I’m not a big computer game player, but every now and then I get a wild hair and have to get some gaming done. So, I borrowed a capable video card from work (ATI X800) a few weeks back so I could finally play Doom 3, which I bought almost a year ago, and Half-Life 2. I even took home my awesome work monitor (which I actually own, thank-you) to play.
To get to the point, Doom 3 is too dark. Everything hinges around the game being so freaking dark that you can’t see where you’re going, and then crap jumping you from behind. Not very original. I must admit, however, that it was repeatedly scaring the living crap out of me, so I can’t properly pass judgement. I’d like to be more critical; it’s a very single-dimensional game, but one that was single-dimensionally making me squeal like a little girl.
Half-Life 2 was really, really great. And I really mean “great”, not “mind-blowingly orgasmically compelling”. It’s a much better game than Doom 3, and that doesn’t even include the graphics (which are almost fucking-a amazing, and that’s pretty good). I actually finished it. The last game I finished was the first Halo, but that was only because I had just bought an Xbox and I really wanted to like it, and then because I hated the middle of the game so much that I felt it was my personal duty to declare it finished, dead, and to be able to never touch it again. So, it is significant that I finished HL2, for a completely different reason than Halo. It’s almost dramatic. It’s almost cinematic. It almost makes you care about some of the characters. It’s almost an amazing entertainment experience. A couple of monkeys could have written a better story? Throwing toilets at enemies (with realistic crunch!) was easily worth the price.
In the middle of finishing Half-Life 2 my shoulder went to sleep, and it’s still messed up many weeks later.