The best way to enjoy yourself is to play all the games in one go: Half-Life , Oppossing Force, BlueShift, Decay, Half Life 2 + Episode 1 and 2. I certainly did and it was the best gaming week of my life!
Half-Life 2 Review
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Half-Life 2 is a very impressive and engaging shooter, and a faithful follow-up to one of the greatest PC games of all time.
- Gorgeous, cutting-edge graphics
- Solid, engaging single-player gameplay
- Excellent voice acting
- Counter-Strike: Source offers great multiplayer.
- Disappointing story
- Somewhat lackluster AI
- Game is a bit easy.
It's hard to believe that, prior to Half-Life 2, Valve had really made only one game. Of course, it was a masterpiece. Half-Life single-handedly reinvented the first-person shooter, putting the emphasis on cinematic pacing and complete immersion in the experience. As a result, it paved the way for many of the outstanding first-person shooters that have followed. And while there was little question that there would eventually be a sequel, no one could have imagined the long and torturous development process that led to Half-Life 2. Well, it's time to forget about that, because Half-Life 2 has arrived. And, in many ways, this big-budget sequel does what it sets out to do: Half-Life 2 is a technically amazing, sharply honed first-person shooter that pulls all the tricks that made Half-Life such a beloved experience. With that said, many of those tricks feel more than a bit familiar now, and the game itself is saddled with a disappointing story. Still, that doesn't stop Half-Life 2 from being a very impressive and engaging shooter, and a faithful follow-up to one of the greatest PC games of all time.
In Half-Life 2, you once again assume the role of Gordon Freeman, the theoretical physicist and dimension-hopping commando who saved the world from an alien invasion at the end of Half-Life. Or did he? Half-Life 2 starts you off facing the infamous G-Man, the mysterious blue-suited character from the first game. At the end of Half-Life, the G-Man offered you a choice: work for him or die. Since there would be no sequel if you chose the latter, Half-Life 2 assumes you chose the former, and you start the game in a train entering City 17 for your introduction into this new world.
City 17 is a run-down urban center that's the equivalent of the Warsaw ghettos during World War II, but instead of Jews being rounded up to live in City 17, it's all the remnants of a defeated humanity. Half-Life 2 takes place an untold number of years after the Black Mesa incident, but it's clear that much has changed. A mysterious enemy known as the Combine has conquered the planet and installed a human puppet government to carry out its rule. Black-clad security forces patrol the streets, while propaganda blares endlessly from omnipresent video screens. If there's one thing that Valve does extremely well, it's capture a sense of atmosphere--this vision of a dystopian police state is chillingly effective. But you won't spend a lot of time soaking in the scene before you're thrust into the struggle to defeat the Combine and free humanity.
As soon as the shooting begins you'll join an essentially nonstop battle that will last the remainder of the game. Like the original Half-Life, Half-Life 2 is presented as a nearly seamless experience--you play entirely from Gordon Freeman's perspective, there are no cutscenes or perspective changes to take you out of the moment, and are there no narrative jumps that skip ahead in time. (At least, there are none from your perspective.) There also aren't very many long loading times to interrupt the flow of the game, as all the levels are discreetly broken into sections, and when you transition from one section to another, there's only a slight pause for the new section to load (at least, on a high-end PC). Put it all together and the game's single-player campaign, which will probably take you between 15 and 20 hours to complete, comes off as a very long day in the extraordinary life of Gordon Freeman.
The original Half-Life was highly cinematic in nature, the virtual equivalent of starring in your own blockbuster sci-fi action movie. Who could ever forget the first time a headcrab leapt out at you from a dark corner? Or the moment when the commando tossed a satchel charge into the sewer pipe you were hiding in? The movie analogy is apt, not only because Half-Life 2 packs a few cinematic moments of its own, but also because, like most movie sequels, it plays it safe and doesn't deviate much from its storied predecessor. Half-Life 2 doesn't revolutionize the genre, instead sticking with the familiar formula of run-and-gun action, occasional puzzle-solving, and scripted sequences established by Half-Life. And it's an effective formula, for the most part. The game gets off to a rousing start, as the opening levels combine these three ingredients masterfully. You start off on the lam from the Combine, armed with only a pistol and your wits, and embark on a chase through a train yard and tunnel system that's filled with all sorts of hairbreadth escapes. The sense of pursuit hurtles you forward so quickly that you don't have much time to admire the cutting-edge graphical prowess on display.
Can't say I agree with the sentiment that the story is a disappointment. The Half-Life games are the best examples of story-based action/first-person shooter games.
I was just checking out the Dead Space 3 review in which Shaun McInnis mentions "bad story," and I just thought I'd go check out the Half-Life 2 review to make sure that Gamespot's story assessments are as unreliable as I think.
Yup. Pretty much. Jason Ocampo has written a lot of great stuff, but this was unquestionably his greatest failure during his time at the site. I've never felt more strongly about a videogame story in my life as I did about Half-Life 2, and I genuinely believe that not appreciating it is like reading the Great Gatsby or Ulysses and thinking to yourself "Man, this sucked."
No it didn't. You just weren't awake enough to get it.
Anyway, whole new crew since then, so very possibly Shaun McInnis is right, but stuff like this makes me very leery of games journalists, who may or may not have the academic sophistication of their peers in other forms of media.
This guy is a total dumbass, if you listened to GameSpot Super mario galaxy is a better game than Half-Life 2
@pokatalk Well, that is not entirely true, the reviews are based on the GENRE, for example Mario Galaxy got a 10 because it was the best platform game that the reviewer had played and that nothing could be better in that GENRE, in any way it says that SMG2 is better than HL2 y played both, and in my personal opinion both shoud've get a 10 in their respective genres
I can see that the story of AWFUL and biased reviews from Gamespot is really, really old. Don't get me wrong, I like gamespot, but I just DO NOT TRUST at all their reviews, ever. Biased, incoherent (specially if you give yourself the work to watch all reviews made by the same reviewers, you'll find baffling inconsistencies from game to game) and "fanboyed" to their core.
Disappointing story? Are you kidding me? To the day, the Half-Life saga is the best set of games ever created, and do you know why? BECAUSE OF ITS STORY!! Not the guns, not the enemies, not the shooting, THE STORY. I wonder why this stupid review is still up.
"disappointing story"???!!!!! OH GOD THIS IS THE WORST REVIEW I'VE EVER READ IN MY LIFE!!!. Sorry gamespot but this review is horrible. Absolutely horrible. Im probably done my subscription
@carlisledavid79 I totally agree. I'm replaying it again, right now. And this guy sucks. I love the story.
One more nice aspect of the game is that the stunning graphics require relatively little graphics memory; when I had a 128MB integrated graphics controller till a few months ago, this was the best game, graphics wise, that my computer could handle. Not to mention it can handle much more now that I have the 1GB Geforce 210, now I can play the same game at much better graphics settings than before.
Gamespot saddled the greatest game ever made with a "disappointing story" demerit. Shows how much they know.
@space_loner I think the reviewer was referring to the ending which was anti-climactic, which makes sense considering the episodic followups
- Player Reviews: 1,725
- Game Universe:
- Half-Life (PC, DC, PS2, UNIX, MAC),
- Half-Life 2 (XBOX, PC, MAC),
- The Orange Box (PC, X360, PS3, MAC),
- Half-Life 2: Episode One (PC, MAC),
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two (PC, MAC),
- Team Fortress 2 (PC, MAC, UNIX),
- Counter-Strike: Source (PC, MAC, UNIX),
- Day of Defeat: Source (PC, MAC),
- Half-Life 2: Episode Three (PC),
- Half-Life 2: Episode Pack (PC)
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