Are these things going to be addressed with the release of Xen?

I’ve been wondering a few things that I’m not sure have been fairly talked about… or at least not to the extent that which plenty of other shit has been. First two things are sorta nitpicky Xen shit and the last thing is a multiplayer inquiry. Go figure.

First thangg: When Xen comes out in all its glory, I’m curious, will they add a normal transition during the first moments of the Resonance Cascade where you actually get to step into Xen for a second? The whole suddenly losing camera control for literally no reason and watching only the Vortiguant sequence there was about 200 times less impactful than the “oh fuck, these are portals not just spooky green lasers. What is this experiment?” I feel like the knowledge of the first game allows us to make sense of that but without that, it might not be all that obvious wtf just happened there in the story without that seemless pop into the border world where your last motion is still playing out. It felt right.

Second thangggg: How much of the necessary scary aspect of things is still being incorporated here? I personally thought the amount of fucking memeing and joking around in the Anomalous Materials chapter from the scientists was narrative suicide compared to the yawning, sarcastic bunch of ethically-burdened men in a deep underground lab. I don’t know, I just feel like sometimes people are so used to Half Life that they’re no longer trying to do what the original tried to do, only what it managed to accomplish when reflected on nostalgically. Sometimes less. I’m just hoping Xen will utterly fucking disturb me and mix me up mentally at first like it did when I was a kid and understood the implications. You have to go to an alien landscape to do a futile look through vast space and near nothingness to find an alien leader, the source of an energy signature – chosen solely on the merit of your deeds since the game began. It’s just powerful and I hope the vibe isn’t lost in an overtone of beautiful environments and lush plant-life. I don’t want it to be fucking Avatar. But it’s not yet or anything, just a concern.

And my last prick thanggg: Are you guys ever going to do anything interesting with multiplayer? Something like, cannonical and maybe something that isn’t just a bunch of dick heads fighting with the Half Life guns like it’s gmod and everyone got bored of making shit. I mean, I want classic deathmatch and all, but is it nuts to think that maybe a horde mode or something with npc incorporation would extend the life of the game? It could be simple as shit, but having a couple cool game modes to choose from with other players - I feel - would drastically increase the playerbase on multiplayer since there’s an alternate option to straight competitiveness which I think is attractive to Half Life fans being that it’s a primarily singleplayer franchise. I also think that it’s a waste to leave multiplayer the way it is since without some kind of new game made or something, it will likely be time you could have spent otherwise more productively in the end. I honestly feel like I won’t even play multiplayer when Xen comes out unless there’s some kind of survival mode or something new to sink my teeth into. It’s too gosh darn late in game culture to have just deathmatch, capture the flag and nothing else. It’s hardly a game like Halo or Cod that’s ever emphasized any level of fair multiplayer mechanics. Lord knows I could give a shit less about b-hopping goldsrc nostalgia soldiers just bouncing around, blowing everything up. I don’t get much joy from just ganking people in a Half Life game, it’s never been something I associated with competition unless I’m really going back to the old days when the options were smaller. I really do think that 15 minutes of thought and a day of work into something simple but clever for multiplayer is the way to go or else it’s a vaporware zit on the side of an otherwise highly prosperous project.

Cont: I’m guessing it feels like a pointless distraction to even look at MP for you guys since it’s a such a single player oriented experience; but this is why I think combining the two mechanically would be interesting. Games like Halo and Killing Floor (where I could give a fuck less about the enemies) have horde modes, but porting-in Aliens and grappling down HECU is pretty much the entire fucking game so I don’t see how having a survival mode wouldn’t be something someone would want to smack together. Even traps and environmental hazards would be cool in multiplayer since, again, it actually bridges that awkward singleplayer/multiplayer gap where the mechanics go off a cliff and become ice-skater gauss-cannon ricochet.

Idk, food for thought.

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All your questions and more will be answered in the future.

I dunno, I never really thought of the original Xen, or Half-Life in general, as being particularly horror-focused. It did pretty commonly use horror-like elements, but in more of an over-the-top, cheesy sort of way that came across more as humorous.

I’m afraid development is far too advanced for that sort of concern. Xen will not be changed now. But I agree with you. As beautiful as the new Xen seems to be, I’m not sure it will reflect the original intended design. To my opinion, Xen looks like quite a barren place, not a lush and colourful space jungle. I didn’t look at the new design closely though, I want to save it for when I play the game. We’ll see when the finished game is released.

It wasn’t as scary as some other video games back in the days (Resident Evil, etc), but I remember the game being quite scary, especially the first few chapters. Unforeseen Consequences and Office Complex, mostly, but also Power Up for example. That Gargantua grunting and shaking the ground even when it’s not in sight was pretty frightening :slight_smile:
I was 14 or 15 when I first played the game, but still! :grinning:
Anyway, I like the horror-like parts of Half-Life, I think the original game has a good balance between horror elements, action moments, puzzles, etc.


But if you look at Xen trailer, the part with HEV and scientist zombies, that has some good soft-horror vibes. Also can’t wait how will encounter with Gonarch look like, especially soundtrack during fight.

I always felt like that was sort of just an attempt to be flat rather than forcing any one genre. Plus the 90s budget was really responsible for the aging of the game. When they got Kelly for the soundtrack and Marc for the story, they weren’t picked from a large group or anything, they were all they had. They were solid as fuck though, but still, I feel like HL2 showed more of what they intended tone-wise. Funnily enough, HL2 now shows the same aging at this point. HL was never a sole-horror game, but I just want to be sure those moments in the original that were eerie are at least replaced with moment of eeriness in the final version.

This pretty much. I just wanted to know if the devs even remembered it was supposed to be eerie. Kelly’s soundtrack for that whole area is creepy as fuck. As a kid Unforeseen Consequences creeped me out because the scientists were suddenly all bloated and fucked up and they had that laughing sound file that used to creep me out when I was… what? 6? The game always managed to foreshadow and set the stage for a narrative with no control being taken from the player whatsoever from start to finish. It was great.

As for Xen, I remember the blackness and the red portal before the Nihilanth chamber was the horribly erriest shite ever to me. Anything really will satisfy me. The HEV zombies are fucking beast tbh.