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March 4th, 2007, 16:25
Originally Posted by curious View Post
games like halo are the one of the main reasons i shy away from most fps. from the few hours i played it and watched it played on a friends console when it came out i saw it nothing more than a 'polished and fun arcade game' and had i played it when i was in that phase i would have enjoyed it thouroughly. modern 3-d pc games though have crushed any desire to devote what sparetime i have to the genre. at least if i game is going to force me to kill things and not see who the character is i'd at least like some decent dialogue from the game's protagonist whether with text or vocals. to me that is an inherent 'flaw' with any first person game that it must strive to overcome. i mean how many movies are told through a first person perspective? in games i don't play them as 'i am' the charcter but as i am in a symbiotic releasonship with the character. if there are not alot of options in a first-person game other than 'how to' kill to npc a-z then i at least want some dialogue from the character to do some explaining as i don't fancy myself as a person who even needs a fantasy of killing people. so with the benifit of immersion from first-person games comes, to me, the need to add a lot more to what is basically assuming the role of weapon scope rather a character who is brandishing one. to many this probably seems a silly notion and that game 'perspective' has only visual differences, but its how i feel.
Halo was very repetitive and could with it's content have been shortened with about 3/4 in length without loosing anything of value. The final level was nice though, very epic.

No One Lives Forever 1/2, Deus Ex, System Shock 2, Jedi Knight 1/2/Academy, Clive Barker´s Undying, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth and maybe Alien VS Predator 2 are examples of well made First-Person Shooters that feeds atmosphere and a well written storyline throughout the game. None of theese neglects to tell the story of the character you play and in many cases show them in 3rd person during cutscenes. They also have witty dialogue and good voice acting. Thoose who claims that they enjoy a good story, interesting characters/personalities and plottwists should give them a chance. Play them on easy if you wish.

It's games like them that make me bother about shooters.
Last edited by JemyM; March 4th, 2007 at 16:44.
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March 4th, 2007, 16:29
Originally Posted by Asbjoern View Post
Half-Life 2.
Half-Life 2… hmmm.
Halo was before HL2 with squad control and vehicles.

HL2 brought the gravity gun and physics but was a 100% linear themepark. Except for beautiful maps it was as dull as Dark Messiah of Might & Magic.

Isnt Gordon Freeman supposed to be a scientist? He's a mute and avoid to use his brains as much as possible.
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March 4th, 2007, 17:06
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Half-Life 2… hmmm.
Halo was before HL2 with squad control and vehicles.

HL2 brought the gravity gun and physics but was a 100% linear themepark. Except for beautiful maps it was as dull as Dark Messiah of Might & Magic.

Isnt Gordon Freeman supposed to be a scientist? He's a mute and avoid to use his brains as much as possible.
Half-Life 2 was much more than physics and a gravity gun. There's a reason it's one of the most rated games.
The atmosphere and immersion is one of the greatest in a FPS and the narrative touch throughout the game is what makes it revolutionary. The absense of cut scenes where they've implemented them directly in the game is just amazing and the realism of the characters are phenomenal. And the adjectives can continue.
But Half-Life 2 describes feelings and emotions. A human race suppresed and struggling to be free with odds against them.
Though it became too much of a shooter in the middle of the game, which was unfortunate. The focus should have been more on other elements of the game.

Squad control and vehicles isn't at all what Half-Life 2 is about. It's about a mental understanding of the world and story and not just arcadish fun.

But you mention Call of Cthulhu. I can follow you with that game. It is a really good game. Though i haven't completed it yet. Newly bought.

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March 4th, 2007, 18:05
Originally Posted by Asbjoern View Post
Half-Life 2 was much more than physics and a gravity gun. There's a reason it's one of the most rated games.
HL2 was high rated because HL was the first game that got popular for mods. This attracted a large community and therefore it got alot of attention.
There is little more to say about it. HL2 remains as one of the most overhyped games of all time.

Originally Posted by Asbjoern View Post
The atmosphere and immersion is one of the greatest in a FPS and the narrative touch throughout the game is what makes it revolutionary. The absense of cut scenes where they've implemented them directly in the game is just amazing and the realism of the characters are phenomenal. And the adjectives can continue.
But Half-Life 2 describes feelings and emotions. A human race suppresed and struggling to be free with odds against them.
Though it became too much of a shooter in the middle of the game, which was unfortunate. The focus should have been more on other elements of the game.
Squad control and vehicles isn't at all what Half-Life 2 is about. It's about a mental understanding of the world and story and not just arcadish fun.
I think you are looking into it a bit too much but it's just my opinion. I found HL2 to be a generic alien/zombie bash that was rather weak on storytelling technique. I run across the landscape, kill hordes of nameless foes without knowing why or any sense of directions. There are no cutscenes of note that is used to progress the story, few or no twists. Gordon Freeman remains a mute nobody with no opinion what's going on. There are no talking soldiers (common storytelling element), no notepads/CD's/PDA's/computers with e-mails to progress the story (common storytelling element) and the people you meet have rarely anything to say.

I would say HL2 is worth a 8/10 due to the graphics and the physics engine but that was it.

Originally Posted by Asbjoern View Post
But you mention Call of Cthulhu. I can follow you with that game. It is a really good game. Though i haven't completed it yet. Newly bought. Regards asbjørn
The whole idea of blending Call of Cthulhu and FPS sounds like a big NO NO, but they actually pulled it off… I know people who bought XBox'es for that game alone, people who hate FPS'es and they still enjoyed it.
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March 4th, 2007, 19:57
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
HL2 was high rated because HL was the first game that got popular for mods. This attracted a large community and therefore it got alot of attention.
There is little more to say about it. HL2 remains as one of the most overhyped games of all time.
Have you read any of the reviews for HL or HL-2? They mention narrativeness as the key element of the games.
Just because the first game in a series was a succes doesn't mean the next games will automatically be a succes too. Example Deus Ex 2.
HL-2 isn't hype. Halo is hype because it is popular. HL-2 is often neglected because people think HL is a better game.

I think you are looking into it a bit too much but it's just my opinion. I found HL2 to be a generic alien/zombie bash that was rather weak on storytelling technique. I run across the landscape, kill hordes of nameless foes without knowing why or any sense of directions. There are no cutscenes of note that is used to progress the story, few or no twists. Gordon Freeman remains a mute nobody with no opinion what's going on. There are no talking soldiers (common storytelling element), no notepads/CD's/PDA's/computers with e-mails to progress the story (common storytelling element) and the people you meet have rarely anything to say.

I would say HL2 is worth a 8/10 due to the graphics and the physics engine but that was it.
There isn't a game on the market that crafts a story more immersive and narrative than the HL series. Perhaps it deserves more the RPG title than a lot of other RPGs, because of its great focus on roleplaying/immersiveness.
There are lots of cutscenes to progress the story. They are just not explicitly shown because you are still in-character when they happen. Cutscenes often deprive immersion.
Gordon Freeman is mute because it would completely ruin the "gamer's" view on Gordon and because it again deprives immersiveness. We are Gordon Freeman, and how could we be when he comments and talks automatically like a robot?
And what if Gordon Freeman doesn't live up to our intellectual standards?

You can't use "common storytelling element" to anything at all. How conservative and simple. This isn't a Hollywood film, where the hero wins at last and romances are breathtakingly clichées that are "common storytelling elements". Just because a lot of other games have used common storytelling elements doesn't make it more right or HL-2 more wrong. It just makes the other games more boring and repetitive.
Story progresses with the meeting of other people, on the tv screens and by just walking around and view the world which indirectly describes the story and conditions. By just seeing the dispair in people's eyes.
The people you meet have a lot to say. I wonder if you have at all played the game. Throughout the game you meet different people who talk to you.

And the use of music in both HL and HL-2 as a narrative element is just incredibly captivating.

And you contradict yourself. You say you run along the landscape with no sense of direction and you've also stated that HL-2 is linear.

HL-2 is one of the only games that have been made by using a model or formula that doesn't at any time seem unrealistic or boring. KotOR and Deus Ex both uses the same computer terminals, cameras and so on, which are straigth through childish and simple whereas in HL-2 you never actually are aware of the very formulaic way it has been made.
I first saw it in my second play through.

Sorry for my harsh words. I just feel my vocabulary in English isn't present today.

Regards Asbjørn
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March 4th, 2007, 20:09
Well, yes. The character/micro story in HL-2 is very much like a Hollywood film staring Dustin Hoffman or Morgan freeman, but the surrounding elements are still revolutionary in a computer game.
The world/macro story is phenomenal and immersive.

When I was playing HL-2 it was like seeing a film and it was just a great feeling that touched my fundamental approach to what compuer games are.
Last edited by Asbjoern; March 4th, 2007 at 20:36. Reason: added "to"
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March 4th, 2007, 20:19
Im sorry, I still say you are hyping and when you go as far as you mention HL2 and roleplaying in the same sentence you are out in space. HL2 is a completely linear themepark with absolutely no personal choice nor character development at all. Doctor Breen taunting you feels like an island of reality in an ocean of diarréa.

What you are trying to say is that the absence of narration is a feature. To that, I disagree. That's like art-fans who find a tremendous amount of depth in cheap "modern art". I know im not the only one who critizise HL2 for it's lack of narration. Wikipedia sums it up pretty well.

Overall HL2 seemingly pays a homeage to the age in which storytelling was not important. It's the same "aliens attack earth" cliché that Serious Sam pokes fun of as a very simple excuse at shooting aliens. But HL2 is not even a funny parody.

With only 4 monstertypes I even found HL2 to be repetitive as a straight shooter.

Half Life is a phenomenon based on it's sucess in the modding community. I cannot see any reason why HL2 is better than many other FPS'es released prior and after it's release.
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March 4th, 2007, 20:23
I had waited patiently for HL2 just to be disappointed; for me, it was an endless, boring sequence of parking lots and rivers, peppered with two or three different, brain-dead types of enemy, and hardly any communication. There was nothing surprising or awe-inspiring in the story or the way it was delivered, and the only saving grace - Barney, as always - didn't have nearly enough screentime.
I replayed HL1 several times along with all the add-ons, even after HL2. I never felt the urge to replay HL2. I will get the second add-on, however, because it comes with TF2… ah the memories .

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March 4th, 2007, 20:51
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Im sorry, I still say you are hyping and when you go as far as you mention HL2 and roleplaying in the same sentence you are out in space. HL2 is a completely linear themepark with absolutely no personal choice nor character development at all. Doctor Breen taunting you feels like an island of reality in an ocean of diarréa.
RPG isn't about character developing or personal choice. To roleplay is about immersing yourself in a world that isn't physically around you. I thought HL-2 was a linear game that didn't feel linear. There always were a lot of different sideways, which gave the impression that it actually was a fluent world.

What you are trying to say is that the absence of narration is a feature. To that, I disagree. That's like art-fans who find a tremendous amount of depth in cheap "modern art". I know im not the only one who critizise HL2 for it's lack of narration. Wikipedia sums it up pretty well.
Wikipedia isn't an authority on what is knowledge or right or wrong.
I thought it was you who was talking about atmosphere and HL-2 is actually full of it. Atmosphere can create narrativeness together with actual dialogue. But there were a lot of direct narrativeness in HL-2 too.

Overall HL2 seemingly pays a homeage to the age in which storytelling was not important. It's the same "aliens attack earth" cliché that Serious Sam pokes fun of as a very simple excuse at shooting aliens. But HL2 is not even a funny parody.
But when you look at it HL-2 isn't a alien shooter but the focus is on a human race suppressed and the following hopelessness and frustration that leads. It is about rebellion. The aliens might as well have been another country on earth. Or nazi Germany for that sake.

With only 4 monstertypes I even found HL2 to be repetitive as a straight shooter.
As a straight shooter I actually found it boring too because the weapons were annoying. Except the shotgun.

Half Life is a phenomenon based on it's sucess in the modding community. I cannot see any reason why HL2 is better than many other FPS'es released prior and after it's release.
I don't play HL-2 mods.

But I will halt my hyping now then. You managed to call me both a child and cheap, but so did I too in my previous post so it is okay. Thanks for the discussion for what it is worth. :)

Regards Asbjørn
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March 4th, 2007, 21:04
Asbjørn,

You're fighting a losing argument here. Half-Life 2 was a poor choice when it comes to naming a PC shooter bringing something new. I enjoyed HL2 and I think it's a great game, but it didn't innovate anything in that genre.
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March 4th, 2007, 21:12
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Asbjørn,
You're fighting a losing argument here. Half-Life 2 was a poor choice when it comes to naming a PC shooter bringing something new. I enjoyed HL2 and I think it's a great game, but it didn't innovate anything in that genre.
"When I was playing HL-2 it was like seeing a film and it was just a great feeling that touched my fundamental approach to what compuer games are."

For me that is something new because I never got to play HL until a year ago, and it didn't stimulate me at all.

HL-2 had a lot of technological advances such as facial expressions, implicit cutscenes, focus on physics solving problems and a strong relationship to the NPCs. Whereas in HL I thought the NPCs were not present.

Regards Asbjørn
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March 4th, 2007, 21:24
Originally Posted by Asbjoern View Post
RPG isn't about character developing or personal choice. To roleplay is about immersing yourself in a world that isn't physically around you.
Then explain to me where the "role" come from, when you appearently do not need to have a role at all and still consider a game a roleplaying game.

Originally Posted by Asbjoern View Post
I thought HL-2 was a linear game that didn't feel linear. There always were a lot of different sideways, which gave the impression that it actually was a fluent world.
I have already given HL2 a 8/10 based on nicely drawn maps. It's a nice engine, despite it's lack of realtime shadows. It just lacks filling.

Originally Posted by Asbjoern View Post
Wikipedia isn't an authority on what is knowledge or right or wrong.
I thought it was you who was talking about atmosphere and HL-2 is actually full of it. Atmosphere can create narrativeness together with actual dialogue. But there were a lot of direct narrativeness in HL-2 too.
Wikipedia is the one that is the easiest to access.

If you take a search on google for "Half life 2" narrative you will get a sea of pages critizising HL2's lack of story and yawning experience for thoose who look for immersion/story above shooting stuff. Thoose who doesnt try some witty explanation why the critizism of lack of narrative is unfounded. Some said that a game doesnt need it since it's not a movie/book. :\

Four Fat Chicks sums up the issues in the "Narrative Minus" part of their review.

Originally Posted by Asbjoern View Post
But when you look at it HL-2 isn't a alien shooter but the focus is on a human race suppressed and the following hopelessness and frustration that leads. It is about rebellion. The aliens might as well have been another country on earth. Or nazi Germany for that sake.
What you are describing is the setting, not a story. Maybe you are right when you say that setting and atmosphere is related.
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March 4th, 2007, 21:28
"For me that is something new because I never got to play HL until a year ago, and it didn't stimulate me at all."


That's probably why you think HL2 is so extraordinary, when it's not.

Half-Life was released 9 years ago, if you had played it back then you would understand the significance of the game. Many games have copied certain aspects of Half-Life over the years.

The first Half-Life was a much better game for it's time then HL2 was.
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March 4th, 2007, 21:43
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
That's probably why you think HL2 is so extraordinary, when it's not.
Half-Life was released 9 years ago, if you had played it back then you would understand the significance of the game. Many games have copied certain aspects of Half-Life over the years.
The first Half-Life was a much better game for it's time then HL2 was.
Half-Life 1 was actually a well made game, for it's time. It was the first shooter that hired a professional writer for the plot. It delivered the story in a satisfying manner. It had many places where the story suddenly escalated and felt more important.

Ofcourse, there are many games since that went far beyond HL1 in terms of depth and plot, but in an era where FPS'es was dominated by "brainless shooters", HL1 broke new borders by doing something that hadnt been done before.
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March 4th, 2007, 21:44
*spanks himself for turning a mass effect thread to a half-life discussion… BLASPHEMY Jemy! BLASPHEMY!*
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March 4th, 2007, 21:54
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Then explain to me where the "role" come from, when you appearently do not need to have a role at all and still consider a game a roleplaying game.
Role is for me story and being in another world than your own. To see a sci-fi movie is to roleplay because you immerse yourself in something that isn't physically around you. All fiction is roleplaying for me. but then,

I have already given HL2 a 8/10 based on nicely drawn maps. It's a nice engine, despite it's lack of realtime shadows. It just lacks filling.
I thought there were a lot of filling. The grade of detail and the textures giving the impression of social and economical poverty. The playground in the beginning and end of the game was very symbolic, and something I haven't seen in other FPSs.

Wikipedia is the one that is the easiest to access.

If you take a search on google for "Half life 2" narrative you will get a sea of pages critizising HL2's lack of story and yawning experience for thoose who look for immersion/story above shooting stuff. Thoose who doesnt try some witty explanation why the critizism of lack of narrative is unfounded. Some said that a game doesnt need it since it's not a movie/book. :\

Four Fat Chicks sums up the issues in the "Narrative Minus" part of their review.
Okay, here are some drafts from the first Google page of "Half-life 2 narrative":

"Verdict: A milestone in gaming narrative, Half Life 2 moves away from the game industry’s pulpy, b-movie roots towards something more rewarding and sophisticated, while its technological superiority puts most other games in the FPS genre to shame. As a bonus, it also happens to be jolly good fun. 95%" - http://www.sffworld.com/grevoff/68.html

"Anyone who completed Half-Life 2 - one of the most accomplished first-person shooters ever made. Episode One offers more of a breakneck potboiler in comparison to Half-Life 2's epic narrative." - http://gamesradar.com/us/pc/game/rev…sectionId=1000

"With the level of filmic ambition and quality lavished upon the game, it's inevitable that certain eternally unimpressed people will be going all out to tediously pick apart various elements in an attempt to take something away from Valve's achievements" - http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=57222

"To mention just a couple that particularly stood out, the AI enabled enemy soldiers to act with a decent semblance of judgment and sense, and the narrative element set a new standard for the genre." - http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/570/570550p1.html

What you are describing is the setting, not a story. Maybe you are right when you say that setting and atmosphere is related.
So you are saying Nazi Germany was a setting and not a story? Rebellion is story, hopelessness is story, dispair is story. But as said before. You need to interpret. Not everything is given by vision.
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March 5th, 2007, 03:16
You can post all the review links you want, no one here is saying HL2 wasn't a good game.
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March 5th, 2007, 10:17
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You can post all the review links you want, no one here is saying HL2 wasn't a good game.
That isn't what we are discussing. We are discussing why/why not HL-2 is among the group of games strong on narrative and atmosphere. Or perhaps why HL-2 is the best FPS made to this date, but it seems I'm in solitude with that opinion.

And it was JemyM who wrote this:

If you take a search on google for "Half life 2" narrative you will get a sea of pages critizising HL2's lack of story and yawning experience for thoose who look for immersion/story above shooting stuff. Thoose who doesnt try some witty explanation why the critizism of lack of narrative is unfounded. Some said that a game doesnt need it since it's not a movie/book. :\
I just answered so don't tell I'm ridiculous when i qoute the actual pages he refers to.

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March 5th, 2007, 10:34
… all this because I said that Halo was over-rated, that had it been released on PC first it would have gotten 8/10's and had said 'cool story and nice vehicles & squad stuff, but short & too linear and amazingly repetitive and uninteresting gameplay for how short it was'.

I was just lamenting the different standards applied. I don't want a 'good FPS for the PSP' - I want a good FPS period.

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March 5th, 2007, 11:31
"it would have gotten 8/10's"

…and that would be being generous.
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