The website, she lives!

And no, this is not this month’s article πŸ˜› Though I have been given a great idea I’m probably going to run with.

This is simply to discuss the medium-immediate future, assuming that things progress the way I picture this year–and with all the support you guys have given me already, I think they will.

I’ve had some requests for playing The Talos Principle…I’m told it’s in the vein of Portal. It seems as though Portal 2 is near (ish) done, and my Portal LP is almost done as well…this may be worth looking into. That, with a potential side of Dark Souls or Dark Souls 3…probably start with 1, if I can get my PC controller working. (I’m told mouse and keyboard for Dark Souls are…bad ideas.)

I’m also looking ahead to the rest of the Half-Life “family” cataloger…things like Blue Shift, or Half-Life Source…even fan projects like Black Mesa. I have heard that Blue Shift and Opposing Force are not amazing, and I can’t say I’m super excited by the idea of playing them based on the reviews and what I’ve seen of them. Black Mesa, on the other hand…that intrigues me. Course it isn’t done yet, but it probably will be by the time I get there eh?

What do you guys think? Are BS and OF worth it? Or should we jump right into something like Black Mesa? (Along with Talos Principle and maybe Dark Soulsish things).



18 responses to “The website, she lives!

  1. well I am really hoping you finish HL 2 and as far as playing black Mesa the mod I think it’s great game because the graphics in are great . And far as portal 2 well no question their it’s portal nothing else needs to be said

  2. I think you might get a kick out of Opposing Force at least, given its focus on the military (I’m imagining you laughing your ass off during the “boot camp” tutorial sequence). Blue Shift is alright as well, though it’s true that both expansions don’t quite match the original. I think that’s more a reflection of how great HL1 was, rather than any real problems with the expansions.

    I haven’t personally played the Talos Principle, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. Given how much you’ve enjoyed the Portal games, it sounds like a good fit for you. The Dark Souls games are certainly worth playing as well, though you’re right about the mouse/keyboard issue. 2 and 3 are at least somewhat playable with mouse and keyboard, but 1 is pretty much controller or nothing.

    Other suggestions for good games: The System Shock and Bioshock series for a mix of solid FPS action and great storytelling, or possibly an Infinity Engine game (Baldur’s Gate, etc.) since you’re into D&D and they’re excellent attempts to get the D&D experience on a computer. I could suggest a few horror games, but your Ravenholm experience makes me think that would be a bad idea.

    By the way, Hawk, I have it on very good authority that your Patreon goal just got reached. Congrats πŸ™‚

    • You beautiful bastard ❀ Thank you.

      Well, if nothing else, that motivates me to at least try OF. If I hate it, at least some laughs will be had, and if it's boring, nothing says I can't drop it. It might be one of those back-burner ones that gets played for a change of pace occasionally; we'll have to see.

      System Shock and Bioshock! I've heard amazing things about both games (especially SS, from Shamus Young.) Definitely adding to the short list.

      • It’s been years since I played Opposing Force, but from what I recall it was a solid entry in the Half-Life series. It has new weapons, new enemies, and even some interesting new game mechanics. Given how much you enjoyed HL1, I’d be surprised if you hated OP.

        An enhanced edition of System Shock was released on Steam back in 2015, so there’s no excuse for not trying it out sometime. It really is a classic, and was incredibly ahead of its time for a 1994 game. It does take some getting used to the controls, though, and it can be pretty brutal if you choose the standard difficulty settings.

        I guess I really want you to experience the Shock series because of how they represent a different approach to FPS gaming compared to the Half-Life series. Even since Wolfenstein 3D there’s been this contrast between “pure” FPS games and FPS/RPG hybrids, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter after trying out SS or BS.

        • You mention Wolfenstein…have you been reading the draft of my article for this weekend?!

          Hm. I might even own that remaster of System Shock. I’m sure it was on sale for cheap at some point and I picked it up.

  3. Dark Souls 1 is a great idea, but if you’re playing it on pc it’s essential that you install a mod that basically makes the game playable. You can find the download link here:

    And the instructions are here:
    The game is totally worth your time and don’t be intimidated by the first couple of hours of gameplay, you’re supposed to die on your first tries at anything in this game. It’s one of the best games ever made with an excellent level design, a must play for anyone.

    • Yep, I have done some research and am aware of the mods. In fact, I tried to get it up and running on my PC last night just as an experiment (I didn’t actually play, just fired it up for the first time to make sure mods worked and to test the controls.)

      Conclusion: all mods work, but they keyboard layout is absolutely unworkable. I literally cannot play it that way, nor is it compatible with my USB controller. Solution: buy a $30 USB Xbox controller. I loathe the design and feel of them, but I’m pretty sure it’s the only way Dark Souls will ever happen.

      Lucky, that’s not very much money and won’t be a problem once the time comes.

  4. Hmm, well, while Blue Shift and Opposing Force obviously aren’t as major as the main titles, there are some interesting little bits of extra lore in those games that you wouldn’t have known just from playing the main games, so I think it would be interesting to see you play those and give your thoughts on what they add. Opposing Force in particular would be more important I think – it’s often said to be the better of the two due to adding more features, but I think it also adds a lot more to the story than Blue Shift, plus as Daniel already said, the military focus would suit you. πŸ˜€ Of course, both of these are definitely lower priority compared to everything else, but Opposing Force would be the one I’d recommend you start with if you get the time to do one (my main concern is that having too many series’ going on at once would push the finish dates of everything way back. You do say this is a plan for the year, but forgive me if I’m somewhat sceptical considering your track record πŸ˜› ).

    Not played Dark Souls, and I’ve played a bit of the Talos Principle, but haven’t finished it myself. I agree that the puzzle side of things is quite similar to Portal, but I don’t know enough about the story to comment on that.

    Supposedly, from what I’ve heard, Black Mesa is actually supposed to be finished this year. Don’t know for sure, but if it is, it’d be perfect timing! πŸ˜€ It’d be really interesting to see your thoughts on how Black Mesa did Half-Life, because a lot of things about it are different, and there’s much more to it than simply graphical upgrades. It’s an amazing piece of work, and I’d love to hear your opinions on how well it does things. Still, with it having basically the same story, tackling the expansions and what they add to the story first would make more sense, I think. Just my two cents. Looking forward to the next video (and hopefully a SoldierHawk-filled year…if we’re lucky). πŸ™‚

    • Oh I think it will be. Between my own personal resolution, and Patreon, I think it will be Hawk-filled indeed…

      And no worries. I don’t plan to bog myself down with too many series, unless I get to the point where this is something like a part-time job, and I can plan out like…Half Life Monday, Dark Souls Tuesday, etc. Til then a small rotation will be kept–2-3 games with occasional dabbling in others seems about right.

      The looking ahead is as much motivation for me as it is getting feedback from y’all, honestly (although the feedback is super important.) The current series’ have been going on for so long that I think actually planning an ending to them, and what comes next, is an important step. Just how my mind works.

      • Apologies! I hadn’t even seen the Patreon situation when I posted that. That puts a completely different perspective on things! It’s amazing how fast that number went up, warms my heart. You absolutely deserve it. πŸ™‚ But yeah, clearly I was wrong to doubt you (I’m terrible really, but that’s what 7 years of SoldierHawke does to someone, I suppose πŸ˜› ). Guess it’ll be a Hawk-filled year after all then. Now I’m REALLY excited! πŸ˜€

  5. I say you should do it. They fit sorta weirdly into canon, but Adrian Shepard from OF is something of a fan favorite, and Barney is Barney.

  6. If you’re going to play Black Mesa, will you also play Black Mesa: Hazard Course first?
    I worked on that with the PSR Team after I left the Black Mesa Dev Team. It’s essentially a remake of the Half-Life Hazard Course, so meant to be played before the real game anyway.

      • Thank you!

        I should probably take this time to mention that there are two versions of Black Mesa; a Mod version that you can download for free for Half-Life 2, and a Steam version that you have to buy on Steam.
        For the moment the Hazard Course is only compatible with the Mod version until Crowbar Collective(formerly the Black Mesa Dev Team) fix a few things that we need.
        Also ironically my name is only in the end credits of the Steam version of Black Mesa due to a mistake, even though everything I made is in the Mod version.

  7. I would very much recommend a couple of superb mods, namely Minerva: Metastasis and Portal Stories: Mel, for HL2 and Portal 2 respectively. Both are phenomenal, take place in the HL universe, have deep story and lots of cool references that I think you would appreciate more than most, and are free on Steam.

  8. I can heartily recommend The Talos Principle. It’s not only a fun and beautiful brain teaser, I think you could also get some good materials for posts about it, as it does ask some interesting questions.
    As for the Half-Life expansions, they are skippeble, but does feature some neat ideas. Whether those ideas are actually canon is kinda nebulous at this point. I seem to remember that Valve’s stance is that it is canon unless something they make contradicts it.

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