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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Half-Life 2: Episode 2 Finished!

No more headcrabs! No more combine soldiers! No more antlions! No more Hunters! No more Striders! No more of running down dark sewers and getting surprised, back-stabbed, or tea-bagged by any number of awful and nasty creatures! Half-Life 2: Episode 2 is finished!

And I'm a little sad to see it go...

Some spoilers ahead; consider yourself warned.

I finally finished Half-Life 2: Episode 2 on Monday night. Thankfully, I didn't need to resort to cheating. I was having major difficulty in defending the silo base from the final assault of Striders and Hunters. The early skirmishes were quite easy: it's not hard to take out two or three hunters and a strider when you've got lots of supplies and little urgency. But when there are multiple Striders and a horde of Hunters knocking on White Forest's front gate, things get a whole lot crazier.

My problem was due to the fact that I thought that the attack was over before the final wave attacked the base. I'd let the Striders take out many of the nearby supply buildings by prematurely falling back to the base. When the final wave attacked, I had no ammo for my shotgun, 18 shots in my pulse rifle, one rocket, a few grenades, and a lot of pistol/.357 magnum ammo. I just wasn't expecting to run into such huge numbers of enemies and I was quickly taken out.

But here's how I managed to fight off the last of the attack. It wasn't pretty but it worked.

  • I jumped into my car and drove out to intercept one of the Striders and its Hunter escort.
  • I managed to run over two Hunters before crashing the car. The car got stuck between a couple rocks and I couldn't get it to move.
  • I ran back to the base, taking out one Strider and a Hunter on the way.
  • When I got to the base, I quickly took out one Strider with a rocket and another with my Magnum.
  • I picked up some health packs and a Magnusson device and took out a second Strider.
  • I let the NPC rebels soften up the Hunter escorts for the third and fourth Striders now arriving on scene. I was busy hiding from one particularly nasty Hunter.
  • Six shots from my .357 Magnum took out three Hunters and I took out their associated Strider with another Magnusson device.
  • I took out another Hunter by picking up and tossing some logs at it (I was trying to get the Payback achievement).
  • Another Hunter fell to my .357 Magnum.
  • And then I took out the last Strider using one last Magnusson device.
It was a crazy fight but I did it. In fact, I replicated the feat a few minutes later while continuing my attempts to pick up the Payback achievement [note: I did manage to pick up this achievement after finishing off the game]. I guess the final attack sequence really isn't that difficult if you can manage to keep a clear head and make good use of the NPCs, the environment, and your own weapons.

I won't spoil the ending of the game for those of you haven't played it. All I can say is that I'm looking forward to Episode 3 when it gets released. I'm very interested to see what other games Valve will bundle with Episode 3. I'd definitely rush out to buy anything that included Episode 3 and Portal 2.

With Half-Life 2 finally done, I'll be focusing on playing The Godfather and Burnout Paradise. I'm in the mood for a little sandbox mafia game and The Godfather suits the bill quite nicely. As for Burnout Paradise, I'm still going strong and picking up a number of achievements and upgrading my license. I just hope that the game doesn't get too much harder. I've managed to focus solely on the Road Rage and Marked Man events up until now. However, it looks like I'll have to expand my repertoire if I plan on picking up my A license. I always hated the racing in the Burnout series. I play these games for the crashes and not for the superhuman reflexes required to race through a series of streets at improbably high speeds.

Have a great day!