Half-Life 2

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Third party DRM: Steam

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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:


Key Features:

  • 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.

Customer reviews

92

So where is Half-Life 3, Valve?

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

There is a reason why this game is on top of the "50 games you must play before you die" list. Even though it came out more than a decade ago, Half-Life 2 is one of these games that don't age, a truly timeless classic. As pointed out by other reviewers, there are some people that consider it overhyped and average, and while there is some truth to that (considering the squad AI of your comrades present in short events near the end of the game, the AI of the Combine grunts, regular soldiers and later elites you fight for the most part, some of the more uneventful driving parts present and also the newly gained, unexplained Messiah status Gordon has throughout the entirety of the campaign; all in all, it's perhaps the amalgam of genres Valve tried to put in the game compared to the pure platformer FPS experience that was Half-Life 1 that displeased so many fans). Still, there are too many redeeming factors to ignore: the aforementioned mix of genres can be quite the strength too at times, offering variety and a sense of never getting stale to the game; the story, though not the central aspect, is excellent - particularly the realistic portrayal of an alien invasion; the gameplay is solid as always with the Half-Life franchise, though the weapons aren't as satisfying as in the previous title; finally, the physics engine brought by the new source engine is innovative and well-made, the graphics still hold up to this day and were definitely awe-inspiring when it came out, and the soundtrack is even better than before, featuring some truly unique and adrenaline pumping tracks. There is a lot more that can be said about this title, but I think the rest should be up to each potential fan to discover. Do know however that you should expect a different experience from the first Half-Life. While there are definitely connections and plenty of similarities between the two, they are meant to be different stories, each with a certain feel and purpose. I can guarantee that you won't regret buying Half-Life 2, especially at that low ball price!

88

One of the best games ever

Armannn | Nov. 29, 2015 | See all Armannn's reviews »

From Super Mario for the old Super Nintendo to Bethesda's Fallout 4, Half Life 2 remains to be in top 5 games of all times. The legendary Source Engine it's using allows you to create really epic mods without much effort. Custom maps, weapons, playermodels and so on... All that can be done much easier than by other games and their engines. HL2 is set to be the #1 game of all time. I wouldn't consider it as the best, but one of the best ever. If you have played HL1, then you MUST play HL2 as well. You don't know what you're missing.

85

Not "the" best game ever made

09baydas | Nov. 7, 2015 | See all 09baydas's reviews »

This game has acquired ‘legendary’ status within the PC gaming community and Half Life 3 is probably the most eagerly awaited game of all time. But my reaction when I first played this game was “meh”. I seemed to be overhyped. I didn’t play the game again for months, but then I decided to give it another chance. Half Life 2 is a game that grew on me. I suddenly found myself invested in the story and joyful when I solved its puzzles. Its mechanics have dated well, and I could easily have been fooled into believing it was made in 2008, or 2010 if its graphics were a little better. This is genuinely a must buy game, but I wouldn’t call it the best game ever made.

95

A Legendary Gem from More than 10 Years Ago

TheForgery | Nov. 7, 2015 | See all TheForgery's reviews »

Half-Life 2 still comes strong to play again after its release from 2004. Its incredible and engrossing to experience the atmosphere of HL2 for the first playthrough and is still recommended to play again after a break from other games, some of them which lack the high qualities of Half-Life (2). To this day, it is still revolutionary on how it introduced innovations to the gaming world at its release. The sound design is magnificent and takes players and hardcore fans to the dysotpian world of City 17 and the outside areas that are just as terrifying. Nearly no location is the same after traversing for 5 minutes and every second is filled with suspense. While it may like the game would focus only on being chased by an oppressive alien dictatorship in enclosed areas, players are introduced to the open world maps of the game. Hop on an airboat and enjoy the thrill of being chased by an enemy attack helicopter and eventually, a buggy that takes players on a tour through nearly dried coasts while still evading the Combine. The concluding parts of the game then take place in siding with the rebels in an exciting confrontation in an all-out war in City 17 and the Citadel, with a final duel. Though, despite my high opinion favoring Half-Life 2, some issues I had the game was "unskippable" "cutscenes" in which players had to stay and wait for those "scenes" to end, unlike most of the first game. Also, HL2 has a limited and mundane arsenal compared to Half-Life 1 (it originally had more weapons but they were cut in the beta, shame really). Those are the only cons I have of HL2 but they don't leave a notable dent. I give HL2 a solid A. It must be played at least once by all gamers.

90

The best of valve it is the Half-Life series

theanimatronicf | Sept. 28, 2015 | See all theanimatronicf's reviews »

with the 1998 release of Half-Life valve had GoldSrc engine which was reworked from Quake engine. in 2000 they started work on reworking GoldSrc and Source was born to release Source engine valve worked the engine to be for Half-Life 2 which was leaked by a German hacker in 2002 it got critisism and was scrapped and then reworked into the game we love today now to the review half life 2 has its ideas, story and design ideas the game is one of the best FPS games and due to the release of Source 2 people wait for the Half-Life series to continue and people are waiting for Half-Life 2 port to the Source 2 engine like Half-Life was ported to Source engine back in the day So Keep Playing And Being Awesome To Valve