How the wordless Gordon Freeman became one of gaming’s best raconteurs
Before Dunwall, there was City 17. Before The Last Of Us’s overrun sewer colony, there were Route Kanal’s resistance outposts. Before Elizabeth DeWitt came Alyx Vance, and before Andrew Ryan there was Wallace Breen. Thousands of words have been devoted already to explaining how great Half-Life 2 is to play, but that’s only a fraction of its legacy. It might read like hyperbole, but a great deal of what we know about effective videogame storytelling today was incubated in Valve’s 2004 opus.