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Half Life 2 - Episode 2

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  • Half Life 2 - Episode 2

    What can I say?... I just completed Episode 2... and does it keep getting better? For a title that has, what some would call "sub-par graphics", this title still Impresses. I am not sure if it's the Puzzles , the flexible "Solve as you wish" style of play or the great characters (and Voice acting) that make it so special?

    The fact that a simple episode of HL2..has more straight SP gameplay then a full blown title like COD4 (whick I liked but was short) is impressive.
    I think what we see is the fact that Valve is producing/produced a Single Player game, with the elements to uphold that. Not a teaser to get you into multi-player mode.

    And if you haven't played Episode 2 yet.... the ending is GREAT..voice acting the last 60 seconds some of the best in gaming... and of course sets Valve up for Episode 3 (the Wrath of Khan..or something like that). .. And they don't even have to update the engine...!!

    Kudos to Valve for once again keeping this story line going... and going stongly. Now if we can just cap Dr. Magnuson (just one round maybe in the leg..?)....and maybe hook up with Alex... It would all be complete!!
    :)

    ..And if you haven't played any of the Half Life 2+ (or 1 for that matter)... then you aren't reading this..cause you Ain't a real gamer... (yeah..i said it...!)
    |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
    ..now where did I put my keys?

  • #2
    Re: Half Life 2 - Episode 2

    I played HL2 and it's Episodes for the first time with the release of the Orange Box.

    All I could say about HL2 EP2 is that it only upped an already mind blowing series. I agree, the end...Wow. It was intense. When eli took you aside to tell you to destroy it.

    I just loved it.
    Skud


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    • #3
      Re: Half Life 2 - Episode 2

      The orange box was also my first experience with HL, it was impressive, they do a lot with that engine.



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      • #4
        Re: Half Life 2 - Episode 2

        Amazing what they can do with an engine that is approx. 4 or 5 years old... Wow.. and it works for telling a GREAT story...
        |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
        ..now where did I put my keys?

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        • #5
          Re: Half Life 2 - Episode 2

          It's just over three years, dude.
          [volun2]
          NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
          Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
          <anmuzi> it is not permitted to have privacy or anonymity
          <LazyEye> yeah when I play on TG the server digs though my trash

          Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

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          • #6
            Re: Half Life 2 - Episode 2

            Oh..Sorry..I was counting Development time and pre-development time.. and the time they were on lunch break and such...
            |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
            ..now where did I put my keys?

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            • #7
              Re: Half Life 2 - Episode 2

              I think the engine looks outstanding considering basically anyone with a computer made since 2001 with almost any hardware from that date on can play it and have a pleasing graphical experience.

              That's why Valve leads the industry in this particular genre and nobody is even close to matching their sales figures and customer reputation for delivering a quality product.

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              • #8
                Re: Half Life 2 - Episode 2

                I just finished Ep. 2 this morning. What a great experience compared with Ep. 1!! I'm going to gush here a little bit because there were so many things I liked.

                Spoilers ahead

                First and foremost, I really liked the varied environments, particularly going into the antlion den to find the musk or whatever that Vortigaunt needed to help Alyx. The scenes where you were basically running from hole to hole trying to avoid the Guardian were some of the most intense I've ever experienced in a game. It also seemed like there was a nice mix of urban/rural settings for combat, in addition of course to the antlion den and the mines in the early part of the game.

                I thought the physics puzzle where you have to get the car was neat and different. Much better than the usual, move these boxes, barrels, etc. to counterweight this plank/ramp. Actually, the scale of the entire game felt larger. It was still very linear (which is good, a game like this needs to be linear to keep the story as tight as it is), but the environments and such felt much larger.

                They also worked the driving into the game in a much more appealing way than in the original HL2. Instead of long, drawn out driving sequences with brief side missions to open a gate or whatever, the driving bits were shorter and the side missions felt like a much more natural part of the experience (the ambush or the radio antenna where you first meet the Hunters come to mind). The final battle against the Striders was also an interesting use of the vehicle. At first I was annoyed that I had to trek all over the map in this car to fight the Striders. About half way through the battle I had a great AH-HA moment when I figured out that I could kill the Hunters by simply running them over, which made the car seem essential to the battle (since I had basically depleted all of my crossbow, shotgun and magnum ammo fighting them). I also must say it was a way more satisfying climax compared to Ep. 1 as well, where you simply had to battle -one- Strider with your rocket launcher before escaping the Citadel. It's just another thing that led to the feeling of scale the game provides.

                The first battle against the Hunters was very memorable. I loved how it built tension by locking you in that room while they pounded away at the doors with their blue bombs, or whatever they were. They seemed nearly impossible to beat at first too.

                The battle against the helicopter that's dropping all those mines have me another ah-ha moment when I figured out I had to fling them back at it. I wasted so much ammo before I figured it out. Also, I am not sure if it was a coincidence but when it blew up, the pilot's body literally landed right at my feet, almost like it was scripted. It couldn't have been though, right? Anyway, that was just a really satisfying battle watching the heli take more and more damage as I pounded away at it.

                It probably goes without saying that the plot advancements were very satisfying. You're provided with your first interactions with Advisors, which were awesome. I love the physics effects they have on the world around them, such as the final scene where the second one enters the building and basically bends in the walls and roof of the building as it approaches. The ending was a surprise. I didn't think they'd let him die, I thought DOG would come in and save him or something. Once he started saying "don't watch, Alyx, close your eyes" I knew he was going to die. The introduction of the Borealis and Magnusson were cool too. Magnusson is a dick, but I like him anyway. Interesting character.

                Finally, the big easter egg - did anyone notice the LOST reference in the White Forest base? I took some screenshots, maybe I'll post them later. If you saw it, you'll know what I'm talking about. If not, there's a DHARMA Initiative logo on the wall of the small room with the Vortigaunt in it before you enter Silo 2 to check on the "crow" problem. If you look closer, there's a dark room behind it with a computer monitor and equipment with the LOST numbers, just like in the hatch. Apparently Valve promised the writers of LOST they'd throw in some sort of shout-out to them in the game, and they made good on their promise.
                "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
                He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

                - Attributed to General George Patton, Jr.

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                • #9
                  Re: Half Life 2 - Episode 2

                  Yeah, I played on my brother's copy of HL2 and after getting to Ravenholm, I got annoyed with the game as I'm not so good with gore, and the tension was a bit too much for me. About 2 months later, I decided to finish the game just to find out what happens at the end. I loved it! I played it through again shortly before buying the Orange box, and enjoyed it even more. Episode one was a bit, meh, and the first level seemed like a 'Half Life 2 recapped, everyone liked the new gravity gun so let's bring it back' thing, which I thought a bit strange for a Valve game. Episode 2 on the other hand, was great all the way through! For an old (ish) engine, the graphics were great and it was exciting from the word go (the word occuring shortly after the Portal Storm). I really love the Hunters, and I agree with Evo Sinz that the first battle was epic, for me, better than the final battle. The achievements brought an added dimension of fun, trying to get as many as possible without spending too much time on them. I'd recommend the Half Life series to anyone.
                  Which reminds me, has anyone else seen this?. So cute!
                  |TG-Irr| westyfield

                  Sig pic by Sonic, avatar by Chalcas. Thanks!
                  Irregular since 2007.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Half Life 2 - Episode 2

                    Originally posted by Evo<^|SiNz|^> View Post
                    Finally, the big easter egg - did anyone notice the LOST reference in the White Forest base? I took some screenshots, maybe I'll post them later. If you saw it, you'll know what I'm talking about. If not, there's a DHARMA Initiative logo on the wall of the small room with the Vortigaunt in it before you enter Silo 2 to check on the "crow" problem. If you look closer, there's a dark room behind it with a computer monitor and equipment with the LOST numbers, just like in the hatch. Apparently Valve promised the writers of LOST they'd throw in some sort of shout-out to them in the game, and they made good on their promise.
                    There's already been a giant EP2 spoiler thread.

                    http://www.tacticalgamer.com/first-p...er-thread.html

                    I thought there was a non-spoiler thread as well, but I can't find it.
                    The Dirty

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                    • #11
                      Re: Half Life 2 - Episode 2

                      Originally posted by peardog View Post
                      What can I say?... I just completed Episode 2... and does it keep getting better?
                      To be honest, I thought EP 2 was a let down. The price is almost that of a full game and only about 6 - 8 hours playing time. The game play is good, the graphics are great. But, valve and these "episodes" are taking a turn in the wrong direction. The game play time is getting shorter and the prices are staying the same.

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