Half-Life introduced groundbreaking innovations to the computer gaming world and influenced the development of the first-person shooter (FPS) genre. Sierra Entertainment released the first game in the Half-Life series in 1998. At its release Half-Life received critical acclaim for its immersive storytelling, seamless level transitions, advanced enemy Artificial Intelligence (AI), memorable opponents and intense gameplay. In Half-Life players assume the role of the theoretical physicist Gordon Freeman and must escape an underground research facility that has been infiltrated by aliens due to a failed research experiment. Half-Life revolutionized storytelling in video games. Unlike contemporary FPS titles, Half-Life maintains the first-person viewpoint throughout the game. There are no cinematic cut-scenes where players lose control of the character, rather the storyline is told through scripted sequences and real-time interactions with survivors of the alien invasion. Players experience the entire story through the eyes of the character. Gordon Freeman is never shown on-screen and never speaks. Inspired by Half-Life, the nameless, voiceless protagonist and real-time narratives became standard in modern action and FPS titles. The Half-Life series was also at the forefront of the in-game physics and interactivity boom. Half-Life 2 features an advanced physics system which allows players to interact realistically with the gameworld. Players manipulate background objects and use ordinary items as weapons. The state-of-the-art physics system is showcased by the gravity gun, a weapon that allows players to pick up and launch objects across the screen. The gravity gun allows players to tear equipment from the walls of buildings and turn everyday objects into deadly projectiles. This high level of interactivity and the manipulation of ordinary objects as weapons became a mainstay in the FPS genre. The success of Half-Life inspired a legendary franchise and spurred five expansion packs and multiple spin-off games. The franchise also inspired the development of Counter-Strike, a hugely successful online game which began as a modification to Half-Life. Its groundbreaking innovations and influence on the FPS genre earn the Half-Life franchise an important place in the history of electronic games.
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|Credit Line||Gift of Rusel DeMaria|
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