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.

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A History of Counter-Strike

Counter-Strike A History of Counter-Strike

This started out as a part of my upcoming review of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but I have decided to release it on its own, as a sort of prelude or companion piece, to the aforementioned review. I would like to thank my awesome colleagues here at LambdaGen: Erebus; Flamov; and Mimaz, for their invaluable assistance and input, during the creation of this article.

In order to properly discuss Global Offensive, we must first delve deep into the dark (okay, maybe not dark – slightly poorly lit) history of Counter-Strike, as a whole!

Playing Medic in Team Fortress 2

Half-Life Playing Medic in Team Fortress 2

When I’m the team’s Medic, I have a golden rule for choosing which teammates to heal:

All heal targets are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Unlike other classes who can remain effective even without a clue as to how capable their teammates are, the Medic is wholly dependent on his teammates being able to intelligently use his heals to accomplish objectives, kill teammates and keep the medic himself alive. And that’s going to require the Medic to serve as something of an arbiter, judging his teammates and deciding who gets special treatment. It is impossible to play Medic and heal everyone equally, as much as our altruistic natures impel us to.

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!

Cat in the Hat Simulator: Valve and the Decline of Humor

Valve Cat in the Hat Simulator: Valve and the Decline of Humor

This is an editorial by Lilgreenman which discusses the involvement of humour and comedic elements in Valve’s more recent games. All views expressed in this article are his own.

With all the noise Valve makes about Team Fortress 2 being “The world’s number 1 hat simulator”, their creative staff seem to have neglected a grounding in hat-based literature. Specifically, it seems they’ve never picked up a copy of the best selling hat-based book of all time (eat it, Oliver Sacks!), Dr. Seuss’ 1957 classic The Cat in the Hat.

Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read C-I-T-H: The moral of the book is related to the two young protagonists by the titular feline, after he helps them clean up after a rowdy playtime session; “It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how.” Which brings me, in my roundabout way, to my point. Valve’s top writers – internet comedy alumni Erik Wolpaw, Chet Faliszek and Jay Pinkerton – don’t seem to know how to have fun.

The Shirt Heard ‘Round The World

Half-Life The Shirt Heard ‘Round The World

This is an editorial piece written by Lilgreenman, longtime Half-Life obsessive and Valve community member. It summarizes and recapitulates the events of December 2011 – when it seemed like the whole Internet was aflame with rampant Half-Life speculation. Just in case you didn’t catch that little episode of community history, or maybe if you’re still wondering how the hell we fell for all that fake ARG gibberish.

Oh, and Happy Holidays!

To me, at least, it feels like it’s been much longer than a year since the anticipation for Valve’s Half-Life 3 really kicked off.

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