I have been a Half-Life fan since it’s release. I have all the games and expansions on PC, but because they updated the original Half-Live 2 to the latest Source Engine that includes dynamic shadows and HDR Lighting I wanted to play it on my PS3 too.
Before it’s release, there were a lot of negative comments that said that the game was totally unplayable, and even we were presented with some videos as proof, but the truth is that it’s not near that bad.
These are my impressions after more than 10 hours of play.
Atention, minor spoilers
Right now I’m on the Chapter “Follow Freeman”, and yes, the have been slowdowns, but:
- The only level that run really poorly it’s the coast level in which you have to use the crane to get your car up on the road.
There have been some very small parts on other levels that also run a little poorly:
- The part in which you have to use a elevator to get your air boat down to the hazardous waters again after jumping to the warehouse.
- When the helicopter launches like one hundred bombs.
- A part when some citizens destroy a huge monitor and there’s a lot of smoke.
- A part in a Follow Freeman level in which you have to flank a combine barricade by going through a building.
Other than that I can say that the game have runs fine, not steel solid framerate on all the levels but it feels much better than Rainbow Six Vegas if you know what I mean.
End of minor spoilers
Now we look at the graphics…
… and the first impression is that the image is more blurry compared to the sharpness of the PC version, but not because of a lack of anisotropic filtering, but because a post filter, and the truth it’s that when you start playing it feels right.
They have updated the textures with detail maps, so when you get near a wall, you don’t see the pixels, but a nice texture, thing that I like very much.
Of course we can’t forget about the HDR lighting, because although you may think it only adds a subtle effect, It adds another level of immersion to the already good graphics. And the new distant fog blends much better than the sloppy old one.
And to wrap up for now, the combination of dynamic shadows and the flash light is perfect for the dark places that you pass through in Hal-Life 2.
PS: Now, all this years after it’s initial release, Half-Life 2 still is the best FPS in my book, thanks to the tremendous variety and clever puzzles (I don’t think that the puzzles from Episode 2 are good because they tell you everything and you don’t really need to think a thing, and also the exploration in the cave tunnels isn’t nearly as good as the exploration levels in HL2).
And because all that, I think it’s still really worth playing HL2 on the PS3, with more reason if you never played it before.