I enjoyed the game very much and I wanted to start by saying that, since the rest of the OP might come off slightly cranky. The graphics were cool (reminding me of the Myst series) and the references to The Matrix and other movies obvious, but still in the realm of hommage rather than plagiarism.
And the ending was good too - ambiguous and thankfully without the obligatory fighting of an extremely big and hard to kill monster, which is so dominant in many games.
Still, there are a number of clichés that I really wish game makers would’ve laid off by now.
[li]Para military guards walk around wth pistols - till you yourself get a submachine gun. Makes them easier to kill during the early stages of the game.[/li][li]The weakest troops are at the perimeter, making it easier for an enemy to get in close to the big boss.[/li][li]No matter how thoroughly you’ve killed everything that moves in an area, the moment you turn around and start walking out with the prize, more enemies will magically appear.[/li][li]Whwn opening a hatch and crawling into a really tight and confined space, there will be a manhack /headcrab. Only, there’s a hatch/grill at the other end, so how did it get there?[/li][li]Oh, a switch. Let’s turn it on (and see troops magically appear). Oh, a ramp, let’s speed up and use it to jump (how convenient - why was that constructed in the first place?). Oh, a ladder (which leads from nowhere to nowhere, had not the resitance laid out some planks over a fence).[/li][li]It’s very convenient that the odd stuff you collect from dead troops always match the task ahead. Just in case I’m out of grenades, there will be some lying around when I nedd them for the next battle, e.g. when taking out the damned turrets.[/li][li]When going into the teleporting device, I knew something would go wrong, sending Gordon to an unexpected place. “No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.” Yeah, right, of course I expected the unexpected.[/li][li]The crowbar is still the best way to deal with headcrabs.[/li][li]It doesn’t matter that the way over there is the most logical choice. The character cannot get there from here - only follow a linear path designed by the gamemakers.[/li][li]Events will only start after certain other events. A gunship is coming, but not until I’ve parked the car in the barn. Which gives me ample time to first walk around and scout the place (while a guy naggingly drone on about “better get your car in the barn Dr Freeman”).[/li][/ul]
Yeah, a bit petty, I guess.
But why can’t they start doing games where I can’t let my guard down. I expect a headcrab to be around when I go for boxes of goodies, I know zombies are going to be hidden (how?) in the radioactive muck when I’m jumping from box to box, but won’t show up till I’m on terra firma on a piece of concrete.
They are constantly getting better at programming. The storyteling still lags behind.