I like to be left alone when I play games, yet I constantly get roped into playing games with my brother and sister. Generally games they want to play, not games I want to play. If I ever suggest something, it’s always “nah don’t fancy that”, but I’m not allowed to complain about their choice of games. Luckily, we managed to convince each other to give Sven Co-op a go, after I said it was free. Everyone likes Half-Life, right?
Maybe not. Sister had never really played before. Okay, she’s looked at it and knows what the game is and has watched a few videos but that’s it. I’ve started Half-Life but never finished it because I suck at games, but I somewhat know where to go because I’ve watched Freeman’s Mind about a billion times by now. Brother’s played and finished Half-Life a few times.
So we started Sven Co-op and picked some characters for ourselves in the Options menu. Sister picked a female one, brother picked a rather standard ninja character and I picked a robot.
Brother decided he wanted to host a game of Half-Life.
Now, the area to pick missions and levels in Sven Co-op is weird. It’s basically a bunch of rooms, all labelled, and you go in to a room and pick a labelled box that you want. Everyone votes and the mission starts. It was a bit weird.
Unfortunately, we skipped the intro (sister just wanted to get into the game and not sit through a long train ride) but right from the start, we realised just how funny everything was with three random lunatics running around.
Just going to the locker rooms, getting your suit and heading to the test chamber is pretty chaotic and silly, with three random totally-not-Freeman people running around. It gets even worse when the scientists are all telling you what to do and you’ve got some robot running around jumping on things and a ninja pressing every button he can find.
And really, it wasn’t too easy either, as long as you didn’t use the health packs. You see, in Sven Co-op, players who are going through Half-Life get given a health pack. I assume it’s because there aren’t enough healing stations in the game or something like that? I’m not sure. But they do make Half-Life way easier, even when playing on the hard setting. The ‘ammo’ is plentiful and we rarely needed them, except for the few times where one of us took fall damage or ran head first into a room of zombies.
Death was the only issue, since when one of you died, you’d have to wait until the next checkpoint to respawn. That’s fine unless one of you is really slow and shit at platforming (i.e. me).
Of course, there being more people meant that the unsettling factor completely vanished. Normally you’re going through Half-Life alone, crawling through vents and sneaking past corpses, and the only help you get is from NPCs that tend to die. But that’s all gone when there’s three of you, and it’s gone completely when none of you look anything like a guy in a HEV suit.
But still, it’s something different. Another way at looking at Half-Life, which can be an incredibly lonely game at times. Sure you come across NPCs but most of them want to kill you or get killed. You think differently when you’re with other people. Or not at all if you’re messing around with siblings.
I’d recommend multiplayer Half-Life. It’s interesting, to say the least.
But also, as aabicus mentioned, if you’ve never played before, Sven Co-op allows you to play Half-Life for free. I know a lot of gamers have played Half-Life, but not everyone has, and it’s good to be able to play a classic game.