Half-Life - 20 years on

Discussion in 'PC Games' started by CAPT-Irrelevant, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. CAPT-Irrelevant

    CAPT-Irrelevant Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5,792
    Location:
    Sydney
    No, Half-Life 3 not confirmed :(

    https://www.theguardian.com/games/2018/nov/21/half-life-at-20-valve-shooter-sci-fi-horror

    It's a little much to call it THE most important shooter, because this mantle could easily belong to several other games such as Halo and Doom, but it'd certainly be ranked up there, though I'd agree on basis of how it changed the industry of how to perform story-telling. We probably wouldn't have Steam and many online services wouldn't exist in their current form if it weren't for HL's success. Heck, I think even Fallout 4 pays homage to its gameplay mechanics.

    What are your memories? Any thoughts on anything that came about as a result of Half-Life?
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  2. Cererus

    Cererus Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Messages:
    1,447
    Location:
    ≥∞
    Have replayed the HL series god knows how many times, even my missus likes it!
    Good story, and spin offs like blue shift and Opposing force set in the same place and Portal 1&2 which had a good back story which tied in with the HL universe as well

    Unfortunately Gale has realised there's much more money (and cheeseburgers) to be had by not paying game developers and actually making games just get a bunch of admins and script monkeys and become a distribution platform.

    All is not lost, Black Messa group have a new trailer for the Xen levels. Supposed to be out mid 2019
     
    banshee and BurningFeetMan like this.
  3. roamin

    roamin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,746
    Location:
    melb / Crimebourne
    half life was the first person shooter that i remember that had a full story involved as such, that opening scene in the cart going through the different areas was mind blowing at the time.

    something no other game did at the time the way half life did. yes there were first person shooters but nothing as story related and in depth at the time.

    halo was later on, so it cant be included as such in the accolades of story telling and so on, it was released 3 years after half life was released. it cant even come close to the titles half life got. in most gamers minds half life will always be what set the benchmarks for games today and rightfully so i say. it was mind blowing in its day.

    as for HL3, that idea is dead.
     
  4. Sledge

    Sledge Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Messages:
    7,597
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Yeah HL stands out for me story wise too..
    graphics were pretty good for it's time too, but it really got you into the game through the story more so..

    i still remember a couple of stand outs...
    going through the vents and the headcrab jumps at you..
    and another time going through a hallway and something smashes through the wall at you... can't remember what it was though.. (I'm sure it was HL.. though maybe it was quake)
     
  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    35,699
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Maybe.

    Early technology sees exponential jumps, until tried and true methods are found and things settle down. Doom was that. It's easy to point to it and say how amazing it was at the time (because it was), and it might be controversial to say, but was it not for Doom, something else would have filled that void. Doom took A LOT of technical shortcuts to produce an interesting visual style, which was common of early video games. Almost every video game of the 80s and early 90s was more or less technological slight of hand, doing enough tricky stuff to fool us into thinking it was much more than it was.

    But 3D engines and gaming was an inevitability. 3D hardware was in development independently, and gaming as an artform that represents real life would have caught up eventually. Doom filled a void in the middle that demonstrated there was something we could do while we waited, but I think the novelty of the game makes it more than it actually was (even if I subjectively enjoyed it A LOT). If we take off the rose coloured glasses, Doom was an empty action movie, and not a cinematic masterpiece.

    Halo came years later, and I'd argue Halo exists *because* Half-Life showed us that it could exist. Halo's development is well known, and prior to what Microsoft ultimately made it, Bungie didn't appear to be doing a very good job of keeping it on track. Their prior FPS games (Marathon 1 and 2), while arguably story driven, were very easy to ignore the story. You had walls of text you had to read off computer screens, which could be safely ignored as you blasted your way through the game.

    Half-Life changed that. And while there were other FPS games with both story and NPC interaction, nothing came close to the effort that was put into making that a major component of Half-Life. It woke up both an industry and a customer base to the concept that video games could deliver a lot more than just mindless violence, but that more complex ideas, stories and interactions were possible. And sure, as above, there was a lot of slight-of-hand going on (the game is entirely linear, and there's no real choice whatsoever). But as a story telling vehicle, it's fantastic.

    About the only FPS I can think of prior to Half-Life that holds any level of importance at delivering story was System Shock. The glaring downside to that game is it controlled like crap, and was entirely tedious. Half-Life remove the tedium entirely, and brought a story that could have existed in a RPG type world to the FPS genre, but without the tedium of that genre (which itself is not bad, but generally sends FPS players screaming in the other direction).

    For me, Half-Life set a new standard. Indeed, it was about the time I checked out of FPS games. And while I don't mind a blast at something like Counter-Strike (or its modern day descendent like Overwatch and the like), my interest doesn't stay long held with them, because I subjectively enjoy more of a story with my games. Fast forward further, and now you've got a slew of amazing 3D games with deep stories, but also offer their share of action and choices to make them more than just an interactive movie. And perhaps that would have happened without Half-Life, and some other game would have filled the void. But I'm thankful that it woke up an industry that was in dire need of some inspiration at the time.
     
    fredhoon and Rubberband like this.
  6. Mynamewastaken

    Mynamewastaken Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Messages:
    903
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I know it's a Half-Life thread, but I just want to say that Unreal doesn't get enough love.

    Released months before Half-Life, the game was gorgeous for the time. While the story is mostly forgettable, it had some great 'cinematic' sequences. Finally escaping the crashed prison ship and stepping out onto/into Na Pali for the first time was mind blowing. Looking up at the sun shining over the huge purple/blue cliffs. The birds? circling over head. The fucking Skaarj! The scene in the 2nd or 3rd level where you 'meet' your first Skaarj. Pants shitting stuff back then. :D

    Half-Life is good too though. :)
     
    Rubberband and self_slaughter like this.
  7. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    618
    Thoughts:
    https://forums.overclockers.com.au/posts/18046039/
    Half-life was brilliant and has held up amazingly well.

    Hands down the most important first person shooter ever made... Doom, halo, goldeneye, system shocks, bioshocks, and unreal all combined are not as important for gaming as Half-Life was and is.

    Spare the outrage at that statement because it’s true. Half life set the benchmark for FPS.
     
  8. PsychoSmiley

    PsychoSmiley Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Messages:
    6,728
    Location:
    Taranaki, New Zealand
    Half-Life is one of those seminal FPS titles of the 90's/early 2000's. It did something unique yet also allowed other things to come into existence by virtue of itself.

    Would I like closure on the series? Absolutely. Will we get it? I'm doubtful. The gift of money in my opinion is the absolute worst thing ever to happen to Valve. They have such huge coffers they just don't give a shit frankly and are only interested in how they can monotise the market. I can't blame them as that's business but if they weren't awash with funds perhaps HL3 would have been thing. The Orange Box honestly was such incredible value back in the day and I had a ball with TF2 and the WP/OCAU Friday night games.
     
    Fortigurn and FIREWIRE1394 like this.
  9. zbone

    zbone Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,349
    Meh
    Never finished even first mission in HL and never played 2nd despite watching some videos on it. Don't feel like I missed anything at all. Doom definitely more than HL and arguably Quake too.
     
  10. Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    12,953
    Location:
    taipei.tw
    I have never played Half Life; my introduction to the series was Half Life 2. I found it absolutely groundbreaking. I think it was a genuine shift in video games. It wasn't that it had anything which no other game had, it was more the combination of features and the way they were integrated.
     
  11. havabeer

    havabeer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    4,492
    yep its my #1 game

    played it to death so many times, i used to have the CD key memorised from how many computers i've installed it on (including friends, school computers etc) the story and interactivity with the world (like blowing up the monster with the satellite in space using the positioning thing) awesome graphics, set in the modern day, some of those musical scores while battling the soldiers and the multiplayer was tons of fun as well

    almost worth a reinstall and play through
     
    p3t0r and Fortigurn like this.
  12. Penfold

    Penfold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    290
    I still can't work out why they havent released an updated VR version.
     
  13. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Messages:
    9,525
    Location:
    Griffin , Brisbane
    My current - supposed to be in progress retro build is around this game. Will hopefully get to sit down and play it next mth to celebrate it's 20yrs!

    OP article did a good job of capturing most of what makes this game magic I think

    I don't know if anyone remembers the Manual ?- It had pencil concept art in the background all through it with notations , level design etc. was like a hint at the awesomeness within when flicking through it before even installing it
     
  14. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    35,699
    Location:
    Brisbane
    How do you feel about more modern story-driven games?

    My wife finds video game story tedious (despite loving film and novels). Interesting to see her skip stories in games like the Witcher series, loving the action and hating the cutscenes. Meanwhile I'm sitting next to her wishing I could see everything she's skipping. :lol:
     
  15. FuzwaldQO

    FuzwaldQO Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2001
    Messages:
    1,087
    Location:
    Near Hobart...
    Plenty of others have said it way better than me as to why Half-Life is not-very-arguably the greatest fps ever. I'll just say this:

    When I look back at other good fps games from before and after HL, I always think that was a great game but... there was always something that bugged me about it. When I think back about playing HL... there's no 'but'. Obviously these days you could criticise the graphics. You can do that about any game released a while ago. But HL, there's nothing I think back to when I was playing and say I wish that was different. Actually I lie, I hated the Xen mission lol. But that's only coz I was unco and struggled to get through it haha.
     
  16. WuzzA21

    WuzzA21 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,371
    subbed. I played HL and all of its mods, didn't much like HL2 and i never completed it, but its still sitting in the draw right next to me (only game in my draw fyi). I would love to see how this goes.
     
  17. havabeer

    havabeer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    4,492
    the blue shift and opposing force had some funny stuff like that in the manuals as well.

    homeworld shipped with a novella of a manual that included this huge back story in it.

    back in the day when the box and manual where a tiny part of the reason to buy a game
     
  18. Lithiumz

    Lithiumz Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    476
    Location:
    Bundaberg, QLD 4670
    My fav single player series of all time. Hl2 was probably better for my gen but still play them all every 2 years or so. No hl would mean no counter strike wh
    ich means I'd get half my life back *wink*
     
  19. Rubberband

    Rubberband Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    6,746
    Location:
    Doreen, 3754
    Loved them all, played them all multiple times and I'll play

    It felt like a work of art when it was released, production values beyond anything that had come before with a cinematic feel no one had successfully pulled off in an FPS.

    Definitely a genre-defining release, but then so many great games were back then.
     
  20. adamsleath

    adamsleath Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    13,132
    Location:
    Sunnybank Q4109
    brain sucking aliens whats not to like? starting off with a crowbar lol
     

Share This Page