wildiebeast wrote:I really don't get why valve are held in such high esteem as a developer. OK, Half Life was great, HL2 not quite as good, L4D and Portal, also decent. However, they're not really anything more than HL expansion packs. Same for Team Fortress and the Counter Strikes. They're like the HL equivalent of COD Zombie mode. The best of the bunch, Portal, wasn't even Valve's idea, it was based on a student project.
Then you don't have a long enough memory to remember what FPS games were like before
Half-Life. If you only measure Valve's 14 year-old title against the games that subsequently copied* it, then of course you're going to come to that decision. What makes them great is the fact they don't release something until they're happy with it - evidenced by them not releasing the original HL when it resembled a Quake clone and instead went back to the drawingboard, pretty much completely rewrote it and released a debut
title that changed the game for other developers.
Clearly you have a good taste in games as you say ALL of their games are "great", "good" or "decent" and yet how can you then state that you don't rate them as a developer? I can't think of many more with such an impressive track record.
Also, don't write them off because Portal wasn't their idea, they had the foresight to see the potential in that idea and brought the creator on board. Something they do a lot of (Counter-Strike was another example).*Maybe copied is too strong a word, but certainly learnt from it and used it as a jumping-off point.