So, finished playing through Half Life 2 tonight, my fourth time through the game which says an awful lot for how much I like it.
It was my first time through since Valve patched in Achievements, which I found really did add something to the experience – and I’m saying that even as a person who usually has a pretty low opinion of cheevo hounds. I had never previously considered, for example, that I could grab manhacks with the gravity gun and throw them at Combine troops as weapons, so having an achievement pointing out that this was a Thing I Should Do was kind of neat. I actually wound up getting most of the optional achievements, though not the really rare ones like staying off the sand on the ant-lion beach or finding all of the lambda caches.
I wound up using the gravity gun a LOT, which was also new. The first time I played through HL2, it was just the weird gun I got about halfway through the game and then completely ignored until Our Benefactors, but this playthrough I was having a blast just throwing random junk at the assorted NPCs who were trying to kill me.
I did occasionally die from trying to be TOO clever, but that’s nothing new.
I also tried out Steam Streaming for the first time, though I feel sorry for the One Guy who actually joined my stream to watch me, because he came in just during the bit in the Combine Citadel where all you’re doing is riding around on a rail looking at things and then Doctor Breen talks at you for like an hour.
So, all in all, I don’t regret playing through HL2 again.
That being said, I think it may have cured me of wanting Valve to actually put out another entry in the series, because, well, HL2 was already a little dated in 2004 with its health packs and crosshair aiming and being able to carry ten guns at once, and it would at once be very weird for a modern shooter to come out with those kind of dated mechanics and even weirder if HL3 turned into a 2-guns-at-a-time regenerating-health iron-sights shooter.
I should probably get back to Demon Gaze now. You know, as a change of pace thing.