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Half Life 2: Lost Coast – The First 15

by Nick Haywood on 28 October 2005, 14:40

Tags: Half Life 2, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), PC, Xbox, FPS

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Sadly, the AI doesn’t seem to have improved any in this update and is still not as good as F.E.A.R.’s bad guys. They still take cover and work as a team to some extent but will quite happily queue up in a doorway to be shot so once you’ve silenced the gun, shooting your way out isn’t too much trouble.

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Graphically, Half Life 2: Lost Coast looks far more detailed than it’s parent game. This isn’t because I’ve not played Half Life 2 recently, as I’ve been enjoying it all over again on the HEXUS.gaming Test Rig and Lost Coast has more detail in it’s textures and in the environment itself. It’s probably all this wonderful HDR stuff, truth be told but to my mind there’s just a lot more debris and what I guess you’d call ‘scene dressing’ to make a more realistic game world. Of course, this being Half Life 2, much of it is interactive, though as before, it’s all pretty useless in helping you with your objectives… still, it’s nice to see there’s loads of effort gone into the new levels.

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So, from first impressions, what we’ve got here is essentially more of the same as Half Life 2, but looking nicer. The gameplay’s the same, the game mechanic is the same and so far, bearing in mind this is the first 15 minutes of play, the weapons are the same. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as why fix what ain’t broke? And even if you do decide to be ultra-picky and moan about lack of new stuff, the damn thing is free to Half Life 2 owners anyway, so what’s the problem? Oh, and before anyone cracks on at me about this being an HDR tech demo, you’d be right, it is, but it’s also a playable game too, which is what the majority of us will be downloading it for.

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HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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its good good huh?
i happened to be up last night when some one mentioned to me it had been released so i downloaded and fired it up! HDR is a really nice feature adds a whole new dynamic to the game.
Although i only got about 20 fps with HDR 2xAA 1280x1024 and details etc up full, though this didnt spoil it for me!

Good demo well worth a play and has now temped me to buy DOD:Source for the HDR :)

Link (screen print looks abit blocky unless you enlarge it to its native size)
I've just been speaking to our technical wizard guys (namely Tarinder) and he's working on a whole HDR thingy (highly technical term) which will be featuring the Lost Coast demo.

His thoughts should be with us sometime next week.
I loved the game myself. I have everything on at 1280 x 1024 and it looks lovely :D

Pity it only took 10 minutes on hard :(

Makes me dribble even more for the addon Aftermath…(they say release date is in November)
Hate to be picky, but if you play it with the commentry on, it says its a Tech Demo, not a game, its only purpose is to show off HDR in source, and doing that, I think its done a MARVELOUS job. Even my girlfriend, who doent play games, or think they are impressive, was stunned at the lighting especiually the fisherman…

So I dont quite understand why you are being picky about the AI and the other stuff, considering I dont think they actually hurt you, I stood infront of hte helicopter at the end and didnt get hit once…
As a tech demo is rocks.

I think my eyes adapt quicker to changing light levels than the simulated iris in the game, however.