Asshole Physics Revisited
Mmmm... crates. Delicious crates.
As you may or may not have noticed I have recently started writing for the front page of Something Awful every other Sunday. In between bits of Greasnin goodness the readers of Something Awful are granted with an opportunity to gloss over the crapfest that I stick up here every other week. Hey don't feel bad. I don't read my updates either. But as a new writer I must differentiate myself from the other staff members who write for this web site by developing my own style. Every Something Awful staff member has their own style of course. For example, Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons often writes about politics. Moof routinely writes updates about happy times and good feelings. Frolixo's updates are often in English. These are the styles these writers have fine tuned and developed over 20 years of broadcasting on Something Awful. After a couple months of writing updates I have finally decided just what my style is going to be. The first paragraph of every update will have nothing to do with the rest of the update similiar to the way the first 2 minutes of recent Simpsons episodes are funny until the show settles into it's usual dumbass storyline except my paragraph won't really be that funny and cause readers to commit suicide similiar to the way their fathers did when they found out their child is no good at sports and spends all day listening to talk radio and posting on an internet forum in their underwear. Let's face it, most people only read the first paragraph of these updates until they realize they have better things to do like writing letters to the editor at Vogue magazine or drowning their girlfriend. What follows is the rest of the update which has nothing to do with this long boring paragraph!
Unless you are still living with your parents you probably don't know that Half Life 2, one of the most anticipated games of all time, was released this past week. After over a year of delays, drama, lies, and murder, I must say that Half Life 2 is one of the greatest games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. What Valve has done here is simply genious. They've stripped away all the crap that makes me hate first person shooters such as colored lighting, jumping puzzles, and deathmatch. The game features none or very little of those things. Instead, they put in all the crap that makes me love first person shooters such as crates, strafing, and those fucking things that jump around everywhere that you can barely shoot. The single player game is very polished and takes a good 10-12 hours to complete. Of course, 10 of those hours are spent driving a fucking hovercraft all over the world in a sequence THAT NEVER FUCKING ENDS. But what makes Half Life 2 truly great is it's revolutionary use of Asshole Physics.
First coined by me and later stolen by Lowtax, "Asshole Physics" is a term used to describe a game with a physics engine that allows the player to become a total prick to anyone and everyone around them. The technology was first introduced in the game Max Payne 2 in which players can wreak havoc in a police station while NPC characters continue to go about their business trying to ignore the moron knocking over buckets and chairs for no reason at all. Lowtax described in great detail the amount of fun Asshole Physics adds to a game and held high hopes for the future of this great technology. Of course, a physics engine is not the only ingredient required in the Asshole Physics recipe. Scripted scenes and/or NPCs going about their business are also needed. Some semblence of an orderly world must exist to allow the player to feel like they are in fact being an asshole to someone.
Doom 3 is the perfect example of a game that could have really used Asshole Physics. While the game had a physics engine the developers made absolutely no use of it to allow the player to act like a dick in space. Nobody on Mars gives a shit if you knock a plastic soda can off a counter. Nobody cares if you hit the janitor's mop bucket with your pussy flashlight in a vain attempt to knock the damn thing over. Who was actually on that base to annoy? A couple of Asian scientists? You can't annoy Asian people. Nope, Doom 3 missed a perfect opportunity for Asshole Physics and that's why it failed miserably. Without Asshole Physics it was just another lame first person shooter. That gave Valve the opportunity to swoop in and claim the Asshole Physics crown and that's exactly what they did. Take my hand and come along on an adventure in Asshole Physics!
Upon my arrival in City 17 I noticed a man and a guard arguing about a luggage cart. Looking to put the argument into perspective I threw all of the luggage onto the ground in the hopes that they would work together in putting it back on the cart. The guy ignored me and never even attempted to work out his differences with the officer. While he was walking off I threw a suitcase at his head and the policeman got mad at me. He remembered that he really does care for the man he was arguing with and was determined to defend his friend's honor. Already sick of my antics he hit me a couple times with his magic baton. Why were they arguing about the luggage anyway? Was there pornography inside? Did these trains carry pornography? I was convinced, mostly by myself, that they did in fact carry hardcore porn. It was then that I got my greatest idea ever.
I would stack luggage onto the train tracks. Then when the train comes into the station and hits the luggage, it would derail, spilling out tons and tons of free double penetration anal porn in the process. It would be all mine and no one could stop me. Unfortunately a train never came. But I didn't lose hope. There had to be pornography there somewhere, possibly in one of the ten thousand crates nearby. I smashed open every crate but they were all empty. I didn't even bother with the last crate. I already knew it was empty as it was clearly so light that it floated in the air. Floating crates don't usually carry Jenna Haze videos. Dejected, I picked up suitcases and chucked them into the sky. That'll show them. If I can't have pornography, then no one can have their clothes and mini tubes of toothpaste back.
All that luggage handling made me horny as hell so I checked out the local action. I found an average looking chick that I could fire a few rounds into which would tide me over for the time being. She said that her husband had been taken away for questioning and that he hasn't been back. I told her to lose that zero and get with a hero. She didn't respond and continued to wait for that idiot who is probably dead anyway. I told her that he has probably already cheated on her with several women because she is so fugly. Still, not seeing any other alternatives I knew I had to bag this chick fast. I wooed her with a moldy old shoe I had found in one of the nearby lockers. She still ignored me! Usually I would pass on a crazy broad like this but no woman was going to treat me like a putz. I gathered up everything I could find and made a nice little stack of gifts for her. She eventually told me to buzz off. What a bitch! I give her nice presents such as Chinese food containers, bottles of bleach, and liquor bottles to the head, and she blows me off just like that! What an uptight whore.
Venturing further into the train station I spotted the guy who I threw the suitcase at earlier. It was because of him that the guard hit me. Wasting no time I smashed a liquor bottle into his face. The blow didn't phase him at all. In fact, whatever I threw at him didn't damage him in the slightest. Throwing shit at people just isn't as fun when they don't get hurt. I finally left the man and his super human skin made of steel. Here I was, only 15 minutes in this godforsaken game and not once was I able to be a dick to anyone. It looked like Asshole Physics had failed me for the first time. I asked a guard where I could buy a train ticket to a better game when he knocked a can onto the ground and told me to pick it up. I was insulted. This jerk was using Asshole Physics to be a dick to me. I would not stand for it. I picked up the can and put it in the trash. Satisfied with my response he started to walk away. As he turned around I pulled out a six shooter and blew his fucking brains out. "Hey, pick it up!" I yelled, "Your brains from the floor I mean!" If only the police were made out of the same shit the citizens were made out of. Filled with a new hope I continued my search for people to annoy.
I happened upon an apartment complex and decided that if there was anyone to dick around with, it'd be here. Upon entering what did I happen to find? A brand new bike! Looks like things were finally looking up. I took my new bike up the stairs and found a couple staring out the window for some reason, probably watching people in the apartments across the street undress. I decided to sit down and watch some TV. It was tuned to some boring show about totalitarian governments or some bullshit like that. "Does this thing get the show about the grouchy old Jew on HBO that I've heard so much about?", I asked. The couple ignored me. I tried to change the channel but there were no buttons to change the channel with. I was determined to change the channel even if I had to use a crowbar to do it. I eventually got sick of the boring television show and threw the TV out the window. Cancelled, bitch. Still angry about the TV I decided I had had enough and threw everything in the apartment out the windows. Tables, picture frames, buckets of semen, all thrown out. The tables had turned. Asshole Physics was finally working in my favor.
In the next room I heard a woman crying. This is where Asshole Physics really shines. I repeatedly told the woman to shut up or I'd give her something to cry about but like a broken record she kept crying. I tried throwing crap at her when I realized that these people just wanted to feel protected. I built them a little fort out of tables and mattresses. Her ungrateful bastard husband just continued to sneer at me. Fuck these people, I thought. I stole a lamp and continued on.
Suddenly the complex was swarmed by police. I broke a TV and now they were after me! I headed for the attic where I found a dune buggy. I hopped in and made my daring escape running over several guards along the way. It's a good thing that depressed people living in rundown hellhole apartments keep dune buggies in the attic. I don't know where I would be without it.
After my dune buggy adventure was over I somehow found myself in an elevator with a very sexy milk chocolate honey. It was love at first sight. I just had to have her. So I did what any red-blooded American male would do in a situation like this. I sniffed her ass. Oh how heavenly that aroma was. It smelled like a rose garden full of freshly grown flowers. It smelled like a crisp cool winter morning. It smelled like my girlfriend's purse. Like everyone else in City 17 she did not object to my advances. I took this to mean that she wanted me to rape her violently. I complied with her wishes. I blocked the elevator door with a box so that she couldn't escape but she easily knocked the box over and escaped the elevator. I tried to find the rape key but the flimsy keyboard referrence card that came with the game was no help at all. I guess it wasn't meant to be. Well if I can't have her no one can. I attempted to murder her with a steel barrel but it didn't work so I said screw it and walked into the next boring as hell scripted sequence.
After my adventure in romance was over I ended up in a science lab. A scientist, some dude, and a chick were there chatting away about God only knows. The great thing about Half Life 2 is that during the "cinematic" scenes you are free to move around and break chairs while the characters speak their boring lines. This gave me the perfect chance to make a pile of crap in the middle of the room. I began to look for shit to pile up when suddenly a headcrab jumped out of nowhere and attacked! Luckily I shot it dead before it had a chance to suck anyone's brains out. I went back to my pile while the scientist continued talking about science crap. My pile got to a good size when I decided that all these people were full of crap. Sick of playing I broke their stupid boxes and radios and science looking shit and quit the game because it's hot as hell in this apartment since the air conditioner broke and my ass hurts.
Half Life 2 is a great game that revolutionizes the idea of asshole physics. I can't imagine all of the mods that will be released that take advantage of this wonderful technology. Perhaps we may see a mod about waiting in line at the grocery store and getting fed up and throwing packs of ramen at the cashier. Or maybe we might see a mod about knocking over antique vases in a rusty old dowager's mansion. I still have a lot left to play of Half Life 2 though. I'm currently on hour 7 of the hover boat adventure and hopefully that'll be over sometime in the next week.