Yes, it is 2007 and yes, I just played though Half-Life for the first time.

User Rating: 9 | Half-Life PC
I felt compelled to make the first game on my new PC a classic. One I felt guilty about not having played. This isn't my first foray into PC gaming but I still am relatively new. This was probably the perfect game to immerse myself into the world of PC gaming for not just a here and there dabble, but permanently.
Half-Life boasts a story of a single, silent protagonist. The character Gordon Freeman is everyman enough, yet has a smart, scientific look to him that makes it interesting to play as this character. I forgot at times that my character never talked during numerous times where there should have been dialogue it was left to NPC characters to play out the story, and they all played their part.
A backdrop of dramatic trans-siberian and/or early techno music cued during dramatic parts or after climatic parts of the story and are very catchy, and stand alone as scores of music you could still throw on today while relaxing and be reminded of Gordon Freeman's trip though what was a pretty solitary military/science complex.
However, the settings never suffer from repetition through the first 3/4 of the game and Valve did an excellent job in pacing players through these locations as well as adding alot of variety to the beautifully crafted environments. I don't really have any knocks on the graphics or locations. What felt artificial should have, and you were never just running through hallways. You were running through hallways that were blocked had to search for alternate routes such as air ducts or a combination of small platforming elements. In one scene where you are moving alongside a cliff and have to platform to the next locale my heart probably went up 20 BPM at the final staircase.
This is what Half-Life is. Set pieces of story or scare tactics that lack cut scenes so you may or may not see them all, but they aid you and it felt alot more immersive. Just as you are on the edge of your seat, moving at a steady pace, something breaks through a wall or drops out of a ceiling. It is up to you to stay in your seat at those moments.
My only knocks on this well polished game was the enemy AI of soldiers on normal difficulty. They were smart enough to move in groups, but still had a gung-ho personality to where you could camp around corners knowing that most of the time they'd give chase. The other knock is that you can save anywhere and come to it instead of just at checkpoints. I found myself immersed and forgetting to save at some points though, which is a testament to how well this title can draw you in.
The later levels give way to more platforming yet still manage to feel very epic. Sound was crisp and moved through the speakers as it should. Voice acting was decent and repetitive but still got the job done. Graphics were superb, even in this day and age. Gameplay is a fine mix of FPS and slight platforming elements, with some brain racking over how to advance on. Very slick addition instead of pop up hints or blatant signs or arrows to areas that shouldn't have them and you may not find them until after a 3rd or 4th run through of the level.
Overall, it is a must play and deserves all the credit people still give it to this day. It isn't vain and isn't a game that is only fun because of nostalgia.

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