Saturday, June 25, 2005

Eclipse: Follow-Up

Thanks goes
to Corvus for sending me the official site of Eclipse, the Half-Life 2 mod/conversion/whathaveyou.

I went back into Eclipse and managed to get by the error that had stalled me on my earlier playthrough.

Final verdict: Short but sweet.

It turned out that one of my earlier gripes concerning the control was, in fact, a feature. The designers purposefully wanted you to have to move around to gain a good position before letting your projectile of choice fly.

Turns out that part of my problem was ignorance. Hold down the right mouse button and you build up force behind your projectile. Releasing it imparts that amount of force, letting you charge up your throws - much more effective at defeating enemies.

I can't remember that control being made explicit in the journal entries you collect. If it was, then I apologize. If it wasn't, then, well, I would caution the creators to never underestimate a player's density. Sometimes, sure, I hit every button I can and fiddle with things. Other times, well . . . I don't.

I should mention that as you charge up your throws, the screen does this way-cool effect that I'm not entirely certain how to describe. The bloom disappears and everything starts to look as if you're running the game on an old TV. Highly stenciled and contrasted. It's just, uh, cool-looking.

My comments about the animation seem to be common criticism. From the Eclipse forums: "We all share this same criticism and if we had more time, fixing that would be at the top of the list."

Also: "
The Lead Engineer and I determined the jump mechanism in Half Life 2 is like the black hole--we don't know much about it and we really can't get close enough to fully understand it.

The jump was created for a first person game, which operates differently than we would have wanted for a third person game. In the end we decided that we focus on balancing and making the game look as beautiful as possible."

And the rest of that thread goes on with very good points that I can totally accept. The animation's 'eh' . . . I've seen worse.

The Hellstorm spell kicks ass. It takes lessons previously learned and kicks up the power a bit. Great implementation and it makes you feel like a badass.

The game's over way too soon. You could go through the whole thing in fifteen minutes.

Somebody needs to throw money at those guys.

Please, sirs. I want some more.

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