Half life 2 wont launch stuck on validating
Before the magic numbers up to 100 can appear, we're presented with a black screen. Some doubted that the Source engine could match the technical brilliance elsewhere, but it has not only surpassed anyone else's achievements, it has done so without forcing people to invest in ludicrously expensive hardware.
The G-Man looms large and loud and it takes somewhere in the region of two seconds to realise what all the fuss is about. Blocking it out of our minds, trying not to spoil it for ourselves, yet filling time and column inches with games barely even worthy of the name, rushed out into the market only to let us down and chip away at our eternally optimistic resolve. Valve's purpose was to take things forward whatever it took, however much it cost, and seemingly no matter how many people it pissed off along the way. If Half-Life 2 achieves one single thing, it's to put into sharp focus how far gaming has come, and more specifically how far behind some of its competitors in the FPS genre really are.
Before we launch into a breakdown of what we mean by that, the overriding point is that it's fun all the way through.
Regardless of what we think of the art style, or the storyline or the weapons, or the physics or the myriad of issues surrounding the game, it's the most intensely enjoyable assault on the senses we've played this year. At the moment, it doesn't get any better than this.
But while it's true that a relatively small part of Half-Life 2 takes place within the central core of City 17, the sense of variety and freshness is extremely welcome.
In terms of the actual story, it's probably even clear as to why you're there or what you're ultimately supposed to be doing than before.
But after the roar of take off, a serene silence gives way. A downtrodden yet magisterial air as another commuter journey begins. An oppressive beginning that gives a small taster of what we're about to experience; a world we have been trying hard to imagine for months, years.
Reports persist from amazed gamers with mid-range set ups that have been blown away by how well the game runs on their systems.Far Cry had the right idea with its approach to freedom (and arguably leads the way in that respect), but it lacked style, and the atmosphere failed to engage.The important point to make is that Valve hasn't just spent the last five or so years making a pretty sequel.One of the things that made Half-Life stand out was the narrative technique, not to mention the outstanding voice work and subtlety coherent journey, that gave the gamer only as much information as they needed to get to the next part of the game - tricking the gamer into believing they had to escape impending disaster, and then slowly unravelling a hugely entertaining conspiracy.This time around it's not quite so limited with the player often tasked with traversing vast distances, taking in hugely varied terrain and locations as opposed to keeping the player tethered to a base of operations.