Sunday, September 04, 2005

Off Topic: Half-Life 2 Finished

Finished Half-Life 2 today. Overall, I liked it a lot. Here's what I took away from it (spoiler-free):

  • Needless to say, the use of physics was outstanding.
  • Too many of the levels had insufficient ammunition.
  • It was often too difficult to see everything that was going on, though that did contribute to a sense of immersion.
  • The enemy design was great. The Combine looked truly menacing.
  • Great voice acting and great casting. Robert Culp as Dr. Breen was lots of fun to listen to.
  • The game was far too linear. It would have benefitted from more opportunities to (and motivation to) explore.
  • Not enough weapons!
  • OUTSTANDING graphics. The Source engine is truly a thing of beauty.
  • Cool story. I kinda wish that we knew more about the G-Man and Freeman's relationship to him.
  • Formidable AI. Even friendly NPCs are smart enough to get the f!@$ out of your way when you're trying to move around.
  • Good mix of action and problem solving.
  • Remarkable sound design. Probably the best of its class. The amount of detail to be found in the sound effects (like the way that gunshots change "depth" with distance) is not to be overlooked.
  • The ending was slightly anticlimatic. Kind of abrupt.
  • The animation, especially facial animation and headcrab animation, was top-notch. Scripted sequences were engaging and not annoying; they segwayed into action sequences well.

Definitely worth the price of admission. Gotta finish Thief III next.


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