We’re talking about the year 1989. My father worked at Bull, the “french IBM”. One evening he brought home our long awaited personal computer. For you geeks out there, it was a 286 AT 8Mhz 640kB RAM. Running an impressive onboard EGA graphics card capable of displaying up to 16 colors! The harddrive offered an amazing 20MB of storage space. Two 5.25″ floppy drives.
And for you post-nineties teenagers: no internet. No e-mail, no Firefox, no Messenger. No Napster / Kazaa / Bittorrent, no Astalavista, no Askjolene and definitely no DVD burner.
Back to gaming. In 1994, I moved to Groningen to study Artificial Intelligence. Leaving the PC with my parents. From then on XPilot was da bomb. A real multiplayer game. Played at the university over the internet. Magic. After some years, serious studying ended playing XPilot.
Years went by without games. Even Half-Life did not reach me. Then at some moment, a friend introduced me to Counter-Strike 1.3. A highly addictive multiplayer first person shooter. A game I still play regularly. Sierra launched its Steam game platform and Counter-Strike Source, a complete CS rewrite. I sticked to CS 1.6. And never looked around.
Last Koninginnedag (Queensday), april 30th 2006, I bought Half-Life 2 second hand for just € 7.50. Simply amazing. Its realism. Its storyline. Its AI. Some parts were so exciting (scary) that I just had to stop playing.
HL2 was released in the end of 2004. Recently HL2 Episode One came available. This is where the visual intimidation kicks in. The trailers for Episode One and Two are just intimidatingly cool. It’s a bit like watching The Matrix.
HL2 is like playing the Matrix. Check the HL2 Episode videos and see for yourself.