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Old 09-15-2012, 06:34 PM   #26
Amras.MG
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This looks fantastic. If I was good at shooters I'd totally download this.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:35 PM   #27
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I'm shit at shooters and I manage.

I think the hardest part is really figuring out just what the hell to do next, since most of the time the paths aren't entirely obvious.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:49 PM   #28
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I feel like Valve games (experience: HL1, HL2, Portal) tend to be fairly linear. There's certainly a "figure me out! " component to them but I feel like it's always puzzle based. Like ...


Let the straight line represent the linearity of the game but let the beads represent the roadblock puzzles you keep encountering. One may be a horde of aliens that have to be defeated with limited ammo and no health packs in the area. Another may be a puzzle involving valves or switches on an electrical or hydraulic apparatus. Like, you may come to a dead end, backtrack, look for other ways to go, find nothing, return to the dead end, and finally notice that there is what looks like a rusty gate in the water. You initially assumed it was just Valve decor but now you wonder ... *look for shit to interact with* ... oh look, a button! *press* *gate opens* Well that was fuckin' easy. Too bad I wasted 30 minutes like a jackass wandering back and forth between where I started and this dead end before figuring it out! >_>

But like, aside from these roadblock puzzles, I feel like Half-Life and Portal are pretty darn linear. Your human instinct is to always press forward so that immediately rules out one of the six directions (backward). And you rarely can go up or down so that rules out two of the other six (up, down). And of the three you're left with (left, forward, right) they're really all part of the same whole which is forward (left-forward, forward-forward, and right-forward). And then what happens on most maps is something like this:
  • the map: a road with grass to either side, some random houses, etc.
  • the first apppearances: oh gee! This is so open-ended! This is so not linear!
  • but as you explore forward-left: you hit a fence which runs ~infinitely both ways. That ends that.
  • and as you explore forward-forward: you trigger some heavy enemy resistance which if you try to muscle past it you just can't
  • so you press forward-right and ...: bingo! The closest building is naturally the one you think to try first, duh, and lo and behold it's the intended destination! (Note that if you had boldly passed it up to explore the other buildings you'd have found that they were all decoration with zero doors you could actually pass through.)
Agree? Disagree? I recently (half a year to a year ago ... okay, so maybe not recently ^^; ) beat Half-Life 2 and that was my experience with it, and Portal was even more linear (obviously), and I feel like I remember HL1 being equally linear but you tell me.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:54 PM   #29
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Whoa, my computer makes the requirements. Maybe I should give HL a new shot.

Then again, Torchlight 2 is so close. And BG:EE. And... FFFFFFFFFF

In terms of where to go: I always liked that about Half Life. No goddamn arrow pointing at exactly what I need to do to blow up the giant monster. Instead, I need to figure shit out.

If you were ever lost in the woods and needed to somehow survive or find your way back to civilization, there's no giant arrow showing you where home is. So I always felt it was a nice way to be at least a bit realistic. In addition, it also adds to some fear and panic of getting lost in the game without doing something stupid to confuse you. You could get ambushed by aliens or soldiers and starts running away and completely forgetting where to go. It added to the game more than it really took away.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:41 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptor Jesus View Post
In terms of where to go: I always liked that about Half Life. No goddamn arrow pointing at exactly what I need to do to blow up the giant monster. Instead, I need to figure shit out.

If you were ever lost in the woods and needed to somehow survive or find your way back to civilization, there's no giant arrow showing you where home is. So I always felt it was a nice way to be at least a bit realistic. In addition, it also adds to some fear and panic of getting lost in the game without doing something stupid to confuse you. You could get ambushed by aliens or soldiers and starts running away and completely forgetting where to go. It added to the game more than it really took away.
I've grown more toward your opinion of how these games operate, but it was really hard to break that transition initially.

One of the big beefs I had against Quake (independent of my other, fully valid criticisms of it) was the Lava Golem boss. You couldn't kill it with regular weapons. It was the second puzzle-based boss ID ever implemented and for people who grew up on "if it bleeds, you can kill it" it was really tough to figure out.

Valve even brought this up on the Portal developer's commentary, that players tend to never "look up". I spent years playing Quake and using the cheat engine to skip levels because I could not beat the Lava Golem, and only once while screwing around with flying on the upper deck did I realize pushing both buttons electrocuted the monster.

At least with the Icon of Sin, the elevator needed to kill it was going up and down in front of the player, and the exposed brain was really apparent. It wasn't so with the Lava Golem.

In sum, expecting to have to figure out a puzzle, or expecting there to be a solution you have to invent yourself, was a big part of what made Half-Life great. The only problem is if you go in not expecting to see a puzzle or believe you have full understanding of the game rules/operations.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:19 AM   #31
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I have to say, despite being shit at it, I really do like the feel and immersion of HL. Like Loki said, you do have to figure shit out on your own, and it makes it feel a lot more like you're actually stuck in the pit of this facility and in legitimate danger. There's (generally) no big glowy mark or indicator telling you where to go. You have to analyze the room and the environment and work with what you've got.

>Talon

Yeah, I agree, but what I was saying was more "I really don't know what to do to get to the next place" instead of "omg i dunno what to do next~". Valve games are all very linear, and frankly, I actually kinda like that because it creates the illusion of freedom (for the most part) while molding a story around it. I feel like Valve's narratives are really really cause-effect driven and if you deviated from that, you'd break the immersion.

I generally don't like linear games (here's lookin' at you, FFXIII) but Valve pulls it off well, because they just kind of give you a goal and make it seem like you have a choice but sorta nudging events in a way to funnel you down a set path.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:58 PM   #32
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Okay, played part of the way through the first chapter or whatever it's called.

Firstly, it's gorgeous! Original HL was a bit ugly. HD package made it good enough to last for the rest of time IMO. But Black Mesa makes it amazing!

Some of the stuff was changed. I think the train ride was shorter. The crowbar was moved to slightly later. I couldn't find my original first pistol either. I like that they included HL2 things into Black Mesa like throw flares at monsters to light them on fire. Being able to move garbage out of my way instead of just outright smashing it if nice.

It was also nice that they balanced out the genders in the lab. Now Black Mesa is less of a sausage fest then it used to be. I guess it became an equal opportunity establishment after like 14 years lol. Also, the African American guards helped round out the Barney cloning. Did they put Otis (the fat guard from Opposing Force/Blue Shift) into Black Mesa?

My only criticism is that the flashlight didn't work. It might just be my crappy computer put on ass-terrible settings, but the flashlight seemed to only light up some surfaces. I couldn't see anything in the dark. The floor didn't light up. The walls didn't reflect light. Only some doors got a bit brighter.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:57 PM   #33
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You might be able to report that sort of thing to the developer's forums or something and see if they'll be able to patch that if it's a frequent issue.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:36 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kori Gotcha View Post
You might be able to report that sort of thing to the developer's forums or something and see if they'll be able to patch that if it's a frequent issue.
Well...

A) I'm not really playing through the whole thing. I'm just checking it out.
B) I haven't seen other people with this issue on their forums or ours (albeit ours is only Jeri tmk)
C) My computer is pretty shitty.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:31 PM   #35
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I've noticed that the Flashlight doesn't work that well but I feel like it might be an engine problem since I kinda remember this being a problem in HL2.

It also seems to be having some trouble in vents sometimes, I've noticed.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:05 PM   #36
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Hmmmm. I didn't notice that problem on my (now dead) laptop when I played through HL2. Possibly related to video drivers...
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