Wow. Busy. Work. And Half Life 2. And comment spam.

First, my sincerest thanks to the jerk currently at for comment spamming me; moderation's enabled for the time being. Hope we can get a nice CAPTCHA thingy implemented here soon.

While it might *look* to the casual observer like Halo 2 came out and I stopped blogging, it's more like Halo 2 came out, and then Half Life 2 came out, and I wasn't blogging because between my extended work hours (busy at work), and my extended home hours (avec loud sound effects), there's no time for anything, really. I refuse to apologize, cos blogging apologies are possibly the least useful of the wide range of useless blog posts.

Back to something I care about: I really wanted to say that HL2 rocks, but something's stopping me from saying that. I can't yet articulate what my problem with HL2 is, but there's something not quite right about it. As a technical accomplishment, it's pretty darn amazing - graphics on a par with Doom 3 in some ways (I think Far Cry still looks most appealing of that set). As a game that you play, I don't know... it just feels like work for a lot of the time.

Aha - I think I've got it - what am I fighting for? Where's the story!? I'm at least halfway through and haven't a clue why I'm here, where I am, what's going on, or who I'm fighting against from the game itself. I feel like I'm going through the motions because it's asked of me, and the game is basically on rails. Shoot this, Gordon. Do that, Gordon. Travel sixty eight miles for no obvious reason, Gordon. Solve this puzzle using the ridiculously conveniently placed items we put here just to slow you down, Gordon.

My desire to see what happens next is overriding my lack of interest in the story so far... hope it gets clearer from here.

Comments (9)

  1. Sandro says:

    Thats so much true about HL2 – just yesterday I had a lot of fun using this hoverboat just to find out that you can’t accomplish the level without the boat. Needless to say I left it behind because I thought there was no way of getting it over some trees. Not only have I’ve been hunted by a nasty helicopter almost 2 hours of my precious time,no – I was crawling through the water and did not really know why I was doing it. Here and there you had to open some gates but without the boat it was not to funny – and after 3 hours I finally got stuck as I had to take the board over a fence – good to know I left it behind just at the beginning. *aaargh*

    Well after doing it all again I finally mastered this level and got the 0-gravity-gun which is absolutely cool – never killed zombies this elegant *hehe*

    I pretty much like the physik engine hand some cool ideas (put stone xyz there to lift this up etc.) but sometimes for no reason I got stuck between a wall and a certain person. The person won’t move and I can’t neither jump over it nor crawl under it – what the heck?!

  2. TristanK says:

    I really liked the game of "catch" with the gravity gun and my friends (don’t want to spoil it for people who haven’t played it yet).

    The gravity gun is kinda cool, balanced by not being effective on all object types… pity.

    Still, the physics are very good where they work – better than Invisible War (though it seemed more generally interactive).

  3. TristanK says:

    Should add – I’ve more or less avoided every preview of HL2 to this point. I came into the game fresh, with no real idea what it was about, and that’s persisting for me now. I’m now reading the previews to try to pick up what all the reviewers seem to innately know about the situation.

    I’m told the manual offers some small insight into what’s happening, but I Steam-d the download, and the Manual it offers is a 2 page quick reference keyboard chart.

  4. Sandro says:

    Don’t wory – the retail box does also only contain this small 2-sided "manual" – there is no really story introduction 😉

    There is, however, a thing which is bothering me – even after playing the game for about 8 hours now I still feel like I just started to play as the world did not really change during these 8 hours – well before I got to work this morning it did but all the time before it just seemed unchanged. The terrain changed though – but I was still in the same city all the time. Funny.

  5. TristanK says:

    Ahhh. I just got to Nova Whatchamacallit, and suddenly there’s a massive story injection while hanging out with my stink-obsessed crew.

    In one voiceover piece, we suddenly get the entire raison d’etre for Dr Breen, and the story’s getting heaped on more from here. It’s good, and it’s about time!

  6. Sandro says:

    I’m close to this Nova Whatever thing but I’m still stunned by this little buggy and these bugs. It’s amazing how realistic they are and that they are afraid of earthquakes. Another cool thing is this powerball (I don’t know how to call it) in combination with the zero-gravity-gun. There’s so much fun playing ball with the bad boys and dispose the ball down the cliff if you want to get rid of it.

    The physic-engine is really amazing …

  7. TristanK says:

    Damn, I didn’t even think of using the powerballs on the bad guys, and they were nice and small enough to see over, unlike those pesky barrels I’ve been launching at people. They make a really satisfying thump when disposed of out to sea, though! 🙂

    It’s the best havok engine implementation I’ve seen to date – Max Payne 2 was the other notable (still wins my "best game story" award, when played after MP1).

  8. Sandro says:

    Did you try to pull these huge, huge containers with that crane at the petrol station? It was so much fun smashing all these bad boys with it and lower the bridge at the same time. Really awesome – can’t wait to lay my hands on one of the multiplayer mods which will hopefully soon begin to materialize. Counter Strike: Source is ok but without the 0-Gravity gun it’s not the same 😉

  9. mike says:

    "Solve this puzzle using the ridiculously conveniently placed items we put here just to slow you down, Gordon."

    I especially like the well placed washing machine used to level out the boat and the dock. There are others of course, but that one takes the cake so far.

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