I was in a great mood, until, randomly, I recieve this.
[15:00:12] TheMysteriousMrZ: www.gamerankings.com so, i see that half-life 2 has remained in the top five while halo 2 is conspicuously absent from the top ten altogether.
[15:00:25] *** “TheMysteriousMrZ” signed off at Sat Dec 04 15:00:25 2004.
THIS is why Half-Life 2 sucks. THIS is why Half-Life sucks. I didn’t want to have to make a post about this, but I’m gonna have to if I’m gonna get my point across.
Sure, four weeks ago I was confident that, according to Gamerankings, Halo 2 would have a higher score. In reality, I didn’t care, it was just a fun bet with BEN (not Zach, mind you). I would have liked to see Halo 2 stay up there. The retardacity of this is that somehow the ranking score has turned into a numerical value of how good a game is. It’s a summary, not a statement. I find it enough that IGN, Gamespot, and GMR all found Halo 2 to be a better game. I could care less about “Boomtown” and “eToyChest”‘s ideas. You know why Halo 2 has such a low score? Because 6 sites, none of whom I’ve ever heard of, decided it’s a bad game. I read them. As reviews, they SUCKED. If quality of reviewers could be measured, they wouldn’t be included. Nonetheless, they are there, pulling Halo 2’s score down a full percentage point or two.
That being said, HL2 has a higher score, fair and square, I suppose.
As for MY opinion of HL2 and why I think it sucks, I’ll try and convey that now. I’ve seen HL2. I watched Zach play it for an hour, and to be honest, I was not amazed. From what I’ve read (I’ve read 3 or 4 reviews on it) and seen (I’ve watched a number of movies and screenshots), I can make some pretty fair statements here.
Graphics: Yeah, they’re good. That is, if you have a good rig. Zach’s machine definately isn’t bad, (It’s like 2.2 AMD with a 9600P, right?) but it didn’t look outstanding on his rig. Good? Yes. Personally, I don’t find the recent graphics of Doom 3 and HL2 all that amazing, they look dreary and dull. Elder Scrolls IV? Now that’s beautiful, and it’s not even a finished engine.
Physics: Get ready for this: Halo 2 and Half-Life 2 use the same physics engine. They both use the Havoc engine – HL2 uses a slightly more advanced and souped up form that allows some water effects (bouyancy) and just a little more detail all around. Personally, I could care less if the world I’m playing has realistic physics. The physics in Halo 2 are detailed enough that I can have loads of fun just screwing around rolling barrels and rocks around. Ben said something about the ragdoll not being good in Halo 2 – I beg to differ. Watching myself die is almost a treat – it’s like a reward for doing badly. If I’m sniping and I get sniped back, my guy will fall backwards (not doing the flailing thing) and roll down the stairs slowly. So far I’ve never seen any unrealistic poses (think back to when ragdoll had just come out) or anything annoying and stupid. Yes, every now and then when you get blown up your guy will flail around, but so what?
Storyline: Keep in mind, I speak from ignorance and base what I know off of the Gamespot review. According to them, the storyline was weak, and not very good in general. The end was anticlimactic and ended with you fighting a weak enemy with an overpowered weapon. This is just what I read – don’t look at me for innacuracies. Halo 2’s storyline owned. I have to say, it was really good. Did the cliffhanger ending suck? Absolutely. I wanted the game to keep going very, very badly. That just raises the bar for Halo 3 – I expect a lot from its story now (Bungie has unoffically announced it in the recent Q&A). Apparantly HL2 still doesn’t have any cutscenes, or third-person events for that matter, and Gordon Freeman never speaks. That doesn’t seem like much room to make a plot. I don’t think I’d like the entire story being told by people talking to you.
All that being said, there is still more to mention. Halo 1 had a higher average review score than Half-Life 1. When I compare HL1 and HL2, I don’t see much difference. They look the same, they feel the same, they even SOUND the same (they didn’t even put in new sounds for some parts of the game). HL2 = HL1 + graphics and physics. That’s all I see. When I look at Halo 2, I see worlds of difference. H2 = H1 + much improved storyline/single player in general + huge gameplay changes (new weapons, vehicles, maps, dual wielding, no health, I could go on and on about the fundamental differences) + xbox live + graphics + physics. When I say HL2 sucks, I don’t mean it’s a bad game. I mean that by my standards, compared to what I enjoy playing, it is not a fun game that is worth my money. Steam alone is enough to push me away – I read the Game Revolution review, and that was a big enough factor to really change their score. Anyone with a non-state-of-the-art computer will have to deal with loading times and general annoyances. The implications of Steam are awful – if every company did this, PC gaming would go down the tubes.
That’s just what I have to say.