Gordon Freeman: Strongest personality in gaming

How Valve created the most complex and best-realised character in videogames without a line of dialogue.

18th Jan, 2008

[Warning: Like ourPortal articlefrom December, this piece features some pretty heady discourse, and also benefits from a visit from Mr. Narrative Theory. If that stuff makes you run screaming, then feel free to run screaming. Also, if you haven't completed Half-Life 2, leave now. This contains some inhuman spoilers.]

Half-Life 2 is widely and rightly regarded as a modern classic. In terms of both gameplay and artistry there have been few, if any, games in the FPS genre which have had as serious an impact on gamers and gaming. The gameplay innovations it brought us in terms of the Gravity Gun and the detailed reactive physics of the overall game world are still being used heavily as selling points by games today (See Crysis, for example. Throwing heavy things around is not new), and its story is more epic and affecting than the vast majority of movies.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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