Let’s Play Half Life – Part 12: The Calm Before the Storm

Thoughts on the game so far: This was another interesting episode, but for an entirely different reason. (Although I naturally had a few boneheaded moments, like the part where I get owned by a headcrab (again), or walk straight into a very tall elevator shaft…sigh.) This part was actually very quiet. But not good quiet, not peaceful quiet, very ominous quiet. I love the way they slowly build the feeling of dread and tension…and then it completely explodes towards the end of the video. Amazing pacing, as I’ve observed before.

Also, I’m assuming the newly placed turrets and mines (and the dead guy) means the (para)military has shown up to sterilize the Black Mesa facility. This has been hinted at for a while now–in the beginning with the scientists talking about rescue crews and such, and then with the lines from the Guards sounding much more worried at the prospect of military intervention. (Plus, that’s just how these stories go, isn’t it?) From the (very) brief look at the dead guy I saw before I blew him up, it doesn’t look like a specific military uniform, which kind of makes me happy–I really hate killing American soldiers, even if it is just a game, and even if they ARE the bad guys. If its some black-ops paramilitary secret government force, that’s not quite the same as mowing down some poor Army or Marine private who’s just following orders. (I don’t care if that doesn’t make sense! Stop interrupting my rationalization dammit!)

I’ve also determined that those damn tripmines are damn nasty, and I need to avoid them in the future. That took off a shitload of health! I had attributed that to the turret, but re-watching the video its clearly the tripmine that screwed me up far worse than those turrets. (As one of my viewers pointed out in the comments of the video, the turrets are not all that dangerous and quite easily defeated–I’ll be damned if I knew that at the time though! Scared the crap out of me!)

I got left in a rather precarious position, which I’m sure won’t bode well for the next episode…oh well…

By the way, on a real-life note, if you were curious about my complete and abject excitement over getting an M4 in hand, the reason is this: in the military, we use two kinds of rifles–the M16, and the M4 (which is slowly replacing it.) Now, I’m very, very short (4’10” to be exact, if you must know), and the M16s are quite heavy and awkward, and I always have a hugely difficult time getting its rather large and unwieldy weight to sit comfortably in my shoulder. And then…I met the M4, and learned the two most beautiful words in the world if automatic rifles: Adjustable. Stock. Behold:

That little handle on the stock allows you to slide it backwards and forwards, and the locks where you set it. Minor adjustment, huge difference. Not only does this rifle fit comfortably in my shoulder thanks to the fact I can adjust it, its lighter weight too. I LOVE this rifle, and the fact that Dr. Freeman and I can use one in this game is a wonderful and welcome surprise! Here’s hoping we can put it to good use.

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