Completely agree, Half-Life 1 stood out for the cinematic in-engine storytelling they used even if the overarching plot itself was essentially something out of a Sy-Fy original movie. Black Mesa Inbound (the opening) or “We’ve got Hostiles” (when the military shows up to “save” the day) were both pretty groundbreaking for the medium at the time.
I’m with Rym. For me, the “story” of Half Life was totally secondary to the gameplay. Anything and everything that happened seemed, to me, to be along the lines of:
“We have a cool physics mechanic… what can happen in the story now so the use of this mechanic as a weapon makes sense?”
And so, for zero reasons that make narrative sense, you’re in a spooky night level, shooting saw blades through zombies. Which feels great! It’s some of the most memorable gameplay ever!
I didn’t care about the story, and when I got to the end of Half Life 2, I had no interest in any of the mysteries, any of the character, or anything that might happen next.
I guess that’s why the Half Life series is such a classic. Different people can love it for different reasons. You and Rym love it for the gameplay while Deckard and I love it for how it integrates story in with the action.
To have either the gameplay or the story be subpar would alienate large portions of its playerbase.
OK but a very significant part of the “mechanics” revolved around seamless (or mostly seamless) integration of story and plot.
The lore and such is whatever, but much as Burning Wheel is notable for mechanically integrating roleplaying, Half-Life gained prominence because it eschewed cutscenes and made the story part of the action.
For me it’s less about the actual story being told, and rather that Half-Life used action as a compelling narrative vehicle in a way that no other games I know of have successfully replicated.
I also appreciate how it integrates the story with the gameplay. But the story isn’t interesting to me at all, and I didn’t and don’t care about anything particular happening. Nor do I have any memory of why I found myself in different parts of the game, except characters saying “you need to go here to do this”, which is there most basic of basic story possible.
The story isn’t bad for a video game, but there’s nothing about that is good or interesting in its own right.
Sure, weak plot and all, but G-Man is at least cool.
For me personally I have pretty low expectations around Half Life Alyx. I’m sure that it will do well but I just don’t see Valve as the ground breaking developer they once were. All their recent releases were implementations of someone else’s format (Dota 2, their Auto-chess battler, artifact) and thinking about the stuff they released between HL2 and nowish all the big releases were external teams developing an idea that then got aqui-hired by Valve (Portal, Left 4 Dead).
I kind of just want an excuse to get a VR setup.
It’s totally a push to sell Steam VR hardware. Not that it won’t be a good game (it will probably even be great) but Valve doesn’t make games for the beauty of the art anymore
Right I expect a competently made product and suitable game mechanics to really make use of the valve VR controllers with the individual digit controls. From a marketing standpoint I think it will be huge for VR, but from a games as a medium standpoint I have doubts.
This is pretty much where I am. Valve is a game publisher, not a designer. They’ll need to prove that they still have it in them in order to get me excited for anything they make. And there’s definitely a huge chance for them to fuck it up.
If we can all pretty much agree that Half Life is basically a mediocre story integrated in revolutionary ways into the gameplay itself, then it makes sense that Valve would use VR for the next Half Life game.
The logical next step in integrating story and narrative with gameplay is VR. If Valve can revolutionize the way we experience and play VR games the say way they revolutionized the way we play FPS games, then Half Life Alyx could be amazing.
The question is really IF they can do it.
Gordon Freeman finally talks but he sounds like Lemongrab.
They should’ve gotten the Freeman’s Mind guy to voice him.
Release date is March 23.
Hoo boy. This looks like it could be intense.
Alyx is fucking amazing. Honestly, not just a great VR game, but a great game all around.