Half-Life has to be the most revolutionary game to hit the PC thus far. It got rid of the notion of “levels,” fun multiplayer, and it was just fun to play. Valve decided to take everything that made the original famous, and improve everything. What is one of the greatest improvements in this game is the story. Using common logic, people usually create trilogies when the storyline is directly involved. The story starts off when you, Gordon Freeman, are woken up. The malevolent alien force that attacked him in Black Mesa is now attacking innocent civilians. The creators of the game want Gordon to be transparent, because it is player who is controlling Gordon. Because of that, you won’t hear a 5-minute speech from Gordon. The story of Half-Life relied heavily on inference. Half-Life didn’t have documents lying around which tells the entire story and/or an engorgement of background information. Half-Life 2 will rely on inference just as much as the original. There are twelve chapters in this game. A level in a normal game is the place where you save and somehow the environment totally changes.
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Half-Life 2 (just like the original Half-Life) doesn’t do that. Rather the game is just one seamless transition from one place to another. There are no save stations, rather there is the auto-save state function. It is this style that made the original Half-Life so popular and unique. The physics engine makes this game look fantastic. Every object has accurate physical properties (mass, density, weight) to their real-life counterparts. The amount of realism in this game is amazing.
The NPC’s seem to be very intelligent. They seem to know what they are doing. They aren’t complete idiots, nor do they do everything for you. The enemies are also well done. They adapt and react to what ever you try to do, which is very nice.
Half-Life 2 won’t go down as “The Greatest Game Ever” as many times as the original did, but it could very well win a ton of awards at many end of the year ceremonies. What the original revolutionized was the online gaming community and the mod community. Half-Life 2 is trying to revolutionize the realism of gaming in general. Normal developers won’t care about all these things like how accurately they depicted each object (even if it is unimportant), how detailed their physic engine is, or anything like that, but after Half-Life 2 gets enough steam, they will.
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