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Mike Does Some FPSing

So Valve was running a deal through Steam a little while ago offering the original Half-Life for only 98 cents (it being the ten-year anniversary of the game’s release in 1998; I’m aware that Ocarina of Time is also ten years old, but that’s a subject for another discussion). I had never played the game, and I can’t turn something down when it’s 98 cents… no matter what it is.

I started playing the game this evening. Got around an hour or so in (according to Steam, I played for 1.2 hours). I’m absolutely terrible at these games, so I’m playing on “Easy” and I died a lot. Without spoiling too much, here are a couple things I noticed / wanted to mention:

– I hate platforming in first-person. I cannot for the life of me ever fully determine where exactly my character is in relation their surroundings and get any sort of depth-perception. Do you get used to this with time?

– I hate falling in first-person. See the above description for why I might be having this problem.

– I’ve noted this before, but I’m definitely a mouse-and-keyboard elitist, despite barely playing these types of games.

That’s about it, so far. It runs absolutely beautifully in 1680×1050 on this computer (as it should, being ten years old). Kinda nice not having any sorts of stuttering problems! Not much to say beyond those few things… just kinda wanted to write about it…

7 Comments

  1. I’m no fan of first person shooters too.
    -I hate doing the same thing over and over again: run up and shot the enemy in face, and repeat process.

  2. Captain Awesome

    December 1, 2008 at 1:18 am

    I’ve got some great memories of Half-Life, it had a great atmosphere and story for it’s time, not to mention an absolutely phenomenal amount of user made content, both single player and multi-player, the editing community is still going strong even to this day (a Dragonball mod is still in development no less!)

    Half-Life to me will always be the game that changed my perceptions of First Person shooters, I grew up on games like Wolfenstein 3d and Doom, and for a game to come along where the main character isn’t a muscle bound soldier/space marine that actually had a storyline beyond an expositional paragraph in the game manual , Half Life’s strong emphasis on story kept me enthralled from beginning to end and still continues to this day.

    I’m not a huge FPS gamer, but I do think that some games with great storylines are overlooked by some gamers because they’re often under the misconception that the story is just a flimsy pretext for mindless slaughter, it’s like saying that The Legend of Zelda sucks because all you do is stab things with a sword.

    Franchises like Half-Life prove that First Person Shooters can have engaging storylines with interesting nuanced characters (Obviously not so much in HL1) and at the same time deliver a solid action game with some light puzzle solving.

  3. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Half-life is the best modern video game.

  4. Half-Life defined the modern FPS by popularizing the notion of scripting story throughout gameplay. Valve’s decision to include the faint glimpses of the G-Man at specific sections of the gameplay really made me want to continue with the game to at least try and figure out what was going on. If anything, the G-Man’s appearances and purpose in the storyline has continued to get me back for each installment and I’m very excited to see what will be revealed next in Half-Life 2: Episode 3.

    Sure, the game has it’s pitfalls with the first-person platforming, but that’s a matter that you can get used to. At least the game broke out of the usual Doom/Quake dimensions and tried to provide some narrative. Half-Life 2 expands upon the narrative by the inclusion of Alyx, one of the first non-stupid AI characters in an FPS. Some might argue Half-Life isn’t the best that FPS games get, but I’d still say it’s got very solid gameplay that is filled with intensity unrivaled for it’s time. If I were to play the upcoming fan remake, Black Mesa, next year, I’m sure I’d get the chills down my spine once again. There’s nothing quite like freaking out over a surprise headcrab that makes me dive into an electrified sewage pit.

    Oh, and Barney rules. 😛

  5. Just keep practising Mike, you’ll get used to it. Half Life is an incredible game and is definitely on my all time top ten list.

    If you hate first person platforming, then you’ll probably hate Mirror’s Edge

  6. Trust me, I was GOD awful at PC FPS for so long, I never wanted anything to due with them. It honestly was not till last year where I actually sat down with Team Fortress 2 and forced myself to get good and now I really have come to see the fun in them.

    It is all about practice really.

  7. I think it is something you just get used to over time. I consider myself and above average Halo player, but when I first started playing it was all I could do to keep my charecter from not looking at the ground or the sky. I was pretty much looking everywhere but at the person shooting me. And I think I was like that for the first year of playing. Whether it is just something you get used to or I’m a slow learner who knows. In short (too late) Ya I think the perspective thing is something you just get used to.

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