I did play it shortly after launch, and I’ll admit that the train opening was pretty good. And the physics was neat for a while, which was HL2’s biggest step forward(?) But the feeling of being railroaded all the way to a pointless “to be continued…” ending really rubbed me the wrong way.
Had to look back at what other shooters were released before HL2. There’s Deus Ex, Halo, Far cry. I enjoyed all of those more than I did HL2.
HL2 was amazing and is still amazing today due to its atmosphere, music, varied level design and great gameplay. In fact I am chomping at the bit to play the final finished version of Black Mesa so I can then continue with HL2 Update and the two episodes, and finish with reading this conclusion at least. Really looking forward to marathoning this series again. I am glad Marc published this, since it is clear we are never gonna get anything from Valve themselves.
Why couldn’t they at least hire someone like 4A Games to build it for them, dammit.
Look you guys have read all the stories about Valve’s hierarchy or lack thereof. All someone has to do to get a project going is declare they’re doing it and put together a team. The reason Half Life 3 doesn’t exist is because nobody wants to make it. Half Life is dead and buried.
They weren’t stereotypical in 2004. Sure, there had been truly “on-rails” sequences (you shot things as the terrain scrolled by) but really nothing like the car or the boat. I mean, who wasn’t a little excited, roaring through a channel, an airship dropping mines in front of you, driving that thing up jumps like a silent Duke boy?
Plus, they’re the opposite of “on rails” in that you have full control of the vehicles. The levels mostly keep you on a limited path, but you can easily fuck up and go the wrong way, go too slow, and there are more open parts that encourage exploration.