Happy 20th Anniversary Half-Life from Wookiefragger Gaming!

Hello to all of our followers and newcomers. Here’s a special piece from our friend over at Wookiefragger Gaming.


The First-Person shooter is one of the most popular and enduring game genres, with a rich history that includes some of the most important video games ever made. In the 2000s, shooters would come to flood the market, and with each passing year, it became more difficult for the cream to rise to the top, but in the 1990s, the genre was marked by mighty classics that stood out like redwoods among the bushes. I’m referring to games like Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Goldeneye… and Half-Life.


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“A person seemingly with no voice, the character of Gordon Freeman only emerges through his actions, and with no morality -or lack thereof ascribed to him by anything other than the decisions of the player”

During that decade, realtime 3D graphics were going through some rapid growth spurts, and standing apart from the rest of the pack was often accomplished by trying out new ideas as the technology allowed, but sometimes, a game could distinguish itself by polishing ideas that were previously explored, but limited by hardware constraints, and Half-Life is pretty much the exemplar of this. Some of the greatest strengths of the first-person genre are its intensity, instant gratification, and its ability to immerse players into the mindset of the game, and Valve, the developers of played to these strengths by designing the game as one long, continuous environment, broken up only by the occasional loading screen. But never a level transition.

The primary setting of the game (the Black Mesa Research facility), is a fully realized setting, with dark secrets, strange quirks, and a cold, cynical logic in its design. Much like Shadow Moses Island in Metal Gear Solid, Black Mesa is a place where the left hand was never intended to know what the right hand was doing, and now that things have gone wrong, the powers responsible are still trying to manipulate events from the shadows, with the player caught in the middle.

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“The primary setting of the game (the Black Mesa Research facility), is a fully realized setting, with dark secrets, strange quirks, and a cold, cynical logic in its design”

In Metal Gear, this meant Solid Snake, but in Half-Life, this just means you. Well, technically it means Gordon Freeman, (Half-Life’s protagonist) but Gordon is a character devoid of characterization. A person seemingly with no voice, the character of Gordon Freeman only emerges through his actions, and with no morality -or lack thereof ascribed to him by anything other than the decisions of the player. While the game mostly only lets you interact with situations and people in terms of violence, not everyone in the game is an enemy, and the possibility for selfishness exists in these interactions with friendly non-player characters. Do you try to save the scientists, or just try to survive? Do you ask the guard to accompany you, or do you take his weapon for yourself? In terms of the greater plot, these moments don’t count for much, but, assuming that you finish the game, how you played it will have defined whether or not Gordon was a hero, or just a survivor.


Half-Life’s impact on first-person game design really cannot be overstated. The game made heavy use of scripted sequences in order to advance its plot as well as to shock, astound, or otherwise provide satisfaction to the player, and all of this without ever resorting to the use of cut scenes. While games at large wouldn’t ultimately treat in-game scripted sequences as an alternative to cinematics, their use became a staple of the medium in the years following Half-Life’s arrival, and these kinds of sequences are often among the most memorable parts of any game. It certainly -obviously- wasn’t the first game to marry the progression of a game’s story with the actual act of playing the game, and that’s not the kind of credit I’m trying to give it here. However, it did it all so expertly that once the game proved to be a commercial triumph, an entire industry snapped to attention and started taking notes.

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“Half-Life’s impact on first-person game design really cannot be overstated. The game made heavy use of scripted sequences in order to advance its plot as well as to shock, astound, or otherwise provide satisfaction to the player”

When compared to the other classic shooters of its day, Half-Life didn’t distinguish itself through its technical or gameplay innovations. Instead, it was distinguished by its craft. A frantic and chaotic thrill ride with an eerie science-fiction yarn, and sold by detailed environments and intense scenarios it sparked positive changes in first-person game design. It is still a source of pure excitement for gamers, as well as inspiration for developers. Every part of what made Half-Life great could be seen in other games before its arrival, but collected and employed in the service of Gordon Freeman’s harrowing adventure, each separate element sings together in harmony. It is this culmination of possibilities that makes Half-Life a shining example of the genre, and to this day, it still stands as one of the finest testaments to the potential of the first-person shooter.


Thanks again to Wookiefragger Gaming! Subscribe to his YouTube channel for more if you liked what you read. And feel free to follow us on twitter @TehLunchboxPub!

Five Years Kingdom Hearts… Five Years

Kingdom-Hearts-3-LogoAfter Five years of waiting since the first teaser was released, Square Enix finally has an official date for the highly anticipated third installment.

Kingdom Hearts 3 will release early next year on January 29th for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. January 25th will be the release date for it in Japan. The original release date was supposed to be scheduled for this year but was delayed. Below is a statement issued by Franchise director Tetsuya Nomura via twitter regarding the delay. Continue reading

Monster Hunter is coming to Final Fantasy!

Final-Fantasy-XIV-Monster-Hunter-WorldIt’s that time of the year for the best developers in the world of gaming to join together for a week and show off what they’ve been working on. Today was the day for Square Enix to display what they have and a very particular announcement made waves almost immediately.

Two dominant open world games will be joining forces this summer when Monster Hunter: World will be coming to Square Enix Final Fantasy XIV in what has been one of the more stunning developments to come out of E3 so far. Short trailer but full of fun and familiar notes that will get fans of both titles excited.

Now a couple of notes regarding the summer release. In order to get access to the joint venture, players will need to create a character in Final Fantasy XIV and obtain a level of at least 70 and complete the “Stormblood” quest. Sounds like a chore huh? Not to worry as new players will get a bit of a head start with enough exp points to reach a level of 60 if the character is created on a preferred world.

If you havent picked up the game yet or have been on the fence maybe this is just the type of move to make your decision. Either way this shaping up to be and interesting summer. If you need to catch up on news from E3 do it with @tehlunchboxpub on twitter.

Anthem Gameplay Trailer

anthem-dylan.jpg.adapt.crop191x100.1200wEA clearly wanted to bookend its conference with what they believed were their two biggest reveals. The day started with Battlefield 5, but it ended with Anthem.

The open world RPG was their centerpiece clearly and they wanted to show it off and the trailer which includes about 4 minutes or so of co-op gameplay with 4 very different character/suit designs with distinct characteristics. For more you can watch the trailer here.

Considering the boys and girls behind Mass Effect and Dragon Age are at the helm for this one expect a gaming experience akin to the aforementioned but with its own modern twist. I’ll be checkin out this one and I think you should to when it drops February 22nd, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. And if you’re looking for more, make sure to check out our twitter @tehlunchboxpub.

Command and Conquer: Rivals Trailer is here

Command-and-Conquer-Rivals-Revealed_1200x500.jpegCommand and Conquer fans usually know what to expect when they pick up the game and its no surprise that it’s one of the best and most popular RTS titles out there. But Command and Conquer: Rivals is just a touch different with a faster and more chaotic gameplay specifically to suit the mobile gamer in all of us. The quicker pace will be a welcomed change for all fans. Take a look at the trailer below and see what you think.

If you like what you see you’ll be able to get your hands on this game iOS users can pre-register here at http://www.cncrivals.com. As for Android users, you can do so via the Google Play app store and as a bonus you may also be invited to try the pre-alpha (if you’re in the US or Canada of course). And if you like the content check us out on twitter @tehlunchboxpub.

Unravel Two Reveal Trailer

Unravel-TwoFor those who purchased the first Unravel were treated to a really unique and enjoyable experience. Yarny captured the hearts of many and fans hope to be treated to more of the same with the unveiling of Unravel Two. Check out the trailer below and see what EA has to offer in its follow up to their 2016 predecessor.

Create bonds with new friends, or keep the fun all to yourself. However you choose to play you’ve got your chance to do so right now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. And follow us on twitter @tehlunchboxpub.

EA Sports FIFA 19

fifa19With the World Cup opening only 5 days away it’s no surprise that EA wanted to do a big reveal for one of it’s most lucrative and most popular sports franchises. FIFA 19 Trailer boasts the inclusion of the UEFA Champions League which was a long time coming but a welcomed addition.

Get your copy of EA FIFA 19 September 28th, 2018 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC and for your E3 news check out @tehlunchboxpub on twitter.

Battlefield 5 Multiplayer is here at E3

 

Battlefield-V-5A couple of weeks ago EA dropped the Battlefield 5 trailer in time for their E3 conference. With all the anticipation mounting from fans, EA started things off today with an extended sneak peek at their multiplayer mode for the franchises next installment. Check it out below.

It’s shaping up to be the next big thing with the confirmation of the battle royale gameplay. Get your copy of Battlefield 5 when it hits stores October 19th, 2018. And for your E3 news, follow TehLunchbox Pub on twitter @tehlunchboxpub.

 

Joe Manganiello is the Choice to Play Deathstroke in Upcoming Batman Film

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Yup, that’s right folks. What had been in the news for quite some time (almost a year now) has now been confirmed. After that little teaser Ben Affleck shared with everyone only a couple of weeks ago many speculated that it was only a matter of time before we got news of who would be in the suit as Slade Wilson. DC Entertainment president and chief creative officer Geoff Johns confirmed the casting in an interview in which he discusses his role overseeing Warner Bros DCEU franchise.

Manganiello, has been a fan favorite for the casting so it is not surprising that the news is met with mostly positive reception. The groundswell of expectations is rising quickly for Affleck’s standalone Batman film (which he is also the director of) and with this casting it is sure to put even more eyes on the project. I don’t think I can wait for the first action reel putting the two adversaries against each other for the first time on film, but I’m sure my patience will be rewarded when the film is finally released.


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Stephon W. is the Assistant Editor In Chief and contributing writer for Teh Lunchbox Publications! For all your news, up to date information, previews, and reviews on the entertainment world, keep it here on tehlunchboxpub.wordpress.com and LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch!

The Coalition Put Gears of War 4 in the Spotlight With Horde Mode 3.0

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This weekend is the annual  PAX West convention and It’s no surprise that The Coalition will be there to promote the next installment of the critically acclaimed Gears of War franchise. And what is probably the most entertaining thing about any Gears of War game is Horde mode. It’s you against an army of enemies who are ready to take your head off. Horde mode has brought popularity to this type of gaming allowing others to reap similar benefits from their fans (Halo’s Firefight, Call of Duty’s Zombie mode). It becomes no surprise that The Coalition would give us our first look at the new and revamp Horde mode v 3.0. Check out the first look below.

Lots of new things coming for this new version. From class systems to which lets you pick your own role in the team to a Fabricator option which essentially allows you to build your own base of defense. We even a return to boss battles every 10 rounds. A mix of fresh new ideas with the classic elements that made Horde mode a hit to begin with makes this an interesting development. The question is, will it be a hit or a miss? We’ll find out on October 11th when Gears of War 4 hits the shelves.


Stephon W. is the Assistant Editor In Chief and contributing writer for Teh Lunchbox Publications! For all your news, up to date information, previews, and reviews on the entertainment world, keep it here on tehlunchboxpub.wordpress.com and LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch!