Steam Gaming

HL2: Lost Coast

Originally planned as a section of the Highway 17 chapter of Half-Life 2, Lost
Coast is a playable technology showcase that introduces High Dynamic Range
lighting to the Source engine.

If you've ever gone through the map listing for HL2, you'll instantly recognise
that the map names were kept in a nice, easy to understand format. For example,
d1_trainstation_01 means it's day one of Gordon's story and it's in the first trainstation area of the game. It follows a very similar pattern all the way up
to Gordon's second day in the coastal areas of City 17 where all of a sudden, there's
a coast missing. Valve lost a coast map!

Well, of course they didn't lose it, but "The Coast Level We Didn't Put into the
Game" doesn't sound as good, does it? Whether they cut it out of the game because
it was crap, or because of time constraints, or even if they had this planned all
along; it is now making a return with an uber face lift to go along with it.

The Lost Coast is essentially just a technology demo that is showcasing the new
technology that they're building into the Source engine. We've all heard of it before,
it's a thing called High Dynamic Range rendering (or HDR, if you're lazy). Here's
a really technical detail into what HDR exactly is, from our friends over at
The Dynamic Range is the ratio of the largest value of a signal to the lowest
measurable value. Current 16-bit integer-based formats use colour component values
from 0 ("black") to 1 ("white"), but don't allow for what is known as "over-range"
values, for example, a whiter-than-white highlight glinting off a piece of metal.

HDR facilitates the use of colour values way outside the normal range in an effort
to produce a more realistic rendering of a typical 3D scene. If you have ever
driven through a dark tunnel in your car, and then emerged out the other side
into blazing sunshine, temporarily blinded by the difference in light levels -
that oversaturation is one example of what is possible with HDR.
So basically, HDR makes the lighting look bloody good! Valve have admitted, however,
that to fully appreciate the powerful graphics of The Lost Coast, it is vital you
have a good processor, lots of RAM and more importantly either an ATi Radeon x800
or nVidia 6800 video card.

It's definitely worth pointing out, however, that this should not be considered
much more than a tech demo! It has around 15 minutes gameplay and whereas it may
reveal a small portion of the story of Half-Life 2, it certainly shouldn't be considered
something to get excited about in terms of continuing the Half-Life 2 story. At
this point it's also worth mentioning that it's entirely free to anyone who owns
Half-Life 2, so hopefully it won't be cause for complaint with anyone.

Lost Coast is available free with Half-Life 2 on the PC only via Steam.

Minimum Requirements
  • 1.2 GHz Processor
  • 256MB RAM
  • DirectX 7 graphics card
  • Windows XP/2000
  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Internet Connection
  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
  • 2.4 GHz Processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • DirectX 9 graphics card
  • Windows XP/2000
  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Internet Connection
© 2015 all rights reserved. All content, logos and concepts are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respected owners.
No Reproduction without Authorization from the Author. Page Design By Ripper.