Half-Life is one of the most successful video games of the early 2000s. The introduction of supreme storytelling into a shooter while adding exploration elements flipped an industry on its head. Half-Life was everywhere... except one notable place: Sega's Dreamcast. It has been a mystery as to what happened with a game destined to have a port on every possible platform. And sure enough, it was going to come to the Dreamcast. Now, the Dreamcast Game Preservation group has found reporting of a near-release version of the game.
The version I was given for review was about 95% complete with some missing textures, minor bugs, very playable and representative of the final experience. I was in contact with Sierra about the problems I was finding. I had asked if they would be fixed, the editor said yes anyway. 🙂
But this time, my contact at Sierra had been very honest and let me know that there were things that were not going to be fixed. We accepted this list of caveats knowing that our contact was working with a release date that was not definitive, but seemed likely, as the publisher wanted to keep its promise.
We usually worked six to eight weeks before the magazine cover date / public release date of the game. We often worked from GOLD versions or release candidates close to a final version. I had played at least 75% of the game. I had already done it on PC, so I knew the title pretty well. As mentioned, I only found a few small problems. I remember that the most obvious textures were missing or flawed. With the caveats, we were ready to print the article, ignore and forgive a few bugs that we were told would be fixed before publication.Sega Dreamcast Info Games Preservation
It is fascinating to see this game, which was revolutionary, almost make it onto Sega's platform. In the short time the Dreamcast was selling (prior to the PS2) it was a legit success in the console space. The Games Preservation site has a lot of info about Half-Life's Dreamcast port. Screen shots, cheat codes, debug menus, it's all there.
For anyone who's a fan of the series (or the Dreamcast like myself) it is a cool look back at what could have been.
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