Sunday, October 19, 2008

Half-Life 2 commentary

So I've decided to start a commentary on HL2. Inspired by Phil Reed's commentary, I decided to do one.  However it couldn't be the same sort of thing, for two reasons.  He's already done it (doing it) and I'm not that wordy.  I'm going to try to focus on the level design itself, what would it be like if it was just normal, how the Combine are using it now, and some of the puzzles.  Be Warned, if you haven't played this yet, there may be spoilers

Ok, so a bit of background before we start. I bought The Orange Box of Steam the other month (late last month) and have been playing Half-Life 2.  It runs really well on my machine, X-Fire reports 120 fps, I have everything on High.  Oh, and here's a tip I learnt from the Steam forums, if your card can't do 6x Anti-Aliasing, it won't even try.  Which actually makes sense.  So I put it down to 4x AA and now I have some atleast.  Makes it look alot better.

Spoiler space.

A space for spoilers.

What? no no not quite.

Yeah, I'll get to the content later...  Eight <p> </p>'s later in fact.









To start:  I am up to the chapter Sandtraps.


(Actually this isn't the beginning of the chapter, but the beginning was inside another tunnel so not really much to tell)

This whole section from Highway 17 chapter seems to use tunnels to separate battles and levels; they also provide a convenient point for the designers to load in the next map and autosave the game...

I'm going to have to skip some parts here as I didn't grab screenshots of everything I wanted to and couldn't be bothered to go back and get them..

 d2_coast_090003 This little gem is another electricity puzzle (turn on something, give something power, turn off something etc.).  It's pretty, though I wonder what that thing on the wall is.

And, oh look it's another battery, in a car, actually a good spot really:


Stay on the rocks!  This section is quite nice, a change from the shooting, mainly because if you fall, you will die.  F6 is your friend.  It seems a relatively well designed, normal looking beach, strange but believable.  I mean I have been to beaches that are that rocky in parts and sandy in others.

d2_coast_110010d2_coast_110011 d2_coast_110012

That is all for now, mainly because that's all I'm up to now.  At some point I might go back and comment on the earlier chapters, or particular sections.  Feel free to request any.