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Half-Life 2: Episode 1 Facts

EA UK announces details about Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (though it looks like the minimum and preferred processor specs are reversed). Here's word:

Overview

Half-Life has been named Game of the Year by over 35 organizations worldwide. Half-Life 2: Aftermath is an all-new episode created by Valve that extends the Half-Life 2 single player adventure.

The player reprises his role of Dr. Gordon Freeman, who must immediately face the repercussions of his actions in City 17 and the Citadel. Freeman reconnects with Alyx Vance and her robot, Dog, as they continue their support of the resistance's battle against the Combine forces.

The intense, real-time gameplay delivered in Half-Life 2: Aftermath is made possible only by Source, Valve's proprietary engine technology which has been enhanced with new rendering technology and advanced artificial intelligence to deliver new levels of graphics and character interaction.

Key Selling Points

- A new episode for one of the best-selling action games of all time.
- Reveals new secrets
- Franchise of over 18 million units sold worldwide
- Incredibly advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Highly detailed environments provide amazing gameplay settings
- Digital Actors: The most sophisticated in-game characters ever witnessed
- Physical Gameplay: Objects obey the laws of gravity, friction and buoyancy.
- Intense story line will appeal to those seeking more than another shooting gallery experience

System Requirements

Min:
2.4 GHz Processor
256MB RAM
DirectX 7 level graphics card
Windows 2000/XP/ME/98
Mouse
Keyboard
Internet Connection

Preferred:
1.2 GHz Processor
512 MB RAM
DirectX 9 level graphics card
Windows 2000/XP
Mouse
Keyboard
Internet Connection

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97 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 2.
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77. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 23:37 Squirmer
 
Deus Ex and Half-Life 2 do have something in common. The content of the story is not as important as the way the story is told. Both of them have plots that would be very corny in a different context, but because they tell their stories so well (i.e. allowing the player to uncover it) they're still very engaging. At least for me.

 
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76. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 23:24 Beamer
 
I liked Paul because he was the character's brother.

As mentioned, they really were just talking heads to advance the plot. None really had any distinct personality, and lines could be taken from one and put into the other.

HL2 did very well creating distinct characters, well, 4 of them, maybe 6.

-------------
Doomriders: the first new band worth a signature - http://www.deathwishinc.com/
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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75. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 22:37 kanniballl
 
... I didn't want to leave Paul to die in his apartment ...

You realize you didn't have to, right

sst
----
It's not the easiest, but you can save him. You have to be carrying the right weapons though (like an rpg or sniper rifle). You pretty much have to kill all of the agents in the lobby (there are a whole lot), so explosives are key.

Then, the story has some different "scenes". Like, he's there talking to you instead of lying in a table as a corpse (I think they report that he's dead, but the scientists lied to save him; he then hands you what you had to dig from his corpse).

Or getting fixed at Tong's lab along with you.

He's even talking to you at the end to help you make your "choice."

It's not a LARGE fork in the story, but it was nice that it was in there. I almost beat the game the first time around with him dead, but my laptop crashed and I lost my saves. The next imte I played I figured I went ahead and killed everyone. Hooray!

----
sst



"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
-Fry, Futurmama
This comment was edited on Feb 13, 22:40.
 
"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."
-Fry, Futurama
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74. No subject Feb 13, 2006, 22:24 Nick Wilson
 
Haha, man those key selling points are hilarious. I hope whoever wrote that press release got fired. For EA and valves sake.

 
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73. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 22:20 Jarek Forhanon
 
...And I would say that you weren't paying attention. There are many clues to what is going on if you dig for them and keep an eye out.

I didn't say that I had no idea what was going on. By the end of the game, you have a general idea about what has happened. The problem is that I didn't really care what was going on. The whole point of a plot is to get you to care about the story through key events and interactions. Because HL2's plot was so lacking in such things, at no point in the game did I care about what was happening.

"Oh, good job getting here. Now, go over there and blow that up."
"Okay. But what does that-oh wait, I'm a mute for no apparent reason. Nevermind."
*proceed to next point and blow thing up*
"Nicely done, Gordon. Now, you need to make your away over to blah blah and do blah blah. Better get going."
*rinse and repeat*

The biggest issue I have with HL2's plot (which is different from backstory) is that there is no sense of progress. As Gordon, you are simply told to go from point to point, never really understanding what you are doing or why.

Once again, for clarification: Backstory is not the issue here. HL2 has plenty of backstory, which is subtly revealed through posters, screens, newspaper clippings, etc. This does not constitute plot. Plot is what actually happens in the game. How does the plot advance the story? In HL2, it doesn't really, which is the problem.
This comment was edited on Feb 13, 22:26.
 
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72. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 22:04 Jarek Forhanon
 
What the hell are you talking about? I love DX as much as the next guy but the characters were anything but well developed. Rather, they were simply mouth pieces through which the plot could be advanced. The characters were never developed as people but merely as plot points. Tracer Tong for example, could you actually describe what he was like as a person? Or would you be limited to just explaining his role in the story?

Hmm, Tracer Tong wasn't one of the more memorable characters. Paul Denton, Anna Nevarre and Gunther Hermann were probably my favorite characters, since I actually cared about them. I didn't want to leave Paul to die in his apartment, I was hesitant to kill Nevarre and I took much joy in killing Hermann. These feelings all stemmed from the characters' development during the game. Of course, I wouldn't cry for any of the characters. I wouldn't do that for any game character, since games simply don't have the time to develop characters as well as movies. However, when I made the statement that DX has good character development, it was in comparison to HL2. Frankly, the only character in HL2 who receives a decent amount of development is Alyx and even then, I didn't really care about her.

This comment was edited on Feb 13, 22:05.
 
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71. Steams missing features. Feb 13, 2006, 21:47 D4rkKnight
 
What I wanna know is when is the Favorites, history, and friends features going to work in their games and in steam.

Its crap that I cant save a server as a favorite, or get to it via history if my game crashes or I have to close it for a bit.

And didnt they say they would fix the friends list like...a year ago?

 
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70. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 21:44 TheDingo
 
If, by the end of the game, you have no idea what is going on, then the plot is poorly constructed

...And I would say that you weren't paying attention. There are many clues to what is going on if you dig for them and keep an eye out.

This reminds me of TV sitcoms like "The Office" that have no laugh-track, so the more mentally challenged viewers have no idea if the show is funny or not. ( I HATE laugh-tracks! )

This also reminds me of the debate about Harrison Ford's narration at the beginning of the film BladeRunner, whether it adds to or ruins the atmosphere of the film. If you've read Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", then the narration is totally unecessary. But if you haven't read the book, you might be quite clueless for a while, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

 
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69. No subject Feb 13, 2006, 21:20 John
 
--> "Half-Life (1) has been named Game of the Year by over 35 organizations worldwide."

Valve tried not to mention HL2 at all except that Aftermath extends the HL2 storyline.

Yeah, how many organizations named HL2 GotY anyways? Or does the 35 include both?

So they're calling it Episode 1, huh. That reminds me of a JJ Binks character for some reason..

GW: Grad Mcgarth W/N Going to finish game before I start a new character me thinks
 
This space is available for rent
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68. Re: ... Feb 13, 2006, 20:51 Hump
 
As for FEAR... it did some things well but I thought it was a dreadfully dull game, completely lacking any of the character of games like HL2, FarCry, BF2, even Quake 4. Plot and atmosphere are the two more important aspects of a FPS game for me and FEAR was below average in both aspects... add in repetitive levels, repetitive enemies, repetitive gameplay and cliched characters and I really can't understand why so many people seem to like it.

Agreed. I loved FEAR's technical polish and feel but as a narrative it absolutely sucked. If they can match the gameplay to a solid story in the sequel it should be much more memorable.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.anysoldier.com/index.cfm
 
Avatar 10137
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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67. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 20:49 Scottish Martial Arts
 
Characters are well-developed

What the hell are you talking about? I love DX as much as the next guy but the characters were anything but well developed. Rather, they were simply mouth pieces through which the plot could be advanced. The characters were never developed as people but merely as plot points. Tracer Tong for example, could you actually describe what he was like as a person? Or would you be limited to just explaining his role in the story?

 
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66. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 20:40 Beamer
 
I'd been planning to get Raising the Bar.

I think the buggy might have gone on a bit long, but the fanboat, for me, was perfect, and so much fun.

The squad, yeah. It wouldn't have been bad if the levels were better. But the squad getting in your way combined with the frustrating level design just... meh. My roommate actually quit playing at that area. It just felt horrible compared to the rest, and knocked the entire game down for me.

-------------
Doomriders: the first new band worth a signature - http://www.deathwishinc.com/
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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65. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 20:30 Vek
 
Crap - EA is the publisher?

Oh well, I was looking forward to getting some of these until I saw that EA was the publisher.

Now I won't partake. Sorry EA, but no. I would rather forgo HL2 than hand over any further cash to them, in anyway. Even if its 'trickled down' from value thru licencing.

 
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64. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 20:00 nin
 
The book Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, has a lot more backstory information, including tons of stuff that didn't make it into HL2.


Damn cool book, I have it. I love the section where they show you the real life faces that inspired certain characters. Some of the similarities were scary, esp. the G-Man...

Highly recommended...






--------------------------------------------------------------
GW: Nilaar Madalla, lvl 20 R/Mo / Tolyl Nor, lvl 20 E/Mo / Xylos Gath, lvl 13 W/Mo

http://www.goldfrapp.co.uk/
 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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63. Re: heheheh Feb 13, 2006, 19:53 DedEye
 
Might slip on my eye patch and AAAARRRRR me hearties.

Attitudes like this are the reason why I have to put with increasingly aggressive copy protection schemes like Starforce....Fukahz.....

 
Avatar 14820
 
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62. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 19:50 Jarek Forhanon
 
...I actually think VALVe got the story mix just right. It would have been so boring if they gave away everything at the start. Instead, they left it up to you to try to figure out what the hell was going on.

It's not that they didn't give away anything at the start, it's that they didn't really give away anything at all. If, by the end of the game, you have no idea what is going on, then the plot is poorly constructed. Throughout the game, I kept waiting for something substantial to be revealed, except that never really happened. Instead, I was left with pieces of a backstory that didn't help drive the game forward to a satisfying conclusion.

 
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61. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 19:44 TheDingo
 
except the plot fails to combine these pieces into something compelling

...I actually think VALVe got the story mix just right. It would have been so boring if they gave away everything at the start. Instead, they left it up to you to try to figure out what the hell was going on.

The book Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar, has a lot more backstory information, including tons of stuff that didn't make it into HL2.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0761543643/sr=8-11/qid=1139877737/ref=pd_bbs_11/104-8224217-0229532?%5Fencoding=UTF8

 
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60. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 19:39 Jarek Forhanon
 
I can honestly say I couldn't pull myself away from HL2. FEAR, Doom3, Quake4 all bored me to death. Never finished any of them.

Pretty much the opposite here. I found the combat in HL2 to be underwhelming. The vehicle segments were dragged out too long, the squad segments were annoying (due to atrocious squadmate AI) and the game really had too many gimmicks. Essentially, it would introduce one gimmick, beat it to death and then never use it again (vehicle segments, Antlion segments, squad segments). The level design was generally solid, though not particularly memorable, except for the Citadel level.

Of the games you listed, F.E.A.R. was the best. The combat was excellent and in an action game, that is obviously what matters most. Granted, the level design was fairly repetitious, but since the fundamental combat was so fun, it wasn't much of a problem for me.

 
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59. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 19:39 Beamer
 
I'm not talking about Aftermath...I'm talking about HL2. I'm not going to rehash the previous thread's rant about whether or not episodic content is a good thing for consumers

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this product has nothing to do with episodic content. It's the exact same Aftermath we've been desiring, only with a new name (although the PR still calls it by the old name.)

So it's every bit the add-on for every bit of the money we expected. Only now it has the word "Episode" in the title and people are freaking out. Well, some of them.



As for HL2 not dropping in price, we've discussed this a few billion times. Don't judge based upon this. Odds are it's contractually limited by both Vivendi and the brick-and-mortars. No proof of this, but it makes sense, just like how buying a product direct from the retailer online usually costs much more than going to the store and buying it. They're contractually obligated, and somewhat ethically, to not compete with the B&Ms, so they always sell for full MSRP.

-------------
Doomriders: the first new band worth a signature - http://www.deathwishinc.com/
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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58. Re: No subject Feb 13, 2006, 19:24 MindTrigger
 


I can honestly say I couldn't pull myself away from HL2. FEAR, Doom3, Quake4 all bored me to death. Never finished any of them. If they couldn't keep me interested, I'm sure not going to force it.

---
SEED Closed Beta Team
BF2 Player Name: "MindTrigger"
"My Gamer Fragged Your Honor Student"
 
--
He cut the possum's face off then cut around the eye socket. In the center of the belt buckle, where the possum's eye would be, he has placed a small piece of wood from his old '52 Ford's home made railroad tie bumper. Damn, he misses that truck.
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97 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 2.
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