Reviews for Half Life 2: Episode 1


Not really the sequel we were expecting

lconanl | March 23, 2016 | See all lconanl's reviews »

Though much shorter in comparison to Half-Life-2, Episode One brings plenty of new things to the series, not to mention it advances the plot and sets the ground for the massive cliffhanger that is Episode Two. With the exception of the "Zombines", the are now new enemies or weapons. There is a however an addition that definitely makes the game worth it: Alyx, which was a major NPC previously that only helped in battle briefly near the end of Half-Life 2 is now your companion (and friend, not to mention potential love interest) for the entirety of the game. She is much more human than most other sidekicks in gaming and also very capable and helpful (she can do the things that you aren't allowed to, essentially). The graphics are improved (the image of City 17 in ruins is very well-done), some of the puzzles are more imaginative than ever and the finale complete with a strider battle and NPC rescue sequence (also, Barney is present in this one; too bad this is the last we see of him canonically). The soundtrack is also mostly new (which is commendable), with some tracks that are especially memorable. All in all, while not as remarkable as the rest of the games in the franchise, the high quality that the series is known for is present here as well.


A Nice Teaser of a Sequel

TheForgery | Oct. 20, 2015 | See all TheForgery's reviews »

Half-Life 2: Episode 1 continues after the cliffhanger of HL2. Several Vortigaunts rescue Gordon Freeman and Alyx from stasis. Right afterwards, the threat of an imminent explosion from the damaged citadel as a result of the climax of the earlier game looms over the protagonists. From there on, Gordon and his sidekick must ensure they have enough time to escape and survive the disordered Combine force and hostile alien lifeforms that still lurk in City 17. The only allies they have are the remaining rebel force. With that said, the story and the realistic aftermath are to be praised in this game. Though gameplay received minor tweaks, it is still solid, with the fast paced action and suspense present. While the game does end the suspense left from HL2, Episode 1 is woefully short. It can be completed within at least 5 hours. To make matters worse, the game then leaves another cliffhanger for Episode 2 to take place. Given the short length and overall lack of new content, I give the game a C for allowing fans to alleviate their wait but were then presented with more waiting for Episode 2 after being forced to deal with a short sequel.


The Next Episode

LrmNick | Sept. 7, 2015 | See all LrmNick's reviews »

After finishing Half life 2 with the gman talk, you are back in action with Alyx and Dog back in city 17, this is the shortest game of the series (not mentioning Lost Coast), but it doesn't mean the game isn't good, Alyx will show how useful she is, that you can even beat the game just shooting one bullet, the graphics and physics are the same from the first game, no new weapons were added.


The Masterpiece Returns

DDEMOLITOR | July 5, 2015 | See all DDEMOLITOR's reviews »

Hl2 episode one is first episode of valve's universally acclaimed fps hl2.Episode one isn't a lenghty game like hl2 but game really has some great moment.Games has many really fun mission designes like escorting civillians to train station and blocking antlion holes by cars.During most mission alyx's has a companion role that makes episode one different from hl2.Episode one has also some novelties like combine zombies, alyx's rollermine hack ability etc.By presentation side game has game top notch graphics and sound design like it's predecessor also some textures has better resolution. Hl2 episode one is a very enjoyable game.The short length isn’t a detractor, you’ll definitely come back to fell great atmosphere of the game.


I Play It

Mamaguevos | June 11, 2015 | See all Mamaguevos's reviews »

This game has some problems because it is divided into different episodes this Gordon Freeman is located in city 17 and must be able to overcome all those faces to go to another level, this game is a little complex but playability is fantastic and 100% is recommended for good graphics and little demand in requirements would be nice if they have the opportunity to buy the "Half Life Completed" brings all its episodes.


Must play after Half Life 2

abelegu2 | Jan. 16, 2015 | See all abelegu2's reviews »

This game is a must-play, simply because the first game in the series leaves such a gigantic plot-hole (pretty literally, even), that you'll need to jump into this Episode promptly after you're done. Granted, it's a little too short to be entirely satisfying, it feels more like an update than a whole "episode", but it does introduce a few new concepts and fun enemies/levels. I would recommend getting the whole HL2 (or Half Life Complete) Pack, better bang for the buck, but definitely a must play.


The next chapter

vipe_1 | Dec. 15, 2014 | See all vipe_1's reviews »

Half Life 2: Episode 1 is a direct sequel to the events of Half Life 2, putting Gordon Freeman on his way out of City 17. This game is very similar to HL2, with a nice bump to graphics from the original game. Most of the action takes place in the city, and is fast paced and generally challenging. You will tag along with Alex Vance for virtually the entire length, and her character is not only fun to go through the story with, but is one of the few quality AI companions in the video game genre. The amount of other friendly NPCs is nice as well. The Episode is somewhat short, lasting only a handful of hours. Still, the extra content added to the Gordon Freeman story is well worth the trip and a must for Half Life fans.


Sequels are always good, but...

Fourclops | Sept. 1, 2014 | See all Fourclops's reviews »

Cutting the story very abruptly and starting it back again in another "expansion" of the game, seems a little unnecessary. Then again, it leaves a lot of expectation and suspense for the player The game continues with the same amazingness from the first part, and then ends again for a final chapter. HL2 Episode 2 I'm glad the game doesn't cost much, otherwise I'd feel cheated, and it does give you a great backstory for what's next


The first Chapter to an amazing Series

alanmaz567 | July 3, 2014 | See all alanmaz567's reviews »

The game is 4 hours long and the gameplay plays like the other half-life games. The storyline is good and the places you visit in the game are amazing, this is my second half-life game so i can't say it's the best one because of it's short campaign. The Requirements to play this game are low and the graphics aren't amazing but somehow they found a way to make the environment look amazing. It runs on the source engine, like most of Valve's games. I would definitely recommend this game to someone that hasn't played one of the Half-life games and would like to give them a try. The price is a bit high for a short episode in an amazing series and should be a little bit cheaper in my opinion. Wait for a sale on this episode and buy it, you won't regret it.


More of the same, but the same is all good

mugaro | June 16, 2014 | See all mugaro's reviews »

Appreciate the different route that episode 1 takes. In pretty much every FPS, you start out with a knife/crowbar/axe or whatever melee weapon, then you get a pistol, then a SMG, and by the end of the game you have the BFG/rocket launcher/golden gun. HL2 episode 1 takes a different approach, where you start out at maximum power and eventually end up at your weakest. Anyway, the story in the half life universe is interesting enough that this is work paying attention to. You spend almost the entire game with Alyx Vance, a really cool character from Half Life 2. Is there a romantic connection between her and Gordon Freeman? Cast your own fan theory. Get the Half life anthology pack or Half life 2 complete pack, this game will be included and it's definitely worth playing through. Added bonus: be a true hero & get the "One Free Bullet" achievement!


Run to the hills!

AkiMatti | March 31, 2014 | See all AkiMatti's reviews »

Episode 1 is a logical sequel to Half-Life 2 which begins exactly where the last game ended. The G-Man again shows his extraordinary powers over time and space but even he does not have everything in control as he soon discovers. Gordon, our lovable protagonist, gets to follow Alyx through City 17 and beyond. A great cataclysm is about to happen as the Citadel is crumbling down to its core and City 17 is not a place to be when it happens. The mechanics are familiar from HL2, but everything has been taken up a notch. The fights are harder, the atmosphere is more pressing and all in all Gordon does not seem to be at the top of the situation at all times. The game has suspense and great fps gameplay, only the plot does not go forward as much as one would like. Still, a necessary part of the game series and worth checkin out.


Half-Life goes on

NikorasuSan | Feb. 17, 2014 | See all NikorasuSan's reviews »

Half-Life 2: Episode One is the continuation of Gordon Freeman's adventure. This game starts shortly after the end of Half-Life 2, and it deals with the consequences of Gordon's actions during his brief time at City 17. The aesthetics of the game are very well designed. Seeing the previously cold and clean Citadel falling apart after the destruction of its teleporter gives a good sense of the repercusions of Half-Life 2's final battle. Not only that, but we do get to see the aftermath of the Uprising in the streets of City 17, and the massive evacuation planned designed by the Rebels. It also has quite of a horror vibe to it, in the underground areas; even with Alyx's company, you'll still feel a sense of danger while exploring those tunnels. As for gameplay, this game offers the same weapons as its predecessor, with the lack of the bugbait. Still, it introduces new enemies, the Zombine, and the Stalker, and there's also a brief appearance of a future enemy. This game's length is rather short, of a couple hours. Even then, it's packed full of action and intense moments. If you're a fan of the series, you'll enjoy it.


Brilliant! - But where's the rest?

tommy255 | Jan. 5, 2014 | See all tommy255's reviews »

Half Life 2 Episode 1 picks up exactly where Half Life 2 left off. Who's confused already? Can't blame you! It's a sequel (of sorts) but the "Episode 1" monicker does suggest prequel in this post-Star Wars world. Maybe it's just me, but I've had to try to explain the title to a few of my non-gamer mates, and it didn't really work. To me, original working title "Aftermath" would have been loads better, and more descriptive. Anyway - the game opens with a very dubious, cop-out explanation of why Gordon's back and what happened to the G-Man. But that's all over quickly and you're back in City 17, on the brink of a cataclysm. Your goal is to escape the ruins of the city before the alien Citadel structure goes into meltdown - and that's all. Along for the ride you have Alex Vance pretty much all the way through (but not Dog, her pet robot), and she's a fairly sweet companion, adding words of encouragement even when it's not always necessary and more importantly she's nifty with a gun, so she'll keep the heat off you. But you can't help but feel that it would be nice if Gordon said even a single word to her at any point. Is he mute? Must be. Or maybe he just doesn't fancy her. You'll encounter new enemies. Firstly, the strange Stalkers (who don't do a heck of a lot of stalking, but do have one very memorable and scary scene) in the Citadel, when you're armed with nothing but the super-powered gravity gun. (What a Dull, Dull weapon that is. You'll be pleased to know that you will eventually get your regular arsenal back for serious combat) Then you'll meet Zombine. I admit, the Zombine disappointed me at first - I was expecting more horrors. But they quickly go from let-down to real pest to being very, very dangerous - shuffling around carrying live grenades, mindlessly blowing the beans out of themselves and you) You'll also meet old enemies, like the poison headcrabs (horrid), and Ant-lions (no bug-bait this time though - you'll have to fight 'em!), as well as those fast, skinless, heavily mutilated headcrab zombies which roar in pain as they rip at you - still the nastiest thing in the game by far. The game is a hell of a lot harder than Half-Life 2 was, which is a good thing - that was too easy by far. Some of the set-pieces will take a lot of practise to get through. The graphics are as good as you'd expect and the (main) characters still excellent. The rank-and file squaddies are still pretty dumb mind you - and they get massively in the way. Shame you can't use a bit of "battlefield justice" to deal with them. Apparently, you don't need to have Half Life 2 to play this - but I can't imagine it would make any sense at all if you've not at least finished HL2, so I'm not sure what Valve were trying to achieve there. If you're a fan of Gordon Freeman already, you'll enjoy the experience. If you're not yet converted, this is probably not the best way into the Half-Life universe. The episodic nature is very apparent. For the best part of twenty quid you don't get a heck of a lot. Did I feel cheated? Yes. Will I be buying Episode 2 as soon as it's out? Hell, Yes. It does a fine job of leaving you wanting more. But there is no escaping the fact that it does just End. Very abruptly. It's almost as if they cou


The Weak Link of the Series

lachking | Dec. 13, 2013 | See all lachking's reviews »

Episode One is definitely the weakest link in the Half Life 2 series. The main problem with Episode One is that not much happens: you go into the Citadel, Alyx picks up a copy of the Transmission, and then you escape City 17. The game is also very short, about a third the length of Half Life 2. In my opinion, the beginning of Episode One (inside the Citadel) is a bit boring. The game does get better once you leave the citadel and are presented with numerous puzzles. The hospital portion is also quite good and the new zombine enemy is quite humorous. Episode One is not bad by any means, but having played through all the Half Life games, this stands out as being comparatively weak.