HPP: This week's episode of Second Opinion talks about the many problems with the Guinness World Record holder for "highest rated shooter."
Wow, that was a long review, and I do agree with it. I also think it's overrated and I never bothered finishing it. It's been over 10 years since I played it and have no desire to. It just didn't leave an impression on me. Just bland story and set pieces.
First one was better.
^^ agree ..especially in comparison to the almost contemporary HALO CE....HL2 looks like a rushed fan made game
That's sarcasm, right?
Gaming evolves, it's easy to take this opinion 13 years after the game is released:/
I know HL2 isn't for everyone, but it's good to see they like Ravenholm.
Half Life 2 to me felt like another generic fps because I played much later after its release
Still felt amazing to me two years ago.
I know this is an unpopular opinion, but while I didn't think Half Life 2 was terrible, it certainly didn't suck me in like the first game did. I played about half way through the game before I just lost interest.
Half Life 2 was amazing especially with all episodes, It had everything you could ask for in a fps. I mean of course it has been surpassed now but look how old the game is. If anyone named the top 10 fps single player games ever half life 2 will always be in there somewhere.
it looks depressing and devoid of life, much like every valve game.
If you play it, you'll see that it's set in a dystopia. Not exactly a lively environment. Valve nailed it perfectly.
most western games suffer the disease of boring game design and lifeless environments.
At its time it was amazing. But now it's average at best.
HL2 is probably my favorite game. When it was released it was revolutionary. It hasn't aged well but I did play some of it a couple years ago, it's still great.
I have to agree as well. I really don't get why the half life games are so beloved. They're not bad or anything but they're far from perfect.
THANK YOU!! Even when it came out I thought it was a very generic late 90's/early 2000's FPS. The story was boring, the gameplay was boring, and it was riddled with terrible first person platforming sections that should never have been included. The game was basically just a tech demo for Source physics that someone extended into a full game. I'm so glad to see someone else didn't like it either.
I didn't like it either but that may be bacause i played it in 2016 and not when the game was still fresh and unique.
Episode 2 was the best part of HL2.
The cliffhanger haunts me
Integrating physics into a single player experience and having those physics have some kind of effect was extremely new at the time, the same with the material systems in HL2. The other massive thing about Half Life 2 at the time of release was the emotion conveyed on characters faces, this simply didn't exist in games at the time Naruga above compared it to Halo CE go and look at Captain Keyes' face and then look at Alyx Vance it's night and day. Other games simply didn't do what Half Life 2 was doing when it came to those things, and when you remember that HL2 came out after the disappointing and poorly optimized Doom 3 and the terrible Deus Ex Invisible War it's kinda obvious why it would be so beloved.
Half Life 2 is a fine game, it's why I don't go to Ravenholm anymore.
Thank you. He completely ignores the time when this game was released, imposing modern expectations of deep story and character development on a 3D first-person shooter from 2004. Also, he is irritating, annoying, and yelling every word to the point where even lowering the volume on my speakers doesn't make my ears stop hurting. Pass on this guy.
The story in HL is plenty deep, but it's kinda up to you to listen to ambient conversations, news paper clippings in Kleiners lab etc etc. Think about all the times you see the GMan interacting with the Combine AND the resistance fighters? The beauty of HL1 and HL2 was that it never took you out of the perspective, it places you firmly in Gordon's hazard suit and nothing is spelt out for you.
Half Life 2 is a phenomenal title and a worthy follow up to Half Life 1.
Wake up guys, wake up and smell the ashes.
Wow... um no
Story, I won't even comment on because it's too much depth and hence trouble.
As for the set pieces lmfao. You want set pieces to be QTE fests, don't you? Twisting words about having written papers and stuff? Really? Half Life does set pieces without QTEs or contextual buttons, which most games heavily rely on. Most games break the immersion by making you press contextual buttons on mash certain buttons to keep the set piece going. The set pieces in half life have a natural flow unlike any other game.
Also you forgot to mention that there are no cut scenes which many games these days again rely on heavily to tell stories, which I personally hate, because they are immersion breaking, and having cut scenes stuffed in your face is basically taking away the control from the player. Anyone can make cut scenes, put in mediocre gameplay, stitch together some visually good looking, button mashing requiring set pieces and call it a game, which has been the case with many games since 2007.
As for your physics argument? No game does it, so there is not really any game you could compare it with. Try integrating physics based gameplay, shooting and incredible narrative without stupid cut scenes and QTEs into one game. Nah... No one can do it except Valve.
Oh and I like how you didn't mention 'no handholding' in a generation when most games literally show you where to go and what to do. Also the emergent gameplay which makes a truly linear game seem non boring, unlike many games which are just.... linear.
Oh and I forgot how you say there are few types of enemies in Half Life and literally no variety in 90% of the games in the same genre.
'Or Barney Calhoun, the wisecracking security guard who cracks wise and guards people.'
And also had a full expansion based on his exploits, which has linked back into Half life 2.
''lyx Vance often gets held up as an example of a strong female character in gaming but (A) that’s an awful lot of ass shots for such a strong female character''
The camera is never fixed at any point on her arse, if you looked at her arse, then that's your thing.
'' none of these characters existed in Half Life 1 even though they pretend they did,''
Simply not true
''Another thing that really hurts all of the characters is that their primary motivation doesn’t make any sense.''
Brenn was forced sold humanity out for the 'greater good' as well as giving himself a nice safe heaven in the process. As for everyone else...well it's kinda basic, fighting for freedom of mankind.
'' there’s no reasonable way that he could’ve become famous off the back of his secret actions trying to escape a completely closed-off facility, after which he disappeared for 20 years''
Again, his actions are well documented by survivors and Barney. Heck, Opposing Force, the 'other' expansion to Half Life 1, has you playing along side Freeman's actions which are constantly reported by your HOs. And then there's the fact the Vortgons know who freeman is and see him as a freedom figure, and they're hardly missing from the second game now are they?
''Silent protagonists are great, but not if you’re gonna have the whole story focus around the actions and personality of said protagonist''
This is just ignorant of the original's place in history.
''That’s a decision that just really doesn’t work here. And you know what else doesn’t work that well in this game? Using scripted sequences instead of cutscenes.''
Ah to forget how the groundbreaking the game was with its visuals and character models. This is like asking 'but why didnt they just make the x-wing fighters CGI?' when reflecting on Star Wars
''And that’s the problem. Half Life 2 thinks it’s a power fantasy, a world that completely revolves around you.''
But how can that be true? you even said before that the player has no power in the story, no way to react to characters or plot development?
''But none of the guns are even remotely satisfying to use – they pack no punch, and enemies don’t react to getting shot, and they’re all a bit crap, saddled with lousy ammo capacity and often really inaccurate if you’re trying to mow enemies down Rambo-style.''
That's not true, and i think you know this. The physics engine casued a number of fire arms to fly enemies backwards. Any explosive weapon sends bodies flying, as too do close range shotgun shots and kills with the cross bow. And moaning about low ammo? Well yeah, there's a reason why you're given a number of fire arms, it's to use them at the right time. Not much fun in just gunning through the magnum for the whole game.
''Plus, Gordon Freeman, supposedly the butt-kicking name-taking hero of the rebellion, ends up moving slowly and cautiously to conserve ammo and only firing short bursts of his worthless crappy pulse rifle. This, again, detracts from what might have been a good and interesting story if every other aspect of the game wasn’t working against it.''
Again, you claim the game is a power fantasy but then say this...so like, i don't know. You don't seem to either
' I should probably talk about how boring the enemies you fight are, too. Unfortunately, there just isn’t much to say – if there was, they wouldn’t be boring. You’ve got six different types of antlion, three different types of headcrab, a couple of zombies, assorted guys with guns, it’s just…eh. Go back and read my Doom 1 Second Opinion where I talk about the importance of having enemies that serve lots of different roles, forcing you to think of lots of different strategies, and then just realize that Half Life 2 has none of that.''
Comparing a 2d corridor game like Doom to a 3D modern(ish) shooter like Half Life 2 is just really really weak. Again, i think you know this but became to engulfed in your rant at this point. We all do it, it's cool
'' There’s monsters that hit you from close up and monsters that hit you from far away and that’s pretty much it.''
So exactly like Doom...and any other shooter. You could apply this to anything
''Ah, but Half Life 2 isn’t really about shooting, is it? No, it’s all about the setpieces.''
No, it's a first person shooter with setpieces.
''Now let me tell you guys about something which game designers call immersion and psychologists call cognitive flow. I know a thing or two about this because I published a paper on it. In a very basic, overly-simplified sense, cognitive flow is the state you enter when you get so immersed in an activity that continuing the activity becomes the only justification you need to continue it. When you keep playing “just one more turn” of Civilization only to look up and realize it’s four in the morning? Cognitive flow. Those addictive mobile or flash games that interfere with your work? Cognitive flow. Stopping the shooting every twenty minutes to drive a boat or walk slowly across a creaking bridge? Not cognitive flow. The opposite of cognitive flow.''
You do come off as a smart person, but this part was pretty much 'look, i have a an education' also using a turned based grand strategy game as a point of comparison to a shooter is bizarre.
''As fun as it is to throw bugbait to get the antlions to fight for you, you still have to stand there and wait for them to actually finish the fight (and that’s assuming they’re actually bothering to attack what you want them to attack.)''
That can be true, if you allow it. The bug bait was indeed flawed, but you seem to forget what year the game was released it, and how it works within the context of the game. It's not their as a weapon, but more to evan the odds. You fight ALONG side them.
''Ah, but Half Life 2 isn’t really about setpieces, is it? No''
At this point you don't seem to remember what you've actually written about
''The Doom 3 gravity gun was better than this''
You'd expect it to be given it came out after Half Life 2
'' Portal works because everything in the game – its story, its presentation, its gameplay – are all focused on doing one thing, creating one type of cognitive flow. Half Life 2, on the other hand''
Why are you comparing these games?
''And that’s my professional opinion.''
You make good points a number of times, but you also just make points for the sake of it...before forgetting them and saying something to counters your own points. I'm not sure what miffed you off so much to go back and compare a game from 2004, which had a long development...including a new engine from scratch, to modern games but that's just really odd.
Good stuff though, i enjoyed reading it!
I wouldn't call it boring but I do agree it's way overrated. I played it when I bought the orange box and it just really didn't do anything mind blowing especially when it comes to story and yes there were parts that were somewhat boring but the game has a whole isn't boring I would say. I don't think it's written as bad as the article says but it really isn't anything to write home about and other than the beginning in city 17 and ravenholm which still eventually got tedious the games levels are uninspired and most def bland.
Lol that's all I can say and thanks for describing the uncharted series so well.
Third opinion: you're an dumbass
While I don't think it's quite as bad as this article makes it out to be, I would definitely say the game did not even come close to living up to the hype IMO, and I enjoyed the first game a lot more.
That moment you are so desperate for clicks, you even have to downplay Half Life 2....
I remember tell8ng people how I enjoyed Doom 3 far more than I ever did Half Life 2. I never felt like HL2 was bad exactly. I just found it rather boring.
Doom 3 was pretty lacklustre compared to HL2 tho, you could hardly interact with anything in the world. Well it was good but more for jump scares.
Not as good as the first one, which is still my favourite single player FPS. HL2 Episode 2 got very close though and was much better than vanilla HL2
The fact this game is still being compared to today's shooters says something.
It is over 10 years old for crying out loud.
Look at all the other shooters over 10 years old and you'll realise that hl2 was simply way ahead of its time.
Playing it now will never provide the wow factor of when it was released.
"And that’s my professional opinion."
Meh, this game was awesome back in late 2004, i built a new PC just for this and Doom 3, HL2 was amazing for its time. It had a really good physics system as well which is actually still good today! With the Havok physics engine.
Way better than anything on console.
Both Doom 3 and HL2 were released on Original Xbox..
Neither of those versions were the version to play. They also came out in 05 iirc, yeah 11 Nov 2005 for HL2 and Oct 5 2005 for Doom 3. The coop was neat in D3 but it suffered from a lot of slowdown.
What am I trying to say? No one played the Xbox versions of those games, and when HL2 came out in 04 it gave a clear signal of what was to come visually from the 360 a year later.
When it was released it was the best FPS on the market with revolutionary ideas. It's easy to look at a 10+ year old game now and say it looks like crap. Back than it was state of the art and the best FPS released to that date.
Personally, I think the game holds up VERY well. I just finished the game last year. Played through Ravenhold the first time and then stopped....for some reason. Went back to it on my PC and finished it. It was still an amazing game. Sure.....much of the stuff that was brand new back then in the game it common these days. But HL2 was very influential in how FPS were made after. That is why it is still held in such high regard.
But I agree with you 100%. You can't play games that old and just say "overrated". You need a more informed perspective than that. That's why at laugh at the idea that he considers his opinion "professional". Nah....dude, it ain't.
Best shooter ever. Period. Holds the record for a reason. Everyone is entitled to an opinion though. Just don't have to agree with yours! At least records agree. Anyways shit article - my opinion!
TL;DR but I've got Half-Life 2 on 2 systems and never finished it. I got as far as the prison chapter both times and was bored of it by then. I much preferred Portal & TF2 in The Orange Box set.
Well yeah now, but when it first came out, there was nothing like it.
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