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Nov 04

Half-Life 2 Again

I finished HL2. It offered me about 20 hours worth of gameplay. The game engine and game world are amazing. Just about everything is interactive and some of the scripted sequences are really creative. The way characters interact with you is terrific – facial expressions, turning to look directly at you, gesticulations, everything. The only weakness of the game, and this is pretty common from what I gather, is the plot. The first HL had an excellent overarching storyline, but HL2 doesn’t immerse you as much in the plot. You don’t really get to hear much about City 17 or what happened in the years between HL or HL2. For the first half of the game it just seems as if you’re being asked to move from place to place before you’ll get an explanation – an explanation which never really comes because people keep getting kidnapped. By the time the ending comes, you don’t even have enough information to make any speculations about things such as who G-Man is, who the Benefactors are and so on.

HL definitely was richer in terms of story ideas – alien worlds, big bosses, exotic weapons and bizarre monsters. HL2 is much more standard in comparison and things really only get interesting in the last chapter. But don’t get me wrong, the “standard world” of HL2 is incredible – a city that looks like how you’d imagine the old eastern European communist countries were like, a ghost town, etc. They need to release an expansion pack which does a proper plot, now that they’ve produced a kickass FPS engine.