MINERVA: Episodic, Single-Player Half-Life 2

Our Combine Benefactors -

A minor distraction while you wait - a cutting exposé of the ruthless, inhuman brutality present in the ranks of our dear Civil Protection, the face-stomping boots of our Combine oppressors:

Combine Nation: Episode One, by Lit Fuse Films

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I think what makes it particularly good are the fantastic production values - made even more visible in the high-resolution versions on the Lit Fuse Films website.

Even better, there's the trailer for Maintenance Man - a twenty-plus-minute film being released on August 30th. Sooo pretty....

Other films too - from the darkly hilarious, the quietly touching to the toe-tappingly topical. Sodding heck...

Of course, what would make me desperately happy would be for someone from this overly talented team to make some kind of video for MINERVA. Go on, you know you want to! ;-)

Article Comments (now closed)

Sortie's gravatar

1. First lol?

Posted by Sortie at 10:36PM, Monday August 20 2007

Hehe if I had fraps I'd maybe do something.

wargamerROB's gravatar

2. Howdeydodat?

Posted by wargamerROB at 10:37PM, Monday August 20 2007

This is so good I'm trying to figure out if they did it in faceposer or created custom animations for all the models. Seriously, the animations are so good I can forget this is Half Life 2

Sortie's gravatar

3. Re: Howdeydodat?

Posted by Sortie at 10:43PM, Monday August 20 2007

Yeah, I just saw it. It's really really well made. But it is just real animations used very well, unlike in WoTS.

kast's gravatar

4. Operation Jaw-Dropper has gone literal!

Posted by kast at 11:47PM, Monday August 20 2007

... woh... 0.0 Just plain... woh....

Terrapin's gravatar

5. Amazing

Posted by Terrapin at 12:35AM, Tuesday August 21 2007

Wow, that was very well done. Seriously, that's almost on par with Red vs. Blue. I would make my own video, but seriously, unless it's just a bunch of simple animations, the best I could do is edit the titles.txt file so that Minerva talks in 1337-speak. Yes, that's my best idea. Try not to laugh to hard.

Oh, and for anyone who missed it, Adam announced in the previous topic that Metastasis 3 was to be released on or before the 3rd. Mana from heaven at this point. But sentimental dates aside, I think every one of us would prefer to see Minerva sooner than later.

Isn't that right?

U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi's gravatar

6. G-Mans Sexy voice

Posted by U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi at 1:35AM, Tuesday August 21 2007

That video is great, I love HL2 Vids that are well made. Is Lit fuse all done by the guy that did war of the servers?

ANyways my main reason for thsi post. Can anyone link me to a G-Man soundboard, I need to sample him for a song

Yar Kramer's gravatar

7. Re: G-Mans Sexy voice

Posted by Yar Kramer at 2:08AM, Tuesday August 21 2007

Why can't you use GCFScape and plunder sound files directly from Half-Life and Half-Life 2 directly?

Terrapin's gravatar

8. Re: G-Mans Sexy voice

Posted by Terrapin at 6:04AM, Tuesday August 21 2007

Here you go: http://www.kupoartist.eclipse.co.uk/gman/extra.htm

Just click on "Hear it!" after each quote in the middle column. I hope this is what you needed.

Pse's gravatar

9. Re: G-Mans Sexy voice

Posted by Pse at 8:03PM, Tuesday August 21 2007

That's an exceedingly cool link, Terrapin. I hadn't even noticed the G-Man in all those places during my journey through HL2. I mean, I did see him in some of them, but not that many times! I dunno, now it feels kinda creepy. He was there staring at me and I didn't even notice =P
Wow, even in Water Hazard. Cool stuff.

Pse's gravatar

10. Oh, and BTW...

Posted by Pse at 8:07PM, Tuesday August 21 2007

...that video is awesome. Nice work. Machinima looks great in Source. Kudos to the team that made it.

Cargo Cult's gravatar

11. Like a slideshow

Posted by Cargo Cult at 10:56PM, Tuesday August 21 2007

I've found that forcibly limiting metastasis_4b's framerate makes my laptop more stable - so I've finally been able to do some proper testing on it.

At ten whole frames per second.

I'm not sure *what* it is about that map that's making my laptop crash, but it's definitely graphics hardware related. But I've found a minor workaround... ;-)

Back to mapping!

Ace's gravatar

12. bio-torture

Posted by Ace at 11:14PM, Tuesday August 21 2007

Well, over an hour past the bioshock release time, and I'm just hoping I'll get to play it today. After a couple of short delays around the release time, I get my preorder activated, and decrypted, and then...download another 1.5Gb or so before I can play!?! Aaarrrgh! Preload my a$s. With my slow internet connection and an overloaded steam network, this'll take awhile. Damn, this is torture. Aaaaaargh I say again! Judging by some rants over on the steam forums, I"m not alone in being irked by this....

Cargo Cult's gravatar

13. Bio-spoilers, or lack thereof

Posted by Cargo Cult at 11:28PM, Tuesday August 21 2007


Ah, you Americans - gladly stress-testing the Steam systems before us noble Europeans get to play the game. Thanks!

Ace's gravatar

14. bio-this isn't funny

Posted by Ace at 11:38PM, Tuesday August 21 2007

you wouldn't be laughing if you were staring at your steam window continuously for 10 minutes waiting for it to roll over from 83% to 84% done. (it restarts at 80% after "release"). And don't worry, I for one won't give away any spoilers. I may gloat a little about being able to play it, but no spoilers. But, keep in mind, any Europeans who have already preloaded it from steam will probably have to go through the same thing, unless they allow you to download an updated version before the 24th.

LocoYokel's gravatar

15. predownload

Posted by LocoYokel at 12:51AM, Wednesday August 22 2007

Cutting a significant part of the code like that is how they prevent people cracking the predownload like they did in the past. I would bet you that the missing part is something extremely critical that the game won't run without. Probably some specific DLL or something.

I think it was HL2 that they did the preload and people cracked it and used some file from the demo that had been previously released to enable the game (not perfectly, but enough to play mostly) and started posting about the game.

Yar Kramer's gravatar

16. Bioshock

Posted by Yar Kramer at 2:33AM, Wednesday August 22 2007

My favorite part is when *SPOILER DELETED*, and then you're *SPOILER DELETED*, with *SPOILER DELETED* and then *SPOILER DELETED* from *SPOILER DELETED*!

(As an aside, I haven't played it either, I'm just throwing out "spoiler deleted" with random adverbs between them.)

Flobster's gravatar

17. Litfuse

Posted by Flobster at 2:58AM, Wednesday August 22 2007

I highly recommend watching War of the Servers on Litfuse, its a full feature length War of the Worlds spoof, set in the crazy world of GMod, but dont take it on face value, they have put some serious effort into it, and show a clear understanding of great film making.

Terrapin's gravatar

18. War of the Servers

Posted by Terrapin at 3:53AM, Wednesday August 22 2007

I watched twenty minutes of War of the Servers, then got bored. Seriously, it just didn't hold my attention like a real movie or a real game would. That, and the acting wasn't all that great, or at least, I didn't think it was. The other lit fuse movies were all great machinima, but somehow, I just didn't like WotS.

Flobster's gravatar

19. Opinions

Posted by Flobster at 4:13AM, Wednesday August 22 2007

Oh well, each to his own :D

U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi's gravatar

20. Re: War Of The Servers

Posted by U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi at 5:51AM, Wednesday August 22 2007

I agree its not fantasticly interesting...

but you have to look at what they did with GMOD think about how long that took to get perfect like that

Suzuran's gravatar

21. Spyware ahoy!

Posted by Suzuran at 8:35AM, Wednesday August 22 2007

Do be careful if you wish to install the DiVX plugin as required by the high-res version of the movie. It's known to include spyware and other bad stuff. It's even specifically mentioned in the EULA.

MrHappy's gravatar

22. Of Bioshock

Posted by MrHappy at 9:14AM, Wednesday August 22 2007

Well, I've spent the past five hours or so playing Bioshock and so far it's lived up to my expectation although I haven't had a chance to play with many of the ...genetics. Only thing I'll say beyond that is that the Big Daddies are tough.

Adam what gpu you got in your laptop?

Naurgul's gravatar

23. Bioshock's a lit fuse

Posted by Naurgul at 11:11AM, Wednesday August 22 2007

Bioshock... my computer can't even handle it. I'll try again (with lowest quality of course) lowering the resolution to 800x600. It may look like Half-Life, but at least I'll probably get to play past the part where <insert sniper rifle sound here>

I discovered the Lit Fuse guys a few weeks ago, and I must say I love the artistry of their works. It's a shame that their writing can't even compare with their very professional directing. Perhaps Adam could volunteer writing for them, at least for their non-comedy efforts?

macc's gravatar

24. bad widescreen support

Posted by macc at 12:55PM, Wednesday August 22 2007

kind of sloppy of the Bioshock devs to not include good widescreen support (it's vertical-).

Luckily theres a fix already for the demo.


Baffled's gravatar

25. New-comment-of-the-week

Posted by Baffled at 2:19PM, Wednesday August 22 2007

From the 2K Bioshock forum's widescreen thread:

"I'm now worried I won't be able to run it in 3840x1024 at all. :-( "

Awwww, poor muffin. Such tragedy, so young...

A big hurrah to Acolyte Mr Happy for standing up for common sense and old fashioned patience, yesterday:


Esvandiary's gravatar

26. Laptop graphics

Posted by Esvandiary at 6:16PM, Wednesday August 22 2007

Adam... I feel for you. I had a malfunctioning GeForce Go 6600 in my new laptop... I got it repaired, and thanks to some clumsy delivery people it's now waiting in the hall for them to collect it for the second RMA.... *sigh*

U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi's gravatar

27. Laptops

Posted by U-Mu-La-Ma-Rhi at 7:36PM, Wednesday August 22 2007

ATI x600 /cry

Ace's gravatar

28. bio-disagreement

Posted by Ace at 8:21PM, Wednesday August 22 2007

I hate to argue this, but I feel slightly taunted by Baffled. There were some far more lucid arguments posted than those quoted by Mr. Happy, and I think just saying "be patient" misses the point a bit. For me, I didn't finish downloading the remainder of Bioshock and get to play it until after midnight! Is it the end of the world? No, I'll live. My problem is that if I had known what was really going to happen, I may have just gone to the store and bought it. The advertising on Steam said "play it as soon as it is released" and because of that convenience I got it there. I'm sure there was a good reason they did what they did, but because of the deceptive advertising, they got my money rather than somewhere else. And that chaps my ass a bit. Of course if I had a faster internet connection, it wouldn't be such a big deal.

Anyway, Bioshock looks great, their art department did a good job. Though given the hardware requirements I was hoping for a bit more from the graphics (there's no anti-aliasing?!?). I think we've been spoiled by half-life 2 and the source engine in general, Valve did a great job there, especially in efficiency.

Baffled's gravatar

29. Consider yourself untaunted

Posted by Baffled at 9:34PM, Wednesday August 22 2007

Sorry Ace, that wasn't my intention at all. You're quite right to feel aggrieved at the torture that seems to be a inevitable part of a major Steam game release. But some of the reactions on the Steam Forum were rather over the top, and I thought it noteworthy that one of this blog's contributors took a stand for reasonableness.

Valve really must be honest and clear about what will happen at the moment of release. Giving buyers the clear impression that you can play it immediately at that time is just foolish and misleading.

On a lighter note, has anyone seen the new TF2 trailer, it's hilarious:


Cargo Cult's gravatar

30. Lecturing to the decapitated

Posted by Cargo Cult at 10:35PM, Wednesday August 22 2007

My Steam decided to download another big wodge of Bioshock preload earlier today - but curiously, the final Bioshock folder was about the same size as before, at 5.5GB.

Emergency last-minute changes? Or was a lot of previous data invalid for some reason? Curious.

Also, I managed a full, crash-free playthrough of metastasis_4b before leaving for the office. My own particular game seems to be coming together quite nicely - still needs lots of tuning, but I'M FINALLY ABLE TO PLAYTEST IT MYSELF! MWUHAHAHAHAHA!



Sortie's gravatar

31. Soldier Meetpoint

Posted by Sortie at 10:46PM, Wednesday August 22 2007

It's out? Good, I'll just download it. :D

Ace's gravatar

32. possibly relevant info

Posted by Ace at 11:10PM, Wednesday August 22 2007

First off, congrats with the game!
I looked at my bioshock folder too, and it was 5.5Gb after my preload as well. Then, after the release time when it was supposedly being decrypted, the total size then dropped to something like 4.5Gb. Then, it does the infamous long update, and after that download is done, it is back up to 5.5Gb again. That's where it is in a playable state for me. So I'm guessing you guys (noble (?) europeans) won't have to go through this mess.
Given that they didn't get out their PC demo until the day before it was released, I'd guess you may be right in that it's last minute changes. Or, last minute getting the damned thing done. Somebody should give Oliver Stone a call.

Anyway, no problem Baffled, I really just like complaining. It is in fact one of my great joys in life. Unfortunately there are plenty of others out there who give good, proper complaining a bad name.

Ace's gravatar

33. finally...

Posted by Ace at 12:02AM, Thursday August 23 2007

Just one more thing, some of you noble Europeans need to come and get this David Beckham fellow and take him back home. He's not doing us any good at all.

kast's gravatar

34. what?

Posted by kast at 12:10AM, Thursday August 23 2007

Old "Golden Balls"? But I thought you lot liked him? Or did he just kill Galaxy's score?

Honestly, as a non-football (OK, soccer) fan, I was glad to see the back of him.

Also, bloody brilliant TF2 trailer, that :D Made my day.

Terrapin's gravatar

35. Last minute preparations

Posted by Terrapin at 12:15AM, Thursday August 23 2007

Many game developers are known to work right up to the release/ship date, or even after, which often results in patches a week or so after the release. Still, when it comes to a good, stable, polished game, better late than never is my motto.

How is Bioshock, by the way? If, for example, one found the demo boring, yet cool, would the full game be any better?

kast's gravatar

36. I understand...

Posted by kast at 12:26AM, Thursday August 23 2007

that the demo is unrepresentative (is that a word? Sounds good) of the game as a whole. The splicers are more straightforward than most, the path totally linear as opposed to the full game's supposed total freedom.

What we're basically seeing is the training level, leading us by the hand. Did you notice the adaptive help? Clever idea, that.

So the full game will be at least as cool and a whole lot less boring, by all accounts. I'd check out as many reviews as you can - I've found both PC and X360 reviews on CVG very helpful.

Terrapin's gravatar

37. Demos

Posted by Terrapin at 3:32AM, Thursday August 23 2007

The reason's you stated, kast, are really why I felt it was a poor demo, as game demos go. Remember HL2's demo? They gave you the first level, a sort of "training" mission, and then sent you to Ravenholm to get a taste of the real action. Granted, using part of Route Kanal or Highway 17 might have been better, as they give more diverse combat scenarios, and allow you to fight the "real" enemies, the Combine. Bioshock gives us a training mission against enemies that are downright stupid, giving us two mundane weapons and two unsatisfying plasmids, and does nothing to establish anything more than basic setting. My principal is this: if they can't bother to make a good demo, how can I trust them to make a good game?

As for Bioshock's reviews, I know they're good, but remember, personal and professional criteria can vary. What a media reviewer looks for may not be overall enjoyment, which is all that really matters, but graphics, performance, etc. Thus, I'm waiting for some individuals to give me their thoughts on it first.

Dracko55's gravatar

38. Demo is Halo-bait.

Posted by Dracko55 at 4:18AM, Thursday August 23 2007

The demo is quite blatantly modelled to get the Halo crowd interested. That's why it feels like any other corridor-shooter. It is not representative of the beginning of the game either.

rb_lestr's gravatar

39. drunk

Posted by rb_lestr at 4:49AM, Thursday August 23 2007

i love

Yar Kramer's gravatar

40. Bioshock

Posted by Yar Kramer at 5:39AM, Thursday August 23 2007

Bah. You guys are really tempting me to spend good money on the PC version of Bioshock that I might otherwise have spent getting the ID pack or saved for HL2: Episode 2 (only to find myself struggling against horrendous graphical specs ...) :(

MrHappy's gravatar

41. Demo vs. Game

Posted by MrHappy at 5:43AM, Thursday August 23 2007

I played the 360 demo, I bought the PC version, so maybe that's why, but the demo is the first twenty-thirty minutes with some changes. Some were minor, such as an audio-diary being in a different place, some were major such as a plasmid not being present, or differing splicer placement. Stuff like that.

I also liked how the hacker mini-game played different on the pc. Instead of swaping tiles with your "reserve" tile using a button, you drag them with the mouse. Also the plasmid/weapon selection. Theres several ways to change, but on the P.C. there isn't the console oriented rotary selection, rather a full screen menu pops up for the "pause-weapon-unpause" selection mode and you click.

The mouse feels really slippery on the menu's (at perfect-in-game-sensitivity) so that's annoying.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that they seemed to put some thought into making the xbox and pc versions differently optimized for their respective control schemes...gameplay wise.

Oh and Baffled, that's cool you noticed :) I wasn't trying to be TOO hard on all the haters, but it was getting messy in there.

Terrapin's gravatar

42. Impressive

Posted by Terrapin at 5:58AM, Thursday August 23 2007

Wow, I just tried the 360 demo, despite having had it downloaded for several days, ad MrHappy's right, 2K games did an awesome job making the PC and console versions uniquely adapted to each control system. If anything, this should breathe some life into the PC gaming market by proving that a game can be made well on both platforms, as opposed to being sloppily ported from one to the other. I may just buy Bioshock yet - it may not be revolutionary, but it is a good shooter, and should keep me occupied until the third, or whenever Metastasis 3 comes out.

Sanjuro357's gravatar

43. Re: Lecturing to the Decapitated.

Posted by Sanjuro357 at 8:09AM, Thursday August 23 2007

Adam, I think Steam pre-allocates the necessary disk space when you do the initial preload, reserving the necessary space for when you get the rest of the data.

PyroDude's gravatar

44. this happen to anyone else

Posted by PyroDude at 12:30PM, Thursday August 23 2007



kast's gravatar

45. *sob*

Posted by kast at 12:36PM, Thursday August 23 2007

I had the strongest feeling that I was about to receive BioShock just now. Was running around the usual places that delivery's get placed, but nothing... :(

Fingers crossed, hey?

PyroDude's gravatar

46. Bah

Posted by PyroDude at 12:58PM, Thursday August 23 2007

For some reason the patch is not downloading and 2kgames site is down, which I'm guessing is why the patch ain't working. This is really annoying as I'm about 2 mins away from playing Bioshock at long last

PyroDude's gravatar

47. Sorry

Posted by PyroDude at 1:05PM, Thursday August 23 2007

Sorry to double post but is the patch actually needed to play?

kast's gravatar

48. Hahaha YES!

Posted by kast at 1:57PM, Thursday August 23 2007

It arrived! It arrived! :D With an adorable wickle Big Daddy model, soundtrack and making of DVD and tin case and and and I'm installing now ^_^

I'm a little excited, you might have guessed.

Nesretep's gravatar

49. So sad...

Posted by Nesretep at 2:10PM, Thursday August 23 2007

All this talk about Bioshock just makes me sad. My poor little PC just has no hope of being able to run it without some major upgrades or just abandoning it altogether for a shiny new one. :( With that said, are we on target for the release of Metastasis 3, Adam?

SkUrRiEr's gravatar

50. Fscking people with their fscking fast computers

Posted by SkUrRiEr at 3:44PM, Thursday August 23 2007


I have so many games to buy and play, but so little time.

Be thankful you have a windows which actually works properly, not crashes as soon as any directx based game exits. (Argh!)

On my list at the moment to buy:
- Bioshock
- HL2:ep2
- Hitman: Blood Money

System specs:
P4 2.4 (single core)
GF FX5600GT (OMG it's old)

I need an upgrade soooooo badly. I need more money.

Columbus007's gravatar

51. New Half-life 2 Episode 2 Trailer ...

Posted by Columbus007 at 3:48PM, Thursday August 23 2007

Bioshock looks good, but I've only got a ATI 9600, so I can't even play the demo.

In other news, there's a 6 minute gameplay video of HL2: Ep2 on Gametrailers, taken off screen from GC 2007.

**Huge Spoiler Warning**, though... there's some plot points revealed, plus some awesome visual effects.


One thing to note is the Main Menu, only on screen for a second - and I think the PC version. It shows:

Resume Game
Save Game
Load Game
New Game
Developer Commentary (as it's own main option?)
Achievements (Remember - this is on the PC - not XBox!)

Any speculations on this? Will Steam have achievements?

Nesretep's gravatar

52. ...

Posted by Nesretep at 3:54PM, Thursday August 23 2007

@SkUrRiEr: My first thought was to tell you that at Wal-Mart they have Hitman trilogy in one package for a decent price (exactly how much escapes me at the moment). Other than Hitman, my "games to buy" list is looking about the same. I must say that if you think that you need an upgrade, check out these system specs:

AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1 Ghz (the very first GHz proc)
GeForce FX5200

Om second thought I don't need an upgrade, I need more money to buy a totally new computer! Too bad money is kinda scarce for now. Hopefully I'll still be able play Chronoclasm with this baby because I may have to save for a while to get that new system...

P.S.: I also have a dial up connection to the internet!

Pyro-Dude's gravatar

53. Ahhh yes

Posted by Pyro-Dude at 6:10PM, Thursday August 23 2007

Bioshock is absurdly good

fuzz's gravatar

54. Bioshock

Posted by fuzz at 7:03PM, Thursday August 23 2007

Well, it seems to have got full marks in every review I've seen, so I'm downloading the demo to give it a try.
However, with an Athlon64 3700 and Geforce 6800 am I being:
A) overly optimistic?
B) fucking stupid?

Sortie's gravatar

55. Re: New Half-life 2 Episode 2 Trailer ...

Posted by Sortie at 7:55PM, Thursday August 23 2007

Yeah I saw that video earlier today, shame I couldn't get the download working...
Anyways good catch at the menu screen. You looked into that aplha to coverage? It removes the alpha ordering problems very cheaply, so Adam's going to be glad after his past problems with it. :D

Terrapin's gravatar

56. Episode 2

Posted by Terrapin at 9:13PM, Thursday August 23 2007

Wow... that trailer was awesome in every way it is possible to be awesome, and even in some which are essentially impossible.

Can't... wait... for... October 9th! Orange Box will be amazing.

Terrapin's gravatar

57. One more thing...

Posted by Terrapin at 9:21PM, Thursday August 23 2007

Does anyone know how to download the trailer? I click download, and it just says to "right click, save as...". What am I supposed to right click?

Sortie's gravatar

58. Re: Terrapin

Posted by Sortie at 9:23PM, Thursday August 23 2007

The trailer itself says October the 10th. D:
And no, I couldn't either figure that out. D:

Terrapin's gravatar

59. Release date

Posted by Terrapin at 10:00PM, Thursday August 23 2007

Wikipedia says the 9th in North America, and the 12th everywhere else. Could be a mistake by either site/community, or some kind of average. Has anyone figured the download out yet?

Species8472's gravatar

60. ep2t

Posted by Species8472 at 12:36AM, Friday August 24 2007


Kage's gravatar

61. Requirements

Posted by Kage at 1:12AM, Friday August 24 2007

I'm on an Athlon 3500, which was enough to play Bioshock. It requires a video card with support for shader model 3.0, though, so you won't have a chance of running it with an old video card.

As for the Achievements in HL2:E2, Microsoft has been pushing for Live features to spill over into PC gaming, particularly with games for Vista. Since Achievements are a requirement for all 360 games, it makes sense to carry over the feature to the PC version of the game.

Terrapin's gravatar

62. Games for Windows

Posted by Terrapin at 1:45AM, Friday August 24 2007

As Kage said, Microsoft has basically been trying to make Windows a fourth console (thus theoretically giving them half the video game market with both 360 and PC), hence the Live features in games like Halo 2; which, by the way, was a living hell to get working. Their tech support hung up on me 3 times, until I finally got a hold of someone with a middle-eastern accent so strong I had to have him repeat everything several times. He couldn't help me, and referred me to a forum, where I received no help, and about half a dozen people telling me to update my drivers. Finally, I got my hands on some beta drivers, which finally solved my problem. Needless to say, I will not be buying any Games for Windows products in the foreseeable future.

I am now concerned: if Ep2 is the same horror story Halo 2 PC was, I might just go Linux.

LocoYokel's gravatar

63. Bioshock "piracy prevention"

Posted by LocoYokel at 3:11AM, Friday August 24 2007

It appears that yet another company has managed to piss off a significant number of their target customer base.


Terrapin's gravatar

64. Irony

Posted by Terrapin at 3:26AM, Friday August 24 2007

What irony that a game that is supposed to be "revolutionary" has the same mundane company protection problems that 90% of all major games do. With HL2 you have to allow Steam onto your PC. With BF 2142, the game keeps track of what ads you look at for marketing purposes, and you still payed full price for the game. With Bioshock, if you forget to uninstall before you reformat, you're screwed. Have fun getting mocked by tech support - I'd imagine your odds of getting your key reactivated are similar to getting struck by lightening and winning the lottery at the same time.

And those of us who pirate the game? Well, although I can't tell you where, there are already cracks to disable this protection. Torrent the game files and you're good to go. The irony is incredible - a system to prevent piracy actually encourages it. Throw in the fact that the game is about capitalism gone wrong (well, sort of), and you almost have to wonder, just what was in the ol' water cooler down at 2K games?

Yar Kramer's gravatar

65. Security systems

Posted by Yar Kramer at 6:42AM, Friday August 24 2007

If I ever make games my strict policy will be this: a security system must (a) work, and (b) cause no interference with legitimate use.

Now, no security system is perfect; whether it's Bioshock's "lol convoluted" system, HL2's Steam, or Devil May Cry 3's "just give us a CD key and keep the DVD in the drive" -- these have apparently all been cracked. The question will never be *if* an antipiracy method is circumvented, but *when.* The considerations of (a) will therefore be limited to, "Can someone just copy the data off the disks and return them to the store? No? Good."

As for (b). If I ever make games and make a game company, anyone who comes up with a security measure which interferes with legitimate use -- in other words, you have legally bought the game from the store and you have the CD or DVD in the drive -- gets ejected from the company, the measure removed and deleted, and the documentation set on fire.

Quaunaut's gravatar

66. 2k Already Fixing the issues

Posted by Quaunaut at 12:00PM, Friday August 24 2007


Publishers make stupid mistakes. Get over it :P

Sortie's gravatar

67. Re: Species8472

Posted by Sortie at 1:49PM, Friday August 24 2007

Your flash file wont play on my computer.

Nesretep's gravatar

68. Re: 2k Already Fixing the issues

Posted by Nesretep at 2:38PM, Friday August 24 2007

This 5x5 plan seems at least somewhat better than the previous incarnation of SecuROM protection they had going. I was unable to determine if you had the same installation issues with a Steam purchase vs retail purchase. Anyone seen any *definitive* answers on that one. There are a lot of rants about the protection based on speculation or poor information so I was looking for something a bit more solid than one of Adam's Minerva hints. :)

Cargo Cult's gravatar

69. Chunky vomit milkshake!

Posted by Cargo Cult at 3:16PM, Friday August 24 2007


Psychonauts review.

kast's gravatar

70. psychonauts review

Posted by kast at 4:25PM, Friday August 24 2007

Saw that yesterday - think it was linked from the AoM SteamID page. And I agree with it on everything except hard-to-find items in hart to get to places. I thought that was fun. *shrugs*

Baffled's gravatar

71. If Jesus was still alive and wasn't a pussy

Posted by Baffled at 5:39PM, Friday August 24 2007

Now that's what I call a review! Fantastic!

I'm going to try to be a smart-arse, and post a better link to that video:


"I'd like to know how you think gaming is ever going to adapt as an artform, if people go out of their way to make original games, but fuckwits like you, never actually buy them because you're too busy inhaling furious amounts of dick."

Well, exactly!

He's equally forthright on the subject of X-Boxers:

"...twitching, and ritalin popping, x-box owner who falls into a narcaleptic coma when they go without killing someone for 45 seconds."

Try this, for further confirmation of the console-gamer stereotype:


...mind you, even Macbook-using IT professionals have the occasional mishap with power-supplys, eh Adam ;-) .

Terrapin's gravatar

72. So true...

Posted by Terrapin at 9:51PM, Friday August 24 2007

Wow, that review is so accurate it's almost frightening. Still, I've bought enough non-cookie cutter games to feel I've redeemed myself from the X-Boxer stereotype. The review just goes to show the amount of creativity that games in general have lost over the years, with one game copying another until almost anything can be narrowed into one of half a dozen genres. The problem is, said cookie-cutter game genres (FPS, RPG, MMORPG, RTS, etc.) are incredibly fun, so they keep being purchased, and thus produced. I, for one, don't view this as much of a problem so much as simple a market niche - making the best FPS/RPG/etc. Game developers have to keep their games fresh, but still be recognizable in order to appeal to "...twitching, and Ritalin popping, x-box owner who falls into a narcoleptic coma when they go without killing someone for 45 seconds." But that's just my two cents. Funny review either way.

Semiloki's gravatar

73. Demo

Posted by Semiloki at 10:18PM, Friday August 24 2007

I did play the demo a bit back and despite the oddness of the game, I did like it. Not enough to buy it, but at least enough to waste a few hours on it.

Moholinth's gravatar

74. Other artforms

Posted by Moholinth at 10:35PM, Friday August 24 2007

Games are no different than some of the other forms of art. Take the movie industry; the movies making money are mostly a sequel or just another [insert random genre here] movie, the artistic movies do exist but they are not the ones to get through to the mainstream.

The videogame industry has become very big in the past 10 years and when there is a lot of money at stake you dont want to risk it on some game that isnt 99% to move 100k copies.

Ace's gravatar

75. Golden Balls

Posted by Ace at 10:40PM, Friday August 24 2007

Quite a review there, and goodness he talks fast. I feel almost shamed into getting psychonauts.

On a different matter, I was curious about Kast's reference to David Beckham as golden balls (I'd never heard the nickname before), and apparently lacking anything meaningful to do, I googled it, and came to this beauty:


a British gameshow called Golden Balls.
It features such things as "killer balls" and has a "Balls Assistant",
contestants "try to establish who has the worst set of balls",
apparently "balls on the front row are visible to all players",
"eliminated players balls are "binned,"" (eeks!)
eventually "The remaining players balls are put back into the ball machine",
and "The player who had the Killer Ball is eliminated".

I hope I don't have a killer ball. (oh, and I'll take a balls assistant please).
how does anyone keep a straight face on this show? Seriously, are the brits really that much more mature than Americans (keeping in mind Benny Hill), or does "balls" not have quite the same connotation there?

Terrapin's gravatar

76. Re: Golden Balls

Posted by Terrapin at 6:46AM, Saturday August 25 2007

Well, the host, Jasper Carrott, is a comedian, so that could explain it. Either way, I really can't see that game being serious, regardless of the connotations of "balls" in Britain.

Oh, and as a side note, I got Bioshock today, just because I need a new shooter to tide me over until Halo 3. It's actually not that bad, despite the repetitiveness. Either way, the plot is rather compelling, so I think I'm in for a long night of gaming.

Nesretep's gravatar


Posted by Nesretep at 6:56PM, Saturday August 25 2007

Quoth Adam:

"Of course, what would make me desperately happy would be for someone from this overly talented team to make some kind of video for MINERVA. Go on, you know you want to! ;-)"

Sounds like it's time to convert some new acolytes to the cause! Then they would likely make your little MINERVA film of their own accord...

On another note, are we still on target for the scheduled release date that is fast approaching?

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