Posts Tagged ‘Games’

Valve’s SOURCE Engine coming to Linux!!!!

May 20, 2008

I can’t believe that I missed this. This is great news for all gamers especially those who love Valve’s games. Now you will be able to natively play the games based on the Source Engine on Linux. Check here for more info.

Orange Box : Behind the Scenes

December 3, 2007

REVIEW: HL2 : Episode 2 (Orange Box review part 2)

December 2, 2007

Episode 2, the second episodic release in the trilogy of release was released by Valve in their much appreciated Orange Box. The first part of the Orange Box review contained the Portal review.

Now lets check out Episode 2.

GAMEPLAY::

Gordon Freeman is back and he is back with a bang. Episode 2 start with you and Alyx caught in the train wreck. Most of the time in episode 2 is spent in going to the secret hideout of the Resistance to deliver the package Alyx had retrieved in the Combine Citadel before it went kaboom. Its important and and the Combine are ready to do anything in their power to stop you from getting to the base. This includes, putting the deadly Combine Hunters, first of the few new foes in Episode 2 , hot on your trail. You will encounter your first combine hunter in one of the great and impacting parts of this game. The second new foe is the Antlion worker. What Valve has done is, they have basically taken all good elements from HL 2 and improved upon them in Episode 2. If if you had any gripes with Episode 1, they will all be addressed here.

Combine Hunters. These things are fast and furious!!

They game, unlike episode 1 which was restricted to City 17, takes place in much more varied locations. Theres a much more open environment to play out here. Vehicles make a return in Episode 2 (for better or worse) and you will be playing quite a lot of part of the second half of the game riding your fancy car. As far as weapons are concerned, all the previous ones return. There is a very good addition to your arsenal in the form of the Magnusson device which you will be using heavily in the last level.

Thats how the Magnusson device works. Simple eh??
As far as the story goes EP2 makes major strides in this department. The story is well scripted and the end leaves you wanting to play Episode 3 the very next moment. Some of the scripted events in the game are really great. The Dog vs Strider fight which was shown at the end of the trailer is very well done. Besides that the voice acting is as great as ever.

Alyx is a very useful side-kick

In terms of hours this game offer a little bit more than EP1 but still a lot less than standard shooter. But its episodic content, so you have to be satisfied.

GRAPHICS::

Episode 2, powered by the Source engine looks stunning as ever. Episode 2 takes place in a variety of environs and Source engine does a great job of rendering them all beautifully. The facial expressions of the characters and the lip-sync is the best I have ever seen.

Nature is so beautiful…

SOUND::
The sound effects and the soundtrack are top-notch and are supported by a very good act from the voice actors.

Dr. Magnusson…this guy just cant stop
boasting about his creations. (Check out Alyx’s expression).

The only gripe I have with Episode 2 is that it ends too fast. I have added a few more screen shots below and a link to a very good Half-Life related site.

RATING:: 9/10…………….A Must-play game.


Check out this site – HALF-LIFE SAGA
STORY GUIDE

Linux and Gaming??

December 1, 2007
Gaming sucks in linux? or does it really? take a look Linux games.

Most games found in the above list aren’t top of the line bestsellers but various windows emulators like Wine and Cedega are there to handle these problems. Cedega’s game compatibility list here gives a big list of games which can be made to work flawlessly on Linux. However, Cedega is not free, you need to pay a monthly fee for their service. But that’s where Wine comes in handy.

For example, the latest games like Portal , Half-Life 2 : EP 2 can be made to work with Ubutnu easily. Just follow this guide.

REVIEW : Portal (Orange Box review Part 1)

November 30, 2007

Valve’s released its expected Orange Box compilation on the 10 th of October. Its packs Half Life 2 (winner of more than 35 ‘Game of the Year’ Awards), Half Life 2 – Episode 1, Half Life 2 – Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal into a single box. It is selling at at price of Rs. 999/- in India. Now for that price,I would recommend you to buy it even for the old games i.e HL2 and HL2:EP1. But do the new games hold any value??

In this two part review of the Orange Box, I will be reviewing Portal and HL2: EP2, the two new single player components by Valve. This one deals with Portal and the next one ( probably to be uploaded later in the day) will contain the HL2 : EP2 review.

A typical Portal level. Turrets, traps and the Portal Gun.

Portal is a sort of guided tour/puzzle solving platformer / gameplay innovation short game packed by Valve in the Orange Box. It basically revolves around solving puzzles in the current level to go on to the next. Sounds boring?? Well , you couldn’t be more mistaken. Al tough Portal is a puzzle solving game, the concept itself sets it apart from anything you might have played till date.

Gameplay::
In Portal, the only weapon at your disposal is a Portal gun designed by Aperture Laboratories. The normal fire opens a exit portal and the alternate fire opens the entry portal. You can basically go from one place to another avoiding various death-traps using these portal paths. Portal being a puzzle oriented game, there are no enemies as such; there are however acid pools, turrets and various other problems blocking you from your exits. All this can be a little tedious to explain. A better option would be this video.

If you think that this being a puzzle solving game will have no story, you are again mistaken. Not only does it have a story, Valve has taken it to the next level by cross linking it with the Half Life 2 universe in EP2. So, in EP3 , we just might see Gordon Freeman wielding a Portal gun.
The total gameplay time for Portal is considerably small but there are advanced levels and other stuff to do once the game is done.

Recursive PORTALS!?!?!

Graphics::
Like all other games in the Orange Box, Portal is powered by the Source engine. Valve has made some changes to the engine but they don’t reflect much in Portal. It is always a closed corridor indoor environment. The Source engine has done a very good job again and the Graphics are topnotch in this game as well. However there is not much variety in the graphics until the last 2 levels. The rendering of the of the Portals is some sight.

How can I be there, when I am actually here???!!

Sound::
There is not much variety here but the soundtrack is good. I would like to mention that the scripting for the dialogs by the tour guide is exceptional. Its very funny and strange and intriguing at times. The voice acting is also marvelously done.

A moving platform that goes under the wall..

I would recommend the Orange Box even if it had Portal alone. The innovativeness in this game is totally different than anything else in the gaming world.

Rating :: 9.5/10 …………………………………………A Must-play game.