Monday, January 02, 2006

Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar Complete

I finished going through Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar last night. Many of the designs and concepts Valve had going were excellent, simply excellent. Sadly, the more I read the book, the more disappointed I am with Half-Life 2 (seems to be a growing trend) and how it turned out from many of the original concepts.

Originally, Half-Life 2 was to have a much lengthier, more descriptive intro bridging the gap between it and its predecessor. There was one intro idea where the Gman would be showing Gordon briefly what happened in the world on a hilltop in view of what I believe was City 17. Gordon then got on the train and the game commenced as is.

There was another intro where there was a little more exposition, but Gordon got on the train almost immediately.

Another interesting concept was the idea where Eli would explain the Portal Storms and the 7 Hours War to Gordon via a slide show. While I don't like the slide show concept, some explaination is indeed needed, as these important points are only hinted at during the game for less than 30 seconds, and they were world altering!

There was also the plan to use many more of the Xen wild life, like Bullsquids and Houndeyes featured in the original game, that are now completely absent in the sequel. Essentially, original concepts called for better continuity between the titles. Very sad that none of that happened and the title does suffer for it.

Anyway, I won't have time to do my big comparison article on the biggest shooters of '04 today, so look for it during the course of next weekend.

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