from www.shugashack.com

The Motivation
After talking to Sierra and Valve a few times through email, the decision was made to fly me up to Valve and take a look at Half-Life to give my impressions. It was made perfectly clear with Sierra that by flying me up there, it was not a guarantee of a good review, but a risk that Sierra was willing to take. These are my views of Half-Life.

The First Impression
Well, as I have seen Half-Life numerous times at various trade shows, seen multiple screenshots and movies on the net, and have talked to many of the developers before, I wasnt exactly shocked or anything when I first hopped in to the game.

Half-Life's "look" was as I expected. No big surprise, aside from the new crosshairs. (Get to that later)

The Story
Since it has been rehashed many times over here is my quick summary. You are a scientist (who is 30 minutes late for work) and show up for an experiment one day. You're kickin it, being cool chilling in the big room and doing your thing. Things go crazy with the experiment though and a pretty light show ensues. Lots of people die. You have these really cool flashes of different scenes foreshadowing things to come.

Basically, your dumb ass ripped a hole in space to an alien world and now they are running loose. You are not some rambo type though, and still dont even have a weapon. You run around panicked for a while with no way to defend yourself. (Bummer)

You are not alone, as there are guards and scientsts throughout the game who are in the same predicament you are in. The scientists are pretty much wussies though, but dont cap them in the head or anything. It seems to offend people. (The guards shoot at you)

The Interface
Control was fine. As many of you probably know if you read my page regularly, I have some serious issues with the Q2 movement code base. Half-Life as promised, is much closer to the Q1 movement. It did feel *slightly* more sluggish than Q1, but not nearly as bad as Q2. It is a hybrid of code between Q1 and Q2 code base, with what I would make a rough guess at probably 75% of the code gutted and rewritten. You can control your velocity in the air. Movement to the server is updated at up to 72fps. (As opposed to some *cough* other games.)

You can of course run, jump, crouch etc. as with any 3D shooter. There are a few changes out there including a reload key, which I'm not exactly fond of. Why not hit the +use key when not near any usable items and save a key? Another new addition is the "superjump" which is if you hit crouch and then quickly release and follow it up with the jump key, you jump extra far (about double regular distance. Not much higher though). This will probably be one of the first moves that advanced players just use an alias for instead, but makes for some nice gameplay changes.

Weapon selection is done through cycling different numbers. Much like Doom2 when you had the single barrel and double barrel shotgun. A pretty little hud pops up whenever you are selecting weapons. Hit the 3 key a couple of times, then hit fire and you are good to go. Having to cycle through up to 4 weapons with a single number is a bit irritating however. I imagine there will be direct impulse keys to select weapons for players like us. :)

Oh! I'm Excited! MORE! --->

comments? email me at [email protected] Don't agree with me? Post your own editorial. :)

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