Half Life

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Named Game of the Year by over 50 publications, Valve's debut title blends action and adventure with award-winning technology to create a frighteningly realistic world where players must think to survive. Also includes an exciting multiplayer mode that allows you to play against friends and enemies around the world.

Customer reviews


Hasn't held up well

darkhorse441 | Feb. 23, 2015 | See all darkhorse441's reviews »

I understand that at the time of its release, Half-Life was revolutionary in terms of its graphics, storytelling, and innovative design and presentation. Following in the footsteps of games like Star Wars: Dark Forces, it turned FPS from a run-and-gun game to a game with a story and a sense of adventure. And in that respect, we must always respect Half-Life. But... When played today by someone who was not old enough to be gaming when the game was released, it feels very dated. The graphics haven't held up the test of time as some other games from that era (Ocarina of Time, Medal of Honor) have. Also, the characters' speech is often garbled and hard to understand. The physics engine is also very clunky, especially when compared to later Valve games like Portal or Half-Life 2.

Of course this is all seen from the perspective of someone used to newer games, so it is of course necessary to take a step back:

The game itself is interesting as it not only reimagines FPS games, but also adds puzzles and environment interactivity. The story also creates its own lore, with memorable alien names and iconic moments, people and weapons. The enemy types are also varied and taking each one of them down is rewarding in its own way. The difficulty of the game is high, but not so high as to alienate less experienced players.

However, many problems can be found in the game that are not due to the game's age. The character model is bizarre, and doesn't seem to have legs or normal arms. Also, ladder climbing becomes hilarious as the player climbs without use of his legs or arms. The controls are sometimes a bit clunky when trying to solve a puzzle, press buttons/levers, or crouch-jump. Also, the level design is fairly repetitive, consisting of long hallways that sometimes feature open spaces where you will either receive ammo or be attacked by a group of enemies. Finally, a major problem with the game is, though the storytelling and lore are both revolutionary and impeccable, the story itself is boring and almost non-existent. It has neither the sense of finality or accomplishment as Half-Life 2 or other modern games nor the humor of a game like Portal. It effectively consists of getting from point A to point B, killing anything in between, solving puzzles and hoping that something will happen. There is really no arc or clear idea of what is happening at any one time or what is to come.

All in all, Half-Life is a revolutionary game that changed an industry and blew everyone's mind and should be played by everyone the same way every self-respecting gamer should play Super Mario Bros. It just has not survived the test of time well, and does have some flaws which can reduce the amount of pleasure during playtime. It also cannot be ignored for its sequel Half-Life 2 and (maybe) 3.


Origin of modern FPS

howard195 | Feb. 4, 2015 | See all howard195's reviews »

On this game, I am slightly prejudiced. I made the mistake of playing Half Life 2 before the original. Half Life 2 may be my first choice for greatest FPS ever. I'm also not always found of playing older games with their simpler graphics of the day. However, the gameplay of this game makes up for any aspect that may be graphically dated. This is the earliest FPS I've played where you departed from just killing everything before progressing. This is the origin of the thinking man's FPS, as far as I know. The story is told throughout the gameplay, instead of with cutscenes. I feel that the level design is solid. You will need to keep an eye on your ammo, instead of doing your Rambo impression. A couple of the enemies are more obnoxious than necessarily fearsome. Otherwise, the gameplay has something new every couple minutes. I can call this a classic knowing it has justly earned the title.


Revolutionary Hallway Sim

cameronb | Dec. 26, 2014 | See all cameronb's reviews »

Great game. It was impressive at it's time, and still holds up today. Half-Life is a love letter to walking down a hallway with scripted events telling you what to shoot, yet still makes it fun. Varied enemy types, quick pacing, and a creepy atmosphere make this game one of the all-time classics. If you are interested in physics, I recommend you buy Half-Life: Source, and remastered version.


A ravishing game.

Stryker77 | Aug. 24, 2014 | See all Stryker77's reviews »

Half-Life is a video game first-person shooter science fiction. The story follows the adventures of Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist at the Research Centre of Black Mesa, a huge scientific complex-secret military base installed in a disused completely under the surface. By participating in an experiment, Freeman accidentally opens an inter-dimensional hole to a parallel world, Xen, populated by alien creatures. The aliens destroy the center and brutally attack their staff. The testing room where Freeman was partially destroyed by the sequence of resonances, but manages to escape from there by the protective suit. After recovering from a brief fainting after being caught in a storm of portals, will have to deal with the unintended consequences of the experiment. The primary objective of Half-Life is to use logical thinking and a variety of weapons to survive in a complex environment where the main character is attacked by opponents of various skills and potential danger. Gameplay: It's easy to understand how to play, and is controlled by keyboard and mouse. The keyboard is used for most actions such as movement, equipment management and communication. The mouse serves to direct the player's view and using a stationary gun look that is at the center of the screen, in addition to attacking and use the secondary functions of the weapon. Graphics: To be graphics of 1998, they are very well made. In addition, different skins for scientists and soldiers. There are also different types of weapons and aliens. Sound: It is very well done, being different for each weapon type, different voices for scientists, army soldiers and guards of Black Mesa and the sound of each alien. Furthermore, it will change depending on what type of surface we shoot or walk, for example. Anyway, Half-Life is one of those games that, if you like video games disparos in first person, YES OR YES you have to play.


Great grandaddy FPS

Lorddyran | Aug. 22, 2014 | See all Lorddyran's reviews »

This is where FPSs became modern games. Wolfenstein 3D and Doom have their place in the annals of gaming history, and they invented the genre, but Half Life perfected it. It's dated now, but just like the Mona Lisa will never stop being an impressive piece of art, neither will Half Life.