The soldiers were the best part of half life, and here, you can paly as one, what more you could ask? New weapons? this game got you covered! New enemies? Even that! More of those black clad assassins that were so tough? There's an army of them now! This time around, you're not a harmless theatrical physisist. You are a grunt, and your allies are also soldiers, better armed and trained then the security guards! Unfortunately, your enemies are also bigger stronger, and there are more of them! the whole game will be a great struggle, to keep yourself alive...somehow :) If you loved half life, this game is just great. You're not exactly a bad guy here, yet you still get another perspective of the incident, and also, this game is rather long, almsot as long as the original game.
If I ever were excited for an expansion pack, this was it. After the adrenalin pumping, smart, and beautiful adventure of Half Life, a chance, to return to black mesa as one of the games toughest enemies of the game was more then promising. But, before we start, forget about Freeman, you will see him here alright, but this time, we got bigger fish to fry...or bigger fish will try to fry as...whichever comes first. Black Mesa is a mess! This time, there is no pretense, you explode in, and and will try to survive somehow in the entirety of the game. Your allies are better armed this time around, but your enemies are more vicious as well, and while Gordon certainly has a hard time on XEN, you will find, that staying on Earth is not a picnic either. Or maybe it is, just ask the pie... Anyway, for this price, this is perfect. It has 10 hours of gameplay, a ton of new weapons and enemies, and a side story that really would deserve to be continued. Fat chance...
This add-on is longer and has more stuff than Blue Shift, it has monkey wrench, a knife (which is the best melee weapon) and a couple more (some alien) weapons never seen before in HL1 or HL1 Blue Shift. Now AI interaction is upgraded, engineers can open doors with torch lights and medics can give you as much health as you want (not only 20 from scientists like in the original game). There are few new aliens, the Gonome for example, who is mutated zombie, has a bit more HP than the zombie and throws toxic balls just like the bullsquid. Ah, there are also ninjas with SMGs...yup!
Return to the Black Mesa Research Facility as one of the military specialists assigned to eliminate Gordon Freeman. Experience an entirely new episode of single player action. Meet fierce alien opponents, and experiment with new weaponry. Named 'Game of the Year' by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.
While Blue Shift wasn't very remarkable and felt lacklustre and uninspired, that wasn't the case with this expansion (which came first, so that does explain some things). Opposing Force puts the player in the gas mask of corporal Adrian Shepard, one of the HECU marines from the first game (he didn't actually appear in it though). So, you know, the enemy. It was certainly interesting seeing the army's side of the story. Of course, this new perspective makes for some gameplay changes as well. The game features a new training course (army themed), many new weapons (some more alive and alien than others), new enemies (corresponding to the different sides involved in the conflict started at Black Mesa), night-vision instead of a flashlight, rope climbing and also teamwork with your comrades, each trained for specific purpose; the final boss is also very distinct from Nihilanth - it even has a more forgettable name -, seeming like something out of an arcade game. Of course, if you're the kind of person that doesn't like to try new things and you dislike change, then it's possible that you won't enjoy this expansion as much as the original. For the rest of us though, the solid gameplay additions, enemy diversity and game design faithful to the style of the series will more than do it. I should say that it's up to you if you want to consider the expansion canon material or not. Let's just say that some of the storyline decisions don't mix well with the the overall plot (G-man included). I highly recommend buying this game, preferably in one of the half life collections available on the site.
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