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1998 HALF-LIFE sends a shock through the game industry with its combination of pounding action and continuous, immersive storytelling. Valve's debut title wins more than 50 game-of-the-year awards on its way to being named "Best PC Game Ever" by PC Gamer, and launches a franchise with more than eight million retail units sold worldwide.
NOW. By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism and responsiveness, Half-Life 2 opens the door to a world where the player's presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviors even the emotions of both friends and enemies.
The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people he cares about are counting on him.
The intense, real-time gameplay of Half-Life 2 is made possible only by Source®, Valve's new proprietary engine technology. Source provides major enhancements in:
Characters: Advanced facial animation system delivers the most sophisticated in-game characters ever seen. With 40 distinct facial "muscles," human characters convey the full array of human emotion, and respond to the player with fluidity and intelligence
Physics: From pebbles to water to 2-ton trucks respond as expected, as they obey the laws of mass, friction, gravity, and buoyancy.
Graphics: Source's shader-based renderer, like the one used at Pixar to create movies such as Toy Story® and Monster's, Inc.®, creates the most beautiful and realistic environments ever seen in a video game.
AI: Neither friends nor enemies charge blindly into the fray. They can assess threats, navigate tricky terrain, and fashion weapons from whatever is at hand.
Greetings Mister FreemanKingTed | April 1, 2015 | See all KingTed's reviews »
Half Life 2 is the direct sequel to the original game that started it all back in the days. Well it is “direct” only from Gordon Freeman’s perspective but it’s been years since the Black Mesa incident has occurred. The world has changed a lot. Aliens are everywhere. A new government is in charge. And rebels are trying their best to change this. That’s when Gorden enters the scene in City 17. Because of that Half Life 2 feels a lot different from its big brother. It’s less creepy and has a better, more elaborate, universe. It’s interesting to see where the story goes and what happened to characters from the first Half Life. Gameplay-wise, the game is just as good as the original. The puzzles here are focused on your new tool, the gravity gun. It’s also a valuable weapon, useful to throw things at your enemies. It’s linear game but strangely it feels vast. Unfortunately the ending is quite unsatisfying. In fact you will need to buy Episode 1 and 2 to know what comes next. It’s great game. Too bad there is no Half Life 3 at the moment.
Shows some rust, still a great gameUltraJake | Feb. 8, 2015 | See all UltraJake's reviews »
As others have stated, yes, Half-Life 2 might not be as incredible as it once was. It was so influential that many other games have taken what it did and made it their own. That being said, it is still a great game. If you've played other Source engine titles you know what the gameplay feels like; not weighty or realistic, but it still feels good. The graphics are still solid and the sound is excellent. I especially enjoyed the music, which was varied in style to fit the mood (be it tense or calm). If nothing else you owe it to yourself to experience the story which so many people have enjoyed over the years. It's just one of those obligatory games, and if you're someone who can appreciate even older titles, you're in for a treat.
When it comes to my rating, I think it's important to rate games in a sort of bubble. Other games have improved on the individual elements of Half-Life 2, but as one piece, and for the time, you just can't beat it.
One of the best of all timeGmen | Jan. 7, 2015 | See all Gmen's reviews »
The mid 2000’s in my opinion was the best time for the first person shooter genre in years. The last time a game had truly innovated was probably Half-Life in the late 1990’s, and Half-Life 2 took it to the next level in 2004.
Using the Source engine, HL2 has, in my opinion, always left a bit to be desired in terms of looks. There are definitely contemporary games in the era of its release, like Far Cry and Doom 3 – to an extent – that have the game beat in terms of graphical supremacy. Having said that though, the textures in the game are of fair quality. It's just the character models that could be better. However, the facial animation is practically unbeatable.
But HL 2 was always on top of its game in terms of its use of technology. Neither Far Cry nor Doom 3 can match its wondrous use of physics, which had been virtually unseen in games before that time, which provide unparalleled interactivity that can't help but extend the singleplayer campaign’s longevity, even today.
That and the deep story and fleshed out characters that you meet in the game as well as the unconventional architectural style of the places you find yourself in, and the truly bizarre situations you face, only help to bring you into this world. It’s a world that feels alive. It's one of the few games in history that I feel a connection to, whether it's while I'm playing it or just thinking out it.
To add to this, the game has a great soundtrack that complements the emotions intended to be experienced throughout the game.
Getting this game today isn't a bad idea at all. There are many mods out there for it, some of which overhaul the game's looks and update them to a more modern standard, and plenty of custom maps to play around with too. In my opinion it is still a great game.
Doesn't Live Up to the Posthumous Hypecameronb | Dec. 26, 2014 | See all cameronb's reviews »
This is not a bad game. This is not a great game. This is a slightly above average FPS with some puzzle elements. it is not the golden masterpiece forth from the golden loins of the Newell. It is a well put-together game, with interesting-ish enemies and tight mechanics. But the game doesn't go beyond that. It checks off the boxes for a good FPS, and stops there. Very few bugs, many mods, and a few sequels means this game is worth picking up,and worth your time, but little more than that.
You must play this!Riscas21 | Nov. 14, 2014 | See all Riscas21's reviews »
This is an awesome game, just completely awesome, everything here is great! It's a 2004 game, but it's still an amazing experience when you play it for the first time, mainly because the gameplay is very addictive and cool. This is one of the best games I've ever played on my life, I only didnt like the big amount of puzzles on the game, but it's not a big problem. I have nothing left to say, what are you waiting for? Buy this awesome classic! ;)