Prospekt: Adrian Shephard back in action

Game area and story

Game area

The Prospekt actually does not start directly in the Nova Prospekt prison rather than somewhere where Adrian has been “stored” in stasis. A pack of Vortigaunts appears and, to great dislike of G-Man’s, teleport you away. They also explain what happened to Earth in the meantime and what you are there to do. Only than you are dropped in the prison.

The start is rather slow, as usually in the Half Life franchise games, so you have the time to look around and get used to the game. That is especially handy if you are not familiar with it. You don’t even get a weapon in the beginning, just wonder throughout the prison.

As already stated, the Black forrest is not finished yet. There are still other nice locations though as the Nova Prospekt is really rather a beginning only. The rapidly decaying portal transports you, through some brief instabilities (which momentarily bring you to different locations, including the artic region with Dr. Mossman and Borealis!), to another Combine base, obviously around old soviet pool-type nuclear reactors.

Next stop is on the Earth orbit. Yep, an orbital station! Guess the Combine upgraded the ISS a “bit”. There is also a brief stop at Xen before you swing back to the orbital station to get rid of it. If I understand the story correctly, Combine uses the orbital station as a signifficant base of operations so by destroying it, you greatly help Gordon Freeman (as well as the whole Resistance). That’s it, for now anyway.

The story

So as I have already disclosed a bit, you are teleported away from stasis by Vortigaunts to the Nova Prospekt prison to assist Gordon Freeman. There is nothing really that much to it. Actually, one of the reason why I love Half Life 2 so much is that it also has a strong story. But the story kinda unfolds just like that, you just go on and things happen. It is not intrusive or something, Valve made a great job putting the whole thing together so it feels so natural.

The story of Prospekt is maybe a little bit weaker, on the other hand so was actually the Half Life: Opposing force. It’s just not THE game, it’s not Gordon Freeman, it’s merely an “expansion”. The Prospekt is pretty much an expansion of Half Life 2 as well. There is also no NPC you can meet, as far as I recall, nor anybody on the radio – you are pretty much alone here. On the other hand, that makes the atmosphere more intense, unnerving. Even without the dark corridors filled with zombies (as there is actually very few of those here) as are in the Half Life 2. So you basically follow a road through some Combine installations, disturbing them and also drawing their forces away from Gordon.

The Prospekt is not just a mindless shooter though. Richard managed to squeeze some of the things we all like from Half Life franchise in it, too…the ventilation shafts! There are also the other so beloved toys…like the puzzles. I mean, like you have to pile these crates to get somewhere…or carry an iron girder through poorly lit underwater tunnels to next chamber to put it between a handrail and another ventilation shaft. ‘Cause you cannot get there without it, right.

Good that you have the combat suite, almost as good as the HEV suit. There are pretty much no areas with radioactive waste though. But there is something else…the timed traps! The jump-at-the-right-time-or-get-killed-instantly puzzles, we love those too…or not? :D These have been largely omitted in Half Life 2, so Richard connects more on the tradition of the first Half Life here.

In the end you destroy the largest base from where Combine launches many machines of doom down to the Earth, greatly easying the struggle of resistance down there, increasing their chances.

And than…back to the G-Man. Well, that’s about the story of Prospekt. No rocket science here, but I must say I find the story good, it fits together as good as the HL2 games do.

By the way, did I mention the Combine has a Stargate? :D


The weaponry includes the usual stuff…a pistol, the .357 Magnum revolver, submachine gun, pulse rifle, shotgun, grenades and RPG launcher. And oh, the crowbar, hell yeah baby! The only thing which is not there is the gravity gun. Oh well, there is no village-fair every day I guess.

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