By: Craig Lager

Published: October 24, 2008 Posted in: Game Reports

Synergy is a Half-life 2 mod that lets you play co-op. This includes all the levels from HL2, both episodes, and a few custom levels. It’s a bit buggy, but in one session, it produced some of the funniest gaming I have ever done.

Synergy HL2 co-op: co op at its best

The idea of playing HL2 through co-op appealed muchly to me and Arazmus, so we installed the synergy dedicated server onto the Gaming Daily server and off we went. Well, if only it were that easy. To start with we had some serious connection problems, pretty much meaning that only one of us could be in the server at any one time. Then none of us could get in. Then we both could, but with a rubbish connection. When we could finally play with each other[/gay], the HL2 maps refused to load, so we just played a custom map.

I can’t remember what the map was called, but it was hard. Really hard. To start there is a constant stream of combine, then you go outside to be greeted by four Striders, then you go underground to be greeted by lots and lots of very dangerous zombies. It was all fun, but we we’re more than close friends with Death. In fact, we were so close friends, he often invited us round for Fatalitea and death-crumpets.

In the end, we quit the silly-hard map, and Arazmus went off to get the HL2 maps working. When he finally did, hilarity ensued. We skipped half of the game (we only meant to skip to the canals), so were playing with cars straight away. I have a couple of problems with the rusty buggy car in HL2

1. It handles like god with ADD (unpredictable with undesirable results)
2. When it flips over, it’s really difficult to flip back over
3. It has a turbo button, which might as well be renamed to ‘throw me into the sea or straight into a wall please’

Seeing as it’s co-op, we get a car each, so in we jump and off we go. Firstly, we are presented with a small gap which we are required to hop over. The car, apparently, doesn’t want to just hop over. No. It would rather fall through the gap into a Antlion nest, over and over again, rather than jump over. Arazmus eventually gets fed up, and decides to go it on foot. I go for ‘one last go’ and somehow make it. I drive past him into a tunnel, signifying a load point.

Synergy HL2 co-op: cruisein along the coast

When the server changes level, it kits you out with everything you should have, if you were playing through the game single-player. This is so that you can just load up any level and be equipped to deal with it. This means Arazmus gets a new car, even though he ditched it because it wouldn’t do what he wanted it to do. I wish I hadn’t of bothered with mine now.

We eventually get to the part where you are presented with a big, magnetic, crane to control, big metal cargo boxes, and explosive barrels. This is going to be a playground for us. First things first, I jump into the crane and proceed to hurl big metal boxes at Arazmus. They all miss, but then I have a genius idea.

Synergy HL2 co-op: a genius idea

Firstly, I try to reverse my car into a cargo box, but it refuses to go in. I finally concede and drive it in forwards, then get out so I can see out of the box. Arazmus picks up the crate and starts to swing me round. ‘weeeee’. As I start slipping out, I decide I might have to get back into the car. Too late, I fly out, falling to a comedy rag-doll death. After trecking back to the crane, we try again. This time I persist and somehow manage to recverse my car in. After much spinning round, arazmus sets me down, and I jump in the crane.

Synergy HL2 co-op: me and my car in a box

He stands in the box, and I lift it up. I swing him round, and round, and round, then launch him. He doesn’t die somehow, and we decide we better grow up and progress. He parks in a crate, and I lift him over next to my car. A quick shootout later, and we are presented with a big ramp and a big window.

Synergy HL2 co-op: arazmus gets in a box

Arazmus lines up the screenshot, and I floor the accelerator…I miss, crashing the car into the side, but still smashing the window. Fuck. We have to try this again, I need that screenshot. This means starting the level again, but, we have no choice. This time, we don’t dick around with crates, and just lift each others cars up (still great fun). I let Arazmus take the jump because I don’t want another epic fail on my hands. He goes full throttle, and does exactly the same as I did. Both ashamed, we just humbly and carefully go through the opening. Silly cars…must’ve been a bug.

Craig Lager
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