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Opinion Retro Trailer Why Is Half-Life A MASTERPIECE?!

IbizaPocholo

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Dec 1, 2014
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ibiza

Half-Life 1 is considered to be one of, if not, the GREATEST GAME EVER MADE! But how did it achieve such a legacy? Why did Valve become a household name after it's release? And 23 years later is Half-Life still A MASTERPIECE?!
____TIME STAMPS____
Introduction – 0:00
Raycon – 3:47
Lineage of Shooters – 5:20
Scripted Sequences – 14:11
Horror & Sandbox – 20:44
Gameplay, Puzzles, & Platforming – 24:52
Plot Overview – 29:07
Conclusion – 36:56

For me, it is a masterpiece and one of the best games I've ever played.
 

wipeout364

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I think it's a landmark game that was important in the development of the modern FPS, if someone played it in 2021 for the first time I think they would consider it an average or below average FPS. It was one of the first games to really nail a sense of place and unfolded a narrative without switching to cutscenes, I always considered the shooting mechanics in the half life games to be quite average.
 

N1tr0sOx1d3

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There was nothing else like it. Half-life and Half-life 2 were incredible games.
Never played the episodic ones later. Were they good?
 
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KuraiShidosha

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I play it pretty much every single day. I don't know what it is but the first two chapters are just perfection. The atmosphere, the build up, the consequences and taking in the aftermath. I love it. I'll never forget over 22 years ago seeing that resonance cascade play out and the sheer terror when the screen goes black and all you can hear is Gordon breathing heavily. Nothing else in the series has come close to touching the masterpiece that is the first game, and few other games outside the series can stand tall alongside it.
 

Orta

console wars 2020 - participant
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A game that never clicked with me for some reason. Half Life 2 on the other hand is a work of art.
 
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Phase

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Damn, dude's got a mil subs now? I watched a bit of him around 150k. Good for him.
 

Buggy Loop

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Half Life was basically the best use of scripted events (and also one of the first to heavily use them) in a game to tell a story/immersion with AI that would still put to shame most modern games. It shaped every games going forward.

Half Life 2 was groundbreaking with physics and environment interaction, became a benchmark for years

Half Life Alyx was groundbreaking VR, still unmatched as of now.

Yea.. it’s a pretty good franchise 🙃
 

N1tr0sOx1d3

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Half Life was basically the best use of scripted events (and also one of the first to heavily use them) in a game to tell a story/immersion with AI that would still put to shame most modern games. It shaped every games going forward.

Half Life 2 was groundbreaking with physics and environment interaction, became a benchmark for years

Half Life Alyx was groundbreaking VR, still unmatched as of now.

Yea.. it’s a pretty good franchise 🙃
Damn straight, Valve have wasted years not developing this franchise, it’s criminal letting this go to waste.
 

Spukc

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i never understood HL1

then i played 2

went back to 1 and binged it inc the expansions
 
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BigLee74

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Half Life was mind blowing when it came out.

Half Life 2 even more so. No game had done physics like that before. I remember Max Payne 2 dabbling, but Half Life 2 took it to the max!
 

bender

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The worst if the half life series is still better than 90% of games or there. It's like talking about Berserk's worst Arc.

Half Life 2 has some pretty high highs and very low lows and is paced like a Peter Jackson's director's cut. The end result is an average game that was terribly disappointing considering how great the original was and gets by mostly because of a few stand out sections and because it carries the Half Life name. . Episode 1 is just bad. The only thing that enters the same stratosphere as Half Life, is Episode 2.

I haven't played Alyx.
 

Kokoloko85

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Hmmm I felt HF2 was overrated but I guess every game has Its anti fans. It was good but not out of this world. 2nd half of the game was better than the start.
 

DryvBy

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You need to be there for it's time. Citizen Kane's camera work is one of the reasons the movie is known as the best film of all time (or was). But that stuff is done all the time now. What Half-Life did in the 90s was make a conspiracy government game with aliens and put an actual story behind it. Before that, story was in shooters as a thing in the game's manual or as a last screen option. I don't even believe Half-Life is the first to do this but it was the best of it during it's time.
 
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Vier

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Half-Life is one of those seminal FPS titles of the 90's/early 2000's. It did something unique yet also allowed other things to come into existence by virtue of itself.

Half Life was the first person shooter that I remember that had a full story involved as such, that opening scene in the cart going through the different areas was mind blowing at the time.

Something no other game did at the time the way half life did. yes there were first person shooters but nothing as story related and in depth at the time.

Halo was later on, so it cant be included as such in the accolades of story telling and so on, it was released 3 years after Half Life was released. it cant even come close to the titles half life got. in most gamers minds half life will always be what set the benchmarks for games today and rightfully so I say. it was mind blowing in its day.
 
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Vae_Victis

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I don't have time to watch a 40 minute video right now, so maybe he mentions this as well, but reading what people are saying here I wish to break the misconception that Half Life was the first FPS to have a heavy contextual narrative and to build its levels not just like "video game levels" but with storytelling in mind. The most obvious example of this is Unreal, which came out half a year earlier, but going further back you can find several other games that to various extents already showed the same design direction (System Shock, Strife).

It's probably true that Half Life was the first FPS to do this on a different level of competency that really clicked with a lot of people, and that's why it's the one everybody remembers. But it's not like everything was Doom, and then out of nowhere Half Life invented contextual narration in FPSs. It happened much more gradually and organically.
 

playXray

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In my opinion, it's because it shaped how many games looked in the future. I'm not talking about the all Valve games like CS:GO or TF2, but thanks to Half-Life many developers saw how important is to have a good story inside the game.
I agree, it’s just a shame that so many developers ignored this and try to tell the story via clumsily bolted-on cutscenes.
 

TheStam

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No game has impressed me more with it's graphics. I had just got a new computer when Half-Life 1 came out and it just blew me away. The water doesn't look like anything special now of course, but back then it was incredible to me. Playing LAN in this game was great fun and also one of the first online experiences I ever had. It will always hold a special place in my heart.
 

Krappadizzle

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Did a replay of the entire series in anticipation of getting the Valve knuckles controllers and Alyx a few months back. Series holds up extremely well still. Hopefully Alyx did well enough to jumpstart the series back. Alyx in VR is a transformative experience and it'd be a shame to let the series stagnate any further.
 

Kuranghi

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I absolutely love the first and sequel, but HL2 was a brain-altering (in terms of what games could simulate with physics), epoch-making game for me.

HL1 has so many great moments that I will treasure forever - "I think I hear something... IN THE VENT" *dakka dakka dakka* lol or the scientist hanging from the ladder - and Blackmesa is a beautiful update if you find it to antiquated these days, even though its a little long.

HL2 has those moments and more but mostly I adore it because it felt like I was travelling around real locations controlling an avatar rather than playing a game. The shader work + physics felt so real to me at the time, fucking amazing memories of first playthrough.
 

Kuranghi

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Did a replay of the entire series in anticipation of getting the Valve knuckles controllers and Alyx a few months back. Series holds up extremely well still. Hopefully Alyx did well enough to jumpstart the series back. Alyx in VR is a transformative experience and it'd be a shame to let the series stagnate any further.

Did you try Blackmesa at all? Its quite long so be prepared to settle in but I found it an amazing homage + pastiche of HL1 & HL2 with the scenario of HL1. Its extremely well done and they add tons of extra content that makes the world feel more real/alive.

Protip if you do play, try to get NPCs through encounters without dying because they often have quite funny/interesting dialogue with the NPCs you meet at the other end of said gauntlets that you don't hear if they die. Not every time but enough times thats its worth trying save them (ie savescum lol)
 

dcx4610

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I think it's a bit of a "you had to be there" like DOOM.

You can still play both and enjoy them but they were completely revolutionary at the time. That's one thing I truly miss in gaming are the huge leaps in tech that you would experience back then. Every year it felt something mindblowing or new was happening. Now it's just refinements.

Anyway, I bought the big box version of Half-Life at midnight, came home and literally didn't stop playing until I beat it. I think it may have been midnight or close to it the next day. Every time I reached a new area, I thought about stopping but couldn't wait to see what happened next. I don't think I've done that with a game since (a long game at least).

I'm not quite sure what even made it special. I guess it was the compelling story, the new graphics engine, the pacing, the interaction with objects and characters and everything. It just wasn't a cooridor shooter like most FPS games at the time. It felt like a quality, complete game that you were used to only seeing in 2D that happened to be in first person.
 

YeulEmeralda

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Played it in 99 and there wasn't anything else like it.

It's difficult to actually really understand what a game was like when you look at it 20 years later.

 

Krappadizzle

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Did you try Blackmesa at all? Its quite long so be prepared to settle in but I found it an amazing homage + pastiche of HL1 & HL2 with the scenario of HL1. Its extremely well done and they add tons of extra content that makes the world feel more real/alive.

Protip if you do play, try to get NPCs through encounters without dying because they often have quite funny/interesting dialogue with the NPCs you meet at the other end of said gauntlets that you don't hear if they die. Not every time but enough times thats its worth trying save them (ie savescum lol)
I did a replay of HL 1, the 2 expansions, then Black Mesa, then HL2, expansions, then Alyx.... Though I got sick(unrelated to Alyx) and put it down and haven't gone back to finish it yet as I took my VR set-up to my parents house so my Mom could play Beat Saber and just haven't hooked it all back up yet. Alyx though...holy hell.

Black Mesa is fantastic. I think it's version of Xen is WAAAYYYY better than the original release. Black Mesa is a way for current people to appreciate the lore and atmosphere of HL even if they can't understand why it was so revolutionary when it came out. Doom and Half-Life are two games that essentially changed the industry and they are each as arguably important as the other in the context of the games that are released today. Playing HL1 in 98 was just an experience that's really hard to express to people these days because everyone's been spoiled by the standards that Half-Life set for modern shooters.
 
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Yeah, it was very special. I had never played anything like it, with that kind of story, mystery, atmosphere and excitement in a shooter. Very memorable, cool environments and puzzles.

So much better than Half-life 2, that game was such a disappointment for me. I just kept waiting, "ok so when is it getting good..?" Nope, never liked it..
 
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skakmk

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Half life has some of the best AI in gaming yet! The marines and the stealth ops especially, were dope AF flanking and bombing your ass out of cover.

I always felt harder difficulty in half life required you to think more and be more tactical, unlike newer games which just increase enemy stats and decrease yours.

Plus, Half life had two of the coolest expansions ever!

HALF LIFE and BLOODBORNE GOAT CLUB
 
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Dream-Knife

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I recently played through Black Mesa and had an amazing time. New FPSs don't hold a candle. I think this is because it's really a first person adventure game rather than an fps. Guns are tools used to get to where you need to go; and not just kill everything in sight as a lot of modern games are like (Doom, COD, Battlefield).
 

carlosrox

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Arguably the best game of all time.

Music, game feel, atmosphere, length, sounds, animations, scripted scenes, weapons, setting, multi-player, modding scene, influence on games, influence on the industry, etc.

Probably spent more time in that game than any other, and that's just the single and MP. If you wanna include mods like CS, DOD, They Hunger, and countless others then that number jumps even much higher.

GOAT. HL2 did not live up to HL1.

Half Life 2 is the mastapiece

Haha no. HL2 has flaws up the ass. No way in hell is it better than the first game. Basically the only things better about HL2 are the graphics and story I guess.
 
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WitchHunter

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It's one of those made with love, pure love games. Made by gamers. You can only find these nowadays in indie space.
 

RoadHazard

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For me it was mainly the way it told its story, which felt fresh at the time. As an FPS it was never THAT great, the sequel is a much better game.
 
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TGO

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Don't know, I never understood the hype around it.
I mean it wasn't a very good FPS, but I suppose it was story driven so to some that was a big thing?
 

zcaa0g

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I think it's a landmark game that was important in the development of the modern FPS, if someone played it in 2021 for the first time I think they would consider it an average or below average FPS. It was one of the first games to really nail a sense of place and unfolded a narrative without switching to cutscenes, I always considered the shooting mechanics in the half life games to be quite average.

Nope. After playing Black Mesa I was wishing we had more FPSs like that today. Most FPSs today shoot for realism so the level designs suck and are boring. The game is still great and just needed a fresh coat of paint which it got.
 
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