We Are The Lambda Generation. LambdaGeneration is a website dedicated to the video game Half-Life. ( We're basically really passionate about crowbars, headcrabs and anyone who has goatee with a PhD in theoretical physics… )

How Opposing Force Dealt with the Expansion Pack Problem

An examination of the strengths of Half-Life's weapon system, and how the Opposing Force expansion pack both compromised and built upon them.

Read the full article

Advertisement

Don't Miss...

The Sale Happened, and We Barely Noticed

Steam The Sale Happened, and We Barely Noticed

This is an editorial piece written by Jon “Tyk-Tok”, one of our new writers and editors (you might remember hearing him in many episodes of the recently hiatus’d Podcast 17). It focuses on last year’s Steam Holiday Sale, which just came to a close earlier this month; and the criticisms aimed squarely towards it, by some of the Steam userbase.

With tongue firmly in cheek (and wallet trapped in a state of existential chaos), Tyk-Tok looks at the 2012 Holiday Sale, and offers some of his thoughts.

I remember my first handful of Steam Holiday Sales, and just how magical the whole experience felt. Right on down the line of your friends, acquaintances, and who-is-this-persons, you would see their green-highlighted avatars playing the new daily deal, which they had been craving all-year round. I remember taking my holiday bonus and just going on a virtual rampage of five and ten dollar steals. But that was a good few years ago.

Looking at the experience nowadays, I might see something very different.

Vic’s Thoughts On: Dear Esther, Or Why A Video Game Can Be Much, Much More Than Just Entertainment

Gaming Industry Vic’s Thoughts On: Dear Esther, Or Why A Video Game Can Be Much, Much More Than Just Entertainment

At their core, video games are essentially entertainment – designed to be fun. They accomplish these two objectives through all sorts of ways, within the various genres of the gaming world. Most of the games we play are, ostensibly, mere entertainment – created to be fun, enthralling and, perhaps, little else beyond that. But recently, many have contemplated and whether or not video games truly are art. But this debate goes beyond gaming itself: for instance, can we classify the Roundhay Garden Scene as art? While we’re at that, can we classify the Mona Lisa as entertainment? Is all entertainment actually art, or is all art somehow entertainment? It’s a multifaceted argument that might be going on for a very long while. I, personally, am of the conviction that, video games are art. Of course, there are some games that simultaneously represent both entertainment and art (Portal 1, Half-Life 2). There are also some games that lead more towards the art side, but they still maintain the basic framework of a video game. If they didn’t, we’d have a tough time calling them video games.

But in comes something that might shake up the way we look at video games. That something is Dear Esther. Originally designed as a free HL2 mod in 2008, Dear Esther was a terrific, if flawed experiment regarding interactive, non-linear storytelling conveyed through a video game. Almost 4 years later, the same team, plus one master level designer, have returned to remake and reimagine Dear Esther, almost from the ground up, as a independent Source game. That which was primitive is now beautiful, and a whole new audience could be exposed to this interesting creation. But is it more than just an experiment, or, perhaps, is it more than just a video game? Well, read on to find out!

Quick Thought: Valve and the Game Awards

Valve Quick Thought: Valve and the Game Awards

Soon Geoff Keighley’s 2015 iteration of The Game Awards will be upon us. A show that hopes to unite gamers for one night as they celebrate the industry and community’s best. Valve sit on the advisory board for this year’s show.

Far More Awesome Opposing Force Trailer

Half-Life

While I was at the end of the planet, where there are no internets, Alex thought he could make the mistake of ignoring this stunningly badass Opposing Force trailer. Not many people know about this, but the music and editing are pretty wicked. Check it out after the jump.

Vic’s Thoughts On: The Portal 2’s Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC; Or Why Portal 2’s Future Is Looking Very Bright

Portal Vic’s Thoughts On: The Portal 2’s Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC; Or Why Portal 2’s Future Is Looking Very Bright

As you may or may not know, I wasn’t exactly pleased with Portal 2’s first DLC outing – “Peer Review“. While the Challenge Mode added much-needed replay value to the game, it really should have been in the game from launch. The only other bit of content in there, the new “Art Therapy” co-op course, was rather disappointing, with poor writing and plot, as well as some meager and poorly balanced gameplay offerings.

I don’t subscribe to the school of thought that all free DLC is automatically good – you have to draw the line somewhere. And solid feedback will help make future releases better. For instance, the poor reactions to L4D1’s underwhelming “Crash Course” almost certainly helped Valve build better L4D DLC in the form of L4D2’s “The Passing” (although later on they did let us down again with “The Sacrifice“). So we needn’t be afraid to voice our opinions.

But enough about all that. Here we are, with Portal 2’s second, and perhaps final DLC release almost upon us. The Perpetual Testing Initiative promises to turn Portal 2 into a never-ending house of pure science, providing it with enough replayability and content to feed 5 full-priced Call of Duty games. But does it fulfill that promise?

Advertisement