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Half Life 2 To Appear At E3 499

MonsieurEvil writes "Valve announced today (http://www.planethalflife.com) that the long-awaited Half-Life 2 will be appearing at E3, and will be released this year. The NDA for press is supposed to end on April 28th, and quite a few magazines are already hyping their scoops. Hopefully all the teen-angst types that show their superiority through decrying this as vaporware can now listen to their elders..."
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Half Life 2 To Appear At E3

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  • Yeah BUT ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:50PM (#5777855)
    Just because it's at E3 doesn't mean it'll be released this year. Wasn't TF2 at E3 in like 2001 ... but there is still no sign of it?
  • by spoco2 ( 322835 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:51PM (#5777859)
    One would hope and expect so. The thing that made the first game was the fantastic story line, the incredible scripted sequences, and the feeling of intellegence from the enemy.

    When the first one came out, it really blew me away with that mix... will the second one be able to live up to that? The marketplace has moved on, and it's harder to impress gamers than it was then...

    I hope they've come up with a brilliant single player game as I'm sick of the focus on multiplayer these days. (Which is one of the reasons I'm so looking forward to Doom3)
    • by B3ryllium ( 571199 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:55PM (#5777895) Homepage
      I hope they've come up with a brilliant single player game as I'm sick of the focus on multiplayer these days. (Which is one of the reasons I'm so looking forward to Doom3)

      Hmm, I think you broke my sarcasm detector.
    • System Shock 3 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rubel ( 121009 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:55PM (#5777896) Journal
      that's the scary, story-based sequel we need.
      • Re:System Shock 3 (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Doktor Memory ( 237313 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:19AM (#5779138) Journal
        Right fucking on.

        The many sings to us. Your flesh...betrays you.

        I've never yet played a "survival horror" game that didn't make me want to laugh at its lame attempts at suspense...but Shock2, played in a dark room with good headphones (oh how I miss you, Aureal!), had me literally shaking in fear.

        Please, god, let this be Warren Spector's next game...and let it be done right.
    • by koreth ( 409849 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @11:32PM (#5778492)
      Fantastic story line? Was I playing some other game called Half-Life? When someone says "fantastic story line" about a video game, I think of, say, Planescape: Torment, Jedi Knight, Xenogears, Deus Ex, or most of the Final Fantasy games. Even Freedom Force, with its paper-thin comic-book plot, had a more involving story than Half-Life.

      Don't get me wrong, Half-Life had some great set pieces and lots of cool moments, but that's not the same thing as a story. By way of demonstration, a few questions you can answer about all of the games I listed but not about Half-Life:

      • What does the main character want in life?
      • How do the events in the story change that character?
      • Who's standing in the way of the character's goals? Why?
      • What unexpected events along the way force the character to look at his goals in a different light?

      This isn't sophisticated abstract stuff, just the kind of thing they expect you to already know in Creative Writing 101. None of it is required to make a fun game, but it's all required to make a fun game story.

      • Easy questions (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Rui del-Negro ( 531098 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:54AM (#5779269) Homepage
        Didn't you play the game? If so, why are you asking questions that have such obvious answers?

        Initially, the character (Dr. Gordon Freeman) wants to settle into his new job. At this point, there is no-one standing in the way of his goals.

        The first unexpected event happens when the experiment goes wrong. Part of the lab is destroyed, and what remains is infested with aliens. At this point, the aliens and the destruction stand in his way and his goal is to contact people on the outside.

        Eventually, he manages to find his way outside, and that's when another unexpected event takes place: the people who were supposed to save him and the other scientists are in fact trying to kill them to keep the whole affair secret. At this point, the soldiers stand in his way, and his goal is to try to learn as much as possible about the situation, and how to solve it.

        Eventually, he finds a way to teleport to the alien's planet (which must count as another "unexpected event"). Now his enemies are once more the aliens, and his goal is to destroy them.

        Finally, at the very end of the game, there's a final "unexpected event".

        So there.

        Half-life's story isn't "great" in the sense that it's very original (it's not). The great thing about it is not the story itself, it's the way it flows so naturally and feels so much part of the game, despite the fact that the game's genre is not one typically associated with "a story".

        Half-life is essentially an action game. It's not an adventure, it's not a RPG. There are no dialogues and no items. Just guns, monsters, puzzles and the occasional scripted "scene". Given these building blocks, I think HL manages to create a great atmosphere and (apart from the rather weak and predictable ending) to tell a pretty entertaining story (a lot better - more interesting and more consistent - than some movies).

        HL's great strength is not its originality, it's the level of perfection and polishing of every single of its elements, from the gameplay to the default keyboard layout to the auto-save system. Things that stem not from great technology or brilliant ideas but from a lot of playtesting, a good dose of common sense, and a refusal to settle for "good enough" just to meet the deadline.

        As someone wrote at the time, "Half-life restored my faith in gaming". After fiascos like Black & White and Neverwinter Nights (not exactly bad, but very disappointing nonetheless), I could definitely use a new injection of Valve fluid.

        It's ironic that the company that created such a perfect game (and later created and financed so many great free updates and mods) was founded by ex-Microsoft employees...

  • I don't mean to be the typical troll, here, but I've managed to ween myself from Windows completely now. I really want to play this game, but not enough to go back to the dark side. besides, so many other FPSs support Linux now that it seems like a reasonable thing to expect.

    • by deadsaijinx* ( 637410 ) <animemeken@hotmail.com> on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:54PM (#5777886) Homepage
      Weening off of windows is always a good thing, but would it really hurt to leave a 10gig partition to play windows only games? And even if HL2 doesnt support it natively, i'm sure that the gaming version of wine will be able to pick it up within a month or two.
    • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:59PM (#5777924) Homepage Journal
      Well, hopefully even if Valve does not release a Linux client, the Windows client will run under Wine - that's how I played through both OpFor and Blueshift.

      However, all I can say is, "Let Our Voices Be Heard" - contact Valve.

      (of course, I expect this to work about as well as previous efforts [slashdot.org] at software advocacy have worked [slashdot.org])
    • by Blondie-Wan ( 559212 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:08PM (#5778002) Homepage
      I play on a Mac, and after the original Half-Life debacle on our platform I think many Mac gamers are so resentful of Valve they'll probably refuse to touch the sequel even if it's ported and it's a great game.

      Of course, not everyone would behave this way, but still, Half-Life is a very sore subject for Mac gamers. That said, if it showed us anything, it turned out it's indeed true one can have a satisfying gaming experience on the platform without having a specific "A-list" title, and I'm sure that's true for Linux as it is on the Mac, even if there are fewer Linux games than Mac ones. Certainly my own biggest problem isn't too small a selection of games, but too little time to play the ones I have and too little money to get the rest of the ones I want, smaller though the Mac selection may be. Even with more money and time, though, I wouldn't do Windows for games. One has to have principles. ;)

    • Say what you will about Windows for other applications, but for gaming, it works well. As far as WINE goes, why futz with WINE, when you can get better performance out of Windows? You should just use the right tool for the job. Sure you can dig a hole with a hammer, but it's a hell of a lot easier with a shovel. Windows for a server? No. Windows for gaming? Yes.
    • by NotAnotherReboot ( 262125 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:48PM (#5778255)
      Half-Life runs on WINE, and is practically supported by Valve in this configuration.

      They have pulled back releases of their security modules (anti-cheat) just because users of WINE were having trouble. This is not to say that the experience is perfect, but it does mean that they don't have a "screw linux, it's not supported" attitude.

      The rumor is that Half-Life 2 will come out THIS year, which is a very real possibility. Nothing has been heard about Team Fortress 2 for over a year now, so this project has been under very tight wraps (I mean, up until a couple of weeks ago, everyone thought they were still working on Team Fortress 2, and the Valve team gave no hints that they were doing something else).

      November will be the 5 year anniversary of the original Half-Life. I would say a 5 year product development cycle should be enough, but I would have only said that with 100% confidence BEFORE Daikatana, and lord knows when the next Duke Nukem game will come out (it's been so long, I'm beginning to think that maybe the original really actually sucked, but we had low expectations back in the day, and the suspense keeps growing).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:52PM (#5777867)
    I still have my $5 down for DNF at the local EB, and have had it there since it first showed up in their books (97 or 98).

    Do I get a prize for that much dedication for a TRUE vaporware product? =P

    • I've always thought it ironic how DNF is also a TLA for "Did Not Finish"...
    • How can a product that has never ever had a release date set be considered vaporware? 3D Realms has said many times over that they have not and will not set a releast date AND they will take as long as necessary, even years and years, to deliver a great game. It's not like they are promising a gaming revolution on date X, then push it back to Y, to Z, etc never releasing a product.

      Half-Life 2 can't be considered vaporware either. All Valve has said about it was yes, they were working on it.

      Since when has
    • by ruiner13 ( 527499 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:07AM (#5778637) Homepage
      "I still have my $5 down for DNF at the local EB, and have had it there since it first showed up in their books (97 or 98).

      Do I get a prize for that much dedication for a TRUE vaporware product? =P"

      PRIZE? I don't even think you'll get your 5 dollars back....

  • hmm (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by sirinek ( 41507 )
    One headline: Half-life 2 to appear at E3. Story on pages 4, 5 and 6!
  • by B3ryllium ( 571199 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:52PM (#5777875) Homepage
    Gordon, there you are. They're waiting for you in the test chamber, Gordon.

    I hope they don't go all hollywood on this and do it as a "prequel". Although, that would be quite amusing ... :)
  • of half-life as a movie? you could integrate all three of the first episodes (gordon/calhoun/shepherd).

    can't wait to see hl2!

  • Mac version? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mister Black ( 265849 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:54PM (#5777888)
    If there isn't a Mac version of this I'm going to become a an angry and bitter person. Well, OK, more so than normal.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21, 2003 @09:57PM (#5777913)
    that pig just fly by?
  • Counter Strike 2 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MidoriKid ( 473433 )
    Does anybody actually play Half-Life? I only bought it for the excellent mods. Day of Defeat and Counter Strike top my list there.
    • dont forget Natrual Selection a mod that truly feels like another game. FPS/RTS what more could you want?
    • Uhm, I recently purchased HL (the platinum pack with all the spinoff addons) because I never really had a chance to in the past 5 years. I had a blast playing the actual game.
  • I finally decided to go through the single-player mode and just finished up. I will be anticipating this with great relish.
  • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:03PM (#5777966) Journal
    I'm guessing that it's Half-Life 2: Full Life.

    Or Half-Life 2: How The Other Half Lives.

    Or Half-Life 2: You Only Live Twice.

    Or Half-Life 2: Life Begins At 2.

    Or Half-Life 2: Half-Liberty. (With the third game to be called Half-Life 3: Half-Pursuit Of Happiness.)
  • Fantastic! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:04PM (#5777971)
    As a mac user, i eagerly await the day Half Life 2 is released, so we can begin the fantastic four-year wait that we have in store while whoever now owns sierra (or whoever they farm the port out to) very very slowly and incompetently attempts to port their game to our platform. Although that is nothing compared to the eager anticipation i have for what comes after that, when upon finishing and discovering that the port they have created is of very poor quality, Sierra suddenly announces "hey, the mac market is small and we don't want to bother porting to it" so that they can simply insult the mac market rather than releasing what they would percieve to be a public embarrasment! That was my favorite part of Half Life!

    Ooh! Or even better, maybe they'll go with the ever-so-popular development model they used with Tribes 2. You know, the one where they lie to the consumers for years, then at the end of the development cycle suddenly react to unexpected overruns in schedule by releasing the product before it's finished, promising lots of patches and a macintosh version really soon, and then firing the team that programmed the game before they can even begin to attempt to fix things! That was SO fun, i can't imagine they wouldn't jump at the chance to repeat their success at completely destroying a critically acclaimed franchise with a cult following! If so, I SO hope that they add insult to injury like they did with Tribes 2 by creating a fantastic Linux version that by all indications could run in Mac OS X's UNIX layer with little more than a recompile, one or two small compatibility layers such as an X11 server, and a trivial amount of slowdown, and then refusing to comment on this despite repeated and wide-scale petitioning on the part of would-be customers requesting Sierra attempt to make the Linux port run on OS X!

    *** /me grumbles and bitterly huddles back closer to his GameCube, where he never has to worry about this kind of thing. Hmm.. dammit, "Navi", i hate you.. ***

    -- super ugly ultraman
  • I have counterstrike but never played it.:-(

    I can not do autoupdates either thanks to my dlink nat firewall. IT does not like apps that use multiple streams. No its not a MTU setting like some have suggested. It just that the networking code in the first one sucked!

  • Gaming Platform (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lostchicken ( 226656 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:12PM (#5778026)
    I just hope that Valve has kept in their minds the fact that HL's continued reign as #1 comes not from the game Half-Life, but the fact that HL makes a world class gaming platform. It's just an operating system for games. They had better get TFC, CS, DoD, NS, and everything else ported, or HL2 will just be another game, not the gaming OS that it is today.

    Look at how many people buy Windows. They don't do this for all the "features" M$ tries to cram into the box, but rather for all the things that run on Win32. The same goes for HL.

    HL2 will be a really good game, but will it be the next (and second, after HL1) gaming platform? If they could manage to let HL1 games run under HL2, (perhaps with some kind of 3d improvements like higher-rez, automagic shadows, etc) they'd have a killer. If not, HL2 will sell about as well as WinXP would if it couldn't run Win98 apps.
    • It's not up to Valve to port mods. While TF is a Valve game and CS and DoD are in a publishing agreement with them, NS and ever other mod out there is owned by the teams that created them. I created a HL mod, and Valve can't do anything with it unless I give them permission, etc.

      More to the point, I am absolutely certain that even if mods were given some degree of direct portability (which is extremely unlikely), very few would bother. The visual limitations of the original HL engine significantly restri
    • Re:Gaming Platform (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SimplexO ( 537908 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @11:25PM (#5778459) Homepage
      HL makes a world class gaming platform. It's just an operating system for games.
      I wholeheartedly disagree. Half-Life was a wonderful game. It was Game of the year in almost every gaming magazine that year. The next year, there were so many bad games that numerous Game of The Year descriptions cited the fact that they wanted something more like Half-Life or maybe even Half-Life again!

      Half-Life was such a phenomenal game, that it became the ideal development platform for mod's first and foremost because of its HUGE user base. Everybody and their mom who played single-player computer games had Half-Life. If you wanted the best exposure you could get, make a mod for Half-Life.

      There was also the added bonus that VALVe didn't just drop their product on the world and count the Jeffersons. As many know, they included patches that fixed game play performance, added mods, solidified their own mods, made (in my opinion) the best non-broadband network code ever, and then supported the popular mods.

      Counter-Strike eclipsed Half-Life because of the replay-ability inherent in multi-player games. That doesn't mean that Half-Life was one of the best games many people have ever played.
  • by sielwolf ( 246764 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:22PM (#5778090) Homepage Journal
    But what the hell happened to Team Fortress 2?

    Is this the first time vaporware has been deprecated?
  • Bugger (Score:5, Funny)

    by mlk ( 18543 ) <michael DOT lloy ... DOT org AT gmai> on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:24PM (#5778109) Homepage Journal
    I'd finally got my life back in order, no more CS'ing & TFC'ing til the wee-morning hours. I was clean, CLEAN...
  • by drzhivago ( 310144 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:28PM (#5778136)
    How is it that Half-Life 2 could be considered vaporware? A product is only vaporware if it was publicly announced by the maker, and Half-Life 2 was never mentioned by Valve until today.

    Sure, rabid fanboys have been speculating about it for years, but that doesn't qualify it as vaporware.

    Give it 2 years before calling it that! Considering they plan to have it out by year's end, it should never get that far.
    • Actually, Gabe Newell of Valve did officially confirm that HL2 was being "worked on" in an interview with PC Gamer a few months after Opposing Force was released. But wisely, that was the last thing ever heard from them on the subject until now.
  • I can't wait for this release. Half-life was the only game that I'd ever paid for, and HL2 will be the 2nd. =D
  • I love getting my gaming news from slashdot. My favourite part is when nearly half of the comments are along the lines of "I don't think they're going to release this game on BeOS, so therefore I hate it and want nothing to do with it!" I feel like every one of these posts is off-topic. You don't see people commenting on movie news lamenting the fact that new movies don't come out on Betamax. What makes gaming magically different. Would people prefer a topic distinction between Windows gaming and anyth
    • Catch-22 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by NetDrain ( 167337 )
      Don't you realize that until companies actually support one or two other major platforms those platforms will continue to have minority market shares?

      The only thing my Mac truly lacks is games. Not that I really care, though -- as a college student, I -really- need to be doing other things (like replying to a /, troll instead of doing physics homework (I guess that shows how much I don't want to do it.)) Anyway, your logic, if I can call it that, is severely flawed.
  • by LeiGong ( 621856 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @10:33PM (#5778165) Homepage
    I think the biggest competition that HL2 has to worry about isn't all the other big name games coming out this year. Rather, HL2's worst enemy is the original Half-Life. Half-Life is hailed as a milestone in FPS, single player, and story driven gaming. If HL2 does not live up to the incredible amount of expectation built around it, I doubt it will really succeed. As soon as one reviewer says "HL2 does not live up to the hype," many gamers will just dismiss the game as just another attempt at raking in money from a cashcow franchise. Even if the game really is great, it may forever be overshadowed by it's predecessor. However, with that said, I think the Valve team is very talented and will produce a game worth buying.
  • if not, no money from me, sorry :(
  • by lhbtubajon ( 469284 ) on Monday April 21, 2003 @11:38PM (#5778525)
    ...One-Quarter Life?

  • by tangent3 ( 449222 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:26AM (#5778729)
    ...to announce a release date of THIS year, considering that they haven't even gotten Condition Zero and Team Fortress II out of the door yet?
  • Hrm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RightInTheNeck ( 667426 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:12AM (#5778890)
    I dont know much about game engines, but I wonder if all games created using the Unreal/Quake ect engines must be shooters? Could it be used to make a whole new Myst/Riven type of game? Would be interesting. I miss those great Zack McCraken type games.
  • by Dolemite_the_Wiz ( 618862 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:44AM (#5779008) Journal

    Allowing clients to script just about everything possible has given an unfair advantage to the average player. Taking this out will even the playing field.


    That and it would be nice to create maps that don't rely on Right Angles (like circles!!). Also, it takes almost 3 months to create a good map. This is ridiculous!!!


    Valve has been known to take forever to address hacks and other exploits (which is the reason why I stopped playing CS). Cheating Death has stepped up where Valve has failed. To get and keep players, hacks and cheats need to be addressed and patched ASAFP.

    I know there are others but these are the biggies in H/L.

  • by nobodyman ( 90587 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:12AM (#5779102) Homepage
    Hey, TF2 [sierra.com] also appeared at E3... in 1999. It's still not out. Valve has not had an official comment since 2001. So, why is anyone getting excited about this announcement?

    Don't get me wrong. Half-life was a good game. Still is. It's so good, in fact, that it has spawned a grass-roots development community that has been incredibly prolific.

    Still though, I've lost patience. In five years, Valve has made one game. ONE GAME. That's only one more game than I've made and I'm not even trying.

    Oh, they've also become quite good at taking the mod's and add-ons developed by other people and putting them in cardboard boxes. Kudos, Valve. Oh, and there's Steam [steampowered.com]: their nifty content delivery mechanism for downloading that one game they've made.

    In short, I'll believe it when I see it.
  • by syphoon ( 619506 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:37AM (#5779497)
    There have been many people already in this story claiming Halflife's success was based upon its modability, and Valve's support for developers in doing so. And going by sales fuelled by Counterstrike and the other mods, that argument would have some merit.

    But if you take that argument, then shouldn't UT2K3 be selling in absolute droves? Its marketing campaign focussed a lot on its extreme modablity, to the point where Epic packaged a customized Maya with it, for mod makers. They were driven by the Counterstrike phenomen in doing this.

    But in a store the other day, I saw a Halflife pack selling for more than UT2K3 was. The difference between the two is that Halflife the game had incredible appeal because it really was a revolutionary game. UT2K3 wasn't. Lots of people therefore bought HL. This meant it generated large market share. And *that* is what gets a good mod. There's little point in modding a game to distribute if noone else has the game. So with the wide HL userbase, it made itself a very attractive medium for mods.

    Yes HL sales were fuelled by CS and co, but that's not what started the avalanche. I'm sure Valve are acutely aware of this.

!07/11 PDP a ni deppart m'I !pleH