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Half-Life 2
Just got my issue to PCZone today and was amazed to see a very large preview of Half-Life 2 in it! Ive scanned 3 screenshots from the article but there are loads more which are awesome too. So what are peoples thoughts on Half-Life 2? I personally thought it was going to suck but after reading this article and seeing the screenshots my opinion has been changed. Pick up a copy of the magazine if your interrested, its a good read.

http://www.planetquake.com/dazdranz/images/hl2_1.jpg

http://www.planetquake.com/dazdranz/images/hl2_2.jpg

http://www.planetquake.com/dazdranz/images/hl2_3.jpg
... 
its Half-Life.

Therefore, it will suck.

Q1SP owns j00!

Ok, i will shut up now. :/

[The screenshots look like nice eye-candy though]. 
Well... 
i haven't really been following the developements of hl2, so i can't really form an opinion on it.

i can say that i really like the sp aspect of hl, because it had a pretty good storyline.
if hl2's story is just as good, i'll probably like it just as much.

mostly though, i'm waiting for Doom3. :) 
Necros [and Anyone Else For That Matter] 
if you want a good storyline, read a book or watch a film. 
Um... 
you might find it surprising, but for a quake fan, i really like storylines in games.

Unreal, Morrowind, SystemShock1/2, RTCW, etc...
fuck, i even come up with storys for my maps!

unless the gameplay is so amazingly good, (ie: doom, quake) that it doesn't matter... but that's pretty rare in this day and age. 
*stories 
[n/t] 
Necros 
that's cool - as long as you don't write a short novel in your readme and expect me to plough through it before launching the map. One of the reasons HL succeeded was it told its story entirely within the maps - Quake should be the same. Custom map stories have the potential to be some of the worst fan-fiction ever - especially given the fact that they have to be suffered in cornea-scouring .txt format.
Use of brief scene-setting pieces of flavour text to establish a maps narrative premise is cool - War And Peace via notepad is not.
Essentially, if the story's worth telling, tell it with the *map*. 
 
doom had storyline and quake too !
havent u read the intermission texts.
ok it was minimal storyline . but the text like `u are the last human left on earth` really got me

And thumbs up for hl2, I was just wondering were the heck was it, and here u go - valve announced it. Notice the mean aliens. 
DaZ 
Stop with the HL2 pics and finish TNJ/DaZSP4/DaZSP5! 
!!! 
SOMEONE NUKE THOSE PICTURES!

OR TAKE DAZ`S SITE DOWN AT LEAST! 
Daz 
dude that is like a week old news, I already posted pics for it like AGES ago :)

http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/ryanw/HL2/ 
Slap. 
Lucky that Daz posted some DIFFERENT pictures then, isn`t it mister gulati?? (Apart from the fire one but that`s much clearer...). 
Anyway, HL2. 
Thoughts, thoughts.

1. It`s cool that they`ve kept it under wraps until now.

2. It`s also cool for mild entertaiment that they`ll be going head2head with D3.

3. The engine looks cool from those shots.

4. The settings look....ummmm kinda cool. They look interesting, like, WTF is going on, storywise. But not so much my style.

5. That tripod looks damn cool, the rest remind me a lot of, ummm, HL tho.

6. As for how the game appeals to me, well HL was cool if overrated but there`s plenty more games I prefer. I suspect they will do a good job and it will be a very good HLy game. Whether it will drown in the torrent of hype or not....is another matter. But for myself I am so behind on games that it`s not so high on my list of interests. 
I Liked The Original HL 
The monsters were neat and inventive, and even scary. The story was cool, though I never figured it out totally.

We at inside3d have a few people that post their mod ideas in the form of a 3-5 page opening story. Not bad guys, but I rarely read any further than the title, and then skip down to the meat of what the mod will actually be like.

Quake is an old-skool game. It`s the brainchild of one of the oldest game styles out there - progress from level to level while running around shooting monsters that are hell-bent on killing all of mankind for some obscure reason. Quake survived because it does this well. However, such a system might not cut it in newer games, against the newest competitive edge that centers around story.

I notice that the new Jak and Daxter (Jak2) is changing focus. It`s abandoning the old, now overused system of sparce storyline just do things because we say so, and is instead ingraining a very intense and engaging storyline that will be with you through the entire game to keep you going. Every obstacle and quest has a specific reason to be there. I`m looking forward to it very much.

I loved the original Jak and Daxter. Despite the fact that the new one is taking a different path, it looks like it`s on the right track. 
... 
Im purty sure its gonna be a good game. Valve is one of the few companies I have complete confidence in, theyre one of those guys that always seem to step up to the plate and deliver.
see also; the Nintendo effect.

And if I have to choose between doom3 and hl2... I would go for HL2. 
Hmm 
Yeah, every game that Valve have made has delivered...

All 1 of them. 
Nonentity. 
Are you drunk?

HL, OpFor, Blue Shift, CS...

Valve delivers the goods. 
Also, 
they have made semi-nice business decisions along the way.

it is not always about the games. 
Counterstrike... 
...was developed by amateurs, valve just bought it.

Also it seems to suffer from the same problem that ID, they cant make a game that has a different approach. Well, at least they make a game instead of a engine with some content added to it. 
Hmm 
CS wasn`t done by Valve
Blue Shift wasn`t done by Valve
OpFor wasn`t done by Valve 
Re #18 (id) 
Ah, the old anti-id saw.

id makes some of the best games around because they`re fun and suitably bizarre. Possibly listened to the naysayers too much with Q2 though. Nice engines too, unfortunately I have yet to enjoy any other games made with the engines except Half-Life. My old PC was a bit sluggish on Q3A but impossible for any of the other games made with the engine. 
... 
Stop with the HL2 pics and finish TNJ/DaZSP4/DaZSP5!

Agreed.
RPG speaks great wisdom here.

I think i am falling in love with RPG. !!?!! 
Underworldfan: 
Maybe this will help with your misplaced love for me (not work safe):

http://rpg.quakepit.com/images/misc/cardorpg2.jpg 
Ok Boyz! 
RPG u faggot!

Go bug Bal to release bal3dm5 or something :)

Shambler da fuk? U craka! 
Nonentity 
does that matter somehow?

without valve they would never have been released.
and they are good releases. 
No, You Are Drunk... 
Well yes it does matter, wrath, because you included them as games that Valve had made, sorry delivered on, when they hadn't.

However, HL was excellent and I, for one, am really looking forward to HL2. 
Bascule 
if you think that valve did not have anything to do with the production of them the drunk is on you.

there is no way in snowy hell that valve would risk releasing bad stuff on the HL brand, no way.

Sure, other studios might have produced content - but valve called the shots. I am positive of that.

you are arguing semantics.

fact of the matter: valve delivers. 
Bah 
just take wrath`s point. valve have capitalized really well on a product and managed to make so much out of it. ok so other developers did the work for the sequels. true.

valve: the delivery company. We deliver!

you play our games! or you die!

what i wanna know is what`s up with team fortress 2? will it be out after duke?

i`d like comments on 3drealms. will they deliver? 
More News 
-ALL objects in the game world are affected by the physics

-Movement speed of HL will be retained

-Drivable vehicles in both single and multiplayer

-Engine technology scales based on your system specs

-Known locations: City17 in east Europe, a harbor, a jail, the suburbs, a dried up ocean, an icebreaker (large ship)

-Multiplayer is important and multiple game modes will be supported

-The editor is called "Hammer" and will be included, sounds like a complete development environment for maps, mods etc.

-TF2 will be using the HL2 engine, once they decided to use the HL2 engine they stopped giving information as they didn`t want to blow anything relating to it. TF2 will "arrive soon". So will CS2. 
Hehe... 
nitin delivers 
A Good Sign... 
Is that Valve is under no pressure to meet deadlines so they can take time to get HL2 sweet before they ship it. The new hammer editor should be cool also, im geussing here but when they say `complete development environment` they could mean something like doom3s editor perhaps? Funky. 
Valve 
have recruited a fair amount of decent talent recently, isnt ikka mapping for them for the last year or so? 
Nitin 
very cool. Thanks for the info. 
I thought that the Worldcraft editor had already turned into the "Hammer" editor for HL1. I could have sworn I installed that Hammer thing once. 
Has the HL2 engine been made by Valve itself? 
H-Hour 
The logo for Worldcraft is teh hammer ( WC's original name being The Forge )
One assumes some sort of connection from that to Hammer, but I don't remember anything being available under the latter name. 
Hammer Editor 
It's down ATM, but you can cheggit here:

http://www.valve-erc.com/files/?category=Valve%20Hammer%20Editor 
Hammer 
You are correct H-Hour, I beleive the last one or two incarnations of the Editor formerly known as "WorldCraft", are indeed called "Hammer" 
Why 
no pressure for deadlines? ok so theyre loaded with money but dont developers always make teams work like hell just for the deadlines? oh, well lucky them. 
Daft 
I am quite sure they have internal milestones that they work their asses off for. Alot of studios have one or two internal milestones for every external milestone delivery to their publisher.

are we still talking about valve btw? :) 
Yea 
valve. 
Ah, 
good. then I agree with what I wrote. 
HL2 Trailer 
Pfft To The Trailer 
The trailer's not THAT exciting... But there are some gameplay movies on Gamespot which are fantastic. The physics engine seems to be amazing, and often plays a very big part in the gameplay. The craziest thing is some kind of magnetic/telekinetic grabber weapon, which lets you pick up objects and lob them at enemies. It also looks like using destructible stuff in the environment to your advantage will be quite important for defeating enemies.

http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/halflife2/media.html

Not sure if you need to be registered to d/l those. 
Shallow 
yeah it's a pretty boring one but it's the only free one I could find. 
I Think What Nitin Is Trying To Say Is: 
hook us up shuga daddy! 
Too Slow Baby, Too Slow 
You'll have to find yourself another nubile chimp, honey buns.

Anybody actually download this hl2_gameplay_improved_gsi.zip, 600 meg video? worth the bandwidth? 
The Video... 
... (if there's only one) is bad-ass. 
Reply To 46 
yes and yes

with this engine and it's gameplay potential valve has assured itself of a million+ seller.

i can't even imagine the mod possibilities opened up by this friggin thing, but valve will definitely be all over the best ones, milking them for several years to fund their next beast of a game/engine.

this thing makes doom3 tech look so shallow/superficial.

600mb HL2 Movie 
Fawked Up Link 2nd Attempt 
Very Nice 
that's all I need to hear.

I got the gamespot ones at ftp://gamefiles.blueyonder.co.uk/blueyondergames/trailers/halflife2/
if you're interested. last I checked the links still work. 
Care To Expand On That 
why is it so good? 
Very Nice 
that's all I need to hear.

I got the gamespot ones at ftp://gamefiles.blueyonder.co.uk/blueyondergames/trailers/halflife2/
if you're interested. last I checked the links still work. 
Doh 
BLAHBLAHgamefiles.blueyonder.co.uk/blueyondergames/trailers/halflife2/

nitin: you really have to ask? 
My God, 
oh well if it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be... 
Gilt 
yes, I havent got the bandwidth do download any/all of those ATM. 
Nitin: 
physics, environment design, environment interaction, models, textures... 
Nitin 
the facial animation is superb. materials and physics interact with each other. wood behaves like wood, splinters, breaks apart, floats. while steel behaves like steel, barrels sink etc. this can lead to very interesting booby traps. specifically the video mentions that in one the levels a 'monk' set up traps for you to unleash on monsters. examples were shooting a rope that was holding a steel beam the beam then acted like a pendulum mauling anything that came into its path. you then blew up the supports for a giant trash bin, that came crashing down on a bunch of enemies. another example was starting up a propeller that you could duck under, enenmies that got too close got sliced by the propeller. another scene has you chased by a big flying machine, and you try to duck behind cars, only the shots aimed at you rattle and knock the car around ruining your cover. the ai looks great, your teammates intelligently react to situations ducking for cover, asking you to cover them (not scripted btw). the environment interaction has to be the single best thing about how this game is shaping up. assuming hammer is a relatively intuitive level editor, this engine is a level designer's wet dream come true. 
Hmm 
(not scripted btw)

You know this how? 
Hmm 
Bah;

(not scripted btw)

You know this how? 
Just Because Of Some Of The Comments In The Rag Doll Thread 
I'll try once again.

ftp://
ftp.deadlocked.org/
HL2/

I'd suggest getting 2dn first. btw, the gsi 600 meg features much of the same stuff as the gamespot ones, but is of a better overall visual quality and one or two extended scenes. 
 
(not scripted btw)

You know this how?


that's what the guy said in the gsi demo. I suppose one can be jaded and crack that up to hype. 
Hrm 
I think the guy was referring to your basic 'go to nav point foo, then shout dialog XYZ, then run to nav point bar, etc.' type scripts.

I'm guessing there was some sort of hinting going on though - marking some areas as 'duck and fire', some as 'stealth', etc. Whether that counts as scripting I dunno... 
Fan Blade 
killing monsters? dont they have any preservation instinct. hell, my dog takes a look at the water before jumping in it! well, a labrador wont but...

it's ok, it just got me thinking. it seems promising though. for some reasons i have always been more attracted to hl's realism than to id's sci-fi. will take a look at the videos after my exam 2moro.

good luck with any of your exams folks! 
Wow 
I just watched the 600mb HL2 video all the way through, and I was really impressed. It seems so much better than Doom 3 now that its just unreal. I especially noticed how much better the HL2 engine looked when rendering humans. The characters in HL2 looked so lifelike, and their lip-synching and movement was incredible. Alex, in particular, was very expressive when she spoke. The physics engine looked more precise and believable than the Doom 3 physics, although we havent seen much use of it in Doom (and i couldn't get it to do anything particularly impressive in the alpha).

I can see some great custom stuff getting made for HL2, seeing as the engine doesn't appear to have an great limitations, and it already features lots of human characters to use as a base (unlike Doom 3).

The interactivity of the environment and the use of physics in puzzle solving looks to be really enjoyable, such as shielding yourself with a radiator, throwing barrels at people, using a table to block a door, etc.

Scripting is obviously very powerful as you would expect, and hopefully will be flexible too. The buggy in the demo looked fantastic, and had awesome handling for a FPS game. Usually I find that when you get to control stuff like this in games, its usually a bit sub-par, but in this case it gave the impression of being really refined, and very enjoyable.

The thing that really surprises me is that seeing all this stuff has instantaneously converted me from being a Doom 3 fanboy to a HL2 fanboy. Doom 3 looks like shit in comparion to this, in my opinion, which is not to belittle id, as Doom 3 looks very impressive sitting next to anything out at the moment. I think Maj mentioned in a seperate thread that HL2 might be dropping dynamic lighting, but I think it's worth trading it off in order to display the massive environments demonstrated in such high quality...

anyway, looking forward to that release date, whenever it is :) 
Yeah 
That GSI HL2 vid looks incredible. I am definitely looking forward to HL2. 
Nice 
but didnt impress me as much as doom3

actaully its just a video - no real gameplay and it looks very different from what it would be running realtime 
Um.. 
Speedy, I believe all of the HalfLife 2 video was recorded in realtime. All of that is real gameplay. ...So, what are you talking about? 
Well.. 
...those shakycam vids do make things look better than they really are. Free anti-aliasing, bloom, motion blur, iris, overbright, exposure, etc., plus that always entertaining ability of people to see what they want to see. 
Cookies 
compressed videos always makes games look better 
Yes 
yes. my penis says alot of things. beautiful! 
Nane 
You cant judge on gameplay till you play the game
Thats what I meant 
Whaa?? 
i dotn remember writting that about my personal ha-pyness. heehe. sorry about that. musth had been floating in a sea of gibberish.

half-life 2 doesnt really makes my jaw drop, doom3 did at first, but im more interested in thief3 than doom3 or half-life2. i never cared for half-life, i cared a little for doom, but thief3 is where my money goes. :) 
Speedy 
Okay. 
Hmm 
Yeah this year looks being HL2 vs DOOM3 much like it was Q2 vs Unreal back in the day :)

I personally sway towards HL2, because it innovates on pretty much every level, and its the first game to properly incorporate good physics into its actual gameplay. Doom3 may look better but I fear that id will just make another generic shooter with some scary cinematics in it, with the staple pistol, shotgun, machinegun, rocket launcher combo they've been doing since doom.

I hope they prove me wrong, as the new e3 vids do look pretty cool, epecially the invisible monster throwing the corpse of the zombies around :)

Anyway, HL2 for president, and stuff... 
Yo 
What's up? I just wanted to write to you homies!! Sorry for taking up your time. So peace out! 
Have You Ever.... 
Um, just asking and all. But, have you played the game Jak 2 for PS2? If you have well right a comment or something. I think that the characters like: Erol, Torn, Jak, Ashalin, Daxter,ect. our wicked COOL!!! So tell me what you think. 
UMM..... 
Qfanatic, um you our just plain weird. I hope you know that. 
Yes 
 
Broken 
Links 
This Was The Most Worthless Bumping Of A Thread Ever. 
but it'd be useful to note that the current rumour going around is that HL2 is going to be delayed again. gg Valve, take as long as you want making games and never releasing them, I'm sure you can survive on those Counter-Strike funds forever. 
Dude! 
broken links! 
Er.. 
what do you expect from a year old thread metlslime? 
Holy Hell 
wtfbbq?

And btw, all the links in the topic are broken... Some people these days :/ 
Daz: 
you gotta fix your linkes! how can we talk about haflief too if we dont see the picz??????? 
Scampie 
are you being sarcastic or just plain fucking stupid? 
Metl 
omg somE l4m4r must hav hAxEd my s1te! 
My 2 Bits... 
Ive sen both the D3 and HL2 vids, and I can honestly say HL2 is much more impressive than D3. To me at least... I literally got goose-bumps while watching the hl gameplay trailer. Didnt get any kind of reaction out of the D3 one. My take is D3 will be an id standard shooter. Meaning rather vanilla game on an inovative and stable engine. HL2 however is going to rock the world! I have no doubt it will live up to the hype and surpass it. Valve is an incredibly creative and innovative company, with or without help they put the hurting on id. Especially in the online content area.

My 2 bits... FaT. 
 
My 2 bits... Hairy. 
Well 
I like halflife. It's pretty decent. I don't think it's anything truly amazing, however. But looking at the piles of shit surrounding Valve lately (code theft, delays, and the biggest shit pile of all - Steam) I'm gonna say that HL2 will take a few more years before it's done, and by then DN4Ever might be out. Quit laughing, it's a possibility. Personally, innovative triggers and stuff don't appeal that much to me, atmosphere and style do. Doom 3 looks like it'll definitely appeal to me, but my lust for HL2 has pretty much left my loins. 
Zwiffle 
I'm gonna say that HL2 will take a few more years before it's done, and by then DN4Ever might be out. Quit laughing, it's a possibility.

When dn4e does get out the 3dr-door I'll make sure to swing by your place in my anti-grav transport of choice and you can ride phaser-shotgun with me to the store! 
What I Think (Like It Matters...) 
D3 - Hoping to see rich atmosphere, iD's sense of humour, true demonic settings and enemies, outstanding PC art, fear.

HL2 - Intricate story, interesting puzzles and combat in a mix, very realistic settings, advanced NPC interaction.

Both should be great but for different reasons. I want both. 
I... 
just want to shoot things. 
I... 
just want to lech at the oriental babe 
Actually, No 
I just want to shoot things 
 
I'm more interested in HL2 but I will play both games. 
Well 
Who needs Halflife 2 and Doom 3 when there's such epic games as this:

http://doom.rog.ru/PIC/KARTINKI/FAKEDOOM/3.jpg

and such vivid environments as this:

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/chuk/index/Shack/e3b2.jpg 
New Shits... 
Hmm 
No matter how hard I try I cannot seem to get excited about Half-Life 2. I guess I need to replay the orginal one to appreciate it's forthing coming sequal. The shots look nice and all, but they don't spark my imagination like the Doom III shots. Hopefully Valve will release Half-Life 2 this year, but I'm not holding my breath. 
ProdigyXL 
'Hopefully Valve will release Half-Life 2 this year, but I'm not holding my breath.'

We should take make a func_board office pool on that one. 
Prod 
I feel the same way. Originally I was very excited about HL2, but after everything that's happened I'm more excited about DN4 than HL2. If doom3 came out same time as HL2, I'd get doom3 hands down. 
Did You See Fragmaster's Farewell Letter 
http://www.forumplanet.com/planethalflife/topic.asp?fid=6549&tid=1352802

when he was booted from PlanetHalflife for the crime of being right too many times about Valves consistent history of lying and his comments on Valve's bullying Gamespy into deleting his content? I can just visualize Gabe Newell on the phone, "Hey, Gamespy I'm giving you a choice. You can have new Half-Life 2 pics for your little clickheads to drool over (came out today, and they are pretty nice. Almost FarCry quality http://media.pc.gamespy.com/media/492/492830/imgs_1.html) or you can keep that punkass on your staff? Entirely your choice."

But I kid. Surely in reality it wasn't that overt. I have to say from my limited but meaningful experience in Party politics it is always that overt. 
I Read That A Few Days Ago 
And it just re-affirmed my lack of interest in the title. I'm sure Valve will eventually ship this title, they eventually got Condition Zero out. Even if those shots look kind of pretty, they just don't seem exciting. I guess I'm missing something because nearly every other message board on the net is full of people talking about how great this game will be. How they know this is beyond me tho. The movies and screens released look pretty standard fair. The same can be said about Doom III in that regard, I just think the atmosphere of D3 will be more convincing. Either way, I'll hold judgement on this title until it ships, whenever that maybe. 
Hmmm 
well, when i originally saw the e3 movie, i was stunned at some of the cool things like the realistic physics... but now that i've seen those same physics in games like mp2 and pk, it's just not as special anymore. i'm still looking forward to it, but i think that game should have been released a while ago... if they wait too long, all the cool uniqueness will be gone because other engines will have done it already. 
 
clickheads... that's awesome. This is of no relevance what so ever, but the essay I wrote for my last phil class included crediting Fragmaster in the endnotes. 
Headthump 
GG on linking the same shots I linked but in smaller sizes. 
Whoops, Somehow 
in my righteous indignation I missed that. Shambler. Two self flagelating lashes on me back there!

And of course ProdigyXL, by saying that they 'look almost as good as Farcry" I was giving a backhanded compliment with the emphasis on the backhand. The models in those shots all have a 'stiff' look to them like a tensed up boxer in the first round. This one in particular http://media.pc.gamespy.com/media/492/492830/img_2101784.html is a good example of what I mean.

It is the same stiff look I get when I pose figures I have not yet animated for in game shots. I don't want to focus too much of the criticism on the creative staff because I'm sure there are many first rate artist in it, and I can empathise as well because the power fantasy that fuels every fascistic boss is to take those who work under them down with them. 
 
 
ehehe, that's so cute, a flash light that shines through monsters. walls that appear flat. boring architecture. sooooo 2003. 
Amazing 
how a game that looked so good at first, now looks utter shite.

BTW, ITS GONE GOLD!!!!ONEONEONEONEONEONEONE
oneone11 
Hmmm 
Doom3 Barrels vs HL2 Barrels... let the FIGHT BEGIN!!! 
HL2 Owns J00! 
Half Life 15 |]4 |30|\/||3. Doom3 15 900|] 700, |3|_|7 |\|07 45 900|]

HL2 = |3357 94|\/|3 3\/4.

|<33|* |20(|<!|\|'. 
Translation 
Half Life 15 |]4 |30|\/||3. Doom3 15 900|] 700, |3|_|7 |\|07 45 900|]

HL2 = |3357 94|\/|3 3\/4.

|<33|* |20(|<!|\|'.


"Half-Life is da bomb. Doom3 is good too, but not as good.

HL2 = best game eva.

Keep rockin'"

Am I doing this rite? 
Sigh 
resurrecting old threads is out of fashion 
12345 
tan tan 
Guhgi 
jkvf;gmb
Guhgi 
jkvf;gmb
 
I haven't played this yet. Watching bits of it, i just got too sick of every-one worshipping GF (jesus - i can't even say it), and Alexis seemed too cute for a shooter. I loved HL1, and HL2's tech looks amazing but something just doesnt grab me. I heard episode one was good. 
Episode 2 
Was longer and seemed more inventive - they spent alot of time doing features instead of maps for ep1, or so it seemed.

HL2 is one of the best shooters I've ever played. Top 3 maybe. 
 
HL2 is amazing. As are both the episodes! Well worth playing if you're a shooter fan! 
 
I found Episode 1 a little boring, but Ep2 improved hugely on the original game which was a nice surprise! Sadly its innovations got a bit lost amongst the Portal and TF2 hype. 
 
i just replayed it a few days ago and i enjoyed ep1 more than ep2. for one, the whole caves section of ep2 at the start gets boring pretty quickly without much visual variety. i also wasn't a fan of being chased around by an unkillable ant lion guard for most of the map. the things i like most about hl2 were always the urban post-ap environments which ep1 had more of.
the ending to ep1 also was more visually interesting. technically, ep2's ending was probably more accomplished because it had a lot more complex npc scripting but launching a rocket and watching a far away light show is not as cool as escaping a city that's exploding at the back of a train while a gunship crashes down right behind you and scenery whizzes by at breakneck speed.

i have mixed feelings about ep3 (if it ever comes out, heh) because as far as i can tell, it'll take place in like the antarctic or something trying to get to that boat. that probably means no urban environments at all or probably a lot more caves.
i can only hope the aperture science tie in means we might portal to urban environments. :P 
 
I liked Zombines. Was awesome.

Awesome. 
EP 1 VS 2 
I like ep 1 a bit better. It's somewhat less spectactular and the environment has less variation, but I feel like, looking back on it, it has a feeling of cohesion that ep 2 lacks to a degree.
I also feel like Episode 2 marks a potentially unfortunate shift in the tone of the story line. Although Half Life and HL 2 were reliant upon lots of typical Sci Fi tropes, an element of mystery and ambiguity kind of kept things from becoming corny.
Ep 2 gets more explicit with many things, and though it indicates there will be a true form of closure, I'm worried the story will be cornified and cheapened by some of the developments...

...or not...

I can't really put my finger on what it is that makes me feel this way... Does anyone else feel like this?

I just hope it doesn't suffer from X-Files/LOST type issues of interminable red herring loose thread bullshit and/or a sudden and retarded ending episode.

Depending on how it's done though, I think the environment could be pretty fucking awesome in this - and if the portal elements make it into the half life series I'll be incredibly stoked.

PS does anyone know if/when that HL 1 remake is gonna be released? 
Black Mesa : Source? 
They were meant to release at the end of 2009, so hopefully they are just crossing some T's and dotting some I's... Hopefully :)

I prefered Episode 2 over Ep1 myself, I really enjoyed the new Hunter enemies, they were excellently done and are great fun to fight against. The combat areas were a lot more freeform and allowed you to take out the enemies in the way you felt was best, rather than pigeon-holing you into a combat experience the developers intended.

Not to say episode 1 was bad in any way, I really enjoyed it! 
 
on the driving maps...

i don't know if there's some kind of maximum map coordinate size in hl2 like in quake (ie: -4096 to +4096) but the driving maps felt really small.
they tried to make them last longer by having you drive in the opposite direction, or have you go through winding roads but that only serves to underline how small the actual maps are.

there are sound files for the car in ep2 for up to 4th gear, but i rarely ever got out of 2nd.

on top of that, hl2 isn't exactly a racing game so it's not really fun to maneuver around twists and turns with just keyboard input.

the driving sequences in the original hl2 were more straight roads, iirc. and they just seemed a lot bigger in general. details were more sparse, but i think i'd actually prefer a little less detail and larger drivable areas.

i would have loved to have a bit of exposition from alyx while just driving on a long stretch of highway or something. it gives you the sense that you're really travelling.

i dunno, this post was more stream of consciousness than i thought it would be. :P
let's just say that whole back half of ep2 would have really really benefited from some kind of streaming map data thing. 
I Would Love To Play This One, Heh 
Hmm 
Grammar made me stop reading the review halfway through.

She's been a bitch since she divorced grammpar 
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