Episode 4: 'stand along plot'

Discussion in 'Half-Life' started by Varsity, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Varsity

    Varsity Newbie

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    I just got handed a copy of PCG US. This is from page 22.
    I'm thinking Turtle Rock with that last sentence. :)
     
  2. Ruubie

    Ruubie Newbie

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    I wonder what it will be...
     
  3. $kelet0r

    $kelet0r Tank

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    Opposing Force 2 please!
    It annoys me somewhat that valve are telling us now that we bought an unfinished product :(
     
  4. Hectic Glenn

    Hectic Glenn Site Director
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    Interesting...we are looking quite far ahead though, and theres not even an episode one quite yet. Four episodes hmmm
     
  5. Mutley

    Mutley Tank

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    I bet Epidsode 4 is a prequal.
     
  6. Cargo Cult

    Cargo Cult Vortigaunt

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    I'll have to ask. ;-)
     
  7. DiSTuRbEd

    DiSTuRbEd Newbie

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    Yeah very interesting because TRS still hasn't announced what game they are working on. If they can trust anybody to make a good game 3rd party, it would have to be TRS.
     
  8. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

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    I don't see how. Half-life 2 was very much a finished product, but the episodes are merely answering the questions HL2 created. The entire story arc couldn't have been told in HL2.

    Old info, but interesting all the same.
     
  9. $kelet0r

    $kelet0r Tank

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    that story arc should have been HL3 then but in fact what we are getting is a continuation of the story of hl2
    it's like buying a novel reaching the last page and saying ' that was a good read' and then finding out that another chapter is to be released soon
    I mean WTF?
    I have no problem with HL3 being episodic - but to play HL2 and then find that I only got 2/3 of the actual product is a little bit much
    Will for example the episodes be individual products on your steam game list or will they be accessed only through the HL2 game as they should be - the former is far more likely
    i seem to be railing against the injustice of it all - it doesnt make sense and I can see it hurting the Halflife saga
     
  10. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

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    Its not Half-life 3. Half-life 2 ended where HL2 should have ended, Gman putting Gordon back in stasis. They couldn't have carried it on for another 20 hours or so. Valve are releasing another 3 episodes, set within the HL2 era that wind up most of the current plot - like expansions.

    Half-life 3, or the next stage of the story will come after. The episodes are not 2/3 of the final product. How does that one work? The episodes will be accessed through steam I would imagine, its hardly as though it should be put on the HL2 menu, I mean, why?

    It'll far from hurt Half-life.
     
  11. $kelet0r

    $kelet0r Tank

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    It'll hurt me :(
    mainly because it doesnt make any sense - the story ended, gordon had finished his mission, game over man game over....except apparently VALVe decided that 'to hell with logic and making sense, lets get our favourite character back in action'
    i'm scared [​IMG]
     
  12. drunkymonkey

    drunkymonkey Newbie

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    Yes, well spotted. The story ended. And now, it's continued. Most expansions are like that, whether episodic or not. Look at Dawn of War Winter Assault, Or Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction, or Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne. They are called expansion packs because they expand on the game.
    And getting the main character back into action are what sequels and expansion packs are for.
     
  13. Tamer17

    Tamer17 Newbie

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    Moreover , I suspect that if and when HL3 comes out , it will display a new and different setting , similliar to the shift from HL1 to 2 , so they need to close up that story arc in those episodes.
     
  14. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

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    Dear John, you make next to no sense :p

    The story didn't end. The story continues, because Gman loses control over you. Thats not screw that logic, thats the continuation of the story. You could come up with that excuse for any game, no matter what happens. Its where the story is going.
     
  15. $kelet0r

    $kelet0r Tank

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    you don't understand
    *shakes head sadly
     
  16. ^Ben

    ^Ben Newbie

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    Make some sense next time.
     
  17. $kelet0r

    $kelet0r Tank

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    i will if VALVe do


    :|


    Right no more posting for me in this section - i've decided finally after much agonising that I won't be buying the episodes so I won't bore you more negative vibes. A sad end to what was a happy consumer-company relationship. See you in the Lounge.
     
  18. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

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    But Valve do make sense...its your loss if you don't buy the episodes, John. I mean really, whats the problem here? Am I blind? Valve continued the story? Oh noes?
     
  19. ^Ben

    ^Ben Newbie

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    O LORDY LORD!

    Don't buy anymore expansion packs either.

    And when I'm playing ym awesome EP1 can I laugh at you?
     
  20. drunkymonkey

    drunkymonkey Newbie

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    No. We understand. It's just a bad argument.
     
  21. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

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    No, really, I genuinely don't see the problem here. What doesn't make sense? What’s so terrifying about 3 episodes that continue the HL2 story that will most likely be released within 2 years?

    Am I stupid? Enlighten me, please.
     
  22. DiSTuRbEd

    DiSTuRbEd Newbie

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    I challenge you to a Hetairian BATTLE!
     
  23. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

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    I simply couldn't stand up to your pure might Disturbed, no matter how hard I try. I withdraw.
     
  24. DeusExMachina

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    Valve could've easily put Episode 1 in HL2. The game would've been longer than you're average FPS and it would've closed the story up rather nicely. Then, they could start making HL3. This episodic content, while cool and all, is a bit...unnecessary.
     
  25. drunkymonkey

    drunkymonkey Newbie

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    It would also make you wait another year for a game that belonged in 2004.
     
  26. pomegranate

    pomegranate Newbie

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    Where Gordon battles the odds to complete his PhD thesis? Awesome!!

    Btw 'episode', and 'prequel' :)
     
  27. DeusExMachina

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    FPSs are a dime a dozen. I wouldn't be bored waiting.
     
  28. drunkymonkey

    drunkymonkey Newbie

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    What, playing inferior military themed FPSs like Rainbow Six Lockdown?
     
  29. DeusExMachina

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    Sure, if I actually enjoyed any of the Rainbow Six games.

    In other words, No.
     
  30. pomegranate

    pomegranate Newbie

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    Well that's funny because the expansion packs for the greatest FPS of all time didn't do that at all (being, IMO, HL1), and they're regarded as some of the most accomplished expansions ever released (well Op Forces at least).

    I understand what people are talking about - I can see this way of continuing the plot bit-by-bit ruining the drama of HL2. It's like, "this is the story of HL2: start-beginning-end, oh but here's an epilogue, and another one, and another one, which are actually essential to the plot, but you don't have to play them."
    It doesn't make for a strong narrative at all, because it weakens the dramatic impact of the ending of main story, and the structure of the story.
    If the whole of HL2 had been released episodically, it would have made sense, as the rythym of the story would've been consistent and plot developments would've been spread through the whole. But this way, you only got part of the whole deal when you bought and played HL2. Which sucks.
     
  31. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

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    I wouldn't say that - we really don't know the contents of Episode 1 to say either way. I think HL3 will come, in time, but I for one am not ready for it, and don't want it right now. I want episodic content :)
     
  32. drunkymonkey

    drunkymonkey Newbie

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    I don't see how who you play as has much effect on the quality of the game. It's funny because the games you mentioned, you might as well have been playing as Gordon, because apart from small changes (such as the way you get armour), nothing really changed, apart from a couple of guns, and some enemies.
    The thing is, it's very likely that Valve are making Half Life 3 now. Just because they are making one game doesn't mean they aren't making another. Half Life 3 was probably being developed just as soon as Half Life 2 came out. They certainly sounded quite certain they were going to use an updated version of the Source engine to power the last title in the Half Life series.
    I also don't see why expansion packs would weaken the narrative at all. At worst it makes the whole game a bit disjointed, but it doesn't mean that the narrative is weakened. Let's put it this way; if the episodes are as long as Valve says, then you have a whole other game to play. Half Life 2 took, what, ten hours to play through? If the latest takes seven, and the next ones take just as long, you have 21 hours, all told. Which is longer than the main game. And the main game was thirty quid. Correct? The episodes are twenty quid, I think. That's sixty quid, which, split out over a period, isn't really that hard on the wallet.
    Also, it does give extra strength to the narrative, as not only is Marc Laidlaw still writing it, but there's bound to be more questions raised (such as why G-Man is losing control is Gordon), and hopefully more questions answered.
     
  33. Tamer17

    Tamer17 Newbie

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    Um.. guys in here send Valve to hell after they announce of a delay of months long of an episode.
    Some one would have prolly killed Gabe , if HL2 were to be delayed to this time.

    I , as well , don't get what John is saying. The game and the story continues. You have to stop HL2 somewhere and the Citadel was a good and appropriate place to end there the game.
     
  34. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

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    Couldn't disagree more.
     
  35. pomegranate

    pomegranate Newbie

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    I've nothing more to explain really, except to say that I really do think that if you played through the events of Op For and Blue Shift as Gordon it really would've ****ed up the story of HL1 very badly. As in, we experience everything that Gordon experiences from the beginning of the tram ride up to when the G-Man freezes time on top of the citadel. So if the HL1 expansions were more of Gordon's experiences during the BM incident, 1) it wouldn't make much sense considering how the ways the G-Man controls Gordon, and 2) it would screw up the immersion factor very badly.

    I really, really don't want to sound big-headed, but perhaps some people just appreciate effective writing and drama to a finer extent than others?

    Yeah, good argument. Sounds to me like 'I don't like that but I've no real reason so I can't explain why'. Prove me wrong.
     
  36. drunkymonkey

    drunkymonkey Newbie

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    I wasn't suggesting that Gordon should have played the parts of Barney and Shephard, I was saying that apart from the setting, you might as well have been playing as him, because the gameplay didn't really change.
     
  37. pomegranate

    pomegranate Newbie

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    No, I understood that. I don't see what your point has to do with the context in which we were talking about Op For and Blue Shift, though. I don't see that what you said is relevant at all :|
     
  38. drunkymonkey

    drunkymonkey Newbie

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    You were saying that the expansions were excellent because of who you played as. I pointed out that who you played as had very little effect on how you played the game.
     
  39. pomegranate

    pomegranate Newbie

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    Well, we're not talking about how you play the game, are we? We're talking about how the story is explained and expanded, right? So do you see how I'm struggling to see your point as relevant?
    And besides, I did not say that the expansions were excellent because of who you played as. I said that they were good expansions where you didn't play the same protaganist as in the main game, in answer to you saying that 'that is what expansions do'.
     
  40. Asknoone

    Asknoone Newbie

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    It was actually "Time to go in the bath. Prepare for GCSE exam in the morning." Rather than post a long argument in which I completely disagree.

    I fail to see what bearing Opposing force and Blue shift have on this. Those were made with Adrian Shephard and Barney Calhoun in mind. Not Gordon Freeman. So now thats clear...

    Kinda like how you don't have to play HL2?. Your point is irrelevant. Yes the episodes are essential to the plot, and no you don't have to play them. You didn't have to play HL2 either, you simply chose to. If you don't want to play the episodes, fine, you miss out on the story and some great gaming. Fair enough.

    Ruining the drama? Hardly. If anything, episodes will prove to be a far better experience. For one they are intentionally shorter, and in that way will prove more intense and focus on a specific story element. They'll each have theirs answers and questions. It doesn't ruin anything, it merely continues the plotline of HL2, but its delivered quicker, it doesn't take five years and its a quality product.


    In what way does it weaken the dramatic impact and the structure of the story? If anything, it increases it. The ending of HL2 left me wanting more, but I did not want to wait several years. I didn't want a full game. Valve couldn't have told the events that continued following HL2 another 10 years later, it wouldn't have worked.

    I want to see what happens, but I want to see it soon and I want it to focus on a specific element. Thats what I'm getting. You buy HL2, you end with the cliffhanger, you find out the rest of the story in HL3 about 4 years later. Wow, that is definately getting the whole deal!
     

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