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Posts Tagged ‘Half-Life 2’

Random Access

January 10th, 2005 No comments

A few random updates:

Finished Half-Life 2 over the weekend. A great game, but a very disappointing ending. Note to game designers: if I save the world, I want to receive some sort of payoff. Cheering throngs, a little virtual nookie, anything other than being put into storage until the inevitable Half-Life 3. It would’ve been nice to at least see a little of the invasion aftermath, or have an opportunity to punch the villainous Dr. Breen in the face a few dozen times. Man, I hated that guy.

A busy week for me: not only am I in the final full week of rehearsal for The Phantom Tollbooth, but Vic and I are taking Wednesday off to drive to Chicago and see the pre-Broadway run of Spamalot. This is Eric Idle’s musical adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, starring David Hyde Pierce, Hank Azaria and Tim Curry. The only time for which we could get tickets was a Wednesday matinee. Don’t know if it’ll be good, but it should be fun!

Thursday, the installers come to hook up Dish Network. We’d been talking about migrating from cable for some time. Vic doesn’t like the ever-rising rates; I don’t like the endless, annoying Insight Cable commercials and the fact that they moved the Sci-Fi Channel to the digital tier. So, as of Thursday we join the satellite crowd, which means that I not only get Sci-Fi again (just in time for the premiere of the new Battlestar Galactica series), but also finally have a chance to check out some of my station’s competitors, including BBC America and Noggin. And best of all, we’re getting a PVR (one of them fancy disc drive recordin’ thangs), so it’ll be much easier to catch my favorite shows.

Appropos of nothing, here are my favorite spammers of the weekend: Wmowg Guwc (say that three times fast), Eddy Ooont and Sprained J. Lexicography.

Half A Life Is Better Than None

January 3rd, 2005 No comments

Haven’t had a chance to update my blog over the long holiday week. Well, okay, perhaps I did have a chance or two, but somehow I kept getting sucked back into such diversions as Half-Life 2, a first-person shooter computer game that Vicky bought me as a Christmas gift.

I’ve never played the original Half-Life, so as far as I know, the name refers from the amount of time it took me to install five CDs, download the updates, create an online account, and wait for the damned thing to load. (My PC is well above the minimum specs for the game, yet the load times are still lengthy.)

Actually, coming into this cold simulates the experience of the main character, who is awakened by some creepy, suit-wearing alien into a post-invasion, vaguely European landscape in which jackbooted police and flying cameras monitor the tamed human populace. A little disorientation suits the mood; the player is trapped in a nightmare in which the other characters know him better than he knows himself.

The game veers through all manner of cinematic experiences, from a scary-ass stalk through a zombie-infested village to a firefight between a squad of resistance soldiers and faceless Combine troops. One of the best setpieces I’ve experienced to date involved crossing the underside of a massive girder bridge while being hunted by an alien helicopter.

The action is intense at times and the atmosphere can be downright frightening, except for one thing. You see, one of the extraterrestrial species is known as a “headcrab” because of its desire to engulf the head of a human host, turning it into a shambling corpse. All very creepy…or it would be, if the things didn’t resemble ambulatory Butterball turkeys! Having one scuttle my way reminds me that Thanksgiving is only 11 months away, and seeing one perched atop the neck of a zombie looks like nothing less than the episode of Mr. Bean in which Rowan Atkinson got his head stuck inside the neck hole of a plucked bird.

It’s a great game, and I can’t wait to get back to saving the planet. I can’t let those turkeys win.

Categories: Videogames Tags: , ,