HL2: Episode 1 – Time’s Up. Let’s Do This! GORDOOOON FREEEEEEEEMAN!

Heeey check it out, the new episode is up:

And new episode means (at least since there was some serious story here!) a new post!

First of all, holy shit, they aren’t kidding when they said sequel. Although to be honest, this feels less like a sequel, and more like…a continuation of the exact same game, seeing as it picks up right where HL2 left off. I imagine it didn’t feel that way back in the day, when you had to wait so long for the game to be released, but as it is? For me, it’s just like starting a new chapter. Which isn’t a bad thing.

What a way to start it out though. Man oh man. Not that the vorts haven’t shown their worth before, but until now they’ve been…mostly dispensers of cryptic information they really shouldn’t have. NOW we start to get how they knew, what they can do, and how powerful they can potentially be. To be fair, we don’t know how much of what they did is possible simply because they are vorts, and how much was allowed by the…odd circumstances of the portal explosion; if I were a betting person, I’d say it was probably the portal explosion that allowed the vorts to save Alyx and Gordon, and to fend off G-Man; if they could just do that at will, and if they’re truly on our side and oppose the Combine, I don’t see why they wouldn’t have just teleported us, or themselves (or a bomb, or something!) before now.

G-Man’s reaction to his failure (the first time we’ve ever seen him fail at…anything, I think) is quite interesting. We know Gordon is important to him, or at least his employers, but it’s true we don’t know just HOW important. Certainly he’s desperately important to the human race, but G-Man’s rather subdued (if acerbic) reaction of, “we’ll see about *that”* isn’t in keeping with someone for whom the ‘loss’ of Gordon is a huge blow. I suppose he could just be good at keeping his composure (assuming…whatever he is HAS composure), but I suspect not.

But before we jump too far ahead past the beginning, let’s remember the *very first* thing we see in the whole game: a recap of one of Breen’s many casts–the one addressed directly to Gordon, and, though it’s not the one I spent way too many words dissecting in a previous article, it is a very vital bit of dialog that ties in very well with the theme of his previous one. The most important bit (and the one they replay at the beginning of Episode One) is:

Tell me, Dr. Freeman, if you can: you have destroyed so much — what is it exactly that you have created? Can you name even one thing?… I thought not.

This is partially unfair of course (not that it’s meant to be fair, since it’s Breen talking), since Gordon has basically woken up with no idea what happened, been hailed as a messiah, and thrown into the middle of a rebellion he barely understands. But in another way, it’s not. Remember when I went on and on about Gordon making people’s choices for them? Well, in destroying the Citadel, he did it again, in the worst possible way. He condemned everyone in City 17 to die, Combine and rebel and civilian alike. The fact that things did/will work out isn’t the point; the fact that he did it, is. I mean, I guess the vorts sort of are FORCING him to fix it, since they dropped him RIGHT OUTSIDE OF THE BOMB-LIKE CITADEL instead of somewhere safe (or directly in its core, if that’s the way to stop the detonation), but STILL.

And speaking of Breen: “host body?!” What the HELL? hat body, and where the heck is he escaping to?! I mean, I can guess, but…are we gonna go chase him to the Combine homeworld or something? Because that would be kind of awesome.

I guess we’ll find out. After we clean up the mess we’ve made of the Citadel.





3 responses to “HL2: Episode 1 – Time’s Up. Let’s Do This! GORDOOOON FREEEEEEEEMAN!

  1. The name of the HL1 chapter immediately after everything goes to hell is quite simply “Unforeseen Consequences”. Our friend Gordon has been unintentionally dooming test facilities/cities/the entire world since his Black Mesa days. It’s arguably one of the central themes of the whole series. Episode 2 in particular really hammers it home with, well, I’m certainly not going to spoil that moment. Kind of hard to wait for you to get to that part, actually, but Episode 1 has plenty of great moments of its own.

  2. the whole G-Man and Vorts situation is definitely one of the more interesting plot-points, and there’s one vary interesting detail connected to it that I won’t explain quite yet sense it’s one of those “I didn’t notice until after playing through the game a few dozen times” sort of background details.

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