5 reasons to hate Half-Life

Here’s a new line of Hatewear for you to try on. We’ll trot out a beloved sacred cow franchise and give you five simple reasons why it may not be the hippo’s nipples after all. We’ll be here all week, making lists of things to hate about the things you like. Will we pick on your favorite franchise? Check back tomorrow. Until then, see what’s not to like about Half-Life.

1. Fact: Alyx Vance is overrated

She somehow manages to constantly make fanboy dream date lists (our own included-link), but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s a one-trick pony. The only reason she stands out at all is purely by contrast to the hyper-sexualized vixens that normally appear in videogames. You (meaning “the internet,” not you individually) claim that Alyx is the best because she isn’t objectified, then you go and objectify her in countless mods and fan art.

Above: Tits ahoy! Valve can’t control what you do to the game after it’s been released 

2. Gordon Freeman is a shallow hipster icon with no real substance

Even more than Alyx, Gordon Freeman is lauded for characteristics that are largely generated by the wishful imaginings of his fans. He’s the ultimate synecdoche (a portmanteau of “synthetic” and “douche” if I remember my lit crit correctly), in that his glasses and crowbar are more than simply a substitution for the rest of him: they actually constitute the totality of his character. 

Art hastily doodled by Tyler Wilde

3. They will never explain G-Man

Put forth as many watertight, bulletproof theories as you like. It’s just too easy to trot him out every time they need a deus ex machina or red herring to throw at the player. The second Valve explains G-Man and his motives is the second Half Life has to start making sense, and therefore dies. Remember, strong-silent-guy, there are things about this world that you were never meant to know.

Above: If G-Man knows, he isn’t telling 

4. A crowbar does as much damage as a gun?

We’re not theoretical physicists, but we’re pretty sure we’d rather be hit with a crowbar than shot with a gun. Yet somehow, magically, in the hands of a mild-mannered mute with enormous glasses, the crowbar becomes orders of magnitude more powerful. Maybe a trick Gordon learned at MIT? Funny in a game lauded for it’s realistic physics!

5. Valve takes their sweet ass time with everything

I thought the goal of episodic content was to have quick turnaround times? Instead we get sequels to games we weren’t even tired of playing yet (Portal, L4Deeeeeeeeeeznuts). So what’s the holdup Valve? Having already conquered videogame physics, maybe they’ve moved on to modeling the best dang astrophysics you’ve ever seen. Look out, 2015, Gordon is gonna get heliocentric on your ass!

Mar 24, 2010


  • Shuuvuia - May 2, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    Something tells me that getting a crowbar through your eyesocket would not be very fun. I mean, the things are designed to tear stuff up.
  • clones - April 28, 2011 7:35 p.m.

    I bought The Orange Box a month ago and I was really excited to play it, but when I did I was extremely let down the games are all quite confusing except TF2. I also find each of the games extremely boring and very painful to play through I played Half Life Ep.2 like 3 times and I just couldn't get into it. Same for Portal. TF2 was probably the best of the bunch except the fact that there is only online play and it is pretty difficult. I haven't played The Orange Box more than 5 times and haven't played it for like 2 months.
  • Silentcapt2 - April 28, 2011 5:54 a.m.

    I understand the week of hate mentality, and the idea that the more "sacred" something is the better it'll make for an article, but the majority of these reasons are fairly pathetic. The G-Man reason was good, although I personally like the character's presence, I can understand the frustration of having a deus ex machina character always ready to fix things at the last possible moment against all logic. And yeah it sucks that Valve takes forever to make games, but at least it's worth it. Call me a fanboy, after the Orange Box I pretty much am.
  • Bantha_Fodder - April 27, 2011 10:39 p.m.

  • Azz - May 16, 2010 5:24 p.m.

    I absolutely agree. 5 MORE reasons to hate Half-Life. It always amazed me how critics fell over themselves to praise a Barrell falling correctly, but negleced to mention there is only about 3 enemies in the entire game. Its just abysmal - end of story.
  • 8bitBaby - March 29, 2010 2:48 p.m.

    gawd! Alyx looks like someone's grandma in that first pic! no thank you on the nekkidnez
  • Tochy - March 29, 2010 6:05 a.m.

  • DriveShaft - March 28, 2010 8:24 p.m.

    I've never liked FPS, so I've never played Half Life, and judging by this list and what I already knew of it, I see no point in changing my mind.
  • DeeZaster - March 27, 2010 2:17 a.m.

    I never knew Alyx had such a GRANNY BODY. Looks like she went head first down the slip 'n' slide and her tits stayed behind. | | | |Droppy Boobies | | | | | | | | | | | | | O | | O | ╰-╯ ╰-╯
  • peaness - March 27, 2010 12:07 a.m.

    More like 5 invalid reasons. 1. I like melons nailed to lamp posts thus Alyx is overrated. 2. A Character that wasn't meant to have a personality or characteristics doesn't have a personality or characteristics, what a bad character he is. 3. I'm just going to assume that Valve will never explain the G-MAN. 4. I'm going to bitch about the damage of a weapon in a game, thus this game is bad. 5. Lol I ran out of shitty reasons so I'm just going to say valve takes long to make games which makes Half-life suck.
  • miasma - March 26, 2010 9:54 p.m.

    I love the Half Life series, but Valve sucks balls. They have left Episode 3 so long, I barely even care if it comes out anymore.
  • CountZero - March 26, 2010 9:44 p.m.

    Half Life is the greatest FPS franchise of all time. The end.
  • JohnnyMaverik - March 26, 2010 5:20 p.m.

    Bah, Fine amusing, haha, very funny, but don't forget Joe McNeilly, when it comes to Valve, heretics shall be burned. You are a marked man sir...
  • HappinessIsaWarmGun - March 26, 2010 2:04 p.m.

    Just weighing in as another Valve fanboy. Half-Life will forever be, for me, the ultimate game of the first era of gaming. Beyond the game itself, the encouragement for mod development that Half-Life supported was fantastic and lead to an explosion of great mod games, both single and multiplayer. And Valve's hiring of both the Counterstrike and Day of Defeat mod teams exemplified this reality. I can say "I am Gordon" whereas I could never say "I am Snake". Viva Half-Life!
  • turbo_harry - March 26, 2010 5:44 a.m.

    I too think some of the steam hoo doo is overrated & The security stuff is a pain....If I pay $50.00 & want to cheat in the offline mode I believe I should be allowed to run a map or two in the really difficult spots.....not that I would? hmmmmmm!
  • TheVoid - March 26, 2010 4:52 a.m.

    Joe McNeilly, you are my hero of the day. While I loved HL1, I felt HL2, while certainly entertaining, was overhyped and incredibly overrated. The whole time I felt like I was being pushed from one locale to another, all the while being commended on whatever it was that I was supposed to be doing. "Oh hey! It's Gordon Freeman! THE Gordon Freeman! Our savior! Man, we'd be so lost without you! Now here's what we need you to do...". At least in HL1 the story justified Gordon's panicky fleeing from one level to the next. But in HL2, I'm supposed to be some big-time hero, right? Sure, a big-time hero who calls the shots on NOTHING! Honestly, it was as if I were some gullible retard (in the most literal sense of the word) that would show up at a family event and everyone would cheer his arrival but then relegate him to various tasks throughout the day like bringing up chairs from the basement, taking out the garbage, etc., all the while patting him on the back and telling him what a swell guy he is. And then there's the unending vicious cycle of Combine level followed by Headcrab Zombie level followed by Antlion level followed by Combine level followed by Headcrab Zombie level followed by... And THANK GOD that by the time I played Lost Coast it was free, because if I had to pay for that barely-more-than-a-tech-demo-micro-level I would have up-chucked. And the new "tech" on display wasn't even that impressive! To be fair, I haven't played Eps 1 or 2 yet. I bought Orange Box and plowed through Portal, only to find myself giving HL2 a second playthrough, just in case the first time around I may have missed something (and to set myself up for the subsequent playthroughs of Eps 1 and 2). You know what? HL2 was just as entertaining as I remember it being, and that's it. I was still stumped why it was PCG's GOTY several years running. I still didn't think the physics engine was as mind-blowing as I was led to believe. I guess there's a reason I have yet to play Eps 1 and 2... You know what the coolest thing about HL2 is? The Combine chopper that tears at your ass in the beginning of the game. It looked awesome and was terror-inducing when it had you in its sights. Best part, right there. Worst part? A few come to mind but I think I'll settle on the "lets get into this coffin-shaped unit that seems to be sheparding around bodies and see where it takes me" sequence. As if that forced decision weren't bad enough - who in their right mind would take a chance on that obvious death trap? When I first saw it, "inviting" didn't come to mind! I guess I didn't hear the "would you kindly" suggestion from the Combine loudspeaker. The following sleep-inducing ascent up the tower was almost as boring as the just-prior elevator sequence. And guess what? It WAS a trap! Nice forced ending Valve...oh wait, that wasn't the ending, was it? The ending - final boss? - a lousy 3D reenactment of the Tron arcade MCP cone level. Pardon me while I contain all the excitement in the world. People might bite at the Xen levels in the original HL but I still say it was a better finish than the crud HL2 served up. And the headcrab as a pet bit? You know, the one that causes all the commotion in the lab? Give me a goddamn break. Let me stop here because I could probably go on for days. I will simply finish by saying Joe's second point about Gordon's glasses and crowbar being the totality of his character was so spot that I choked, laughed, and spat at the same time, and then proceeded to applaud. A glass held high to you, good sir!
  • penguinsrule3 - March 25, 2010 11:58 p.m.

    @Ninja-KiLLER and Blue2 You both deserve to die, and before anyone asks yes I am a valve fanboy
  • Fiirestorm21 - March 25, 2010 11:48 p.m.

    Oh no you didn't. Just kidding, good read.
  • tHEmISFIT - March 25, 2010 11:20 p.m.

    hey valve why is it taking you so long to make the next half life game, but you can ass out the left for dead expansion pack in less than 1 year?
  • Cyberninja - March 25, 2010 11:18 p.m.

    never played i proably wont if my friend doesnt get me the orange box

Showing 1-20 of 64 comments

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