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HL2 Not Required For Episode 1 77

Posted by Zonk
from the such-a-good-game dept.
Eurogamer reports that Half-Life 2 will not be required to run Episode 1, the first content pack for Valve's hit game. From the article: "Half-Life 2: Episode 1 won't actually require Half-Life 2 to play, Valve's explained, and although the game will be 'four to six hours' long, marketing director Doug Lombardi reckons it's 'markedly richer' in terms of content quality ... The change from Aftermath to Episode 1 was 'simply a name change' he says, when asked about the shift to episodic content - which wasn't a shift at all, he adds, since 'the format of episodic releases was decided before Half-Life 2 was made available'."
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HL2 Not Required For Episode 1

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  • That's how it was back in my day, grumblegrumbel go get grampa his pills, Billy....

    Actually I do think it's nice to have game series that don't necessarily have to dredge up an old engine, etc. in order to play, allowing a bit more freedom to tweak and optimize code as benchmarks progress.
    • But it is dredging up the old engine.

      "Doesn't require Half-Life 2 to play" just means "doesn't require 1.2GB of Half-Life 2 game data to play".

      The same way I can install HL: Opposing Force through Steam without downloading the Half-Life content, right?
      • "Doesn't require Half-Life 2 to play" just means "doesn't require 1.2GB of Half-Life 2 game data to play".

        It'll probably still require a hefty chunk of Half-Life 2, though - fortunately the original game's data files have been split up so you can have just textures, sounds, models, maps and so on. I presume Steam will only download what's needed, so if you have HL2 already it should be a smaller download than if you buy just this single episode.

        It's the same engine, but they're using features which have bee
  • $20? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:49AM (#14793252) Homepage
    $20 for four hours of gameplay and old crap that I already have (and don't play)? No thanks. Make it $10 if you already have HL2 - then I'll buy it.
    • I'll just read the walkthroughs to get the plot points to follow the story and wait til they reduce the price and/or package multiple episodes.

      Kind of like the Sims expansions, but, you know, interesting.
    • I hadn't heard a price announcement, where did you get $20 from? I had figured they'd charge some amount like $50 for 4 episodes or something longterm like that.

      $20 for 4-6 hours, though... hmm, I it could be worth it, I tend to continue to get entertainment out of a game even once I complete them...
      • Re:$20? (Score:2, Funny)

        by Chimera512 (910750)
        luckily for me, i'm terrible at computer games so it will take me longer then 4-6 hours to complete the game once.
      • Err, perhaps I should have read the article all the way through... Still I think $20 could be worth it.
      • $20 for 4-6 hours, though... hmm, I it could be worth it, I tend to continue to get entertainment out of a game even once I complete them...

        LOL I still play Quake. It's simple, fun, and very playable. Graphics are very dated, but it's a blast to play. I have Quake 2, 3, Doom3, Half-Life, HL2, etc. etc. but there's something about the original Quake that's just fun. Just go and blast that pewp outta some digital monsters!
    • I completely agree. If the content is only going to be 1/4 of the length of what HL2 was, the price should be closer to $10 than $20. I loved HL2 (playing it again now), but if they think they can get us to pay $80-$100 for a game because they broke it into 4 pieces, they are sadly mistaken.
    • Re:$20? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rustbear (852420) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:18AM (#14793617)
      I don't really see your point. That's much better value than you get at the cinema (and the game is replayable), so what's the big deal?
      • Re:$20? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Chi Hsuan Men (767453) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:46AM (#14793946) Homepage
        Mod parent up.

        This is the second article where I have seen a lot of complaining about the price point. Consider the four to six hours of re-playable entertainment you will receive with the expansion (sorry, episode) for $20.

        Considering most new releases on DVD are usually around $18 - 20, why is it unfair that Valve charge $20? IMHO, I think the price is entirely reasonable and will definitely purchase it when it comes out.
        • Consider the four to six hours of re-playable entertainment you will receive with the expansion (sorry, episode) for $20.

          Yeah, but I have to do all the work entertaining myself with a game. With a DVD I just sit back and let all the sweet, creamy entertainment goodness flow into me. DVDs should cost more because they DO more.

        • Why is it unfair? Because this isn't a movie you're purchasing, its a video game. its SUPPOSED to be re-playable content. You can't compare the two, thats comparing apples to oranges. What you should be comparing is the retail price of HL2 (roughly $50) and the number of hours of gameplay you get from it (essentially unlimited with online play and mods) and compare it to this steaming pile of crap.

          Make no mistake about it...the ONLY reason game companies want to move to episodic releases is because the

        • How many people ACTUALLY replay the same content over and over? Unless the game is so original it bears repeating (like the original HL1 did) then it is worth it.

          I have a stack of games at my house, most of them "almost" get replayed, but become quickly boring after the first few levels.

          With so many games competing for my dollars, a 4 hour game for 20 bucks is not equal a 20-30 hour game for 40$, that I can also replay.

          If they want to do episodes (which is somewhat new) instead of sequels, then let's comple
      • Who says its worth replaying? Historically, Valve games have been painfully linear with very little replay value (not counting mods or add-ons.) Other than replaying to see certain scenes again, theres almost no reason to replay HL1 or 2.
        • You may be in the minority on this point. I've replayed HL1 at least a dozen times, and I've replayed HL2 three times. Sometimes it's for the fun of it, so it's on lower difficulty levels, and sometimes I'm going for a challenge so I change it to a very high level of difficulty. I know of several other people who have also replayed the games on a few occasions. Generally speaking, Valve gets credit for the good quality of the storyline in both games (the first one, perhaps, a little more than the sequel
        • I'm replaying through HL2 now - and liking it. can't wait for episode 1
      • Re:$20? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ChaosDiscord (4913) *

        I don't really see your point. That's much better value than you get at the cinema (and the game is replayable), so what's the big deal?

        That's a false comparision. Half-Life 2 Episode 1 isn't up against movies. It's up against other video games who can potentially offer a better dollars per fun-hour ratio. $5 per hour is pretty expensive for video games. Suggesting that it's all okay by comparing it to movies is as silly as suggesting that both movies (about $4/hour locally) and video games are grossl

    • $20 for four hours of gameplay

      Are you serious!? Talked about overpriced. I pay $15 per month for World of Warcraft, which could easily be 1200 hours of entertainment. A good game that provides 80-100 hours of gameplay normally sells for $50 to $60. We're expected to pay $20 for a mere fraction of that? No thanks. Maybe for three or four dollars, but not twenty.

      • Re:$20? (Score:4, Funny)

        by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:33AM (#14793799) Homepage
        Holy batclocks batman! He's using 48-hour days!

      • Re:$20? (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Gee, you don't see a difference,huh?

        Story in World of Warcraft: Go farm 2,000 bug carapaces.

        Story in Half-Life: Mankind's hubris has opened a portal to an alien world, and it's up to you to save Earth from not only the invading hordes of creatures that ensue, but the treachery of your own government.

        Umm, yeah, I think I'll go for the $20/4-hour option, Alex, and go do something else with the rest of my life.
      • Whoops. Extra zero go in there. I meant 120.
        • I meant "got" in there. Man I suck at typing today.
        • 100-120 hours a month is probably about right. I know I took a long leisurely 27 days played to 60 with my Druid. But then I also had cooking, fishing at 300 as well as herbs and alchemy.
          Not that the game ends at 60. I know I ran at least 50 raids after I turned 60. So count that as 2 hour on average a raid - another 100 hours. Not too mention the hours spent farming to get gold for my epic mount. Throw in about 200 hours spent with alts and let's just call it 1000 hours or so over the course of 9 months. T
      • Re:$20? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Pentagram (40862)
        Are you serious!? Talked about overpriced. I pay $15 per month for World of Warcraft, which could easily be 1200 hours of entertainment. A good game that provides 80-100 hours of gameplay normally sells for $50 to $60.

        I don't quite understand this obsession with duration. If I go to watch a film, I don't feel disappointed if it only lasts 90 minutes compared to one lasting 2 hours. Nor would I pick the second over the first on that basis; some films just take a different amount of time to tell their story.
        • I don't quite understand this obsession with duration.

          It's not an obsession with duration. It's a comparison between price per "fun unit", assuming one hour spent in one game is roughly equal in enjoyment to one hour spent in the other, which is my case.

          • Unfortuanately for you, your premise is flawed. One hour watching a good film is infinitely more enjoyable than going through the motions of a computer game.
          • Come on, that's not true. One hour spent playing HL2 is more fun than an hour of Daikatana.
        • So you define the "fun bits" as interesting plot advancement and new shiny things to click on. Did you never play Pacman or Asteroids ? Sometimes the fun is just doing the same thing you did for the past 3 hours, depending on the game. Gauntlet is just running around killing everything with the same weapon, over and over and over and over.. still fun.
          • So you define the "fun bits" as interesting plot advancement and new shiny things to click on.

            Well something new anyway. A new monster, a new puzzle, a new situation.

            Did you never play Pacman or Asteroids ?

            Yep, was never much of a fan.

            Sometimes the fun is just doing the same thing you did for the past 3 hours, depending on the game.

            We'll have to agree to disagree on that.

            Gauntlet is just running around killing everything with the same weapon, over and over and over and over.. still fun.

            Only in 2 player :)
  • Maybe now I can finally use Gary's Mod to recreate the climactic Jar Jar vs. Darth Maul battle that was cut out for the U.S. theatrical release.
  • Many of you may look at this as I originally did. "So... it's a sequel, right?" Well, yes and no. Since they don't have to design a completely new game from the ground up and already have a working engine in place, it is just as they say, a new episode. And I love it. I think the future of gaming will involve more episodic content. Now just put in a good storyline, and you have a great game that can have episodes put out in short intervals, (much like the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies), and the decreased cost o
    • Many of you may look at this as I originally did. "So... it's a sequel, right?" Well, yes and no.

      When you're releasing a serial, you have episodes. If you're releasing full-length features, you have sequels. Just like the difference between star trek the tv show, and star trek the movies. If they start putting out regularly scheduled episodes, then they're not sequels. Like this is.

      • Ok then, it's a sequepisode. An epiquel. A sepiquelisode. Whatever. It's less significant than a full sequel (which would be full length, higher priced, and would typically have a new engine), but it's (apparently, according to you) more significant than an episode, or has the wrong release schedule for an episode, or something.
    • Well, if this is the first step, let's hope that other companies who aren't Valve and who will get this episodic content to us in a fairly timely manner (not over a year after HL2 was released). I mean, I love the Half-Life series, but for an episodic model to work, I'd say every 6 months would be much better timeline than every year or so. That way people won't feel cheated when they expect a pretty decent sized add-on (a la HL1's additions) after waiting so long, and get an 8 hour episode instead. And, fo
    • They don't seem content to simply reuse the engine, though. Seems like they like to improve it over time, like they did adding HDR. HDR certainly didn't sound like a small challenge, either, if you listen to the commentary on Lost Coast. Hey, even the commentary system is new (but not as difficult as rewritting all the shaders for the game =P.) I love the idea of a commentary system in the game, but I guess thats a bit off my topic. Anyway, I certainly think they will continue to update the engine as they g
    • What you a describing is a 'sequel.'

      I can also imagine buying a great game for $50, then paying for 'episodes' to get new levels and storylines for $20 over and over. And I don't like it. Paying $20 for an 'episode' whose development was extremely short (relative to the original game). $20 for an 'episode' that doesn't even need marketing. And then paying that same $20 over and over again on the same game? Just give me a proper sequel that ties together everything.

      Give me Nethack or ToME over this
  • YAY! More Breen-casts!!

    Seriously, if anything, the final chapters of HL2 left me with more curiosity about the combine. Those container rides were tantalizing. Who are they, what do they want? I'v been looking for sources of info since I finished the damn game and every piece I find serves only to stir my curiosity more.

    Lotsa info on Wikipedia. Anybody knows more?
  • by i_am_the_r00t (762212) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:07AM (#14793496)
    Put it on Extreme Difficulty and it will be easily a 20-30 hour game. It took me 2 years to finish HL2.

    btw. Extreme Difficulty is "Hard" + the following:

    1. New house and mortgage
    2. 2 young children
    3. yard to mow and maintain
    4. Wife (nuff said there)
    5. 60 hr/week Job

  • They should give us a new franchise. HL is a great franchise, which is why I want to see others from them. They have the creativity, give us something new!! Break the mold... again.
  • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Friday February 24, 2006 @11:19AM (#14793621) Journal
    I don't care if it requires HL2 or not. What I want to know if it's going to act like ET andphone home again.

    I've got my firewall to totally lock out Steam. Aftermath will have to give a blowjob and a fridge full of beer to get me to want to unblock the damn thing.

    Hopefully others feel the same way as me and Valve will get punished for using such an amusive system. But knowing the mass market as I do, I guess HL's name alone will make it top the charts for a couple of weeks.
    • Re:Erm.. (Score:3, Funny)

      by Solder Fumes (797270)
      punished for using such an amusive system

      Were you amused as a child?
    • Re:Erm.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sepodati (746220)

      amusive

      Amusing and abusive? Like how it's funny watching your kid brother get his ass whupped?

    • This must be a troll. Steam as a concept isn't open for discussion and nearly everyone who plays Valve games supports the idea. Valve is never going to be "punished" for their "amusive" system. Yes, they have made mistakes with it, such as the shiny cubemaps around Christmas, but on balance it's a good system.
      • I have no idea what cricles you're hanging around in but I disagree and majorly so. Steam is an abusive system which forces updates on you even to play Single player games offline. For a dial up user this is more or less "Sorry you can't play for another three hours".

        Steam has a lot of problems, most of which come from being used when theres no need to what so ever. It takes options away from the player which is never a good thing.

        Also if Valve go under (which will happen one day like it or not), Steam dies
  • great game (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by sinner0423 (687266)
    The way I see it, ValVe has two options :

    1) Release each episode at $9.95 a pop, making it reasonable for people to purchase them now, as well as future episodes.

    2) Stifle the Star Wars-esque episode crap, and just dedicate resources to a full expansion & engine update.

    $20 seems a bit excessive for a glorified map pack, and I certainly wouldn't purchase multiple episodes at that price. If I wanted the proverbial carrot on the stick, I would've stuck with WoW.
    • "Stifle the Star Wars-esque episode crap"
      What does Star Wars have to do with this? The concept of an episode was not created by George Lucas.
      • Episode 1, 2, 3, etc. Of course, the actual game has nothing to do with Star Wars, but, it was the only geeky reference to episodic entertainment I could think of at the time.
  • what do they mean hl2 is not required. That they build an entirely new engine
    to run these episodes or that the episodes itself will contain the HL2 engine as well
    so i could buy episode 1 and play CSS ?
  • Surprisingly negative comments about this. It will be great. More shorter cheaper games is better than fewer longer worse games. Plus stand-alone, as has been said above, is an old model that rightly proved very popular.
  • <intentionally missing point> Phew! So I don't need Half Life to watch Anakin turn into Darth Vader! I was about to get worried! </intentionally missing point>
  • DSLOA was a disappointingly short game that was touted an expansion pack, but did not require the original title to play. The difference of course, is that DSLOA provided a copy of the original game to distract newcomers (including the original singleplayer campaign); HL2: Episode 1 is apparently a 4-6 hour singleplayer game with DeathMatch, but not the original HL2 singleplayer content. The article says this expansion will be $20, which still seems high for a game that is only projected to take 4-6 hours..
    • Valve must be banking on DeathMatch.

      That'd be doomed to failure because the deathmatch is mediocre at best.
      • > Deathmatch is mediocre at best.

        I found it a lot more amusing than other DM games.
        It's satisfying to humiliate rpg-wielding Patton-wannabes by crushing them with a toilet/cabinet/bicycle, or throw television sets to cops from a second floor window.
        (I hope Jack Thompson isn't reading this.)
        It's not deus-ex-different, but it's different enough to be interesting.

        But I liked Daikatana too. Maybe it's just me.
        • What annoys me most is no spawn protection combined with spawning with the grav gun in hand, means you're a target from the moment you spawn but you can't fight back until you've either switched weapons or located and grabbed an object to throw. That can take a few seconds and when somebody is nearby while you spawn you usually won't live that long.

The key elements in human thinking are not numbers but labels of fuzzy sets. -- L. Zadeh

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