The Orange Box Review

The Orange Box is one of the greatest values in gaming history, because it's jam-packed with a variety of world-class content.

by

Game compilations are usually dry and dusty affairs. Most are either a collection of "classic" games that were new 10 or 20 years ago or a repackaging of two- or three-year-old games with all of their expansions. In general, they're usually nothing to get excited about. So trust Valve to completely redefine this category with the weirdly named The Orange Box. This is a package that has something for almost everybody, including one of the greatest shooters ever made and some of the best new and original content of the year.

We could make a joke here, but it would pale in comparison to any of the actual comedy in Portal.

The Orange Box is essentially five separate games: Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, the puzzle game Portal, and the colorful multiplayer action game Team Fortress 2. Half-Life 2 and Episode One are older games that were originally released for the PC in 2004 and 2006, respectively. Episode Two, Portal, and Team Fortress 2 represent entirely new content that debuted with The Orange Box. The PlayStation 3 version of The Orange Box is identical in content to the recent Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game. For a detailed rundown of what that content includes, you should refer to our Xbox 360 review.

With that said, the PlayStation 3 version of the game doesn't perform nearly as well as its Xbox 360 and PC counterparts. There is a noticeable problem with the PS3's frame rate at times. The frame rate hiccups are inexplicable because they can occur when almost nothing is happening onscreen or when you're in the midst of a big battle. It's not a huge gameplay issue, but it is very noticeable and a significant irritation. In addition, the PS3's loading times are longer than the Xbox 360's, and they're frequent enough to be noticeable, especially if you make a habit of dying and restarting.

Frame rate and loading issues aside, the content in The Orange Box for the PS3 is as good as the content in the superb Xbox 360 version. This is definitely a must-have game for the platform that will provide countless hours of single- and multiplayer action. It might not be the definitive version of The Orange Box, but it still represents one of the greatest values in gaming history.

The Good
The Half-Life 2 saga represents some of the greatest shooter gameplay ever made
Portal is a brilliant and humorous puzzle game
Outstanding visual and audio design
An unprecedented value
The Bad
The frame rate struggles at times and the loading times are a bit long
9
Superb
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Discussion

3 comments
twistsanny
twistsanny

THIS VERSION IS NOT A 9. It's a horrible package, I couldn't finish even ONE of the games because it keeps crashing. Valve blames the PS3 hardware for this, but we all know the developers are to blame for bad ports.

x-men2982
x-men2982

I'm going to EB Games in two days to get The Orange Box can't wait!

BigtimeJoe77
BigtimeJoe77

One thing is for sure.........this game is awesome. I have both the 360 and PS3 versions and the reviewer wasn't lying, get the 360 version because the PS3 version was not done properly. Every issue he mentioned is present and unjustly hurts the game even though it deserved much better. Does this mean if you have a PS3 only should you ignore it? NO!!!!!!!!!

The Orange Box More Info

First Release on Oct 10, 2007
  • Macintosh
  • PC
  • + 2 more
  • PlayStation 3
  • Xbox 360
This package deal contains Half Life 2, and HL2: Episodes 1 & 2, as well as Team Fortress 2 and Portal.
9.2
Average User RatingOut of 25239 User Ratings
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Developed by:
Valve Software, EA Games
Published by:
Valve Software, EA Games, CyberFront
Genres:
Compilation
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Mature
All Platforms
Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language