A few weeks ago I finally played Black Mesa. Prior to that I had never played any games in the Half-Life canon. I both loved and hated it. I enjoyed the puzzles but abhorred the horrendous jumping mechanism in that game. I would play until frustration became too great and then put it off for days. Even with all the anger and frustration at jumping like a mentally handicapped cow, I felt I needed to know where the series went from there. I quickly gobbled up Half-Life 2 as well as Episode 1. All was fun and games until I loaded up Episode 2, then this happened:
At first I just thought that Valve was trying to be artsy with their game intro. I was very confused. I knew something was wrong but pressed on a bit to see if there ever would be any talking. At the next scripted scene the issue continued. I wanted to be upset but found it quite funny actually. Everyone is trying to telepathically speak to Gordon, and when they realize he can’t hear them, they just look on disapprovingly while seemingly trying to decide how to help their semi-retarded friend.
I filed a support ticket with Steam but was able to get a solution in the forums later that evening. Turns out Steam Beta participation causes the issue and disabling that finally allowed the game characters to speak again.