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Not impressed with Half-life episode 1 - Stephan [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Stephan

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Not impressed with Half-life episode 1 [Nov. 9th, 2008|08:50 am]
Stephan
The opinions expressed below are those of one individual gamer and are protected under free speech laws.

With this fever clouding the thoughts in my head I've been unable to do anything intelligent, so I left my computer running to download Half-life 2. It turned out to be more than 2 gigabytes in total - a good thing I've temporarily upgraded my download quota from my service provider.

To start with I am most indignant about the fact that in order to play this game you need to download such a whopping load off the internet when you've already paid for the disc. That shouldn't be allowed.

More importantly, I would state that after my experience with the game it just wasn't worth the expense. The plot turned out to be nothing but an obstacle course from start to finish, and highly tedious. I think it was written by the same person(s) who wrote Half-Life Opposing Force, which is in the same pattern.

There were only two objectives in the game. The first quarter was to stabilise the enemy (nuclear?) reactor to delay a meltdown. That wasn't too bad, although I'm always uncomfortable with game settings that have lots of fatal falls if you slip off the edge of a path. With my fever they made me all the more dizy.

The rest of the game was just getting to the railway station on foot. No cute little vehicles like in previous games (even in Opposing Force there was the Black Mesa railway cart). This went on, and on, and on, and on, and on. Fighting past zombies, headcrabs and combine forces, over, and over, and over, and over again. Through one wrecked building after another, and another, and another, and another.

I'm trying to be fair in that sequels often have the difficult task of improving upon the original, but this game really lacked any kind of substance. Even the storyline seemed insubstantial to me. To give a movie parallel, the production crew of Back to the Future admitted that if they'd known there would be a Back to the Future II they'd NOT have put the character Jennifer in the time machine at the end of the first movie because they then had to take the story in a different direction. Similarly in Half-Life 2 Episode 1 there's a plot hole in that Gordon is apparently freed from the Gman by the vortigaunts, and Alex is rescued from certain death yet there's no explanation, and both suddenly appear at the base of the citadel.

Not impressed at all.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: marmoe
2008-11-08 11:18 pm (UTC)
Never tried Half-life myself. How about the Thief series? Would a first-person-sneaker interest you? In that case Thief - Deadly Shadows is excellent.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-11-09 03:31 am (UTC)
I'm not familiar with that one. I'd like to look it up in Wikipedia, or a similar resource. Is that the full name? "Thief - Deadly Shadows" ?

I used to be a real junkie where games are concerned, but these days I'm usually only drawn into them either for sake of socialising with my friends (Eg: World of Warcraft) or if it's a sequel to a game I've already enjoyed (Eg: Half Life). My favourites are strategy games (especially such as Railway Tycoon) and the occasional first-person shooter. I've also bought Fallout 1 & 2 both of which I've enjoyed. Then there's Microsoft Train Similator which would be fabulous if not for all the serious bugs.

I'm desperately trying to save money, but I occasionally look in the local games shop for bargains. The Half-life 2 game pack appeared to be good value because it included half life episodes 1 and 2 (I wont be able to afford to download episode 2 for a while yet). However I'm most dissapointed with episode 1.
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[User Picture]From: marmoe
2008-11-09 11:01 am (UTC)
The series is described here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thief_(series)

The individual Names are
Thief - The Dark Project
Thief - The Metal Age
Thief - Deadly Shadows (new, far superior game engine)

The game play is set in a city middle age world with steam engines. You go on a series of missions where most of the time you sneak around your enemies (you can fight, but your strongest weapon is stealth) and gather the loot on the way. The sneaking includes exploration and a little riddle solving at times. It quickly goes from stealing in the real world to encountering zombies and monsters or maniac's creations, depending on the individual game. The missions have an ongoing, captivating story. The overall atmosphere is great. Be prepared to play on rather dark screens, the shadows are your friends, after all.

The first one was very good already and the sequels only got better. You may have difficulties getting the first two, as they are quite dated. The third is sold for about 10 Euros over here. The Cradle mission of the Deadly Shadows is the most atmospheric dense missions I have ever seen.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-11-11 10:31 am (UTC)
Hi Marmoe,

That sounds fantastic! I really want a copy of that. I hope my local games store can order one for me. Wikipedia (incidentally I had to remove the space from your link) says that the game came out in 2000. Oh I hope there's still a chance for me to buy a copy.

I'll let you know if I'm successful. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you - I've been very ill, but I still have to go to work.
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[User Picture]From: marmoe
2008-11-11 09:19 pm (UTC)
At the very least it's still on amazon (do they deliver to Australia ?) :
Collection, 45 USD
Thief: Deadly Shadows 20 USD
Thief 1 + 2 25 USD

You may get them cheaper locally.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-11-12 09:56 am (UTC)
Possibly, but I've never been able to obtain a credit card.

Besides, the Austrailan dollar has gone to hell. :(
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[User Picture]From: marmoe
2008-11-12 11:45 pm (UTC)
Before I forget, check the requirements for Thief III:
Minimum System Requirements: You need to remember that T:DS is only designed to run on Windows XP and Windows 2000 and also requires DirectX9.0b. Not meeting these simple requirements can and will result in a great many problems. Another important requirement is at least a 64MB graphics card with hardware support for Pixel Shader 1.1 - basically this means the game will not run on any MX card, or anything older than a GeForce3 or Radeon 8500. The CPU requirement is also fairly steep, at 1.5GHz or higher (2.0Ghz + recommended). If you don't meet these hardware requirements, or barely meet them, then expect to see poor performance, visual anomalies, and in some cases the game simply will not run. Unfortunately there are no "software hacks" or tweaks available to assist you - it's time for an upgrade, as some of the advanced features of the game require full hardware support and nothing less.
(from tweakguides.com)

I hope, this is not a show stopper already.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-11-13 08:05 am (UTC)
I'm running Windows XP, check. My PC has a 2.2ghz chip, check. But I don't know about the graphics card. When I first bought my PC I was very impressed, but the alarm bells started ringing when I went to have the RAM increased, and the shop owner advised me that the orginal store had sold me "the cheapest motherboard available." A few years later my techie friend from Fox Valley fixed the problem with the corroded motherboard, and in the process discovered that the PC had been installed with the wrong graphics drivers.

It might not be able to run The Thief series, but heck that wouldn't stop me buying a copy. There have been plenty of occasions that I've bought games PRIOR to having a PC capable of running them, and some good choices I've made there.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-11-20 12:00 pm (UTC)
Hi Marmoe,

I went to the games shop this evening, but it was a no-go. Everywhere there are World of Warcraft gamers after the latest expansion set, and I've never seen such long queues to the counter.

Hopefully things will calm down in a week or two.
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[User Picture]From: ccdesan
2008-11-09 12:01 am (UTC)
Sorry your experience wasn't more enjoyable. When you pay, you should be able to play...

Perhaps you should forget Black Mesa and come over to Aperture Science...
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-11-09 03:37 am (UTC)
Aperture Science being...?

BTW - I love that Old Wolf emoticon. Is there a way I can look at the complete set?

If I were wealthy I'd commission a set of Foxaroo and Wallabameleon emoticons.
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[User Picture]From: ccdesan
2008-11-09 06:25 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-11-09 09:35 am (UTC)
Those are *really* good. Did you draw them yourself?
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[User Picture]From: ccdesan
2008-11-09 09:51 am (UTC)
Wish I had. Started with a set of generic wolves and "old_wolfized" them.



Some of the originals were animated, as you can see. I didn't have the time to go that far...

Edited at 2008-11-09 09:52 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-11-18 02:59 am (UTC)
I just stumbled upon what "Appature Science" is - the rival facility to Black Mesa. Apparently this features in Half-Life Episode 2, which I haven't downloaded yet.

Smart-aleky old wolf! :P
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[User Picture]From: ccdesan
2008-11-18 06:51 am (UTC)
It's also very prominently featured in "Portal", which if you haven't played, you owe it to yourself to do. It's a most intriguing game, and very inexpensive.
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[User Picture]From: deckardcanine
2008-11-09 08:15 pm (UTC)
Funny you should say these things. The second to last movie I've seen was Back to the Future, Part II. The last movie I've seen, as of today, is The Petrified Forest, whose setting is called Black Mesa. And I found it disappointing.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-11-11 10:35 am (UTC)
I looked up The Petrified Forest in wikepedia, and it said the movie was made in 1936?
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[User Picture]From: deckardcanine
2008-11-11 07:53 pm (UTC)
That's the one. I'm thinking of writing a little about it in my LJ soon.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-11-11 08:13 pm (UTC)
Remind me to have a read when you're done. This cold virus has still not left me and I can't think straight (it's making life hell for me at work). I just posted the most stupid thing "What's the web address of your LJ" when I should have just clicked on your username. :(
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[User Picture]From: deckardcanine
2008-11-12 05:28 am (UTC)
It's up now.
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