Reply 500 of 532, by Namrok
Shagittarius wrote on 2023-02-04, 16:56:
If you thought the intro to Half Life was too long, you're either too young to have played it when it came out, or a hipster. I suppose you could also have been a mac only user at the time.
The tram ride intro to Half Life was notoriously long. But even that was cut down from an E3 demo version where nearly every journalist who viewed the game complained about it. I think this biased them to appreciate the "short" intro when the game finally released. By modern standards it's downright brisk. By the standards of the day, you weren't pointing and shooting the very instant the first level finished loading.
You know, this actually reminds me of the many, many nerd arguments I got into with my friends about Half-Life 2. I didn't care for it overly much. I mean, I played it from start to finish several times in a row, as I did when I had 12+ hours of free time a day and little disposable income. But after the intrigue about the world they built wore off, I was just left feeling empty. The gunplay felt like several steps backwards from HL1. The weapons were simpler and less varied, the enemy AI was pretty dumb. The story seemed to be all about getting to some place so that nothing could happen and you'd go to some other place where nothing would also happen. The physics puzzles were gimmicky and janky, and feel of a kind with "waggle controls" off the Wii. Which is to say, they seemed fun at first, but nobody has done them for 10 years. Ravenholm left an impression, but the sections of the game felt totally disconnected from one another, and haphazardly stitched together to ship something. An impression that was largely confirmed when Valve said the set pieces of the game were made by different teams that by and large didn't communicate with one another. The ending was famously disappointing, ameliorated by the promise of "episodic" expansions at a brisk pace. Two slowly trickled out and the third which was supposed to resolve a mother fucker of a cliff hanger never materialized.
In some ways I get it, but I don't. I know Half-Life 2 is basically PC Gaming royalty. It's playable, even enjoyable, no doubt. The world building is deep and subtle and unlike almost any other game. However as a game, I could not stave off the feeling that I was tricked or gaslit about it being as great as everyone thinks it is.
Win95/DOS 7.1 - P233 MMX (@2.5 x 100 FSB), Diamond Viper V330 AGP, SB16 CT2800
Win98 - K6-2+ 500, GF2 MX, SB AWE 64 CT4500, SBLive CT4780
Win98 - Pentium III 1000, GF2 GTS, SBLive CT4760
WinXP - Athlon 64 3200+, GF 7800 GS, Audigy 2 ZS