Journal #8648

Posted 5 years ago2016-01-03 05:17:26 UTC
So I finally got around to playing HL2 the other day (yeah nah don't ask why it's taken me this long).

Because the game was the first one to use the Source engine, I can't help but notice that a lot of the game puzzles and gameplay focus on the physics, as if Valve was attempting to exploit this part of the engine to the max.
ie. You get a tool that can pick up objects around the world. You can't shoot to destroy turrets, they have to fall over. You build see-saws in the sewers to escape, etc.
Maybe I'm just cynical but because I've played games post HL2 which feature similar physics engines that aren't exploited like this, I'm finding this part of the game a bit overkill. kind of like how there are games build to exploit a graphics engine, this feels like it was built to exploit a physics engine.

Also, the story isn't explained very well either.
And Alyx is actually pretty annoying.
But apart from that Its alright.


Commented 5 years ago2016-01-03 06:12:56 UTC Comment #52198
Commented 5 years ago2016-01-03 06:33:28 UTC Comment #52196
There's plenty of gameplay which doesn't involve the physics, so I don't know if you can really say that. On the other hand, you gots to remember, when this came out, physics like that was new. Why would they not make every effort to use it? Considering that, I wouldn't say they went overboard, I think it uses it well.
Commented 5 years ago2016-01-03 08:52:48 UTC Comment #52194
but the puzzles are cleverly disguised! I was coming at it from an angle of the original Half life - I can't just shoot a turret to destroy it like in normal HL, I have to tip it over somehow. But yeah, the other puzzles - I don't just go an open a gate normally to get my hovercraft through, I have to release a girder hanging on some chains to break the gate open.
I mean, a game like Dark Messiah which also used Source had some physics bits but I always felt like they were more subtle and less exploiting.

I mean, I loved the puzzles in original HL so when I get a puzzle in HL2 its usually like 'Ok I probably have to do something with the gravity gun, or use the environment around me in some dynamic way'
Commented 5 years ago2016-01-03 19:48:12 UTC Comment #52191
"when I get a puzzle in HL2 its usually like 'Ok I probably have to do something with the gravity gun, or use the environment around me in some dynamic way'"

... Are you saying this is a bad thing? That combat isn't just shooting and that puzzles use a diverse and dynamic environment? I so confoos.
Commented 5 years ago2016-01-03 21:21:52 UTC Comment #52189
I'll be honest, I don't rate HL2 anywhere near as high as I do HL1. There is no doubt that it's a better engine and the physics system is (or was) incredible. I just don't enjoy it as much as I do Half-Life 1, and beyond Ravenholm, I don't think I use the Gravity Gun very much at all.

Hell, I'd even rate Black Mesa higher than HL2. When I get into Source mapping I think I'll be playing with the BMS tools specifically.
Commented 5 years ago2016-01-03 21:23:09 UTC Comment #52193
Bear in mind HL2 had a fucking revolutionary physics engine for it's time so valve really wanted to gimmick the fuck out of it. Can't blame them to be fair for wanting to show it off!
Commented 5 years ago2016-01-03 22:37:19 UTC Comment #52195
Archie - Yes, bad as in its predictable. I mean, a puzzle doesnt have to use the dynamic environment for it to be fun, but whenever I knew whenver I had to figure out a puzzle I would jump straight to assuming it had to do with physics.

Urby - I know what you're saying... I think maybe I just spent too long playing HL1!

Instant - Thats what I mean... But a game like Doom 3, which was hyped on dynamic lighting, I didn't always think the levels had dynamic lighting for the sake of dynamic lighting, even though the game was exploiting that feature. It was more subtle?
Commented 5 years ago2016-01-04 00:43:37 UTC Comment #52192
HL2 hasn't aged as well as HL1, that's for sure. For the time, I think HL2 was pretty darn good, and a lot of the levels still hold up pretty well today. Give the episodes a play too, they improve on the gameplay a little bit (not as heavy on the physics puzzles), especially EP2. I agree with Urby though, HL1 is still the better game.
Commented 5 years ago2016-01-04 01:07:49 UTC Comment #52197
HL2 is an engine showoff game with the Half-Life universe shoehorned in. HL1 was a perfectly well-rounded product by itself.
Commented 5 years ago2016-01-04 15:13:30 UTC Comment #52190
HL2 had way too many irritating enemies, specifically manhacks and antlions. They cut all the good stuff!

Episode 2 is probably the better game if I had to choose from the Source titles

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