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Half-Life 2 Expansion Revealed

Eurogamer.net's Half Life 2 Aftermath Article offers some details on Half-Life 2: Aftermath, a Half-Life 2 expansion in the works at Valve Software. The story is based on an article from PC Gamer UK magazine, which says the add-on will be released this summer. Admitting their source article is pretty shy on details about the project, the story describes gameplay that once again focuses on Gordon Freeman, though Alyx, who many thought would be the main character for an add-on, will be more prominently featured this time out. It seems the add-on may only be distributed via Steam, but the article concludes admitting that these revelations leave us with more questions than answers, so our curiosity will hopefully be satisfied by an official announcement soon. They also have word on Half-Life 2 level called The Lost Coast that will stretch high-end systems to their limits.

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56. Re: Ehhh... Alyx? Apr 13, 2005, 11:38 Gandhi
 
Maybe there's a G-Grrl who emerged from the mushroom cloud to offer Alyx a no-choice too. 'Cept in the 'tween times, instead of Alyx going into stasis, the gals have a slumber party and gossip about the G-Man and Gordon.

LOL! See .... now THAT was funny

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55. Re: Steamed Apr 12, 2005, 14:57 Prez
 
Like I said before, I am forced to admit I had not heard the extent to which HL2 has been pirated. I guess that makes my point about counter-balance moot. But my original point still stands: Lesser developers will suffer immense losses if and when they move to a steam model. It's a shame, but it will serve them right.

 
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54. Re: Steamed Apr 12, 2005, 14:23 Creston
 
The question is whether the virtual elimination of piracy of their title would counter-balance this

Oh please. One of my best friends has, due to circumstances beyond his control, currently no internet access (and none upcoming for the next xx months). He WANTS to buy Half Life 2. He doesn't care about multiplayer, he just wants the single player version.
Valve FORCES him to have internet access to be able to play it.

He had never downloaded a game before, and it took him a grand total of five minutes of searching before he'd found a copy that completely abolishes that Steam authentication thing.

Valve might scream to the high heavens how Steam has abolished piracy of their title, but tell that to the 700 people who were downloading it on the donkey alone last weekend.

Current piracy prevention tactics DO NOT WORK. They only piss off legitimate customers. While Steam is a minor annoyance, and I find shit like SecuROM to be fucking infinite to the infinite power more annoying, the fact is that none of them work. NONE.

And yet publishers and developers force this shit down our throats day in and day out...

Creston


 
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53. Re: Steamed Apr 12, 2005, 06:57 Prez
 
I'll take your word for it- don't know much about the piracy scene. I make enough money to pay for my entertainment.

 
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52. Re: Steamed Apr 12, 2005, 03:56 anon@24.76
 
Prez:"the question is whether the virtual elimination of piracy of their title would counter-balance this."

WTF are you talking about?
HL2 was out on pirate sites and pirates were playing it while people who bought it were getting jammed up by steams internet checks.


 
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51. Re: No subject Apr 11, 2005, 09:15 nin
 
And fuck that big fat lying fuck, Gabe Newell, while I'm at it. And fuck all the stupid fanboys who blindly submit to the Steamreich.

It's easy to see why the natural state of mankind is to live as slaves under the will of Saddam Hussain and Castro Oil types. And why so many liberal types are mourning the loss of the rape rooms.



Bob, you win the Theodore Kazinski award. Congrats. Now get back to writing that manifesto.



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50. Re: No subject Apr 10, 2005, 21:52 Scottish Martial Arts
 
You mean those people who don't like paying money for games they don't own and that are subject to the whims of the developer?

Take a look at every piece of software you have. You don't "own" any of it. What you own is the license to use the software, which isn't any different from Steam.

You mean those people who don't like paying for something, only to lose access to it because someone didn't manage the servers properly?

Are there any recorded instances of this? If it were to happen I'd have a tough time believing that Valve, as a legitimate business, wouldn't do anything to help you out. I've had MMO cd keys become temporarily useless because of a forgotten login/password/email combo and was still able to resolve it by giving tech support a call, I'd imagine it would be the same with Steam.

 
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49. Re: No subject Apr 10, 2005, 06:52 Tango
 
Also, I think people who get frustrated by Gordon's silence are making a very minor issue into a big one. Is it something you care about when you're actually playing the game ... or only when you talk about the game afterwards?
Exactly. The "paranoia" effect of not knowing exactly what's going on was (for me) part of the brilliance of HL and its sequel. Running away from the police, Breen getting worried about seeing you in the teleport sequence, and so on was great when you don't know what the fuss is all about. I accept some people won't have enjoyed that, but for me I enjoyed it. And that's what gaming is about.

And it's why I am very much looking forward to any further chapters

 
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48. Re: Ehhh... Alyx? Apr 9, 2005, 17:13 MapleBob
 
Maybe there's a G-Grrl who emerged from the mushroom cloud to offer Alyx a no-choice too. 'Cept in the 'tween times, instead of Alyx going into stasis, the gals have a slumber party and gossip about the G-Man and Gordon.

 
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47. Re: No subject Apr 9, 2005, 17:11 MapleBob
 
Fuck Valve. Fuck Steam.

If Valve is saying the game will be out this summer, then you can expect it for Thanksgiving 2008.

And fuck that big fat lying fuck, Gabe Newell, while I'm at it. And fuck all the stupid fanboys who blindly submit to the Steamreich.

I'll rebut for you: Gabe Newell has the absolute right to bugger me because he made the greatest game in the history of games.

There you go.

It's easy to see why the natural state of mankind is to live as slaves under the will of Saddam Hussain and Castro Oil types. And why so many liberal types are mourning the loss of the rape rooms.

 
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46. Steamed Apr 9, 2005, 15:46 Prez
 
What I think is going to be interesting is to see how many companies go to a steam-like model. I for one absolutely despise steam, but there's no way I could NOT play HL2. It was in my view a necessary evil. For me, and I would assume for many others, the list of titles I would get while being forced to tolerate a piece of shit like steam is very thin. Other companies with lesser properties are going to lose sales. The question is whether the virtual elimination of piracy of their title would counter-balance this.

 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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45. Re: No subject Apr 9, 2005, 12:43 Beamer
 
I've had very, very few problems with Steam.

I hear it's hard to flip into offline mode, but I've never needed. The only issues I've had is forced updates (which I guess maybe you could turn off) delaying me from playing a single player CS:S game,

As an added note, I've begun playing CS/CS:S for the first time since 2001. Holy shit, all the whining was true - it's damn near impossible to find a game without at least one cheater.

 
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44. Re: No subject Apr 9, 2005, 12:31 Creston
 
I read a very interesting article about how it is assumed / predicted that downloads on demand are going to replace a ton of the entertainment business, right up to the videostore and possibly even theaters.

Ofcourse, the big thing that's keeping it down is the fact that the cable companies and DSL companies are still giving us shitty bandwith. I don't mind downloading a 300MB demo at 200k/s, but if you want me to start downloading 7GB, it becomes a different matter entirely.

If Verizon can roll out a 15/2 or even 15/5 (Mb) broadband service in major cities for 50 bucks (I believe), then cable companies should not have to charge me 40 to get 5Mb/512Kb. (And believe me, I'm already happy with that, but still.)

Steam has shown that it CAN be done, but bandwith really needs to pick up more before it will become all around accepted. I'd hate to think how many people were downloading HL2 at 50k/s...

Creston


 
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43. Re: No subject Apr 8, 2005, 22:07 Hump
 
You mean those people who don't like paying money for games they don't own and that are subject to the whims of the developer?

its always been this way (replace "developer" with "publisher" in most cases as the devs are usually grabbing their ankles as well). next time read the EUA instead of clicking past it like all of us tend to do...

You mean those people who don't like paying for something, only to lose access to it because someone didn't manage the servers properly?

Not sure what this means. I bought a Steam version of HL2 and I can uninstall it completely and reboot and turn around and download it all again without having to pay a 2nd time (or 3rd or 4th ad-infinitum).

I've also used Gamespy's/IGn's Direct Download for the new Splinter Cell and also Planetside. Had a good experience with them all. Hell, they even let you burn a copy so you don't have to download it all again.

What I WON'T miss is something like the experience I had recently with Project Snowblind. Like every other publisher they insist on putting in the latest security feature which was, in this case, Securom 7 which is preventing many people from playing the game for longer than 5-6 minutes because the system will crash. Have a virtual drive? Securom says you can't have one because if you do, you must automatically be a filthy scumbag pirating software in which case you don't get to play the game you just shelled out $40-$50 for. Of course if you uninstall the game their parasite-ware keeps running in the background oblivious that the original software it was protecting is long gone. Then theres always the several dozen other titles whose security checks drags the system performance down making it neccessary to install a crack which is always fun to go searching for 'cuz you get to watch pop-ups for Chzech scat or German piss/fisting sites ("oh yaaahh!"). Lets not forget about having to trudge down to EB to hear some patronizing 19 yr old asst. manager gets to pitch me with the script that the corporate office forces him to spew out everytime you ask a question (no, I don't want the fucking Prima guide or a subscription to some shitty corporate sponsored monthly).

I'm sure I can think of some reasons why NOT having a hard copy sucks but the fact is, things are going to change whether I like it or not so I can learn to look at the upside or be miserable and whine everytime a post about Steam comes up. I like the former.

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"Sometimes I dream about....cheese. Here, have a medkit"
- Half Life 2 NPC
 
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42. Re: Creston & Squirmer Apr 8, 2005, 21:01 Zephalephelah
 
Creston... that was pretty funny how you built that up & said, 'ah fuck it, I don't care'.

Squirmer: We didn't expect a Michael Crichton explanation of everything to give it validation. I just think that those people who find it to be gaming genius to have omitted almost everything regarding plot information are hideously ignorant and blissfully ignoring the fact that even a good mystery has to tell a story.

I really like good stories that don't give it all away. Movies like Memento are fun. But at least we have a fucking clue what's happening!!!!! Even if the movie, story, game is really bizaare and artistic, AT LEAST WE ARE GIVEN SOME REASONABLE EXPLANATIONS!

Anyway Squirmer. You keep on thinking you're smart. We need people like you in this world. The people dumber than you think you're a fucking genius. The rest of us here think you're something else.


 
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41. Glock vs. Bunsen Burner Apr 8, 2005, 20:37 Camaro76
 
Once you pick up that first gun, you're a cold-blooded mercenary and not a scientist anymore. Unless you're studying bullet trajectories and impacts on living tissue...

Besides, smacking people in the head with a toilet > sticking anomolous materials in dimensional gateways.

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40. Re: No subject Apr 8, 2005, 19:29 Squirmer
 
HL2 is a railed shooter. You don't want to dilute that shooter experience by adding in a lot of superfluous explanation. Once you do, it becomes something else. There's a surprising amount of story there for people who want to take their time and see all the clues. No, it's not a particularly brilliant story; but it is great game storytelling because it's up to the player to investigate only if they choose.

For instance, why does no one explain anything to you, why does no one question your sudden appearance? I had the clear impression that people were hiding something from me (Gordon), that there were somewhat insidious undertones. I still think the Resistance hired Gordon from the Gman, and that's why they knew he was coming. I might be wrong -- but even if I am, it's a credit to Valve that there's room for my theory, along with others.

In short, I think the storytelling in HL2 is excellent. It's one of the tighest narrative experiences I've had in a game, regardless of any ambiguity.

Also, I think people who get frustrated by Gordon's silence are making a very minor issue into a big one. Is it something you care about when you're actually playing the game ... or only when you talk about the game afterwards?

 
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39. No subject Apr 8, 2005, 18:58 Sixis
 
I think it would have worked much better if the npc encounters had all occurred under strict time limits. You know, keep it paced so that you could never click twice on the same npc and get the same dialog. That way Gordon would actually never have time to learn what was going on, you could always be just about to ask when a combine soldier/headcrap/strider bursts in.

It could have been hilarious, have Alyx say, "Oh, you want to know about the combine? Well, they-" BOOM! Even have it happen over and over again. That's the kind of thing I expect from Valve.
 
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38. Edit button Apr 8, 2005, 18:54 Creston
 
Slightly offtopic, but if your edit button doesn't work, refresh the thread a few times, then try again. It usually works again for me after a few refreshes.

Also, I don't buy it that Gordon doesn't care. That seems EXTREMELY unlike any scientists I know (which are quite a few, for some weird reason).

Ie :

"Wow, last thing I remember, I'm in this tram in extra-dimensional space, and now all of a sudden it seems I'm in fucking Czecho-Slovakia in the cold war. And what the fuck is up with all these nazi mutants beating me with their shock sticks...

Hey Barney, I guess you're now a nazi mutant huh? Beating Quota ; that sounds good. Train to Nova Prospekt. I'll blow your cover. I gotta run. Okay...

Maybe some sun will do me some good. FUCK, LOOK AT THE FUCKING SIZE OF THAT THING! I wonder if there's an apartment on the top floor for rent, that'd be cool.

There sure are a lot of these nazi mutants around. Strange. What the fuck?? What is that War of the Worlds thing doing walking down the street, and everyone's acting like it's fucking normal?!

I better go down this alley. Hey guys, why you are standing in front of your shitty building looking all glum? They came down on the block? And you don't have a place for me to stay? That's cool, I'm looking into getting into that big ass blue building anyways.

These nazi mutants sure don't like having cans of paint thrown at them.

Let's see what's in here. Dr Breen on the TV set, and people crying, and looking dejected. Hmm. Sector count plus one? Why the fuck is everyone chasing me all of sudden? For that matter, why the fuck am I running?
They're even SHOOTING at me!!

I've gotta be insane to be running along the gutter on bad czecho-slovakian buildings while nazi mutants are firing at me, and flying cameras are taking snapshots of my ass. Things weren't this fucked up in Zen!

Hey, a loft. Cool, I'll just go down these *crash*
Fuck, OW, more beatinnngggssss.....

Oh hey baby. Thanks for saving my ass. Now would you mind telling me... Nah, wait. Fuck it. I don't care."

Right. That's really a scientist



Creston

This comment was edited on Apr 8, 18:58.
 
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37. Re: Half-Life Saga Apr 8, 2005, 18:52 Jerykk
 
Hopefully the expansion will actually have a storyline. And more alien variety. I grew weary of seeing Antlions, Headcrab variants and alien warmachines all the time. In fact, like 90% of the enemies you face in HL2 are Combine soldiers or Overforce (or Overpower or whatever they were called).

 
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