Why do I play Half-Life?

hqdefaultCarpe noctem my feathered flock! While trolling through some comments and messages, the following idea came in from Rob on Patreon:

Here’s a question, since you’re coming back to Half-Life again. You have a somewhat unique perspective on Half-Life because you played all of 1, spread over a while…and have now been partially through 2 on a blind run for quite some time. Obviously, you enjoyed 1 enough to start 2, and 2 is engaging you enough in some ways to keep you coming back to it. What engaged you about the first one, and is it the same things that are engaging you in the second?

It’s a deceptively fascinating question, at least to me. My initial knee-jerk response is, of course, I play it because that’s what I do. I started the series, I should finish it The sky is blue, dogs bark, and Hawk plays Half-Life. But, as Johnny Rico observed in Starship Troopers, “Fight because I’m an M.I.? Brother, you’re drooling like Dr. Pavlov’s dogs. Cut it out and start thinking!”

So I did. I started thinking. This article is the result of that thinking.

Continue reading

A Red Letter Day

So there’s this Steam group. And they’ve designated today A Red Letter Day. They call for everyone interested in info on Half-Life 3 to spend part of today playing Half-Life 2 as a “call for communication.”

Now, I doubt this will have much effect–Valve is known for taking their sweet time, and will release info when they release it. Still, I thought this would be fun, and I really would love to have Half-Life 3 waiting there for me once Episode 2 is complete.

I’ll be participating, but I don’t think I’ll have the actual video up until Monday or Tuesday. (I was hoping to have it up today, but you know how these things go. Best laid plans and all that.)

Anyway, join in and spread the word if you’ve a mind to.

What would you do?

So this was going to be the first Skyrim LP post, but then I got the following message from RipOffProductionsLLC:

Cut Beta Quote about the 7 hour war:

“There was an illusion of safety, for a time. And then the Citadels appeared. It happened in a split second, all over the world. A chunk would disappear from the center of a city, to be replaced an instant later by one of these… headquarters for the Combine. Invasion Central.”
-Eli Maxwell (later renamed Eli Vance, after General Vance[whose role in he plot was taken by Barny] was cut)

This also talks about the Citadel’s arrival on Earth, whether or not it’s still cannon is unknown but it makes sense.

Another peace of cut content said that the UN asked Breen to negotiate the surrender of earth, but that is on vary shaky ground.

But now let me ask you something, wouldn’t you do the same? To save the humanity from extinction at the hands(or whatever) of an alien empire? ‘The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.’

Well. For all my blustering about hating Breen and wanting to shove my (sadly non-existent in this game) M-4 up his rear end, I was NOT expecting to be confronted with the moral quandary he faced. I mean, Breen wasn’t a bad guy, or he wasn’t at Black Mesa. He’s not a bad or evil man, although I think he’s thoroughly misguided by this point. Whether he’s taking advantage of the situation or simply being misled by the Combine, I don’t know.

Continue reading

But who will be left for them to rule?

So apparently the Combine have weaponized headcrabs. This is not something I had foreseen. (And apparently some of these headcrabs come pre-stocked with explosives, but that’s another blog entry.)

Aside from just being a cool idea, let’s step back for a moment and think about this logically. When humans conquer something, what’s the usual objective? Power, right? (Not that there aren’t other motives, but we’ll get to those in a moment.) If the Combine is launching zombie-creating headcrabs at people–rendering entire areas inconvenient to reclaim at best–then this means one of two things: they don’t care about humans, or they don’t care about land. (Or maybe they care about neither one.) Maybe we’ll learn which later on–maybe the Combine actually will send troops in to clean out the area. Or maybe they’ll be content to let all the non-City areas become post-apocalyptic nightmares, which is exactly what will happen if they use this weapon regularly.

Continue reading

Set me straight

Alright, I’m usually one for guessing and postulating theories, but this is driving me crazy: can someone (without spoiling me) PLEASE explain the difference between the “Overwatch” and the “Combine”? I’ve heard both in-game, and people seem to use the terms interchangeably to refer to the alien bads. But I like to be precise in my terminology, so what’s the difference?

Half Life 2: While you were sleeping

So at this point we (and by “we” I mean “I”) still know next to nothing about what the hell is going on here. Which I don’t actually mind, since I’m in the exact same boat my buddy Gordon is right now–last thing he knew, he was put in stasis (teleported?) by this weird alien creature (after apparently being tricked into committing genocide on an entire race and conquering a planet for him), and the next, he’s woken up in some kind of future (parallel?) reality, witnessed horrible things, beaten, and forced (again) to fight and kill for his life, while still having almost no clue as to what’s actually happened.

That is a bad effin’ day, guys.

Okay, now that I’m actually thinking about it, parallel reality doesn’t make sense–other characters have reference the Black Mesa incident, and everyone has recognized Gordon. And if you listen to G-Man’s speech, he says, “your hour has come again” [emphasis mine]. I think that makes it pretty clear we’re dealing with the future, here–a future that is at least partially a direct result of whatever happened at Black Mesa–and more importantly, a future that has grown out of Grodon’s actions on Xen. (That’s kind of a big assumption on my part right now, but it feels like a natural one.)

Continue reading