20th November 2005
Built a new system, 1025 in debt, but w/e
AMD Athlon X2 5000 2GB DDR2 (800mhz, 2x1GB) 320GB Barracuda 16mb Cache HDD MSI NX8800GTX - OC edition (610, 2000) Audigy 2 ZS Neo HE 550 Antec PSU
Well, played the game, 1680x1050, 16x AA, 16x Anisotropic, everything max'd out.
and i have to say, Graphics are outdated heavily.... Compared to Bioshock and UT2007, and CoD4: Modern Warfare... ..
The textures are not sharp at all, the HDR is nice and all, and how they input Real time soft shadowing was ok.. but that wasn't enough to cover the poor Textures etc..
Gameplay was, as always, Excellent. Smooth, fun, and at times, emotional. The physics, great.
Biggest disappointment though, took me 4 hours to complete... I remember them stating that Episode 2 would be around 2x longer then episode 1... But, this one, i played for 3 hours one night, woke up, and played for 1 hour before work and finished it.. Was very disappointed in the amount of gameplay there was.
Not really something you could replay due to the heavy scripting of events too..
I really hope episode 3 is longer, and better... waited how many years? 1-2 for Episode 2? for 4 hours of gameplay... hmm..
Played Portal, that was fun.. took about an hour to complete, but it was fun.
Anyways, Overall the game was disappointing for their lack of graphical updates, and the overall length of the "episode"..
These are my thoughts, what are yours?
GF Pwns Me!
29th January 2006
They can only achieve so much with the source engine. It's an old engine and looked pretty amazing for its time. Episodes 1 and 2 are expansions to HL2 so you couldn't have honestly expected them to update the graphics that much. If they make a Half-Life 3, then you can probably expect some extensive graphics updates. Probably a whole new engine. I didn't really care about the lack of heavy graphics. Bioshock, Unreal Tournament 3, and COD4 are poor comparisons. All three of those games are made on new engines. Source engine was around for a couple years before any of those engines, especially the engine for COD4.
One of the reasons it took so long to release was because they were having problems with their retailer and had to redo a bunch of stuff (ie, the orange box). I could have done without paying for Half-Life 2 and episode 1 a second time, but on the other hand, I technically only payed 10 bucks a piece for each game in the bundle. I think I payed 30 for ep1 when it released, and 50 for HL2. The main thing I was pissed about was the lack of updates to ep2 and hl2 for pc. On the 360 version they added motion blur and HDR to both but failed to do so with the pc version. Anyone know what's up with that?
I didn't make it!
Episode One, Two and maybe Three are Half-Life 3 they don't want to make HL3 because that would take too long. Source Engine is outdated but I find it realistic and that graphics are amazing for that low system req.. I really like the graphics. (and u can mod HL easy I like that :) )
The forums staffers think I'm Cool
21st October 2005
yea but think about this.. that engine was made to run an dx7 and up
frikken 7! you have to say its good for that.. and it was being made in like 2001, not 2006
"World's Best Boss"
14th August 2004
192837465;3979665Well Built a new system, 1025 in debt, but w/e AMD Athlon X2 5000 2GB DDR2 (800mhz, 2x1GB) 320GB Barracuda 16mb Cache HDD MSI NX8800GTX - OC edition (610, 2000) Audigy 2 ZS Neo HE 550 Antec PSU Well, played the game, 1680x1050, 16x AA, 16x Anisotropic, everything max'd out. and i have to say, Graphics are outdated heavily.... Compared to Bioshock and UT2007, and CoD4: Modern Warfare... .. The textures are not sharp at all, the HDR is nice and all, and how they input Real time soft shadowing was ok.. but that wasn't enough to cover the poor Textures etc.. I really hope episode 3 is longer, and better... waited how many years? 1-2 for Episode 2? for 4 hours of gameplay... hmm.. Played Portal, that was fun.. took about an hour to complete, but it was fun. Anyways, Overall the game was disappointing for their lack of graphical updates, and the overall length of the "episode".. These are my thoughts, what are yours?
IMO: The graphics are Half-Life 2's greatest triumph. Bioshock, UT3, COD4, all look so glossy and plastic and too shiny at times that you just notice it looks totally fake. Half-Lief 2's visuals are realistic and believable and are the best I've seen in any game. And yes, it took them 1-2 years to complete Orange Box. But you have to realise not only they did release EP2 in 1-2 years bu they also created Team-Fortress 2, and Portal. They made 3 games in 1-2 years and I think thats a big accomplishment for Valve.
I'm done here...
9th November 2003
SteVen;3980434IMO: The graphics are Half-Life 2's greatest triumph. Bioshock, UT3, COD4, all look so glossy and plastic and too shiny at times that you just notice it looks totally fake.
I agree. I liked HL2EP2 graphics. It does not look eye-catching but it looks more real than anything coming out since DOOM3 started that glossy/plastic look.
Revenge was here.
20th February 2006
As certain Wii owners will say " pfft, screw graphics". Hell I wouldn't be surprised if HL2 ran on one.
20th June 2006
Half-Life's Source engine is made to look realistic from a distance. They don't go so far into detail on the textures so that you get Crysis, in which you can zoom in up to like 600x in gameplay at a twig and be amazed. It is simply a waste of hardware power that Valve does not want to use up with their gamers. So they set the graphics to excellently match the atmospheric feel of City 17, White Forest, and the other locations. When it comes to graphics, not everything is just about looking good, but how it sets the mood and visual feel and look of the environment. Valve does that wonderfully with Episode Two. And standing in a technology sense, Episode Two is one of the best engines to date. The facial animation system is unbeaten so far, I believe, and while there may be an occasional ugly texture or two throughout the game, it all blends in well to look visually realistic, AND it runs easy. The HDR evens runs better on my PC compared to Episode One, and it is toned down a bit. I like HDR at times, but there are also moments where it simply makes the graphics appear a little too chunky, and just too bright. The sun rarely effects your eyes to that extent. I'll see if I can get a picture up eventually to show what I mean. But overall, the HDR is wonderful, Valve is getting better at implementing it through the Half-Life games. The shaders are wonderful, especially on the grubs, they just look great. A majority of general textures have a larger poly count, and much grittier detail than before, reflections are realistic and good looking. The motion blur runs well, but maybe a little too demanding to take place. They seem to affect my framerate more than I expected, and it simply takes too much of a fast turn to actually happen. And when you're in the heat of a battle, you won't notice it as easily. But it looks good when it happens. Half-Life 2: Episode Two's graphics are outstanding. I notice a lot while playing Half-Life games, if you meet a vista, or are standing still while looking at something, and then take a screenshot, it looks so stinking real. As long as you are not close enough to notice the fault in the texture, which would not really happen unless taking cover or purposely looking at something very closely, it looks uncannily real. The new particle system is a joy for Half-Life, the blood effects are gorgeous (sounds weird). I love it! I love it all!!
I can tell from your explanation of the time length of Episode Two and Portal that you're a speedy gamer. I personally took about 5-7 hours out of Episode Two, which was within the expectant zone. But with or without the time length concern, Episode Two was PACKED with replayability and content. It brings out a new dimension in Half-Life and leaves you quite full and stuffed. It wasn't a little snack for the series, it was quite a meal, with lots of story and intriguing moments. Spoiler for those who did not yet play it, BIG spoiler.
Even if you do finish this game in four hours, it has so much in it that should leave you both anticipating your desert (Episode Three), yet appreciative enough to get a second helping of dinner (play it through another time). There's always the commentary, and you find more to the game upon playing it again. It's really amazing. Getting out of City 17 not only lets you feel that you have a much more open playing ground, but that there is more story telling through the places you visit. Valve excellently accomplishes their storytelling in the atmosphere and the places you visit, like the Antlion caves, it lets you look deeper into the nature of the Half-Life world, it's wonderful.
How long did you wait for Episode One? Well, suspecting you got HL2 in the month of release you would have waited one year and seven months. Closer to two years. How long a wait to Episode Two? A year and five months. That's wonderful progress for Valve and their episodic development. Look at Episode One and Two as a whole, it feels much more fulfilling to play the games then. Really, we didn't wait long for Episode Two, especially in Valve's monolithic development terms, it simply felt longer as the release date got closer. I was playing Episode One just last year, it was only that short time ago. I think we get plenty for the wait. Portal was short, but a wonderful revisit with the commentary, and it has such a great feel to it, that I don't mind going through it again. No matter how easier it gets, Valve wonderfully creates a loveable world and feel in Portal. And I can't wait to play another game like it.
So to wrap it up:
The graphics were great, even against current games, what are you talking about?
A quick run through is easy in Episode Two, but with loads of new storytelling in the environment and atmosphere, and not to mention fighting the new hunters is fun, you get plenty and 5-7 hours worth.
Portal, simplistic, lovable, cake-filled, fun, even when the puzzles are ridiculously easy. And it's fun a second time through!
20th November 2005
Well I respect the fake you guys gave me some Mature responses, of your opinions and whatnot, and I respect what you have said.
As a near Super computer owner, The newer games like Crysis, Bioshock, CoD4 showcase some insane Graphics building for an Awesome atmosphere + the enjoyable Gameplay.
Doom 3 was a disappointment when it came to Texture sharpness.. Gave quite a Plastic Feel.
Yes, I am a very speedy gamer. I take a look at the graphics, then continue to play on, completing each level. I don't sit around each level jerkin around because todays FPS's aren't made for that. You will get bored, because you have to complete the aquired task to actually see a new event. They should really input a "Freeplay" for FPS's so that you can jerk around between each task to increase the playtime, and replayability.
Anywho, when it comes to Storylines with games, I do agree, HL2 is #1. Really pulls you in when things happen.
HL2, took me around 9 hours. HL2 Ep.1 took me around 5-6 hours. Ep.2 only 4 hours.
As for the HL2 Graphics, I give them a good pat on the back for keeping this old engine somewhat looking decent. Although, the Foilage, and shadows, Texture sharpness, aren't to appealing.
Anyways, Great gameplay, Unreal storyline, Graphics are alright, simplistic.
20th June 2006
Surprising you finish Episode Two quicker than E1. And really surprising you finish HL2 the first time in nine hours.
DOOM 3's graphics were supposedly top of the line when they came out, and they really work for the atmosphere id created in DOOM 3, but yes, it does tend to look plastic like at times. It still looks good from time to time, like in Prey, doesn't Prey use the same engine? And the next id Tech engine (id Tech 5) is really sweet. It works for outdoor environments really well.
I would say Valve makes the HL series well enough so you can spend quite a bit of time just observing. They put so much story into what you see, and not just the vistas. In Ravenholm you can put together a story of how things went there, as the town slowly was destroyed. In Nova Prospect you can see how the prison was used and how it was taken over by Antlions. They make their games so there is always time to observe and learn about the world they make, and the story it tells if they mean to insert a small story. Sometimes they don't, like in the Antlion tunnels, they simply let you observe the life and nature of Antlions.
And of course, Crysis obviously beats everything. I think all but the next Operation: Flashpoint, which supposedly has an engine that beats Crysis, cannot win against Crysis. COD4 is nearly as good as Crysis, except for a few factors. But COD4 runs far better than Crysis. Bioshock looks great, and like Valve they put so much in what you see so that everything has a practical story to tell. But truly, Bioshock is the first game to raise the bar Valve raised three years ago with Half-Life 2. Bioshock will probably win GOTY, but it's surprising to see that nothing beat Half-Life 2 until just three months ago. That's a long reign.