Search Unity

  1. Good news ✨ We have more Unite Now videos available for you to watch on-demand! Come check them out and ask our experts any questions!
    Dismiss Notice

Why was Half Life such a big deal?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BIGTIMEMASTER, Mar 13, 2020.

  1. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,386
    It matters when we talk about innovation.

    No, I definitely wouldn't enjoy it more especially if it uses the same combat system as original.

    Dark Souls does not prefer avoidance and patience, and there are multiple bosses where you need to go as agressive as you can otherwise your character will die or is going to have a bad time. A good example is fight with four kings in DS1. Taking too long will likely result in character's death.

    What makes dark souls more interesting is that each boss (and even each enemy) is unique puzzle that plays by specific rules, and does not try to cheat at them. You, as player, try to find a way around those rules and look for weaknesses. Eventually after several tries, you find your way through and find things/approaches that work. So, you climb difficulty curve. In addition to that there's matter of design and lore associated with the bosses. What's more each boss is significantly tougher than you are, and as a result killing a huge armored possessed knight with a stick is incredibly satisfying.

    Prey bulletsponge opponent does not have anything like that. It simply hits hard and has a lot of hitpoints. There's nothing to learn, nothing to experiment with, nothing to exploit. That's why it is not interesting.
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  2. sxa

    sxa

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    Posts:
    453
    Absolutely. That and the Dishonoured series have been the highlights of recent games for me.
     
    Ony likes this.
  3. Martin_H

    Martin_H

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2015
    Posts:
    4,163
    I see what you mean and I agree. You mean that big creature that occasionally shows up and later can be avoided with a sort of consumable iirc, right? Do you think it would be more interesting if they weren't killable with pure damage and each of them was a different puzzle to find out how you can kill it through the available mechanics of the game? Like glueing it to the ground and crushing it with some industrial equipment or something like that?

    Mooncrash has a way more annoying miniboss that you can't feasibly kill even. Best you can do is lure it away and make a run for it. But at least you're safe in certain areas, it's sort of a "the floor is lava" kind of thing.


    Just stumbled over this:



    I didn't know there was a HL coop mode in the PS2 version. @Ony have you played that? If not, maybe it's worth checking out.
     
    Ony likes this.
  4. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,386
    Last time I played Prey was in 2017. So the details are hazy at the moment.
    Every enemy I rememebr was that "cloud of black flies" kind of thing, they didn't really stand out and didn't have any distinct or interesting design, plus there were headcrabs, I mean mimics, which felt gimmicky.

    What I DO remember vividly is the glitch where healing robots would slowly climb up over time and would end up cheerfuly beeping at unreachable spots under ceiling in huge rooms. Then I rememebr NPC models.
    upload_2020-3-14_19-2-1.png
    upload_2020-3-14_19-2-10.png upload_2020-3-14_19-2-20.png

    Regarding enemies, here's a good comparison:

    Prey has low enemy design variety, they largely look the same, behave the same, and it feels like most of the time there are 3 enemy types total - humanoid black thing, floaty eyeball thing and huge humanoid black thing. Variation in abilities does not make up for having the same design, it still looks like a reskin.

    Compare, for example this to dark souls enemy list:
    https://darksouls.wiki.fextralife.com/Enemies

    To make it fun, it would need more complex behavior, and different design. And rather than just supposedly looking menacing it is supposed to do something interesting.
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  5. Ony

    Ony

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Posts:
    1,954
    whoa! I will definitely have to check that out soon. Been meaning to get the PS2 out of my closet anyway.
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  6. Ony

    Ony

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Posts:
    1,954
    It's super interesting to me that you're focusing so much on enemies in the game. I spent most of my time trying to outwit them and find interesting ways around the environment. There was very little thought between my wife and I that the enemies were "boring" because they were just what they were: obstacles to either avoid or get past. I'm not so focused on combat as being the main reason to play a game, so truthfully I didn't even really pay much attention to the enemies because the environment was so much fun to navigate.
     
    angrypenguin, neoshaman and Martin_H like this.
  7. Martin_H

    Martin_H

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2015
    Posts:
    4,163
    I think it was around the release of HL2 or one of the two HL2 "episodes" that I had an interesting short conversation with a fellow student who said he doesn't give a S*** if a game has only 1 enemy type, but he wants to have more variety in the weapons that you can use. People tend to find very different things in the same game enjoyable and tend to interact with the systems in a different way. Usually that's not a problem, but for some multiplayer games it can become a problem if the community is forever split on what parts of the game they enjoy and try to pull the devs into different directions with their feedback, and as a result everyone is dissatisfied.

    I can't even say if I have a very clear preference for enemy variety or hard criteria for what I like... It's more of a "feels right" thing and case by case decision for me I think. If there's a bow in a game, I might use it exclusively and ignore all else. If there's variety in guns but all enemies are soldiers, I'll experiment with different guns and that's fine too.
     
    Ony likes this.
  8. Ony

    Ony

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Posts:
    1,954
    That's also interesting in light of the HL2 PS2 video you posted above. I just watched it and realized that the reviewer devoted a whole section of the video to focus on weapon types or the lack thereof. Things like "this weapon wouldn't have this attachment" and so on. And what I was thinking during that segment is, "ok, I literally don't know anything about nor care any bit at all about weapons."

    So yeah, I'm personally very much an exploration-focused player above all else. I like to explore and exploit environments. "Can I get up on top of that?" "Can I squeeze through there?" "What would happen if I lure and bottleneck all of these enemies into this one tiny corridor?" It's those things that bring me the most pleasure in games, and I spend a lot of time playing around that way. Enemies and weapons, meh. They're there to add contrast and meaning to my exploration, nothing really more than that.

    It's important for me as a game dev to try to pay at least some attention to all types of players, but then again that's really hard because I literally don't even think about a lot of these things, to their detriment, I'm sure. Definitely gives me some ideas to chew on.
     
  9. Antypodish

    Antypodish

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Posts:
    7,547
    Yep me same.

    If I care much about weapons, I wood play Unreal. If want just smasher shooter, I would play Doom, or Serious Sam. If I expect some action, story and a bit of tinkering, then HL :)

    That of course just from pure FPS point of view and assuming we are back in time. I could probably find close equivalents for current times.

    But my mood defines, type of game I want to play.
     
    Ony likes this.
  10. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,386
    Well, the issue with Prey for me was that you couldn't sneeze without hitting another walking shadow cloud thing. I very quickly discovered that stealth doesn't exaclty work, and because they're constantly moving they represent threat that can bite you back if left unattended. So I did a reasonable thing and attempted to murder everything that was hostile to me. The decision felt very natural, I was quite successful, If my memory serves me right. The only thing I did avoid was "Nightmare".

    I did play proper stealth before you know: Hitman (All the way from the very first game to Absolution), Thief: Deadly Shadows (the one on unreal 3), I was very into stealth in Deus Ex (Invisible War, Human Revolution and Mankind Divided). I still remember avoiding Gargoyles in Thief ("It is gone, gone, gone gone!" or something when you steal a plate), and in later Hitman Games, reaching Silent Assassin rank (meaning you've left no clues, nobody ever saw you, you never caused an alert) was a treat. In Skyrim and Fallout 4 I also leaned towards stealth characters. (in case of fallout it sometimes meant having a chainsaw as a backup weapon)

    However, Prey for me did not feel like it was designed well for this kind of avoidance playthrough. Each enemy felt more like annoyance you had to put down so it won't bother you again. And not an obstacle to avoid.
     
    Ony likes this.
  11. MD_Reptile

    MD_Reptile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Posts:
    2,626
    I tried the PS2 HL (years after having already played HL on PC) and it was... well not really much different except visually changed character models, and I thought it was pretty fun to play coop at the time, way before I heard of or tried SVEN or whatever the HL multiplayer mod was called.

    The original half life was epic in its day. I remember bringing home a hardcopy of it (haha... hardcopies... ahhh) and installing it to the first computer I could get my hands on... spent like a couple hours in awe playing the game itself, then stumbled into "worldcraft" which was the editor at the time.

    I still credit worldcraft and "hammer" which it was rebranded later, as being the very thing that inspired me to later do what I do now, make games with unity! :D

    The game these days feels dated sure... and its a long way from modern shooters in almost every aspect, but when it came out it was fresh, had downright terror inducing enemies, and seemed a technical wonder to me. I can't recall a game before it of a similar nature that stuck with me like HL did, because valve put a lot of passion into it and it showed, and pushed some boundaries that all other games at the time ignored.

    I realize I'm pretty well repeating what everyone already said, and that I've probably answered similarly in old threads going on about half life.... but I'll be promoting ol' HL til' the day I croak.
     
    Ony likes this.
  12. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    13,126
    I'm not going to argue that you should like the game, @neginfinity, since that's a matter of preference and taste. I think there's some solid stuff in there fur discussion, though.

    Rather than debate the meaning of "levels" or "open world", I'll explain why I think Prey was different from Doom and Half Life. In both of those games once you complete a section of the game and begin the next you don't go back without losing continuity of experience. In Prey you can travel around the station however you want, and quests have you traipsing back and forth across it often without a clear destination, and often dealing with consequences of prior actions both in scripted ways (eg: quest outcomes, character interactions) and emergent ways (eg: used/unused resources, whether or not you took out enemies, available paths).

    By this logic most games are also Pac Man clones, because you avoid bad guys until you're powerful enough to kill them, then you go and wallop them.

    As I said, I agree it shares elements of those things, but by my interpretation neither of them are the focus of the game. Shooting is there because it needs to be, but I don't think the game ever wanted the player to look forward to it or feel powerful for long. By making combat heavily resource based they very much limit how long you can be powerful for, which for me was important to the vibe of the game. I wasn't asking myself "can I take this thing on?", I was asking myself "do I want to spend these resources to take this thing on?"

    I agree that resources could have been scarcer to push this aspect further. There was a good portion of the game where I was sneeaking or running from enemies until I reached areas where I hadn't already depleted available resources, though, so it was definitely a significant element.

    That's precisely what I'm referring to as "psychological horror" - aiming to unsettle the viewer through suspicion, distrust, self-doubt and paranoia. I agree that System Shock 2 is the scarier of the two games, but I think Prey plays a lot more with those thematic elements. For starters, it opens with a sequence where you can't tell what's real and what's not, and doesn't let up on that particular theme for the entire duration of the game.

    I also agree that the old Prey was a really cool game in its own right, and if I'd been following the IP hoping for a direct follow up I'd probably also be annoyed that it got "re-imagined" instead of continued instead. Still, I wasn't going to enjoy the new one any less based in it sharing a name with an effectively unrelated game from over a decade ago.

    I agree that the enemies are "bullet sponges" and that combat is more of an issue of resources than cool fighting.

    I don't agree that every interaction in every game is supposed to be fun. Heck, Prey goes out of its way to make you unsettled about killing many of the Typhon by making sure that you understand that they're human beings under mind control, who can potentially be saved.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
    Ony and Martin_H like this.
  13. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,386
    I did not compare it to Doom. I compared it to System Shock.

    That's a strawman, though.

    The reason why those games are compared is because those similarities are STRONG.

    "Shooter" does not mean "feeling powerful". In fact attempting to make the player "feel powerful" can kill fun components of the shooter by making combat too easy and boring.
    A good example of shooter is Terminator: Future Shock. You're literally a cornered rat there, hiding in ruins of dead civilization from powerful machines. It is still a shooter, though.
    I know that "let's make a power fantasy" is in vogue now, but this is cheap/lazy appraoch, and payoff from it is inferior to what you get when you earn your victory.

    It is also not possible to make me consider "do I want to spend resources" by making ammo limited, because I'll simply try to murder all things on the map in melee. With a wrench. Punching things to death to conserve ammo is a well-proven tactic.

    I seriously do not see much of "psychological" part in Prey. Psychological for me means somethig else.

    I don't agree with this. You are supposed to enjoy the interaction with the game. If you literally launch the game to feel pain, then the game designer has failed to do their job.

    The thing is, "fun" has broad definition. Challenge, being unsettled, horrified, or scaling difficulty curve is part of the fun. That's why Dark Souls is so enjoyable.

    You are supposed to like what you're doing in the game. If you do not like that, then it belongs to trash can, and there are better things to do.
     
    Ony likes this.
  14. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    13,126
    Yeah, my focus was very much on exploration and the overarching scenario.

    Ok, by your broad definition of "fun" I did not have a problem with combat in the game. It did not even slightly detract from my enjoyment.

    Furthermore, to me the combat is just one aspect of the game, and the overall package for me was an absolute treat. I am not at all convinced that having different combat would have improved it, which is what I care about as a designer.

    It was actually Half Life you mentioned in the text I quoted, and I added Doom to make my own comparison clearer. In any case, I'd rather discuss design than nitpick conversational style?

    Similarly, lets not get tied up over a label. I agree that Prey (2007) has more in common with System Shock 2 than it does Prey (2006).

    No "straw man". I was pointing out that your argument in that regard is highly reductionist, and that I don't think that approach is useful here.

    Despite having a number of overlapping mechanics, Prey and Dishonored were very different experiences for me. They explored different themes, they had me making different decisions, the setting was very different, the stories and underlying lore are very different, and so on. I think that differences are generally more important than similarities, and with that in mind I stand by my statement about "Dishonored in space" being a superficial interpretation.

    Aren't you then just spending different resources - health and/or psi?

    Right. My point was that the way you seem to want to earn your victory (skill in fighting) is not the way I think Prey was designed for people to earn their victory (resource management).

    Again, I'm not arguing that you should like it, I'm just discussing the different design approaches and intents taken in different games. There's not a lot anyone can learn from Prey (2017) by comparing it against Prey (2006) and viewing it as a clunky shooter. The intents are too different. But I think there's a lot we can learn from it, including from its flaws, if we look at it for what it's designers wanted it to be.

    Personally, I'd also be really disappointed if all games became even more homogenised because they're all based even more heavily on expectations from other, older games. We'll never find out, but I'd love to know how Prey (2017) would have been received if it wasn't called "Prey" and a chunk of the audience wasn't expecting an action shooter.
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  15. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,386
    Did detract from mine, to the point where I wouldn't recommend the game because of it. Despite the level design, exploration, quests, overarching cause and effect and so on.

    I do not see my approach as highly reductionist, while I see your comparison to pacman reductionist. Hence "strawman".

    The theme does not matter, as they share gameplay elements. The gameplay elements make them similar.
    The gameplay elements are long term non-obvious choices without consequences. Dishonored had that painting with bottle, and something similar happened in Prey as well. The thing is I played the game 2+ years ago, so I am unsure what that something was. But it was there. And that's what made it similar.

    I do not believe Prey was designed to earn victory through resource management.
    My complaint is that combat was perceived so poorly (by me) that it got in the way of positive parts of the game and ultimatley greatly worsened the experience.

    As for "designing", I think Arkane studios generally tries to make an unique experience for player. Meaning you does some thing, it resonates elsewhere down the line, and you have "aha" moment - "that's why it happened". Somebody else will not do this thing and their experience will be different from yours.

    I think you focus on "shooter" too much. That's not the problem. The problem that I saw combat mechanics as being so bad, that they ultimately harmed the rest of the experience.

    As for comparisons, there's a lot to be learned, because original Prey also featured a huge spaceship environment, had spacewalks, and so on.

    For example, like I said before, one of the games I recently really enjoyed, was "Little nightmares". The game doesn't have a gun in it.
    So it is not about "winning through combat", it is about experience being soundly designed without glaring flaws that would detract from it.

    It would've been received much better, and I probably wouldn't have played it. I mean, I played dishonored, and it had similar problems - they are trying to do a great thing but then screw it up in gameplay department.

    One interesting thing after the game was reading the reviews, because number of people said "best combat mechanics I ever saw". That made me realize that they never played Rage, UNreal 2004, Quake 3, Quake 1. It isn't surprising, of course. Rage was released 9 years ago, and Quake 3 is 20+ years old, meaning there are games younger than Quake 3. However it feels like clunky mechanics now became the norm and the era of railgun gods is largely phased out.
     
  16. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    13,126
    This implies that "best combat mechanics" is an objective thing and your preference is the one true answer. In reality it's highly subjective, and they probably have different preferences from you.

    (I can't comment on Dishonored's combat, as I played a pacifist.)

    I was making a more extreme version of your own argument in an attempt to demonstrate its reductionism.
     
  17. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,386
    You're extrapolating here. "implies" means it is something I did not say.

    "The Era of Railgun gods" is not a subjective thing, and I do not recall recent game that had Quake 3 level of map control. I do not think a lot of such games exist now.
    Modern games, in comparison, seem to deviate from skill based play towards playstyle based on amoutn of time spent. This is reflected in "character level" systems. On other hand, quality of movement control seems to be going down. Fortnite is quite popular, however, characters there last time I tried it had exceptionally poor mobility.

    That's the very definition of strawman. :D
    "A straw man is a form of argument and an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent. ".

    ---------
    We're heading at high speed towards semantic argument, and those are not useful. I propose to try something else and go back to game development related stuff rather than hyperanlyzing each other's statements.
     
  18. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    13,126
    That's not what I was saying is subjective. It's been fun, I'm out.
     
  19. Ony

    Ony

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Posts:
    1,954
    As I was reading this thread, I remembered that (in Prey) I spent about twenty minutes using the Gloo Cannon to make "steps" and jumped my way up alternating walls in that super tall main lobby section (near the elevator) just so I could get all the way to the top and climb around, then make my way back down again. I fell a few times near the top and kept trying until I got up there. That's what kind of player I am. o_O
     
    xVergilx, Martin_H and Antypodish like this.
  20. Martin_H

    Martin_H

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2015
    Posts:
    4,163
    This! While I don't want to say there's nothing to be compared and rated objectively (I think there could have been some combat improvements in Prey that wouldn't harm the vision they had for the game), ultimately it's a personal decision whether one likes it or not. It didn't get in the way of my enjoyment either, but a friend of mine didn't finish the game in part because of the combat I think, and he's also a bigger fan of retro shooters than I am. So that's maybe a similar preference to what @neginfinity has.

    I don't agree at all on the "screw it up in gameplay" judgement about the these games. I've played almost all those that you mention and almost all games by Arkane, and I think the later are at least up to the standard of the top games of the market. They are easily one of my favorite developers of all time. If you don't like all their games and you prefer all the good ID shooters, then you simply don't like the immersive-sim genre.

    That's fine, but you're (imho objectively) wrong that the classic ID shooters have objectively better gameplay, because you personally don't put enough value on the non-combat gameplay aspects that the Arkane games offer. And I don't know why you mention Rage, that game was one of the worst shooters I have ever played, I absolutely hated it and it didn't become a classic in the same way that Quake 1 to 3 did. Who is talking about Rage anymore today? It hasn't stood the test of time like Quake and Doom did. I can see why you like Q3, I've played that a lot as well and finished the singleplayer on Nightmare, but Rage imho was a super boring and poorly excecuted shooter that history will rightfully forget about, while the Arkane games will be fondly remembered by the niche audiences they targeted.

    And this is where indeed personal preferences come into play heavily, because obviously you've found a lot of stuff to put value on in Rage, and I didn't, whereas I found a lot of stuff to value in Prey, and you didn't. We're leaving the realm of objectivity when we try to find relative value judgements between different parts of gameplay or accross different games. But we can objectively analyze how many different gameplay systems are provided in two titles and how many different playstyles or player personalities they accomodate. Q3 is best suited for one player type and it is one of the best games ever for those. Immersive sims are not nearly as well suited for that one player type, but they are able to provide a lot of value for several other player types: Those that like exploring, those that like experimenting with synergies in gameplay systems, those that like unraveling a narrative, those that like an immersive game world feeling to simply be someplace else for a while, or those that like to use gameplay systems to express themselves in the gameworld (e.g. non-lethal playthroughs) etc..

    Lumping these immersive sim games all together as "those where the combat sucks" is reductionist and unfair to the genre, and is a perspective I would expect of a player who is hardcore into skill based shooters like Q3 and nothing else (not implying that's the only thing you like, because clearly it isn't). It's fine for you to dislike them, and I totally agree that Prey didn't incentivize or facilitate stealth well, even though I'm often a stealthy player myself, and I'm happy to aknowledge that the games all have flaws. It's probably impossibly to ever perfectly balance a game with such a wide range of systems and choices, but I think they're all still brilliant games, even with their lackluster combat implementations, and I would be tremendously sad if Arkane went back to making the more focused classic shooters, because right now they are the last developer to make big budget immersive sims, which are my favorite genre and likely always will be. I can't get the 100+ hours out of those games that I can get out of more time-sinky titles, but looking back on what games I have the fondest memories of, a lot of them are immersive-sims like Thief 1 + 2, System Shock 2, Deus Ex 1, Dishonored 1 + 2, Deus Ex HR + MD, or Prey.

    And I'm sure those games will always be polarizing for players because they don't focus as well on one player type, but instead on the players that appreciate having more choices available and wanting to explore the broader possibility space, even if the scope of it comes at the cost of leaving individual systems like combat in a less polished state than a more combat-focused experience might be.


    I can relate! I think I did something similar to get into my office in the lobby, or get to the one thing in the garden where you were not supposed to get so early, or climbed up an elevator shaft once. It was a tool that truly enriched the gaming experience for me, because it opened up the door to a new way of thinking about problems, similar to the "you're now thinking in portals" of the portal games. If you never heard of it, maybe check out "tiny and big". It's a small indie game about traversing terrain by cutting the terrain geometry into pieces and moving them.
     
    Ony and angrypenguin like this.
  21. CodeSlug

    CodeSlug

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    Posts:
    91
    Mainly because it was a great FPS on the PC platform from a time where PC Gaming was extremely extremely niche and things like Playstation 1 was practically ruling the world.

    Beyond that there isn't anything super special about Half Life at all, I played it when it first came out and enjoyed it a lot because there wasn't anything else worth while back then beyond things like quake. The whole immersive experience and amazing games were on playstation, PC was mainly top down isometric games I do think one of the best games I ever played was Little Big Adventure Twinsen.

    But when you compare the competition today and where games are, there is a reason Valve never committed to the franchise and we never got a half life 3. DOTA, CS GO, TF2 etc showed that you could make a game and play it nonstop forever and never ever get bored which is completely opposite to single player games like half life. You can't have things like Esports geared around games like Half Life.

    Half life was a great game in a time where the PC was limited in amount of good games compared to consoles, online gaming wasn't even a thing for majority of the world, it wasn't anything special beyond that form of nostalgia
     
  22. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,386
    That's simply how I feel. For example, in Dishonored they have a huge array of murder tools then punish for using them. In Prey combat is unsound. In Dishonored 2 (I had non-lethal and fully lethal playthrough), there are screwups in consequences, for example, you start in the middle of slaughter, but few more dead people added by your hand made huge change in next levels. In each game, there's always a flaw, somewhere. I could probably pull up a list of my complaints regarding dishonored 2, for example.

    I have never claimed 'objectively better', because humans are incapable of objectivity. However, old shooters are skill based, while I see that newer one are levitating towards grind, amount of time spent, luck based and random generator based gameplay. Oh, and lootboxes. I also usually see poor movement handling this days. And when it comes to "railgun god" games, then I'm not seeing them being made anymore.

    Because I recall that combat was quite sound in it, and I'm talking about Rage 1 by ID software, not Rage 2. It was not a great game, mind you, gunplay was the only good part of it. For example I have no idea why they wasted so much time on that annoying racing game or why they had poorly done ending. The highlight of the game was fighting that giant mutant-cyborg thing in the ruins.

    Like I said. I never lumped them in it, that's putting word in my mouth.
    However, when you spent a lot of resources on lore, story, quests, levels, why not do combat properly as well? In Prey combat felt poorly done. That's all. I did explore the areas and I found Zero G segments interesting.
    However, combat left massive negative impression, that eventually pretty much outweighted positive aspects of the game.
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  23. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2017
    Posts:
    3,517
    I think another way to look at this is, if combat is not the main core of your game, don't introduce it as such.

    Because I thought Prey was a shooter. It was a sequel/remake to a shooter. And the first thing you do in the game is get a gun and shoot. So if that makes a lackluster presentation, you're off to a bad start.
     
    angrypenguin and neginfinity like this.
  24. Deckard_89

    Deckard_89

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    Posts:
    284
    This reminds me, I was looking forward to System Shock 3 :(
     
    Ony and Martin_H like this.
  25. neoshaman

    neoshaman

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Posts:
    5,570
    Blamer marketing though, and the guy who had a biff with the old team for whatever reason and decide to erase their legacy completely .... prey 2 where looking good, and still does!

    That's your own fault though, you want to pass personal judgement for final judgement, of course a story game would have less emphasis on gun, that's why final fantasy has pitiful jumping section, or simplified snow surfing.

    okay just stop right there and git gud at the game ...
     
  26. andyz

    andyz

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Posts:
    1,465
    I remember Prey (2006) and the half life games being revolutionary and varied in ways games are not today (well first person). And you had difficulty levels to keep it fun for all, often missing these days.
    Not sure if I should try the remakes, updates or not
     
  27. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    7,163
    I'm not sure I catch your meaning. First person shooters have had difficulty levels since Catacomb 3-D back in 1991. They've pretty much always been a staple.

    upload_2020-3-16_8-5-38.png
     
    neoshaman likes this.
  28. Stardog

    Stardog

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Posts:
    1,556
    I did some digging around and it seems like Half-life might have been the first game with WASD/mouse-look as default.

    Also, it was the dawn of affordable graphics cards. OpenGL mode with a 3dfx card made it run liquid smooth.
     
    Ony and Martin_H like this.
  29. neoshaman

    neoshaman

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Posts:
    5,570
    NO It was a terminator game or a game name cyclones, I don't remember, I did a history of fps a while back, I just don't have the note anymore.

    Okay I googled it it's Cyclones
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CyClones

    WASD was introduced by tresh (a player) in quake or doom I think, and Id software adopted it by default.
     
  30. andyz

    andyz

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Posts:
    1,465
    I meant the other way around, games today do not always have them and you enjoy the story but then get frustated by rock hard combat!
     
  31. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    7,163
    Most games nowadays are tuned so loosely that they can be beaten by people who are playing that game as their first game ever.
     
  32. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2017
    Posts:
    3,517
    I can only think of one (modern) developer in particular who makes games with a set difficulty that is above average difficult + story anybody would care to follow.
     
  33. unitedone3D

    unitedone3D

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Posts:
    65
    Hi there! Just a 2 cents. I don't know...guessing
    OP, I believe it is because Half-Life took everything before (at that point) and turned it up-side down (+ the soon Steam store thing...), and the soon Counter-Strike (online shooter of Valve) thing also.
    Half-Life was Story FPS, something rare in the genre; deep and fleshed out story telling, but from 1st POV. That, plus great mechanics/shooting mechanics/various weapons/freaky monster aliens/
    a big SciFi Lab (black mesa)...and a very rich 'presentation'..like your this dude going 'to work' at the big place..and you take the 'train' to get there..the intro lasts what? 10 minutes?...it is Very Intro-ish.
    A Good thing because it is saying : this game is 'plunging you in it/the world' and you must suspend your disbelief (and it worked). ''Welcome to the Black Mesa Facility...Have a Nice Day (your last)''...the new game Prey has Half-Life vibes, 'being runover by aliens in shady scifi lab'...
    Half-Life, its very Title/Name is catchy...Whatis this...hALF...Life? Quarter Life, No life is more like it...Half life because that's about how long he'll live. (Albeit I did not follow the whole story, I'm sure there is more to it).
    And it kinda makes sense, some dude in a big place where probably everyone is 'overworked - Crunch (just like indie devs/AAA devs face -> Crunch -> Half-Life)'...so yeah half-life -> half-job/hackjob -> no life.
    I mean if the game had been named 'Half' and that's it...it would never had the same success. Life is very punchy word. So much thought went into choosing this title name.
    Half-Life...it could be a SIM game a...RPG game...basically anthing, it means nothing. Yet,
    by same token, means everything or whatever you want it to mean (imagine calling this game: ''Shooter in a alien complex thing game'', it would not have had success. Title name is crucial.). A Half-life, is short(ened).
    The story telling in this game was very special. But Half-Life was not something that, for me, like 'turned my world aroudn' or something. But it was Very Great, for sure and 'changed the game land/scenery' for the better (and Steam arrived after). For me, it's before that. Such as Hexen, Heretic, Witchaven, Doom (on Sega 32x and Atari Jaguar; tons of early SuperNES/N64/Sega Genesis/Jag/3DO/NeoGeo/Sega CD games that were not released on PC and just as good as any HalfLife; they were the 'false3d' FPS predecessors to it and it was influenced by them; like a fav. was Alien/K*lling Time on Jaguar), many of the 'build engine' games; Half-Life showed a new engine. Quake then completely changed things too. (Valve/id/Epic). Same thing for Unreal 1/Unreal Tournament, these completely changed things with arrival of their game. But the one the made 'online FPS shooter games' populare was Counter-Strike 1; arrived just after Half-Life and started the whole fig. Steam* Train.

    Half-Life Alyx is where it is now, VR is the 'half-life 96' all over again - but Half Life Alyx. It's why there is so much interest (Half-Life 2 was great, but nowhere Half-Life 1 Storytelling/innovation/'newness'. Then...no Half-Life 3 forever (Steam became Huge PC games platform... too busy making/printing dollar bills. no time for HL3)...until Alyx this year). Sin was very great too. But did not reach the fame of Half-Life. (Just my opeinion).
    I am making a FPS game (I love the feeling of Doom 2016/the lighting in it is better/Doom Eternal has worse lighting (except Raytraced lighting, like the Quake 2 RTX Nvidia demo, Wow the lighting (but I managed to fake it/GI/PBR all this is good and with solid penumbra shadows (like that new System Shock 3 game taht is abandonned), Quake 2 was a Great game (story-telling FPS, the Rail weapon was special and kind of inspired itself from Half-Life 1, with the whole 'alien stroggos invasion' thing), played it so much, almost more than Quake 1; while Quake 3 Arcarda Arena, lots of Fun/like Unreal Tourn.)), and very inspried by the Build games time, trying to infuse that in oldfeel game. The cool new ones are DUSK, Aeon, Ion Fury (it features a tough woman as protagonist who is a Duke Nukem 3D girl; was called Duchess Nukem in other words. Albeit this game has faced certain controversy because touching subjects like Duke Nukem 1997 'bad humor' (regarding political subjects)) (my game tries to avoid that totally because...all games are political...even the least one..but some are Very political and that causes controversy quick. Doom Eternal is not so controversial anymore (Half Life was not), but Doom in 1993 was/same for Wolfestein (dealing with WWII imagery in Germany), while doom dealth with 'it's too violent' game (was ban and then was accepted later). While Half Life was never so controversial because it was toned down. But Doom Eternal is Like playing Mortal Kombat 11, Full-Pin/Full-Gore (just like that character in Killer Instinct - Fulgore...and he sure dishes it, I played a Ton of KI/KI2 in arcards back then; along with the controversial Mortal Kombat 1/2/3 in 1990s). Alyx in Half-Life Alyx VR is more realistic character portrayal and is great we see diversification in FPS games. It helps to make new thing/fresh instead of Another sequel (but people go for what they like (AAA/Star Indie) and ignore obscure stuff (Lesser Indie); Unless it is good).

    As many pointed, we have so many games, so few dollars and so many hours in a single day; we must sleep. That leaves not many choice; you hav to choose and 99% choose best, each time, every time because life short (so select best in the time you have to play - cream of the crop - 1%. 99% are vying for that 1% place (even my own fps game I'm making. we're all competing)); it's why Half-Life Alyx gaining so much attention/marketing while other indie VR games have 0 luck (VR is niche market; but Alyx may change a bit; but, VR head set too expensive; until they change that/mass market it; VR will Still remain somewhat in the back; But Alyx will boost it for suRe (all the Steam VR headset are sold out - For 1 Game - Alyx. Goes to show, 1 game can change everything. Half-Life: Alyx resembles the launch of Half-Life 1. There is revival and injection of 'new' in the game industry; thus, 1 game, can change the whole thing, again).

    Thanks for reading.

    Just a 2 cents.
     
  34. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,386
    Half Life is a scientific term related to radioactive decay.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-life
    That's why the symbol of the game is lambda.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambda
    Also see:
    https://combineoverwiki.net/wiki/Lambda_logo
     
    Antypodish likes this.
  35. unitedone3D

    unitedone3D

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Posts:
    65
    Dear neginfinity, Thank you for helping me understand Half-Life (makes lots of sense/really intriguing) !
     
  36. unitedone3D

    unitedone3D

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Posts:
    65
    PS: For anyone making a video game, (just a 2 cents) I cannot understate the importance of audio. It has been said (and repeated) but it has oftenly been 'overlooked' a bit. Half-Life has Incredible Audio, all those sounds lifeted uup the experience to make it a memorable one (same in Half-Life 2...and from the Half-Life Alyx trailer...we can 'hear' (listening it) it is continuing that tradition). If you close the image and just 'listen' to the audio Alone, you realize How Much/huge the audio is in importance to the experience.

    Same thing for the new Prey game, incredible audio once more. It is the same in the most iconic games: Super Mario Bros (Coins/thematic song), Street Fighter (Ryu Hadoken! sound), Sonic Sega (those Sonic Coins sound...they sure are Sonic(ally) Sonic/soundly...), Mortal Kombat (Get Over Here scorpion sound), all of them have hallmark sounds that are hard to forget; sound memory stays for a long time; image stays long time too but research showed that sound triggers imagination the most/like brain is 'hyper activated' by sounds (almost moreso than images/visuals). This means if your game is lesser quality graphically you can make it Much more by working on its audio part.

    GDC devs said it (audio designers or not): ''Games that are cut above and distinguing themselves as unique - Have Unique audio. AAA games invest in audio; oftenly, the AAA game is the one with the incredible audio (that's how you can tell, it's an AAA game and that it is memorable/differentiates itself in terms of quality)''. And 100% true, a beautiful/visual impressive game with a lackluster audio/aural experience will 'lack something'...that's the audio. For my game I researched deeply about that, Doom Eternal has great sound, Half-Life has great sound, and many other FPS games (Duke Nukem had many 'one liner' sounds fxs (like when Duke would say jokes (voice performance)...that became famous; and Half-Alyx seems to have quite the audio experience too). People Remember Sound Tracks; Music is crucial to your game; you can make a game with no music and only SFXs but Music, once more, can Lift up game to make it Very distinguished; becaise music creates emotions - rapidly; it 'moods' the whole thing (like Atmospheric music..makes atmosphere/atmospheric game - you create emotions in player) and people think about those songs/musical elements in the games they play, very much. IT is integral (I think) to make a rich(er) experience.

    So many people on Steam or other platforms Buy (literally) the SoundTracks of a video game (even if the 'music' on it is not proper music but 'backgroud-filling music for ambience' rather than 'voiced melodies' to sing to). It goes to show. Like Doom Eternals new soundtrack (made by composer Mick Gordon) is very metallicky/rocky like and 'fuels' the game quite a lot; if you read the reviews of the game - ''Without the gritty Doom music...the game feels empty/devoid/lacking that 'something/spark''...and that Something (that Makes Doom)...is the music.

    Thus, you can almost entirely overcome lackign visuals by having stellar audio experience. I didn't realize it, but listening to all those Old games of the 80s 90s nowadays is like a blast from the past - in sound...so much iconic sounds that 'differentiate' each game very much, by the sound; and not so much just their visuals. Like I looked at 3D 360o Spatial Sound (for anyone making a FPS game) it makes sense...a 3D game in first-person or VR (like Half-Life Alyx) Hugely dépends on 'Surround Sound' experience to 'position' the player 'in the virtual world' (plunge them to feel 'surrouded/in it').

    Check Google Resonance, Steam Audio (Phonon), Microsoft Spatializer and a couple of other VR spatializers that make the sound So incredible and make the game Much more lively. Of course, that's for the SFX experience., you then need to characterize your game (as unique)..by its (unique) 'theme/thematic music.

    Just a 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  37. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2017
    Posts:
    3,517
    Home dawg, that wasn't 2 cents that was 20 dollars. But nobody will get their money worth if you don't punctuate! Give that return key some love.
     
    MD_Reptile likes this.
  38. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    8,386
    Or remove spaces in the name of chaos. Also an option.
     
unityunity