I don't really care for the Half Life games. They do everything they're supposed to do. Both of them were gorgeous for their time (Half Life 2 still holds up remarkably well), the guns are awesome (the gravity gun might be my favorite power up - which is a list I'm quite certain I'll get to after the 50 lists are complete), the fights are fun, and the series has two entries in my top 50 moments list (my favorite game will make only one appearance in that list). Yet, when it comes down to it, I'm just not feeling it.
When I came up with the concept of these lists, I knew that I was going to be playing some awesome games while I was counting them down. I didn't want to get to the end of the list, only to immediately say "oh, well... while I was listing these, game x moved into the top 10" - it would sort of invalidate the list, so I committed a list-maker's sin.......I gave myself wiggle room. I started with a list of 45 entries for each list, knowing that I'd be able to backfill later. I've already filled in almost all of both of them, and I've still got a couple months left before the lists are completed, so the plan was a success. I had sort of figured that Half Life 2 would be a shoo-in for the games list, but after beating it and episode one, I'm just not feeling it. The game is SO point A to point B, and I don't feel any investment in the story. It would certainly make the list if I expanded it to 100, but I didn't have as much fun playing it as I did when I played Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and I never even strongly considered that game for the Top 50. Ah well, the perils of high expectations, I guess. (Don't cry too hard for Valve, though... I'm pretty sure that a certain property of theirs will high rankings in both lists)
All that aside, I really do like this particular moment, as well as the one coming a little later in the list. This one is from both games, but I'm talking about the first game in particular. I barely got halfway into Half Life, so rest assured that it's not an end of game spoiler.
Like I said, I've got nearly zero investment into the story of Half Life, but damned if I don't love the atmosphere that they're able to pull off at times. The tram ride is golden (and nearly made this list) and Ravenholm from the second game nearly salvaged Half Life 2 (which, if I understand properly, seems to be the exact opposite reaction that most people had to it, so maybe I'm looking at the series all wrong). Above all, though, I love the barnacles. Once you know they're there, they're not particularly subtle.
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