Tuesday, 26 August 2014

First Impressions: Half-Life

This is one of those games that I decided to start playing for a little while before doing something else. I then played it for two hours straight (and would have kept playing if I hadn't gotten stuck on what I was meant to do).

Right, so for those of you that don't know, Half-Life follows the story of the silent protagonist, Gordon Freeman and the Black Mesa. From what I have seen so far, the Black Mesa Research Division are experimenting with something and accidentally create a bunch of zombie like creatures that take over the station. All's good so far then.

But before all this happens, you get to experience one of the best intros I've seen in a long time. Basically, you are on a train (well, more like a cable car) that is going towards your workplace while an automated voice sets the scene and tells you how to stay safe on the train. But that's not all as you an also look around and see the station which (while not beautiful, graphics-wise) is absolutely massive. I don't know why but this just really impressed me.

Anyway, the rest of my playthrough involved me being introduced to the zombie things which I have decided to give names to:
Face-Latcher: a roast chicken like creature that jumps onto your face.
Zombie Scientist: this is what happens when a Face-Latcher and a scientist meet in unholy matrimony.
Sonic Dogs: these dog-like creatures can set off a sonic boom that does a lot of damage (but you can hit the creatures in order to stop their attacks).
Electric *?!£$%: these are the bane of my life as their electricity can one shot you.
Vomiter: this tentacle clad creature can spit acid at you and can take a lot of bullets.
Friend Killer: these creatures like to hang down from ceilings and dangle their tongues in the paths of unwary scientists.
Automated Gun Machine: this is a Black Mesa 'defence' mechanism that can also kill you. Run very quickly is the answer.

And to kill these abominations, you have at your disposal:
A crowbar: surprisingly very helpful, especially as it doesn't need ammo.
Pistol: this small gun can be used to kill enemies that you don't want to get close to (three shots to kill a Face-Latcher)
Shotgun: oh yeah, let's bring the hurt! Just make sure you reload before going into battle (seriously, just do it. It's important).
Grenade: BOOM!

As well as these creatures, you also have to face some great puzzles and even some platforming sections.

However, the main thing about this game is what it did to me. It actually shocked me... and terrified me. Having 9 HP and crawling into a hole that you know leads to a room full of zombie's is nerve wrenching stuff. But coming out of that alive is just brilliant.

Overall, Half-Life looks to be a great game with some terrifying aspects all nicely gift wrapped in fluid controls and an interesting story. Ready for another two-hour (or more) stint?

Goodbye for now, Harry


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