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2009/11/01

Apocalypse Then- Half-Life: Opposing Force

All Saints Day



On this day in gaming, Half-Life: Opposing Force was released on the PC, in 1999. This marks the tenth anniversary of the first expansion for Half-Life, developed by Gearbox Software, with some help from outsourcing of talent, and published by Sierra Studios.

I played it numerous times years ago. I first played the demo that was available on a NAG CD in 2000, although I later bought Blue Shift, which included "OpFor". I personally sent a letter to NAG, requesting them to review the game in late 1999, and the review was published in early 2000.


Opposing Force is a FPS title that sees you play in the same universe as the original game, except that you are a soldier, Corporal Adrian Shephard, like the ones sent to contain the events at Black Mesa Research Facility, and to eliminate the alien invasion. But soon the marines are overcome by numerous foes, even ones unexpected, like another alien race, Race X, as well as black ops.

Like Half-Life was revolutionary for the FPS genre, Opposing Force was considered an above average expansion by many. It introduced new weapons, enemies, and NPCs, including Senior Drill Instructor Dwight T. Barnes, a character meant to be modeled after R. Lee Ermey's Gunny from Full Metal Jacket. Of course the mysterious G-Man makes an appearance in the game too.

In Opposing Force there was one notable difference, playing as a marine, and that was that unlike Half-Life, you didn't have to kill the scientists, or the security force. In Opposing Force you can save them, and more often that not, they will aid you in parts of the game. Kind of like a "we're in the same boat" kind of situation.


Opposing Force was also available with Blue Shift, the second expansion, along with the High Definition Pack, which enhanced the look of the game's characters and weaponry, with the MP5 submachine gun notably changing into the M4 assault rifle.


At the end of the game, a similar situation with the G-Man unfolds, and the player is detained. Up until now, there have been no real confirmations that Adrian Shepard will ever be seen or be playable in a Half-Life title again, althought rumours still persist.

A fan-made mod is in development, Operation Black Mesa, with the aim of recreating Opposing Force in the Source engine, much like Black Mesa Source.


Just on a personal note: There was a sound when using the barnacle as a grappling hook to stick onto things, which made me "excited".
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