Many of you have probably downloaded the new HL2EP2 trailers via Steam, as I have. And you may have already noticed the huge differance between HL2, and Episode Two, or the differance between Episode One and Two. Of course the videos are played at the highest quality possible, meaning that the system running the gameplay is a top notch system. So I'm wondering if Valve is going to keep the same system requirements as the past two HL games. For me that would be great, considering the fact that my system is not very high end. Do you think Valve will upgrade the Source Engine so that lower end systems will be able to run this game near the amazing graphics in EP2? The textures look so highly upgraded, it seems too high for a lower end system like mine. So my questions are these: 1. Do you think Valve will keep up the wide range system requirements as they have for many years now? 2. Do you think Valve will upgrade the Source engine to help systems run EP2 better? 3. Do you think those textures seem too high for lower end systems? 4. What are your thoughts about the new graphics? Whenever I look at the graphics for my computer on Episode One, the textures (which are both on medium), mixed together with HDR enabled, at 800x600, and 2x AA, seem a little sketchy (which is hard to describe) but the graphics have this type of different look than expected or seen in other pictures or videos. Thank you for taking your time reading this,
1. I would think that Valve will do their best to keep the system requirements as close to the previous generic requirements as they can. What they may do is have four levels of texture detail, so that people that have high-end machines can achieve the new graphics detail, while people that don't can still run Episode 2 on 'normal' Source graphics. 2. The graphics update is a Source update. However, they may implement a different way of working the Source engine so as to keep up their high standards. 3. Just as with many games right about now, lower-end systems can have trouble with high texture resolutions (you need a DirectX 9 capable graphics card in order to use 2048 x 2048 or higher textures). Episode 2 is going to feature what is now the standard of high textures. It is basically Valve's way way of making a comeback to the best graphics around. 4. I personally think that the new graphics are going to be great. Although my current graphics card (see sig) should do OK with it, I am upgrading to an X1900 XTX way before Episode 2, so I am pretty much guaranteed to be able to run it on highest. Also the cell shaded shadows may present a problem for some low-end graphics cards, but I'm sure that there will be an option to turn it off. The new feature of the HDR as well should present some better rim lighting, and I do believe that Episode 2 will also feature Depth of Field, again, also likely to be able to be turned on and off.. All in all, the new graphics shouldn't present a problem to me, but people with lower ended systems should think either about an upgrade, or not running Episode 2 on its full graphics glory. Thanks for taking the time to read this also!
Since Wraith_9 basically anwsered all your questions in very similar way I would, then only commenting the graphics has left for me.:p I realy like the lighting on objects and charachters wich seems to be even better than in Episode One. Good example is ofcourse the G-Man and Alyx, but also the Vortigaunt from new gameplay videos looks just incredibly real. Alot of stuff seems to have alot higher resolution textures and maybe even more polys (like the chopper bombs). Only thing I would like to see changed are the textures for resistance fighters, their textures always seemed a bit lower resolution than Combine forces'. Now with everythign maxed out they're starting to look a bit out of place. Oh, and in the scene where Combine overwatch forces are marching through the bridge, you can see that skybox texture tiles are not exactly mathcing eachother, creating nast edge, but thats up to be corrected in Photoshop. I know it's bloody tricky, probably I wouldn't even notice it if not the fact that I'm a fan mapper for a mod for other game and I spent quite alot of time working on makingn ew skybox look faultless.:p
I would imagine that the Resistance Members will be updated. The game isn't scheduled for release until Q1 2007, meaning I would imagine that they have plenty of time to put the stuff that pvt. Allen mentioned right.
Yes, alot more time to add in more mysterys we do not know.
What I hope for is a retro-update. Meaning, the super graphics you get in ep.2, will be applied across the source engine, allowing you to the achieve higher graphics level in regular HL2. That would be awfully nice of valve.:clap:
There will be some updates made, but only those which can be applied without much work input. Although I'm not sure on that, they're working on adding HDR for Half-Life 2 for Xbox160 version, so that might reach pc sooner or later too.