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The Half-Life 3 thread of closure and memorium

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Just finished it the other day, this mod is pretty cool.
Some of the battles leaves a lot to be desired, but the level design, scripted scenes and general feel is just great. Might be one of the best HL mod ever, would def recommend it.

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Decided to check this out and see what the fuss is about. Oh man, the atmosphere is great. I liked the horror start and overall aliens influences. Some battles are indeed pretty tedious, but it's a great experience all in all. Interesting way of connecting the story to the canon ;)

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7 hours ago, text_fish said:

I have so many passive aggressive, brutally sarcastic things to type right now. Instead, I shall just lament the fact that talented artists and programmers are busy remaking (premaking?) stuff.

As much as I yearned for HL3 for many years, I agree there is something deeply depressing about seeing HL2 literally recreated in UE4. I think I wanted that for so many years that now, finally seeing it, I can kind of appreciate how underwhelming and boring the idea really is.

I'm glad that Valve hired the people from Firewatch, a HL game doesn't really need that many gun fights or monsters to be appealing, what was always interesting about HL2 in hindsight was the 1) social commentary 2) aesthetic design 3) scripting/AI interactions 4) physics 5) immersion in the first person perspective. I have zero desire to ever shoot a combine in the face again, it's just something I could live without. HL2's combat was really really boring. Not saying they should take all the guns out of Half-Life or some shit, but it would have be to revitalized somehow to make it significantly more interesting. It's probably no coincidence, but a lot of these issues sound like they could be resolved or best addressed from shifting HL into some new terrain (such as VR). You can amplify the atmospherics that people always found interesting about HL, make the gunplay more interesting and novel, get that immersion going much stronger. It sucks because this probably means we will have to wait until VR is mature, but that seems like the most natural medium for HL gameplay to be resurrected in a meaningful way.

One other thing that people tend to forget that HL2 was a Bush-era game, there was something vaguely subversive about seeing the Metro cops ruling over the populace, it had some kind of political relevancy.

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ALways said from day one that HL2 gunplay was crap. It felt as if the AI had stepped back from HL and they had to make the enemy sponges+guns very imprecise to make it the least challenging.

Not sure how people would feel by changing a lot this aspect, but we are “lucky” that many years have passed and doing different things should be easier, a bit like with the introduction of physics gameplay.

I would lean toward something more “realistic” and “survival”, less fights, harder fights.

I do not want to see this switched to VR as I still want some shooting elements and don’t want this very fake experience of teleporting around instead of walking and exploring.

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HL2 gunplay is pretty crap, but not something that can't be improved. All it takes is a good animator to give the weapons some kick. Are you guys familiar with MrBrightside's project to remodel and animate the weapons? He's working for NWI and has been at it for a few years though.

 

As for AI, that's trickier. I wouldn't mind something like in the new DOOM, but at this point, modders should work with what they have to their advantage. There's this commentary bubble in episode 1 where one of the level designers mentions that they added a secondary path during an encounter to give the combine AI some options to work with - either flank the player or charge right at him. That's just one example and probably not the best of how a level designer can be a bit more thoughtful of the AI's behaviours, but I'm sure there are clever ways to trick the player into thinking the AI is smarter than it actually is.

I can't say that I'm a fan of VR, but I feel like at this point Valve could make another half-life title without introducing something new. There's so many things they could improve on from previous games, like the gunplay and AI. 

Also, part of the reason why I'm more confident with Boreal Alyph is because those guys can already work on the actual levels and gameplay. Plus the fact that their graphic standards are relative to 2008-2012 makes it a lot faster to create content. Whereas the team working on UE4 has to build every single thing that already exists in HL2 from the zero basically. That's just so time consuming. Look at Black Mesa.

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Yeah, that guy is great, love the animations.
Giving great feeling to weapons wouldn't be so hard, I think is the easy part of the job, but the problem really lies with AI.

Surely there have been many advancements in this time, but not sure if we'll see something that will feel challenging, I mean in general. Maybe I talk like this because I haven't played enough recent SP games, but don't think so.

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10 hours ago, Radu said:

HL2 gunplay is pretty crap, but not something that can't be improved. All it takes is a good animator to give the weapons some kick. Are you guys familiar with MrBrightside's project to remodel and animate the weapons? He's working for NWI and has been at it for a few years though.

 

As for AI, that's trickier. I wouldn't mind something like in the new DOOM, but at this point, modders should work with what they have to their advantage. There's this commentary bubble in episode 1 where one of the level designers mentions that they added a secondary path during an encounter to give the combine AI some options to work with - either flank the player or charge right at him. That's just one example and probably not the best of how a level designer can be a bit more thoughtful of the AI's behaviours, but I'm sure there are clever ways to trick the player into thinking the AI is smarter than it actually is.

I can't say that I'm a fan of VR, but I feel like at this point Valve could make another half-life title without introducing something new. There's so many things they could improve on from previous games, like the gunplay and AI. 

Also, part of the reason why I'm more confident with Boreal Alyph is because those guys can already work on the actual levels and gameplay. Plus the fact that their graphic standards are relative to 2008-2012 makes it a lot faster to create content. Whereas the team working on UE4 has to build every single thing that already exists in HL2 from the zero basically. That's just so time consuming. Look at Black Mesa.

Those are so much fucking better it's mind boggling.

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On 9/2/2018 at 2:17 PM, Radu said:

Also, part of the reason why I'm more confident with Boreal Alyph is because those guys can already work on the actual levels and gameplay. Plus the fact that their graphic standards are relative to 2008-2012 makes it a lot faster to create content. Whereas the team working on UE4 has to build every single thing that already exists in HL2 from the zero basically. That's just so time consuming. Look at Black Mesa.

I think both teams have to build new assets. I also think UE4 provides better results faster. Black Mesa guys have done massive engine overhauls to get more detail out of Source. I think they could even have progressed faster with UE4. Oh, and level streaming is one of the  major advantages that UE4 has compared to Source.

I'm also a sucker for nice visuals, so as long as the gameplay is solid, Alyph will be secondary to me. If it comes out way before Borealis, sure, I'll take it for a spin.

Edited by Zarsky

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