Saturday, 28 April 2012


Finally finished playing the first game of the trilogy (ha!), Half-Life. It took me a while, and, I will admit this right now, up front: I cheated. I cheated like buggery, activing god mode in chapter... can't remember, but it was an early arena fight with the black ops team. And I in no way feel any shame in that, because of one basic thing:

I didn't enjoy this game. Well, okay, I liked it in one respect, otherwise I would have simply stopped playing. But I didn't enjoy the gameplay aspect of this game. When I died for the fifth, sixth... seventh? time in a row (even after a break), because the bad guys seemed to have health through the roof (and I was on easy mode), no, I wasn't having fun. And while the 'I over came it!' is a driving force, the joy I knew I would have felt versus the just getting over the immediate frustion... it wasn't enough. Not when I was so early in the game. I definitely wanted to know what happened next, so congratulations to Valve on the story (although I'll come back to that), I flicked on cheat mode and never looked back.

I do wonder how much of my enjoyment was the look of the game. Certainly there's a HUGE gap between HL and HL2 in terms of computer power and the rendering engine, and I enjoyed HL2... because it looked realer? I don't know. I can't deny that a part of me wasn't thrilled by the graphics. Oh, and the lack of a targetting reticule when not weilding a gun. So often I wasn't sure where the hell I was pointing. And trying to use a crowbar on the headcrabs... gah!

However, we have the story. So much in HL2 referred back to events in HL that I just had to find out all the gory details... but it is so spread out. So often I'm walking through virtual miles of corridor wondering if there's another story element around I could be interacting with instead... And the last section which was basically jumping puzzles was not fun, leading up to the big baby that... that was just annoying (flicked on notarget just to stop getting teleported). And if there was some big secret, I have no idea what it was.

It was fun in a way, and I still have the expansion packs to play some time... but I don't see me replaying HL in the same way I like to replay HL2 any time soon...



evildicemonkey said...

I had a similar experience to you. I managed to get through the game without cheating but I was not impressed with the story or gameplay, it felt more like a chore than a fun activity. As such I have not been inspired to play the others of the trilogy.

Jamas Enright said...

HL2 is brilliant, and is *the* game for teaching people how this sort of thing should be done. (Although it could also do with being a tad shorter...)