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And Then I Saw The Credits at Nerdtales
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And Then I Saw The Credits

March 2nd, 2008 by Marcel

Remember how I told you that I took just a quick peek at HL2: Episode 1? I finished it already. I had some free time on Friday night, not enough time to dive into the vast world of Mass Effect, but just enough to have another look at EP1. And all of a sudden I saw the credits. What a short experience. That’s episodic gaming now, huh?

The game begins where the original HL2 left off and starts in the ruins outside of the citadel. After stopping that from happening, it is all about escaping City17 as the the combine leads the reactor to explode again. The problem is that Episode 1 isn’t new. The levels are mostly rehashed from the main game, the enemies are the same ase are the weapons and the gameplay elements. This would all be okay if it at least gives more hints on the story. But other than the information that humanity has more success at fighting the combine and the speach of the doctor no further hints are given. Which sucks. I didn’t like some of the levels, too. Especially when the game leads into old buildings and multi-storey car parks. Those are dark so you are running around in Doom 3 style holding your flashlight up all the time. This is just too oldschool for a game like HL2 that can do better.

The boss at the end of Episode 1 is also a little uninspired. You fight against a strider, one of the enemies that you fought a lot of times in the original HL2, in a train station and to effectively beat him you have to go through some sort of jump and run section to get to the other side of the station where ammunition for the rocket launcher is hidden. It is too easy for a boss fight. The game ends with you standing at the rear end of a train watching the citadel explode and the screen going all white.

For all the flaws Episode 1 has, it is still on a very high level, technically and artistically. It is also a game that has to be seen in context. it was an experiment on digital distribution. To see, if episodic content could be a concept to bring games in a shorter form directly to the player. So when the game came out this played into the valuation. This novelty has worn of today and leaves a good, but not extraordinay game. It is a solid 8/10 and Episode 2, which I will play in the coming days, will probably smooth the flaws out.


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