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!

Best of E3 2018

Since E3 has ended, it’s given me some time to contemplate the games I found that stood out to me the most. It was tough. We were treated to so many announcements, but there were some definitive trailers that have caught my eye.

Image result for assassins creed odysseyAssassin’s Creed Odyssey

Set within the glorious Greece timeline, we’re introduced to familiar but fresh combat systems and flexibility with a whole new twist on our main character and the overall development they acquire from the trailer.
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2018’s Electronic Entertainment Expo: Best in Show?

Another E3 has come and gone with surprising annoucements, reveals, and more games to be looking forward to later this year and the following year, it’s that time again to discuss which game truly stood and which conference takes the gold.


At this year’s E3, many games were shown off that grabbed our attention, and our wallets, although only a handful of titles truly deserved it.

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Raging Bethesda

bethesda-e3-2018Bethesda, one of the most well-known gaming companies in 2018 has come to E3 for their fourth showcase.  If E3 were a game of poker among these game developers, then Bethesda just showed their hand, and it seems like a high-end full house.  Starting the night off with an opening from Andrew W.K performing Ready to Die while leading into the RAGE 2 demonstration. Continue reading

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

Fallout 76 Trailer

Bethesda is best known for creating stunning and vast worlds in their games, and Fallout is no exception. A few weeks ago, Bethesda had released an image of their classic, “Please Stand By” in bright colors. Fans had suspected that it could possibly be a remake of Fallout 3 or  New Vegas however, that wasn’t the case.

Bethesda had released a teaser trailer for Fallout 76, in the trailer we were taken to a familiar scenery inside a vault shelter with party decorations in the main dining room, with  vault dweller wearing a jumpsuit with the number “76” on the back. Continue reading

Halo Infinite Trailer

Microsoft started off strong by showcasing a trailer for Halo Infinite, as the trailer showcased a vast landscape, beautiful scenery, and a vast wildlife. While nearing the end of the trailer, we see a group of soldiers, it’s possible to be marine soldiers, walking through some fields.

Then, the trailer pans to show Master Chief holding his helmet, then putting it on as he inserts Cortana, or some other form of A.I. into his helmet.

While not much else was shown in the trailer with no new information presented, fans should expect Master Chief to make a return in this new game.

Halo Infinite is being developed by 343 Industries and will be released on windows 10 and Xbox One. No announcement yet on a release date. Make sure to follow us on twitter for the latest news @tehlunchboxpub

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Trailer

FromSoftware brings to life a brand new hack and slash game, with vicious battles, and no doubt a lot of dying. Working along side publisher Activision, FromSoftware is bringing to life a new game set in a samurai -style setting with a dark souls feel to it in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

FromSoftware showcased not only the hack and slash functions of the game, but also how your now skeleton left hand can assit the player in combat and how to manuver through the world. For example, the trailer shows the player revealing an axe just before charging in to take out one of the bosses minions, or using it as a grapping hook to get onto a platform. For a better look take a look at the trailer below.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is set to be released early 2019 on Playstation 4, PC, and Xbox One. And for all your news updates from E3, check out @tehlunchboxpub on twitter.

 

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.