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

zcaa0g

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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

And then there was those ninja bitches. The first time I encountered them back in 1997 and those damn super quick footstep sounds...dayum!
 
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I played through most of Half Life: Opposing Force and am playing through Half-Life 2 currently. I'm failing to see why this series is so well regarded. While I think some of the things they have done were innovative for their time, I'm not so sure these games have aged well. Opposing Force felt pretty mediocre, and 2 so far is good and the gravity gun is cool but I don't enjoy playing it very much.
 

Guilty_AI

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I played through most of Half Life: Opposing Force and am playing through Half-Life 2 currently. I'm failing to see why this series is so well regarded. While I think some of the things they have done were innovative for their time, I'm not so sure these games have aged well. Opposing Force felt pretty mediocre, and 2 so far is good and the gravity gun is cool but I don't enjoy playing it very much.
Wait, you played opposing force but did you play the original half life?
Opposing force was a cool little addon but far from being amazing timeless stuff, wasn't even made by valve.
 

LordPezix

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It was great. Like all great art it will be forever cherished to those that experienced it during the hay day.

I actually appreciate Valve for not pumping out endless Half-life material. Franchise fatigue is real.

Longer periods between releases allows the palette to be refreshed by other content making the experience more visceral.
 

nkarafo

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It was a great game but coming from Goldeneye i had a bit of higher expectations and missed some things. Like how you could not shoot enemies at different parts of the body with different effects. And the bullet hit detection was way worse, with the usual issue of shots getting stuck in corners.
 

Lanrutcon

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It was a great game but coming from Goldeneye i had a bit of higher expectations and missed some things. Like how you could not shoot enemies at different parts of the body with different effects. And the bullet hit detection was way worse, with the usual issue of shots getting stuck in corners.

Bold opinion. Didn't Golden Eye have aim assist out the fucking ass?
 

The_Mike

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I never liked the first or the second.

Yet the first game is still one of the best games ever because of the mods alone. God damn you could have so many different games in half life you never had to purchase a new game again.

Such a shame it went away with the second release.
 

SkylineRKR

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HL2 was one of the biggest chores when I replayed it, while it was one of my fave games during my initial playthrough at launch. Its very on rails, very bad AI, way too much physics puzzles which was obviously a gimmick at the time. Episode 1 was okay ish, Episode 2 was awesome.

HL1 really does run circles around it. Play Black Mesa.
 
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Schmick

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i never understood HL1

then i played 2

went back to 1 and binged it inc the expansions
I've never actually played the HL1 expansions. From what I have heard about they seem pretty interesting
 

nkarafo

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Bold opinion. Didn't Golden Eye have aim assist out the fucking ass?
Optionally, yes. And only in the easier modes.

It's also a console game, made with a gamepad in mind, not a mouse.
 
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Garibaldi

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I have very fond memories of playing Half-life around it's original PC release. Up till then my (admittedly huge fun) expectation of the fps genre was DooM and it's great but distinct maze like maps with keys and largely dumb opponents. Half-Life was so revolutionary. The opening alone set the scene and world building perfectly. The scripted events setting up the facility's disaster. The change from distinct maps with keys littered about to a more grounded map design with maps that we're basically just one map (I was young and didn't realise the load points were the map changes). Then the army showed up and I saw them flank and co-ordinate to get me. I was in love. It's soooo good. Except Xen.....that can fuck off. It's expansions were equally amazing to my young self too. It also introduced me to the mod scene. Downloading CS overnight on you dial up modem (83MB) was days I'll fondly look back on.

Half-life 2, was equally as good imo at the time of release, but the hype around it and the previous leak that delayed it (even though it was no where near ready) just built up the hype so well.
 

Lanrutcon

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Optionally, yes. And only in the easier modes.

It's also a console game, made with a gamepad in mind, not a mouse.

Then I doubt the bullet detection was worse than that of a game designed for the lowest common denominator in aiming devices.
 

smithg5

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Half life is the goat fps of all time. Grinds my gears when people say hl2 is better.

Outside of physics hl2 is a boring linear corridor shooter against 80% the same enemies all game.

Even the story in hl1 is told perfectly.
Half Life 1 is a great game but played today it feels dated. Not just visually but mechanically.

Half Life 2, from not much later in 2004, still feels fresh somehow. I think that makes it the more notable game. Go back to HL2 and other great FPS games from 2004 (Far Cry, Halo 2, Doom 3) and you can really see that Valve was just on another level then.
 
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IDKFA

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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.

This. Half Life is a classic, but it wasn't the the first FPS to have decent, flowing narrative.

Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight came out a year before Half Life and had a flowing story, plus one that would change depending on what path you took (Jedi or Sith).
 

wipeout364

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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.
I am not sure what you mean by nope. Look at the overwhelming number of negative comments in this thread. I played each of the games at release and they were amazing. I have replayed all the games and they just haven’t aged as well as some people like to think. They are still great games but I can see the many flaws from a 2021 gamer viewpoint.
 

nkarafo

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Then I doubt the bullet detection was worse than that of a game designed for the lowest common denominator in aiming devices.
Have you even played the game before arguing with me?

Bullet detection is FAR better in Goldeneye. You can snipe through tight corners or tiny gaps of the geometry (which is still solid and you can hit it if you aim for it) and hit the hand of an enemy even if the bullet has to go between parts of the weapon he is holding. In fact, i don't remember the last time i saw a game with more precise hit detection than Goldeneye.
 
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Lanrutcon

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Have you even played the game before arguing with me?

Bullet detection is FAR better in Goldeneye. You can snipe through tight corners or tiny gaps of the geometry and hit the hand of an enemy even if the bullet has to go between parts of the weapon he is holding. In fact, i don't remember the last time i saw a game with more precise hit detection than Goldeneye.

I'm sorry; I'm not seeing it. Got any examples?
 

nkarafo

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I'm sorry; I'm not seeing it. Got any examples?
Just play the game and use manual aim through tiny gaps and corners. The shots will go through every time, without getting stuck. Also use the sniper rifle and try to do all kinds of precise shots like hitting the very edge of a far away camera or the weapon an enemy is holding from far away (in Perfect Dark you can disarm them this way) or try to hit through the gaps of said weapon where the body is exposed. It's pretty much pixel perfect.
 
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When it came out in 98 there was nothing so well done.
If you look at the history of first person shooters, it all runs out pretty neatly between the "pre-Half-Life" era and the "post-Half-Life" era, I remember an article from IGN a few years ago that more or less it said like this: "
You have the impression that this is not just a world that exists only for shooting, you have the feeling that something terrible and mysterious has happened and you are in the middle of it. This method of handling the story has become the foundation of today's first person shooter design."
I love Half Life, is one of my all time favorites.
(I hate you Gabe give me the thirdoooo)
 

Lanrutcon

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Just play the game and use manual aim through tiny gaps and corners. The shots will go through every time, without getting stuck. Also use the sniper rifle and try to do all kinds of precise shots like hitting the very edge of a far away camera or the weapon an enemy is holding from far away (in Perfect Dark you can disarm them this way) or try to hit through the gaps of said weapon where the body is exposed. It's pretty much pixel perfect.

Well, I guess I'll have to take your word for it. Can't really find anything on Youtube about it and I'm not sure I'm going to go emulate this ancient game to try. Your issues with HL: you sure that's with the original, and not the borked source port?
 

StormCell

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If I am to compare the Half-Life games, I would have to say that HL1 feels more free and given to exploration as you make your way through the levels. It is definitely a masterpiece of story-telling for that time. HL2, on the other hand, takes story-telling to a whole other level. From the outset, it is immersive. You are so tightly ingrained into this story that, yes, your path is essentially a set of rails. What's nice about HL2 is that the levels are well made and offer you a great degree of creativity as you combat hapless Combine soldiers and guards. As far as the path-oriented style of levels are concerned, those rails often felt like they interconnected with hubs, and it was at these hubs were you would often be free to do a bit of exploring or, as was more frequently common, engage in an epic firefight.

Some may feel the burden of chore as they run along the path that is HL2, but that would only be because we've all played it too much. All of my favorite games feel like a chore to play now because I've done it so many times.

I give the nod to HL2 as the better game primarily because it left a much bigger imprint in my memory. I will never forget Ravenholm along with various other settings from the game and its subsequent episodes.
 

EverydayBeast

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There’s a lot of FPS’ with interesting mechanisms (Fear’s slow motion, Bioshock’s powers to name a few examples) I think Half Life benefits from being a PC exclusive and releasing ahead of its a time.
 

keram

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

The game itself was great, but also the Mods like CS and DoD were awesome for these days. Spent months of my life playing them. Sweet memories :messenger_beaming:
 
Feb 23, 2010
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Wait, you played opposing force but did you play the original half life?
Opposing force was a cool little addon but far from being amazing timeless stuff, wasn't even made by valve.
I played Half-Life: Source I think, but that was a long time ago. It was alright.
 

Hari Seldon

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Half Life is great but it birthed both CS and Team Fortress which made it god tier for that reason alone. There was nothing like those two games for years and years.
 
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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.
You know, im getting pretty tired of this take, "controlling an avatar" lol if you didnt get enough "game" out of half Life 2, then you are basically saying you dont care for virtually any artistic directorial pacing of events or circumstances in games.

Its okay for a dev to have ideas for what you want to experience and create a journey that leads to non repetitive events.

Its like these days gamers think they are hardcore if they say all they want is to be dropped in a jungle gym full of enemies and told to figure it out, that mentality ruined games like uncharted where naughty dog became insecure of their "set pieces" in uncharted 2, and just started creating combat arenas instead of directing unique encounters. It lead to it being repetitive.
 

nkarafo

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Well, I guess I'll have to take your word for it. Can't really find anything on Youtube about it and I'm not sure I'm going to go emulate this ancient game to try. Your issues with HL: you sure that's with the original, and not the borked source port?
Yeah its the original. I only played the source port for a tiny bit, not sure how it fares.

Keep in mind this isnt an issue with HL specifically, most games used to have this. Turok was probably the worst case from the ones i played.
 
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Kuranghi

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You know, im getting pretty tired of this take, "controlling an avatar" lol if you didnt get enough "game" out of half Life 2, then you are basically saying you dont care for virtually any artistic directorial pacing of events or circumstances in games.

Its okay for a dev to have ideas for what you want to experience and create a journey that leads to non repetitive events.

Its like these days gamers think they are hardcore if they say all they want is to be dropped in a jungle gym full of enemies and told to figure it out, that mentality ruined games like uncharted where naughty dog became insecure of their "set pieces" in uncharted 2, and just started creating combat arenas instead of directing unique encounters. It lead to it being repetitive.

I'm sorry I think you've misunderstood my comment. I meant the game felt so real to me at the time, graphics wise, that I felt like it was a real place and I was travelling through it. I wasn't making a comment about the gameplay, more the atmosphere. That make more sense?

I totally agree with the bolded, I too hate the mentality of many modern games being having a shitty sandbox with boring/fake choices with no bespoke design, like the worst parts of Far Cry games, which I still enjoy, but my brain is fully off at this point when playing them.

I think we're in agreement unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean now lol.
 
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Romulus

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The second game still manages to crush most modern games in atmosphere, music, style, and setting. I really thought games were headed in the right direction but it pretty much peaked. Some of the gameplay is meh, but overall it's really good.
 

gundalf

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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.



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.

HL1 is just a corridor shooter while HL2 introduces new gameplay concepts and interactions on a steady rate.

Btw, am I the only one who thinks that not doing anything meaningful with the suite is a big missed opportunity? I think they could have done some interesting things similar to Metroid with upgrades and new abilities, this could have also lead to a deeper involvement of Barney and Dr. Kleiner where they lead to/provide with new suite upgrades.
 
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gundalf

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I can understand the hesitancy to make another sequel, when you make something that amazing the pressure to fuck it up is immense.
Yeah right? But Gaben is now so successful he can easily go with this team into the I don't give a fuck mode. I haven't played Alyx but I have seen people refer to it as a HL3 disguise, don't know much it can be really considered as that.
 

JCK75

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Yeah right? But Gaben is now so successful he can easily go with this team into the I don't give a fuck mode. I haven't played Alyx but I have seen people refer to it as a HL3 disguise, don't know much it can be really considered as that.

Alyx is the gaming experience of my lifetime, I adore VR and it REALLY showed how good it can be... I'd like to play it outside of VR with a mod just to see how the experience holds out without the immersion.
 
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YeulEmeralda

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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.
Don't forget the sound design.
 
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Romulus

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Alyx stands on it's own too. I never once felt like it was some VR game using the HL name as a crutch. It can stand shoulder to shoulder with the others.
 

Orta

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Never did click with me but then I didn't play it until years after it had come out and I'd experienced shooters like FEAR and Far Cry beforehand.

Half Life 2 on the other hand is an absolute masterpiece, it wipes the floor with the original in my opinion.
 

carlosrox

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Half Life 2 on the other hand is an absolute masterpiece, it wipes the floor with the original in my opinion

Sometimes opinions can be wrong.

Seriously though, the level design alone instantly jumps out as being far superior in the first game.

HL2 is obviously unfinished, now this may be in part due to that big leak that fucked them but the end result is the same. It's pretty shocking how much big empty space there is in terms of visuals and level design.

Feels like you're fighting the same enemies over and over, they're just bullet sponges, the weapons mostly all feel weak or inaccurate, Gordon feels clumsy as shit, they lifted tracks from 1 - which isn't a problem per se since 1 had amazing music and I was happy to see some return- but it also gave it a lazy feeling.

2 just has so many issues it honestly surprises me more people don't see them. Maybe it's cuz I'm so familiar with the strengths of 1 that the flaws of 2 just jump right put at me.

And I've said this many times before but I'm not an HL2 hater. I love the game too. However it is waaaaay flawed and I don't get how people find it better than the first.
 

Boneless

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full life consequences GIF
 

carlosrox

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Love all the grunt voice lines.

MOVEMENT!
HECU Marines were waaaay cooler than any of the Combine.


Soooo who this guyyyy, Freeman?

They say he was at ground zero...

Science team, you think he was responsible, sabotage maybe?

Yeah, maybe. All I know for sure is he's been killin my buddies.

Oh yeahhh, he'll pay. He will definitely pay. *echoed radio static*



HL2 was missing this. The Breen broadcast at Nova Prospekt was great though.
 
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MCplayer

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In the fps world.
Halo and Half Life shaped the fps to be how it is gameplay and narrative wise