Tuesday, November 24, 2015

HL2 Narrative: Go To Jail, Do Not Pass Go

- Highway 17 - 

After our time in Ravenholm, we are brought out into the real world once again, and it's time once again to be introduced to some plot elements. Primarily, the Highway 17 segment is about the fight between the Resistance and the Combine forces. Here we start to see the real resistance movement for the first time, with resistance bases littered with weaponry all across the countryside. We also see the general disrepair of the roads in this whole sequence. Apparently, human transportation technology is not a concern of the Combine, and they would rather everyone rely on their flying machines.

At one of these stations we get a report saying that Eli Vance has been captured with Dr Mossman, and they have both been found at Nova Prospekt, a high security prison.

At the end of this segment, we run into a lighthouse base that falls under attack from all directions, showing pretty clearly how intense the Combine search for Freeman is becoming. Luckily, you sneak out along a cliff path and make your way steadily closer to Nova Prospekt.
- Sand Traps - 

The first thing we see in this section is a dying man lying on the sands with a friend on the rocks nearby. This is how we are introduced to the primary mechanic of this part of the game, which is avoiding the sandy ground and instead relying on physics to place safe platforms to traverse. Largely this is a mechanics segment, playing with the physics and eventually with the pheropod. While these mechanics aren't directly narrative in nature, they do kind of point out that the Combine is still subject to the natural whims of the planet they have invaded, and can be destroyed by those processes.

Once we make our way to a small resistance base, (who's sole purpose seems to be harvesting pheropods?) we meet with a Vortigaunt who tells us that "The Eli Vance has confidence in you!" implying that they are somehow in communication with him. Which, as we see later in this series of games, might be entirely possible.

Also of note here is the combine's radio transmission that refers to Freeman as "Subject Zero", further dehumanizing him.

Next up is our infiltration of Nova Prospekt!

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