Dear Half-Life 2 Diary, sorry I’ve neglected you. I meant to keep you updated whenever I played, but when I have some time and my choices are “play more Half-Life 2” or “sit down and write about playing Half-Life 2,” well, you’re second priority. I know that’s hard to hear, Half-Life 2 Diary, but I’m confident that you’ll forgive me.
When we last left off, I was still waiting to shoot some headcrab zombies. Man…that was a while back. Anyway, I did! And it was great! And I remember thinking that headcrabs, on their own, are weirdly adorable. Their little noises! The way they hop around and scuttle! If they weren’t trying to latch onto my face and turn me into a zombie, I’d just wanna give one a cuddle.
Then some nice people gave me an Airboat. I was dubious, being historically inept at vehicular sections of shooting games. (RIP, Marines I killed with the Warthog.) But, I had a vehicle! And it was almost a holiday. It seemed like a good time to pour a glass of bourbon in celebration, so I did, and then I took a big swig of it, and then I took off down the river.
WOOOOOOOOOO! I LOVE the Airboat! I’m dodging fire like a badass! Look at me take this ramp! Hahahaha, I just ran over a Combine dude. I wonder if their insurance plan covers that. Gotta take a break to go into this building and kill a bunch more Combine dudes on foot. I’m really a pain in their collective ass, aren’t I? Magnum!
More bourbon, more dodging stuff, helicopter! Gotta dodge that mother-lover. Then some music kicks in and I feel like one of the biggest badasses I’ve been throughout my gaming career, dodging mines and leaping ramps and plowing over Combine when I get the chance. Zooooooooom! This is seriously awesome. The can’t-figure-out-where-I’m-supposed-to-go stage has passed, and this Airboat and I are in love.
Finally! A place with two more nice people and a SUPER nice Vortigaunt who puts a gun on my boat. Airboat, this is a big step for us. And we’re off! YESSSSS, now we can blow these dudes away! Aiming is surprisingly easy; the reticle helpfully jumps to the right place for me. And recharging ammo! I just zoomed right by that tank. Haha! Suckers. Shiiiiit, one of those tongue-barnacles got me! Reload. HaHA, I know where you are now, gross tongue-thing!
Chopper! I see you! And I’ve got a GUN now! You are no match for my bourbon- and action music-fueled enthusiasm! BAM. BAM BAM BAM BAM! Dead. Hahahaha, wait! NO! Shit. While victoriously zooming around the fighting area, I just hit a red barrel and died. Crap. Thaaaat’s sort of an anticlimactic ending for Gordon Freeman. I should go to bed now.
[BREAK FOR FOUR DAYS OF THANKSGIVING]
Oh. Ooof. We’re back. No more bourbon. No more thoughts of alcoholic beverages for a while after that holiday. Time to move on, Gordon. Aaaaagh, just JUMP THE DAMN GATE! You did it right when the gate was still closed and we smashed into it, you butthead! This is all your fault, Gordon. You’re still drunk from the last time we played, aren’t you? I knew it.
OK, we made it. Black Mesa East! Heeey, people! This Judith lady is kind of a sycophant, isn’t she? Who talks like that when they first meet somebody? Over the top, Judith; over the top. Hi there, Eli! You seem nice. What happened to your leg? I’m sorry, I don’t remember you from our prior acquaintance. I never played Half-Life until now. I don’t want to look around, thanks; I’d like to get back to shooting things. Alyx! Good to see you. I know you’ll understand my desire to get out of here and shoot something. Good, let’s go. You’re pretty. Gravity gun? Yes, please. I far prefer shooting things around with it to stacking up blocks, however. Why is that such a thing in this universe? WHOA! Check out your Dog! You added all those parts to him? You’re pretty dreamy, Alyx. I will be happy to play fetch with Dog! I think we’re bonding. But now we’re under attack! Crap on a stick. Can’t Alyx and I get a minute together, here? Cave in! Oh, I should go to Ravenholm, Alyx? Where you said no one goes anymore? And where Eli specifically said not to go? OK, that sounds like a pretty good idea. See you on the other side!
Heeeere we go. Movement! Shoot shoot shoot! Hmmm, that didn’t kill anything. Whatever it is is still moving. And it’s….a human pelvis and legs on a string, hanging from a tree. Dude, this place is messed up. Moving on, kill some zombies. Killing zombies with the gravity gun is GREAT! I thought blasting them with a barrel would just hold ’em up for a second, but nope! Dead. Saving ammo like a mofo! Look at me blazing through here. I saw that there’s an achievement for playing Ravenholm with just the gravity gun. I bet I can get that, no problem. There’s a talking dude on a balcony! Dammit, I tried to hit him with a barrel but missed. Oh well. Playing onward. Cool! These traps could be useful. What’s in this building? Hey, I hear a headcrab! Aww, those little guys…HOLY CRAP! WHAT IS THIS NEUROTOXIN BUSINESS?!! AAAAAAAH *blam blam blam!* So much for that gravity gun achievement. How do you kill these little black headcrab suckers with it? They ignored everything I threw at them like it was nothing.
Onward…onward…oh hey! There’s that chatty dude! Good thing I didn’t manage to hit him; he’s an ally! Father Grigori. Nice to interact with someone who’s not zombified. And very nice of him to leave all these traps around!
…and at this point, good Half-Life 2 Diary, I did not stop playing. Ravenholm sucked me in and I played for the next four hours until I was halfway through the Sandtraps chapter. But you must be growing fatigued, dear diary. This account is growing awfully long, and more importantly, writing it is making me itch to play more Half-Life 2. So I’ll leave you here for now.
TO BE CONTINUED…