Spraying the Rays

The Alternative Radiographer

05 September 2006

Half Life

Another of my favourite toys:

Half Life

Well, I am A Radiographer. And I work in Nuclear Medicine. So a computer game named after a property of radioactive isotopes which featured Mad Scientists doing what they didn't oughta and getting into trouble is always going to push my buttons, eh?

So. Half-Life. The best ever computer game? There's your Doom, and your Duke Nukem, and your Quakes. But it was Half Life that came up with the dangerous notion of an intelligent plot and interaction with other characters apart from blowing them up or shooting them in the head.

Half life was genuinely scary in a very Quatermass/Dr Who sort of way, and it had a twist in the plot half way through that really did take your breath away. It spawned two sequels which showed the same events from different perspectives, Opposing Force and Blue Shift, and although they didn't have the same impact as HL, were still worth a few quid of my beer money. Last year Half Life 2 arrived, and although graphically superior and a fine game, it simply wasn't as good as its predecessor. And why did they have to go and introduce a female companion and a robotic dog? Did K-9 teach us nothing?

If you haven't played the original...how I envy you. Not knowing what happens next, or what's round the next corner...Maybe you're too grown up for video games, or maybe you've got better things to do with your time. Very sensible. But as this game is nearly 8 years old you can pick it up as an "Anthology" edition which includes both Opposing Force and Blue Shift for about a tenner. A snip.

But then again...maybe I should get a Whole Life.

Next week: the Sinclair Spectrum


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