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Half-Life 2, best game ever?

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December 31, 2006 10:53:27 PM

Just want to see your opinions on this. Lots of people think that Half-Life 2 is one of the best games ever made. I think that it had a great story, but was missing some elements to make it the best of best.
What do you guys think?

More about : half life game

January 1, 2007 3:59:32 PM

It has the highest production values of anything, but its own expansion.

Yes, I call that "best game ever" material.
January 1, 2007 8:19:14 PM

A reason why i thought it was good, was the creativity of the developers. Before Half-Life 2, FPS games where all just point and shoot. This game made you think, whether it was pile up boxes to get into a vent, or turn a valve to let water in so you could swim through the gate.
I just thought it was missing a certain touch to make it the BEST, i do think it is up there though.
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January 2, 2007 1:38:28 PM

Quote:
I just thought it was missing a certain touch to make it the BEST, i do think it is up there though.


Well, what do you think that touch is? I mean, is there a game, in your opinion, that has that "touch"? W/E...
-cm
January 2, 2007 2:03:32 PM

It would be near ten on my top ten shooters list.
January 2, 2007 2:23:53 PM

The guys at UncleGamer Radio asked me what some of my all-time favorite games were a few weeks back, and the one that rolled off my tongue first was Half-Life 2. By far, it was the easiest decision: HL2 took the style and presentation of its classic predecessor and improved them; it has superior visuals AND gameplay to boot; it has a tight narrative and intriguing (albeit puzzling) story, and tons of action.

But two things in particular really pushed HL2 over the top. First, the gravity gun: Best. Weapon. Ever. Like Insan3 wrote, suddenly FPS game were no longer just about pointing and sooting bullets, but moving and throwing objects (like Combine soldiers). The second thing was the ability to control the Antlions. Simply brilliant. These two elements provided the unexpected wrinkles that you just don't get in games these days.
January 2, 2007 2:29:05 PM

They went a bit over the top with Alyx though... HL2Ep1 is almost embarrassing in that respect.
-cm
January 2, 2007 4:02:34 PM

Did you play with commentary? Valve tried really hard to make Alyx work in E1. I thought she was one of the best NPCs going. The only one I remember liking better is DØG.

I'm still a bigger fan of the original but there is very little not to like about HL2. My only complaint is Ravenholm. I put both in my top 5, which currently only includes these two and the original Deus Ex. :wink:
January 2, 2007 6:35:04 PM

Yes, that is one of the few things i didnt like. Ravenholm. That level was really a pain, but other than that the game was AMAZING.
Quote:
Well, what do you think that touch is? I mean, is there a game, in your opinion, that has that "touch"? W/E...

The touch i felt that was missing was the need for more enemies. Did you even notice that on some levels, you would just keep encountering the same type of enemy again and again? i just thought they should mix it up some. Thats not really anything to complain about though.
Overall, the game is the very, very, good.
January 6, 2007 7:20:48 PM

It's the best FPS game ever. I don't like RPG's but being objective World of Warcraft may be the best game ever. That game has destroyed lives :lol: 

I liked Far Cry because I thought the idea of an island where you can just go wherever you want and approach enemies any way you want was fantastic. And that island looked great. But they totally messed it up with those mutants with rocket launchers for arms.

The only knock against Half-Life 2 is that it's too linear for its time. It's not innovative enough. The physics was great though.

I say Half-Life original is the best game ever. It spawned Counter-Strike which is in my opinion the best game ever. The emphasis on game. A real game has high replayability and almost limitless skill levels.

But just personally, I'll vote for Battlefield 2/2142. For me, that's the best game ever made because of how well polished the multiplayer features/communication/interface is.
January 6, 2007 11:39:40 PM

Graphicaly, it's clean and not overdone which has helped CSS remain heavily played throughout these 3 years.
The only reason I bought HL2 was for CSS. HL2 isn't compelling to me (or many people as you can see on the multiplayer portals; Steam, XFire ect.) as a multiplayer port - but it's an alright single player port and I agree about the redundant enemies, landscape - bleh. As for the engine, mods and replayablility; it could easily hold up as it's parent title has.

Quote:
Did you play with commentary? Valve tried really hard to make Alyx work in E1. I thought she was one of the best NPCs going. The only one I remember liking better is DØG.


Is that the one with the cute face and massive sized 'hoo hoos'?
January 7, 2007 12:52:51 AM

MowTin has a lot of favorite games ever...
January 7, 2007 11:22:57 AM

I'd say it's in the top five all time shooter games. Top ten all time games? I wouldn't put it up there.
January 7, 2007 3:53:03 PM

I'm appalled that you don't seem to think that the dominant genre's top 5 would have any business being in an overall top 10. What are you, one of these rabbid MMORPG players? A console Japanese RPG player?
January 8, 2007 2:50:17 PM

The biggest problem I had with HL2 is requiring "Steam" to authenticate. Whenever the Steam servers are down, I can't even play a single-player game much less the multiplayer aspect.

The other issue, though not a problem, is it's too linear. If they had the non-linear aspect like GTA3 or Neverwinter Nights then it would be the best of all time.

Now Neverwinter Nights should be in the Top 10 for re-playability and having an incredible toolset that has generated thousands of different modules/games.
January 9, 2007 12:36:35 AM

Linear & non-linear are different, not better or worse than each other. Half-Life 2 represents a perfection of one form of the two, not both.

I could anti-rant Steam, but I'd be willing to bet that my very positive experience isn't the only kind people have actually had.
January 9, 2007 11:03:28 AM

Best game ever… nah.

I have played some games that can beat this and one I have to admit I have been reminded of one of late, Aliens v Predator 2. I am also an Avid Japanese style RPG fan so when it comes to the best games I really cant include many FPS titles in there since a lot, even the good ones just lack the immersion and good cant drop it story that so many other types of games have.

Just thought of another one, Deus Ex was much better than Half Life 2 in its day. It mixed a RPG levelling system with a half decent story and some great FPS action. If you can stand playing semi-retro games then I would suggest picking Deus Ex up, you will not be disappointed.

NOTE: Deus Ex 2 was not so good, so don’t bother getting that one.

There have just been too many good games in the last 10 years and some have been absolutely great since they started making games heavily with the help of the PSX. I can honestly say if Half Life 2 were the best game we had I would not have been in to games as heavily as I am today. Also think of this, will we be talking about Half Life 2 ten years from now the same way we talk about the first Half Life now…
January 9, 2007 11:26:22 AM

Just read your post and I have to agree with Gyro in that a game being too liner is not possible. I for one actually like liner games as I like a good story in a game. For me a game without a story is like a fictional book without one, completely pointless. The thing is if you make games more open you will ultimately have to make sacrifices on the story and more than likely because of the difficulties of making an open style game you will have to sacrifice on the quality of such a story too.

Even games such as Dues Ex as I mentioned earlier which are fairly open and have multiple amount of endings, are at its foundations fairly liner. One of my personal favourite games Final Fantasy 7 is extremely liner but because of this its story flourishes and this I believe is why many people hold it as one of the best games in history.

I am not saying open style games are bad I am just saying I prefer liner games… Hell I have completed every single GTA, but then once I am through the story of these games I stop playing them. I guess some people are just happy with the pointless playing of games where I need a reason to play them.
January 13, 2007 9:06:24 PM

I personally like the Steam-based games. For one, you don't need the CD's once they are installed. And everything is so clean and organized, you don't need 30 desktop icons on each game, just open up Steam!
January 15, 2007 12:56:31 PM

Quote:
Just read your post and I have to agree with Gyro in that a game being too liner is not possible.


Oh I beg to differ, but first I would like to clarify what could be meant by linear.

There is linear plot and linear gameplay.

Linear plot means certain events WILL happen and in a very specific order. This is fine, it greatly facilitates the telling of an epic story. Most if not all console RPGs use this including the Final Fantasy series. There are some games that have nonlinear plots that work fine, but some also feel a bit disjointed. Overall, linear plots are a good thing, but not necessary.

Linear gameplay means that how you go through the linear plot is also scripted. This can get to be too much fairly easily. When there is only one way to get past something and it is not made clear, that is bad. Then there were some of the old graphical adventure games of olde where the way you played through the game involved clicking something on the screen. The really bad ones were little more than a slideshow with transitions. The was no thought or puzzle worth mentioning, it was click, watch, click, watch, click, watch, click, watch, ad nauseum.

Some of my favorite games have linear plot, but linear gameplay is often a problem for me.
January 15, 2007 5:29:16 PM

Quote:

The only knock against Half-Life 2 is that it's too linear for its time.


I was just thinking that before I read your post. I wasn't looking for multiple endings or anything, but you should be given more of an opportunity to do things in different orders and I felt you were pointed to exactly what you must do sometimes.

There were a lot of cool things like the gravity gun (and uses, e.g. firing those energy balls around was fun) which made things interesting. It still seemed a bit lacking though. I think it could be to do with my high expectations for it - and I really missed the snarks. And no tripbombs!
For me, the original HL was a lot more revolutionary. I really liked the last few parts with the strengthened grav gun. Very pleasing!

I played FEAR around the same time as HL2 and that seemed to be immensely more enjoyable. HL2 was a case of just mowing down the bad guys while FEAR, you had to use your wits.

Oh yeah, Ravenholm was a bit annoying, like some of you said. I can't quite place what it was but despite the gadgets and all, it still seemed a bit boring.
January 16, 2007 7:12:19 AM

I liked the Myst series and there game play is very liner. I guess it just depends on the game it’s self. At the end of the day you could in fact say that all games are liner to a point since there normally is only one way to get through something. I think it’s just about the game play mechanics and the extra content you throw in around the task you need to do.
January 16, 2007 2:18:45 PM

Well, Myst is kind of special because it was not linear in some ways that were very important.

If you got stuck on a puzzle you could go to a different area and try the puzzles there. Maybe explore the island a bit. You didn't have to just sit there being confused, you could go do something else for a bit. Also the puzzles were genuinely puzzling. Some adventure games are so transparent that they take practically no thought at all. That is what I was complaining about.
January 16, 2007 5:28:56 PM

Sorry inforno, these comments aren't directed at you, but at the thread as a whole as I think we need some new terms and definitions.

Linear means you can draw on a line exactly what will happen to the player. You play on-a-rail with no option to choose a course. (Example: Doom)

Branching-linear means you aren't limited to one set course, but are still limited in what you can do to a few simple options. This can also lead to one or many conclusions (linear or branching ends). (Example: Neverwinter Nights)

Non-linear means you can do what you want when you want for whatever outcome you want. (Example: The Sims)

Now that that's defined, Myst is branching-linear with branching ends. (Puzzles have no predefined order, not all puzzles need to be solved in order to complete the game, and there are four (?) possible endings.) Half-Life 1 & 2 are linear. (Puzzles and plot points are sequential and there is one successful outcome, despite the silly either/or choice at the end of each.)

Is linearity a bad thing? Absolutely not, if it fits the game nicely and offers memorable moments, which HL2 is full of. It's a design decision that generally is decided by the genre. Most FPSs are linear. Branching-linearity is mostly seen in RPGs. There are exceptions of course, but most of those come from genre-hybrids. Deus Ex is a prime example.

As a simple rule, if someone has a problem with linearity, they should be playing something else.



And now, a rant.

I've been seeing gamers give reviews the same as magazines and websites. Back in the day, gamers would actually finish a game before passing judgment. Now they play for a few hours and judge on comparisons. "It's like such-and-such, but lacks the this-and-that of whats-it-called."

They also don't seem to spend enough time in singleplayer. I can't remember how many people I've talked to who said Counter Strike is the best game ever and said they never played Half-Life, even though at the time they had to have it to play the mod! I play SP almost exclusively and found Half-Life 2 to be very rewarding in that aspect.

I also enjoyed Myst, Riven, and Rama, having completed each. Does anyone else remember PC Gamer saying Riven couldn't be completed without a strategy guide? I beat it in three days without one, with only one page of notes. It was a cake walk after cutting my teeth on Myst and Rama, which took months each.



Okay, I'm done. Again, these comments aren't directed at anyone in particular, so I'm sorry if they offend.
January 17, 2007 10:31:03 PM

I personally am fine with linear games too. I don't really care what the outcome of a game is, as long as it had a great story.

Like the people that freaked when Halo 2's ending was absolutely crap. I say who cares, you had fun playing it didn't you?

I have not played very many non-linear games, so I can not comment on that genre.

One game that I thought had a great branching storyline was Star Wars KOTOR. Some people say star wars is "lame, gay, etc." but that game had really not much to do with star wars at all. It has one of the most compelling storylines of all time, thus the high scores in all the magazines and sites.
January 18, 2007 8:55:10 AM

Quote:
It has one of the most compelling storylines of all time
Sorry?
January 18, 2007 2:01:37 PM

Quote:

One game that I thought had a great branching storyline was Star Wars KOTOR. Some people say star wars is "lame, gay, etc." but that game had really not much to do with star wars at all.


??!!!???

How does a game about the republic on Couruscant (sp?), jedi, light sabers, force powers, sith, and the force have not much to do with star wars at all?

Thats like saying that John Madden has nothing to do with football...

That said, the game was great. Possibly the best Star Wars related story since the original trilogy (which admittedly isn't saying much but it really is good).

If KOTOR 2 had not made so many awesome interface improvements over the original, I'd probably have played it more times. As it is I played through the entire game twice (once light side, once dark).
January 18, 2007 4:56:45 PM

I can understand what insan3's saying, to a degree. I think it should have been written: "...but that game had really not much to do with the movies at all." I don't like the movies, but I love the game. It had none of the characters of the movies and wasn't as poorly acted (an intentional decision by G.L.). So aside from the setting, it didn't feel like Star Wars. Taking place long before the movies only further helped seperate it.

Quote:
Thats like saying that John Madden has nothing to do with football...


:lol:  I can recall thinking that several times when hearing the praises of his video game franchise before I started following the sport.
January 18, 2007 9:49:08 PM

VBDude nailed it. sorry for the confusion. I meant with the movies. I played that game so much, its sad.
January 24, 2007 4:50:58 PM

I wouldn't call HL2 the best game ever, but it's definitely one of the greats, but the mods for it are just astoundingly awesome, DoD, and CS, for example, 2 of the best mods ever (originally for half life). On its own, it wouldn't stand that much of a chance with other great titles (Starcraft, Diablo, Oblivion, X-Com, Unreal Tournament and Goldeneye (n64), to name a few), but for PC FPS, its the best out there IMHO.
January 30, 2007 1:17:23 AM

hl2 is a realy good game but episode one is not uo to the mark(Short,infinite antlions etc)..
January 30, 2007 3:32:20 PM

What did you mean by "infinite antlions?" Did you not cover the holes with a car?
January 31, 2007 6:15:01 PM

That bit was evil. The only bit I actually considered to be difficult. And it was very difficult.
January 31, 2007 7:32:18 PM

Not the second time...with commentary. :wink: While they're chatting away about the design of the holes and the subtle hints they tried to use to give the player the solution, you're invincible. :lol: 
February 1, 2007 2:52:07 AM

Quote:
hl2 is a realy good game but episode one is not uo to the mark(Short,infinite antlions etc)..


Yes, the minimalist storytelling finally went sour (or at least non-existent), but keeping in mind that this is an EXPANSION PACK (despite Valve's PR), it's really an even more perfected game than Half-Life 2 itself.
February 1, 2007 9:12:46 AM

Who says perfection is a good thing in gaming?
April 17, 2012 7:31:20 PM

The title "The Best Game" is not far very easy to be held by any game but HL2 has proved itself. I called it "The Best Game" because it is only the game which I found that can be played without any kind of high system requirements (Graphics card or Core Processor), it is light, entertaining and adventurous game. The face expressions, the dialogue delivery of the characters and especially the story had made this game outstanding.
In the middle of the game sometimes we really got perplexed what to do next and it is the main adventure of the game. Good work Dr. Freeman ;) 
April 18, 2012 2:18:11 AM

For "Best FPS Game" I would say Half-Life 2 would be it. I really liked Far Cry a lot though... at least until the Trigens were introduced... after that Far Cry kinda became a little goofy.

"Best Fantasy 1st Person RPG" would be Morrowind.

"Best Sci-Fi 1st person RPG" would be Fallout 3.

"The Best Game".... Morrowind... Fallout 3... Morrowind... Fallout 3... Morrowind by a nose.
April 18, 2012 3:10:58 AM

For best FPS game ever, I'm partial to Far Cry. The open ended world was amazing, the use of stealth, without a cheating nano-suit was amazing. I loved crawling through the jungle finding ways to pick off enemy. I didn't even mind the mutants. They always scared the crap out of me the first time I'd run into them.

In did like Half-Life 2, but I felt like I was running through a rat maze. Far Cry gave great freedom into how you fought an encounter.
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