I posted, like, three screenshots on PHWonline. One of them, the second most-popular of the three, was one called “No Home King”, named after a song by Pan Sonic and Alan Vega. This is a recreation.
The chase taking place from Kleiner’s lab up until Black Mesa East is one of my favorite parts of the any game ever. Not because of the gameplay, mind you, driving that boat is a freakin’ pain. No, rather it’s the travel through City 17, a city in name only, where police brutality is the norm and humanity has no hope for the future.
The alternative to living in one of the dilapidated apartments? Living in a sewage tunnel below the streets and buildings, without a real home. And in no place is this feeling stronger than in d1_canal_05, which has some of my absolute favorite setpieces. The afternoon sun dripping down the grates; the narrow, winding sewer corridors; the shelled shanty-town. It really nails the atmosphere of retail Half-Life 2. It’s not as visually dark as the now-famous Beta’s vision, but Half-Life 2 retail is grim; humans choose not to live under the oppressive regime’s relative safety, and instead risk their lives living as rats in the sewer.