Half-Life 2 (Video Game) - TV Tropes
There are few better ways start off a list of alien-invasion movies than with " Independence Day. disgusting alien creatures (like the aptly named "headcrab "). The action star plays Bill Cage, a military public relations officer with no He's killed during combat, but that's not the end for Cage or "Edge of. Now, a lot of people here don't seem to understand the relationship between the An explanation if I may, it is pretty long and I'll post a tl;dr at the end: This sounds like the last thing someone would say as they get a Headcrab on them. . for the Combine's "invasion" is to acquire the resources they do not find elsewhere. I am really convinced that Half-Life 1 foreshadows the invasion of the Combine; and Now at the end of Half-life 1 you face Nihilanth; an alien creature who Aside from the wildlife of Xen (headcrabs, bullsquids, etc), the.
Sony was lacking any such mascot though and so Crash Bandicoot was born. Cast more in the mould of Sonic than Mario, players guided the mutated marsupial through the usual platforming tropes — collecting items, jumping on enemies, smashing boxes.
Xen and its relationship to the Combine
Groundbreaking visuals set Crash apart though, drawing players into an ever-deepening 3D world. A fierce showcase for the PlayStation's prowess, and compelling gameplay despite its simplicity.
Where previous titles in the genre had tied missions together with barely coherent narratives, Relic's space opera told a heart-rending story of galactic refugees fleeing persecution to find their ancestral home. From the initial genocide that sees the death of millions to the final conflict with the Taidan empire, Homeworld made you a part of its tale.
Enormous space battles threw fighters, frigates and destroyers together in spectacular fashion, while the sparse, endless beauty of space was perfectly captured by the striking visuals and Paul Ruskay's superb score. Super Mario Galaxy 2Wii On the surface, it's hard to see where Galaxy 2 improved on its predecessor.
It still offered the same core formula of tumbling around planetoids of varying size, gobbling up power-ups and chasing coveted Power Stars. The fact that Mario could now turn into rock couldn't account for this sequel's placement on this list. No, it was the re-introduction of Yoshi, Mario's iconic dino mount, that reinvigorated the game.
There are few purer joys in gaming than the child-like glee of snaffling up goombas with an excitable sauropod, then spewing them out as projectile weaponry. Yoshi, we salute you. A brilliantly crafted squad-based shooter, its assortment of bizarre weapons, versatile game modes and numerous maps made it a joy to play. Two things help Valve's offering shine though.
One, its wild array of character classes lent a rare but genuine vein of humour — the deranged, bonesaw-wielding Medic being a particular favourite. The second was community. From its earliest roots as a mod for the original Half Life to its subsequent free-to-play status, Valve incorporated player feedback into the game, making for an experience gamers felt uniquely part of.
League of Legends The spiritual successor to Defence Of The Ancients, LoL took the MOBA formula mainstream, gaining more than 32 million players to become the most widely-played online game in the world, one with a fierce professional scene.
The simple premise kill creeps, kill towers, kill champions, kill nexus belies a deeply tactical experience — albeit one with a baffling lexicon and an unforgiving community. Once you know your Junglers from your AP Carries and can successfully push a lane, though, there's little to rival this for competitive online play. Its giant SNES box, twice the size of its shelfmates, marked it as something different, something special.
Thankfully, the game inside didn't disappoint. Bounty hunter Samus Aran's third encounter with the alien Metroids was a sprawling, labyrinthine journey, far outclassing its peers in scope. Guiding Samus through the bowels of planet Zebes, all but lost to xenobiological terror, demanded pixel-perfect platforming skills and weapon accuracy. With a surprisingly complex story albeit one owing a lot to Alien and a haunting musical score, it stands as one of Nintendo's greatest achievements.
It's an oppressively bleak experience but one that engulfs you entirely; the fragility of your character and the many perils of The Zone making this one of the most genuinely frightening video games to appear on the PC. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward SwordWii Although Skyward Sword didn't really move the core Zelda experience forward — not until 's A Link Between Worlds would the tired formula of 'enter dungeon, get item, beat boss with item, repeat' be overhauled — it made up for it by being drop dead gorgeous.
Lush swathes of rippling colour filled this version of Hyrule, as Link travelled between his stunning aerial home of Skyloft to the dangerous lands below. Impressive motion controls also helped elevate this entry above its familiar structure, making for one of the last great games on the Wii. Breaking the character away from his two-dimensional roots, 3D Realms created an anarchic, irreverent title blithely unconcerned with a coherent story but boasting some of the slickest FPS action yet seen.
The game was bursting with movie references Army of Darkness and They Live among the biggest influences and unapologetically crass, with Nukem offering singles to jiggling pole-dancers and turning pig cops into bacon.
The immensely entertaining 'Dukematch' multiplayer mode prompted eager gamers to cart their old desktops to friends' houses to mix it up via serial cable link-up — trip mines and air ducts providing endless hours of gib-happy fun. BloodlinesPC The second PC game to be based on White Wolf's role-playing universe, Bloodlines was as blessed by inspiration as it was cursed by circumstance.
Rushed out by Activision after developer Troika Games fell behind schedule, it was released in a semi-finished state on the same day as Half Life 2 with which it shared Valve's Source engine.
Despite all that, Bloodlines was 's stand-out RPG, featuring an early open world and embracing the essence of what it must feel like to be an urban vampire unleashed on nocturnal LA.
After Troika disbanded, the team worked unpaid to squash the bugs and the passionate Bloodlines community picked up where they left off. Triumph from adversity for sure, but what could it have achieved with the full support of its publisher?
Max PaynePC Forget the disappointing and disappointingly short follow-up, the dreadful movie adaptation and even the genuinely good threequel from Rockstar Games ten years later, because the original slo-mo shooter is where it's at.
So enjoyable that you'd replay levels over and over just to headshot ever last goon in bullet time, this black and white neo-noirsterpiece was stuffed full of gritty one-liners and despicable bastards to kill, with artistic flourishes like the graphic novel pane "cut scenes" and the final kill bullet cam the icing on the cake.
The game was first devised in — four years before The Matrix brought bullet time to the masses. The developers realised comparisons with the Wachowskis' film were inevitable, though, and opted to embrace the similarity, peppering the game with Matrix references such as the big lobby shootout.
Improving on its precursor by adding playable Jedi and actual space battles, the fast-paced mix of shooting and galactic conquest was one of the most authentic Star Wars games in tone and execution.
Placing guns in four players' hands, the game set you loose in a city overrun by the dead, reliant on one another for survival. Excruciatingly tense, with some brilliant set-pieces usually involving a loud noise and a screaming rush of sprinting zombies Left 4 Dead invited you to play out a Romero movie first-hand, spicing up the action with the occasional super zombie — the witch and the tank being particularly nasty examples.
The intangible 'director' AI ensured endless replay value as well, scattering weapons and choke points on a whim so you never knew quite what you were getting into. Heavy RainPS3 Say what you will about David Cage but with Heavy Rain the Quantic Dreams founder came as close as anyone has to realising that holy grail of an 'interactive movie'.
The controls were simplistic and occasionally awkward by design, we might point out but the connection between player and game has rarely been as evolved or involving. Pushing through the crowd to find your missing son, driving against traffic at the behest of a serial killer, being strapped down and tortured by man with a drill — the sheer panic that Heavy Rain managed to convey was a revelation to many gamers.
This was a game with real consequence, where screw ups had to be borne and the repercussions endured — a key element tragically missing from Quantic Dream's follow up, Beyond: The gratuitous nudity might have grabbed all the headlines but look beyond the photoreal boobs and you'll find a gripping murder mystery and a milestone in pixel-powered storytelling.
Revelling in the simplicity of its gameplay — smash controller until opponent flies off the screen, repeat — Nintendo's third all-star button-bashing IP mash-up was a tornado of what-the-fuckery, boasting overwrought battle music, technicolour fireworks and ridiculous special moves. Here, portly blue penguin royalty King Dedede could summon dozens of Waddle Dees to destroy all before him.
Here, Ness could shoot meteors at the earth, Diddy Kong could fire peanuts at his foes as he jetpacked across a castle and Falco could plant a tank on someone's head.
Here, anything was possible. Grim FandangoPC LucasArts' Tim Schafer brought the world a piece of unpitchable brilliance in the late '90s with this one of a kind adventure game: Critics swooned, but almost no-one bought a copy, sounding the death knell of the story-driven puzzle genre and spawning a group of die-hard superfans worshipping the game's dark humour, bonkers but brilliant storyline and harder-than-a-cryptic-crossword riddles.
Nowhere else would a gun that fires marigolds be so frightening. Every year, each new game had a new set of cheap but brilliant unknowns to sign up, and internet forums thrived on finding free transfer strikers good for your first season guiding Gillingham to a fourth place first division glory.
Rio Ferdinand was a bargain in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the PatriotsPS3 Hideo Kojima is one of a handful of game developers who can rightly be called an auteur, and Metal Gear Solid 4 his oft-impenetrable magnum opus.
Bordering on the avant-garde in places, MGS4 can rightly be accused of being overly cinematic, with lengthy cut-scenes the largest stretching to a near feature-length 71 minutes dragging events out more than absolutely necessary. No one can deny the game's ambition, though, with a truly epic if somewhat hard to follow storyline through which Kojima delivered a thoughtful treatise on the escalating costs of war and the individual sacrifices required to wage it.
A heroic undertaking in scope and scale — though one featuring more frying eggs than was absolutely necessary. Unlike its disappointing sequel, Dragon Age bestowed the freedom to wander the world and tackle the various sections in any order you liked, whether it was routing darkspawn in the Deep Roads or battling demons in The Fade. Alastair was a little irritating and the Dalish Elf origin story a little bland but minor faults aside this was as close as you could get to Baldur's Gate on a modern console and for that we'll be forever grateful.
OkamiPS2 One of the greatest crimes in gaming history is that Capcom's breathtakingly beautiful Okami never quite found the audience it deserved. Presented in sumi-e inkwash visuals, the quest of the wolven sun goddess Amaterasu was a highlight of the PS2. Using a Celestial Brush to restore life and colour to the world was both a clever game mechanic and an oddly transcendent experience. Perhaps structural similarities to Zelda caused players to overlook Okami, or that its roots in Shinto mythology proved too confusing, but creator Hideki Kamiya's opus still deserves attention — especially with an even prettier HD re-release on PS3.
System Shock 2PC It may have sold less than 60, copies when it was first released but System Shock 2 remains one of the best RPGs ever made and established a blueprint that shaped the triple-A titles we play today. Played Borderlands, Dead Space or Fallout 3? All of them owe a heavy debt to Looking Glass's space horror, not to mention the BioShock games — System Shock's direct descendants.
Chillingly voice-acted by Terri Brosius, the demented AI is one of gaming's greatest villains and the second act switcheroo one of its most shocking twists. It's a tragedy that due to complicated rights issues, BioShock is probably as close as we'll ever get to seeing System Shock in any modern form. Counter-StrikePC Starting off as a Half-Life mod made by a pair of enterprising computer science students, Valve's first multiplayer first person shooter soon turned into a competitive timesuck of epic proportions as hundreds of thousands of gamers were pulled into its vortex of Desert Eagles, dusty landscapes and sniper rifles so powerful they shot through walls.
A well-known trick was to swap different weapons in and out mid-load as it was quicker that waysomething that made life easier for the camping bastards who tended to rule most maps' roosts. Think of the words "Counter terrorists win" over a crackly radio — voiced by one of the game's co-creators, Jess Cliffe — and try not get misty-eyed over planting explosives on Bomb Site A.
Age of Empires II: The Age Of KingsPC That a nearly year old real time strategy game still ranks amongst the best in the genre only speaks to the sheer brilliance of Ensemble Studios' classic.
Despite hosts of technical improvements over the first game — sharper AI, more precise control of units, and the small matter of an entirely new game engine — Empires II remained accessible to newcomers and veterans alike. What really impressed though was the unfettered ambition. With thirteen different civilisations to guide, the single-player mode was expansive to say the least, while the multiplayer helped pioneer online gaming as we know it.
Actually, don't bother — it already happened, with 's Chrono Trigger. Designed by Final Fantasy's Hironobu Sakaguchi, with characters by Dragon Ball's Akira Toriyama and a soaring musical score by Yasunori Mitsuda and Nobuo Uematsu, the time-travelling saga stood leagues ahead of its counterparts.
Masato Kato's whimsical story spanned millennia, with a quirky cast — including a futuristic robot, a chivalrous frog knight, and a ferocious cavewoman — belying its emotional depths. With numerous endings and shocking twists, Chrono Trigger withstands the tests of time.
This is because after you've sliced up your first locust, it'll never leave you. Though light on depth, Gears Of War was heavy on fun, with the bloodthirsty and explosion-filled adventures of Marcus Fenix and his fellow COG crew spawning several sequels and resulting in whole years of gamers' lives spent on its magnificent multiplayer. Blocky and basic, it was a mix of super green grass, bright blue seas and blacker than black fog of war, but it still managed to tap into your innermost desires to discover bronze working and build granaries.
Weeks would go past, playing it. Analysing peace treaties would form most of your mid-meeting daydreaming, resulting in a next turn sneak attack and the concept of "the wheel" as your reward. Now developer politics, graphics upgrades and the availability of RAM bigger than a washing machine have changed the series forever, but the original still stands up. The result was a kiddier, funnier, more traditional adventure with a fighting system that didn't challenge the grey cells too much.
Monkey-tailed thief Zidane Tribale was the protagonist, but the break-out character was the silent black mage Vivi, all yellow eyes and shadowy face, whose inherent cuteness and plot-importance made him stand out as the inevitable tragedy unfolded. Metroid PrimeGamecube Cosmetically a first-person shooter, Prime retained the sense of adventure and exploration from the 2D Metroid titles, while perfectly transitioning Samus' morphing abilities into a 3D world.
And what a world it was, too — verdant alien rainforests, sterile research facilities, the almost Lovecraftian ruins of the ancient Chozo; everywhere Samus went was full of character and mystery. Although doubtlessly influenced by Microsoft's successful courting of adult gamers with Halo, Retro Studios' reimagining of the Metroid universe was proof the Gamecube wasn't just for kids. Serving up the greatest reinvention of the series since Super Mario 64, Galaxy made superlative use of the Wii's motion sensing controls to offer one of the most innovative entries in the plumber's storied career.
Fancy tech alone does not a great game make though — it was the sheer joy of bounding around imaginative planets, soaring through space as you're catapulted between them, and the smart introduction of a co-op mode that made Mario's orbital adventure really take off.
It's just debris from the crash. You continue, your torch flickering. An unspeakable terror formed of warped flesh shudders towards you, and no matter how many bullets you put into it, it won't stay dead Merging influences including Event Horizon and H. Lovecraft with an aeons-old mythology of its own, Dead Space is a masterclass in horror, and a highlight of survival gaming.
****UBER MEGA ULTRA SPOILAGE OF DEATH**** Discuss the ending of HL2 - Ars Technica OpenForum
Despite sequels descending into action games with a token jump scares, the original remains the best and most fearsome instalment.
Drake's DeceptionPS3 Pick a set-piece, any set-piece. You've got escaping a crashing cruise liner, escaping a flame-filled French chateau, escaping a crashing cargo plane and even a good old-fashioned British bar fight to chose from, not forgetting the fun and games our hero Nathan Drake has in the fabled "Atlantis of the sands" known as Ubar, which swiftly turns into a remarkably sandy run-and-gun shootout of monumental proportions.
Outgrowing Indiana Jones and the rest of the movies the series was inspired by, Uncharted 3 proved that games could rival cinema in the action-adventure stakes, and without a nuked fridge in sight. And who is the G-man? Well, in my theory, he could be an agent of this unseen enemy empire that is fighting the Combine.
He says he has employers, but humans seem to only be pawns to him. And he surely doesn't work for the Combine, since he has helped the humans fight them. Some people are wondering how they are still able to repeat codes and reports even when they have been zombified.
The answer is simple, when a Citizen was zombified, a bit of sound editing showed that they are saying "Help! Dear god help me! This sounds like the last thing someone would say as they get a Headcrab on them. As we know, or can at least assume, the Headcrab takes control of the host by biting into the victims skull and literally rooting itself into the nervous system.
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This is shown by how said persons face when de-headcrabbed, while mangled, is still left intact. It is highly probable that, as the headcrab takes control of the host, it puts most control into the motor skills. However, as the headcrab takes control of un-needed systems, such as the vocal system, it will put less effort in trying to control it. Therefore, we can assume that the host is undergoing a very chaotic and rigid nervous system breakdown in which their vocal chords are going out of control.
This is shown when Gordon attempts to get through Ravenholm. When hearing a Zombie in the distance, it usually is just mumbling or making random short cries, but when said Zombie finds Gordon, it will begin to shamble at a higher speed, attempting to reach him.
This is when the zombie starts to cry out in agony, showing that more energy is going into the host. The Citizens reversed speaking is due to the chaotic nervous system, and usually, a human is able to speak out what is most on the mind. What was the last thing that was on the mind, or spoken, of this zombified citizen before it was controlled?
Well, that is obvious at this point. Now Overwatch Soldiers are different. Due to their augmented body and wiped mind, they are forced to think in a very protocol, and orderly form.
Take a look at how a Zombine runs. They seem to struggle, as if they are pulling a weight behind them. This is because the headcrab has to pull back the large, bulky, and heavy armor that is on the soldier, as well as control the Soldier itself. It has to use as much energy as possible to control this large, armored soldier to even get it moving. This is shown when the Zombine grabs his grenade to hold it up. Notice how it has to stop and pull it up, and then it can't even really run as fast as it use to without it?
The reason the Zombine's voice isn't completely jarbled is because, the Zombine once had such a protocol, brainwashed, disciplined way of speaking, that the Headcrabs nervous control simply couldn't jarble it completely. And what is shown in the video was probably the last thing it was saying as it was being zombified. Zombine speak more normal then regular zombies because Combine had a much more disciplined and brainwashed way of speaking, this way, Headcrab nervous take over couldn't even reverse it.
I've pondered this theory for many many years and there may be some holes. And everybody wants to know his motives. Well here it is. G-Man delivers the crystal to Black Mesa, and he knew what it would do to Earth, hence his famous quote, "Prepare for unforeseen consequences.
But how could they have known? Did G-Man and the Nihlanth plot this? Why would they be ready? It HAD to be pre-meditated. There are only three new weapons, including the pulse rifle, which is a sort of beefed-up energy rifle with a devastating secondary attack and a meaty sound to it.
Much more fun are the pheropod--otherwise known as "bug bait"--which allows you to summon and control vicious ant lions, and the gravity gun, which can be used to pick up and manipulate objects. The gravity gun is one of the great new features introduced by the game. Thanks to the new physics engine, it has all sorts of applications in and out of combat, and you'll spend a lot of time tinkering around with it.
It's just as useful for picking up and hurling a grenade back at an enemy as it is for solving any number of puzzles in the game. Most of these puzzles are clever but not too difficult, particularly if you've played previous shooters, like the original Half-Life. Half-Life 2 also features a fair number of jumping puzzles, though nothing on the frustration level of Xen in the original game.
The jumping puzzles are a weakness in Half-Life 2, but thankfully you can take a more aggressive approach and bypass most of the jumping altogether. The other noteworthy additions to the gameplay are vehicles, specifically an airboat and a high-speed buggy.
While these sequences offer a visual rush, they're also not too far removed from some of the rail sequences in the original Half-Life. In many instances, you'll be funneled down a narrow channel or road with little chance to explore or veer off the beaten path, battling enemies in a high-speed engagement. You'll then encounter an obstacle that requires you to jump out of your vehicle and solve a puzzle to proceed. The controls and physics in these sequences are a bit loose, but the vehicles are fun to drive, especially when you get some room to maneuver.
You'll be on your own during most of the game, but there are levels in which you'll have the opportunity to fight alongside allies, both alien and human. Some of the best team moments come later in the game, when you're battling the Combine in the streets and buildings of City 17, with large-scale battles going on between groups of humans and the Combine's huge, spiderlike striders.
You never really develop any attachment to your teammates, though, as they tend to be very disposable, and replacements are available at regular intervals. And teammates have a tendency to get in your way in cramped interiors--while they'll slowly move out of your way, it's still a little annoying. In addition to taking on teammates, you'll occasionally have the opportunity to set up sentry guns to assist you in defense. The toughest sequence that we encountered in the game involved setting up a handful of sentry guns in a defensive alignment, and then holding out against waves of incoming Combine soldiers.
The "bug bait" is one of the three new weapons in the game, and one of the most unique, because it allows you to control ant lions. Surprisingly, Half-Life 2's story is one of the most disappointing aspects of the game. The first half of the game feels a bit unfocused, while the second half seems rushed. Even worse, the story leaves behind a mess of unanswered questions, and it doesn't touch on any of the lingering questions left over from the first game.
Valve likes to leave tantalizing hints and tidbits everywhere in the game, but few of these actually develop into anything interesting, and by the end you're left wondering what the game was all about. In many ways, Half-Life 2 feels like the middle chapter in a much larger story, and it suffers as a result. Another surprise is the somewhat disappointing performance by the game's artificial intelligence. Even on the tougher difficulty levels, most of the humanoid enemies don't seem to show the same kind of intelligent behavior that they did in the previous game.
They'll seek cover and then peek out to fire, but invariably they'll charge at you, making it easy to take them down. And maybe it's due to some of the weapons being a bit overpowered, but most opponents don't present much of a challenge at all--a few rounds is usually enough to stop them. There are a few fearsome foes in the game, not the least of which are the larger ant lions, which will tirelessly pursue you while you frantically unload every bullet you have at them.
Then there's the strider, the foot-tall, walking, organic tank that fires devastating bursts and can spear you with one of its legs if you get too close. But for the most part, Half-Life 2 is a surprisingly easy game, even on the tougher difficulty levels. Case in point is the end of the game, which feels anticlimactic--you're given a horrendously overpowered weapon to use against relatively weak opposition. Your AI teammates can be very helpful in a fight, but they can get in your way indoors.
Half-Life 2 uses a checkpoint save system, allowing you to quickly restart at the last checkpoint if you die, and there's usually a checkpoint right before most of the game's combat zones. The checkpoint system is effectively employed throughout most of the game, and it allows you to immerse yourself into the experience without having to worry about saving the game constantly.
Saving the game manually is an option, and it's helpful in one or two passages where the checkpoints are spaced too far apart, but it also takes you out of the moment. Half-Life 2's presentation is extraordinary, thanks to the new Source engine.
Even though Half-Life 2 debuted a year later than originally anticipated, it is still very much a cutting-edge game, featuring state-of-the-art graphics technology. While Doom 3 features superior lighting and shadowing, it didn't really succeed at bringing a credible and cohesive world to life.
Half-Life 2 does, and the environments in the game are simply stunning, from the plazas and streets of City 17 to the rusted interiors of an abandoned factory. There's also some excellent level design in the game, including a deserted town full of deadly traps and the gaping interiors of an alien citadel. The engine does a great job of rendering both indoor and outdoor environments, and there's a lot of eye candy to absorb if you have the hardware to handle it.
Most surfaces nearly glisten with the latest shader effects, and the textures are sharp and richly detailed. One of the big new features is the incorporation of physics into the engine, and that has an effect on the visuals as well. Basically, everything moves and behaves as it ought to, so when you hammer a strider or a gunship with a rocket, it shudders and recoils from the impact.