On Friday, Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield published the first “episode” of Freak Angels, their new collaborative free web comic project. Ellis is one of my favorite comics writers (Transmetropolitan rocks like few things do), and the art on FA looks lovely. Some sort of British post-apoc deal, with the Midwich Cuckoos thrown into the mix – as the protagonists, it seems. Or something. I’ll be following this.
For a change, I spent most of Sunday playing Half-Life 2. I had almost forgotten how fantastic a game this was. I’d previously played this up to the point where you fight a helicopter gunship under a huge railway bridge (on the coastal highway), now I started the game from scratch and actually got past that point by midnight or so. It’s a lot faster when you know/remember what you need to do – but now I’m again in unknown territory.
Good single-player games can be a huge amount of fun. The original Half-Life was one of the very few major games I’ve actually completed. Took a long, long time… but still. HL2 is, if possible, an even better game; I’d venture to claim that it’s currently the best FPS out there. Yes, there are better graphics to be found (though HL2 is very pretty, too), but HL2 has a great story and a huge amount of variability. You don’t get stuck in a rut, mowing down the same group of bad guys on levels that all look the same. Here you go from hydrofoil chases to dune buggies, from whimsical weaponless story interludes and physics puzzles to full-out firefight brawls. Oh, and the Gravity Gun rocks.
Special positive mention goes to the character of Alyx Vance. An actual smart female character in a computer game, and one who dresses and acts like… a normal person. Who’d have thunk. Oh, and can’t forget Dog. Dog rocks.