View Full Version : Half Life 2: Episode One
06-30-2006, 09:46 PM
Anyone played/is playing this yet? Great game, I just finished it today and I'm going through the developers commentary. Which, to my mind, is even cooler than the game itself.
It's fasinating hearing them wax lyrical about character development, plot devices, vista's etc. About how they tried different things to add urgency to your adventure (like making Alyx 'nag' you into progressing faster) which in turn ended up compromising the players 'relationship' with Alyx (beta testers ended up disliking her) etc.
The jury's still out on whether I like the idea of episodes or not. I feel like I got my money's worth, but this does smell of EQ2's Adventure Pack-ism. And boy do I not like Adventure Packs :mad: . Interesting to note, Gabe Newell (head guy over at Valve) actually encourages player feedback and provided his email address. I doubt he's going to go through each email though. Heh.
Anyway, might be worth a blast if you're into Half Life. Episode 2 has a tentative release date of Winter, and I think they're planning 3 or 4 of them. I'm pretty sure Episode 1 is standalone, meaning you don't need Half Life 2 in order to play it. But don't quote me on that :)
06-30-2006, 11:57 PM
I think I talked about it after I played. (Don't recall where.) Kinda disappointed that I finished in like a day. I think my total playtime, including a few deaths, was less than 10 hours. Not really a good deal in terms of how much it cost.
07-01-2006, 01:07 AM
Yea...i read on IGN that the episodes were basically half-life 3 since they didn't feel like spending so much time making another one they would split it up instead.
07-01-2006, 01:21 AM
But the rebuttal to that is, had it actually been HL3 there more than likely would have been more to the game than like 15-20 hours of play. (The average completion time is 4-6 hrs if I recall correctly from their survey.)
07-01-2006, 07:40 AM
The problem I have with Adventure packs/Episodes is half the developers work is already done. The main characters, mobs or enemies and environments are already in place, the lore/story is simply tacked onto the existing 'vanilla' of the first box release, and although the price is less than the full release, you're not really being offered a new experience. A few more levels, a couple more dungeons, all in a setting you've already seen.
Now, you could say the same thing about 'proper' expansions. But with 'proper' expansions, at least you're getting a lot more. A new continent (which is typically pretty big.. hello Kunark and Velious) w/race or class if it's an mmo, new weapons and a longer play time in the case of a FPS expansion.
I like Episode 1. BUT, only just. It skates a very thin line between me feeling it was a good release and feeling I got nickle and dimed. I hope this business model doesn't get too popular, because it represents a good move for developers, but a shit deal for customers.
AP's were why I cancelled my EQ2 account. I recall Brad espousing the virtues of EQ2's AP's, and I'll cancel my Vanguard account if Sigil adopt this lazy arse business model. If they offer lots of cool stuff, fine. But if it's simply a case of tacking a few area's onto New Targanor, I won't just refuse to pay for them, I'll cancel my account. Software houses need to be really careful where they're going to go with this idea. In Half Life's case, if you don't want to pay for it, you can Torrent it -- not that I would advise piracy. In the case of an mmo, people will either not buy it or in my case, cancel the account. I think MMO developers stand to lose more, as they go for the long haul.
Phew, went off a bit there, sorry :p
07-01-2006, 01:23 PM
Yeah I felt kinda the same way. This "episode" was $20, cheaper than the normal expansion, sure, but as Spirit mentions you are also not getting anything truly new. If you look at the Doom 3 expansion vs. the regular game you are getting new and interesting content.
I'd rather pay a higher price and get a real expansion than a lower price for a fake expansion; Especially when you consider there are 3 episodes planned, which totals at $60, more than the price of a full brand new game. When all is said and done with the 3 expansions I highly doubt there will be a full game's worth of fun and work done with the project. Given that choice, I'd have rather waited the 2-3 years for HL3.
$10 per expansion, sure I can see that, and it would be worth it. I'm not dissing the peeps work on the project, but for what is there, it doesn't seem to hold 'fair market value'.
07-04-2006, 03:42 AM
In the slight off chance that some developer out there is reading this thread, I'm going to add my "me too" to it.
Episode 1 was fun, but if a new $20 episode comes out every 6 months and only provides another 6-8 hours I'll give up on it real fast.
07-04-2006, 04:22 AM
There is a ton of nifty "director voiceover" stuff in it. I don't know if that really helps the value, but you learn a ton of stuff about game design if you replay through it with the voice overs on. (The #/# display is per zone.)
07-04-2006, 05:27 PM
I got half-life 2 recently, havn't finished playing it yet though. I got it in a bundle that came with Half-life 2 deathmatch,Half-life 1 : source, and Counterstrike:source. I'd have to say as far as multiplayer shooters go counterstrike is pretty good.
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