all-together.

 

Half-Life was a fundamental step forward for FPS but nowadays I can't really stand to play it very much. I think it's showing its age, it feels very clunky to play now, and it's realistic setting doesn't make much sense like it did back then. Lots of strange rooms and dead ends. Xen's overall design is just a pain to play, even though I personally think it looks cool. Black Mesa fixed a lot of that, and I adore the setting of Half-Life so Black Mesa might revive my interest in modding a Half-Life game.

 

Half-Life 2 was another fundamental step forward and its design is unmatched by most games to this day. The sense of journey, and the way it teaches the player is really, really great. The combat can be a bit dry sometimes, but I think everything else being so nearly flawless is what makes people forgive it for that. And honestly, I feel like the same could be said for the first Half-Life as well, I think everything feeling so fresh and new and interesting made people overlook the really wonky combat. At the time HL2 looked stunning too and had probably the best physics of any FPS at least.

 

All in all, interesting games that brought a lot of ideas and innovations to the table.

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I have never played Half-Life. Not a single one.

Is that a bad thing? Others with me that they never even touched Half Life?

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General opinion: I've enjoyed the series quite a bit, minus the expansions for the first game, which I haven't played.

Specific opinion (wall of text, because I have to praise Xen and Ravenholm personally):

Spoiler

Half Life 1

Half Life 1 is my favourite of the bunch. The intro is peaceful and it leaves you with plenty of time to get ready for all hell to break loose. The reactor scene (or whatever that thing is) is one of the most iconic in the game.

The aliens or multidimensional beings or whatever you wanna call them, are really well-designed and I especially loved the Vortigaunts (kinda reminded me of mini Arch-viles).

The headcrabs are also good, but a bit annoying at times. The zombies are great, but they are not that scary here.

The human enemies were a bit meh for my tastes, but I didn't mind.

The black assassins were really funny for me and I loved killing them with the revolver.

 

Finally, I had tons of fun in 2 more scenes at the game:

1) The Grand Canyon like locations that had lots of height and platforming, coupled with a dryness in the land

2) Xen (I love zero gravity, I loved those floaty islands with a purple skybox around them and the final boss was epic, so I guess I liked that area a lot) 

 

Half Life 2 and Episodes 1 and 2

Half Life 2 is a really good game too and I can easily see it being someone's favourite from the series, plus I can see where the praise is coming from when it appears as number 1 in huge amount of gaming top 10s. For now I will count it as one with the episodes, because I can't really remember what was in each episode.

As a game, it made the G-man more popular if I could guess, so there's that.

Another thing is that the physics have improved a lot over the first game and they boasted quite a bit in-game, if I could guess.

Additionally, the characters could be improved have their own story, instead of being those polygonal things, like in the first game. You have Alyx, her father, DOG! (Dog is awesome! End of story) and that crazy priest from Ravenholm. 

 

Favourite scenes in the game:

1) The chase at the beginning was pumping me up and it was fun to see Freeman getting a pistol and turning the tides against the Combine.

2) RAVENHOLM!!! The scariest location in the series. Here the Zombies are used at their fullest potential. They are not particularly clever, but they are scary (Oh God help me! in reverse), they outnumber you and thanks to the traps around you, the gravity gun is a must (beheading zombies by throwing huge saw blades at their necks was super cool). And defending the roof, with that crazy priest, using the shotgun and killing those Xenomorph like fast enemies was fun and tense (normally I would hate such enemies, but I instead hated the Headcrab throwing heavy guys).

3) That really open zone where you drive your buggy through empty streets and once in a while stop to kill some Combine and reenter your vehicle after you are done (I think it was in some episode).

4) The bridge (real sense of height in this one and I am not particularly fond of heights).

5) Entering the prison thing with the help of your loyal insectoids (I was running from them at first and now I get to use them? Then I might as well!).

6) The blue tower Combine building with the supercharged Gravity gun at your disposal (What can I say? It is dumb fun at its best!).

 

Rant

About Half Life 3, I don't care about it and the hype was so much that I got sick of it (Valve go make some games again, such as Portal - like this is going to happen anytime soon...). Plus, I was disappointed from the ending they had planned in the released plot.

I mean, you make all this fuss about the story's end being released and it is as shitty as the ending in every Half Life 2 episode??? Yes, it is a cliffhanger once, it is a cliffhanger twice and I respected that, but how long are you going to be hanging from the same fucking cliff!!!

MAKE A GOOD ENDING!!! AN ENDING THAT PEOPLE WILL REMEMBER WITH JOY AND NOSTALGIA FOR ALL THE TIME THEY SPENT PLAYING THE GAMES, WISHING TO REINSTALL AND RELIVE THOSE GOOD MEMORIES!!!

Not something shallow and devoid of meaning.

Besides, it is a game and once in a while it is good to answer the questions you create for the player to think about. Just creating millions of questions and then answering none, like Philosophy, is pointless, completely useless and a waste of time. I don't know if it is a waste of someone else's time (someone might appreciate Philosophy more than me), but it is surely a waste of my time and my time is the time that I care the most about in a game, because I will be spending that time and no one else, so I demand that I am at the very least satisfied, after playing a game that is supposed to be a triumph of the human mind. 

Money is also a factor here, but I will leave it out.

To recap, I think Valve dug their own grave with the hype they got from Half Life 2. Even if they ever wanted to make a Half Life 3, they wouldn't be able to do it now, since the expectations are so high, that making another game that introduces new questions or leaves the previous ones unanswered would be inferior to Half Life 2 and 1, automatically.

So they have to answer the questions. And they already set a trillion questions in the previous games. Even if the new game would be located at the dimension of the race of G-man, which it was not supposed to be, the questions wouldn't be answered in a satisfactory way.

So failure was locked from the beginning, but because of the hype, even if they were selling a potato and named it Half Life 3, it would be a really successful product...

 

Ok, that's about it and if anyone read this wall of text, then you had courage by your side.

 

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Posted (edited)

Let's not any of us forget about Opposing Force, either. That's gotta be one of the most impeccably well-designed campaigns for any FPS ever made. Many would even argue that it's better than Half-Life's campaign. I've often heard that it's one of the hardest FPS games of all time, but I didn't have much trouble beating it on hard mode.

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1 minute ago, Ajora said:

Let's not any of us forget about Opposing Force, either.

 

Is it really that good? If so, I have to give it a try sometime.

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6 minutes ago, ShoDemo said:

 

Is it really that good? If so, I have to give it a try sometime.

 

It really, really, really is.

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Yup, I am still one of those Half-Life cultists who see it as the peak embodiment of shooters and the big, proper step in the evolution of the genre took when it did.

 

To even mention all of the reasons as of why I worship the franchise would take a while, and it would look as if I was hired by Valve to sell you the games, so I am leaving that out. Doubtlessly, other members here mentioned the good points Half-Life covered.

 

Either way, I myself tried fiddling with the Goldsource engine, made a house or two before stopping and just continuing on my hunting-gathering spree for all the Half-Life content, either official or community-made, mods, maps, art, name it, and I probably got it. Truly, there are a lot of maps out there on the frontier. And in so far I enjoyed even the worst ones. There wasn't any mod I disliked so far (except for "The Gate"(?) and the overly-edgy "Half-Quake" series), I enjoy all the aspects and concepts that people draw out of Half-Life and the Goldsource engine.

 

All in all, I would lie if I rated the entire concept under 10/10. Would recommend to everyone, maybe go so far to say it's mandatory, but that is probably my excessive fangirl-ism speaking.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, ShoDemo said:

 

Is it really that good? If so, I have to give it a try sometime.

I have played Opposing Force more than Half-Life itself, it's great.

 

One thing I used to love doing were "NPC wars" in Half-Life 2 (on the PC version, obviously) where you toggle the AI (ai_disable) then spawn in a horde of Combine and whatever force I want them to fight, toggle notarget and watch em fight after I turn AI on again (the ai nodes/pathfinding in HL2 made this amazing to watch).

 

(fun fact, using ZDoom I do the exact same thing between marines and demons using summonfriend and summonfoe commands)

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HL1 and its expansions are brilliantly crafted campaigns easily worth multiple playthroughs. And HL2 and its episodes are more focused on creating varied set-pieces and are great games for it. The series pushed the FPS genre significantly in a lot of ways.

 

The Half-Life games have passable shooting. They bypass this issue by having a plethora of creative weapons which remain iconic to this day. They also have some excellent AI (The marines from HL1 are basic but are incredibly effective due to how aggressive they are). The world design was revolutionary at the time and still holds up quite well.

 

HL2 varies its set-pieces a lot more and has an increased focus on narrative. This further shifts the focus away from the actual shooting and the game is better for it.

 

Half-Life 1 easily ranks amongst my top FPS like Doom, Quake, and Desync. Half-Life 2 is easily one of the best games I've played.

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Posted (edited)

I super enjoyed Half-Life 1 with zero nostalgia, because I never played it when it was first released. I think I've gone through it twice. As for Half-Life 2, once was enough even if I went through it on X-Box as well. Half-Life 2 just felt slower and less fun. While its a good game, I don't quite understand the praise it gets since I enjoyed the previous game more... yet I can't think of a better "modern FPS"... so by default Half-Life 2 must win. Maybe I needed to play it when it first came out to understand why it was mind blowing.

 

Half-Life 2 episode 1 or whatever DLC was lackluster and the second one was much more enjoyable until that final boss. Oh and I carried the damn gnome. It was horrifying in the car with the gnome.

 

half-Life 1 Blue Shift was lackluster as well especially compared to the Opposing Force that did a lot of new things.

 

And see even calling things lackluster still means they were good or great enough to play through in their entirety. That means a lot too, because now its just so tough for me to invest the time to finish games. So lackluster still means a B- grade?

Edited by geo

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I liked Opposing Force the first time I played it, but now I don't really think it's very well thought out at all.

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If I wasn't an overly paranoid person I'd post a picture of my face and show you that I literally try to emulate Gordon Freeman's appearance. That might give you an indication of how much I like the series.

 

I wish Valve would either confirm that there will never be a Half-Life 3 or f@*%ing show something about it already! The hype that's been building up for the game has already reached absurdly unattainable levels, the silence isn't helping anyone.

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I first played Half-Life 2 when the Orange Box came out. I didn't actually play through Half-Life 1 until maybe a couple years ago, and I definitely enjoyed it a bit more than I did Half-Life 2.

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5 minutes ago, Skeletonpatch said:

If I wasn't an overly paranoid person I'd post a picture of my face and show you that I literally try to emulate Gordon Freeman's appearance. That might give you an indication of how much I like the series.

 

I wish Valve would either confirm that there will never be a Half-Life 3 or f@*%ing show something about it already! The hype that's been building up for the game has already reached absurdly unattainable levels, the silence isn't helping anyone.

 

I don't remember when it was, but at some point in 2017 when Gabe and co. did an AMA I recall them saying they were open to an HL side story game and they were also interested in an HL movie. But I could be remembering things wrong.

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26 minutes ago, CARRiON said:

 

I don't remember when it was, but at some point in 2017 when Gabe and co. did an AMA I recall them saying they were open to an HL side story game and they were also interested in an HL movie. But I could be remembering things wrong.

I remember ages ago Quentin Tarantino expressed interest in a Half-Life movie. Nothing ever came of it, though.

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I've played the HL-1 for year ago. Good game. 

But I'm not interested in that.

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Posted (edited)

Half Life 1 and Half Life 2, both top notch games for their era, IMO. 

 

The major issue I had with them was their disappointing endings. I thought the Nihilanth was a rubbish boss, and felt the HL2 finale was an anticlimax, with the cheap 'red herring' factor of the helicopters (I spent ages trying to shoot them down), then the fairground-type task of knocking over some skittles (or whatever) with oversized table-tennis balls fired from the gravity gun - reminds me a bit of the IoS.

 

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Episode 2's finale would have been good if it weren't so obnoxiously overlong. 

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2 hours ago, CARRiON said:

I liked Opposing Force the first time I played it, but now I don't really think it's very well thought out at all.


The never-was-that-good AI couldn't be more apparent with how suicidal the HECU NPCs act, and all the fan fiction-y garbage like Race X and the Black Ops being an excuse to still fight human enemies (that doesn't make sense in this context as it was implied they were working together in the base game).

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As much as I adore Opposing Force, I really can't remember a single thing about the story. 

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1 hour ago, Ajora said:

As much as I adore Opposing Force, I really can't remember a single thing about the story. 

You're in a military unit that has been sent to a facility where otherworldly creatures have taken over thanks to a teleportation experiment gone wrong.

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Well, yeah, I remember the gist of it, just none of the specifics. 

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17 minutes ago, Chow Yun Thin said:

You're in a military unit that has been sent to a facility where otherworldly creatures have taken over thanks to a teleportation experiment gone wrong.


Sounds like every sci-fi action shooter game ever.

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I played the HL games extensively in the past and a shitload of mods for both games for a few years, good times. I think I played HL exclusively around that time, and it was well worth it although I might've taken that to the extreme since nowadays there's nothing that makes me go back and relive the experience. Either way, it's a fantastic series which was revolutionary and highly influential in its glory days, HL2 was also among the first modern shooters I played, but I just wish EP2 never ended on a cliffhanger because well, we're damn sure never getting a sequel, the canned EP3 Pastebin script is likely as far as we'll ever get.

 

9 hours ago, Ajora said:

Let's not any of us forget about Opposing Force, either. That's gotta be one of the most impeccably well-designed campaigns for any FPS ever made. Many would even argue that it's better than Half-Life's campaign. I've often heard that it's one of the hardest FPS games of all time, but I didn't have much trouble beating it on hard mode.

 

Hardest FPS ever? Well yeah, that's certainly a new one. It does get a bit difficult later down the road (as literally any game does), but that's as difficult as it ever was from my POV as well, nowhere near such a legendary level even though I think it is a bit more intense than the original was overall.

 

The new weapons it introduces were nothing less than awesome as well, it was so fun to gib everything with the Spore Launcher or eat the weaker enemies with the barnacle :v . OP4's arsenal was probably the best of all games.

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