Combining outstanding character driven storytelling with graphic environments that simply amaze, Half-life 2 Episode On

User Rating: 9.3 | Half-Life 2: Episode One PC
How does one release a game and not have an inferiority complex after seeing Valves latest creation. Somehow Valve has managed to deftly weave wry humor and sexual energy into what was already a rock solid story telling convention and trust me on this, you will laugh out loud at some of the off cuff remarks the characters throw out during some of the battle sequences. During one catch your breath moment you overhear a human couple talking to each other about how they miss Dr Breen’s TV show since the rebellion and that when their bored they really miss the Combine and some of their wonderful torture tactics. Reading the banter does not do it justice so it’s hard for me to describe, but in my view it’s a welcome addition. Did I also mention sexual energy? Alex is making some big time subtle moves on our voiceless hero and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (even though Gordon is one) to understand what’s on her hot bodied little mind when all of this saving the world stuff is over and done with. I do have a couple of very small gripes though, one I’m sure everyone will have (it’s simply not long enough) and the other, in my view, is too much focus on the flashlight and gravity gun. Don’t even look for any gun play on your part until at least ¼ of the way through the episode and when it does start to come , at least on the hardest setting, ammo is neither conveniently located or in plentiful supply. Remember Valve this is still an FPS and moments of unlimited ammo crates and blazing heavy weaponry are still an FPS fans drug of choice. With minor gripes noted, all and all this is an extremely polished and satisfying game. The characters, dialog, animation, all believable, the action frantic, mixing puzzle solving on the fly this time. Trying to figure out how to solve some of the puzzle sequences with not only the combine after you in full repelling force, but a new enemy called the Zombine (Zombie Combine Soldiers with head crabs attached and grenades in hand), hoards of ant-lions, along with the boss man, 10 or 20 regular zombies, both fast and slow, and to top off the party, super snipers in tall buildings, their blue laser sights sweeping their familiar I can hit a fly from two miles away accuracy , all attacking at the same time. Makes for some very seat of your pants decision making to say the least. My rating? (9.5) Enjoy