B1 Intermediate 1803 Folder Collection
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I’m not a chemistry guy by any means, but I do know that the half-life of a substance
refers to the time it takes for half of its mass to decay…or something. Anyways, I promise
this is a clever joke, because Half-Life definitely hasn’t decayed at all in the fifteen years
since its release. Developed by Valve and initially published by Sierra Entertainment,
Half-Life represents both the incredible Valve track record to come and, perhaps most importantly,
a landmark achievement for the first-person shooter genre, and the video game industry
as a whole. Half-Life did, and still does, amazing things,
made no less impressive by the fact that this was, in fact, a developer’s first game.
One of the most noticeable aspects of the game, still from a modern viewpoint, is its
approach to storytelling. Loss of control over protagonist Gordon Freeman almost never
happens. Information is certainly told to the player, but never through cutscenes. Sure,
certain scientists and guards are necessary in order to open certain doors, but you never
have to sit and listen to the information they give, even if it is helpful and possibly
interesting. Luckily, the game’s plot is interesting. Playing as one of the most beloved
protagonists in video game history, Gordon Freeman the theoretical physicist, you try
to escape the desert Black Mesa base after an experiment goes horribly wrong and opens
up a hole through the dimensions, allowing a hostile alien race to pour into the facility.
Add in some government corruption with hostile marines, and a strange man in a suit, and
you’ve got yourself an intriguing reason to continue playing.
Obviously, that plot and storytelling is only a complement to the gameplay, however extraordinary.
But fittingly, the gameplay is fantastic. Valve shooters’ still-characteristic and
now-unique inability to aim down sights is present, barring special snipers and the like.
But a slight auto-aim system certainly lessens any form of difficulty the missing mechanic
may have caused. However, the enemies and sparse ammo refills see to it that the game
isn’t just a walk in the extremely dangerous military base. On normal difficulty, Half-Life
can be quite the challenge, but it’s never unfair. Manual save states and forgiving autosave
checkpoints make sure the difficulty is confined to actual skill and game design, not due to
overall game structure. And, of course, there’s no self-regenerating health here. Fortitude
reinforcement can instead be found in health dispensers along many walls, and the HEV suit,
powered by batteries and energy dispensers similar to base health pick-ups, acts as a
second layer of protection against the alien and lead-filled attacks. And, unique among
many first-person shooters, Half-Life’s gameplay sometimes takes on the air of a platformer,
a welcome addition for anyone tired of the modern, and even other classic, shooters.
Of course, there’s much more that makes Half-Life great. Numerous enemy types, weapons
including the iconic crowbar, a typical assault rifle, organic alien weapons, and crazy sci-fi
energy guns, somehow unique environments in the same military base, and just the shooting
feel add even more appeal to the game’s design. There’s a reason Half-Life is not
only considered one of the best games of its genre, but of the industry as a whole. Find
the original game, the PS2 version, Half-Life: Source, the Black Mesa mod, whatever, but
play this game. I always feel uneasy before playing a game so widely beloved, but this
is one that lives up to the high expectations. This is Half-Life for PC.
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CGR Undertow - HALF-LIFE review for PC

1803 Folder Collection
阿多賓 published on April 11, 2013
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