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Half-Life 2: Aftermath Dated

Mod HQ (thanks Shacknews) reveals a release date for half-Life 2: Aftermath, as well as the Half-Life 2: Platinum bundle. Here's word from Valve's Doug Lombardi:

We're currently targeting April 24th for the release of both Aftermath and Platinum.

Platinum will include HL2, HL2 DM, CS: Source, DoD: Source, and Aftermath.

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68. Re: ... Jan 16, 2006, 01:28 Masa
 
Oh well, we'll see when it comes out, but I think the theory that Valve saw FEAR and decided to REALLY redo Aftermath may be a lot closer to the truth than we think.


Nah..I doubt that still. HL2 had a pretty solid combat system going for it already. All they'd have to do is tweak it, but they wouldn't have to rework it entirely. F.E.A.R.'s weapons actually had some substance to them, like you're actually putting rounds through them, but it was still pretty loose in play.


I thought Dog was a below average character and didn't like the scripted nature of its existence.


Too scripted, yes. Below average? No. I think that's missing the point of the character. Some people expect Dog to have such an integral role simply because its in the story. With HL2 being so story intensive, Dog's role was more in support of that that then just something that cleared a room full of enemies for you. I do think he should have been more prominent in the story, though. His deus ex machina like entrance toward the end was a little weak.



And someone here said he thought FEAR had a bad story, for crying out loud.



One thing Monolith isn't good at is continuing on storylines that are strong from the get-go. I still think they should continue Shogo. I would've loved to have seen a sequel to that done in F.E.A.R.'s place...then again, there aren't many military horror games out there.


Unless they're planning some kind of radical redesign or something. This is taking a lot longer than most expansion packs normally do.


You remember how long it took for HL2 to come out, right? That's a heavily scripted game and the designers stated before that creating a lot of the scenes you see in the game was pretty big effort. I guess if you're just slapping a few levels together, you'll get a TC, but not an actual game the same quality as HL2.


This comment was edited on Jan 16, 01:49.
 
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67. Re: No subject Jan 14, 2006, 04:59 sponge
 
Could be, but I doubt that their level designers are working on HDR tech. That's a programmer's area.

I'll be surprised if you see this, but I disagree. HDR in HL2 is almost of an art form, the level designer must take into account, and from what I gathered at the E3 display talking to I believe it was Doug Lombardi who was demoing Lost Coast, basically you have to build 6 different sky boxes, or something that sounded equally silly. (wow, runons ahoy)

Basically, the impression I got was adding HDR takes some serious thought, not just throwing in a bloom filter and analysis of the light levels. It's something you want to control in order to invoke emotion, and just generally cause "ooh that's neat" kind of moments.

 
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66. Re: Isn't this thing supposed to be Jan 10, 2006, 14:18 Scottish Martial Arts
 
only around ten hours long? And aren't they basically using most of the same models / textures etc. Then what the heck is taking them so long to make it? It can't be that hard to throw together a few more levels?


The focus of Aftermath is fighting side by side along Alex. My understanding is that as development progressed it became apparent that their AI system was inadequate for what they wanted it to do. As a result they had to completely rework the AI system which sparked the delay. HDR probably slowed things down a little bit as well because now they have draw multiple sky boxes at different exposure levels for a given scene and code an additional shader effect for every surface. Ain't 3D wonderful? It finally looks as good as 2D only it takes about 30 times as much work and money to pull off.

 
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65. Re: ... Jan 10, 2006, 09:39 Beamer
 
I disagree. Quake 4 had brilliant weapons and even the pistol felt like it had a kick, but it didn't make it a great game (fun, though, none-the-less). NEway, FEAR isn't even on the same level as Doom, Q2 or UT... not in terms of weapon design and not even close in terms of level design. Bullet-time was the biggest difference in terms of gameplay, not how pretty the guns look or how nice they sounded.

I agree with him over you.
Everything in FEAR felt very visceral. You felt like you were doing damage. You felt like you had power.
Yeah, weapon design wasn't great (did anyone even use the rocket launcher?) but you actually felt like you were doing damage to the enemies.

Bullet time wasn't much of a difference to me. I rarely used it the first time through. Still loved the game. Plot was too much of a retread, but the combat... just great. Until I started using bullet time too much.
I really recommend trying the game without it to see the AI in action.

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64. ... Jan 10, 2006, 07:01 theyarecomingforyou
 
I liked HL2, it's not as if I'm bashing everything about it, but Dog was terribly underwhelming. As were several others parts of the game.
All in all, it was still fun to play, however.

I thought Dog was a below average character and didn't like the scripted nature of its existence. I also didn't rate Ravenholm much and yet other people talking about how it was the greatest part of any game. Still, they're both pretty small gripes in terms of the game as a whole.

The reason FEAR's gameplay was so great had little to do with the bullet time gimmick.

It was great because, just like Doom, Quake 2, Unreal Tournament, and Duke Nukem 3D....the guns have KICK. It was simply fun to shoot someone - the sounds, the way the enemy reacts to the shooting, or simply the animation of the gun itself.

I disagree. Quake 4 had brilliant weapons and even the pistol felt like it had a kick, but it didn't make it a great game (fun, though, none-the-less). NEway, FEAR isn't even on the same level as Doom, Q2 or UT... not in terms of weapon design and not even close in terms of level design. Bullet-time was the biggest difference in terms of gameplay, not how pretty the guns look or how nice they sounded.

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63. Re: No subject Jan 10, 2006, 06:23 Zephalephelah
 
I'm going to have to agree with Beamer. I don't even know what it's about but you're coming across as a freak for bringing it up and well some people have to be stupid to make up for those of us who are smart.

So I guess thanks in a way.

 
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62. Re: No subject Jan 10, 2006, 01:42 Beamer
 
Again, that's way out of context.

I was making fun of your math. Not the pricing, just your math. You simply said that, if it is $300, it will be $500 with a controller and a game (simple math making a controller and game $200.) That's still not true. And your link doesn't help. Your link shows it, which started at $299, to be $589 with three games, a controller, and a memory unit. That still doesn't add up to $200 for a controller and a game. $289 for a controller, 3 games, and a memory unit.

Why are you bringing up your shoddy math all this time later? Controller is what, $40? Game is $60? So, if it's $300, it's $400 with an extra controller and a game.

See. You're still wrong.

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61. Re: No subject Jan 10, 2006, 01:15 4D-Boxing
 

Re: Now, now, Blue Apr 14, 23:19 Beamer

1) Anyways if it comes out at 250 or $300 US it means $500 with a controler & a game...

2) Can't you guys read? A couple of games does not mean one.


I could ask what you're smoking. "a controler [sic] and a game" usually means one of each. "A game" generally means "one," unless things are more different in Canada than I've been led to believe.



This message was edited at Apr 14, 23:20



Well well well!!!! LOL!!!

http://www.ebgames.com/ebx/categories/systems/xbox360/

See what we have to deal with in this forum people!
I guess the case is closed now! Who was smoking what now?!?! LOL!!!

 
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60. Re: No subject Jan 9, 2006, 23:24 DefBringer
 
The reason FEAR's gameplay was so great had little to do with the bullet time gimmick.

It was great because, just like Doom, Quake 2, Unreal Tournament, and Duke Nukem 3D....the guns have KICK. It was simply fun to shoot someone - the sounds, the way the enemy reacts to the shooting, or simply the animation of the gun itself.

 
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59. Re: No subject Jan 9, 2006, 23:02 Undead Scottsman
 
As to why it's been delayed so much, I'm hoping valve has dropped the idea of making quick, short episodes set to be released on a timeframe they can't possibly achieve, and is actually trying to make Aftermath lengthy instead of ~5 hours (Which, for 12.95, is a good deal, but it's still kind of short for how long it's being worked upon)

Beyond that, I suppose the new AI stuff for Alyx could be giving them a headache considering just how comprehensive they want to make it. (Alyx is supposed to be able to react to just about any scenerio possible in the game; any object you pick up or battle you fight or whatever)

Anywho, I liked Half-Life 2 (I dunno about you guys, but I honestly felt like it was the least repetitive FPS I have ever played. Every chapter felt different from the last one.), and I like the story of the Half-Life series (Though HL2's ending was incredibly lackluster) so I'll pick this game up on those merits. Even if it's more Half-Life I should be entertained.

 
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58. Re: No subject Jan 9, 2006, 21:15 Hellbinder
 
Hellbinder, i have been waiting for an answer to this for months now:

Why on fucking earth do you randomly capitalize some words in the middle of a sentence? I can understand things like "Classes" because it's a noun, but words like "Those" and "Blend"? What is up with that?!

I Got no Idea.

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57. Re: No subject Jan 9, 2006, 21:05 Creston
 
You're probably right. I kinda took stock in what whatshisname said in September or so, that Aftermath was well on its way to being completed, and would be out "long before" the holidays.

But then again, this IS Valve. And he never did say which holidays / year he was talking about.

I agree on the water, FEAR's water sucks. However, Farcry's water is better than HL2's water.

Creston


 
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56. Re: No subject Jan 9, 2006, 20:45 Yosemite Sam
 
Could be, but I doubt that their level designers are working on HDR tech.

No but they have been making DOD and CS maps, I think aftermath just got thrown on the backburner for awile until they perfected HDR. The only thing I liked about FEAR was the particles and wall damage, everything else was .. meh, I dont think valve will try to add those things becuase they will have to scrap something else to get them in. Valves big push is HDR and thats what is going to be the big addition in aftermath.

EDIT One thing is sure, FEAR's water sucked, Valves HDR water is the best visuals around.

This comment was edited on Jan 9, 20:46.
 
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55. Re: No subject Jan 9, 2006, 20:32 Creston
 
the innovations like ...DOG

Okay you need to explain this to me. What's so fucking great about DOG apart from that one bit where you play catch with him? Seriously? (and before anyone starts saying that that was totally unique or new or whatever, we were playing volleyball games on the NES in the 80s, so it really isn't.)

From the way every Valve fanboy was jizzing all over Dog, I expected him to be around for five levels and totally slaughtering enemies every which way.

Instead, he fights one single battle with you that is 100% absolutely totally scripted. It is scripted to such a ridiculous extent that if YOU take out the combine soldiers before DOG can throw the car at them, he STILL throws the car at them even though they are dead.

Wow, completely scripted combat, that's an incredible innovation alright?

I liked HL2, it's not as if I'm bashing everything about it, but Dog was terribly underwhelming. As were several others parts of the game.
All in all, it was still fun to play, however.

I just never understand why people keep worshipping at the altar of a 100% scripted robot that's in the game for 30 seconds.

Creston

Probably have not spent much time with aftermath at all, I do not see them changing anything else HDR seems to be thier focus for new tech

Could be, but I doubt that their level designers are working on HDR tech. That's a programmer's area. So what are their level designers doing?
Oh well, we'll see when it comes out, but I think the theory that Valve saw FEAR and decided to REALLY redo Aftermath may be a lot closer to the truth than we think.

This comment was edited on Jan 9, 20:33.
 
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54. Re: Isn't this thing supposed to be Jan 9, 2006, 20:28 Yosemite Sam
 
I think the delay is due to the addition of HDR to the HL2 engine and they probably have been busy with DOD and new CS content. Probably have not spent much time with aftermath at all, I do not see them changing anything else HDR seems to be thier focus for new tech.

This comment was edited on Jan 9, 20:29.
 
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53. Re: No subject Jan 9, 2006, 20:25 Creston
 
There was a rumor a while back that TF2 would be based on the "Seven Hours War" - the initial Combine invasion of Earth - and that it would be similar to Enemy Territory: Quake Wars in that regard but the rumor was quickly quashed by Valve itself.


Yeah because that would actually be WAY too cool for Valve. Instead, TF2 will be based on some kind of rumored invasion that you see a low resolution newspaper screenshot of hanging in someone's toilet bowl.

And someone here said he thought FEAR had a bad story, for crying out loud.

Creston


 
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52. Isn't this thing supposed to be Jan 9, 2006, 20:19 Creston
 
only around ten hours long? And aren't they basically using most of the same models / textures etc. Then what the heck is taking them so long to make it? It can't be that hard to throw together a few more levels?

Unless they're planning some kind of radical redesign or something. This is taking a lot longer than most expansion packs normally do.

Then again, it IS valve.

Creston


 
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51. Re: FEAR combat not that great Jan 9, 2006, 19:52 xXBatmanXx
 
I didn't use bullet time until I fought those guys on the roof. Otherwise, on a pretty difficult setting, you can play without.

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50. Re: FEAR combat not that great Jan 9, 2006, 19:44 Beamer
 
I didn't use bullet time the first time through. Too many buttons. The game really had a few unnecessary features, and I couldn't find a layout with bullet time convenient, despite a 5 button mouse (well, bullet time was the forward button, which is a bit of a reach.)

So the first time through I didn't use it much. Second time through I switched it with the grenade button and used it much more. As a result, even with harder difficulty, combat was much easier.

So try it without bullet time. I thought it was a lot more fun.

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49. ... Jan 9, 2006, 19:37 theyarecomingforyou
 
FEAR definitely had a different feel with the combat but it relied too much on slapping the slow-down button... sadly, that wasn't enough to make up for the rest of the game, which was very lacking; awful plot, cliched characters, absurdly samey levels, no variety, no progression.

When I play a game I want to feel like I get somewhere. Half-Life 2 took us through desert, prisons, zombie towns, citadels, water, etc - travelling vast distances it actually felt like you got somewhere. FEAR took us through an office block... occasionally there was some variety, like the rooftop scene, but that was rare.

A game is the sum of all parts, as well as the atmosphere provided. FEAR had some points that put Half-Life 2 to shame, but overall it was lack lustre and tedious. The game would have benefited from some Farcry/HL2 style outdoor scenes - I appreciate that it was trying to build atmosphere but you don't achieve that by just removing any light from the game... that's just pulling a Doom 3.

As for Aftermath... I am sceptical that it will redefine anything but I will most likely end up purchasing it. They have certainly put a lot of time into it and if it is a decent length then I imagine it will be very good value.

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