"I'm not sure you are right about that. The whole thing in Half-Life comes well toghether in a way that is not so easy to surpass IMO. The sense of story and immersion, the enviromental sounds, the wit and intelligence behind the charachter portrayal, the quality of the puzzles, the way the graphics enhances the story."
Half-Life came together in in much less story form as it is gameplay form. It had little to no story except for what is said in the manual and the first 15 minutes of the game. After that the storyline is a minute factor in the game.
There was little to no character portrayal done by the game. What little material there is was to be found in the first 5 minutes of the game. In comparison to many other games this is some of the least character portrayal ever done by a game. The evidece? I took a stroll through the game only once but what meek material there was to offer was soon forgotten because it was not built upon.
The emphasis behind the Half-Life character, as I see it, is a scientist. That's it. If he died I would not feel for him. He adds nothing to the game except for a cheap cop-out for the opportunity to write a great and enthralling storyline.
The puzzles offer little enticement. From what I remember, the main problem was finding the pieces to some of the bigger puzzles. That, Zenon, can be related to finding the red key.
The graphics were good at the time. However, graphics are not timeless, and so is not perk. However, regardless of the time, the shotgun is still a mess. When it fires, if the fire button is held down, the shotgun will not complete the entire series of loading frames before firing again. This gives the impression that this weapon was rushed.
"The only game in my mind that comes close is NOLF and Deus Ex."
While I admire that you suggest alternative games, I must succumb to the likes of Doom and Quake. For a game with a storyline, I could only suggest Shogo: Mobile Armor Division. There are not many FPS's out there with a strong storyline.
Without cutscenes we would then be stuck with interactive storytelling. That would be horrid. It means the player would have to interact with either very complex scripts or the player would be forced to test its patience by standing near a talking NPC. While I now see what you mean by Half-Life's storyline, a story is not entirely comprised of minute actions or events which then lead to nowhere. There was almost nowhere to begin in Half-Life, but that was besides the point: that if you want a good storyline you will also need a storyline supported by FMV or in-game cutscenes. A convincing one supporting an awe-inspiring world at least. (Plus, movies are by far the best source to learn how to tell a story, anyhow.)
"Deus Ex is great, but has some important flaws. Apart from that I don't can't think of any games coming close so far, despite the time that has passed since Half-Life."
I have never played Deus Ex so I cannot comment on that segment, but for the time that has passed Half-Life there has been some good games with great storylines that are apart from FPS's and PC's altogether.
"Another important point is that to surpass gaming experience that Half-Life gave it is not enough to somehow "incrementally" improve upon it. To genuinly surpass it, a contender must be as original in relation to present games as Half-Life was to its predecessors. I don't think that is easily done."
Originality is a hard thing to come by, especially in the gaming industry. Keep in mind that Half-Life is not entirely original. There are parts of the game where it resembles, I think, 60's or 70's movies.
The possible pain, suffering and sacrifice of discovery are by no means an excuse to remain ignorant.This comment was edited on Jan 14, 12:26.
The possible pain, suffering and sacrifice of discovery are by no means an excuse to remain ignorant.
The bartering of things sought earned are by a means which only little men can abide by and hope to achieve.