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Source SDK Released Soon, HL2 High in Gamerankings 137

Posted by Zonk
from the gift-for-the-community,-gift-for-the-developers dept.
Biomemetic writes "Valve announced yesterday that they'll be releasing the Source SDK next week, along with a "surprise for the community". Incidentally, the sound stuttering bug (actually three bugs, to do with texture loading problems), has been solved and an update released through Steam." Relatedly, Highpriest writes "According to gamerankings.com, Half Life 2's average review is higher than Halo 2's. Half Life 2 has recieved a 96.6% overall rating wheras Halo 2 came in with a 95.1%."
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Source SDK Released Soon, HL2 High in Gamerankings

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  • by Zardoz44 (687730)
    Wasn't there speculation a while back that they would be releasing a multiplayer game to everyone who purchased HL2 + future add-ons option?

    Maybe TF2, finally?

    • future add-ons option? I certainly never saw that.
      • I thought there was talk once that some packages would get new content (i.e., new MP games) as it's released and others would not. There doesn't seem to be any mention of that any more with the release of the bronze,silver,gold packages.

        This is all from foggy memories of two-year-old gossip.

        • an article from a few days before the release mentioned the possibility of new content on a monthly basis, but there was no mention of it being free for anybody :)
    • According to this [steampowered.com] page

      Next week we will be releasing the Source SDK, along with a surprise for the community.

      TF2 maybe?
      • Maybe; although it's probably more like DoD:Source or HL2DM. TF2 is going to be a standalone product, which it should be rightfully so, it's going to be a badass game.
  • by Grave (8234) <.moc.liamtoh. .ta. .88treblawa.> on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:05PM (#10926929)
    I felt it was a huge let-down. If not for CS:S and DOD:S being included in the package I got, I would've considered it a huge waste of money. The game was over much quicker than I expected, and the plot was not as in-depth or well told as it could've been. They seemed more interested in setting us up for the third iteration of the Gordon Freeman story than telling a genuinely good one.

    Maybe my expectations were too high, but when magazines bandy about the phrase, "Greatest game ever," it's hard not to expect at least a game worthy of $60.
    • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:12PM (#10926967)
      I think you breezed through the game without bothering to even look at anything that wasn't on the rails you were following if you feel the story wasn't in-depth or well told. No offense, there is a wealth of things in the game that are there to be found, you just don't have your nose rubbed in them.
      • Can you give any examples? I've finished it and am left with the impression that there was barely a plot. You start off in the city, the soldiers chase you for no reason, you meet old friends, have to run around for no real reason, then run around to try and rescue Eli, who you then rescue from a guy who is trying to make deals with an army you know nothing about, and then you stop him. What more could I have found out? It's a fun game though :-)
        • What you can find out in HL2 is you look around and put things together:

          1) Who the Xen aliens and the final boss of Hl1 were.
          2) What the heck has happened to the earth since HL1.
          3) Why Breen is doing what he is doing, who the Combine are, and so forth

          The fact is, no one runs up to you and tells you all the backstory. All the characters in the game assume you know what's been happening in the world, since they don't know that ---spoilers about where Gordon has been deleted---. You have to piece things to
      • Ahhh you missed the bit were they reveal Elvis is alive and living on Xen.
      • I think that's correct. I spent over an hour and a half playing and barely made it beyond the train station. Notice at this point it's not that I was dying, I was just exploring.

        That being said, Halo 2 has been a bit more fun for me recently.

        95% vs. 96% vs. 95% (GTA:SA)... Let's just be happy each console has an awesome game. Except for the Gamecube (d'oh!).
    • I think if HL2 was a letdown to you than you are probably done with computer games.
      While i'm not saying that HL2 is the pinnacle of games forever I certainly belive it is currently.

      There is only so much you can get out of a medium, if you don't enjoy the game most people call the best game ever made all things considered than thats a good indication to find a new hobby.

      • by flibuste (523578) on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:34PM (#10927071)
        the game most people call the best game ever made

        I think this needs a slight correction: it is the *best first-person shooter ever*. OK for that (although I don't find it such a killer after all). But not the *best game ever*. As an example, you cannot compare World of Warcraft with HL2 in terms of gaming. It's just not the same kind at all. You can compare the technicality of it, graphics, softaware performance, etc. but that's only part of game softwares. It is difficult to measure the player's immersion in the game between those 2 for instance.

        That would be like comparing M$ Word with Eclipse: "Best software to type text with".

      • Just because most people say something, doesn't make it true.

        I played HL2 at a friends for a few minutes. It was just another FPS to me, with prettier graphics. But then, it seems graphic quality is the sole yardstick for measuring a games value these days.

        It didn't do anything for me, just another entry in a pretty stale genre.

        I liked the huge open maps of Far Cry, or the vehicles in Halo. In fact, after Far Cry, I don't think I can play another on-rails FPS.

        HL2 and Doom 3 both came off as tech demo
        • It was -- thats how i got my copy, Ati Voucher :)
        • The last FPS i truly enjoyed was Painkiller. Top notch graphics, physics engine (you can kill enemies in pretty funny ways), and sound, huge levels, enviroment, and a shitload of enemies. What's not to like? And, unlike others in the genre, is downright fun and doesn't take itself too seriously. Much like the Serious Sam series, but on steroids.

          It also has some great multiplayer modes.
          • Painkiller's physics were absolutely perfect. That game made me wonder why everybody was praising the physics in Half-Life 2 when it still managed to carry over weird control issues from HL1, like getting stuck and having to duck or jump to get going again.

            At least you don't have to duck-jump anymore.

            The only thing I had against Painkiller was the lack of continuity in the music. It would go from really nice ambient music and simply fade in metal without any real transition.
        • by theraccoon (592935) * on Friday November 26, 2004 @08:47PM (#10928331) Journal
          I don't think playing it "at a friends for a few minutes" is giving the game a fair chance. The whole thing with both Half-Life's is the scripted scenes and story. You need to be at home, alone, lights off, and then play it. You need to let the game take over your mind for a few hours. You'll eventually come up for air, wonder what happened to the last six hours, then dive in for another six.

          What you did, it's like watching a scary movie in the park on your laptop on a sunny afternoon with 20 friends huddled around you. Of course you won't get the full effect of the movie in that kind of situation. Same with this game. You have to treat a game like this as a movie, because that's what they're slowly becoming -- an interactive movie.

          With that said, HL2 does have room for improvement, but not much. It really is a damn good game. I've yet to hear from anyone who's played it all the way through to be disappointed. The "disappointed" folks are like you, who are expecting this mind-blowing "i ate the red pill" kind of thing, and it's not that -- that's the HL:VR game, due to be released in 2055. Until then, HL2 is the best game out there.

          • I've played all the way through, and I'm disappointed.
            The game is really good, but it felt short on my expectations. Maybe they were too high...
          • With that said, HL2 does have room for improvement, but not much. It really is a damn good game. I've yet to hear from anyone who's played it all the way through to be disappointed.

            Half Life 2 has plenty of room for improvement. However, it's got less room than any other FPS game out there, so it really is quite good. It has many of the same flaws that plague other "tech demo" games like Doom 3, with gimmick sections where they show off all the neat things the engine can do for a level. The section whe
        • by Zorilla (791636) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @07:06AM (#10930136)
          I liked the huge open maps of Far Cry, or the vehicles in Halo. In fact, after Far Cry, I don't think I can play another on-rails FPS.

          At the most, the path only branches off into two or three subpaths and always converge at the next checkpoint. You ever tried straying off the path in Far Cry? You usually either end up getting gunned down by really big weapons or see the terrain gradually become more simple (as the map designers had not intended you to go that far) and you hit a steep hill or invisible wall.

          Also, you can tell Far Cry's openness has its limits, as the developers decided to just print the fly-through of the island, which appears at the game menu, to video, as opposed to Unreal, which used a live-rendered flythrough of the castle.
    • I quite like Half-life 2. Although I was expecting an in-depth story there was plenty of action which kept me satisfied.

      The game was was shorter than I expected, but has a good replay value.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I have to agree with you. Yes, the game has nice graphics (not the best ever, though) and very cool physics. But the story wasn't all that in-depth. You spend 90% of the game going from one place to another, for no real purpose other than because someone at one place says "you should go talk to blah" then you spend 20 minutes driving around or running through buildings to get there. Then you do it agian. And again. And again.

      Not to mention, the game is far too short. I don't know if I've ever beat a game i
      • [startQuote] Not to mention, the game is far too short. I don't know if I've ever beat a game in my life - if I have, it's only been one. Until Half-Life 2. I beat it in two days, playing about five hours each day.[endQuote] What do you mean, "beat it"? If you buy a game just to race through it as fast as you can - well, I'm not surprised you didn't enjoy it. You're like the guy who turns up to a fancy wine tasting, downs a glass of exquisite and expensive wine in one gulp, and says "is that it?". Well, no,
    • [quotes] - a huge waste of money - it's hard not to expect at least a game worthy of $60. *shakes head* What exactly were you expecting for your $60??? I was expecting a computer game. And funnily enough I got one, one that is a lot of fun to play.
  • HL2DM? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by katanan (764663) on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:18PM (#10926988)
    there are rumours floating around of HL2DM so we shall see.
  • It's skewed towards the PC demographic anyways. How did HL2 fare against Doom 3?

    I wish people wouldn't compare Halo to PC FPS's, it's a completely different sub-genre, IMO.

    Yeah, sure, you can be more accurate shooting with a mouse and keyboard. But who the hell wants to drive a warthog or fly a banshee with a mouse? My point being, the FPS legacy is only part of Halo's overall gameplay.

    Of course, I should point out that it's entirely possible for more than one game to be good. Just because you like H
    • by Lukey Boy (16717) on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:54PM (#10927165) Homepage
      I found it way more fun - and easier - to drive all of the vehicles in Halo using the mouse and keyboard. Maybe that's just me though.
    • Halo was just as enjoyable on my PC as on Xbox, and there's no reason to think Halo 2 is different. It's just a matter of preference, nothing else.

      If you're so worried about Valve controlling how you play HL2, you should be aghast at the oppressive methods of Microsoft and their completely untweakable games and online gaming systems. But you're probably not.

    • I wish people wouldn't compare Halo to PC FPS's, it's a completely different sub-genre, IMO.

      That's an interesting statement. Let's see: in an FPS you see the world in first person perspective and shoot things. In Halo you see the world in first person perspective and shoot things. In an FPS you usually have some meaningless story, nice graphics, and a choice of weapons. In Halo you have a meaningless story, nice graphics (unless you are bothered by repetitive design), oh wait, now I see: you don't get a

  • Lag problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by *s.panzer* (827737) on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:38PM (#10927090)
    I'm surprised valve hasn't even recognized the fact that many (much closer to 5% than the stuttering bug) people are having problems playing all steam games. Ever since I installed HL2, All of my games have started to lag horribly, with a ping of 200-2000
    • You've had it running constantly? Why?

      I would presume it's been downloading all that time, it should have downloaded everything it *can* in a couple of days.

      • No, I meant that ever since I installed HL2 (even after restarting it many times) all Hl1 mods, HL1, and CS:S have been lagging really badly (network lag, not video lag). Before HL2, I got decent, playable pings to servers, 90-160. Now all of my VALVe games and mods are completely unuseable
        • You need to look somewhere else to blame. Not only has that not happened to any of the people I've spoken with, but it's highly unlikely that anything you did to install HL2 could cause that sort of problem.

          Right click on the Steam Tray Icon and pick "Monitor" from the options. This pops up a screen from where you can see if Steam is downloading anything in the background. If you don't see anything there, then something else is causing your ping problems.
          • Done that. Even when doing nothing, I get terrible ping with steam. The moment I start querying servers, steam takes up all my bandwidth and everything slows. So long as i'm not refreshing servers, everything works exactly as it should.
        • Make sure that that in steam options your network setting isn't set down to dialup. When CS:S came out mine got set down to dialup for some reason, maybe it did it when you installed HL2?
          • Well you see... the only way I can get my ping down to a playable level (for local servers only) is to set my rate, which is what I think your talking about, to the preset of a 14.4 k modem. Its the only thing that seems to help at all
            • Sounds like there is something very very odd about your particular net connection/steam install: i.e. NOT a general or common problem with steam.
        • You are a troll and I claim my 5 pounds
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 26, 2004 @04:48PM (#10927141)

    Half Life 2's average review is higher than Halo 2's.

    That's good, because we hate anything associated with Microsoft 'round these here parts...

    Jesus.

  • by Lord Bitman (95493) on Friday November 26, 2004 @05:43PM (#10927431) Homepage
    "We're just kidding, that was only half the game. Log in to Steam for the rest of it, now."
  • Gah! (Score:1, Troll)

    I haven't even got a PC that can play HL2 right now. I should have my new PC by a week on Wednesday but I'm still stuck on 56k. So how big is this patch? It seems forced up on us by STEAM to boot. How big is this patch?

    Oh BTW theres a new patch, DOWNLOAD IT OR DIE!!! - Steam every time you open it
    • by irix (22687)

      How big is this patch?

      It came down over my 56k connection in a minute or two.

      • Could you tell me how long it takes to auth HL2 on 56k as well please.
        • by irix (22687)

          It took a few hours. I did it the day that the game was released, so I'm not sure if that was because of the 56k connection or overloaded servers at Valve or both.

    • You can always turn auto updating off in Steam.

      Main Steam Menu=>Play Games=>Right Click Game=>Properties=>Automatic Updates
  • Sorry.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Danse (1026) on Friday November 26, 2004 @06:41PM (#10927709)

    The stuttering bug is not fixed. I'm still getting it just like always. It may have fixed it for some people, but not for me. I've noticed quite a few threads on various HL2 forums by others who are still experiencing the problem as well.

    • I think the main problem right now is that people aren't having the "same" stuttering bug. I'm willing to bet that your bug is less minor than the one fixed with the patch (this bug made the game nearly unplayable, everytime a sound played there'd be a 1-2 second pause).
    • I didn't have the stuttering bugg as they said. Only after I loaded a new area I stuttered with the sound for 2 seconds, no problem to me at all. However, since the upgrade, I stutter every time somebody speaks. The weapon sounds, engine sounds, everyday sounds are ok, but when people talk, stut-ut-ut-uter every time. I wonder if they will release a patch to fix my problem. Yes, I have posted this problem to Steam/Valve as well.
  • At least not for me. I got the patch and I don't notice any improvement. The stuttering is still there (amd64 3200+ , 1gb ram, 9700pro).

    Word to the wise: press releases != the truth

  • Like hundreds (if not thousands) of others, I am suffering from a "Memeory read error" that appears to be related to the stuttering bug we saw earlier. Half Life 2 crashes immediately after the intro sequence, and often at the menu screen itself! I haven't even seen the game yet ...

    While I we're waiting for a patch to make this game usable, anyone want to buy a set of coasters?

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem &i tem=4339088136
  • Realism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gamefreak99 (722148) on Friday November 26, 2004 @11:28PM (#10929019)
    The story might be all the great (the ending is supposed to be "bad", I'm about 2 chapters away so I can't judge it yet). But that's not really the beauty of the game. You load it up, get set, and start playing. But its more than playing. It is like you're in that world; you're in _a_ world. And its not that dissimilar from ours. Everything responds so realisitically. You go up to a combine soldier in the beginning and get into his face. He'll grab you by the collar and gave you a smack with his shockstickthinger. If we were in City 17 and you did that I guarentee you that'd they do the exact same thing. Shoot a barrel in the game from x angle and it will roll/move in y direction. Do it in real life and you have the same result. Put people (NPCs) in the situations they're put in the game and you'll get the emotions they display; anger, humor, hopelessness. You have NPCs that shrug, people who arch their eyebrows. You have hand guesture- someone pointing to someone else or laying their hand on their chest saying something sarcastic. You have AI that is supurb. Enemies that act as if they're who they are. Fighting a solider and a zombie are two completly different tasks. Brains vs brawn. Even breaking it down futher; zombies that will lunge slowly towards you trying to corner you so they can get you vs zombies that blitzkreig you with their friends as fast as they can. Its an amazing game. The plot might not be "good" but it is believable enough. but the biggest part is the enviroment, it is _right_.
    • I've finished the story. The storyline was just the usual sci-fi stuff and it's not that spectacular. What I think that made HL2 stands out from other games is the characters. Valve has done an excellent job here. The characters in the game express emotions, have their own agendas, are all useful in the story. These all makes you feel the characters are indeed living persons instead of a pile of polygons that tells you stuff and let you proceed (like, "Marine, get to the Alpha Labs and meet team Bravo, ASAP
      • I agree with you for Ravenholm, I found this part of the game to be one of the best.
        However, don't you find the behaviour of Dr. Mossman to be one of the most over used clichés of every action movie ?
      • I screamed to the top of my lung "FUCK YOU!!!!!!" when I heard that.

        I don't know about you, but I was laughing my ass off when I dropped into the hole after the strider plaza area and Barney said, "If you see Dr. Breen, tell him I said, *KABOOM*ck you!'"
    • Realism? I don't recall walking around outside and have to wait for 5 minutes, while the screen fades out and a big huge LOADING sign comes out telling me to wait until I can move forward again.
  • Hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by XellDx (737289) on Saturday November 27, 2004 @01:10AM (#10929341)
    According to gamerankings.com, Half Life 2's average review is higher than Halo 2's. Half Life 2 has recieved a 96.6% overall rating wheras Halo 2 came in with a 95.1%."

    As a point, Half life 2 has 29 reviews, while Halo 2 has 67.
    As with any percentage, the more chances of change the different the outcome
    • As with any percentage, the more chances of change the different the outcome
      What is that supposed to mean? "The more chances of change"? "The different the outcome"?

      The more samples you have, the more accurate the results usually are. Of course, if the last 20 Halo reviews come from the "Podunk, Iowa Gazette", then you may be skewing your results.

      But no matter, your phrase makes no sense.

      • Yes, well I had a point, and then I only had about 10 seconds of which to type. What should have gone there was

        "With a wider source of reviews there is a higher margin of accuracy." Meaning Half life 2's could go down with more bad reviews, while Halo 2 is slightly more grounded where it is.
        My bad for hitting -submit-, not -preview-, and then not correcting myself.
  • You see... even the computer characters in HL2 are acting better than him as Neo. He feels more "computerized" (in a lame way, not the cool, deadly Agent Smith way) than some of the NPCs in HL2.
  • Halo 2 = Overrated and not as good as HL2 I have played both and finnished each of the games and Halo 2 is not as good as HL2 Halo 2 starts the same way the first halo did and needless to say I was not impressed microsoft ran out of idas for stories so they just substituted a generic save the world story which was BS. while HL2 has an amasing story that keeps you guessing. I guess what I am trying to say is that I prefer substance in a game over no substance i suppose that would be a good idea because I l
    • I am in the same ballpark as you but for different reasons and not as extreme. I loved HL2 for its ambiguity, its magical-realism, its foreshadowing, everything. Its a superb movie and I am the protagonist. But there are no cut-scenes where the background is filled in for me to understand. Nope. I have to figure it all out on my own. It is me who does everthing. I figure that is why they didnt add Gordon's hands driving or his legs walking, because they want you to be the character, not some model. For H
      • its cool i know how you feel man the only part of hl2 that I didnt like was the car part actually i lied i loved it i just didnt like how the car didnt handle at all. but onto lighter subjects i liked both games but hl2 was better.
  • Firstly, as others have pointed out, the longer a game stays in Gamerankings the lower its score gets. In fact earlier Half-Life 2 was even higher in Gameranking's all all time best [gamerankings.com]. It slowly went down to 5th, and it might even slip further. As to whoever said Gamerankings is skewed towards PC results, look at that list: there's like 3 PC games in the all time top 20...

    As for Half-Life 2, frankly, I was disappointed. The on-rails gameplay is boring, there aren't that many opportunities to go 'off-rail' a

    • You don't need to be logged into Steam to play Half-Life 2, granted the loadup is slow, but you don't need to be logged in. Also, as of right now, you don't even need to have the "remember my password" checked to go into Offline mode.

      Make a shortcut to Half-Life 2 on your desktop (right click on the game in the Steam game menu) it should load a bit faster like that.
    • I did. It still logs on to steam first.

      Wee. Labelled as troll for expressing some legitimate issues I have with the game. Only on /.!

    • "The in-game loading...no game should have loading nowadays, especially not one that claims to be ultra realistic,"

      Laugh. How do you propose you work THAT? Stupid Valve: they should have just ticked the magical "levels/textures/sounds instantly teleport into your memory whenever needed" option instead of using boring old cables! This is a PC, not a console, and with the geometric increase in textures sizes, polygon models, high quality sounds, etc., it just isn't doable on current hardware. But then, m
  • Although I'm not a mod maker myself, I would really like to see the Half-Life 2 SDK come out, so that I can see what kind of cool mods the community comes out with, notably an *actual* Half-Life 2 Multiplayer...
    • Me too.

      I generally don't buy these games until they're out on a budget label with 3 or 4 good mods available (Unreal Tournament - the best 10 quid I've every spent). If a FPS game ever comes along that is as replayable as a really good film on DVD, then I'll consider buying it brand new. Until then, it's back to UT:Inf or UT:TacOps for me. The added bonus is that most of the 12 year olds have lost interest in those games.
  • I was really, really disappointed that there was no multiplayer. I even bought the game, installed it and played for a few days before a friedn of mine (Hi Iain!) alerted me to the fact that there was no multiplayer element. I was agast! How could any modern first person shooter **not** have multiplayer?

    I can only conclude that they're either brain dead, or it will be made available, perhaps in this "surprise". But I'm not holding my breath. There have been several brain deaths like this in the games indu

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