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Gabe Newell at E3 2012 [Reddit]
So far, toy company NECA seems to be doing a pretty good job with a license for Valve's catalogue of first-person shooters. But at the end of the day, NECA makes toys for the mass market, so what you'll be getting will be fairly standard stuff.
Over the weekend a potentially more exciting announcement was made: Valve will also be having toys made by threeA, a Hong Kong company who in this writer's opinion are simply the best manufacturers of action figures on the planet.
While threeA made a name for itself initially making original toys and figures based on its own properties, like World War Robot (whose artist Ashley Wood also helps run threeA), it's recently moved into licensed territory, making figures based on things like Real Steel.
They're also the guys behind the enormous, $500 Metal Gear Rex figure due out later this year.
It'll be very interesting to see what they can come up with.
I love old movies—especially films from the 1940s. Graphic designer Bao Nguyen did a take on classic games, like Half-Life and Street Fighter, and reimagined them as classic films—namely, creating film title cards for them.
Ever wondered what Metal Gear would've looked like as an old Warner Bros. crime film? Something like this! Too bad Humphrey Bogart isn't around to play Old Snake. Too bad Humphrey Bogart isn't around. Period.
These photos were taken by website Destructoid. More in the link below.
And you thought it was some giant building in Dubai. Nope. According to measurements converted from in-game models ad referenced for scale, City 17's own Citadel, constructed by the Combine, easily takes the cake.
Standing at 8430 feet tall, the Citadel easily, ahem, towers over the competition, Dubai's Burj Khalifa only managing to get 2723 feet off the ground (note: the image above is in metres).
Before anyone complains about the tense used in this post, let's assume there are people here who haven't played Half-Life 2's episodes.
German artist Daniel Ritthanondh is the man to thank for this Half-Life-inspired lamp, which will simultaneously light up your room and darken your dreams.
As big a Half-Life fan as I am, I could not own this. Wherever it went, I couldn't walk under it. Ever. That or I'd come home one day and creep up on it, shooting at it until it coughed up a human skull and giblets all over my living room floor. Which would just be too messy.
It's hard to put my finger on a "favorite" part, really—there are so many iconic moments that they all kind of blend together. But if I had to name one, it would be the bridge level.
You know the one I'm talking about. Near the end of "Highway 17," you'll arrive in a small villa that's located along a cliff. Up a hill is a long bridge, along which are running menacing Combine trains. To get Gordon's buggy up onto the track, you'll have to go to the other side of the bridge and unplug the combine force field that's blocking your way. And to get to the other side of the bridge… you'll have to go under it.
This is one of those make-or-break moments, when the designers at Valve grabbed their ambitions and carried them into the end zone so assuredly that it's still impressive, coming up on ten years later.
You enter the bridge support structure. And then you come out, and you're on a deck looking out onto the scaffolding underneath the bridge. It looks like you can jump down there… but can you? Is this safe?
The sound effects here are key. The wind, ripping into your ears, cutting through the air beneath this massive metal structure. It truly feels as though it could blow you off.
And so then, you jump. Everyone who has played this level has probably died at least once; slipping on a girder and tumbling, watching the ground come rushing up towards you. Just watching the video above gives me vertigo. I could play this level a hundred times and never tire of it—it is pure video game magic.
And once you're halfway across, things get even better. A train goes by above you, foreshadowing the coming race against the onrushing train that closes out this level. And once you've made it to the other side, cleared out the nest of combine soldiers and deactivated the force field… well then you have to make your way back. But why should you get to make your way back exactly the same way you came? Wouldn't it be much more interesting if a flying whale-helicopter attacked you and totally wrecked your shit?
This bravura section is my favorite single bit of Half-Life 2. The video of it is broken into three parts, with the middle section above. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube: Part one, part two, and part three.
Or, you know, you can just go play it again. You know you want to.
Thanks, Graag, for posting these videos.
Actually, calling it an action figure does it a bit of a disservice. The term "action figure" conjures all sorts of images, mostly of very small men. This custom Strider from the Half-Life universe is not very small at all.
Not only does it look awesome, but its builder, nomadamusic, says it was almost entirely made from scratch, and even includes a few points of articulation.
Who needs large toy companies when individual artists can make their own Striders? Not nomadamusic, that's for damn sure.
If you need a Half-Life chaser after playing (or not playing) Half-Life 2 this weekend, take a look at these.
While drawn by two different artists, they both do the same thing, bringing the worlds of Half-Life and Portal a little closer than they already are.
Earlier this week, tens of thousands of users joined a Steam group dedicated to playing Half-Life 2 on Saturday between 2 and 2:30 p.m. EST, as a demonstration calling on Valve to get its ass in gear and release, or at least officially confirm work on Half-Life 3. How'd it turn out? It was either a great success or a disappointment, depending on your point of view.
I'll go with "success," as the game's numbers shot from 3,000 to more than 13,000 during the protest window, rocketing Half-Life 2 into the top 20 and just short of the top 10 (organizers note that it peaked at No. 11. The figures represent concurrent players.)
Now, when we first reported on this Tuesday, there were 30,000 members of the group. There are now 50,000. So less than half who originally backed this cause actually logged in to do so. And there's no assurance that Valve will acknowledge the demonstration or do anything in response to it.
Still, moaning and groaning over Half-Life 3 is something that takes place every day on gaming interest sites all over the Internet. This was actually a productive action, as it showed Valve that customers still love their games enough to play them seven years after release, rather than abuse Gabe Newell's email to demand one.
"I am personally impressed with what we've achieved today," the organizer wrote. "We're nowhere near done—in fact, we are currently in the process of planning new activities; this was only our first attempt, and, in my eyes, was a success for everyone." It's a success in my eyes, too.