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An envelope arrived in the post this morning. Thick, stuffed with books. Diaries, in fact. Someone has sent me Gordon Freeman’s diaries from the last eight years. I don’t really know what to do about this. I mean, this is obviously big news, but this is also someone’s private life. But what if it was Gordon himself who sent them? What if he wants the… the misery therein to be exposed?
I’ve decided on a compromise. I’m going to publish some extracts, picked almost at random from the lot. If Freeman wants them taken down, he can get in touch and we’ll honour that right away.>
Expansion packs were once a core part of playing PC games, but they can often feel less essential in a world of constant updates and microtransactions. Original game Alec, expansions Adam and Graham, and brief DLC Alice gathered to discuss their favourite game expansions and why they still think the model works.
We know virtually nothing about Half-Life 3. We don't know if it exists in any kind of incomplete state, or if not, if it will exist at all at any point in the near or distant future. We don't even know if Valve wants to make it exist at this point. But we do know, thanks to Valve's Chet Faliszek, that it will not be a VR game.
As reported by VG247, Faliszek was asked following his talk about VR at EGX if Half-Life 3 would be a virtual reality game. "No," he replied, before moving on to discuss how the bandwidth requirements of VR headsets mean they won't be going wireless anytime soon. But the Half-Life inquisitor wasn't ready to give up quite so easily, so he asked again.
"I said no," Faliszek answered again. And that, apparently, was that.
So, Half-Life 3 isn't being developed for VR? Or Half-Life 3 isn't being developed at all? For such a succinct answer, it sure leaves a lot of room for interpretation. On the other hand, he didn't deny that it's being made. Half-Life 3 not VR confirmed.
There have been some unusual and unexpected ports in recent times. I’d never expected to see Deadly Premonition in my Steam library and Way of the Samurai 4 was something of a surprise. Strangest of all, perhaps, is that I’ve not only become accustomed to the presence of Metal Gear Solid V on PC, but that its stealthy immersive sim-feel has made it an integral part of 2015. Aspects of the design will become part of the fabric of future open world games, whether stealth-focused or not, and there’s nothing about the game that marks it out as a port.
Level 28! No, the other kind of level. The type that you run around in, shooting people or jumping on their heads and that sort of thing. Adam, Alec, Alice and Graham gather to discuss their favourite levels and/or maps from across the vast length of PC gaming, including selections from Deus Ex, Call of Duty and Quake III. Someone even makes a case for Xen from Half-Life, and means it.
Not that much, really – which is hardly a surprise. Developers Crowbar Collective haven’t given up on it, as they said they wouldn’t, but expect future updates to be more along the lines of bug fixes than big additions. The mod won’t see Xen, for starters. The older version of the Source engine the mod uses isn’t up to handling the pretty Xen they want to make, see, and they can’t change it.
Each week Marsh Davies latches onto Early Access like a brain-eating alien parisitoid and slurps up any stories he can find. This week we re back in Black Mesa [official site] – the classy fan remake of Half-Life 1 in a hybrid version of the Source engine which was used for its sequels. An incomplete release of the project was made available on Steam for free last year, but the Early Access incarnation is a more polished, ongoing, funded development, with additional chapters planned, multiplayer, workshop integration and modding tools.>
If the past is another country, then it s one under constant mnemonic invasion from the present. This is doubly true of moments from a distant childhood, a time when experience was already enlarged so dramatically by the imagination, when the emotional significance of toys, or books, or games far exceeded their actual sophistication – and it is these responses which then endure in memory, rewriting the reality. 22 years of brain death has sneakily uprezzed my recollection of the original Syndicate, for example, transforming it into a glorious cyberpunk cityscape that its crude, mud-paletted pixels have never really deserved. So when I say Black Mesa is every bit as good as the Half-Life I remember playing 17 years ago, you ll understand that I m praising something much greater than an act of recreation.
There is a peculiar irony to the impression people have of gaming. When videogames are lazily portrayed in the wider world, they inevitably show a soldier being shot through a gun scope. Hell, even within the highest enclave walls, people are wont to dismiss the poor taste of others by snarking, They d probably like it if it had a gun floating at the bottom of the screen. The first-person shooter is the most emblematic genre of gaming, and yet it s now the most under-served, under-developed, and rarest of mainstream releases. There are barely any new non-indie FPS games. And it s all Half-Life s fault.>