It has been 15 years since Valve released its last full Half-Life game. How well has it held up as the "greatest video game of all time?" Certain game franchises (Breath of the Wild, Witcher III) are already poised to take its throne, so it's high time Valve gives us something... too bad they won't yet, so we're stuck with memes to cope with the void that Half-Life 3 has yet to fill.
Still, Half-Life 2 remains a great game, especially with the graphical updates and mods. Meanwhile, the memes associated with it are still hilarious looking back, rose-tinted glasses or not. There surely are many fans of the franchise left, those that need to be reminded of what we had back in 2004 and what we're supposed to have in the future. Anyway, here are your Half-Life 2 memes.
10 ANY MINUTE NOW
For many fans of the theoretical physicist, Gordon Freeman, our most recent memory of Half-Life was Dr. Vance dying right in front of us. After that, we've seen nothing but Gaben's happy and careless smile. Gabe Newell, owner of Valve and creator of Half-Life is seemingly content on leaving the story and plot hanging.
Episode 2 of Half-Life 2 was released back in 2007 and since then, there have been no updates regarding Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or even Half-Life 3 (which is supposedly their plan) whatsoever. So, leave it to Valve to give you nightmares about Eli Vance's nightmarish death, because that's not about to get resolved any time soon or at all.
9 CUTTING-EDGE LEVEL DESIGN FROM 2004
Back when Half-Life 2 was released in 2004, it was the golden standard for PC graphics along with Far Cry (the first one) and Doom 3. Still, Half-Life 2 took the cake for having the most realistic and responsive physics system at the time. Then there's the level design, which was intricate enough that some developers probably forgot to adhere to architectural standards.
Case in point is that daring nudist comfort room which spawned a meme. It could be that the Combine (the antagonists) are too much of control-freaks that they also want to monitor humans even in their private moments, that seems logical for them. In any case, it's one of those happy accidents in Half-Life 2 among many.
8 UNLIMITED FIREPOWER
Gordon Freeman is a man of few words and whatever emotions he has, he expresses through action... violent action... no matter what species he's "talking" to. For that, he has many guns and tools to unleash all sorts of pain to anyone who's in his way (except friendly NPCs). What's concerning is where he stores his crowbar, SMG, pistol, magnum revolver, pulse rifle, rocket launcher, grenades, crossbow and the gravity gun.
Well, thanks to this old meme here, it's apparent. He just glues it all to his back. It's rather cumbersome but it gets the job done. It's a lot more difficult for first-person shooter (FPS) characters since they don't have the inventory luxuries of roleplaying game (RPG) characters, but that goes to show Freeman's resourcefulness. Is that crowbar glued to his butt? Or is it glued at all?
7 GABE PLEASE...
Valve was just starting out with Steam (the face of PC gaming) back when Half-Life 2's episodic content was getting released but as soon as Steam took off and became their primary money-maker, things became gradually apparent: Valve doesn't want to make games anymore. It went from a developer to a game store proprietary.
On one hand that's depressing for their fans. On the other hand, the pressure and expectations surrounding Half-Life 3 or Episode 3 are just too high at this point, they might not be able to fulfill it. So at least in our hearts and memories, Half-Life will remain as the legendary video game franchise with no bad titles. Let's leave it at that... right Valve?
6 CITY 17 ON A REGULAR BASIS
After wandering around the oppressive City 17 and its bleak atmosphere, one often wonders what the goal is. Granted, Half-Life 2 or its predecessor never really went into the conventional way of telling a video game story. Half the time you're just running for your life anyway or admiring the impressive physics so you tend to forget the story.
That's why you'll mostly be puzzled at how City 17 got in even worse shape than before you appeared. It went from dystopia to apocalypse all because you woke up in a train and was told to sow anarchy by a creepy man in a suit. At the very least, you succeeded in achieving your goals as Gordon Freeman... which is... never mind, it's a good game either way.
5 MATH CHECKS OUT...
It could be that Valve simply needs a healthy interval of years before to ensure Half-Life 3's quality, which is why they're taking so much time. However, it seems the interval they're taking is too healthy that Half-Life 3 has already become the next Duke Nukem: Forever, a game that took so long, it was dead on arrival by the time it released.
Now, we're not saying Valve should just quit nor should they hurry up-- actually we don't know what they should do but who knows, maybe the cultural paradigm that warrants a demand or liking for Half-Life 3 just might reignite again sometime in the third millennia, which is what the joke implies here. By then, our pale-skinned and dark-eyed descendants will be enjoying it on Mars. Lucky them.
4 DOCTORATES ARE DEADLY
Half-Life 2 or even its predecessor were chock full of scientific iconography form the Lambda symbol to chaos theory and even the scientific buzzwords (even the title itself) that make it fall into a niche; it's like the deep rabbit hole for sci-fi fans that even the protagonist is a scientist who got lucky enough to wear a hazard suit and survive.
Nowadays, you don't have to look far to video games sporting the same themes and tropes but back in a time where fantasy dominated the gaming scene, Half-Life was a gem. It basically put a nerd didn't have to roleplay as a knight to get by in a video game world. Nope, all he needed was a doctorate and a crowbar.
3 THE ODD ONE OUT
You have to wonder what could have happened if Steam hadn't become as successful as it was today. Would Valve have already released Half-Life 3? Most game developers didn't seem to have a problem with that anyway and even went on to create some of the best video games of the decade.
In a parallel universe, we're probably enjoying Half-Life 3 already though at the cost of a less robust Steam. It's a nice tradeoff. Now, if only the developers at Valve knew what comes next after number two, that could be a good launching point to commence development for Half-Life 3.
2 DON'T SKIP YOUR PH.D. KIDS
Who could have thought that a mute scientist with no military background whatsoever would easily wipe out a whole battalion of elite soldiers both human and alien? For this, Gordon Freeman went on to become one of the most iconic video game protagonists of all time and the strange part was, he doesn't even have a voice or persona.
Arguably, this makes Freeman the best representation of players in video games, a character that doesn't need much suspension of disbelief because you're in his shoes (sort of), minus the theoretical physics Ph.D., of course.
1 YEAH, ABOUT THAT CROWBAR...
He might have a Ph.D. and the highest intergalactic kill count in all Half-Life games, but there's no denying the fact that Gordon Freeman doesn't know how to use crowbars. At least for what they were intended to be used in. It doesn't matter whether you're playing Half-Life or Half-Life 2, if you see a flat door or some 2D looking crates, it's immune to your crowbar.
Ironic since some of the toughest enemies in the universe have fallen victim to the cold hook-end of Freeman's crowbar only for him to be defeated by a door. Okay, it's actually technical limitations instead of a door, but hopefully, Half-Life 3 will address that shortcoming. Psych!