I wrote the other day about Half-Life: Opposing Force, an article which inspired me to return to the 1998 classic. I wrote about Half-Life at length back in 2019 where I talked about some of the joys and downright headscratching moments. My recent foray back to the Black Mesa complex took me to the Surface Tension chapter, it’s a strange one which has some highlights, lowlights and more of those moments where you wonder what Valve were doing.
When you talk to someone about their favourite moments of the Half-Life series, people will often cite the opening tram ride through Black Mesa in the original or the G-Man’s prep talk during the Half-Life 2 opening. There might be some souls who favoured Xen with others who would dig deep into the back catalogue and mention something from Blue Shift. It would be a rare fan indeed who would have a favourite moment from Opposing Force, the first expansion to Valve’s masterpiece, but coming from Gearbox Software. I was a fan of this alternative take on the Black Mesa incident, but YouTuber BAST Brushie is a true fan, having created a reworked introduction for Opposing Force using the latest Source engine tech.
“We plan to give people a sense of freedom and a prosperous world. In practical, historical terms, that’s about as good as it gets.”
There’s really nothing all that cool about cyberpunk visions of the future. They are dystopian nightmares of relentless technological progress at the expense of the human condition and the accumulation of vast wealth by a small, unaccountable few as billions live in squalor. It’s hell, and we can say that with even greater confidence than the genre’s pioneers: we’re living it now.
Most years here at Reticule Towers we do some sort of review of the last year in games, or celebrate the games of the The Reticule years. While we took a break last year, this year we’re back with a mixture of Our Year in Games where we review our gaming stories of the last year, and we’ll also take a look at what we consider to be our Games of the Year. Here we have Nick talk about how his 2020 in games has shaped up.
In a surprise announcement this week, MicroProse has unveiled that they are finally releasing Carrier Command 2.
It’s about time, I suppose – The original was released in 1988, so it’s good to see that in the age of crunch and rushed releases that they’re taking their time with this one. …
It’s been five years since Half-Life: A Place in the West started life as a free comic available via the official website, four years since it was released on Steam (remember the Greenlight initiative anyone?) and nearly three since Valve granted the team, headed up by Mike Pelletier and our very own Ross Joseph Gardner, use of the Half-Life licence. It’s been a wild ride for the duo and their team, revealing in September that 2020 has, as you can imagine, been a rough old year which has delayed many of their plans for taking the story, and technology, forward. But here they are, finally releasing remasters of Chapters 1 and 2, along with a newly revamped Steam app to read it in.
As the years have gone by, Ubisoft have worked to evolve and iterate the Assassin’s Creed formula, moving away from the city games to vast open world RPGs. There have been self-inflicted wounds along the journey with an unhealthy corporate culture leading to a large restructure in their editorial teams in the summer, but ultimately Valhalla was delivered in time for the launch of the new console generation and it’s a brilliant piece of work. …