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T O P I C
And Half-Life Too
May 11th 2003, 13:32 CEST by Dumdeedum

Well the fog of PR has lifted and Half-Life 2 is now unveiled online.  As you'd expect, all the main gaming sites have taken it in their stride, showing a maximum of decorum, plenty of thoughtful comments and very little drool - beautiful, reflecting, rippling drool.

Bitter hatred of the press aside, it does look like its going to be pretty impressive.  The first installment pulled off the rare trick of combining many features of previous games into a whole greater than the sum of its parts, from the screenshots and descriptions it appears the sequel is trying to do the same.  We've got eyeballs and facial animation from NOLF2, rag-dolling from Hitman, big outdoor areas from lots of games and a gritty, realistic feel to the maps, possibly from any of the numerous WW2 games.  Spiffy flames too.

Also in its favour is Valve's continued dominance of the Mod scene.  With low system requirements, an editor claiming to be a "complete development environment" coupled with plenty of support from Valve, it suggests Half-Life will continue to be the game "operating system" of choice for idea men and weapon modelers alike.

So far, so good, but on the downside it has more in the way of competition than it's predecessor ever had; Doom 3 and its graphics, Deus Ex 2 and its narrative depth, Duke Nukem Forever and its 5 year backlog of movie references.  Include the rose-tinted memories of the original and the subsequent expectations and it adds up to a very heavy burden indeed, not made any lighter by the spelling of "Alyx".

So, have you given in to giggling fanboyism or has your blackened, jaded heart remained true?
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Home » Topic: And Half-Life Too

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#1 by Russ
2003-05-11 13:44:07
Here's one giggling fanboy. As long as I don't have to fight another giant baby at the end.

There's two kinds of people in the world. People with guns and people who dig.
#2 by m0nty
2003-05-11 13:44:17
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Yay, a well-written topic! What a relief!
#3 by lwf
2003-05-11 13:46:23
I never made it to the end, best game ever!

Though I saw them all, I can't recall which cartoon was real.
#4 by m0nty
2003-05-11 13:46:28
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Hmm, after seeing those screenies, I'd like to see a definition of "low system requirements".
#5 by lwf
2003-05-11 13:46:50
i bet it runs on a p3 600

Though I saw them all, I can't recall which cartoon was real.
#6 by m0nty
2003-05-11 13:48:20
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
How about my P2 400?
#7 by Russ
2003-05-11 13:52:09
m0nty
You'll have a pretty slideshow.

There's two kinds of people in the world. People with guns and people who dig.
#8 by m0nty
2003-05-11 13:54:55
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Ooh goody. Just like every other game before I turn off all the features that make the graphics look like they were created after 1995.
#9 by lwf
2003-05-11 13:56:15
Actually you'll probably have an ugly slideshow.

Though I saw them all, I can't recall which cartoon was real.
#10 by m0nty
2003-05-11 13:57:06
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
Depends on how fast I want the slideshow.
#11 by lwf
2003-05-11 13:57:56
Well how much ram and what video card do you have?

Though I saw them all, I can't recall which cartoon was real.
#12 by Sgt Hulka
2003-05-11 13:58:32
HL2 is on my "Must Buy" list, unless I hear it totally sucks, but I doubt it.

Duke Nukem Forever and its 5 year backlog of movie references


LOL.. how true.. I wonder if we'll remember any of them.

Robert E. Waring - insane in the membrane since 1966
#13 by lwf
2003-05-11 14:01:21
I'll probably pirate HL2 and steal it if i need a cdkey.

Though I saw them all, I can't recall which cartoon was real.
#14 by Marsh Davies
2003-05-11 14:14:16
www.verbalchilli.com
You loveable rogue.

#15 by Gunp01nt
2003-05-11 14:16:51
supersimon33@hotmail.com
So far, so good, but on the downside it has more in the way of competition than it's predecessor ever had


Half-Life had some hefty competition as well. Released right after SiN, in a market partially saturated by Quake 2, and receiving heavy graphical competition from Unreal.

the reason why it was so successful was because it didn't look as fancy as Unreal, which allowed lots of people to run the game at good framerates without having to upgrade. that was one of its biggest strengths. It was also virtually bug free, thus beating the crap out of SiN (which is still an equally good game IMHO).

Half-Life 2 has one advantage over Half-Life upon release: it's extremely well known, has an established fanbase greater than that of the Quake and Unreal series combined. The only thing that can stand in the way of success is bad gameplay and low accessiblity due to high system requirements. People are even less eager to frequently upgrade their rig now than they were in 1998.

Todd: "Iíve heard stories about that guy (...) going through parties spraying people with squirt guns filled with pee."
Fat Mike: "Thatís standard."
#16 by Duality
2003-05-11 14:21:33
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Unreal ran better on my P166 with a Voodoo3D card better than Half-Life did.

I just don't want the marines to have loud voices that sound like they've spent the last 2 years eating gravel and drinking bourbon.

Our initial assessment is that they will all die.
#17 by Marsh Davies
2003-05-11 14:22:56
www.verbalchilli.com
I'm not sure this game can really fail to be good. They'd only have to make the first Half-Life again (with bettar graphics!!) to kick the arse of most of the competition out there. And I imagine they've improved on what was there before no end in terms of interaction and submersion.

So, yes, consider me a fanboi. However, more exciting than HL2 is the prospect of another Vampire: The Masquerade game. Though I'm less willingly optimistic about it - not being made by Nihilistic this time, but Troika. And it's a first person with RPG elements, rather than an RPG through and through. It might be just the way to rinse the sluggishness of combat out, that was present in the first, and, what with Troika's background in RPGs, maybe they'll be able to inject a bit more story, and non-linear gameplay into it. Who knows?

#18 by Gunp01nt
2003-05-11 14:23:49
supersimon33@hotmail.com
are you sure about that? I initially ran Unreal and Half-Life on a P133 with a Voodoo 1. Unreal was sluggish on anything higher than 640x480 with low quality textures, whereas Half-Life ran okay on 800x600.

Todd: "Iíve heard stories about that guy (...) going through parties spraying people with squirt guns filled with pee."
Fat Mike: "Thatís standard."
#19 by Duality
2003-05-11 14:28:59
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
Are you sure?  I don't think Voodoo3D's were capable of running about 640x480. ;)

There were times it would chug, no doubt -- the waterfall in the second map and the large out-door areas.  But the indoor areas ran much smoother.

Of course now, if you were to ask me to test it, Unreal would run like hell in OpenGL.  Did they ever fix that issue with higher end Nvidia based cards (specifically GeForce or higher).

Our initial assessment is that they will all die.
#20 by Hugin
2003-05-11 15:00:39
lmccain@nber.org
Half Life ran better on my old P166 than Unreal did.
#21 by m0nty
2003-05-11 15:15:14
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
I have 256MB of RAM and a GF4MX.

/me hangs head in shame
#22 by lwf
2003-05-11 15:16:54
so you have a gf2mx and 256 mb of ram.. I think it will be ok.

Though I saw them all, I can't recall which cartoon was real.
#23 by ProStyle
2003-05-11 15:31:14
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
I'm pretty positive HL2 will be spectacular, however, that's not where my main interest resides. What really piques my curiosity is the information they've said they're going to release on the current status of their next big flagship multiplayer product which (I'm definately assuming here) is going to be a seperate product from Half Life 2. I've kinda been waiting around for the next thing from the masterminds who created TF since the final major 2.5 release so many years ago. Lets not forget how it was destined to be the big Quake2 mod, but then was supposedly delayed to be a Half Life mod - and then Valve hired them and it was going to be it's own standalone game. After seeing these screenshots I definately am glad they waited for some more advanced tech to work with 'cause it'll only be that much more amazing and honest to (insert chosen deity here) and all the souls here at PC I haven't enjoyed a single/multiplayer title since Half Life. It's all I've played for the past 4 years, no UT, no crappy MOH games, nothing -absolutely nothing- has been as fun as CS/DOD/TFC/whathaveyou on an intermitent basis. So with all of my geeky little heart I pray that they can deliver the goods on these titles cause if they don't.... well lets just say I will be jaded beyond return and will formally retire myself to the realm of Real Life once and for all. The pain!

I'm like a quote out of context...
#24 by lwf
2003-05-11 15:35:19
TF2 was looking quite good the last I saw it, also, CS2 is a possibility/probability.

Though I saw them all, I can't recall which cartoon was real.
#25 by Dethstryk
2003-05-11 17:01:59
jemartin@tcainternet.com
#24 lwf
TF2 was looking quite good the last I saw it, also, CS2 is a possibility/probability.

I think you meant "certainty."

"And I'm saying without a relationship with God and those strong convictions HE put in me I wouldn't be a 42 year old who hasn't had sex with anyone today."
#26 by lwf
2003-05-11 17:12:33
Ok.. anyway TF2 sounded like it was going to has coutner-strikish elements, and the counter-strike name is far more well known than TF now, so I think they may amalgamate the two projects.

In fact I am sure of it and you can quote me on this.

Though I saw them all, I can't recall which cartoon was real.
#27 by Dethstryk
2003-05-11 17:25:52
jemartin@tcainternet.com
Counter-strike has turned into a "sport" now, so I can't see that happening.

"And I'm saying without a relationship with God and those strong convictions HE put in me I wouldn't be a 42 year old who hasn't had sex with anyone today."
#28 by lwf
2003-05-11 17:44:43
You can't? You should see your eye-care professional.

Though I saw them all, I can't recall which cartoon was real.
#29 by Dumdeedum
2003-05-11 17:46:29
http://www.dumdeedum.com
Maybe I just missed it, but has anywhere said who is going to be publishing it?  I find it hard to believe they had to raise funding in advance so they should be able to pick and choose, and they chose Activision for DoD... if only we knew someone who works for a publisher...

"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand"
#30 by ProStyle
2003-05-11 18:10:55
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
I'm pretty sure there was an official announcement that they would be partnering with Activision for their next couple of titles, but I could be wrong. One thing they have planned is to release it over their Steam system which really hasn't seen a full stress test yet. Streaming the entire set of standalone CS files in 15 minutes is a pretty good feat in and of itself - but streaming the entirety of even the original Half Life single player (to multiple clients who payed with their credit cards) is a different story.

In all of my experiences when Steam was working I was very impressed with it. The interface was user friendly and simple to understand and with their new VGUI system I think it'll be a gigantic leap forward in a packaged game delivery system, setup tool and server browser. Something a little more professional and a step away from the horrid trend of q3 engine titles with "GameSpy Powered" systems is definately needed. They've also invested time in some interesting messenger systems so you can keep lists of your friends and see what servers they are on and toss them a message if you can't join the game for some reason.

The only drawback to the whole thing is (if I remember correctly) leaving the base Steam application idling in your tray is a pretty big theif on your bandwidth. The whole system is based on utilizing clients who are downloading files or already have them to help upload them to people who are just getting their copy. Good idea in theory but it is particularly disheartening when after finally loading into the first level of CS your ping is a constant 300-800 untill you exit out and close the application thats munching on your bandwidth.

I'm like a quote out of context...
#31 by "Dr Schmilblick Memoryleak"
2003-05-11 19:32:49
There might be the next version of that fruitcake world with asteroids hovering in mid outer-space and yet with some sort of gravity and stuff that looks like like giant mushrooms and transparent glowing spiders...

What was the name of that end-of-game world? Xenoworld? Zobworld? Gee... I think I actually really forgot what it was named... Do you remember what it was called?

I just hope that, this time, they didn't push the level-deseign department on the edge of madness.
#32 by Squeaky
2003-05-11 19:38:25
what?

oh my god, are you giving me cancer? stop it! stopitstopitstopit!
DVDs
#33 by Creole Ned
2003-05-11 19:46:20
VUG/Sierra is publishing Half Life 2. It'll be part of their E3 line-up.

I otherwise agree with what Russ said in post #1. A little Xen is fine, giant floating babies are not.

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#34 by mnemonic
2003-05-11 19:47:43
xmnemonic@softhome.net http://jti.developer.graphyx.net
Half-Life had some hefty competition as well. Released right after SiN, in a market partially saturated by Quake 2, and receiving heavy graphical competition from Unreal.

And Heretic II is forgotten...
#35 by LPMiller
2003-05-11 19:49:07
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
As is Shogo, which is some ways I enjoyed more. Only in some ways though. Half life certainly gave me years of play time and has to be the most bang for the buck I've ever gotten out of a PC game. If I get half that much value from HL2, I'll be more than happy.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#36 by OpenCrap User
2003-05-11 20:00:55
http://opencrap.refracted.com
#34 mnemonic
And Heretic II is forgotten...
Well, no, not at all, but most everyone here is an infidel and doesn't care about that very fine game. "Magic? No, give me the machine gun, please." Pah.

leaving the base Steam application idling in your tray is a pretty big theif on your bandwidth.
Golly. Where have we heard this before?

Seriously, what makes Steam secure and any other p2p app, not?

"Where's the tape??"
"It's digital!!!"
#37 by Mank
2003-05-11 20:09:44
The only drawback to the whole thing is (if I remember correctly) leaving the base Steam application idling in your tray is a pretty big theif on your bandwidth.


Not the only drawback. Hard drive fragmentation was also an issue as well, so unless they have managed to somehow fix the caching system employed by the Steam engine, I forsee a lot of unhappy gamers, especially those with HDD's in the 80+gb range. Another issue was that Steam did not initially like the FAT32 file system, whether by design or not, it will be interesting to see if they've worked these issues out.

All of that aside, I can hardly wait for HL2. I'm just hoping that if HL2 is offered thru the Steam delivery system, that people who do opt to pay for the download will see some kind of price break since the lack of tangibles should offset any advertising, printing and retailer costs often associated with a new release.

"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."
#38 by yotsuya
2003-05-11 20:13:24
I agree with LP there. Shogo was a pretty good game, but the marketing of it was stupid. Something with a large gun and a scantily clad chick with the words "Chicks dig big things."

"YES!!  You see people, THAT'S why he's the Vice-President of A/V Services here at Respawn Games.  Yotsuya ALWAYS unleashes the fucking fury!" - Warren Marshall
#39 by Mank
2003-05-11 20:16:02
mnemonic:
And Heretic II is forgotten...


Not by a long shot....at least not in my house. Altho I do admit its release was a bit overshadowed, but there wasnt a whole lot of hype or prominance of the brand at the time of its release either.

"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."
#40 by OpenCrap User
2003-05-11 20:32:44
http://opencrap.refracted.com
#37 Mank
Hard drive fragmentation was also an issue as well, so unless they have managed to somehow fix the caching system employed by the Steam engine, I forsee a lot of unhappy gamers, especially those with HDD's in the 80+gb range.
It is unlikely, imo, that the users that will be affected by this issue (i.e., users who don't know how to defragment or naively believe that it is a non-issue) will ever put 2 + 2 together and blame Steam for this.

"Where's the tape??"
"It's digital!!!"
#41 by Dethstryk
2003-05-11 20:36:47
jemartin@tcainternet.com
I had a blast playing Heretic II at some LAN parties I threw, and bringing it back up makes me want to get the CD out and do it again.

"And I'm saying without a relationship with God and those strong convictions HE put in me I wouldn't be a 42 year old who hasn't had sex with anyone today."
#42 by JMCDaveL
2003-05-11 21:11:22
I always find the builtin Gamespy browsers hilarious, sometimes it seems like they just pick a random number to report as the ping.

All Seeing Eye makes ingame browsers useless anyway.

--jmc
#43 by Dethstryk
2003-05-11 21:22:36
jemartin@tcainternet.com
#42 JMCDaveL
All Seeing Eye makes ingame browsers useless anyway.

Agreed. ASE is some of the best registration money I've ever spent.

"And I'm saying without a relationship with God and those strong convictions HE put in me I wouldn't be a 42 year old who hasn't had sex with anyone today."
#44 by MCorleone
2003-05-12 00:47:54
As one of the only people who enjoyed Arcanum, I'm truly looking forward to the new Vampire game too.  FPS?  Been there, done that.  Gordon's a suit's bitch?  Female sidekick?  Yawn.  Gimme something with depth, please.

Caryn, on E3:
"FLASHING LIGHTS FLASHING LIGHTS GIRLS IN PANTIES OH HEY LOOK AT OUR GAME"
#45 by Warren Marshall
2003-05-12 00:49:02
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
And you're looking for that depth in the new Vampire game?

Bubble Bombing Fun!
#46 by The_Joker
2003-05-12 01:25:10
http://www.jackinworld.com
Shogo is an FPS game I enjoyed the most up till now. Multiplayer Shogo in MCA mode rocked.

Joker, Ph.D. Procedural Assholian Behaviour, Pedophilosopher
- All your ass are belong to my wang Jafd. Prepare to are penetration.
"I fart in THX." - Sgt_Hulka

PENETRATOR: Rise of the Wang Cuming "When it's done".
#47 by MCorleone
2003-05-12 02:55:53
With Troika at the helm?  Yeah, I'm looking for depth from it.  I'm also looking for depth while watching this Survivor finale, so hey.*

*No, I'm not looking for depth from survivor.

Caryn, on E3:
"FLASHING LIGHTS FLASHING LIGHTS GIRLS IN PANTIES OH HEY LOOK AT OUR GAME"
#48 by Creole Ned
2003-05-12 03:04:18
Yes, Half Life 2 will undoubtedly suck because it lacks depth, whatever that means.

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#49 by Charles
2003-05-12 03:21:16
www.bluh.org
Half Life 2 will undoubtedly not be as entertaining as the first.  

Or at least, even odds.

Of course, this is only a minor technicality, as even when "properly elected" into office, a politician has as much chance of not having gotten there via corrupt means as Dubya has of spelling racecar backwards.  --UncleJeet
#50 by Dethstryk
2003-05-12 03:23:38
jemartin@tcainternet.com
Damn, dirty liars.

"And I'm saying without a relationship with God and those strong convictions HE put in me I wouldn't be a 42 year old who hasn't had sex with anyone today."
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