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  News from 23rd May 2004 to 18th October 2004*:

   *We understand that comments in these news posts in this news archive aren't functional yet. We are working on getting them functional, please be patient.

H λ L F - L I F E ² is GOLD! by Wester |

On Monday 18th October, 2004 @ 19:52 UTC+1

Yes! It's done! The moment we've all been waiting for! VU Games is done testing it! VALVe have confirmed it themselves! A release date has been set for November 16th, 2004! Here's the Vivendi press release:

Half-Life® 2 to Ship to Retail Outlets Globally This Holiday Season

LOS ANGELES (October 18, 2004) – Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) today announced that Half-Life® 2, the sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed PC titles in gaming history, will ship to retail outlets around the world in November. The Company confirmed that Half-Life 2, developed by Valve Software, has gone gold with a planned retail street date of November 16, 2004. The countdown to the highly anticipated retail street date has begun around the world, as VU Games completes plans to ship localized versions of Half-Life 2 simultaneously in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Korean, Thai and Japanese.

“Half-Life 2 has surpassed our expectations in every sense – its high-quality graphics, ground-breaking physics and immersive first-person shooter gameplay set a new standard for PC action games,” said Bruce Hack, CEO of VU Games. “Half-Life 2 will go down as one of the best-selling PC titles, and we are thrilled to deliver this ground-breaking title to the worldwide gaming community this fall.”

Hailed as “...the best game ever made” by PC Gamer, Half-Life 2 earned a top-rated review score of 98, the highest score bestowed by the magazine in more than six years. The game has received numerous accolades for its technical excellence, captivating story and addictive game play, including more than 10 awards and nominations at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo. In addition to being named “Best PC Game” by 1up.com (Ziff Davis) and Gamespy.com, the title also received a “Technological Excellence on PC” award from IGN.com. CNNMoney.com stated that “Half-Life 2 will redefine what gamers expect from their games visually – and the gameplay is a lot of fun as well.”

The global anticipation for Half-Life 2 has reached unprecedented heights, as consumers around the world mark their calendars to buy the game at retail on November 16th. The Half-Life 2 product will include Counter-Strike: Source. VU Games will also release a Half Life 2 Collector’s Edition that will include Half-Life 2 in DVD-ROM format, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life: Source, a free limited edition t-shirt, and a Half-Life 2 Prima strategy guide book.

The original Half-Life game was launched in 1998 under VU Games’ Sierra Entertainment publishing label. It earned more than 50 game-of-the-year awards and has been heralded as one of the best PC first-person shooter games of all-time.

About Half-Life® and Half-Life® 2

In 1998, Half-Life revolutionized the game industry with its combination of pounding action and continuous, immersive storytelling. Valve’s debut title was named “Best PC Game Ever” by PC Gamer and launched a franchise with more than eight million retails units sold worldwide. In 2004, Half-Life 2 will take the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original to new heights of realism and responsiveness. Half-Life 2 opens the door to a world where the player’s presence affects everything around him, from the physical environments to the behaviors – even the emotions – of both friends and enemies. The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist, Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted and its population dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people – people he cares about – are counting on him. The intense, real-time gameplay of Half-Life 2 is made possible only by Source, Valve’s new proprietary engine technology. Source provides major enhancements in the advanced facial animation system, physics, graphics and AI. Half-Life 2 will be available for the PC.

About Vivendi Universal Games

Headquartered in Los Angeles, VU Games is a leading global developer, publisher and distributor of multi-platform interactive entertainment. Its development studios and publishing labels include Blizzard Entertainment, Sierra Entertainment, Fox Interactive and Massive Entertainment. VU Games’ library of over 700 titles features multi-million unit selling properties such as Warcraft®, StarCraft®, Diablo® and World of Warcraft® from Blizzard Entertainment®; Crash Bandicoot®, Spyro The Dragon™, Empire Earth®, Leisure Suit Larry™, Tribes® and Ground Control®."

Half-Life 2 is already gold, perhaps!?!? by Wester |

On Saturday 16th October, 2004 @ 04:05 UTC+1

Gamespot have once again put their rumor control mill into fully fueled action in a short Q&A, and part of it suggests that HL2 has already went gold. This is not true for certain, but it could mean that on Monday HL2 might just go gold.
"RUMOR #1: Half-Life 2 is gold. Really. No foolin'. Honest.

Source: If we told you, we'd have to kill you.

The official story: Both VU Games and Valve declined comment.

What we heard: Ever since the release candidate for Half-Life 2 was submitted to VU Games in mid-September, a piñata has hung in the lobby of Valve's headquarters. The plan: to bust the sucker open when the game achieved gold status. Earlier today, GameSpot learned from an informed sourced that "the piñata has been broken" and the game has gone gold. Further evidence of the game's completion was a press release issued this afternoon touting the first review of "the entire game." Though nothing official has been announced yet, it appears the fat lady is at last clearing her throat.

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus."

Stay tuned, this could be for real. wink

VU Games says HL2 is finished, according to PEGI by Wester |

On Friday 15th October, 2004 @ 23:54 UTC+1

CVG have an article up regarding the situation with HL2 and that a November release date is extremely likely now. They also said that HL2 is ready to be ceritifed by PEGI (Pan European Games Information age rating system) for classification. Although VU Games themselves haven't said anything on the situation yet, and these are basically just rumours, this could indicate that HL2's gold announcement is really right around the corner now. Here's a slice from the article:
"Speaking under strict conditions of anonymity, an industry insider squealed earlier informing us that 'as far as Vivendi is concerned, the game [Half-Life 2] is finished' before saying that the title had been passed to PEGI (Pan European Games Information age rating system) for classification, which in turn passed the sequel to the BBFC for certification."

Don't forget to check out the full article.

Half-Life 2 Pre-loading Phase 6 begins by Wester |

On Thursday 14th October, 2004 @ 23:58 UTC+1

As seen over at the Steam Powered News Page.
"The sixth phase of the Half-Life 2 preload begins to Steam account holders today. This will allow users to download the Half-Life 2 maps in encrypted form. No purchase is required to pre-load Half-Life 2, but is required to activate the game. The moment the game is made available, those who have pre-loaded and purchased the game via Steam will be ready to start playing."

My Guy Games CS: Source Review and HL2 matters by Wester |

On Thursday 14th October, 2004 @ 16:23 UTC+1

Over at My Guy Games, they have up a review of CS: Source, with a 9.1/10.0 score as the final verdict, here's a slice:
"The first-person shooter used to be a frag fest. Quick-paced action, rocket launchers, respawns, and overall chaos that we all grew to love with our twitching mouse finger. Then came a small modification for Half-Life that changed the community and fit into a little genre that I would call the tactical shooter. Games like SWAT, Delta Force and Rainbow Six helped fill the war buffs simulation needs, but something was always missing. Counter-Strike came along with its mix of the genre, and quickly became a cult classic, then mainstream addiction."

For the rest of the review check out the whole thing. As more and more CS: Source reviews are coming along, I suppose it's enough to keep us busy while waiting for the HL2 gold announcement... VALVe has still be exchanging RC betas with Vivendi and Doug Lombardi of VALVe says that HL2 will be totally complete very soon now......I'd anticipate a gold announcement within the next couple weeks or so. Watch this space for more updates on that current situation. wink

BBC NEWS on HL2 and CS: Source and more by Wester |

On Wednesday 13th October, 2004 @ 16:14 UTC+1

BBC News in their technology column have posted up an article regarding HL2, CS: Source, and more, also featuring a short interview with Doug Lombardi.
"In terms of visuals and sounds of the software playable on today's hardware, yeah, I think we're approaching a point of diminishing returns.

"However, I do think the hardware will evolve to offer more advanced 'surround' display units, and perhaps more efficient input devices, like true voice input, and the introduction of these would naturally open the door to new experiences and designs."

For the rest of it all check out the full article.

And in other news, RC5 has been sent to VU Games as they have been ironing out bugs, and it seems like the horrid legal battle situation between VU Games and VALVe Software has been lightening up, so if VU Games don't sit on the game which they can but might not for another six months, HL2 just might go gold within the next couple weeks. Stay tuned.

Gamespot's final CS: Source Impressions by Wester |

On Wednesday 13th October, 2004 @ 14:36 UTC+1

Gamespot have whizzed up their impressions of the final build of CS: Source.
Here's a some of it:
"CS: Source comes with nine different maps, but again, none of these will be new to longtime players. It's still extremely fun to see old favorites such as Dust, Office, Aztec, Italy, and Cobble in a brand-new light, thanks to the improved graphics and detail afforded by the Source engine. The most obvious change is the inclusion of more detailed skyboxes that actually render the tops of buildings. On Aztec, for example, you'll actually see the tops of the pyramids that you're fighting in, and if you can find a moment to stop and look around, it feels more like you're actually in the center of a large archaeological site. Other outdoor maps, such as Dust2, also benefit greatly from the improved detail.

Want to read on? Don't forget to check out the whole impressions article.

Firingsquad benchmark the final CS: Source as well by Wester |

On Tuesday 12th October, 2004 @ 15:32 UTC+1

Yes, image quality and performance wise in a variety of maps along with a stress test, check it out.

X-bit Labs benchmarks the final CS: Source by Wester |

On Monday 11th October, 2004 @ 16:05 UTC+1

X-bit labs have up a benchmark report article of the final CS: Source build testing a variety of high-end, medium-end and low-end DX9 cards in both performance and image quality in a variety of settings from both ATi and nVidia. Check it out as it has some useful informaiton.

Another CS: Source Review by Wester |

On Monday 11th October, 2004 @ 15:06 UTC+1

GameConnect Magazine have up a review of CS: Source, rating it a 9 out of 10.
Here's a quote:
"The first thing one will notice upon launching the game is the huge graphical upgrade from previous iterations of the series. Valve has been graphically improving its games for some time now; but after the higher-poly models released for Half-Life Deathmatch and Team Fortress Classic, the High-Definition pack released with Blue Shift and the upgraded map geometry and texturing in Condition Zero, the aging Half-Life engine has become a bottleneck. Valve has taken the freedom the Source engine brings and created new maps and models to breathe new life into an old game. The new grenade explosions are fantastic - particularly the flashbang’s blinding and dizzying effects. The changed weapon models may take some time to get used to but are uniformly excellent. Everytime, you can apreciate the fantastic Shaders effects, it is absolutely impressive to see how good is the lighting, brightness, water effects, real-time shadows....the engine is running perfectly. If Half-life 2 is that good, It will be hard to find a better game in the future."

New Poll by Wester |

On Sunday 10th October, 2004 @ 21:38 UTC+1

Yep we've got up a new poll now, titled "Got Counter-Strike: Source?", the old poll was called "When do you think Half-Life 2 will actually be released?", and the results were:
Fall-Winter 2004! - 50%

2005 and beyond! - 19%

NEVER! Cause VALVe sucks and I suck worse! - 15%

No idea, Who knows!!! - 6%

When it's done. - 1%

Core Limits CS: Source Review by Wester |

On Sunday 10th October, 2004 @ 02:13 UTC+1

Core Limits have a review up of Counter-Strike: Source, which is a great read IMO and is very detailed and nice, exploring the full potential of CS: Source and every minor detail as well with useful info and more, rating it an awesome 96%. Here's a slice:
"Counter-Strike: Source has drop-dead gorgeous graphics. With some of the latest technology implemented, Counter-Strike: Source gives the eye something to stare at. Be careful though, I have found myself many a time playing with the physics and looking at the graphics, only to have an opposing force sneak up behind me and take me out. I suggest starting your own private server to play in and investigate."

For the rest of the details and goodies be sure to head over to Core Limits and give the full review a read.

Voodoo Extreme Doug Lombardi Interview by Wester |

On Saturday 9th October, 2004 @ 00:58 UTC+1

Voodoo Extreme had a few words with Doug Lombardi of VALVe Software regarding things like HL2's release canditate in an extremely short interview. Be sure to check it out.

Hosting is now available by Wester |

On Friday 8th October, 2004 @ 23:57 UTC+1

Yes that's right we're now allowing hosting on Half-Life Portal to be done on any Half-Life related site. If you're interested in hosting your own Half-Life related site on our server, please be sure to give the hosting page a read for further details.

IGN Gear Half-Life 2 Optimization Guide by Wester |

On Friday 8th October, 2004 @ 15:00 UTC+1

Yes, IGN Gear have a five page guide for optimizing your PC in preparation of Half-Life 2, it's definitely a must read for those resident techie geeks who wish to squeez every drop of performance out of their system while playing HL2 possible.

98%! by Wester |

On Thursday 7th October, 2004 @ 23:47 UTC+1

Yes! THE PCG US issue has scored HL2 98%!!!!!!!!!
"Pros - "Everything: Graphics, plot, gameplay. Its what experts have been predicting for this medium"

Lows - "Squadmates sometimes get in your way; low res textures in huge outdoor scenes"
"Valve has forged the framework for the next generation of games, demonstrating what our medium can and should be able to accompolish"

"An exhilarating entertainment that can emotionally move you one moment, kick ******* the next, and keep you immersed the whole time."

w000000000000t!!!!!!! smile

Steam Package Offers Now Available! by Wester |

On Thursday 7th October, 2004 @ 19:56 UTC+1

Yes as seen over at Steam Powered, all the gold, silver and bronze Steam offer packages are now available for pre-ordering and they say it should takes 6-8 weeks to for delivery to be made, only indicating that HL2 is even closer! Come on the Big Daddies at VALVe Software, bring on the most revolutionary and most anticipated game ever! smile

Half-Life 2 Steam Offers to be ready by Thursday by Wester |

On Wednesday 6th October, 2004 @ 23:46 UTC+1

I saw this over at the Steam Powered News Page.
"BRONZE -- $49.95

Half-Life 2*

Counter-Strike: Source
*To be made available upon product's release.

SILVER -- $59.95

Half-Life 2*

Counter-Strike: Source

Half-Life 1: Source*

Day of Defeat: Source*

Valve's back catalog currently available on Steam
*To be made available upon products' release.

GOLD -- $89.95

Half-Life 2*

Counter-Strike: Source

Half-Life 1: Source*

Day of Defeat: Source*

Valve's back catalog currently available on Steam

Complete Half-Life 2 Strategy Guide from Prima Games

3 different Half-Life 2 posters

Half-Life Collector's box

Half-Life 2 hat

Half-Life 2 postcard

Half-Life 2 stickers

Half-Life 2 Soundtrack CD

Chance to win a trip to Valve! (1 trip offered for every 5000 Gold packages purchased)."

Halflife2.net on Half-Life 2 by Wester |

On Wednesday 6th October, 2004 @ 14:36 UTC+1

Well Halflife2.net have found out that PC Zone UK have scored HL2 in their official review an awesome 97%, and that the UK will get the standard DVD-Edition of HL2.....sounds good, head over to Halflife2.net for the rest of the details. wink

New Officially Released HL2 screenshots by Wester |

On Saturday 2nd October, 2004 @ 20:42 UTC+1

It's now certainly no secret at all that PC GAMER UK have officially released and published a set of 45 screenshots of HL2 that they've tooken during their review period, so if you're interested in what these shots of the final build of the game itself look like be sure to download all of them in a 3.80MB .RAR file from our download server here.


November 23rd release date? by Wester |

On Friday 1st October, 2004 @ 19:53 UTC+1

Many sites, and public retailers like Eurogamer are speculating that Half-Life 2's release date will be set for November 23rd, 2004 in the US and November 26th, 2004 in the UK -- although VALVe have no comments on the matter.

VU Games however do -- according to an article found at PC Zone Magazine's Website. VU Games say that a late November release date is very feasible and that RC beta testing with HL2 is going very well - they hail and claim HL2 a work of art both technically and game core wise. So we should have HL2 soon now.

Other source: Eurogamer

96%! by Wester |

On Thursday 30th September, 2004 @ 15:52 UTC+1

Yes! The above score is what Half-Life 2 scored in the world exclusive first December 2004 issue of PC GAMER and the November 2004 issue of PC GAMER UK! So be prepared for one kick ass review! smile smile

New Half-Life 2 IGN Preview by Wester |

On Thursday 30th September, 2004 @ 05:34 UTC+1

Yup IGN have tied together and fired up a "Everything we know. Everything you need to know." preview of Half-Life 2 which should help pass some time before the gold announcement wink. Here's a quick slice from the preview:
"Also on the subject of making the game world more believable, the team is relying on a vocabulary of facial expressions. Using about two dozen key frames representing various emotional states, the developers can script emotional reactions to events that will have you believing that the characters in the game have genuine responses to the story. This expression system works in conjunction with a multi-boned mouth animation system that translates sounds into mouth movements. Simply plugging in a .wav file results in thoroughly credible lip syncing. Elliptical eyes (rather than perfectly spherical) also add to the subtlety and believability of the characters."

For the rest of the goodies head over to the full thing.

Half-Life 2 Pre-Loading Phase 5 and ATi Coupon Holds Bronze Package by Wester |

On Thursday 30th September, 2004 @ 02:54 UTC+1

Yes firstly HL2's preloading phase 5 has begun as I saw it over at the Steam Powered News Page.
"The fifth phase of the Half-Life 2 preload begins to Steam account holders today. This will allow users to download the Counter-Strike: Source maps in encrypted form. No purchase is required to pre-load Half-Life 2, but is required to activate the game. The moment the game is made available, those who have pre-loaded and purchased the game via Steam will be ready to start playing."

And lastly ATi coupon owners / holders of the ATi voucher will grant access to the bronze HL2 package as unveiled @ HL Fallout. And here's VALVe's inaugral response:

The ATI coupon vouchers will be transfered automatically to the Bronze Package. We will be offering upgrades to silver and gold for additional cost, but the details have not been fully worked out yet.

Steam Tech Support"

ATi coupon vouchers also have the ability to upgrade to silver and gold packages keep in mind.

HL2 packages finalised and revealed by Wester |

On Wednesday 29th September, 2004 @ 15:34 UTC+1

I saw this over at HL Fallout, who have recieved word by the man himself, Gabe Newell on this.
Retail Boxes
  • Standard Edition — includes HL2 and CS:Source. Ships on six CDs, in one of three box-art packages (Gordon, Alyx or the G-Man).

  • Collector's Edition — includes Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source, a Half-Life 2 T-shirt and a Prima book sampler. Ships on a single DVD.

    Steam Packages

  • Bronze — HL2* and CS:Source.

  • Silver — HL2*, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source*, Day of Defeat:

    Source*, Valve's back catalog currently available on Steam.

  • Gold — HL2*, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source*, Day of Defeat: Source*, Valve's back catalog currently available on Steam, Complete Strategy Guide from Prima Games, 3 different Half-Life 2 posters, Half-Life 2 hat, Half-Life 2 postcard, Half-Life 2 stickers, Half-Life 2 Soundtrack CD, Chance to win a trip to Valve! (1 trip offered for every 5000 Gold packages purchased).

  • Exclusive Chuck Osborn Interview by Wester |

    On Tuesday 28th September, 2004 @ 23:56 UTC+1

    I saw this over at Halflife2.net.

    Halflife2.net have scored an exclusive interview with Chuck Osborn regarding HL2, their review, and a lot more.
    "Icarus: What was your reaction when you found out you would be the first to review Half-Life 2?

    Chuck Osborn: It was a mixture of excitement and trepidation, because of the responsibility of being the first one to review it.

    Icarus: Was Half-Life 2 what you expected?

    Chuck Osborn: More

    Icarus: Was it worth the wait?

    Chuck Osborn: Absolutely

    Icarus: How long is the review?

    Chuck Osborn: Nine pages, plus we have a four page story telling you what you need to know about running Half-Life 2 on your system.

    Icarus: Did it seem dated?

    Chuck Osborn: Not at all.

    Icarus: Are there any spoilers in the review?

    Chuck Osborn: There are some mild spoilers, because you can’t review it without giving away something. I say very clearly when to stop reading if you don’t want to know anything. If you read the entire review, there are a lot of surprises I don’t talk about, because I want you to be surprised. This is not a spoiler review.

    Icarus: Does it have multiplayer, if so what are they?

    Chuck Osborn: Counter-Strike Source is the multiplayer.

    Icarus: Only CS:S, no Deathmatch?

    Chuck Osborn: Only CS:S

    Icarus: Has it (CS:S) changed any from Beta?

    Chuck Osborn: It’s what they say it’s going to be, but with a few surprises

    Icarus: Who did you get to play it with?

    Chuck Osborn: Valve as well as playing in within our own offices

    Icarus: Did you get to play HL Source?

    Chuck Osborn: Yes.

    Icarus: Can you tell me anything about HL:Source?

    Chuck Osborn: Nope

    Icarus: Is it (HL:S) included in the review?

    Chuck Osborn: Yes, it's discussed in a sidebar along with a few screenshots.

    Icarus: Anything you want to say the users before I go?

    Chuck Osborn: I'm just glad I don't have to keep my playing Half-Life 2 a secret anymore! It was killing me. Trust me...you won't be disappointed."

    Sounds awesome! (except no HL2 DM, just a CS: S multiplayer component sad) HL2 is sure to be just as good as the original or better, not only a truly killer game but a truly killer app! smile

    PC GAMER does review Half-Life 2 in it's December 2004 issue! by Wester |

    On Tuesday 28th September, 2004 @ 16:34 UTC+1

    Yes, PC GAMER will be delivering the world exclusive first Half-Life 2 review in it's next December 2004 issue, and subscribers to PCG should get the issue itself this week, and it should be on stands on October 5th, 2004. PCG says HL2 is more than they expected it to be. Get ready, this means a gold announcement very soon now.

    Half-Life 2 world exclusive first review PC GAMER December 2004 issue

    We should have a full, final score rating of HL2 from PC GAMER and other details soon, and it'll be kick-ass, so stay tuned! wink

    Half-Life 2 Pre-Loading Phase 4 begins by Wester |

    On Tuesday 28th September, 2004 @ 04:50 UTC+1

    I saw this over at the Steam Powered News Page.
    "The fourth phase of the Half-Life 2 preload begins to Steam account holders today.

    This will allow users to download the majority of Counter-Strike: Source in encrypted form. No purchase is required to pre-load Half-Life 2, but is required to activate the game. The moment the game is made available, those who have pre-loaded and purchased the game via Steam will be ready to start playing."

    Half-Life 2 to be reviewed by PC GAMER! by Wester |

    On Monday 27th September, 2004 @ 23:55 UTC+1

    There's news floating around the net, not sure if it's a rumour or not yet but PC GAMER's next issue, to be on magazine stands on October 5th(it's likely the December issue), will feature a full review of Half-Life 2! More news as it comes in obviously, but it's very exciting news that Half-Life 2 could possibly be a lot closer than we originally anticipated after all the legal battles with VU Games and VALVe and the like! smile

    Half-Life: Evolution Article by Wester |

    On Monday 27th September, 2004 @ 03:16 UTC+1

    The folks over at HL Fallout have written and thrown onto their site an article comparing HL to HL2's original concept art, graphics, characters, enemies, allies and weapons in a nice 2 page article, which IMO is a good read and worth a look over.

    Half-Life 2 delayed AGAIN !?!?! by Wester |

    On Saturday 25th September, 2004 @ 00:18 UTC+1

    Gamespot have continued to keep coverage in their report on the current situation with VALVe and VU Games in the ugly, troubling legal battles, and here's a quote that could imply that HL2 has been delayed AGAIN:
    "Valve has announced that it will deliver a release candidate version of Half-Life 2 (HL2) (a game required under the 2001 SPA) to Sierra/VUG within the next few weeks. If Valve delivers a release candidate version that complies with the contract and is a Final Milestone, then VUG will have six months to release the product under the 2001 SPA. Valve is pressing VUG to release the product early within that six month window, and its representatives have made a number of public statements without our consent or concurrence that the product will be published and released to the general public in September of this year."

    Even though that does say HL2 could be released in September, knowing the case that VU Games and VALVe's legal battles, this could mean VU Games won't stop sitting on HL2 for ANOTHER SIX MONTHS, if VU Games would use the Six Month window to push VALVe back down to it's original demands in the August 14th, 2002 lawsuit... angry

    Stay tuned. sad

    New Gamespy Doug Lombardi Interview by Wester |

    On Thursday 23rd September, 2004 @ 04:09 UTC+1

    Gamespy had a few words with Doug Lombardi of VALVe regarding the current legal issue situation with Vivendi and VALVe as he was kind enough to provide a few words on the situation, unlike Vivendi.
    "GameSpy: It appears that part of Valve's complaint with Sierra started over a cybercafé distribution dispute, and yet Valve has been doing something similar with the CS:Source beta and STEAM. Would you consider that an accurate comparision?

    [Doug Lombardi]: Yes, this began with Valve suing Vivendi for copyright infringement back in 2002 over their unauthorized distribution of our products to cybercafé's for commercial use. Valve owns the right to distribute its games in the cybercafé channel."

    Vivendi matters by Wester |

    On Tuesday 21st September, 2004 @ 05:14 UTC+1

    Well firstly, TheInquirer.net is reporting in a short article that VU Games have purchased 35 Radeon 9800 Pro graphics cards in order to extensively test the RC1 of HL2 that VALVe sent them, and that could mean a November 2004 release date, but let's hope not.

    And lastly over at Gamespot, they have an article up about a VALVe Software vs VU Games district lawsuit in some legal issues with Sierra as well they've been having in 2002 and the like, ouch. Here's a snoop:
    ""Valve sued Vivendi for copyright infringement back in 2002 over their unauthorized distribution of our products to cyber cafés," Lombardi told GameSpot last Friday. "We later had to add breach of contract claims for, among other things, refusing to pay us royalties owed and delaying Condition Zero out of the holiday season."

    That lawsuit became more complex when Sierra fought back with a counterclaim. "Almost a year and a half into the lawsuit," Lombardi continued, "Vivendi responded by making a number of claims in an attempt to invalidate our agreement and be awarded the ownership of the Half-Life intellectual property. We expect to prevail in this lawsuit."

    Though the density of the legal documents makes for arduous reading, they yield many fascinating nuggets of information. For example, the first Half-Life, which went on to win numerous awards and reap huge profits for both developer and publisher, was delivered to Sierra after an almost laughably meager $800,000 advance--the initial payment was a mere $30,000 when Newell and Sierra On-line reps signed their first software publishing agreement on April 27, 1997."

    For the rest of the details head over to the full thing.

    PC Gameplay to review Half-Life 2!!! by Wester |

    On Saturday 18th September, 2004 @ 21:19 UTC+1

    That's right, Half-Life2.nl is reporting that PC Gameplay will be reviewing Half-Life 2, the full final copy in their next issue with over 50 new screenshots! Be sure to look out for this particular issue, and stay tuned for updates!

    This also again confirms that Half-Life 2 is only weeks away from our doorstep and our HDDs to see if the wait was truly worth it. smile wink

    "Half-Life 2 on track for a 2004 release date"....says Doug Lombardi by Wester |

    On Saturday 18th September, 2004 @ 05:09 UTC+1

    Eurogamer have an article up regarding HL2's release date.....Doug Lombardi, marketing chief of VALVe Software, says it's set for the 2004 release date, and VU Games says that if all manufacturing of the game and finalisation and ironing out of bugs goes well, expect an October release date, or November 2004 at the most. Lombardi also had this to say: "Nobody at VU has indicated to us that they are not shipping HL2 this year". And HL2 shouldn't miss the 2004 release date. Be sure to check out the full article for the rest of the details.

    Half-Life 2 Release Candidate Submitted by Chapstick |

    On Friday 17th September, 2004 @ 02:23 UTC+1

    That's right. As stated before by VALVe, a release candidate has been sent to Vivendi. Gabe Newell stated this was done yesterday on 9/15. Quote from Gabe:
    "Yes, the RC went to VU yesterday."
    As always Gabe posted this statement on the HL2Fallout Forums. You can check it out here. This is good news as it means Half-Life 2 is that much closer to being in our hands.

    "The Making of Half-Life 2" Book Interview by Wester |

    On Tuesday 14th September, 2004 @ 05:12 UTC+1

    HomeLAN Fed had a few words with author David Hodgson about writing the book "The Making of Half-Life 2" which not only features a great and in-depth story about how Half-Life 2 was developed but also describes VALVe's history with the original Half-Life, it's expansion packs and mods and more. David Hodgson is also writing the Half-Life 2 official Prima Games Strategy guide. Here's a snoop of the well scored interview:
    "HomeLAN - What are some of the more surprising or interesting things you learned about game development while writing and researching the book?

    David Hodgson - Well, without giving much of the content away, there were dozens of interesting anecdotes and information pieces that no one's read about before. For example, one of the company's original names was Rhinoscar (I even got Gabe to draw me the logo!). Gabe talks about Prospero, there's an extremely amusing story about Ted Bachman's interview with Gabe and the inception for some of the freakier looking critters in the game. How Gordon's name came about. Who influenced Hal Robins' during his vocal recordings for Dr. Kleiner. Then there's the photography models for G. Man and Alyx; they're are really cool to see! The Source code theft is talked about candidly. The sheer insanity of the modeling that went on in City 17 shows how meticulous Valve are. Some of the entities that got cut from HL2... how development stalled for months when the physics engine was finished and everyone started building crazy contraptions... I mean, there's loads of surprising elements I wrote about during the development of Valve's games -- that's just a smattering!

    HomeLAN - Half-Life 2 took quite a long time to develop and release. Is that long development time dealt with in the book?

    David Hodgson - Yes, in fact Doug talks about the "September 30th" nightmare from last year, and Gabe (plus others) chat about the reasons why the game took so long to complete. Gabe wanted to make sure the successes AND the failures in the development are talked about and explained. That's one of the reasons why I think fans who are more critical of Valve's release schedule may be interested in this book. Valve wanted to make sure the problems and successes were discussed."

    For the rest of the goodies of the talk make sure to give the full thing a read as it's a very good one IMO.

    New Eurogamer Exclusive HL2 Bink Video by Wester |

    On Saturday 11th September, 2004 @ 22:40 UTC+1

    Eurogamer have a new HL2 Coast Bink Video up, featuring some footage exclusively drawn from the E3 presentation of this year. Weighing at 165MB, it's no easy download for dial-up users and can only be downloaded through P2P Bittorrent, so for those who aren't fans of Bittorrent I would wait until this video goes on HTTP or FTP servers for download.(preferably HTTP).

    Half-Life 2 Pre-Loading Phase 3 has begun! by Wester |

    On Saturday 11th September, 2004 @ 11:15 UTC+1

    w000000000t! wink

    I saw this over at the Steam Powered News Page.
    "The third phase of the Half-Life 2 preload begins to Steam account holders today.

    This will allow users to download the majority of the models of Half-Life 2 in encrypted form. No purchase is required to pre-load Half-Life 2, but is required to activate the game. The moment the game is made available, those who have pre-loaded and purchased Half-Life 2 via Steam will be ready to start playing right away."

    HLP Forums are BACK UP! by Wester |

    On Saturday 11th September, 2004 @ 06:19 UTC+1

    Yes you're not dreaming, I'm pleased to announce that our forums have finally been restored thanks to the co-webmaster (Paul), 1000 kudos points go to him! smile

    New Poll by Wester |

    On Wednesday 8th September, 2004 @ 08:19 UTC+1

    Right I suppose it's time for a new poll, as the old poll has been tossed in the recycle bin. The results are:
    What do you think of Half-Life 2's story so far from what you've read?

    It's incredible!-26%

    It's....damn good!-37%


    It's fair...sorta!-3%

    It blows!-16%

    The majority of the users [apparently] went with the option "It's...damn good!", not bad, not bad at all. The new poll is titled "When do you think Half-Life 2 will actually be released?", have fun voting.

    Two new Half-Life 2 Screenshots by Wester |

    On Monday 6th September, 2004 @ 02:57 UTC+1

    Halflife2.net have two new Half-Life 2 screenshots up courtesy of PC GAMER, and are from the PC GAMER June 2004 world exclusive first Half-Life 2 playtest magazine issue.

    HL2: Release Candidate in September or October or November? by Wester |

    On Sunday 5th September, 2004 @ 00:11 UTC+1

    Gamespot have an news article up regarding certain rumours and controls of it -- including HL2.
    "RUMOR #1: Half-Life 2 will ship in November.

    Source: A Wedbush Morgan report issued earlier this week.

    The official story: "No comment." – a VU Games spokesperson.

    What we heard: Analyst Michael Pachter's report states it clear as day: "…we also expect three PC games to break the million-unit threshold in 2004, including… November's Vivendi-Universal (V-Not Rated) release Half-Life 2."

    Before asking Vivendi for confirmation, we went to marketing rep Doug Lombardi at Valve. "We're currently planning to send release candidates to Vivendi by September 15th," he told us. The timing's right. "However," he adds before we can get our hopes up, "VUG hasn't given us a ship date yet. Might be best for you to ask them directly. Let me know what you hear."

    This could mean HL2 will be shipping in October, perhaps even November if the rumours are true, but these rumours could be false considering the fact that VALVe haven't directly confirmed this true - so we might not have HL2 this month, but VU Games are keeping their lips tight in the "no comment" department. September 15th sounds like a good and realistic canditate - however since this seems more than just some bogus rumours, I'm sticking to considering this "NOT bogus" for now. wassat

    HL2 Pre-loading Phase 2 has begun by Wester |

    On Friday 3rd September, 2004 @ 11:27 UTC+1

    I saw this at the Steam Powered News Site.
    "The second phase of the Half-Life 2 preload begins to Steam account holders today.

    This will allow users to download the majority of the audio of Half-Life 2 in encrypted form. No purchase is required to pre-load Half-Life 2, but is required to activate the game. The moment the game is made available, those who have pre-loaded and purchased Half-Life 2 via Steam will be ready to start playing right away."

    Some new HL stuff by Wester |

    On Thursday 2nd September, 2004 @ 22:40 UTC+1

    To begin with, Australia's PC PowerPlay recently stated that Half-Life 2 was just finished and was scheduled for a September 22nd release date. As this is totally bogus and false info, PC PowerPlay have admitted that it was an editor's mistake themselves on their own forums. To make sure if this, they asked Doug Lombardi of VALVe himself. His response was:
    "I believe the editors of that magazine took a guess when they went to press.

    Rest assured, either Gabe or I (or both) will be sending up flares when HL2 is done.


    No surprise there. wink

    And also, Planet Half-Life directly asked Doug Lombardi will there be / is there Blue-Shift support on Steam. Here's how things went:
    "PHL: Is Blue Shift a dead product? Is there a Steam version and/or will there be a Source version?

    DL: Blue Shift is not currently on Steam, but there's certainly a chance it will appear on both Steam and remastered on Source."

    Sounds good.

    And also, VALVe have confimed that they will not be showing up at the UK ECTS trade show. However they did say:
    "Tokyo Game Show is the next big one that comes to mind, but not sure yet if we'll attend."

    The TGS is scheduled to take place on September 24-26th of this year, so keep an eye out and we'll just have to see if VALVe goes or not, if they do it could mean new HL / Source footage and etc!

    HL2 Stress Video & CS: Source performance/IQ investigated w/GF FX & ATI Radeon cards by Wester |

    On Monday 30th August, 2004 @ 23:56 UTC+1

    FiringSquad and ExtremeTech have up a series of IQ tests(for E.G render-to-texture shadows, displacement maps, refractive/reflective water, and a variety of other cool nifty pixel shader glorious effects) all compared on Radeon X800 / 9800 / 9600 / GeForce FX / 4 Ti series cards, and a variety of benchmark settings tests and results on all those cards.

    Even more good performance indications for what you'll get in HL2 and other Source Engine based games like Vampire: Bloodlines.

    Gamespy on the fake gold announcement by Wester |

    On Sunday 29th August, 2004 @ 23:57 UTC+1

    Gamespy also have up their take on the utter bogus gold announcement.
    "An email request to Newell last night to confirm the post was never answered.

    Newell has been releasing information slowly to the community over the last couple of months. Just recently, he announced preloading of encrypted Half-Life 2 files to individuals via Steam."

    Gamespot on the fake gold announcement by Wester |

    On Sunday 29th August, 2004 @ 22:00 UTC+1

    Gamespot have an article up regarding the fake gold announcement at the HL2 Fallout Forums by the hacked Gabe Newell Forum Account. Here's a snoop:
    "Maybe he shouldn't have used 'gaben' for his password. Come on Gabe, you could of [sic] thought of something better than that

    After a quick double-check, it seems that this was exactly what happened."

    It seems that gamers eager to experience Gordon Freeman's latest adventure will have to wait a bit longer after all."

    It's a good read for those who need to get up to speed on the current HL 2 gold situation, so be sure to head over to the whole article for the full Gamespot run-down.

    Yes! It's DONE! It's going GOLD THIS Monday! by Wester |

    On Saturday 28th August, 2004 @ 22:50 UTC+1

    Yes! HL2 goes gold this Monday! Gabe Newell, the man himself, made a post over at the HL2 Fallout forums saying that Half-Life 2 WILL go GOLD on MONDAY!

    His actual post stated:
    "We're going gold monday..."

    Awesome! That means we could be playing HL2 within early September! Stay tuned! smile

    UPDATE EDIT: Well apparently the gold announcement is a fake, someone managed to hack into Gabe's forum account and post that. However no one knows for sure, but stay tuned... wassat

    UPDATE EDIT #2: Aye the announcement was totally bogus, a true fake. Someone did hack into Gabe's HL2 Fallout account and discovered his p/w, and Chris Bokitch of VALVe confirmed so himself over at the Steam Powered Forums in a post he made....

    November 1st, 2004 HL2 release date? by Wester |

    On Saturday 28th August, 2004 @ 01:52 UTC+1

    Certain sites and retailers like Amazon.com and EBGames.com are reporting HL2's release date as November 1st, 2004. Now this is all speculation, but where they are getting these delay seeming like dates is quite the question. There's no word from VALVe on this, and they still are claiming that the release date is "September 2004", so let's wait for a release date confirmation from VALVe. Only when VALVe says so is when we'll know.

    BBC NEWS Half-Life Article by Wester |

    On Friday 27th August, 2004 @ 23:41 UTC+1

    BBC NEWS have up an article regarding about HL's history, it's mods, it's tools and then some paragraphs on the HL 2 preload. Here's a quick slice from it:
    "Even now no fixed date has been given for its release and some gamers speculate that it may not appear until November.

    Others believe that release is imminent because Valve is happy for the game software to be downloaded.

    Some also speculate that the relatively small size of the files means that the encrypted version is not the full game. Many expect to have to download more code when the full and final game is released."

    First Half-Life: Source screenshot! by Wester |

    On Friday 27th August, 2004 @ 22:57 UTC+1

    Courtesy of the dudes over at HL2 Fallout:

    First HL: Source screenshot thumbnail

    Well, as far as VALVe have commented on HL: Source, the textures, geometry, models, sounds and maps will be largely untouched, but things like more dynamic lights, realistic shadows, shaders, physics, animations(facially) and etc will come into play. A bit of a disapointement, I hope some modders brew up the guts to create a high-res, specular/normal map texture pack, much better geometry, higher fidelity/more channel varied sounds, HL2 quality character models and updated maps, that would create a true HL experience along with the source engine upgrade VALVe will release.

    H λ L F - L I F E ² :: Pre-loading begins tonight! by Wester |

    On Friday 27th August, 2004 @ 07:15 UTC+1

    Alright! Gabe Newell himself made a post over at the HL2 Fallout Forums regarding the HL2 preloading status - it begins tonight at 6:00 P.M PST. smile

    The actual post stated:

    "Half-Life 2 pre-load begins tonight at 6:00 PM PST."

    UPDATE EDIT: Erik Johnson of VALVe Software made a post over at the Planet Half-Life Forums saying that the HL 2 pre-loading is closer to rather 7:00 P.M PST. An one hour delay. Oh well...

    UPDATE EDIT #2: HL 2 Pre-loading has begun! smile

    The Tech Report put audio cards in CS: Source Beta to the test by Wester |

    On Friday 27th August, 2004 @ 02:02 UTC+1

    Yup, they've got benchmarks up with the Sound Blaster Live!, Audigy, Audigy 2, integrated chipsets, and some other sound cards to see which one performs best.

    Once again, it is another good performance prediction for how CS: Source itself and other Source Engine based games will run on your computer, like Half-Life 2 and Vampire: Bloodlines.

    Anandtech CS: Source Benchmark Reports by Wester |

    On Thursday 26th August, 2004 @ 22:16 UTC+1

    Yeah, they too have up an benchmark article regarding performance numbers out of high end cards such as the Radeon X800 XT, GeForce 6800 and high end CPUs like the AMD Athlon FX-53/Pentium 4 560, and also performance numbers and tests with older cards like the Radeon 9800 XT or GeForce Ti 4400. Be sure to check it out for the full run-down.

    FiringSquad's HL2 GeForce FX DX8 only? Article by Wester |

    On Thursday 26th August, 2004 @ 10:26 UTC+1

    FiringSquad have an article up regarding that the GeForce FX series graphics cards can only seem to renderer HL2 in the slightly less rich than DX9 mode DX8.0/8.1 path, with an elaborate image by image comparision with the Radeon 9800, GeForce FX, and GeForce 6 series. Also up is benchmarks on their test system comparing the Radeon 9600-9800 and GeForce FX-6 series, and the results are quite interesting. Here's a slice of the article:
    "Auto-detecting hardware is good for gamers who know little or nothing about their PC’s hardware. The typical consumer frequently knows little about the hardware within his or her PC other than the processor inside. These guys know nothing about shaders, trilinear and anisotropic filtering, or anti-aliasing. By auto-detecting their hardware, Valve can configure these settings appropriately with no intervention from the end user. This is a win-win scenario for both, as Valve can deliver the best overall gaming experience for that user’s hardware, while at the same time he doesn’t need to know all the fine details about his PC in order to play the game.

    Auto detection is also good for those who don’t have the patience to tweak the plethora of visual settings present within Half-Life 2. Checkboxes for model, texture, water, and shadow detail are located within the video section’s advanced menu, while anti-aliasing and texture filtering can also be adjusted here. This still doesn’t include the console! It can all be pretty intimidating if you don’t know what any of these settings does.

    Arguing the case for auto detection is an easy one, clearly it benefits all parties. But what happens if end users are forced down one set path, and aren’t allowed to adjust certain settings? This appears to be the case for GeForce FX card owners."

    Be sure to head over to the whole report for the rest of the revealed info.

    Two new HL2 High-res Bink Videos by Wester |

    On Tuesday 24th August, 2004 @ 12:02 UTC+1

    VALVe have released two new HL2 videos cut from the E3 2004 video, Tenements(97.5MB) and Ravenhom(200MB) in high-resolution Bink executable format for download. Here are some mirrors:


    3D Gamers


    3D Gamers

    Enjoy! wink

    Half-Life 2 VS DOOM 3 tech article by Wester |

    On Monday 23rd August, 2004 @ 21:46 UTC+1

    WhUtDuFuK.com have up an comparison article comparing Half-Life 2's and DOOM 3's tech, a lot of it is interesting and then astonishing(Half-Life 2 wins a lot more then DOOM 3 at a bit of a surprise but it's not neccessarily a bad thing wink). Especially for our resident techie geeks, this read is a good one and is the beginning of the true Half-Life 2 VS DOOM 3 war.

    More Source Benchmarks by Wester |

    On Saturday 21st August, 2004 @ 22:24 UTC+1

    The Tech Report have CS: Source benchmarks up image quality and performance wise reports on a wide variety of graphics cards on a single test setup, here's a snippet:
    "Based on everything we know, we can only conclude that the CS: Source video stress test is essentially a Half-Life 2 benchmark that's available to the public right now. Naturally, that piques our curiosity, especially since last time around, the ATI cards were absolutely trouncing the NVIDIA cards in HL2 benchmarks. There was only one thing to do: we rounded up thirteen different DirectX 9-class video cards for a Source engine benchmarking bonanza."

    Yahoo! Games Domain HL2 Preview by Wester |

    On Friday 20th August, 2004 @ 21:32 UTC+1

    Over at Yahoo! Games Domain, they have an HL2 preview of their own up, here's a snoop:
    "Fact: Half-Life 2 is going to be awfully pretty

    You betcha. It's expected to be right up there with Doom 3. Innovative facial animation techniques, real-life physics, and all kinds of special render effects like particles, lighting, deformable terrain, refracting water... the list is long. It all adds up to one of gaming's most realistic environmental simulations. Check out the gameplay movies for proof.

    Like the original game, Half-Life 2's engine is expected to be used in a number of other games. In fact, the first, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, is reported to be complete. Unfortunately, it's unable to release thanks to a contractual restriction that prevents its publisher launching the game before Half-Life 2. Expect many more games to follow."

    Be sure to head over to the full preview for the rest of the [old news but still worth having a read over] goodies.

    Half-Life 2 Preloading pushed back to Monday by Wester |

    On Friday 20th August, 2004 @ 11:26 UTC+1

    Over at Shacknews, Erik Johnson of VALVe Software made a post regarding the delay of the Preloading Half-Life 2 to Steam delay.
    "We're going to push the start of the preload back until this coming Monday. The main reason was to get out the release (that just happened) to the CS: Source Beta.


    Guess what? More benchmarks! by Wester |

    On Friday 20th August, 2004 @ 01:26 UTC+1

    That's right, over at Gamers-Depot, they have up CS: Source Benchmarks Reports with the ATi Radeon X800 Pro, XT, nVidia GeForce 6800 GT and 6800 Ultra head to head at multiple settings, and man to they come close!

    However, it's only another indication of Source Engine performance numbers.

    Driverheaven benchmarks by Wester |

    On Thursday 19th August, 2004 @ 22:26 UTC+1

    Over at the Driverheaven Forums, they have up benchmarks of CS: Source comparing the GeForce 6800 and ATi Radeon X800 series graphics cards' performance in multiple settings.

    It's a very nice read for those who want to know how these cards perform head to head in Source Engine games and etc, so check it out! wink

    Half-Life 2 starts preloading tommorow! by Wester |

    On Thursday 19th August, 2004 @ 06:20 UTC+1

    Over at HL2 Fallout Gabe Newell of VALVe, the man himself, says that HL2 preloading begins tommorow along with a bunch of other info, here's what the actual statement says:
    "Quick update:

    - ATI/CZ users will get turned on later tonight for the CS: Source test

    - An update will be out today as well. This is largish (~60 MB).

    - The size of the update is due to the Video Stress Test it includes. You'll be able to do some initial performance analysis using this test and report the data back to a central server. The results of the VST will be posted on Steampowered.com.

    - HL/2 pre-load will begin tomorrow. It was ready yesterday, but we decided to use the bandwidth to get out the VST first since I get pelted with zillions of questions from people asking how their PC will run Half-Life 2."

    Sounds fantastic! This means HL2, CS: Source, and the old classic HL game's Source Engine build is only a few weeks away from going gold and shipping! smile

    Counter-Strike: Source Benchmarked by Wester |

    On Thursday 19th August, 2004 @ 01:43 UTC+1

    Over at VR-Zone, they have up image quality(IQ) and benchmark FPS results in the current beta build of CS: Source, testing a set of high-end graphics hardware, which is a good yet less demanding reference to how Half-Life 2 will perform considering both games use the same engine. Here's a clipping:
    "Counter-Strike: Source is essentially the Counter-Strike you know and love ported over to Valve's Source Engine, the engine that Half-Life 2 was built on, as well as the engine that will be used in many games that will be released in the coming months, including Vampire - The Masquerade.

    As many of you know, Half Life 2 and Counter-Strike: Source are basically done. The game is going to go gold any day now and should be in store shelves some time in September. With that said, we got our hands on the latest build of Counter-Strike: Source and are bringing you the world's first, "unofficial" Source Engine benchmarks, using Counter-Strike Source."

    Check out the complete report for all the rest of the details.

    Doug Lombardi on Dedicated Server Requirements by Wester |

    On Thursday 19th August, 2004 @ 01:26 UTC+1

    Over at HL2 World, they asked Doug Lombardi of VALVe for further explanations of what's needed to run a dedicated server in a Source Engine based game. Here's how it went:
    "It should be close to a Goldsrc/Half-Life 1 game, if not better. For a 32 player server that is full, you'll need a fairly beefy machine with at least a 1Mb upload net connection.


    Another CS: Source Preview! by Wester |

    On Wednesday 18th August, 2004 @ 23:14 UTC+1

    Boomtown have posted up their preview of CS: Source. Here's a bit:
    "As you run around gawping at a level for the first time you will indubitably knock into barrel or bottle sending it tumbling across the landscape. The physics of these objects react just as Valve has demonstrated with Half-Life 2, each having their own set of realistic properties. Most impressive was the tyre at the top of the ramp on the terrorist side of the map. Take a shot at it and it starts to role down the incline, building up speed as it gains momentum. The laws of gravity and friction finally get the better of it, bringing the tyre down on its side, spinning around like a coin flipped onto a table. It behaves exactly as you would expect. It’s virtually guaranteed that every Counter-Strike: Source server will have one person toying with a barrel in the corner, or trying to kick a tyre from one end of the level to the other."

    HL2 Script + CS Source Beta leaked? by Wester |

    On Wednesday 18th August, 2004 @ 11:38 UTC+1

    Gamespot have an article up regarding an officially unconfirmed [accidental] leak of the HL2 script and CS: Source Beta one day before the CS: Source Beta pre-loading phase began. When Gamespot e-mailed VALVe regarding the situation, there was no response. Here's a bit of the article:
    "According to reports, the dialogue is embedded in a .gcf file sent out along with the beta. Apparently, it was included for closed-captioning purposes and was overlooked because .gcf files aren’t meant to be opened. Obviously, it was not meant for public eyes and contains numerous spoilers about the game, including its ending."

    Be sure to give the full story a read for the rest of the details. And stay tuned.

    New Bink HL2 Video by Wester |

    On Wednesday 18th August, 2004 @ 02:08 UTC+1

    Fileplanet have a 61.9MB 1024x768 Bink formatted HL2 video up for download featuring some gameplay that was in the E3 2004 video nearing the actual game DX9 shader based quality.


    CS: Source Beta Preloading Phase 2 by Wester |

    On Tuesday 17th August, 2004 @ 09:40 UTC+1

    Over at the SteamPowered website, they're CS: Source Product Page has confirmed that preloading CS: Source Beta to owners of CS: CZ and the ATI HL2 bundle starts today. They say part 2 of the preloading will begin this Wednesday. Here's the actual statement:
    "Update: Pre-loading has started.

    Pre-loading of the Counter-Strike: Source Beta to owners of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and the ATIHL2 bundle begins today. On Wednesday, this second phase of the beta will open and the beta will be playable to this group."

    Yet another CS: Source Beta Preview! by Wester |

    On Tuesday 17th August, 2004 @ 04:42 UTC+1

    Halflife2.net have tied together their CS: Source Beta preview.
    "But nonetheless the physics do work, and can introduce some rather amusing experiences into the classic CS. For instance the rag doll physics are especially a great addition to the game. Whereas it doesn’t really contribute to the classic game play style, every time I see a human body flying through the air, a load of barrels hurtling across the map, or somebody’s gun bouncing realistically to the floor, I can’t help but either laugh or sit there in awe of the effect.

    The realism now in the game environments is nothing short of amazing. As you walk through what appears to be a lifelike desert town, you’ll see bits of rubbish littered in certain areas such as cans and bottles, you’ll see wrecked cars and even tyres (I never thought rolling a tyre down a hill would be so much fun) realistically positioned around the map. Instead of before where it looked like a lifeless, yellow death match arena, it now looks like a realistic locale with individual houses and other realistic props such as barrels and carts. The game has really come to life.

    Speaking of realism, it’s not just the game environments that are realistic; it’s the models, the materials and the lighting too. The first time that I realised my Desert Eagle was actually reflecting the sunny blue sky above me I was shocked. All of the weapon models have a certain reflectivity about them and will reflect their surroundings realistically. Also as you walk through the long corridor that’s in the centre of the map, you’ll notice that sunlight is beaming through the roof and that the tiled floors reflect the light realistically too."

    SoGamed.Com HL2 Interview by Wester |

    On Tuesday 17th August, 2004 @ 02:11 UTC+1

    SoGamed.com had a few words with VALVe's Network and Demo Coder - Yahn Bernier. regarding the demo system and the video making scene of HL2. The interview also unveils that HL2 package will have 4 CDs, and the special edition DVD package will have just 1 DVD. Anyway, here's a slice from the interview:
    "SG.com: Some people think that Valve is putting all their effort into making HL2 a great game, and therefore the other games are left almost untouched. Therefore there is a long distance between steam updates and fixes. What is your comment on this?

    YB: While it’s true that we are very busy on HL2 and the Source games, we’re still paying attention to the older stuff since we have so many fans still playing those games.

    SG.com: What is the 'timedemo' mode in HL? It seems that it is never used as viewdemo has a simular, but better, effect. Why is it there?

    YB: Timedemo is a way to play a demo back at the highest framerate possible. We use it internally for benchmarking performance since we can run the exact same demo with and without a certain change and see if the average framerate got better or worse."

    Be sure to give the full interview a read for the rest of the goodies.

    New CS: Source Preview by Wester |

    On Monday 16th August, 2004 @ 10:17 UTC+1

    The dudes at DriverHeaven.net have thrown up their CS: Source Beta impression article. Here's a clipping:
    "Immediately noticeable are the much higher quality textures, such as the rusted barrels and the much improved draw distance and objects possible such as palm trees. Looking more closely at the details we can see some of the possibilities the Source engine gives from a texture detail point of view…"

    Be sure to have a read on the full article for the rest of the details and the like.

    Three new articles and screenies by Wester |

    On Monday 16th August, 2004 @ 00:41 UTC+1

    Over at Planet Half-Life, they have a Q&A Interview regarding Half-Life 2 and the VALVe HQ trip they had, the users ask the questions the staff answer it from their trip, here's a snoop:
    "Q: If you picked up a item with the manipulator and changed levels, would the item stay with you?

    A: Robin Walker was asking this question, and he responded with a big YES.

    Q: Will mods be set up the same way as they are in Half-Life 1 (will there be folders for each mod)?

    A: Yes, they will be set up the same way as Half-Life 1.

    Q: Can maps be as big as they are in Battlefield 1942 and if not, can they be made to be larger?

    A: The maps in Half-Life 2 are much too dense in objects to make them as big as BF1942. The ability is there but you wouldn't be able to make them with as many objects as most Half-Life 2 maps are, and if you do, you would need a insane amount of RAM to handle it."

    And they also have a hands-on CS: Source preview, here's a slice from that:
    "It's at this point that I notice my team had run right past me, so I decided to try and rejoin the fight. As I run out of the CT spawn, I see one of my teammates playing with one of the barrels - trying to make it roll down the hill that leads under the tunnel. I kind of paused to laugh when I saw that and then continued onward. Terrorist spotted by the double doors! I open fire and take him down. As he falls, he rebounds off the door as he dies - another demonstration of the great Source physics. After taking him down, I decide to run into the tunnel (the one above ground). Once inside the opening, I notice the best lighting the level has to offer - you can actually see dust particles floating in the air. It just looks amazing! I get kind of side-tracked by that and I don't notice the Terrorist who starts firing. I quickly remember I am supposed to be playing a round of Counter-Strike and return fire, killing him with a couple of shots to the chest. Round 2 over."

    And finally, they have up a Siggraph 2004 Half-Life 2 report up with new screenshots to be seen, here are three for a taste:

    New CS: Source Interview by Wester |

    On Sunday 15th August, 2004 @ 01:35 UTC+1

    Over at Computers and Video games, up is an interview regarding CS: Source with VALVe's Doug Lombardi and Jesse Cliffe, here's a clipping:
    "What sorts of cool things has Source allowed you to add to the levels?

    Cliffe: Source has allowed us to add things like the 3D skybox - so it looks as though your level can span miles. No more arenas - most mappers will agree that's a good thing. The texture resolution has doubled, making your world all the more vivid. Physics and static props are littered throughout the maps in order to give them that lived-in feel. We can also take advantage of DirectX features such as bump-mapping and specularity - giving textures extra depth and reflectivity where appropriate."

    Be sure to head over to the whole interview page for the rest of it all.

    Another pre-loading update by Wester |

    On Saturday 14th August, 2004 @ 22:55 UTC+1

    Over at the HL2 Fallout Forums, Gabe Newell, the man himself once again, has made a post regarding the network status source engine wise, here's a quick slice:
    "In terms of network bandwidth, we're currently running at 4 Gbps, and will boost to 7 Gbps when we start pre-loading. We have the option of increasing that to 14 Gbps with a phone call (admittedly a really expensive phone call)."

    Be sure to head over to the complete thread for all the details.

    Gabe Newell Speaks @ HL2 World by Wester |

    On Saturday 14th August, 2004 @ 08:58 UTC+1

    HL2 World recently asked Gabe Newell, the man himself the minimum requirements for running a dedicated server on Source Engine based games, here's how things went:
    "HL2World:Can you give me some specs on recommended minimum requirements for a dedicated server [running Source engine based games]?

    Gabe Newell:They are basically the same. There's more information going across the wire but the protocol is more efficient so it ends up being a wash(about 2.4 Kbps per client if I remember correctly). CPU load is actually down quite a bit, but most servers weren't CPU bound anyhow. These numbers are for CS: Source in comparison to CS: GoldSrc."

    Be sure to head over and read the full thing for the rest of the heads up.

    CS: Source Beta / VALVe Cyber Cafe Program update by Wester |

    On Saturday 14th August, 2004 @ 07:19 UTC+1

    Over at the Steam Powered News, updates are abound on CS: Source Beta and the VALVe Cyber Cafe program.

    The Cyber Cafe Program announcement reads:
    "The Valve Cyber Café License Server is now available to subscribers of the Valve Cyber Café Program. Among other features, the Cyber Café License Server allows cafés to manage their licenses on a concurrent user basis, locally update individual computers on a café's local area network (reducing bandwidth needs for updates), and allow individual users with personal Steam accounts to access their account on any computer station located at a cyber café site."

    And the CS Source Beta Update reads:

    Improved Steam behavior for listen servers behind a NAT device

    Improved load behavior before content is ready

    Eliminated grenade jumping"

    Be sure to head over to the full steam news page for the complete announcements.

    CS: Source Beta Video by Wester |

    On Saturday 14th August, 2004 @ 00:57 UTC+1

    The dudes over at Halflife2.net have managed to snatch a CS: Source Beta video that is 1:28 long consisting of pure gameplay from those who attended to VALVe's Cyber Cafes.

    You can download the low quality version of the video (18.7MB) here.

    You can download the high quality versio of the video (71.0MB) here.


    CS: Source Beta Status Update by Wester |

    On Friday 13th August, 2004 @ 22:55 UTC+1

    Over at the HL2 Fallout Forums, the man himself, Gabe Newell, has provided a status update on the CS: Source beta community testing feedback(from the VALVe Cyber Cafes) in his latest post. Here are the issues he stated:
    "Problems we know about:
    Can't create a listen server behind a NAT (you get a ticket error)
    First time you launch the game, the material for the launcher background doesn't load
    You can jump into the sky brush using a grenade
    Crash in the vphysics code
    Missing +ip command-line argument
    Memory corruption in the server browser
    Some hardware specific configuration issues"

    Also, Gabe Newell mentions that in testing Half-Life 2 there has been no serious bugs, stability issues, or whatever encountered, so Half-Life 2's 8/18 preload date is still planned! smile
    Be sure to take a look over the actual, complete post for more information.

    Official CS: Source Beta News Page by Wester |

    On Friday 13th August, 2004 @ 10:10 UTC+1

    Over at the Steam Powered Site, they now have an official CS: Source Beta page up where all the latest updates regarding the beta and the deal with the ATi/HL2 video card bundle will be placed, so keep an eye out at a regular pace in that area for all the latest CS: Source Beta and the like tids and bits. wink

    Exclusive Counter-Strike: Source Media Screenshots by Wester |

    On Friday 13th August, 2004 @ 00:43 UTC+1

    Over at Halflife2.net, they have exclusive Counter-Strike Source media shots. Here they are:

    They are looking amazing IMHO, hopefully more screens will come in soon.

    CS: Condition Zero and CS: Source Beta pre-loading to Cyber Cafés by Wester |

    On Wednesday 11th August, 2004 @ 19:09 UTC+1

    Over at the Steam Powered Website, in their news area, pre-loading to the Cyber Café has officially been confirmed and has now begun. The actual announcement stated:
    "Pre-loading of the Counter-Strike: Source beta to cyber cafés begins today. On Wednesday, this first phase of the beta will open and the game will be playable at all cyber cafés that subscribe to the Valve Cyber Café Program. Later this month, the beta will be extended to owners of Counter-Strike™: Condition Zero™ and ATI Fulfillment Coupon holders.

    This beta serves as a compatibility test of the Source engine as we near the completion of development on Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike: Source. During this limited-time beta, issues can be reported using the in-game bug-reporting tool. In addition any crashes will automatically generate a report back to Valve's bug database. We thank everyone for their participation, and we hope Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike: Source live up to your expectations.

    Half-Life 2 Pre-Load Date Set! by Chapstick |

    On Wednesday 11th August, 2004 @ 13:53 UTC+1

    Over at the HL2 Fallout forums the man, Gabe Newell, just announced when they will start the pre-load for Half-Life 2! Here is the exact quote from Gabe:
    "Just got out of a review meeting. 8/11 the Cafe's turn on (tomorrow). 8/16 CZ/ATI users pre-load. 8/18 CZ/ATI turns on. 8/17 HL-2 pre-load starts (textures, audio and other stuff that doesn't change)."
    This is great news for all of us. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope VALVe has it right this time! smile

    Be sure to check out the exact full thread (scroll down several posts to see it).

    CS: Source Beta Pre-Loading to Cyber Cafes by Wester |

    On Tuesday 10th August, 2004 @ 08:57 UTC+1

    Over at the Steam Powered Website, their latest news post says that the pre-loading of CS: Source Beta to the Cyber Cafes starts today. A beta will be extended later this month with ATi owners of ATi coupons. This beta is just a test so certain bugs can be removed - implying that CS: Source Beta and Half-Life 2 is ALMOST DONE! smile Here's a large slice of the actual statement:
    "During this limited-time beta, issues can be reported using the in-game bug-reporting tool. In addition any crashes will automatically generate a report back to Valve’s bug database."

    New Poll by Wester |

    On Monday 9th August, 2004 @ 06:45 UTC+1

    Well the old poll's time has come, and a new poll has arised, "What do you think of Half-Life 2's story from what you've read so far?", here's how things went with the old poll:
    Are you going to mod with Half-Life 2 once it comes out?

    Yes, with the VALVe Hammer Editor!-13%

    Yeah, with the SDK perhaps when it's ready to go.-20%

    Maybe, not sure yet...-20%

    Nah, have no desire to.-32%

    No, because I have no modding skills.-2%


    Have fun voting!

    Story Speculation Article by Wester |

    On Sunday 8th August, 2004 @ 23:44 UTC+1

    The nice guys over at HL2Fallout have a speculation article up regarding HL1 and HL2's story, which is IMO a very good, interesting and in-depth read. Here's a slice from it:
    "But it's important to note that Xen lifeforms weren't hostile by nature. They simply acted on instinct after being suddenly teleported into a strange world they had no bearing of. But this is only the case for certain lifeforms. There isn't one 'Xen' race, it's a collective of several races. The "wildlife", such as Headcrabs, Houndeyes and Bullsquids act on instinct and simply do what they do. Then there are the sentient beings, such as the Vortigaunt, Controllers and Alien Grunts. The Vortigaunt (or Alien Slaves) were the standard workhorse of the collective. Around their wrists and neck were shackles, indicating they were under the control of a powerful entity."

    The reason for no updates content wise in a while by Wester |

    On Sunday 8th August, 2004 @ 06:27 UTC+1

    Well, as you might have already noticed, content wise this site hasn't been updated or filled in since quite a while.

    This is because with the release of the most anticipated ever and smash game hit DOOM 3, my ever so busy schedule, school and my part time job time of the year right around the corner(yes it's already August, summer went by a bit fast didn't it? wassat), and that other projects I have been working on have been very demanding.

    I apologize for the inconvience and no updates within some time. I can guarantee at the very latest some time in September look for a variety of new updates content wise, and the forums *should* be back up by then nary a technical difficulty.

    But for now, just sit tight, hang on, and hold your horses. wink

    IGN CS: Source preview by Wester |

    On Friday 6th August, 2004 @ 22:17 UTC+1

    IGN have put up a preview for Counter-Strike: Source. Here's a slice:
    "The end result are elements that were much more detailed, featuring many more polygons per model, bump mapping and other graphical enhancements to take advantage of newer video cards. They also discovered an important factor for modders: while it'll be much easier for gamers to create mods in the Source engine if they've been working with the older Half-Life tools, it's not too difficult for newer home designers to pick up the tricks of the newer Source engine scripting kits."

    New Screenshots by Wester |

    On Thursday 5th August, 2004 @ 23:28 UTC+1

    Yup, Greg Coomer of VALVe Software has recently tooken 3 new Half-Life 2 screenshots and released them to the public. Brand new screenshots. Here's one of them for a taste:

    Be sure to head over to the screenshots page to check out the rest! wink

    CS: Source Beta DELAYED - Slightly by Wester |

    On Thursday 5th August, 2004 @ 09:46 UTC+1

    Over at CS-Nation, the staff recieved an e-mail from Jesse Cliffe of VALVe Software stating that CS: Source Beta's release date has been slightly pushed past it's original Augsut 5th release date. There's rumours going around the net that it's now scheduled for the 10th of August, 5 days after, which isn't that bad, but bear in mind nothing is officially yet known. The actual e-mail itself said:
    "Counter-Srike: Source will not start pre-loading on the 5th. We are working extremely hard to get it out and will have more information on this soon.

    --Jess Cliffe"


    On Wednesday 4th August, 2004 @ 08:53 UTC+1

    Tokyo, Japan -- August 3, 2004 - Valve(tm) Corporation, one of the world's largest developers of online computer games, has selected Japan-based Namco, Ltd. as its representative to distribute its already famous games, including Half-Life(r), Counter-Strike(TM), and Day of Defeat(TM), to the cyber cafe community in Japan. Namco is currently the only authorized cyber cafe reseller in Japan for Valve games.

    Valve's Cyber Café program is the only way to legally obtain Valve's current and coming titles for commercial use in cyber cafes. Valve licensed cyber cafe operators also receive the benefits of Steam, an online network that insures licensed cybercafe operators have the most up to date versions of Valve games for their customers.

    Additionally, Valve recently revealed a series of new games and features being added to the Valve Cyber Café Program over the coming months. Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2 will be added to the program for active subscribers in the Valve Cyber Cafe Program. These new games will be included as part of the regular subscription fee as soon as they are released. Valve is also readying a Cyber Cafe License Server. Among other features, the Cyber Cafe License Server will allow cafe's to manage their licenses on a concurrent user basis, locally update individual computers on a cafe's local area network (reducing bandwidth needs for updates), and allow individual users with personal Steam accounts to access their account on any computer station located at a cyber cafe site.

    "We are delighted by the success we've experienced working with Namco," said Gabe Newell, president and founder of Valve, "And we look forward to extending that relationship as we work to meet the growing demand for action games in Japan."

    "Namco has a long tradition in the development of location based entertainment businesses," said Tetsuo Tsuchiya, Namco's Manager. "We are eager to extend that tradition to the Japan cyber cafe community by working with Valve to develop this business in Japan. We are hoping to hear feedback from the cyber cafes so we can continue to improve the program and better understand how we can best support our customers."

    G-Phoria HL2 Demo Event Reports by Wester |

    On Wednesday 4th August, 2004 @ 01:39 UTC+1

    To begin with, over at IGN, they have a report up regarding the HL2 demo event at the G4 G-Phoria show. Here's a snoop:
    "Aside from the ever-popular dune buggy level (complete with rollermines and Combine soldiers), I managed to get a few details about the game itself from Doug. First, to put some of the reported rumors to rest, Valve is indeed close to submitting the finished product to Vivendi Universal. However, Doug stressed that there isn't any particular date that this will happen; instead, he stated that it would be sometime in August, with a shipping date decided by Vivendi soon after. He also mentioned system specs for those of you interested in upgrading your computers in eager anticipation of Gordon's adventures. Minimum system requirements appear to be a 1.2 gigahertz processor with 256 megabytes of RAM and a DirectX 7 video card. Of course, those of you interested in the full experience will want a 2 gigahertz or higher processor, 512 megabytes of RAM and a DirectX 9 video card. Doug specifically stated that the ATI x800 was the card of choice amongst many of the testers, as it ran roughly about 30% faster than Nvidia's best cards."

    Also, 1UP have a CS: Source preview posted up, here's a slice of it:
    "One of the main downsides to Counter-Strike in recent years has been that the graphics haven't been able to keep up, and that looks to be Source's biggest achievement. The graphics on the whole look good, with the nicest elements being the character models that have near-perfect dimensions and are some of the most realistic looking characters we've seen in any game. Fortunately, the whole game has a very natural look. The new engine didn't mess things up so certain objects would feel out of place or anything like that. Rest assured, it doesn't look like a new game; it looks like a really pretty version of Counter-Strike.

    We're told Half-Life 2 will be finished in the next few weeks, and that Counter-Strike: Source will begin beta testing soon. The beta test will start in public LAN centers before filtering out to owners of Condition Zero. Once it and Half-Life 2 hit officially, it looks like there'll be quite a sizeable package available for gamers. We'll be back as soon as we can be with a review."

    Half-Life Story page is up! by Wester |

    On Sunday 1st August, 2004 @ 11:45 UTC+1

    That's right, the story section for the original Half-Life is now up and working providing background on what happened in the disaster of awry...enjoy reading. wink

    New Hands-On Gamespot CS: Source Preview by Wester |

    On Saturday 31st July, 2004 @ 23:19 UTC+1

    Gamespot have thrown together a preview for CS: Source, also featuring a side small Windows Media Player 9 built-in plugin 7-minute CS: Source Interview video with Jesse Cliffe and Doug Lombardi on the side of the preview for your enjoyment. Here's a snip of the Gamespot preview:
    "All of Counter-Strike: Source's maps will be powered by Havok physics, which provide for rag-doll death animations and full-physical weapon modeling. As we witnessed, it's not uncommon for player characters who get torn up by rapid fire from the heavy-duty M249 PARA machine gun to tumble in one direction while their weapons go flying in another. The game will also feature enhanced particle effects for its explosions and heavy gunfire, which should make intense gun battles all the more exciting--though, like with the current version of Counter-Strike, these settings can all be dialed down or turned off. Counter-Strike is currently enjoyed by many hardcore fans who play the game at 800x600 resolution with all detail settings turned down just to make sure that they have the best performances and frame rates available. The new game will let you do this, if you so choose, and it will feature scalable graphics options that should even allow it to be played on lower-end systems.


    HL2 demo to be featured at G4 by Wester |

    On Saturday 31st July, 2004 @ 00:47 UTC+1

    G4 will be showing a playable HL2 demo event at the G-Phoria gaming awards. It will be shown on August 6th at 8:30 PM EST. Sounds good! smile

    Source: HL2 World

    New Half-Life 2 release date status by Wester |

    On Thursday 29th July, 2004 @ 06:27 UTC+1

    Over at Half-Life Source, according to recent conversations they've had with VALVe's Doug Lombardi, Half-Life 2 will be passed on to Vivendi Universal for final mastering and duplication for nearing it's gold announcement - indicating an early August time of arrival, and soon after the gold announcement! That means we can see Half-Life 2 in stores within early to mid September, just some weeks after DOOM 3's release! The true statement claimed:
    "Half-Life 2 will be passed on to publisher Vivendi for final mastering and duplication within days for it's early August target. The official appearance will make store shelves sometime in mid to late September."

    That's really what I just said though...laughing...but I just hope this is the true, official release date for Half-Life 2 as I doubt other fans or myself are going to tolerate sitting around waiting any longer than this year for it to hit store shelves. wink

    Half-Life 2 [Photoshopped?] Boxes! by Wester |

    On Thursday 29th July, 2004 @ 00:24 UTC+1

    Over at HL2 World, they have a couple of real boxes(photoshopped, possibly?) of what Half-Life 2 will look like full box wise. Here they are:
    HL2 Box
    HL2 Boxes

    Wow, they look amazing, can't wait to get my hands on one of them! wink

    ATi purchasers are in more luck! by Wester |

    On Wednesday 28th July, 2004 @ 09:28 UTC+1

    Over at a forum thread at Steam, they have confirmed that ATi graphics card product purchases will not only recieve a free bundled CS: Source beta, but a key-code to Half-Life 2. In other words, they'll get Half-Life 2 as well. Both free copies. Lucky for them. laughing

    New Poll by Wester |

    On Tuesday 27th July, 2004 @ 00:58 UTC+1

    Another poll tossed in the recycle bin....let's take a look at the results:
    City 17 VS Hell, who wins?

    City 17 dude!-60%

    HELL 0WNS!-40%

    Not bad. BTW the new poll is named: "Are you going to mod with Half-Life 2 once it comes out?". Have fun voting.

    IGN HL2 portion of Article by Wester |

    On Monday 26th July, 2004 @ 03:43 UTC+1

    IGN have up an article covering all the smash summer game hits....including Half-Life 2. Here's a rather larger than usual bit of the HL2 portion of article:
    "Valve has impressed us so far. And while much as been said of the technological advances made for Gordon Freeman's next adventure, we expect all the visual bells and physics whistles to take second seat to a huge serving of Valve's trademark story and game play expertise. At this year's E3, Valve reported the game should be complete this summer, and we can certainly hope. Soon almost every PC gamer will be visiting City 17."

    IGN seem impressed with HL2. It's bound to be an awesome game.

    Half-Life 3 info section is up! by Wester |

    On Sunday 25th July, 2004 @ 03:50 UTC+1

    Yes, I've now got up a Half-Life 3 info page up covering what's known about Half-Life 3 so far...any suggestions, and/or updates? Please be sure to e-mail me and I'll update the Half-Life 3 info page with the new info. smile wink

    CS: Source Playtest Review! by Wester |

    On Sunday 25th July, 2004 @ 01:49 UTC+1

    Over at Half-Life Radio, they have up a Counter-Strike: Source review, but really a beta playtest review regarding Counter-Strike: Source. Here's a slice:
    The Map was de_dust, and in game res was set to the LCD’s native resolution, 1920x1200. The 9800XT seemed to have absolutely no issue with running this resolution, even in the most frag filled sections of the map. Graphic quality can be summed up in one word: Amazing. The level of detail is just amazing. The textures on the ground and walls were mind blowing. Individual pieces gravel are visible on the ground, and the mortar between the bricks looks just like mortar, grainy texture, uneven surface and all. All equipment the player purchases at the beginning of the round is visible on the player model as he moves about. You can even see the fingernails in detail on your player model! At one of the bombsites, one indoors, with sun slits in the dome above, the individual dust motes are visible floating through the air. Gone are the jagged lines that previously represented curves, to be replaced be natural looking arcs. Even looking at the player models hands were a study in shapes and proportions. They just looked real. Everywhere you looked, visual improvements had been made."

    Be sure to read the entire review, as it's a long and very good read IMO. wink

    CS: Source beta for ATi owners? by Wester |

    On Friday 23rd July, 2004 @ 01:29 UTC+1

    Over at Halflife2.net's forums, Greg Coomer, product designer of VALVe Software, confirmed that there will be the CS: Source beta open to ATi graphics card product buyers with the coupon in a message:
    "Hi. The current plan is to make the CS:S beta open to people who have an ATI coupon, probably at the same time that it's made available to those who own CZ."

    For the community's response, head over to the discussion thread itself. smile

    Another VALVe Software HQ visit by Wester |

    On Thursday 22nd July, 2004 @ 09:52 UTC+1

    Promised Land, a HL2 modification site, gave VALVe Software's HeadQuarters another visit. In attempt to record the precious moments, Promised Land brought back a full story and a collection of very revealing high-res screenshots. Here's a slice of the full story:
    "There are some new bink videos they showed us. They were trailers with collections of all footage from the E3's, etc, and a new promotional trailer. They all looked awesome. These will be released prior to HL2 and will be in publications at first, then will be available for download.

    - The SDK will be released the same time the game is released.

    We talked to a lot of different people. We sat down for quite awhile with Cliffe and Gabe, who were really supportive and offered some great insight. Its always nice to see developers who have actually HEARD about your mod, and they had lots of valuable advice.

    We also saw a demo that highlighted HL2's HDR technology. Trust us, this is going to be awesome."

    Sounds fun! smile All this brought back info and footage in bare bone only indicates that Half-Life 2 will come out soon now. wink

    16 days until Half-Life 2 beta testing is over and CS beta release date by Wester |

    On Wednesday 21st July, 2004 @ 10:56 UTC+1

    Half-Life 2 World have a message on their forums regarding Half-Life 2's bug status. In an e-mail reply, Gabe Newell stated:
    "Right now we are looking at our bug numbers. Each day you fix some bugs
    and you find some new bugs. The net number tells you how quickly you
    will get to zero.

    At our current rate of find/fix bugs, we'll be down to zero bugs in 16

    This could mean Half-Life 2 is sooner than we think...let's hope it makes it out to retailers roughly late this summer! *fingers crossed*

    Also, HL Portal(no not this site) have recieved an e-mail from Gabe Newell regarding the release date of the source engine version of CS that said:
    "August 10th is the day for CZ owners (it will start pre-loading on the 5th)."

    All looking and sounding good...roll on Half-Life 2 and it's source engine brothers that's all I have to say! smile And a demo too please! wink

    New high-quality Counter-Strike Source Engine video by Wester |

    On Tuesday 20th July, 2004 @ 09:20 UTC+1

    There's an exclusive and new released Counter-Strike Source Engine video on Fileplanet also added to the videos section of this site. The video shows off some new high-quality awesome Counter-Strike Source Engine footage. At 93.3MB at a resolution of 1024x768 it's no easy download so beware dial-up users.
    Enjoy the video and feel free to drop a comment in the comments system if you wish. wink

    New Half-Life 2 Screenshot by Wester |

    On Monday 19th July, 2004 @ 04:35 UTC+1

    Pc Gaming Networks have found a new screenshot of Half-Life 2 floating around the net. It looks very nice and sharp; it was obviously taken at a high-resolution. Here it is:
    New Half-Life 2 Flashlight Screenshot

    Looks good once again....the staff at Pc Gaming Networks obviously found it at HL2Fallout. Courtesy of them. wink

    New Counter-Strike Source Interview by Wester |

    On Saturday 17th July, 2004 @ 15:05 UTC+1

    CS Nation had a few words with Jess Cliffe of VALVe Software regarding the upcoming Source Engine powered version of Counter-Strike. Here's a slice of the interview:
    "CS-Nation: What changes have been made to the maps ported to CS: Source?

    Jess Cliffe of Valve Software: The texture resolution for maps has quadrupled. We can now also add a 3D skybox so maps can look as though they span miles. This serves to make levels less like an arena and more like a realistic location. In addition, designers have the flexibility to specify whether a prop is static, physics, or client side debris. We can also take advantage of features such as normal mapping and specularity in order to give textures extra depth and reflectivity."

    Be sure to check out the whole interview itself as it's a good read.

    New Poll Open! by Wester |

    On Saturday 17th July, 2004 @ 00:16 UTC+1

    Thanks to Paul, the main webmaster, we now have a new poll up: "City 17 VS Hell, who wins?" LOL! laughing

    New Half-Life 2 theft information by Wester |

    On Friday 16th July, 2004 @ 03:49 UTC+1

    Guardian Unlimited have an article up regarding how the hack on VALVe's theft was performed, investgation onto the source code, and detail on the arrest. Here's a slice of the article:
    "Having accessed VALVe's server through a security-bypassing loophole in Windows, the hackers were able to download an early and hugely incomplete version of Half-Life 2 and post it on the internet for downloading via Usenet. A boxed version of the code was even on sale on the Ukrainian and Russian black markets."

    Be sure to check out the full article, as it's a very interesting read whether you knew about the souce code theft/arrests or not.

    VALVe shutting down WON servers by Chapstick |

    On Thursday 15th July, 2004 @ 22:14 UTC+1

    Over at Steampowered.com, VALVe announced when they are planning to shut down all the WON servers. Once this is done, everyone will need to use Steam to play Half-Life and its mods/related games.
    "Starting July 26th the shutdown of the WON authentication servers will begin. This process will be completed on July 31st. This means players will no longer be able to access Internet features of VALVe games, such as Counter-Strike 1.5, using the WON authentication servers. Users can continue using Valve games on the Steam service by downloading the Steam installer and setting up a Steam account. For more information visit www.steampowered.com. Counter-Strike 1.5 players will be upgraded to Counter-Strike 1.6 free of charge through Steam."

    You can check out the news post over at Steam's News page.

    VALVe gets a visit from a fellow HL2C member by Wester |

    On Tuesday 13th July, 2004 @ 18:33 UTC+1

    Willdo, a member of the Half-Life 2 Central (HL2C) forums, recently gained an opportunity to visit VALVe's headquarters. To record his experience, he brought back a story and a long collection of photos. Here's a slice of the story:
    "When i first started the game from the begining you could sense that it was going to be a very good game. I was mainly picking up boxes and cans and throwing
    them around. Not only do you have to use the physic gun to lift up
    stuff, but you can use your hands to pick up different things like
    trash cans, luggage, cans, etc. The guards that you meet are very
    interactive. When you come up to the guard and try to talk to him he
    will hit you and you fly back a bit, but it won't affect your health at
    all. The other thing in the beginning is these little things that fly
    above your head and take pictures of you, and if you look directly at
    them, the flash can blind you a bit."

    Be sure to head over to the actual thread itself to read the full story and view a long collection of high-res photos! smile

    Release Candidate by August by Chapstick |

    On Monday 12th July, 2004 @ 22:21 UTC+1

    Many people have been receiving emails from VALVe about a release canidate that VALVe hopes to send to Vivendi sometime soon. Planet Half-Life received an email from Doug Lombardi stating the following:
    "We are planning to deliver a release candidate to Vivendi in August and we're hoping to see the product on store shelves this fall but we do not have a confirmed ship date at this time."

    Please note that a release candidate is not the same as the game going Gold. A release candidate is a finished version of the game that a developer sends to its publisher. Then the publisher tests out the game and if all goes well, then the game goes Gold.

    Another Doug Lombardi Interview! by Wester |

    On Monday 12th July, 2004 @ 19:57 UTC+1

    Computer Games Online had an interview with Doug Lombardi covering a wide variety of topics including the Half-Life 2 SDK, Team Fortress 2 and etc. Here's an interesting snippet of the interview:
    Computer Games Romania: "Do you expect Half-Life 2 to start a new era of modding?"

    Doug Lombardi: "We hope so. With Half-Life 2/Source, we are planning to continue our support for the MOD community (MOD Expo, releasing the SDK, etc.) and extend that support by working with partners such as Softimage, ATI and others. A great example of this is the release of Softimage XSI EXP for Half-Life 2, the free version of our modeling tool that was created and released explicitly for the Half-Life 2 MODding community."

    The rest of the interview has bigger bits and bobs of lots of information. So be sure to read the whole interview itself, as it's a perfectly pleasant and interesting read.

    Poll Taken Down by Wester |

    On Monday 12th July, 2004 @ 16:43 UTC+1

    The old poll is finished with. The results are:
    Who wins: Alien [Alien] Aliens, Half-Life [Xen] Aliens, or DOOM [Evil] Demons?

    ALIENS!!!! ALIENS 0WN!-11%


    DEMONS!!! DEMONS 0WN!-67%

    As you can see, demons obviously win due to being more powerful, cunning, varied, and popular....and as of now the poll has been disabled. Why? I simply have ran out of idea(s), so if anyone has any idea(s) for the new poll, blast off an e-mail to me and I'll see how the new poll idea(s) are. Thanks.

    New Poll by Wester |

    On Thursday 8th July, 2004 @ 17:40 UTC+1

    Just put up a new poll. The results for the old poll are:

    When do you think Half-Life 3 will be released?



    When it's done.-27%

    I really have no idea.-9%

    Who knows.-18%

    I don't know, we'll see.-9%

    The new poll is titled: "Who wins: Alien [Alien] Aliens, Half-Life [Xen] Aliens, or DOOM [Evil] Demons?".

    And thanks again for the votes all. Every vote counts.

    Site Overhaul by Wester |

    On Thursday 8th July, 2004 @ 05:27 UTC+1

    As you can see, the site has had a bit of a makeover, font wise header wise etc...for the better. Have any comments? Please feel free to throw a comment in the comments system or send an e-mail my way and I'll likely drop a response. wink

    Counter-Strike: Source Beta Soon! by Chapstick |

    On Thursday 8th July, 2004 @ 01:32 UTC+1

    Over at the Steam web site, VALVe just announced a beta release for Counter-Strike: Source.

    "Starting later this summer, Valve will be conducting a limited-time beta of Counter-Strike: Source via Steam. The beta will first be open to subscribers of the Valve Cyber Cafe Program, and then extended to owners of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. The next installment of the world'ss number 1 online action game, Counter-Strike: Source blends CS's intense teamplay with the advanced technology of Valve's Source engine."

    This is good news for all you Counter-Strike fans. Let's hope that this is an indication that Half-Life 2 is right around the corner.

    VALVe Cybercafe Program by Wester |

    On Wednesday 7th July, 2004 @ 23:10 UTC+1

    Just yesterday, VALVe announced information about their official cybercafe program. Here's the press release:

    "Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 2, and More Coming Soon

    Valve Corporation today revealed a series of new games and features being added to the Valve Cybercafé Program over the coming months.

    Effective immediately, subscribers of the Valve Cybercafe Program will receive a free license to use Xbox versions of Valve's games in their cafés, up to the number of active cybercafe subscriptions held in the Valve Cybercafe Program.

    In similar fashion, Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2 will be added to the program for active subscribers in the Valve Cybercafe Program. These new games will be included as part of the regular monthly fee as soon as they are released.

    'Valve has a long tradition of developing award-winning action games, online technologies and services for our individual customers,' said Gabe Newell, Valve president and founder. 'As we prepare for the launch of our next generation content and services, we are eager to extend that tradition to our Cybercafe partners by developing features and content that will make it easier to administer Valve games in a Cybercafe setting and provide compelling games for their customers. We are hoping to hear feedback from the Cybercafes so we can continue to improve the program and better understand how we can best support our subscribers.'

    In addition to the new games, Valve is also readying a Cybercafe License Server. Among other features, the Cybercafe License Server will allow café's to manage their licenses on a concurrent user basis, locally update individual computers on a café's local area network (reducing bandwidth needs for updates), and allow individual users with personal Steam accounts to access their account on any computer station located at a cybercafé site.

    Active Valve Cybercafe Program subscribers receive access and a commercial license to use Valve games in their café (including Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Day of Defeat and Half-Life), access to upcoming new releases in the program such as Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike: Source, free tournament licenses, promotional materials and priority customer service and support. To find out more information and subscribe today, please visit http://steampowered.com/index.php?area=cybercafes."

    Sounds exciting and interesting. If you plan to go, please drop a comment in the comments system.

    A bunch of sort-of off-topic stuff, but what the hell! by Wester |

    On Sunday 4th July, 2004 @ 22:18 UTC+1

    Apparently many game retailer online stores(IE, Gamespot, Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk etc!) have been claiming Half-Life 2's release date on September 1st, 2004. Considering the game is said by VALVe Software themselves to go gold on August 18th, 2004, some time early in September would appear pratical for Half-Life 2's release date. Which is just a few weeks apart from DOOM 3's release date. Also, obviously it's July 4th, so happy independence day! smile

    Counter-Strike Source Footage in Seoul, Korea by Wester |

    On Sunday 4th July, 2004 @ 17:55 UTC+1

    A halflife2.net forum member named nadomola had the chance to visit the Counter-Strike Source presentation show in Seoul, Korea--and succeeded, bringing back three [blurry] images of the de_dust2 map, here they are:

    Image 1
    Image 2
    Image 3

    Also, the Nari Counter-Strike Community has uploaded two new CS source videos, which you can find for viewing here. Enjoy. smile

    CutePHP news system upgraded to a new version by Wester |

    On Saturday 3rd July, 2004 @ 23:48 UTC+1

    I just ran a manual update on this site's CuteNews system from version 1.3 to 1.3.2, I've restored as much as possible, so if you find any bugs or anything broken, please send me an e-mail and I'll see what I can do to repair anything reported that is misconfigured or whatever. Thanks! smile wink

    New Gabe Newell Interview by Wester |

    On Friday 2nd July, 2004 @ 17:32 UTC+1

    PCFormat had an interview(translated by Google's translator and courtesy of Halflife2.net and it's forums) with Gabe Newell. Here's a taste:

    PCF: "How important are graphics in the evolution of games?"

    Gabe: "The point is in the choice of the player. If your shaders are meant only to present them in a game ('Hey, take a look at this fantastic effect!') they certainly don't add up anything to the quality of your game. If these shaders can be controlled with the game’s logic itself (e.g.: 'This surface can warm up and if I can heat it up enough the barrels on the other side will explode.'), you'll enter into a exciting gaming experience."

    Enjoy, and make sure to check out the whole intervew itself, as it's a very unique read.

    New Counter-Strike Source Engine screenshots, a new Doug Lombardi Interview, and a new poll! by Wester |

    On Wednesday 30th June, 2004 @ 18:13 UTC+1

    GameMeca has gotten their hands on some high resolution Counter-Strike Source Engine screenshots. Here they are:

    They do look exceptional graphics wise!(BTW please don't ask me why the first screenshot is in an akward aspect ratio...) wink

    And over at DriverHeaven, an interview has ensued with Doug Lombardi regarding Half-Life 2. Here's a quick slice:

    DriverHeaven: "If (when ;) ) Half-Life 2 is successful and meets expectations will there be a Half-Life 3? More specifically; are there any plans for a part three now?"

    Doug Lombardi: "We’re focused on finishing HL2 at the moment. But once we’re finished with that, and had some time to rest, we have more stories we’d like to tell in the HL2 universe."

    It's indeed an excellent interview, also noting Half-Life 2's latest minimum and recommended system requirements which you can find up-to-date in the system requirements page of this site.

    And finally, I've tooken the old poll down and replaced it with a new one. The results for the old poll are:

    How do you like our forums?

    They are splendid!-13%

    They are nice-38%

    They are alright-13%

    They totally suck!-38%

    The majority likes the forums and hates the forums, and I could understand due to the cool looking forums-but totally destitute popularity. sad The new poll is titled: "When do you think Half-Life 3 will be released?". Have fun! tongue

    WON NET to be completely replaced with Steam later this summer by Wester |

    On Tuesday 29th June, 2004 @ 21:49 UTC+1

    Over at the steam powered site, a news announcement had arrived saying later this summer that the WON NET authentication system would be wiped out in place of Steam, completely. For those who have Steam working better than WON NET or equal, well that's good news for them I suppose. For those who have Steam working like crap, well, it sucks to be them...and me, I feel their pain. I feel empathy. But it's too late to turn back now. We'll all be abducted by Steam one way or another, or forget playing Half-Life. sad crying

    New Counter-Strike Source Engine Port Footage by Wester |

    On Tuesday 29th June, 2004 @ 03:24 UTC+1

    The latest PC gamer german magazine have an exclusive, new source video covering Counter-Strike in action! The german PC gamer magazine talks to both Erik Johnson and Jess Cliffe. This screenshot footage is somewhat low quality but it shows a number of maps, the new MP5 and some interactive elements, etc:

    Unfortunately, since the video is a magazine exclusive, there are no links to download the video itself, but it should be posted on the internet in a high quality E3 2004 Presentation originating version very soon. Stay tuned! wink

    Half-Life 2 voice actors announced by Wester |

    On Monday 28th June, 2004 @ 20:02 UTC+1

    Gamespot and HL2Fallout are reporting that the Half-Life 2 voice cast has been unveiled to the public. Here's some highlights(especially considering John Patrick Lowrie who played Cate Archer in No One Lives Forever):

    "As a sign that Half-Life 2 is trundling closer to completion, Valve head Gabe Newell revealed the voice cast for the legendarily delayed shooter. Though the game's hero, Gordon Freeman, will again be the strong and completely silent type, the supporting roles will be read by a solid lineup of talent.

    Robert "Benson" Guillaume will play Dr. Eli Vance, a benevolent scientist and fellow survivor of the first Half-Life's infamous Black Mesa incident. Vance's assistant, Dr. Judith Mossman, will be portrayed by Michelle Forbes, most famous for her role as Ensign Ro on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Vance's daughter, Alyx, will be voiced by unknown actress Merle Dandridge. British actor Jim French will play Father Grigori, a booby-trap-happy priest who helps Gordon through the streets of City 17.

    Dr. Wallace Breen, mysterious and evil leader of the humans collaborating with City 17's alien invaders, will be played by Robert Culp of I Spy fame. The alien slaves known as Vortigaunt will all be voiced by Oscar-winner Lou Gossett, Jr., who previously played a throaty alien in the 1985 sci-fi thriller Enemy Mine.

    Two members of the original Half-Life voice cast will also be back. Mike Shapiro will voice both the sinister G-Man and the dependable ex-security guard Barney Calhoun, Freeman's sidekick. Harry S. Robins will also return as the bumbling Dr. Isaac Kleiner. A complete cast list is below.

    Robert Guillaume - Dr. Eli Vance
    Robert Culp - Dr. Wallace Breen
    Lou Gossett, Jr. - Vortigaunt
    Michelle Forbes - Dr. Judith Mossman
    Merle Dandridge - Alyx Vance
    Mike Shapiro - Barney Calhoun
    Mike Shapiro - G-Man
    Harry S. Robins - Dr. Isaac Kleiner
    Jim French - Father Grigori
    John Patrick Lowrie - Citizens/Misc. characters
    Mary Kae Irvin - Citizens/Misc. characters
    Ellen McLane - Overwatch voice"

    Decent voice actors arise in that list, to say the least. Not bad for a Half-Life 2 voice actor cast...not bad at all. Also, welcome our new news poster, Chapstick. smile

    A load of late updates... by Wester |

    On Friday 25th June, 2004 @ 04:26 UTC+1

    Sorry. I was on a one week vacation, and apparently I've missed tons of updates. Sorry about that. Well, to begin with the load of updates, HomeLanFED have an interview on with Gabe Newell about the 2D Half-Life side scrolling free game named 'Codename: Gordon', a good read to say the least, confirming at the end that Half-Life 2 will go GOLD in August, and should be released this September! smile smile Now for a slice:
    HomeLAN - "Finally, we have to ask; how is Half-Life 2 coming along?"

    Gabe Newell - "Good. It's in great shape. We anticipate delivering it to Vivendi in August."

    Nice stuff...(which the forum member Chapstick happened to cough up on the forums when I was on vacation) now since I've got one new poll up, and the old two tooken down, the old results for the first old poll are:

    Do you think Half-Life 2's Source Engine is the best game engine ever?

    Hell yeah, its really advanced man! -21%

    Well not the best ever but damn good!-54%

    Hhhm no not really it's standard, nothing new but not bad.-4%

    No way dude, it's fair, but needs to improve all over the place!-4%

    Oh jeeezz hell no dude what a lame engine like that the best? Take a hike!-17%

    The majority think its pretty good. Nice results! smile

    The second old poll results were:

    What do you think of Half-Life 2 so far judging from what you've seen?

    It's awesome dude!-50%

    Looks pretty good!-27%

    Erm it's ok I guess.-5%

    Damn this is the sequel to Half-Life? Half-Life 2 really needs to improve!-0%

    Oh my god another pile of shit from VALVe???-18%

    The majority considers it the best...excellent! wink

    Now the new poll is titled "How do you like our forums?" Yes kind of lame but it's all I can think of right now...my brain is becoming overloaded since I missed a week of crazy updates! Ah! laughing

    The final update is that I've now got a support page up concerning some of the site's personal issues...take a peek if you wish. Anyways, enjoy and have fun all. tongue

    More Half-Life 2 release date rumours by Wester |

    On Thursday 17th June, 2004 @ 17:28 UTC+1

    A rumour has been going around the Internet saying VALVe will submit the final version of Half-Life 2 to VU Games within' weeks for public release in electronic gaming stores. This is just pure speculation, but has been published in a variety of mainstream magazines. HALFLIFE2.NET have spoken to VU Games about this. Here's what they said in they're reply:
    "We will not be giving a ship date for Half-Life 2 until we get a gold master from Valve. When that happens we'll be able to tell the world when we're going to ship the game. Until then, we are not going to give a date or comment on rumours or speculation."

    VALVe also remains utterly sure that Half-Life 2 will ship this summer. Hopefully, this is all true. *fingers crossed*

    Original Half-Life characters and allies sections are up! by Wester |

    On Wednesday 16th June, 2004 @ 20:18 UTC+1

    As you can see, progress is being made *quicker* now, since I just wrote and uploaded a two profile entry characters and a two profile entry allies sections for the original Half-Life. Stay tuned for updates. smile

    Original Half-Life weapons section is up! by Wester |

    On Wednesday 16th June, 2004 @ 05:34 UTC+1

    As you can see, progress on the original Half-Life area is very *slowly* being made, but I've now got a long and in-depth weapons section of the site also found on the contents navigation bar to the left on the original Half-Life. Wanna lend me a hand? Drop me a line or deliver a comment in the comments section of this news article and I'll see what you can do or if I can fulfill you're request. Also make sure to take a careful read through the jobs section of the site before helping out with the Half-Life part of the site(or whatever) and being added as staff. That's not saying that we're not heavily in need of assistance though, since one man can't handle this job at once! Two heads are better then one, and in this situation that's certainly true...anyways enjoy and I'll be sure to keep the news system with updates on the status of all Half-Life game news, the site developement progress, and more! wink smile

    New news journalist on the news staff by G UNIT |

    On Wednesday 16th June, 2004 @ 01:50 UTC+1

    Hi, I'm Edwin Lee, I'm 15 years old, my hobbies include: rap, games, computers, sports, girls, and so on...and not to mention guns! And Half-Life, DOOM, you know...I'll just be a news journalist for this news staff, but probably a part time news journalist since I can't be here all the time. Even though I don't trust Valve, I'm still excited for Half-Life 2. smile

    TWO new polls! by Wester |

    On Monday 14th June, 2004 @ 04:26 UTC+1

    Yeah, this time we've not only got one but two new polls up! Anyways, the old poll is done with, and the results were:

    What do you think of Half-Life 2 on Xbox so far?

    It rocks dude!!!!-11%

    Well yeah adaquate for an Xbox perhaps!!!-11%

    Meh WTF is this unfair crap!!??-11%

    OMFG what a load of utter bollocks!!!-22%

    The Xbox version????? The PC version 0wns dude!!!-44%

    Aahhh whatever aaahhh!!!-0%

    Obviously from the results the PC version wins in terms of popularity, that's likely going to be the best version of Half-Life 2 anyways. I'm not doubting the Xbox Version's potential, it'll be good no doubt but not as astonishing as the PC version. Besides that, the first new poll is titled: "Do you think Half-Life 2's Source Engine is the best game engine ever?" and the second new poll is titled: "What do you think of Half-Life 2 so far judging from what you've seen?" all done by myself, so have fun voting! smile

    Cracker that stole Half-Life 2 source code finally caught & arrested, and a possible new delay!!?? by Wester |

    On Friday 11th June, 2004 @ 00:31 UTC+1

    It was definitely an expectation that the Half-Life 2 cracker stealing criminal would have been arrested eventually--and with the assistance of gamers all over the world, Valve finally caught and arrested their foe. It's about time! Here's the details:

    Online Community Tracks Down Hackers

    June, 10 2004 - Arrests have been made in several countries related to the break-in to Valve's network, theft of the Half-Life 2 source code, and release of the source code on the Internet.

    "Within a few days of the announcement of the break-in, the online gaming community had tracked down those involved," said Gabe Newell, Valve's CEO. "It was extraordinary to watch how quickly and how cleverly gamers were able to unravel what are traditionally unsolvable problems for law enforcement related to this kind of cyber-crime."

    Thousands of tips were received related to the criminal activities, with a core group of people who were able to analyze and backtrack from these clues. Subsequent to these individuals being identified, Valve has been working with various national authorities to prepare cases against those involved, leading to these arrests.

    "It was very uplifting to see how the community rallied and tracked these people down. Everyone here at Valve is once again reminded of how much we owe to the gaming community,"
    added Mr Newell.

    Now that VALVe Software have captured their target, maybe its time to polish the final dealings with Half-Life 2 and shove it out the door this summer? smile Likely so. Utterly splendid. wink But the only issue is that VU Games(the publisher of Half-Life 2) is claiming that Half-Life 2 may miss the summer targeted release date and possibly even this christmas. Infact, VU games also states that Half-Life 2 may be delayed until 2005, and that would pour too much anticipation on us Half-Life fans. But until VALVe officially confirms this postponed release date, it's all a bunch of confusing; total, randomly shouted BS. wassat

    New Poll by Wester |

    On Wednesday 9th June, 2004 @ 15:48 UTC+1

    The old poll is done with. The results were:

    Do you think including a source engine version of CS was a good idea for HL2 mutiplayer?



    Wow - the majority vote no - therefore Half-Life 2 standard deathmatch would have been preferred over the popular Counter Strike mod redone with Source Engine technology. Not surprisingly, at least to me, either. The new poll is titled "What do you think of Half-Life 2 on Xbox so far?", now go start voting you monkies!!! laughing

    Game Package Merchandise section is up! by Wester |

    On Wednesday 9th June, 2004 @ 04:12 UTC+1

    I've now shoved up a game package merchandise section on this site that delivers a run down on what packages Half-Life 2 will ship in, what their estimated price will be, a brief description of the type package, and fan drawn box art to give you an idea of what the box for the package will look like. Enjoy. smile

    Original Half-Life FAQ section up! by Wester |

    On Tuesday 8th June, 2004 @ 21:42 UTC+1

    Yeah, now the original Half-Life FAQ section is up, so it's going kinda slow here, but be patient more old Half-Life sections are on the way! wink

    First Half-Life 2 Xbox exclusive details! by Wester |

    On Monday 7th June, 2004 @ 15:04 UTC+1

    Yes, over at CVG, Gabe Newell finally let out of the bag some Half-Life 2 Xbox details, some interesting highlights in an exclusive article:

  • Not technically wise far away from it's PC competitor, quite close in those terms.
  • Otherwise identical

    It's only graphically so slightly away, and they've already got a running, smooth build on Xbox. Awesome.

    Here's a slice of the article:

    "But how will it compare to its PC cousin? Well, according to Gabe, the Xbox version will be identical to the PC one, only slightly inferior in the graphics department. So imagine the best looking PC game from 12 months ago - say Unreal II - and you'll be pretty close to how it'll look. In other words, it's still going to be one of if not the best looking Xbox title ever."

    Very cool! You can of course also find the link to the article in our previews section of this site, as always. smile

  • Original Half-Life section moved and done with! by Wester |

    On Monday 7th June, 2004 @ 00:34 UTC+1

    You guys may be wondering what happened to the original half-life news post, links, and section? Apparently I ended up finded it a little silly having a 'half-life sub section' laughing So I'm simply adding half-life 1 links to the current contents bar, including both hl1 & hl2 news here, and hosting the pages with the same header and adbar so it's all shared like it should be, after all, the URL of this site is www.halflifeportal.com! wink So there.

    New Poll, but you were expecting that already now weren't you? by Wester |

    On Sunday 6th June, 2004 @ 17:26 UTC+1

    Time for a new poll. Let's spit out the old results:

    Which member of the site / forums rules the most?

    Wester(Some one who loves 3D FPS)-0%
    It's offi