Revisiting Half-Life 1 & 2
Unsurprisingly, they're still good.
So, how's about another Kim Justice video to start off your week right? On the menu today, we've got two pretty much confirmed classic Hall of Fame games that still don't seem to get talked about that much nowadays -- even though you can still see their influence in so much of the AAA-type stuff that gets released. It's a video all about Half-Life 1 and 2, and as ever you can watch it right here, right now.
The motivation for this video came from perhaps the best place of all -- a strong desire to play through Half-Life 1 and 2 again, which is something that I tend to get every few years. They are both largely brilliant games and to me they're two of the absolute definitive examples of how good a singleplayer FPS campaign can be (alongside Doom 2 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare), although whenever I revisit them I always end up comparing them to whatever else is out at the moment and what the current trends are.So this isn't a wholly retro video or anything, although as ever it's made so that people can identify their own Half-Life memories.
Still, to this day, there are things that the Half-Life games have done with stories that have only ever been equalled for me - never surpassed. I still vibe very strongly with the way that the games eschew traditional cutscenes -- whether it's the opening tram ride in Half-Life 1, or how the game gradually reveals just what happened to the world during the time that Gordon spent in stasis in Half-Life 2 - these are things that the majority of the game would take a long time explaining during cutscenes, but Half-Life lets you do it - giving over basically the entire experience to your own direction. It ends up feeling a lot more like a movie than more cutscene-heavy games that are directly going for that feel do as a result of this.
It's perhaps not fair to say that Half-Life is "forgotten", as such -- I don't think that's the case at all. This is more a video about how, after all these years, Half-Life has kind of blended into the surroundings to the point where we pretty much take it for granted. Everyone uses major elements from the games now, so it's not exactly special -- it's like sliced bread, and I wondered if that might make the actual Half-Life games feel a bit more generic as a result...in the end, the answer was no -- they're still pretty special. So, not exactly enlightening revelations on that front -- but it was a damn good excuse to play these great games again, and I certainly don't regret it. Hopefully you enjoy it!