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    jp's GameLog for Half-Life 2: Episode 2 (PC)

    Monday 7 January, 2008

    It's been an interesting experience to play Episode 2 right after Episode 1. It makes the little changes between them stand out a lot more. I could help but notice three things almost as soon as I began playing. First, the interface seemed a lot less intrusive and smaller. Second, the game begins with a semi-tutorial by explaining what keys map to the actions you're supposed to do (ie. crouch, sprint, etc.) and third, the flashlight now recharges MUCH faster than before. I wish I had the turbo-charging flashlight in episode 1! :-)

    I've enjoyed Episode 2 much more than the first one, though that one was great fun as well. I guess this episode, with all of the tunnels and stuff, provides an experience that is "more different" than the previous episode. Mixes it up a little if you will.

    Having thought about both episodes as expansions, I am a bit disappointed that Valve didn't do what they did with the expansions to Half-Life. (Opposing Force and Blue Shift). What knocked my socks off back then was how the expansions gave you (the player) a way to engage in the same story, but from a different perspective. It also made me relish those fleeting glimpses you had of Gordon Freeman, or when you turned up in locations that previously were inaccessible. In other words, you got the chance to peek behind the curtain to a certain extent. This time I feel like Valve is providing me with a longer story, but not really helping all that much in terms of getting deeper into the story. The G-man was a huge tease in the first game with his appearances every now and then and I don't feel that this game has had anything like that yet. (I don't think it will either). It's a bit unfair for me to expect the Episodes to "work" like expansions (Gabe Newell has gone on the record saying that episodes 1-3 are essentially Half-Life 3) and I really do like the game, it's just that it doesn't push the envelope like the first one. Well, it does in one way...but more on that later.


    The flashlight is also decoupled from your sprint and oxygen, so you can use it underwater without drowning yourself.

    Friday 25 January, 2008 by ajrich

    I hadn't noticed that! Thanks!
    I guess I haven't been underwater yet? Or maybe I have and just didn't notice...

    Saturday 26 January, 2008 by jp
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