Originally Posted by Kostaz
I've been putting off the HLs till now due to being aware of the series being "abandoned" midway-through by Valve and the debacle surrounding episode 3 or HL3. Nevertheless I decided my hunger for sci-fi could be satisfied with a fix by the critically acclaimed FPS series.
So far I feel let down. I realise that hindsight is 20/20 and that there are 14 years separating my playthrough and the game's release but I can't quite wrap my head around Half-Life 1's reputation. To put it simply, to me, the game's gameplay first and foremost, and its (comparative lack of) story/atmosphere as a sidenote indicated its nowhere near the timeless classic the ratings would suggest. My only possible explanation is that the innovating and the otherwise great aspects of the game were so widely adopted by the genre that part of the appeal of the original has suffered (kinda like Seven Samurai in cinema).
My critique has obviously nothing to do with the technical merits of the game. The graphics and the AI are in fact impressive for its age and the high res/poly version that I played looked like a 2002 game rather than a 1998 one.
Gameplay-wise however I expected something that sets it aside from both the other old titles I've played and the random FPS garbage I've layed my hands on throughout the years (I'm not very picky in this genre since the games are short). To my disappointment there wasn't much apart from the usual shooting, button pushing, airvent crawling, jumping platforms all in a very controlled environment and on-rails.
The story/atmosphere on the other hand appear almost nonexistent given how famous Gordon Freeman is as a character and how the HL franchise was supposedly heavy on the story side.