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.