Half Life Orange Box Impressions

OK, despite the graphic, so far I’ve only played Team Fortress 2 and Portal. At first I thought I might replay Half-Life 2, then go into Episode 1 and Episode 2… then I remembered how many games are coming out this fall and realized that wouldn’t work!

TF2 is awesome. It’s the kind of team- and class-based multiplay that I really like. I tried out all the different classes. Haven’t settled on a favorite yet. The first couple games I got into had really bad conneciton problems and I got dropped, but after that it was pretty smooth.

The Incredibles-type graphic style is a cool change, and they did a great job of making all the classes distinctive. You can tell at a glance what you’re up against, both from the model and the way they move.

A nice touch is all the little stats they give you. When you die and are waiting to respawn, you get a little stat box that tells you how well you did with that life. For example, it might say: “On the bright side, that’s the most kills (5) you’ve gotten as a Spy.” It also keeps track of who kills who repeatedly, so you might get a message saying “You are dominating JoeBlow92!” Meanwhile, JoeBlow92 gets a message saying “You have a new nemesis: TanRu!” and sees you on the kill cam.

All in all, really well done and I’m looking forward to playing a lot more.

I didn’t spend too much time on Portal, but what I played I enjoyed. It’s a really weird way of thinking and it’s interesting to feel your brain getting used to it. The computer voice that guides you along makes a lot of really funny comments along the way. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, see the Portal “orientation movie” below.

Anyhow, great job Valve for putting this together, and congrats to the TF2 team for finally releasing! (See I didn’t even make a Duke Nukem Forever comparison.)