Articles Blog


November 19, 2019

Oh no… “Hunt Down the Freeman.” Whew, where to even begin with this one. It’s set in the Half-Life universe. You know that beloved universe, that a lot of people care about and cherish. So the game is a first-person shooter, Which is kind of an amalgamation of, You know what? I don’t even know! Like… it’s got CoD gameplay or something? You have a gun… …you can reload? You can shoot? There’s parkour or something weird like that…? It doesn’t really sound much like a Half-Life I know… …I’m not very familiar with Half-Life. I was never- erm… I’ve never played them really myself, but… It’s… it seems very different to what those games were, despite being a fan project and being set in the same universe. So that on its own is very confusing and… the level design is supposedly very bad and uh all the gameplay is just… A weird mishmash and amalgamation of all these weird assets that have kind of been just chucked in a pot and stewed together and then… It’s like the chef fell over and spilt it all over the place and there’s just a mess everywhere, and no one knows what’s going on and there are glitches and it’s broken and nothing makes any sense. And of course when the game comes out everyone hates it because you know… The game’s a disaster. An utter disaster, and it all stems from this one idea. This one guy, who has an idea, his ambitious plan for this… this big gap in the Half-Life universe with a story he thought he could tell that would be just as… gritty, intriguing, with twists and turns, and amazing characters and all this depth and… Just that “meat” the Half-Life fans have been after for oh so long. And that’s about all you can commend, is… the ambition. The fact that, I mean… a game -was- released, technically. *chuckles* Like… and that’s kind of where it ends though because the project management, the direction… everything about the game is a huge mess and… there is pretty much nothing salvageable from it. So what does this have to do with me? Why am I even talking about this? Why am I… Why do I look like I’m being interviewed for one of those police shows, “but I’m hiding my identity because I don’t want to be associated with it” kind of thing. *chuckles* Well basically… I was a voice in the game, right? I played a character in the game, in this epic story of betrayal and… hunting down Gordon Freeman. “An HECU? What are Special Forces doing here?” I’m gonna tell you something. I don’t know the story of this game. I’m in it and I don’t know the story of this game. That’s the level we’re on with this. “They’re all dead, but whatever happens, he lives.” “It’s just a coincidence. There is no such thing as a curse.” “We’ll see about that!” I’ve lent my voice to many a project before, normally YouTube-based, I’ve done a couple of things for like students and what not, just for narration and stuff like that but… never like this. I’ve never been asked forward, “Do you want to be in a game?” And of course I’m gonna say yes of course I’m gonna be like, “That sounds fun! That sounds like something new!” Why would I not want to try something I haven’t done before? That’s… that sounds fun! That sounds like something new, fresh… Offered money for it too! Money is always good. Everyone likes money. It’s probably – no. I haven’t actually been paid as of now so… I’m not really that fussed at this point. It’s more just funny, umm, it wasn’t about the money, per se. Like… It just gave it this professional air… as silly as that sounds to say now with hindsight. But at the time… the fact that money was even involved, it was kind of like: “Oh, maybe this is actually legitimate.” I know it’s a fan project based in a universe that already exists. It’s not original, per se. But I was told there was funding – there are investors, and it’s like “Woah!” “Okay! Right, this is slightly more serious than I was anticipating but, sure! I’d like to be involved with that if you think I can add something to it. Fine! Let’s see what happens!” – “God help us.”
– “No.” “God will stay away from this one.” And basically it crescendoed from little tiny alarm bells just in the distance – can you hear that way back there? Do you hear that over there? Yeah, they’re very faint at this point in the story. You can barely hear them. That’s because I’m a moron and I don’t see the biggest warning signs coming from a mile away. From the get-go, I had to sign a, uhh… a “contract” which was a Gmail *chuckles* or like an email with the details of the contract within the email. And signing it was replying to the email with my name. Not the most professional thing right there, but… I guess I’m an idiot. So that was the first major alarm bell. I’m an idiot for not checking up on the name of the project or anything, but I was told that it was… It was looking good or something. It was shaping up to be something with potential. Everything has potential. Everything has the potential to be good, but you know… Doesn’t often work out that way, does it? So how did I even get involved? It all began from – I think he’s okay with me mentioning his name – Colossal is Crazy actually threw my name and hat on this one. So thanks for that one… fucking prick. No but I… I appreciate him for throwing my hat and I’m, “So cool! Thanks for looking out for me on that one. Sure I’ll look into this! This sounds cool, this video game?! I know what a video game is! I’ve played one of those before! That’ll be neat to be in one!” So within 24 hours, I was attached to the team and put in the official Discord with all the developers and you could see what they’re all doing and I’d sign the contract with the NDA so you couldn’t talk about it as I “Oh! This is very official!” (apart from how unofficial it was) So then I’m told, I’m playing a character called Nick or something. And as I’m told about this… this character, alarm bells start to get a little bit louder. Only a little bit though because it was just more like “Huh? Well, that’s odd.” But I was cast as an Asian character. Nick is Asian… it turns out. Cause I was shown some kind of concept art of the character, and it was someone who’s very clearly Asian and I was told “This is an Asian American character.” I didn’t really have the heart to say “You realize I’m not Asian, right?” “I’m as white as you can get.” But anyway yeah, that was odd. That was a really strange place, and it was never changed. It was – that was months ago, like many, many months ago now. And I was under the impression the character model wasn’t finished. So… They could have changed it to any generic white guy model and it would have fit better than the Asian guy. It’s just very strange, that. So visually there’s already a clash with what I bring to the table. And then you move on to the writing. Of course… Just… Just think about – put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s trying to make a game for a minute. You’re a voice director, right? You’ve just added someone to your team of talent and you want to fill them in – you want them to know: What their character is? Their name? Their background? What, what they’re all about? What’s important to them? You know just the basic things that… The very surface level context you need to be able to explain this character’s place and purpose in a story. And uh… I kind of loosely got that. But I was never given a script. I said earlier I don’t know the story, and I still don’t know it. I was in the game, and I don’t know it! No one knows what’s going on in this game! I was fed lines of dialogue which presumably were being written as it went along or something. Just as the weeks went by, I’d see a message on Skype. “Oh, would you mind doing this?” “This line here?” Okay! No, it’s just such nonsense to me. I have no idea where it’s going or what it is or what grander part it plays in this story or whatever? I remember the only real direction I got was I was told that my dialogue should… should make… “make you cry”. My performance when reading this dialogue should be able to make you cry. “It’s like they know the way we are. They know our weaknesses.” And of course, that’s ridiculous because the – one of the biggest underlying problems is that the dialogue is so appallingly written Mitchell: “But save your friends from spiders with vaginas.” I’m really not trying to be mean, umm… I think in situations like this, being as honest as possible is the best way to learn ’cause there’s no point sitting back and saying “Yeah, the dialogue was excellent. It was all my fault.” “Don’t worry. It’s just on me. It’s just (ha) it’s just on all the Youtubers here involved.” No! No, every part of the project is horribly flawed in every way possible. But, I don’t – no – not even Daniel Day-Lewis could work with this dialogue and do anything with it. “I just don’t understand why it’s such an important thing!” “The captain needs to see it!” Mitchell: “The captain…” “Needs to see what?” And on top of the fact you’re hiring YouTubers as voice actors… Expecting this melancholy, over-dramatic, dark, edgy, drama, kind of thing – kind of tone, a very serious tone that requires: A. good writing and B. good actors – to perform said writing, the two biggest pillars are already – they’ve already collapsed and I don’t know how that kind of oversight can be overlooked when you’re supposed to be managing a project like this. It’s all well and good having these grand ideas but if you can’t fulfill any of them then what is the the purpose or point of any of it? “Ready for your orders, captain.” So my character was Asian and… At first, they were also supposed to be American – have an American accent. So, an American Asian. So the alarm bell’s getting louder… “Uh, you do realize I’m English, right?” “I have a very, very noticeable English accent.” “I am a Brit.” “No, you can’t hear that? – Ok.” “Okay, well – well I’ll try it then, y’know? I’ll do your American voice for you.” He was convinced I could do it, so I tried it for him. With none of his direction or context, I did the lines that was given in this American accent. Then weeks go by and I get some feedback: “Yeah, what – we don’t want to do the American accent anymore.” “Just do whatever you want, pretty much.” and I’m like, “oh okay then, I’ll just be English then, it’s a lot easier for me” So then when it comes to the final product, and I’m skipping through the cutscenes like “what is this” and then – and I find… Both the American AND the English lines are in it. As in takes using both, when I was told the American ones were scrapped. And so, (wha-?) how did that happen? What is happening in this game? What is the story? What is the through line? What – what is ANY of it? IHE as Nick: “Do what the hell you got to do.” “But I’m not gonna be a part of this.” So as the project went on, I kind of got less and less involved with it because a couple months in I’ll say, “Oh. Yeah, I know. I know – I know the way this is going…” “Oh well, might as well just move on, just – I’ll still do the lines and everything, but…” “I’m just gonna keep doing my thing, I’m not gonna get too invested in this or whatever.” “No – not commit too much time to something I know is what’s going to happen” Because I was complaining to people like, “What is expected of me here? What am I supposed to add to this when I have no idea what’s going on?” I don’t know the story! I don’t know the script! And I really cannot accentuate the dialogue and how cheesy and poorly thought-out it was in terms of… Like, there were lines that have the word “thing” in it, like three or four times and it just doesn’t sound good. “Things – things – of things – things.” For a minute I was thinking, “You know what maybe I am – I’m just being a stickler here.” Maybe I’m taking elements of stuff that I would normally change or criticize and I’m trying to apply it to something that isn’t mine – it’s not my vision. It’s not really my place to sit down and say this isn’t the best… content you’re giving me here. Okay, I thought, “You know what? I’ve been I’ve been hired for my voice.” “Nothing else, don’t want anything else. I’m not here to look at the story or anything else. It’s just about the voice.” So, whenever the lines came through, didn’t criticize them – didn’t comment on them whatsoever. I just did them. There was the old time where the English and grammar was so poor I had to question quite literally what the sentence was. I had to do that a couple times. By now I never criticized it because I thought, “Y’know, it’s their vision.” “They do they want – hopefully the editing and post-production on this stuff…” “Well my voice is gonna… prove me wrong.” “It’s gonna impress me or something.” It didn’t. “You fucked up my face.” So fast-forward to the game coming out, everyone hates it! Just a colossal failure. $20 to buy it like – why is that price so high for this? Oh God… There was always that little glimmer of hope when it was coming out, maybe this would be better than what I’ve seen – a bit at least. And then… I find out Keemstar is in the game. And the moment I hear that – in the moment I see that is the moment I go: Oh, right… so it’s one of those – one of the uses of it. And let me tell you, when I saw the scene that Keemstar is in – the cutscene with Keemstar, Killer Keem himself playing the president… I was rolling on the floor laughing quite literally, with tears in my eyes, Roflcoptering all over the room. Keemstar (as the President): “My fellow Americans. As your president and commander-in-chief, it is with a. heavy heart. that I’m informing you. that we have made a strategic decision. To surrender to the alien invaders known as the Combine.” Just scream laughing. Just out of control. I couldn’t help myself. It was like the moment everything had come together, finally we’re seeing the finished product. And this is it. This: “Right now, this is the best chance for our survival as Americans. and as humans. This has ben the hardest decision of my life, and I did not do so lightly. As Americans, and indeed as human citizens, we have never willingly surrendered to oppression.” This is a product that is so unfinished and broken that whoever voiced the G-Man, one of the most famous characters from Half-Life mispronounces Black Mesa as Black Mess-a. Rick (as the G-Man): “Black Messa”. Which I don’t even – I can’t comprehend how that was even possible to wind up with that in the game. Not one person thought to bring up that that is wrong. You know what, there are things about hiring goddamn YouTubers to do all the voices that.. could have worked with the right direction and of and obviously in a different game. First off it would have to be tongue-in-cheek. It would have to have some kind of comedic intent, clearly, and with the right people and the right writing, you could maybe get something funny out of that. But for this… Something that’s supposed to be taken seriously… It just makes me think of The Room. The Room is the drama, the romance, very serious tone on paper in the eyes of the creator. But to everyone else – even the cast involved, they’re just thinking to themselves “What on earth is going on? What is this?” The saddest part is…is they seem reluctant to acknowledge the fact that it is so bad. Um, they’re clinging on to a false hope. I know the director. I mean – I told him I was making this video, I was like “Man…” “I gotta just explain this to people” “what it was like working on it.” “How much of a disaster it has turned out to be”, because it just seems weird otherwise. Like, people are seeing or hearing my voice in this game and they’re like “Wait, is that…?” “Well, what is he doing in this? I hate this game. I don’t want to… I don’t want to hear that!” And he was adamant that the game – it was the wrong version that released and it was a a broken version and they have a better version that should have gone up, and I’m just like: “Well, that’s even worse to do that!” It’s even more of an unprofessional move. Which I don’t even believe either because he said, “Give me one week and we’ll have the game in a better state, and then you can slant the video as more of a redemption story.” And I’m just looking at it thinking “Oh, you poor man.” He’s so nice. He’s a very nice man. Just wanted to make a game. Just wanted to make a fun game for people to enjoy. And I just knew, you can’t fix this after a week. Because so many influential people on YouTube and in the industry have already commented on the mess that is Hunt Down the Freeman. It’s cemented itself as a joke. It’s a piss-take, and the only way to salvage it would be to slash the game to… one dollar, and embrace the memes. It’s never going to be taken seriously. Something like this you CANNOT flip around and turn into something profitable and professional. It’s like Mass Effect Andromeda. What’s that game gonna be remembered for? Oh, yeah being a broken mess with bad animations and bad everything. What’s this game gonna be remembered for? Putting Keemstar in it to play the president, using YouTubers as all the voice talent, reusing assets and bad level design and just a complete mess. The whole thing. It’s really sad. It gives this whole process a new level of sadness to me. I’ve always been outside of the process in terms of “I’ve never been a part of any of these movies that have come out or games that have come out that I’ve personally found to be terrible.” So to be a part of it and to be on the inside and see the people on the Discord panicking when the game comes out and everyone’s just… crushing it, destroying it, and to see the hope from people involved that genuinely thought there was there was something to this game. But to me it’s just kind of a funny experience, I find it funny. I find it so bad that it’s good. The cutscenes at least, not the game and *laugh* It looks like we finally got a Half-Life 3 after all this time, sweet! Let’s check it out. Black Messa! Oh no… oh god. I mean, this is obviously a very different video to what’s normally uploaded but it’s the kind of thing where it’s just I wanted to get the thoughts out there as messy and… strange as they may be. I just wanted something out there to do with it because If nothing else, just a log it for my own, own amusement because I found it very funny. Thanks for watching, uh, normal content will resume soon. “Black Messa.” *Dialogue from Minions* The G-man: “Black Messa.” *More Minions* Mitchell: “You fucked up my face!”

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  1. An Asian American? They could've gotten YongYea, guy's a voice actor too. But then again, maybe they shouldn't…

  2. I'm going to be honest, I think this game COULD have worked if they actually gave a shit.

    As cliche and cheesy as the story is, I kinda like the idea of it. But the way it ended up was just so fucked.

    Most of the voice acting is shit, the cutscene animation is mediocre, level design is awful, pacing sucks, everything is just terrible.

  3. I feel bad for people who are die hard fans of HL, never getting the ending they deserve for their franchise

  4. Humphrey Bogart: "John, what the hell is this picture about?" (on the set of The Big Sleep)
    John Huston: "Damned if I know, Bogey."
    Seriously. The book was about amateur underage rape porn. The Motion Picture Production Code erased any mention of this from the film, thus, producing a detective film with no plot. Only John Huston was a great enough director to pull that one off and leave us with a film that is actually watchable. Hunt Down the Freeman had no John Huston.

  5. Hunt Down the Freeman is still available on Steam. Well, Trump is President. Everyone must be aware the world is fucking insane by now.

  6. As I look back at this video and hear the quote about putting the game down to a pound or whatever, I question my sanity because I did get the game for a pound during a Steam Summer Sale.

  7. To me. This game is less "Hunt down the refund" and more "Hunt down the fucking level exit"

    Or worse "Hunt down the fucking level"

  8. I have been playing black Mesa recently and the game is great. I think it pulls of half life perfectly. I have had a lot of fun with it and I can’t wait to play half life 2 and even black Mesa xen! To see something apart of half life fail makes me very sad actually

  9. So you havent played the game (saying you heard that the level design was bad) and you dont know what the story is, so why exactly are you talking about this ? (Disclaimer: This aint a salty comment, I dont even know what this game is either)

  10. Really, IHE? You couldn't say your dialogue to make people cry? it's like first grade in VA school.
    What you do is hold an onion to your microphone and say your lines. That'll make everyone who hears it cry.

  11. At least if they have taken the American off the Asian and put English after word it would have made more sense

  12. Ah yes have IHE, the British monotone guy do an American-Asian dude who should make you cry.

    Hire IHE for a monotone snarky bitch? Or a narrator? Or this exposition dude? I could listen to IHE do exposition forever.

  13. Lol. As a starting IT Project Manager, I can tell you that if you send the wrong Branch of Development to Production and then into the Live Stage……. You are a dumbass.

  14. maybe someone can clarify something for me, why does IHE's race matter in relation to the game characters if all he is doing is providing voice work? if the character doesn't have a stereotypical asian accent than I don't see a reason why a white/black/whatever person can't voice the character cause at that point it's only a matter of their voice fitting the role. if this was live action than I could see the point of this mattering, but since it isn't why should IHE or anyone care?

    this is like complaining that Christopher Judge, a black man, voiced Kratos because Kratos is a white greek. or the voice of Cleveland from family guy being a white man. this type a casting is super common in the voice acting world that I am not sure why it was a warning sign at all for IHE or a talking point in this video. as long as the character sounds good, I don't think the voice actors race should ever become part of the equation

  15. IHE: Hey man make sure you dont pay me yeah? Im fine being left of the payroll.
    Developer: You sure? Why's that?
    IHE: I think youve got enough on your plate man.

    That is by far the bleakest thing Ive read in a while.

  16. "This has been the HARDEST 🙂 decision of my life, and I didn't do so lightly…" The happiest saddest news I have ever heard hahahaha

  17. Really shows the importance of good direction in any media not just games but even film. You can have the best voice actor in the world but with terrible direction, it still rarely will turn out well

  18. Alexander sir I hate everything. Your not not a terrible voice actor. You just messed up and made mistakes in your logic, it's more than a character that your given, It is a persona.

  19. I know you are trying to tell us everything about this crap, but it's hard to take you seriously when you are supposed to make me cry.

    But in all seriousness, you actually didn't do that bad of a job. But the dialogue wasn't all that great (obviously not your fault).

  20. Wait…your character was supposed to be Asian and American? It doesn't look Asian or sound american. That's 0 for 2. You obviously didn't do anything wrong, it's the fucktards that made this "game". Its not even a game. Games are played and using this THING was work. I'm gonna talk to president Keemstar about this.

  21. Why is there a character in this game wearing a fake mustache? How does that even sort of make sense? I'm not talking about not making sense in the context of the game I'm talking about in general. Its retarded. That mustache must be the one thing the "developers" modeled themselves.

  22. ? Why zoom in on Hideo Kojima? It's not like he writes anything better than HDTF… seriously, Kojima is an overrated fucking crackpot.

  23. The only 2 benefits I can see to hiring YouTubers is that you already have a reel of what they sound like, and most YouTubers have a pretty good mic setup

  24. Weird how steam would let a fan game, especially one based on one of their IPS, into their store…

    But we know they (steam ) have no quality control to begin with

  25. Looking on bright sides, like you did:
    • DNF is not the joke of the decade anymore
    • Project director of a generational dumpster fire, now is a project director with EA
    • YTers didn't crash their careers with it despite being used as fan-purchases for the devs
    • Endless fountain of memes, eternal
    • Valve (for the most part) didn't get dragged down too much by it
    • If you pirated it, you got a glimpse into the darkest timeline.
    • If you bought it, you saw one of the GOAT franchises crucified both officially and unofficially (due to Valve's endorsement by proxy), while you too burnt at the stake in game form.
    • "AAA indie games" (shit, even major publishing titles) can be easier identified for all signs and symptoms of "Hunt Down The Refund" Illness.. all thanks to the AMTRAK-esque thundering fuckup of this opulent turd

    Too bad you have to actually play it..
    This medium, vidyagames, unfortunately requires participation (ad nauseum in this case) for one's full comprehension. This exemplary eldritch experience, shit-fumes-in-a-bottle, unique slagheap of a ""game"" can't just be watched and laughed at. It is cringe and pain with no catharsis.
    And it's not enjoyably bad, despite what some may say–unlike the amazing Cagiean ""interactive storytelling"" of Beyond Two Souls (one of my personal favorite big-budget fuckups); any assortment of Eurojank FPS; procedurally generated rogue-lite shovelware; an-e-may titties VNs devoid of gameplay or good writing/art/voice-acting; or fucking CURSEs Crafting sURvival early-accesS opEn-world

    At least masterful failures are remembered more than boilerplate success.
    HDTF will not be forgotten, and that's okay.
    It shouldn't be. Can't let another one happen of this magnitude.

  26. Why do all the characters look like they belong in a telltale game? Except for the gman they all look so weird and out of place. Especially the blonde woman

  27. Hunt Down The Freeman.
    More like Hunt down The
    S H I T T Y
    A S S H O L E ! ! !
    Looks like it COULD Have been a good game, but Instead they were just fuckin' JERKIN' OFF!
    And so am I, because it killed more brain cells.that.i could possibly imagine.
    The whole game is bases on HL2 engine
    But there's a difference between HL2Engine… and JUST FUCKIN' IMPOSSIBLE!
    F U C K T H I S G A M E!!!!!!!!!!

  28. No one:
    Literally no one:
    This game: letsssssssss gettttttt righttttt intoooooo this war. Seriously, wtf would you have Keem

  29. Now I don't know if anyone else noticed, but if you really look close you'll notice that guy has a couple of really subtle scars….

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