We’re moving into the second half of issue two’s content, and what better way to begin than with an ode to Half-Life? It’s one of those games that, with a little finesse and the projection of a sense of confidence, could effectively be argued to be regarded as the turning point between the early years of gaming and its modern era. You know, if you were into that sort of posturing.
GameSpite Quarterly 2, #44: Half-Life
8 thoughts on “GameSpite Quarterly 2, #44: Half-Life”
Points for picking out the worst possible pictures possible for the article. I miss Ivan the Space Biker.
Yeah, I try to use odd or inappropriate header/promo art whenever possible. It’s a knack.
The first time I ever played a Half-Life game was in the phenomenal Orange Box. From reading people’s experiences with the collection most people played Portal first, but I started with Half-Life 2 and went through them like a box of Pumpkin Delights. When I was finished with Ep 2 I felt slightly depressed that my journey through the eyes of Gordon Freeman had come to an end. The only comparable experience was when I had finished “The Journey” in Persona 3 FES. BTW, how goes the admin processes?
I thought the header was awesome. And Matt elegantly nailed why Half-Life and storytelling can be significant, in the service of a solid game.
And without that emphasis on writing/story, and without the Half-Life games themselves, we’d never have Portal. Perhaps more significant than its tech-lineage, Portal directly evolved from the insights between play and storytelling in Half-Life. Even though Portal feels so different, perhaps it’s a classic for similar reasons.
Loved the article. Remember the world before Half-Life when FPS games were still called “Doom-clones”?
Great article as always.
That header picture is of real life gordon freeman. He’s a real theoretical physicist who works at a real research facility in Geneva, Switzerland. Great choices of pictures, parish.
Yeah, I specifically looked for the Gordon Freeman attached to the LHC project. One of my favorite bits of random nerd synchronicity ever!
I think the Carmack comment and the observation in the article about the shallowness of game stories being directly tied to their play is pretty indicative of even the present approach to game writing. Games are still written around their mechanics, instead of with. That’s completely backwards.
This is actually a pretty timely post for me. I was thinking about Half-Life yesterday, and how well it integrated the story with its mechanics, and how it was kind of a shame the story wasn’t really very good. The storytelling still stands as something of a revelation, though, especially among the FPS genre.
I really like the images used here, too, but the Dreamcast cover is a little bittersweet.
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