Zero Punctuation reviews “Half Life 2: The Orange Box”

One of the other titles I’ve been looking forward to is the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 in part because of that game, but also because of the inclusion of the new Team Fortress 2 as well as the intriguing game called Portal. I’m only slightly annoyed that Valve decided to slap both the original Half Life 2 and Episode One into the same release so they could justify charging $49.95 for the whole thing, but at least they’re letting those of us who already own those games to give the extra copies away to someone else so as to help spread the infection.

Anyway, Zero Punctuation of The Escapist has just done another one of his fast and hilarious reviews of The Orange Box and I just had to share it with you here:

Now to start saving up my pennies again…

War of the Servers - This Time You Can’t Ban Them!

I just spent the last hour and a half watching an incredible machinima called War of the Servers. It’s made using Half-Life 2 and Gary’s Mod (G-mod) which allows players to build their own environments using the maps and objects in HL2. It’s been used for quite a few machinimas already, but this is the first full-length movie I’ve seen done in it. It’s about a war that breaks out among the peaceful G-mod players when they are invaded by the grief loving Mingebags. Here’s the official blurb for the film:

In 2007, The Gmod servers go to war, from PHWOnline And RS Films comes “War of the Servers”, Directed by Robert Stoneman and starring voices from Chris Duggan (PHWRadio DJ), Robert Stoneman (PHWRadio DJ and Slapdash 1 and 2), Richard Biosvert (Slapdash 1 and 2), David Zimmerman (PHW Comic Maker), Nick Bertke, Jordan Brindle and Ben Stoneman. Based on the musical “Jeff Wayne’s musical of War of the Worlds” This action/parody adventure follows one players story to get to his friends before the servers crash.

Robert Stoneman is Steinmann, a player who enjoys G-mod server life, building, creating, and having fun with other player’s. Being a part of the PHW community, he has met alot of friends online playing in Gmod servers from role play to LUA gamed servers. But on one late day on MJ’s serious builders only server, the server begins to lag, he finds out it’s not just the server he is in… Its everywhere… and the lag spikes are coming from the new players; GMod 9.0.4 Servers… Moments later during the game, Steinmann and the other players notice a mess of contraptions in the middle of the map, when strangely fog appears. Players gather around this mess and what is seen and what arises from that mess…will change the servers forever. Before anyone can react, it removes everything in sight.

It’s a ridiculous concept that’s amazingly well executed and enjoyable and I can’t believe I sat through the whole thing. It helps if you’re familiar with the game and even more so if you’re familiar with G-mod, but I suspect it can be enjoyed even with no real knowledge of the games so long as you can just kick back and let it wash over you. The soundtrack helps a lot as they’ve chosen some excellent music to accompany the on-screen action including at least one or two selections from the revival of Doctor Who. Go check it out.