So, I’ve always been annoyed by some terrible aspects of Half-life 2’s story. I’ve already talked about Half-life 1’s being pretty silly, and how I don’t think Alyx Vance is a strong female character, so here we go again.
Are there people who claim that HL2 has a well written story? I don’t know, but here’s why they’re wrong if they exist.
So, in a previous article, I briefly mentioned that I think Alyx Vance is a badly written female character, despite usually (although not always) being talked about as a being a well written and strong female character.
So, let’s just dive in.
We’re first introduced to Alyx when she saves Gordon Freeman when he’s unarmed and surrounded. She defeats the Combine police that are beating him up and leads him to safety. So, she’s being introduced as a strong character. She kicks butt and I guess quantity of butt kicked is how we measure strength of character in an action video game. I can go along with that, that’s fine, honest.
There are more moments like this later on (like when Gordon uses his flashlight and Alyx uses her gun) which demonstrate how useful Alyx is to Gordon and how they work as a team. But! These moments really only happen when Gordon is unarmed and vulnerable. Whenever Gordon has weapons, Alyx is really only helpful in terms of unlocking doors with her magic wand, which kind of relegates her to the role of Red Key Card from Doom.
That’s not so bad in and of itself, so let’s continue.
So, sometimes I see people claim that Half-life has an amazing story, one of the best stories in video games.
I think these people must be mistaking story for storytelling technique. Because, while Half-life might have some very interesting story telling techniques, let’s remember what Half-life’s story actually is: