From: Anthony Taylor
To: Eddy Rivas and Spider-Friend
Subject: The Road to Ravenholm
Aww, that poor spider. He just wanted to play some HL2, also! Nothing wrong with that. You should name him Lamar.
Getting back to the pacing, remember last time we talked about the slow, almost leisurely pace of the game’s intro? It seems like there was a good reason for that because once things start to move, much like the Juggernaut (bitch) they don’t stop! Seriously, going through the canal, constantly getting shot at every time you get out in the open and being on the constant run had me pausing just to catch my breath and wipe the sweat from my hands. It went from Animal Crossing to God of War in the time it takes for a headcrab to leap at your head. And I loved every second of it.
Although it took a bit to get used to the controls of the airboat, (I kept thinking I was playing Halo…and yes I did teabag some Combine soldiers. Sue me.) once I got into the swing of things, I was traversing the canal with finesse and dare I say, panache as well. The game does a great job of dispersing ammo. Every time I think I am about to run out and have to resort to my crowbar, I find a room with a nice chunk of supplies. It’s very astute in that way. You can tell Valve play-tested the hell out of it.
Ravenholm…yeah, the minute that infamous line was uttered, I thought, “I bet a thousand dollars my sorry ass is going to go there.” True to form, I won that bet, although now I owe myself a grand. You’re right in that Ravenholm felt like a real place. Anyone can make a creepy level, but not everyone can create a setting that feels lived-in, yet still kind of gives you that haunted house/amusement park ride feel that certain games can. It’s a unique combination and one that is difficult to find in any other game. Maybe Rapture and Arkham Asylum, both of which owe a huge debt to Half-Life.
Also, how awesome is the Gravity Gun? I sure am glad the saw business was booming in Ravenholm because I sliced up quite a few of those bastards with them. Even got myself a Cheevo in the process. And I somehow almost felt guilty when I set one of the zombies on fire. Their screams were suddenly very human and distressing, much like I imagine your scream was when the ‘pider sat down on your lap. By the by, did you toss stuff at Dog’s head? I did. I feel no shame in telling you that. I also took his ball and threw it in the dumpster. I was trying to see if I could break the game, but Alyx just told us to move on to the next segment. Well played, Valve. Well played.
To conclude this bit, the rebels are growing on me a bit more than they were. They seem to show up at just the right time, which is their job, I reckon. But honestly… I’m kind of clueless as to what the hell is going on. I trust Valve to fill me in later on, but I have no idea why the G-man let Gordon out of stasis and what my purpose is. I’m very much in the dark and just trying to survive. Which is probably how the rest of humanity feels in this world of despair. Did I miss something or do you feel the same way? And how awesome is the music when it decides to kick in during those moments of badassery?
There you have it. What are your thoughts on part 2 of the HL2 files? What do you recall of the road to Ravenholm? Are we pansies for being scared? Feel free to join us as we play through Highway 17 to Entanglement, and tune in next week for part 3 of our playthrough!
Featured Image – Ethermancer