If I could ask for new features in eartbound chapters, that would be the details that was in original Half-Life and not included in BM. Puzzles, secrets, traps, etc.
A few examples, in Office Complex:
- At the beginning of the chapter, unlike in the original game, the left path in the air duct is not a secret, since you can access to the supplies even if electricity is still on.
- A moment later, behind the front desk, the zombie used to destroy the door in the original game. It brought a lot to the atmosphere. Also, it was kind of a secret area, since you couldn’t access the room if you killed the zombie too quickly.
- Then, in the flooded room, the switch doesn’t bring anything to the game in BM. there is no need to turn it off because the air duct is available by climbing onto the furnitures, and there is no secret armour battery.
- Then, in the air duct, there is no fan that would chop Gordon’s head off if not careful enough.
- After that, in the corridor, the ventilation shaft is already available in BM,while in the original HL you needed to solve a small puzzle, with crates.
- In the main office hub, the secret passage leading to the automated turret is already visible in the ceiling. It makes it too easy to find. Just a hint would have been nice, instead of revealing completely the secret.
All these little details were so important to the spirit and atmosphere of Half-Life. BM is an awesome, awesome game. However, as a re-creation of a classic, I think it should be as faithful as possible to it. I’m glad when more original content is added, but not when legacy content is removed. I would be delighted if we were granted some more puzzles, secrets and traps: those that was in the original game, and some more!
I also agree with what many people stated in this thread and elsewhere. On a Rail doesn’t feel like a trip like it did in HL. I understand that the devs are happy the way it is now, but it really misses something.
The vent maze at the end of We Got Hostiles in painfully missing as well.
I agree about the OP’s view on Anomalous Material. I would also like some doors, corridors, elevators here and there to indicate that this is a large place and not just a big corridor.
About the original locations of weapons (crowbar, shotgun, magnum…): why not making it available as an optional feature? That way, everybody is happy, and it brings more to game replayability.
About the game difficulty. Marines are hard, and they should be. The main problem is that the MP5 is very bad in BM. And why not adding some randomized marine difficulty? Just like in real life, all people don’t have exactly the same abilities, right? All marines would have random characteristics (health and firing accuracy). Some marines would have 80 HP, some 100, and a few of them would have 120. Some would be very good at throwing grenades, some would be less good. Some would be good at firing with MP5, some would be less good… Etc. Of course, none of them would totally suck at anything, they are heavily trained soldiers for god’s sake! This feature would add more surprise and replayability, as the skill of each single marines wouldn’t be the same in every game, and it would bring more realism.
Also, I haven’t played the game in a long time, but last time I did (it was the mod, not the steam game), choppers were a hell of a nightmare. They deal a lot of damage, and, more importantly, they are way too accurate when firing at poor Gordon. In real life, firing with accuracy from a flying vehicle must be extremely hard.
Finally, one thing that would improve the game (but would deviate quite a bit from the original game): giving Gordon enhancing bonuses. Sometimes, I find it very frustrating when I find a secret but I’m full of ammo (especially since the maximum amount of ammo is much lower in BM) or full HP and energy. I have no need of that secret then. So, why not putting some rare bonuses in some secret areas? These would be items that improve weapons or the HEV suit. For example:
- A new helmet with a scope, to allow zooming (which wouldn’t be a feature that Gordon originally has, of course)
- A bonus to slightly increase the time under water without dying
- A bonus to increase the speed of healing / recharging energy from the machines
- A bonus to slightly reduce damage from radiactive sources
- A laser, to help aiming with the Magnum
- A bonus to increase the flashlight durability, effectiveness, range…
These bonuses wouldn’t be absolutely necessary to complete the game, but they would be a pleasant addition and would bring more interest to some supply caches.
To conclude, I am wondering what the devs have in mind for the time after Xen is released. Will they just drop the game? Add new details? Improve the overall graphics quality? Add new game content? Would they consider using some content made by modders?
For example, I would love to have more rooms to visit, more secrets, puzzles and traps, some alternative routes to choose… Anyway, it would be great that earthbound levels were improved, so the game is more faithful to the original HL (nostalgia brought so many of us here!) and, at the same time, so the game has more features, more original content, allowing the team to express their own creativity.