Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Valve Plans For More Half-Life Beyond Episode 3

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the hang-on-to-your-crowbar-indeed dept.

PC Games (Games) 105

Ars Technica notes, via an interview at the StuffWeLike site, comments from Valve's Doug Lombardi indicating that the company has plans to continue the Half-Life series beyond Half-Life 2 Episode 3 . "While most sites are taking this as a confirmation of Half-Life 3, the quote is not a definitive on anything other than the continuation of the series. And, of course, there hasn't ever been so much as a rumor hinting at Half-Life's demise. As what is arguably the biggest franchise on the PC platform, there is no reason for Valve to stop producing the crowbar-swingin' good times."

cancel ×

105 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Just give us a Halflife movie already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21699396)

On second thought they'd probably make Michael Bay do it and then we'd all die a little inside after watching it.

Re:Just give us a Halflife movie already! (2, Informative)

HairyNevus (992803) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700664)

On the IMDb boards, there's already a lot of speculation on who would play Freeman. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0239023/board/nest/65756292 [imdb.com]

Re:Just give us a Halflife movie already! (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21703602)

I'm sure by the number of doctored photos it's quite obvious that Hugh Laurie is just made to play Freeman.

Queue half-life jokes (4, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699416)

And now for all the jokes relating the number of half-life sequels to some periodic radioactive decay!

(crickets)

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699454)

When atoms decay, they sometimes change from isotopes of one element to isotopes of another.

Does this mean HL2 might go from FPS to RTS?

Or will it just slowly kill us via particulate bombardment?

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

lewp (95638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701494)

Does this mean HL2 might go from FPS to RTS?
That'd be fine with me. Natural Selection [unknownworlds.com] was a kickass mod, and hardly anybody played :(

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 6 years ago | (#21703146)

Try Empires 2.0 http://www.empiresmod.com/ [empiresmod.com] Contemporary based without the major difference in build strategy, but very good nonetheless.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (3, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699508)

All right, the original was released in '98. Half Life 2 was released in '04, Episode 1 in '06, and Episode 2 in '07. It appears to be accelerating. At this rate, our children will be able to play nothing but half life sequels!

Re:Queue half-life jokes (2, Insightful)

enjerth (892959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700856)

If the boxed version of Episode 17 includes Episodes 16, 15, 14... etc AND the original Half-Life 2, then my kids won't likely be able to afford to play Half-Life as the box will cost $390.

Yes. I'm still sore about Valve dropping the black box. I was excited about Team Fortress and Portal. But then they canceled the black box, so I would have to pay an added premium for the orange box for content I already have. After I heard that I swore it off. And with swearing.

Fuck you, Valve.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (5, Insightful)

hidannik (1085061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701514)

So if you're a PC player, buy Team Fortress and Portal individually. Through Steam, you can.

If you're a 360 player, yeah you're stuck with the Orange Box. But since the only game included in the Orange Box that appeared on consoles previously is Half-Life 2, and a markedly inferior version at that, it shouldn't be so painful.

Anyway, I think you're looking at this the wrong way; the value of Ep2 + Portal + TF2 is at least that of a full game. They threw in HL2 and Ep1 for free. I suspect that's why they cancelled the Black Box; they would have been charging the same for it as the Orange Box, while delivering less.

Hans

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701940)

I suspect that's why they cancelled the Black Box; they would have been charging the same for it as the Orange Box, while delivering less.
I doubt it. Episode One + Deathmatch is $20 now (I bought it for $10 on sale). If they just had the Episode 2/Portal/Team Fortress content I believe MSRP was supposed to be $30, instead of having a starting price of $50.

So if you're a PC player, buy Team Fortress and Portal individually. Through Steam, you can.
Having 9 people downloading game content is a GREAT way to kill a LAN party. I bought 9 copies of Episode 1 for $10 each on sale and resold them at a LAN party pretty well and we all enjoyed the game. Not even an option if the game is $50 a shot.

Valve would have a great LAN party product if they could keep it $30 or less per episode including multi-player content. We were talking about organizing another LAN party on the release of Episode 2. The fate of that LAN party was tied to the fate of the Black Box.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21704930)

If they just had the Episode 2/Portal/Team Fortress content I believe MSRP was supposed to be $30, instead of having a starting price of $50.

Actually, the Black Box was supposed to retail for $40, with the Orange Box at $60. Instead, they dropped the Black Box and dropped the Orange Box to $50 (well, for the PC at least). That said, I picked up a copy at Best Buy a few weeks ago for $25. Since I hadn't gotten around to playing HL2 before, it was money well spent. Actually, Portal and TF2 are worth the $50 asking price alone. It's an added bonus that you also get all the HL2 content so far thrown in. But if you want to be bitter about it, by all means, be bitter.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

Snowmit (704081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21705612)

Also, if you already owned the other stuff then you can give a friend full access to HL2 and EP1 for free!

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701868)

Yeah, because $50 for TF2 (worth it alone), Portal, and Episode 2 was SUCH a ripoff. I'm SO FUCKING PISSED that it came with HL2 and HL2E1, even though I had them. Not.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701972)

Well congrats, man. If you're happy spending $20 more than the MSRP for the same thing, then enjoy it yourself.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (2, Informative)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702272)

So, looking in the Steam Store, I see the Orange Box is $49.95. Checking the individual prices shows me that Episode 2 sells for $29.95, Team Fortress 2 for $29.95, and Portal for $19.95. I see no Black Box option. This leads me to believe that in your comment, the "M" in "MSRP" means "man on the Internet" because I see no such suggested price from the manufacturer. I guess you're allowed to assign whatever value you like, but comparing the price against something that was never offered is kinda retarded.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702602)

If you want to base some argument on the fact that I shouldn't be upset because the thing was never released, just move on. I'm saying I'm sore that they didn't release it. So you're not really saying anything new.

Let me make an analysis you might understand. Britney Spears records 2 new songs. The producer announces a release having the 2 songs, for only $5. Then instead they make a compilation of so-called "greatest hits" and include the 2 new songs on that release, for $15. I can understand that you, as a Britney Spears fan, are upset that you have to spend $15 to get the 2 new songs plus 10 you already have, when you were told you could get just the 2 songs for $5 purchase. And your allowance is only $2 per week.

Oh yeah, and it seems that several dick-heads have the new Britney songs on their ipod and are telling you how great it is, how it was worth the $15 for the two songs alone. And then they give you shit about how you're upset that it'd costs you $15.

Sorry, what's retarded?

Re:Queue half-life jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21702822)

Thank you!

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21703162)

It's more like Britney Spears records 3 new songs (and one is the third in a series of songs), and it's announced before they're even done that there will be a release for $3 with those 3 songs on it.

Later, they decide to include the 2 songs leading up to the 3rd in the series, and charge $5 for the release. No biggie, because the 3 new songs are 3 of the best songs released this year, and given how much quality listening time you get out of them, they really should be charging $3 for each!

Oh wait, the allowance part.. get a real job?

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21703380)

given how much quality listening time you get out of them, they really should be charging $3 for each!
Sounds like you work for the RIAA or something. But I'll be the judge of that when it comes to my own money. The idea that you can dictate to me how much your product is worth to me is the dictionary definition of condescending, and it is insulting.

I just remember the days when this kind of content was called an expansion pack, and was sold separately for a significantly lower price. Valve was set to do that, and then they changed their minds.

You think they were justified? Fine. It's their product, and they can take it with them to hell as far as I'm concerned.

From the reviews, TF2 is not much different than TF, just with new skins and new maps. That doesn't sound like it's worth $50. And Portal is more like a mini-game. And Episode 2, itself, is already a mini-game. $50 for what I already have plus that? Go to hell. Most of my LAN gaming friends have the same attitude towards such a purchase, which is about the only time I'd even play the game.

Most people who live on their own with a median income have far better purposes for their money, especially when it comes to buying $50 games. You can buy the same stuff you already have with a little bit of new stuff for $50? Or all new games?

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21703674)

The idea that you can dictate to me how much your product is worth to me is the dictionary definition of condescending, and it is insulting.

Gee, you must be a real hit at your local shops.

Most people who live on their own with a median income have far better purposes for their money, especially when it comes to buying $50 games. You can buy the same stuff you already have with a little bit of new stuff for $50? Or all new games?

You poor dear. Here in Australia we pay USD$86 and up for the same crap.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21703898)

Gee, you must be a real hit at your local shops.
Maybe you're just dense, so I'll explain.

It's fine if you want to tell me how much you think your product is worth. But the moment you presume you can tell me what you think it's worth to ME, you're addressing me in a familiar way. If you are not actually familiar with me, that is quite disrespectful. You have no idea how much time I have to play video games or how much I enjoy a particular type of game. You can't tell me that it's worth $90 to me (which is what the analogy suggested by "$3 per [new] song"). That is condescending.

You poor dear. Here in Australia we pay USD$86 and up for the same crap.
And if you're happy paying that much for it, that's fine with me. Eat it up. I have higher standards, and I don't really care if you think my complaints are not justified.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21704014)

Yeah, TF2 certainly isn't worth buying if you have TF1 - just like HL2 isn't worth buying if you have HL1, and hell, who needs Mario Galaxy when you have Mario 3?

As far as the worth of a product, Valve set a price (and a mighty fair one, just ask someone who's actually PLAYED the new games) - same as any other product. If you don't like being dictated the worth of a product, shop on eBay or at the flea market.

Sounds like you just don't like Valve games to begin with, and you only value linear length as a measure of worth, not the replayability or quality/fun of the game. You should look into JRPGs.

People with a median income can easily spare $20 more than what they originally expected to pay for a product, and I'd say most of them would do that rather than sitting around bitching about the 20 bucks, irrationally boycotting the company, and not enjoying some of the year's best games.

Okay, I'll stop responding and arguing - but you should really play Episode 2, Portal, and TF2 - they're fantastic.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 6 years ago | (#21704188)

I have 2 copies of Half-Life, Team Fortress, Opposing Force, Counter-Strike, Episode One and one copy of Blue shift.

People with a median income can easily spare $20 more than what they originally expected to pay for a product, and I'd say most of them would do that rather than sitting around bitching about the 20 bucks, irrationally boycotting the company, and not enjoying some of the year's best games.
There's a sickness in this country where people (gifted by their short attention span) do not hold grudges. I call that a sickness because I believe it's the leading cause to the degeneration of customer service in this world, which I remember was alive and well 10 years ago, but is dying off quickly today. I may be a dying breed, but when I draw a line, it's final. Valve disposing of the Black Box was the signal that they have ultimately stopped serving customers and started serving themselves, exclusively.

Yes, I could spare $20. I could spare $20 here, and $20 there. Hey, I could let everyone overcharge me. But then I'd be completely broke. And then every single merchant thinks they can overcharge $20, or push for $30.

There are several reasons not to over-pay for something like this. People who go along with it are just enabling it further.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

toolie (22684) | more than 6 years ago | (#21704634)

From the reviews, TF2 is not much different than TF, just with new skins and new maps. That doesn't sound like it's worth $50.
You just demonstrated your extreme ignorance at what you are trying to hold a conversation about.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

Bobo72a (1150977) | more than 6 years ago | (#21705724)

This actually happened with Nirvana. Their greatest hits (self titled "Nirvana") included the new track "You Know You're Right". I own every other Nirvana album and this track was not included with the box set.

Fortunately enough for music, it can be purchased individually with very little markup.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21706408)

Sorry Valve didn't consult you, they may have realized their error. Your brilliant analysis has changed my mind, I know that.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21703954)

Or you could have waited, shopped around and gotten orange box for $25. I know I did.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#21704836)

Yeah, that sucks.

On the other hand I have HL2, but not Ep1, so for me it's a rather better deal. Sucks to have to buy HL2 again, but with The Orange Box currently being sold by amazon.co.uk for roughly half the RRP, I'm not complaining too hard. (In fact, I'm waiting for it to arrive - hopefully tomorrow (well, later today now) with a bit of luck)

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21699596)

The word in this case is cue.

Re:Queue half-life jokes (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699626)

When I launch half life 1, the only enemies are headcrabs and the only weapon is the crowbar. The rest has become an isotope of counterstrike.

Sequels.... (2, Funny)

Lulfas (1140109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699428)

Yes yes, news that a sequel to a huge well selling franchise might be coming. Obvious cat is obvious!

You coul dhave included... (3, Informative)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699582)

... the few extra words in the Ars 'article':

"SWL: Are there any current plans after Episode 3 to have a Half Life 3?
DL: We haven't announced anything specific, but Half-Life won't end at Episode Three - hang on to your crowbars!"

Unless you thought 'crowbar' was in fact an allusion to 'penis' in which case you probably shouldn't have included it in the Slashdot story after all...

Or even a link to the original article: http://www.stuffwelike.com/stuffwelike/2007/12/12/half-life-3-world-exclusive/ [stuffwelike.com]

Which has fun comments like:
"ummm... in no way whatsoever did doug say there would be a half-life three. could just be episode four. please stop brandying guesses as legitimate facts." - wow, brandying is a real word - it means "To preserve, flavor, or mix with brandy"

Half-Life and Brandy (1)

takanishi79 (1203342) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701066)

I certainly wouldn't mind my Half-Life a little brandied up.

Re:Half-Life and Brandy (1)

tyroneking (258793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701206)

Or indeed with penises instead of crowbars ;) (hold on while I patent the idea of dynamically replacing in-game weapons with sexual aids...)

Re:You coul dhave included... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21702046)

DL: We haven't announced anything specific, but Half-Life won't end at Episode Three - hang on to your crowbars!"

Unless you thought 'crowbar' was in fact an allusion to 'penis' in which case you probably shouldn't have included it in the Slashdot story after all...


Well I'm not sure if it was an allusion, but I do know what I'm hanging on to...

Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (2, Insightful)

Cerberus7 (66071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699594)

I can't even begin to consider anything about Half-Life 3, but since we're speaking of the Half-Life series...

Has anybody managed to get any information on what kind of game Ep3 will be? I've read about the HL2 episodes as being testbeds for different kinds of play technology; Ep1 was Alyx's development, having an effective side-kick. Ep2 was cinematic physics and large outdoor areas. I'm really, really hoping that Ep3 will be an unbounded game world, such as the GTA games (only with headcrabs instead of gangs). All of the Half-Life games so far have been, in general, train rides. You go from point A via route A with almost no variation. The combat areas may have some openness to them, but the world as a whole does not. Has anybody out there heard anything?

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

zsouthboy (1136757) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699712)

Not gonna happen.

The great scripted, movie-like feel of the HL games require linearity.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

Flentil (765056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700090)

No. GTA San Andreas has a well scripted story and is still wide open to explore. These games are still on rails because the developers are so comfortable with the format.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

zsouthboy (1136757) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700162)

Fine, let me put it another way:

What happens when End of the Earth Situation occurs in game, and you're still free to go about your business, and the End of Earth Situation waits until you get there to take the mission?

Then compare to the current HL way...

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21700458)

What happens when End of the Earth Situation occurs in game, and you're still free to go about your business, and the End of Earth Situation waits until you get there to take the mission?


Sure, why not?

If you ever stop and think about some of the situations video games put gamers (and their characters) through, you seriously have to ask yourself, what the fuck were they thinking? In Half-Life 1, the U.S. military is completely and utterly incompetent against aliens whereas an untrained scientist could single-handedly turn the tide (if only briefly). Seeing as humanity isn't wiped out between Half-Life 1 and Half-Life 2, why not give Gordon Freeman (the player) a few days/weeks to relax and pick off a few combine patrols?

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

actor_au (562694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700976)

The Soldiers are actually very effective against the Aliens in the few times you witness the two groups fighting each other, its just the fly in the ointment that is Freeman that prevents them from winning all the time because after they win you show up and kill the wounded survivors.
Also Freeman had the major advantage in that he was wearing the HEV Mk VI protective suit for use in hazardous environments which was partially bulletproof and provided better protection in the large variety of dangerous locations in Black Mesa than simple Kevlar did for the soldiers(excluding Adrian Shepherd, who needs to come back at some stage, would it kill Valve to let Shepherd show up in City 4 or something in South America or Australia(given that he went to the South Pole at the end of Opposing Force)).

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701158)

given that he went to the South Pole at the end of Opposing Force

Er, no he didn't. Shepherd was detained by the G-Man. How you got "the South Pole" from OpFor's ending, I have no idea.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700624)

The Grand Theft Auto series is by no means a good example of a well scripted story. I think a better series to bring up would be the Elder Scrolls. Not only is it much more open than GTA, but it does have a finely crafted plot that transcends multiple installments. I personally can't see Half-Life ever moving fully in that direction, but I do agree that the series is far too linear and one of the reasons I find the sequel especially overrated. Note: Not bad, overrated.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

Vexor (947598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702298)

Speaking of GTA, where's my GTA MMO! The fact that there's more HL coming isn't a shocker for anyone. It's more like "duh"

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702998)

We'll I haven't played any of HL2 so I don't know exactly how "well crafted" the story telling experience is (FWIW I do plan on making orange box on the 360 my next gaming purchase) but both Bioshock and The Darkness offered worlds where you were free to explore (more so in TD than BS). Both games also had very well crafted story telling IMO.

The worlds weren't as expansive as say Oblivion on GTA but you were still mostly free to go around and do as you please.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (3, Insightful)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699720)

But therein lays the predicament. Often times, freedom comes at the expense of story and character development. If I had to choose between the awesome story and charming characters of HL2, or a more open environment, I'd choose the former.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

Cerberus7 (66071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699904)

Agreed. I'd much rather keep the story and character development going over open world gameplay if, as you and zsouthboy have said, one or the other must be chosen. However, if they can find a way to keep the story and character development going while simultaneously opening the game world up, I'm all for that. And put a gun on that helicopter! I want to blow up gunships and dropships from the air, dang it!

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (2, Interesting)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700610)

The characters of GTA: Vice City and San Andreas were much, much better than the ones in Half-Life 2, perhaps in part because of the superior voice acting, but also because they had larger than life personalities. What exactly is there to Alyx? She's a boilerplate "fun" girl who likes action and dangerous things, but she doesn't express any personal ideas (well, she came up with the word 'zombine'), and she certainly doesn't properly function as a dramatic character. For that you need some sort of conflict, like with those traitorous scumbags Big Smoke and Ryder. Apart from the one with the Combines, all conflicts in HL2 are shallow and superficial, but that one suffers from being too big and too obvious to really generate interest. It's not like you ever consider going over to the Combines as a serious option, is it?

And what exactly is so great about the story? It consists mainly of going from one place to the next while shooting stuff and sometimes even solving small problems. Sometimes you get cooler toys. Hey, even a James Bond movie can do better than that.

No, what HL2 has going for it is that it's an immensely well made action game. Like a rollercoaster, it runs on rails, but like a well-made rollercoaster, it has well thought out pacing, the right intervals between challenging moments, and so on. A rollercoaster isn't supposed to tell a story, and neither is HL2. There is, perhaps, a story in there somewhere, but it's not one of the positive aspects of the game.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (2, Insightful)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700882)

First, I'll reply to what I agree with. GTA Vice city (and 3 and San Andreas) were GREAT games with great stories and great characters (lotsa great). That being said, the GTA franchise is far more linear than people make it out to be. Sure, in between missions there is a sandbox, but once a mission starts, it's a linear endeavor from start to finish. And lets not fool ourselves, what made the characters so appealing in the GTA games was the scripted cut scenes and awesome voice acting, not any sandbox interaction we had with these characters.

I could concede that in between plot points, there is probably room for more sandbox variety in HL, but when it comes to advances in plot or storyline, I'm willing to forgive the linearity.

As for your specific remarks about the HL2 story and Alyx in particular, you're entitled to your opinion, but I for one found it to be remarkably captivating. In fact, Alyx is one of the best formed characters in recent gaming history, in my opinion. One reviewer (I forget which one) cited a specific situation that I think really captures Alyx's character. He was driving through the wilderness when he happened to look over at Alyx in the passenger seat. She looked back at him, smiled and winked.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702106)

I don't disagree with your points re GTA, but there's another form of open-endedness to it, in that you sometimes can use the city in a more open way during the missions, choosing different paths to employ different tactics. In HL2, you're pretty much locked into a specific path: you can't go back and outflank the enemy, for instance, since the way back more often than not is blocked (a notable exception is the striders attacking the silo at the end of Episode 2). Even when you don't have much choice of where to go in GTA, you still have the feeling of some sort of freedom, since you could, potentially, explore the area when not doing the mission. So it's a greater freedom of movement, if only imaginary.

Deus Ex is a game with both more freedom and better storytelling than HL2. But in this case I do believe it makes it a worse action game. It's certainly not nearly as fast-paced, and that's probably in part because they had to make it possible to choose different tactics and different routes to solve the exact same problems. You don't get the same kind of timing of the excitement when you have the element of surprise on your own side.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701988)

It's not like you ever consider going over to the Combines as a serious option, is it?

"Did you know your contract was open to the highest bidder?"

It's possible that the G-Man would have sold Gordon's services if the price was right. Gordon may even believe he's working against the Combine while he's doing it ("The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world"--the G-Man can insert Gordon into a place where his natural reactions will work in the Combine's favor). Who knows just how trustworthy the Vortigaunts are now that they seem to be in charge? ("There was time when the only humanity they knew was a crowbar coming at them down a metal hallway").

That's why I like Half-Life's story development. You can blow through it if you want and end up with an enjoyable game, but there's an interesting mystery unfolding if you pay attention to subtle details.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21705770)

Prime example: Deus Ex Invisible War. Sure, there were alternatives and different factions you could support, but there was no point. No friends, for one. You supported a faction by doing their bidding, but they did nothing to support you after that. Why not? It'd have been too labor-intensive to do that. Too many map modifications depending on what choices you'd made. Too many voice actors. Too many extra maps for each side.

Of course, if you're willing to put in the extra time and effort, you can come up with a great game. I think. Or you be clever with your writing and hide the lack of choice.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

compupc1 (138208) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699838)

*SPOILERS* Well I know they've said that their plans for episode 3 are very ambitious, maybe even too much so. When you consider that at the very end of episode 2 they were just about to get on a helicoper...who knows? You may not be far from the truth.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (0)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701970)

***SPOILERS THAT MAY IMPLY WHAT EVENTS TRANSPIRE BUT DON'T STATE THEM OUTRIGHT*** Yeah, but Alyx will probably just be crying like a little bitch the whole time because of what happened.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700082)

Probably not going to happen. I have recently (i.e. 2 weeks) played through HL2, ep1, ep2, and Portal, and a second time with commentary mode where applicable, and especially the commentaries gave me a pretty good idea of how HL game design works. GTA gameplay has its place in gaming, but I can't imagine it for the HL series, simply because HL means extensive, coherent story across installments, delievered by cinematic scenes that require timing and pacing. And for the story as well as character development it can mean a lot if you arrive at the next plotpoint within 10 minutes or 2 hours, and I for one would hate missing a finely crafted, story-turning (or simply plain funny) scene just because the level design enabled me to wholly skip it unconsciously. No, don't mess with that part at all.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21700476)

If you want to play a game like GTA then go play GTA.

The halflife series is built on the framework of a engrossing linear story. That's the kind of game it is, and it's damn good at doing what it does.

Just like I don't want all my RPG's to be like Oblivion, I don't want all my action games to be like GTA. There's room for both linear and non-linear game types in the market.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (5, Interesting)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700830)

Valve has a love for games on rails. They do everything they can possible to ensure that you see what they want you to see, when they want you to see it, without being aware of the rails. Listen to the dev commentary in Ep 2 and Portal and it becomes immediately obvious that the perfect game experience in Valve's mind would be to give the illusion of GTA while ensuring you never actually stray from the path.

This is not a horrible thing. The reason most people are down on games that are on rails is that most developers suck at story telling and cinematic experiences while simultaneously thinking they rock at the same. Therefore most games on rails feel more like a Disney ride than an epic adventure. Both in the fact that you are consitantly reminded that you are on rails and that the various "props" are obviously only expected to be seen from the "ride-side" of the game. Valve actually puts the effort in to cover up the rails, to polish the props and to make it look as if the fact that you just happen to be going down the path is because YOU choose to go that way, not because every other way was closed.

Take for instance, the 'other' episodic game that was released around the time of Episode 1. SiN Episodes: Emergence.

In SiN, you were shown this huge city, many of the locations in game were huge, the modern day equivalents of the Tower of Babel. And yet, there was always a fence, a door, or a window between you and the rest of the world. There were very strict paths you were forced to take, and even though you would often be assulted by people coming from the inaccessible areas, you never were given the chance to get to them yourself. It was very obvious that your goals were "get A to pass B so you can push C and open D".

This is exactly the same scenario that the Half-Life games provide, but with them it is far, far easier to forget that you are being herded along a path. Take dodging the Antlion guard in the mines/hive. Most people, the first time around, probably almost shat themselves when they finially fell down that final shaft with the guard seemingly just a millisecond behind them. However if you play the game through again, you realize that this spot was actually scripted to come off exactly that way. You might be able to mess around and actually die there, but you will never get so far ahead of the guard that they won't be a millisecond behind you at the final shaft.

Valve specializes in cinematic magic. A sandbox free-will game is their anti-thesis.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702022)

Allow me a "me too".

Valve has NAILED the pure-FPS, linear game. Fucking nailed it. As in, may-never-be-beat nailed it.

I happen to like that genre, when it's done well. Non-linear shooters, FPS/RPG hybrids, etc. are a different matter entirely. I have trouble saying that HL2: Ep2 is a better or worse game than, say, Deus Ex or GTAIII: Vice City. I don't think it even makes a lot of sense to compare it to Doom I and II, or Painkiller, for example, since those are run-and-gun, minimal-story games, and they're supposed to be. I think that a game design team accomplishing what they set out to accomplish is one of the most important of the criteria for judging a game, and that it's difficult to compare games that have different goals and ideas of "fun". I also don't think that every damned FPS needs to be a sandbox, or involve "leveling", or to have any number of other genre-twisting features, in order to be good.

Incidentally, expanding on the Doom I and II examples, I have no problem saying that Doom III sucked hard, mainly because it was clear that they were trying to give it more of a story and make it kind of mostly-realistic survival-horror, and they failed miserably at that task, while also failing to provide a DI/DII-like experience of frantic, constant, wild action with dozens of opponents in a large area. I would think very slightly more highly of the game, strange as it may sound, if they'd had less story and characterization in it. As it is, it just teases you with those elements, then fails to follow through. Consequently, my favorite parts of the game are the prologue-ish section at the beginning, which is a better-than-average setup for some space-based survival horror with a story, and the last 1/5 or so (the Hell part) where it manages to get closer to the feel of its Doom I/Doom II roots. Everything in between, IMO, is too much of an awkward mix of the two to be any good at all.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 6 years ago | (#21703236)

Half Life was always like a movie with a little interaction. It's not a bad thing, I find it very entertaining, and it's certainly very impressive.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21705030)

I love HL2, but crytek has them beat in this sense with FarCry and now Crysis. Still linear, you have to go to the blip on the radar to continue, but you can deviate from the path fairly widely. I won't go into details, but I'm sure anyone who's played there games will agree.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21707904)

I personally loved the free-roaming Strider/Hunter fight at the climax of Episode 2. HARD AS HELL, but damn was it worth it. I think saying that free-roaming is their antithesis is wrong; especially when their AI is both highly dynamic and highly scriptable, Half-Life can and does go 'off the rails'. Yes, that antlion guard on your tail was scripted to be there at exactly the right moment, but in GTA each individual mission is just as scripted. The same thugs will pour from the same buildings, the items will all be in the same place... the only free-roaming aspect is how you GET to said mission.
So, theoretically, what if Gordon Freeman suddenly found himself unpressured by the Combine, and without people bossing him around? You can go outside and play catch with D0G and the gravity gun, you can help Dr Kleiner hunt for Lamarr, you're free to roam around White Forest doing 'missions' for people, without the arbitrary boundaries enforced upon you. And if you don't like the missions, I'm sure there's plenty you can do with a gravity gun and a fuelled-up car. It wouldn't even have to be limited to White Forest. Drive off across the countryside, looking for survivors and enemies to fight! Maybe that's too distant from Half-Life, but in terms of its existing story and game mechanics, it's more than plausible.
Hell, I'd love to see a stylistic blend of Half-Life and Zelda; a large, free-roaming world, with obstructions that prevent you accessing every area initially. As you gather weapons and tools, the world opens up to you, and eventually, everywhere can be explored freely. Backtracking becomes not only possible or mandatory, but properly free. Valve has the skill and the technology; while I'm sure they'll pursue episodic gaming to its limits and finish (or at least, solidly resolve) the Half-Life story before attempting anything quite that different, I know they're more than capable of doing it and more than a few of their developers would love to do it. That field at White Forest was just the beginning. Their cinematic magic will expand to encompass whole different types of player interaction.

What will be in Episode 3? We know some of it. (4, Insightful)

Hackie_Chan (678203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701198)

Gabe Newell seems to show a lot of fancy towards the episodic method of distributing games. Put that in mind when he remarked to Eurogamer a while back [eurogamer.net] that Episode 1 to Episode 3 "essentially" was Half Life 3. Smaller teams with less to lose permits them to take more risks in game design. Does this mean the real Half Life 3 (not episode 1-3!) will be distributed the same way?

However, on what we know about Episode 3: First of all, Portal takes place in the Half Life universe in the laboratories of Aperture Science. This had to be for an obvious reason since it essentially is a storyline shoe-horn in to a puzzle game. They didn't need to do it, but they did it anyway. Episode 2 spills the info that Aperture Science has a vessel called the Borealis [youtube.com] . It "vanished" (i.e. teleportation) but has now been found. Obviously Gordon will have to go there and find the ship and obtain the gadgets and gizmos. This means Gordon will have to travel to the arctic, so Episode 3 will most likely feature snowy areas. And then there is this Gabe Newell quote [g4tv.com] on Portal (After you launch the player, play the video called "X-Play Review: Portal". Gabe's quote is a little over the halfway mark):
"The character that you play is a character who has importance in the overall half-life universe, and will eventually have a fairly significant relationship with other characters that we're already familiar with".

The way Portal works as an introductory game to educate the players on how to use the Portal gun to interact with the environment is a really clever method to set things up on how it will potentially be used in Episode 3. But I'm actually not so sure however whether Chell will give Gordon the gun, cause he doesn't have the surgically inserted heel springs to prevent injury from falling the large distances. Oh, and GLaDOS will probably be involved somehow...she's "still alive" you know.

Re:What will be in Episode 3? We know some of it. (3, Funny)

rvw14 (733613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21704254)

I will play Episode 3 only if there is cake.

Re:Half-Life 2 Ep 3 Gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21717220)

blueshift: i might just have got lost but i thought it wasn't too linear
opposing forces: with the random teleportation i didn't think this one was too linear either

i doubt they will make any hl2 games non linear as mapping takes alot of effort and people already complain that episodes are short, if they make it 1/2 as linear they also make it half as long

im talking purely map design here, if your on about character development and the sort then its an FPS not an RPG so dont expect that to change anytime soon

my amazing idea of the post(tm):
increased codesurfing/crowdsourcing, they already add the free 3rd party mods as a selling point, if they were to ship of side map (or even main map) ideas to the community. the community would happily go through the painstaking process of making the maps allowing valve to get alot of stuff that could be used non-linearly for free!

p.s last time i played hl2 there was quite a good non-linear 3rd party mod called meteora or sopmething like that

Valve will give up on HL franchise.... (4, Insightful)

robinsonne (952701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699612)

...about the same time Blizzard gives up on WoW.

Re:Valve will give up on HL franchise.... (2, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699892)

Activision is gonna buy Valve?!? : o That's what you just said!

Re:Valve will give up on HL franchise.... (1)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701104)

Considering the series has been consistently excellent, I can't really say I want to stop them.

In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21699614)

Valve plans to milk the cow dry.

Re:In other words (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21705368)

Valve plans to steam the cow dry.


Fixed it for you.

Awesome!!! (1)

Sgt.Modulus (1198753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699654)

If this proves to be true I will be so glad. The HL franchise is by far my favorite. I love HL series and hope it continues for a long time. Otherwise it shall be a very disappointing day for me. :-)

With a bit of luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21699744)

They won't farm the PS3 version out to EA to fsck up. Unlike like the orange box with its pathetic loading times, and frame rate issues making it just about unplayable in places.

linux client please (3, Interesting)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21699874)

I really wish Valve would put out a Linux client so us Linux-only users can play HL2 + sequels without the performance rape associated with using Wine (no hate on the Wine project...it kicks ass at what it does). Ah well, I guess we'll have to wait for Microsoft to shoot themselves in the foot for a few more years before that will ever become a possibility.

Re:linux client please (2, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701084)

Since Gabe is ex-Microsoft I think your answer would be "when hell freezes over". Of course they'd never publicly say that.

It's a shame really because I too would like a Linux client on my Ubuntu machine.. Carmack's engines are always cross-platform, the UT engines are cross platform but source is Windows only and that's probably never going to change at Valve. I am guessing it doesn't even show up on their radar.

I can't remember or not, did the orange box come out for the PS3? And doesn't the PS3 run openGL? If anyone knows the answer to that then why can't they put a little work into getting a client that works on *insert fav distro*?

I think it's good to also have some perspective here. Linux isn't popular and it's only in the last few years that the majority of the public are taking it seriously for desktops. Even so I bet it would be quick for them to get a native client up and running in no time. It's just they see no value in doing so.

Re:linux client please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701380)

I don't think Gabe and Co. being ex-Microsoft has much to do with it, they've shown a lot of cross-platform initiative recently. Valve have apparently been trying to court Jobs to make games for Apple, but have been disappointed with the support. I can't recall if they were referring to the shoddy graphics cards that come in most of Apple's models or the lack of enthusiasm from Apple themselves. Perhaps both.

Gaming on Linux unfortunately faces a lot of challenges that Apple does not, mostly due to Apple's complete control of the hardware.

Re:linux client please (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701826)

The PS3 development port was farmed out to another company. Due to the heavy lock-in to DirectX or the non-Valve company doing the work, the port to PS3 has been panned as having very poor graphics performance.

Valve really needs to take the finger out of its ass and support OpenGL officially, because DirectX 10 is a wash for at least 2 more years (until Vista / DX10 maybe hits critical mass) and since all OpenGL (OSX/Linux/PS3) market segments are growing, if just a little.

Their inferiority on these platforms will eventually stifle their profit centers enough to show a hole. So their real option is to protect MS's market position by explicitly NOT supporting other platforms or to embrace OpenGL with open arms. This compromise is probably the 'least' beneficial for them in the long run.

Re:linux client please (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21703498)

I can't remember or not, did the orange box come out for the PS3? And doesn't the PS3 run openGL?
Straying from your question, but that version was done by EA, rather than Valve, and is said to have nasty framerate issues. Mind you, Gabe Newell hates the PS3. He calls it a complete disaster and a waste of everyone's time.

Re:linux client please (1)

mackil (668039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701870)

It could happen. [valvesoftware.com]

Re:linux client please (1)

IntergalacticWalrus (720648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721162)

This is vague enough to be talking about dedicated servers only.

One can still hope though (I know I am).

id and Epic do Linux ports of their flagship games mostly because it makes a good bullet point on their respective engines' feature lists (ie. "Cross-platform Windows/Mac/Linux support". Valve might be tempted to do the same eventually.

orly? (1)

Alari (181784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700118)

A sequel to a successful franchise? Shocking! [penny-arcade.com]

In other news: Who started this whole "Half-Life ends with Ep3" rumor anyway?

Re:orly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21700470)

With Valve - I wish I had a link, but the current storyline (Gordon vs. Combine) is meant to end with episode 3. What crazy adventures our nerdy protagonist will partake of next is entirely up for grabs. HL3: Toga Party, perhaps?

Re:orly? (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701000)

In other news: Who started this whole "Half-Life ends with Ep3" rumor anyway?

I suspect it's just an assumption--the whole "things tend to come in threes" rule of thumb. (Of course Half-Life 2 Episode 3 would actually be the 4th Half-Life 2 game . . . confusingly. Perhaps Valve goes by the Douglas Adams definition of "Trilogy")

Re:orly? (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 6 years ago | (#21702150)

In other news: Who started this whole "Half-Life ends with Ep3" rumor anyway?


Especially since they clearly have at least one story left to tell after HL2:EP3.

HL2:EP3: Combine suffers a last, crippling defeat on Earth, but is still a big (possibly realized, at the end of the game) threat. Gordon gets teleporting tech.... hmmm...

HL3: Gordon uses the teleporting tech to reach the Combine homeworld (or a major regional capitol world, or something) and kicks some ass, giving humanity long enough to build itself back up and create some defenses against the big, scary universe out there. Probably frees a bunch of enslaved worlds in the process, sparking a general uprising against the Combine and keeping them busy for decades or more (assuming they're not destroyed entirely).

And that's just if they don't come up with something other than the obvious.

TF2 maps!!! (2, Insightful)

martin_b1sh0p (673005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700194)

How about a few more TF2 maps on the console!!!

Re:TF2 maps!!! (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21700860)

How about a few more TF2 maps on the console!!!
Quoted for Truth. Come on Valve. Keep TF2 alive!

Re:TF2 maps!!! (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21706250)

The PC version of TF2 has a bunch of high quality user created maps. Can't you download those on your 360 or PS3?

I know Valve can do no wrong but... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21700430)

Can we all, as the gaming world, for once grow some balls and say no to one bad thing? Steam authentication to be allowed to play a single player game is a freaking bad idea!

Holy crap, I know most of us sort of end up putting up with that shit from MS and hate it, but this is our culture, not some OS that'll be irrelevant in a few years time. I love to play Dungeon Keeper and other great, but old, games from time to time. What happens when the servers are down and you want to install and play HL2? What happens when you try to show your kid in a few years about the classic games that were the genesis of what they're used to? I would hope MS would serve as a shining example of why you should never bank on a software company's future promises.

Seriously, fuck Valve. I loved HL, and I blame them for screwing the whole thing up, and not only with the HL series, but a bunch of other games that get sucked into this idea that content producers should perpetually "own" the minute you decide you want to consume their product (I'm looking at you Sin).

All the morons that consume movies had enough sense to let DIVX (not the codec) die, and yet apparently we videogamers are too much of a bunch of crackheads to do the same, how can we be dumber than those people?

Please, please dump your money for Valve releases into Stardock and their video games. Try using TotalGaming.NET, it's way more free than Steam, with volume their title selection will only get better (it's not horrible right now but it's no Steam).

Re:I know Valve can do no wrong but... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21700798)

Let's pick this argument apart.

What happens when the servers are down and you want to install and play HL2?
If you want it on physical media, Steam has options to dump the game cache and burn it to DVD, which you can then reimport back into Steam when you want it. You only have to register the game with your copy of Steam once, and that lasts until you wipe Steam completely or reinstall Windows.

What happens when you try to show your kid in a few years about the classic games that were the genesis of what they're used to?
If Valve and therefore Steam ever went bankrupt, they have a universal unlock all ready to go. Cache your games, as mentioned before, and then import from the DVD when you want it.

Seriously, fuck Valve. I loved HL, and I blame them for screwing the whole thing up, and not only with the HL series, but a bunch of other games that get sucked into this idea that content producers should perpetually "own" the minute you decide you want to consume their product (I'm looking at you Sin).
I don't know where you got this idea. Surely activating online is the same as entering a CD key, only online? What if you lose the CD key and you want to install the game later? What if you want to go back in 20 years time only to realise you can't install the game because you don't have a code?

Why are you only getting up in arms about copy protection now, when companies have being doing this since the Commodore Amiga?

Re:I know Valve can do no wrong but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701056)

"If you want it on physical media, Steam has options to dump the game cache and burn it to DVD, which you can then reimport back into Steam when you want it. You only have to register the game with your copy of Steam once, and that lasts until you wipe Steam completely or reinstall Windows."

Great, so as long as I'm running the same Windows in 5 years and still have Steam on it, I can still play my game. This is not what I described as a situation you're being intellectually dishonest by suggesting it as a solution.

"If Valve and therefore Steam ever went bankrupt, they have a universal unlock all ready to go. Cache your games, as mentioned before, and then import from the DVD when you want it."

I believe I already called bullshit on believing any company about future promises in my original post. More intellectual dishonesty, I'm seeing a trend here...

"I don't know where you got this idea. Surely activating online is the same as entering a CD key, only online? What if you lose the CD key and you want to install the game later? What if you want to go back in 20 years time only to realise you can't install the game because you don't have a code?"

Umm these are not at all the same. I'm not thrilled with CD keys, but compared to online activation they are freaking fantastic. 1) any CD key will do for single player, 2) they normally only lock you from playing with the same CD key online or on a local networked game. They tend to be written on the jewel case or manual the game came with. If you lose your manual or jewel case, please see point one, 2 minutes of googling will also solve such a problem. At any rate, losing my game manual is 100 times more in my control than what Valve does or does not do. Oh also, if I buy my game in Taiwan my Taiwanese CD key will still work when I get back home in the US. If I import my game from anywhere on the global market, it will work in fact. CD keys are nearly 100% immune from a company's capricious desires once I get the freaking software home.

"Why are you only getting up in arms about copy protection now, when companies have being doing this since the Commodore Amiga?"

I've been playing since the Commodore 64 days, only now I spend several thousand dollars a year on gaming software alone. I have never liked copy protection. I don't know why you would assume I'm just now "up in arms" about it given that we've most likely never met or spoken before. Beyond that, online activation goes much further than copy protection. Unless you honestly want to claim that and explain how DIVX is the same as CSS (for DVD) that is.

Like I said, I know there's a whole lot of Valve apologists out there, but please avoid intellectual dishonesty.

Re:I know Valve can do no wrong but... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701722)

I never had an issue playing a single player game with Steam. When I do, maybe I can go down that road. Until then, it is a non-issue that people seem to make a big deal about.

The nice thing about Steam is that if I lose or destroy a CD, I don't have to worry about it. I can log in to my account, and download my games to any PC.

What if Valve goes out of business? These games are already cracked on the web, I would just download the cracked version of the game.

I don't think you are being intellectually honest here. Old games already don't work on XP unless you jump through some huge number of hoops and even then you may not be able to get them to work. Just because you have the media does not mean you will have the hardware or software in the future that will be able to play the game anyways. If you are really so worried, you can stick to console gaming and save that for your future offspring

For the great majority of the people Steam is convenient and easy to use. If you want to deprive yourself of quality games, feel free to. But don't tell me where I should spend my money and who I should support.

Re:I know Valve can do no wrong but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21701900)

A few examples of old games I have played recently (in the last 2 months) on Windows XP SP2:

Dungeon Keeper
Baldur's Gate
Planscape Torment
Abe's Oddysse

Most games do work. And I do have my old software if I need it, it can be run in a VM fine. I have my old hardware too, though I don't see why I'd ever need it when it can be emulated in real time.

The point of buying a game is to trade your cash (your time and effort) for the game (the author's time and effort) to enjoy whenever you please. If the author retains the right to jack back his half of the bargain while keeping my cash, well then that sucks. That's why Steam sucks. Having to do something illegal to get around it (like download the cracked version) which could eventually become very difficult to do without landing yourself in hot water makes it even worse.

I think my intellectual honesty is fine here. Nothing I've said is untrue and those are the games I've played recently on my screaming hardware that also runs Clive Barker's Jericho and all other recent games with all the goodies turned on.

Re:I know Valve can do no wrong but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21702458)

There are three reasons Steam sucks:

1. 5 to 20% cpu utilization at all times, even when not playing HL2. At least on my pc.

2. Takes the control of the license key and gives it to Valve, not you.

3. Blocks the game rental industry.

There is a reason Steam is free. And nothing is free.

Awake you Lemmings! Awake!

Re:I know Valve can do no wrong but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21703738)

What if Valve goes out of business? These games are already cracked on the web, I would just download the cracked version of the game.

Who knows how long those cracked versions will be available? You'd better grab them now while you have the chance. And once you've done that, why bother with Steam?

Re:I know Valve can do no wrong but... (2, Insightful)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701402)

If Valve and therefore Steam ever went bankrupt, they have a universal unlock all ready to go. Cache your games, as mentioned before, and then import from the DVD when you want it.

No, that's not what would happen. If Valve went bankrupt, the company assets would be sold off to another company. That new company might continue to operate Steam, or they might not, but one thing is certain - they would be very pissed if Valve had given away their universal unlock, since that would destroy much of the value of the Steam platform. Also, I doubt that the third-party games on Steam would be affected by the universal unlock. So don't put any faith in Valve doing the right thing as the ship sinks, because it won't happen.

I don't know where you got this idea. Surely activating online is the same as entering a CD key, only online? What if you lose the CD key and you want to install the game later? What if you want to go back in 20 years time only to realise you can't install the game because you don't have a code?

No, it's not the same. If the servers are down or you don't have an Internet connection, you can't do online activation. And you do have to reactivate online if your hardware or your OS changes, even if you install from a backup you have made. CD keys don't have these problems.

Never forget, Steam is iTunes for games. There's nasty DRM all over the place, but since it mostly works fine, many people don't mind. Just bear in mind that the games aren't really yours, even though you paid for them, because Valve can ban your account. This is the price of convenience. It is the same deal with DIVX, with iTunes, with Wii Shop/Xbox Live Arcade, and with Windows Media. If you don't like it, don't buy it.

In Steam's defense, I will say this - there are no limits to the number of downloads for a particular game. You really have bought a license to play, so you can shift your account between as many PCs as you want. This is a good thing: much better than DIVX, who didn't provide free replacement disks, much better than the console services which lock downloaded games to one device, and much better than iTunes, which limits the number of machines you can activate. What really amazes me about Steam is that the DRM it provides is not enough for some companies (cough, Take 2) and their games (cough, Bioshock), so they hack on their own incompatible extra solutions (cough, SecuROM). If we must have DRM, at least let it be standardised.

Hold on to your Gravity Guns. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21700482)

I don't know why they insist on the allusions to the crowbar. Yes, I used the crowbar in the original HL, and in the beginning of HL2, but really, I think the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator is really the item that is most closely associated with Half Life these days, isn't it? I mean, heck, it's the first thing you get in Episode 2, and I really think you could play the entire game using almost nothing but the G-Gun.

It's also pretty unique to HL2. I don't think I've seen anything quite like it in any other games, though I'm hardly a gaming encyclopedia.

Re:Hold on to your Gravity Guns. . . (1)

Chaymus (697182) | more than 6 years ago | (#21701328)

The crowbar is a joke on game design. In a lot of FP games getting the user to orient themselves with the perspective & manipulation of the character was a big worry at first. It's vital to have the player forget about control sequences and "live" in the game. So they break it down into simple things to do. Making a box is easy, probably the easiest thing a 3D game can create. So you can pick up a box and move it around and get familiar with it. Valve said screw boxes, we're getting crowbars. Of course this is all speculation, but I would say it if I was their PR person.

Re:Hold on to your Gravity Guns. . . (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21705414)

The Doom 3 "expansion" Resurrection of Evil has the Grabber. Essentially the Gravity Gun except that you can't hold objects forever.

I'm looking forward... (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21703258)

....to Valve discovering the joys of open ended game play. Their scripted games are great, but after playing San Andreas, and other games of that type, I think it is clear that there lies the future. I'd love to run around in the beautifully rendered Half Life world with the gravity gun, whimsically careening hither and thither in vehicles and such.

Perhaps for Mac? (1)

Anhydrous.Tuna (1131283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21703952)

What? No love for the Mac?

Perhaps a Steam client for OS X, and/or linux?

Plenty of OpenGL love is in place if Steam (for some unforseeable reason) decides to hop platforms.

*Sighs*

Wishful thinking...

Re:Perhaps for Mac? (1)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21704098)

Steam is just the platform that downloads, manages, and launches your games, and has other nifty features. Expect it to come to Mac once a sizable number of the games ON Steam work on Mac.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>