I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

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I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby rrwoods » Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:49 pm UTC

Alright, really behind -- I haven't played any Half-Life games. I've bought The Orange Box and gotten Half-Life 2 to run. My question is, how much do I need to know about the first game to play the second one? Should I just jump in, do some amount of reading/talking to people, or should I just play through Half-Life first?

[ /me is only even thinking about HL2 at all right now because Portal crashes on startup and Steam Support is slow to respond ]
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby Jesse » Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:52 pm UTC

Read the wikipedia article, that should cover you story-wise.

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby rrwoods » Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:08 pm UTC

Hmm... Ever since I had details of HP7 spoiled from reading Wikipedia to refresh myself on HP1-6, I've been weary of that. But I suppose if I stick to just the Half-Life page (and don't click on links) I should be OK.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby Jesse » Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:13 pm UTC

I just checked now, and if you stay to the 'Story' bit nothing will be spoiled.

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby rrwoods » Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:13 pm UTC

Much appreciated!
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby mosc » Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:52 pm UTC

the only thing you need to know about HL1 is that they made portals into some other demention that was populated and the natives weren't too pleased. The good doctor freeman saved the world and along the way some sketchy guy in a suit watched him through the whole thing. There, you're well set up for the HL2 weirdness.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby DrStalker » Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:46 pm UTC

Storyline from wikipedia, so you can read and not fear HL2 spoilers sneaking it (Also, without hyperlinks you're not going to accidentally click to something revealing!)

WARNING: This will spoil the original Half Life!

Spoiler:
Gordon Freeman rides a tram from his dormitory deep into the heart of the Black Mesa Facility, on his way to the Anomalous Materials Lab to begin his work.[13] Upon arriving at the lab, front desk security guard informs him that a system crash has complicated communications between the Black Mesa scientists, and that Freeman must acquire his Hazardous Environment suit (or H.E.V suit) before proceeding to the test chamber. Freeman reports to the Anomalous Materials Lab, where he is tasked with pushing a "specimen" into the scanning beam for analysis. Following that, he inadvertently causes a fictional time-space catastrophe called a "resonance cascade,"[14] opening a portal between Earth and a bizarre world called Xen.[15] Freeman is sporadically teleported there and catches glimpses of various alien lifeforms, shortly before blacking out.

Freeman awakens in Black Mesa, exits the test chamber and sees that many scientists and security personnel are dead. After discovering survivors, Freeman learns there are no means to communicate with the world beyond Black Mesa. Freeman gradually makes his way to the surface to get help, sidestepping Black Mesa's structural damage and defending himself against hostile aliens randomly teleporting in from Xen. Surviving scientists claim that human soldiers are en route as part of a rescue mission, only to discover that the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit, which has taken control of Black Mesa, is killing both the aliens and everyone at Black Mesa as part of a government cover-up.[16] Freeman fights the soldiers before finally reaching the surface of Black Mesa, where he learns that the secretive Lambda Team may have the means to solve the problems brought on by the cascade. Gordon must then reach the Lambda Complex at the other end of the facility to assist them.

The player is subsequently faced with several tasks, such as killing a giant, rapidly growing tentacle creature,[17] riding across the facility on a railway system in order to reach a satellite rocket that must be launched in order to reverse the resonance cascade,[18] and fighting a group of mysterious Black Ops,[19] before being captured by Marines and dumped in a garbage compactor. Gordon escapes without being crushed and makes his way to an older, secret part of the Facility where he discovers an extensive collection of specimens collected from Xen long before the resonance cascade.[20]

Gordon again reaches the surface, which has become a warzone. The Vortigaunts, along with Alien Grunts and a giant monstrosity, have begun fighting the Marines, who are beginning to lose. They call in reinforcements, but it isn't enough to turn the tide.[21] The player must scale cliffs and navigate bombed out buildings while avoiding both sides. Finally, Gordon reaches relative safety underground.

The Marines begin to evacuate Black Mesa and airstrikes begin. At one point, the player must use the military equipment to call an air strike to re-enter the base. Gordon navigates underground water channels and tries to avoid scores of alien soldiers as they pick off remaining Marine stragglers.[22] After much struggle, Gordon finally reaches the Lambda Complex, which is revealed to be the location where scientists developed the teleportation technology that allowed them to travel to Xen in the first place.[23] Gordon reaches the handful of surviving personnel, who are holed up in a small stronghold, and discovers that the satellite he launched failed to reverse the effects of the resonance cascade because an immensely powerful being on the other side of the rift is keeping it open. Gordon must kill this being to prevent the Xen aliens from taking over completely. The scientists activate the teleporter and Gordon is relocated to Xen.
Freeman on Xen.
Freeman on Xen.

On the strange border world, Gordon encounters many of the alien species[24] that had been brought into Black Mesa, as well as the remains of HEV-wearing researchers that came before him. The player engages in one of the game's few boss-style battles against Gonarch, a giant headcrab with a huge egg sac.[25] After fighting his way through an alien camp, Gordon arrives at a huge alien factory complex, which engineers and builds the Alien Grunt soldiers.[26] After fighting his way through mysterious levitating creatures, he finds a giant portal and enters it.

In a vast cave, Gordon finally confronts the Nihilanth, the creature who was maintaining the rift, and destroys it.[27] As the creature dies, it explodes in a giant green blast that overpowers Gordon's senses. After awakening, Gordon's movement is restricted as he is confronted by the G-Man. Both are transported to various locales around Xen, while the G-Man praises Freeman's actions in the border world. The G-Man explains that his "employers", believing that Gordon has "limitless potential", have authorized him to offer Freeman a job. The final teleportation takes the player to the original tram car, which is depicted as flying through space. If the player refuses the job offer, the G-Man teleports him to a location in front of a considerable number of alien enemies, stating, "No regrets, Mr. Freeman," as the screen fades out. If the player accepts, by stepping into a portal, he finds himself floating in nothingness and hears the G-Man's voice one last time: "Wisely done, Mr. Freeman. I will see you up ahead."


That's all you know at the start of HL2. Have fun!
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby rrwoods » Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:06 am UTC

Thanks for all the info guys! I tried to start playing HL2 today... and I got the dreaded crash. You know the one -- inexplicably giving the generic Windows error dialog (hl2.exe has encountered an error and needs to close). Except that with Half-Life 2, it doesn't do it until I get to the first in-game loading screen, right after you jump out the window, whereas with Portal it happens before I even get to the first menu. I have tried all of the following to get it to work:

Restarting
Updating graphics card drivers
Updating DirectX
Running with -dxlevel 70, 80, and 81
Running with -width 640 -height 480 -refresh 60
Updating the BIOS
Running with +mat_forcehardwaresync 0 [this will get Portal to function up until I go through the first portal, at which point it crashes]

I don't mean to beg for help on this forum, of course; I'd really love it if Valve would get back to me. But God DAMN this is frustrating!
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby Gadren » Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:09 am UTC

rrwoods wrote:Thanks for all the info guys! I tried to start playing HL2 today... and I got the dreaded crash. You know the one -- inexplicably giving the generic Windows error dialog (hl2.exe has encountered an error and needs to close). Except that with Half-Life 2, it doesn't do it until I get to the first in-game loading screen, right after you jump out the window, whereas with Portal it happens before I even get to the first menu. I have tried all of the following to get it to work:

Restarting
Updating graphics card drivers
Updating DirectX
Running with -dxlevel 70, 80, and 81
Running with -width 640 -height 480 -refresh 60
Updating the BIOS
Running with +mat_forcehardwaresync 0 [this will get Portal to function up until I go through the first portal, at which point it crashes]

I don't mean to beg for help on this forum, of course; I'd really love it if Valve would get back to me. But God DAMN this is frustrating!


Two things I can think of:
Try compatibility mode?
Check out the Steam forums?

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby rrwoods » Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:03 pm UTC

Gadren wrote:Try compatibility mode?
Oh, that's a good one. I'll try that tonight. I have been perusing the Steam forums for some time now though; it seems I'm not the only player with this problem. Hopefully Valve gets back to me...
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby evilbeanfiend » Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:34 pm UTC

some times it will work in windowed mode when it wont work non windowed
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby DrStalker » Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:35 pm UTC

Disable all sound and see if that stops the crashing. (I think run it with -nosound)

It's not a good long-term solution, but it will at least give you some diagnostic information. I know at least one type of crash is actually just an long stuttering pause (which can go for hours in some cases!) when the game tries to load sound data... if -nosound helps update sound drivers, uninstall antivirus if you have it (disable never seems good enough for antivirus related issues!) and see what other info you can find.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby Nyarlathotep » Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:26 pm UTC

Ahaha.

I just cleared Ravenholm. This game varies from being incredibly annoying (any scene where I have to drive a vehicle) to fucking awesome (Taking out six zombies with a sawblade)

Ravenholm was insanely fun. Yes. I just said "Ravenholm was fun"

Moments of Win:

-Aforementioned six zombies with a circular saw.
-A Fast Zombie is coming after me over the rooftops. I see it coming, but screw up trying to switch from the G-Gun to my shotgun. The thing gets right in my face and I am armed with... a crowbar.

Me: ... bugger!
Zombie: FHAOehaofeh alfwilgakg
Me: *hits with crowbar*
Zombie: *dies*
Me: ... well that wasn't so bad.

From that time on I was no longer afraid of fast zombies. poison headcrabs, though...

Currently stuck on the... car ride level. I keep flipping it over by accident and getting killed by antlions 'cause I get lost and don't know where to go. Fucking antilions. They're worse than headcrabs. At least there haven't yet been infinite numbers of headcrabs...
'Gehȳrst þū, sǣlida, hwæt þis folc segeð?
hī willað ēow tō gafole gāras syllan,
ǣttrynne ord and ealde swurd,
þā heregeatu þe ēow æt hilde ne dēah.

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby evilbeanfiend » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:57 pm UTC

as long as you keep the car upright its pretty ok, you don't need to be going full pelt to outrun them, and ones in front of you are as good as dead anyway. take your time between the thumpers and make sure you save when safely at one.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby chaosspawn » Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:37 pm UTC

Nyarlathotep wrote:This game varies from being incredibly annoying (any scene where I have to drive a vehicle)

Man, I'm going to have to smite you for blasphemy. The fan-boat part was my favorite-est part of the game. (Though the car was less fun because I kept flipping it over) Especially when you didn't have the gun and it was like some crazy chase scene. Seriously I'd purchase something called half-life 2 fan-boat edition. My only compliant really was that the gravity gun didn't let you fling bodies around until the end. Oh well at least Bioshock fixed that problem for me.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby Blatm » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:59 pm UTC

Nyarlathotep wrote:Fucking antilions.


You're going to be jumping with joy very soon.

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby malarkie » Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:47 pm UTC

Ep2 has even better antlion moments.

Contains a bit from Ep2, don't read unless you've played it.
Spoiler:
remember having to kill the gaurdian in the thumper cage? I was in it merrilly blasting away at the thing thinking to myself, "self, this is too easy, it won't come in and the cars wont fit through the holes. ZOMG a washing machine just hit me in my face!!1! Easily the lamest\awesomest way I have died ever.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby ZeroSum » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:38 pm UTC

I just wish that when you held something with the gravity gun it would place the object model below the crosshair so you could still see where you're pointing.

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby b.i.o » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:46 pm UTC

ZeroSum wrote:I just wish that when you held something with the gravity gun it would place the object model below the crosshair so you could still see where you're pointing.


I appreciate it when I can use whatever I've picked up as a shield.

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby Belial » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:47 pm UTC

Especially when "whatever I've picked up" is an overwatch soldier's body.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby ZeroSum » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:50 pm UTC

Silver2Falcon wrote:I appreciate it when I can use whatever I've picked up as a shield.
You could just point upwards to obscure your body.

I would rather be able to see where I'm shooting when punting and have to point up to shield myself than to have to point down to see where I will punt the object than angle back up to fire while the target is moving.

(I went on to TF2 and Super Metroid when I failed the Magnesson device level in Ep 2.)

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby DrStalker » Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:36 pm UTC

ZeroSum wrote:
Silver2Falcon wrote:I would rather be able to see where I'm shooting when punting and have to point up to shield myself than to have to point down to see where I will punt the object than angle back up to fire while the target is moving.


If would be nice, but I think it would feel odd to have the object off-centre in view yet projected strait out when fired.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby Belial » Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:38 pm UTC

ZeroSum wrote:I would rather be able to see where I'm shooting when punting and have to point up to shield myself than to have to point down to see where I will punt the object than angle back up to fire while the target is moving.


It would only make sense with the way the thing is held, too (Heavy gun, one vertical-aligned grip protruding from the top, one horizontal from the side). He should, realistically, be holding the GG at hip level.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby ZeroSum » Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:20 pm UTC

Yar. It's very chainsaw like.

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby Blatm » Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:43 am UTC

I agree that it's annoying for the object being held by the gravity gun to obscure your view, especially when you're trying to shoot those energy ball catchers from far away. Especially when you have to bounce it off stuff. For me it's practically guesswork. That would be a nice change in Ep3, though I doubt it'll happen.

Besides, I never shielded myself with the gravity gun much anyways.

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby DrStalker » Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:43 am UTC

Weapons never appear held realistically in an FPS.

Think of a pistol. Hold it so it appears to you the way it does in an FPS... you end up with your half-bent and the the gun held down and right from your viewpoint. You can't aim, you can't handle the recoil and you look stupid.

With a 75º or 90º field of view a weapons being fired from the hip wont even be visible in the game. Same with any object you pick up to carry.

So the convention evolved that you put a crosshair in the middle of the screen and show the top of the gun in the bottom right, looking like it's aimed at the crosshair. I can't think of any better way to do it with a screen, since you have no way to includes peripheral vision and that sense of surroundings you get in real-life.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby EvanED » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:25 am UTC

I'm going through HL2: EP1 now.

Spoiler:
Hey, I have a good idea. Let's take Ravenholm, and put it underground. In the dark. Oh, and we'll add some antlions too.

After all, being drained to 10 health while trying to put a car on top of an antlion burrow while being attacked while your backup gun/alternate target stays up on the third floor builds character.

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby Blatm » Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:23 pm UTC

DrStalker wrote:Weapons never appear held realistically in an FPS.

Think of a pistol. Hold it so it appears to you the way it does in an FPS... you end up with your half-bent and the the gun held down and right from your viewpoint. You can't aim, you can't handle the recoil and you look stupid.

With a 75º or 90º field of view a weapons being fired from the hip wont even be visible in the game. Same with any object you pick up to carry.

So the convention evolved that you put a crosshair in the middle of the screen and show the top of the gun in the bottom right, looking like it's aimed at the crosshair. I can't think of any better way to do it with a screen, since you have no way to includes peripheral vision and that sense of surroundings you get in real-life.


I would like the objects that you picked up to be closer to the actual gun you see, sort of in it's grasp. It would probably be tricky to do, but it would be nice.

EvanED wrote:I'm going through HL2: EP1 now.

Spoiler:
Hey, I have a good idea. Let's take Ravenholm, and put it underground. In the dark. Oh, and we'll add some antlions too.

After all, being drained to 10 health while trying to put a car on top of an antlion burrow while being attacked while your backup gun/alternate target stays up on the third floor builds character.


Spoiler:
Yeah that part wasn't very fun. I especially hated the parking garage. I would keep getting knocked back down or Alyx would die or something. I ended up eventually simply sprinting all the way through that room, hoping that the zombines would live long enough to distract.


Minispoiler (more of a party pooper) about the very beginning of HL2:Ep2:
Spoiler:
HL2:Ep2 starts off really weak too, with MORE FUCKING ANTILIONS. They spit acid and are twice as hard to kill too. As with Ep1, this shouldn't discourage you from playing though, because the rest of the game is really, really good.


Edit: BOO at not being able to have spoilers in spoilers.

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby ZeroSum » Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:12 pm UTC

I nearly cried when [HL2, EP2 spoiler:]
Spoiler:
Alyx got stabbed by the hunter.

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby malarkie » Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:42 am UTC

But then
Spoiler:
Alyx does not die, I was very happy.


Half life is almost too good at telling a story.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby Shabooty » Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:14 am UTC

Man, the ending.

Spoiler:
She cried, man! She cried!
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby malarkie » Mon Nov 05, 2007 1:19 am UTC

I don't know about the rest of you guys but episode three cannot come soon enough. Even tomorrow is too late.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby b.i.o » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:09 pm UTC

Yep :?

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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby drconcon » Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:51 am UTC

OK you guys have to quit rubbing it in my face, i don't have ep2 yet! :(

As for the original question, you HAVE to play half life 1. Although the story telling is not as good as HL2 (its still good don't worry) the game play is un-freakin-believable...

HL1 is -in my opinion- the best game EVER! don't worry though HL2 and the episodes make a very fine 2nd place.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby xenuphobia » Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:05 am UTC

malarkie wrote:I don't know about the rest of you guys but episode three cannot come soon enough. Even tomorrow is too late.


I'd been waiting on tenterhooks for a year because they announced that Portal was coming out this time LAST year. And, honestly, I wanted Portal a whole lot more than I wanted Ep2. Ep2 was really just icing on the Portal cake, for me.

Now, if they set a release date for Portal 2... then I'd be interested. I have a feeling it's going to be a while for Ep3, though. They've got a LOT to cover storytelling-wise in this one, loose ends to wrap up, actual... storytelling... to do. The exposition with G-Man and Vance was a nice start, now I'd like to see some more story going on. I really want Freeman to not be a mute anymore, but that goes against the spirit of the game. Sigh.
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby jmce » Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:17 am UTC

So ... who else plays HL2 on the Xbox? :P

Also, you know that bit when
Spoiler:
... but then,
Spoiler:
... and then it turns out that
Spoiler:
these spoiler tags are really cool! 8)
...?
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby DrStalker » Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:19 am UTC

xenuphobia wrote: I have a feeling it's going to be a while for Ep3, though.



I'd love to know the reason for the extended delays on Ep2; I'm hoping it was mostly caused by the XBox port, because that would mean they won't be experiencing the same delays for Episode 3 since all that stuff is already done.
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drconcon
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby drconcon » Sun Nov 11, 2007 6:29 pm UTC

I'm wondering if Ep2 will run fairly OK on my comp.

I have all the min. requirements its just the CPU might not have enough wiggle room :P (CPU speed required is 1.7 and I have 1.8 ) I don't want to drop $50 for a game package that doesn't even run decent on my computer.
Belial wrote:Never assume you're safe.

That's when the raptors get yah!


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b.i.o
Green is the loneliest number
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:38 pm UTC
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Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby b.i.o » Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:17 pm UTC

If your video card is decent you should be fine. Valve's Source engine runs well on pretty much everything.

What kind of 1.8GHz CPU are you talking about, anyway?

If it's a core 2 you'll definitely be fine. The minimum is for Pentium 4 (at least I'm pretty sure it is) which are much less efficient with for the clock speed than newer processors.

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Mo6eB
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Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:20 pm UTC
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

Re: I'm a little behind, so here's a Half-Life 2 thread

Postby Mo6eB » Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:40 pm UTC

malarkie wrote:Ep2 has even better ant-lion moments.

Contains a bit from Ep2, don't read unless you've played it.
Spoiler:
remember having to kill the guardian in the thumper cage? I was in it merrily blasting away at the thing thinking to myself, "self, this is too easy, it won't come in and the cars wont fit through the holes. ZOMG a washing machine just hit me in my face!!1! Easily the lamest\awesomest way I have died ever.


Regarding said ant-lion moment, I accidentally passed it in the most awesome way possible:
Spoiler:
So, here I am, playing on hard (yes, I know you can change it at any moment, I just don't want to), happily blasting the two guardians from the cage, when my ammo starts to run low ... lower ... lower ... guardian one dies ... only several pistol rounds left ... all gone. The remaining guardian was severely injured, but I was left with only my gravity gun, crowbar and no suitable things to throw at it. In desperation, I started running from thumper to thumper, searching for some speck of ammo I hadn't appropriated yet, ultimately finding none. My search finally led me to the starting point of the level and I climbed up the path, hoping that the incline would be too great for the beast to handle. I was half right. It tried climbing, but got stuck between the edge of the path and a tree, completely immobile. I approached it cautiously, not believing my luck, but there it was - standing on a strip of thin air between a tree-trunk and the path edge, finally constrained by its inadequate intelligence (and possibly a bug in the physics system). I drew out Gordon's signature crowbar and slew the six-legged abomination by repeated whacks on the abdomen. As I didn't have the opportunity to capture the whole ordeal, nor do I plan on making attempts at repetition, you'll have to trust me on this, but I as far as I know, I'm the only person to kill an ant-lion guardian with a crowbar on "hard".


If I ever get a title, I'd like it to be "Bloody fortunate slayer of ant-lions"...
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