Half-Life 2: Episode Two Impressions

Valve shows off a new Episode Two trailer behind closed doors at the 2006 Games Convention in Leipzig.

by

LEIPZIG, Germany--We met with Valve earlier today and were treated to a behind-closed-doors showing of the latest Half-Life 2: Episode 2 trailer. We'll share the trailer with you just as soon as we're able to, but in the meantime, we thought we'd whet your appetite with a quick rundown of what we saw. We'll be talking primarily about what transpired in the trailer, so look away if you don't want it spoiled for you. Before you do that, though, know that Episode Two is going to look even better than its predecessors, thanks to the introductions of shadow-mapping support, new foliage and particle systems, multicore processor support, and real-time "cinematic physics."

The trailer, which uses in-game footage exclusively, kicked off in a network of underground tunnels, where Gordon is being accompanied by a pessimistic vortigaunt who believes that their "cause is hopeless." The dimly lit tunnels, which look great when using the flashlight, thanks to the game's new shadow-mapping, are home to large spiderlike creatures that have covered areas of the tunnel network with webs and have larvae that glow a bright green color. We were told that the lighting in the tunnel scene isn't final yet, but it was impressive nonetheless.

After spending a few minutes in the tunnels, the trailer moved outside to what appeared to be a ruined farmhouse. Gordon used his gravity gun to catch and throw back a grenade that was tossed in his direction, and then jumped into a buggy of some kind (or perhaps the bare bones of a regular car) and raced off along some railway tracks. Numerous enemies attempted to attack Gordon as he raced along the railway and went off-road, but it was the helicopter circling overhead that was the most menacing.

Sure enough, when the driving sequence came to an end, Gordon--along with a small number of allies--was tasked with taking down the helicopter by firing the large bombs that it was dropping onto the ground back at it with the gravity gun. The sequence was action-packed, but the best was most definitely yet to come.

The final sequence of the demo saw Gordon facing off against a number of tripod walkers in and around what appeared to be an abandoned cabin. Choosing to use his gravity gun almost exclusively, Gordon was forced to improvise as he moved in and out of the cabin by smashing windows and jumping through them to evade the enemies' attacks. Objects that got hurled at the walkers during the fight included old tires, an axe, a rock, a large water trough, and some kind of sticky bomb or magnetic explosive that landed on the walker's head and stayed there until Gordon detonated it with another well-placed shot.

We're sorry that we can't share the trailer with you at this time, but rest assured we'll do so just as soon as it's made available to us. Half-Life 2: Episode Two, which will ship along with Team Fortress 2 and Portal, is currently scheduled for release toward the end of this year.

Discussion

46 comments
pot-noodle
pot-noodle

@ TheFLCLPope88, Dude, i don't know what kinda of new computer you have, but if your only playing HL2 with 30 to 70 FPS, id say stick to the older technology, My Geforce 6800Ultra AGP gave 90 - 120 in HL2 with everything maxed as standard. Anyway, love the look of this game. cant wait for its release, although I'm not a big fan of the way steam works, i will take my hat off to valve, they support the modding community, they do bigger and better things with each release, and they aways have ingenuity and originality about their work.

nabed4t
nabed4t

Love the Series! but WTF is with Steam, clever to allow over the net purchasing and combat pirating. But I really feel for thoes with Dial-up or no net connection at all...they are REALLY missing out.

rikkie4
rikkie4

hl 2 is still the #1 FPS..graphics, storyline,playability..everything from this game is cool. That's why i really going to but this game to support them to make other new games :) can't wait....

Lightandarkside
Lightandarkside

half life 2 pissed me off with that ending so hells ya i am getting this YA! great story and great weapons thats why i love half life

Mr_duong
Mr_duong

also im still getting tired of those halo fanboys blazing all day halo 2 = best fps come on not really innovative in terms of gameplay. only thing i like about it is it story and online. weapons in that game suck too come on its like 2552 ad

Mr_duong
Mr_duong

i might get it for pc and ps3 not for 360. the new graphics technology they're using looks pretty damn good. what is it called hdr or something.

mattydienhoff
mattydienhoff

Hey guys, for anyone who hasn't noticed, you can now get the new Episode Two trailer on Steam Media, and it's FULL SIZE. And they also released the new, extended Team Fortress 2 trailer on Steam.

conkersbat
conkersbat

it's neat to see Valve adding new technologies to the still impressive Source engine, making each new game a new experience.

themc_7
themc_7

sounds sweet can't wait to play it

TheFLCLPope88
TheFLCLPope88

My computer is brand new It can run all my source games on max with a decent 30-70fps, I'm just saying I'm hoping they don't make the system requirement so high that I'll drop my current FPS count down to like 12 or below. And really think about what you say before you say it wasd4life, because I'm not poor I'm just too lazy to go out & buy a new computer or a new graphics card just for one game that I really want. I only upgrade when there are a lot of games that I want that require higher specs.

ToOkie-TOokie
ToOkie-TOokie

it sucks tho that the next one after this one will be like a year apart... long wait

Demonbob
Demonbob

Can't wait but...I still don't like the episodic idea, it seems more frustrating than it's worth.

XtremePhsyco
XtremePhsyco

HAHAHA this game is gonna be sooo sweet, im cant wait for this and especially portals

gamesofall
gamesofall

this game is known for kicking every other shooter in everything top to bottom with the portal gun it is for sure.

maddog123
maddog123

Gordon Freeman will kik ass once again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

vuvussi
vuvussi

This game is gonna rule!!

McDog3
McDog3

Looks great! And i hope that was a joke 'wasd4life'.......

azizrulez
azizrulez

wow this is gonna be awesome we can expect even more fun with improved physics

_Sam_
_Sam_

thanks kriz ;)

coxmartin
coxmartin

Sounds like this will have some more original content than some of the other offerings

wasd4life
wasd4life

Oh they will flclpope 88, because they're doing what human beings sorta do and increase technology ya know, which isn't a really exotic concept, aand it's your fault your too poor to get a new computer.

TheFLCLPope88
TheFLCLPope88

Can't wait! I just hope the system requirements don't increase...

kriz_91
kriz_91

If you want to see the trailer so badly then go to google.com and search "half-life 2 episode 2 trailer" and there you got it.

joecrow_24
joecrow_24

Trailer is already up on YouTube...Check the Head Crab Union for Links...

PSdual_wielder
PSdual_wielder

me want to see trailer... me want the games now...

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

Ohh...hope its fun. Better move the story along as well!

jman183
jman183

I WANT THE TRAILER!!!

wsammut
wsammut

i relllyyy look forward to playing this game it sounds awesome. i hope that it wownt just be a 4 hr game cause episode 1 was really short

Squall3000
Squall3000

This sounds amazing my mind boggles about what could be in episode 3!

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

Can't wait to play this game at the end of this year

syx
syx

MY GOD this game is going to be one of the best in the HL series.

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

My fav FPS franchise is going through its 2nd EPISODE!. hehe

Some_One_Plays
Some_One_Plays

If the PlayStation 3 (PS3) is able to do as much as they say it can this would be a perfect example of what the PS3 hard ware can do. The Half-Life game has elements that make it more real then most First Person Shooters (FPS). So I would be interested in the PS3's version to this as well as the X-Box 360's.

RahKayne
RahKayne

seen the footage. look s addicting

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

I am so pumped for thsi game. I mean forget the Xbox version of HL2, the 360 and PS3 versions are the true console versions of Valve's masterpiece. I'll be sure to check out those vids sentinel.

Sentinelrv
Sentinelrv

Oh and you guys forgot to add the most impressive parts, that house realistically exploding thanks to the cinematic physics, and the zombie jumping on top of the buggy while Gordon is driving.