0wn3d by a VCR, biatch!
It finally happened. Steam, for reasons unknown, allowed me to download Half-Life 2 Deathmatch last night. Maybe the servers really were that busy, maybe it got my memo, maybe it popped a couple Midol, I don't know. But, hell, it doesn't really matter, I'm just glad to have it.
I think it was IRC chatter eXistence who commented that HL2 Deathmatch was very intense, and he's God damn right. Step into a 15+-player server and you'll be swept up in a hurricane of bullets and thrown objects. If you step back and look at the battles taking place, you'll see a melee of weapon and Gravity Gun users, who are frantically picking up anything they can to hurl at others. If the Gravity Gun user gets a hold of something, a gun wielder is suddenly put on the defensive: Not only can a decently-sized object kill in one hit, but it also acts as a bullet shield to the holder. You spawn only with a SMG, pistol, and a few grenades, so it doesn't take long to expend your ammunition. At that point, it's a good idea to pull out the Gravity Gun and pick something up, but some players choose to skip the guns entirely, until they pick up one of the more powerful ones. Which way to go depends on your weapon preference and the amount of shit available to throw.
The Gravity Gun creates all kinds of hilarious moments. You can, for example, pick up an explosive barrel, but be careful: If the barrel is shot while you're holding it, it goes off in your face. Or, on maps with cars lying out in the street, you can use the Gravity Gun to push them around, rolling a car down the street, plowing over anyone in the way. Well timed, an easy five or six kills can be had this way before someone catches on and gets behind you. Then there are the games of catch that sometimes form between two Gravity Gun users. One will throw a cabinet at another, who will then catch it in midair, and promptly throw it back.
The only thing missing is a few more maps. Instead of creating dedicated multiplayer maps, Valve opted to cut and paste a few areas from single player. These are just fine, really, but they don't have the ebb and flow of a conventional multiplayer map. But don't worry; user-created maps are already popping up, so there's no shortage of areas to play.
Now all I'm really waiting for is some mods.