Get off the train Mr. Freeman and be the right man in the wrong place.

User Rating: 9.5 | Half-Life 2 XBOX
Half-Life 2 is a game that should not be missed. The story is up there with Halo: CE and the Metal Gear Solid games, just to name a few. I almost missed playing this game if it was not for The Orange Box. Now the game is not that hard, but I did run into a few spots that were tricky for me. These spots may be the same, or they may be different for you, but the game is a nice balance that just amps up near the end of the game.

So the story is the big player here. From the train ride in with the G-Man to the Citadel, there are plenty of incredible moments. I personally remember the station, the bridge with the gun ship, the graveyard, the run to the jail and the jail, and finally the nice stroll to the Citadel and finishing with the jont up the Citadel. The story unfolds at a nice pace and doesn't stop till the credits roll. Most of the unexplained parts come from our good-friend the G-Man. He is a cryptic man that speaks with a weird speech problem that just makes him that creepier and more memorable. The other characters add to the story and give you more of the emotional input.

The graphics are dated, but it's a pc game that was ported to the console. So we get a great game that would look amazing on a computer. Still I don't care that the graphics look dingy and a little dark, that just works for the game. The story is dark so why not the graphics? I was amazed by the scope of how far you could look and the graphics stayed sharp.

The music and sound are just incredible. The music helped give emotion to the game at every turn. Never a dull moment for the ears. The weapons all sounded different, powerful, and impressive. The environment was full of distant sounds of gun fire, animals, and voices.

If the game was any longer I may have felt that the 2 episodes would have been a wasted. But the run time is a great length and the 2 episodes are needed. They are not as long individually, but they feel good when played one after the other.

My only disappointments were the lack of a difficulty mode, which would have made the game more interesting to experience. Then there is the load screens, which I felt could have been shorter or none existent. They felt like they stopped the action or progress of the story in spots. I would have liked a continuous game that just auto saved and was loading in the background. Still the game is a masterpiece that I am glad to have experienced. Can't wait to get episode 3.