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.
I picked this game up in the Half Life anthology pack. This is the only expansion/DLC of Half Life I've bothered playing through. From what I've read, this is the best one. I felt the biggest draw of this one was the added weapons. It not only uses different weapons, but also chooses to have you utilize those weapons instead of the ones from the original. You have your main staples, but they give you more options in the weaponry department. I never did get the trademark crowbar, instead starting with a clunky wrench. Later, I found a combat knife that was very effective. The enemies are much more varied than the original. You fight almost completely different foes, some much more fearsome. Along the way, you will pass over Gordon's story line without actually seeing him. I passed through areas Gordon had been in, but also a lot of areas Gordon never touched. The final boss did seem a bit easier than the one from Half Life, but that might just be me. Overall, shorter than the original, but a worthwhile addition nonetheless.
Opposing Force tells the story of Adrian Shepherd, one of the enemy soldiers ordered to quell the alien uprising at Black Mesa. You briefly chase Gordon Freeman, but overall don't really cross paths with "The One Free Man". You get to see a lot of the events of Half Life 1 from a different perspective, such as the gigantic mega killer alien that attacked Freeman at the end of Surface Tension. You get to deal a lot more with the enemy ninja black ops assassins, see the nuke that was set off in Black Mesa and go to war with Race X. Race X isn't really seen in Half Life 1, but they are a lot harder to deal with than the regular Xen soldiers. That's what makes Opposing Force so fun, is that it's probably the hardest of all the Half Life entries no matter what difficulty you're on. Adrian Shepherd is one of the most interesting characters we haven't had a sequel to. The ending is a big cliff hanger that makes us think there is going to be an Opposing Force 2, and we're still waiting on Shepherd's return. Pick this one up in the Half Life collection and put your big boy/big girl pants on, this one can get pretty tough near the end.
Half-Life: Opposing Force is the first of the official Half-Life expansions developed by Gearbox software. And as a Half-Life game, it delivers. This time, we return to the Black Mesa Research Facility, only in a pair of different shoes. Very, very different shoes. As you'll clearly see, this time around we're one of the soldiers sent in to contain the invasion, and as such, you'll get different reactions from the Black Mesa personnel, although they're still friendly. The gameplay remains similar to that of the original Half-Life, but with new weapons exclusive to this game, some of which act as a counterpart to weapons from the first game; for example, rather than a crossbow, the player gets a sniper rifle. This game features new enemies, in the form of Black Ops sent to clear out the facility when the HECU (that's you) fail, and Race X; mysterious invaders from another dimension, perhaps one even further away than Xen. They do a great work of spicing up the pace of the game, as even an expert in Half-Life will be surprised during his encounters with the new enemies. Going back to the allies, you can command other HECU members, pretty much like you could do with security guards and scientists in the original game, only that some of the HECU have special abilities, like the Medic and the Engineer. The environments are well crafted, and they mantain the vibe of the original game; the sense of being in a huge government facility. As for game length, this is shorter than Half-Life, although I'd say it's slighty more challenging. To be honest, it's hard for me to determine which one is best, if the original Half-Life, or Opposing Force. One thing is sure, though, if you're a Half-Life fan, you won't regret playing this game!
Often hailed as one of the best expansion packs of all time, Opposing Force places you in the boots of Corporal Adrian Shephard, who is part of a military unit sent in to Black Mesa laboratory to clean up the mess that the scientists created in the first game. The events in this game tie in with those of the original. Graphics-wise it’s pretty much the same, although there are some new character models, like Otis the security guard. The soldier models are more varied too, and serve specific purposes, like a medic who will heal the player if he is hurt. This is particularly useful if you are nowhere near a first-aid station. They also all carry different weapons, including sniper rifles and light machine guns, which you can pick up and use yourself. These complement other new weapons you'll come across in the game. As far as sounds go, soldiers' voices are all voiced by the same person: Jon St. John, known for being Mr Duke Nukem, and the only difference between them is that the pitch is heightened or lowered – this and they all have the same catchphrases which they insist on uttering on a regular basis, which does grind on the nerves after a while. They aren’t particularly smart either, so the only way you’re going to have any joy is to recruit a number of them and have a squad of a few men to command. Having said that, the campaign is really made that much easier due to having fellow soldiers to take on the aliens and other nasties that might be at Black Mesa. And this time around, you can even get assistance from the scientists and the guards – you can choose to let them assist you or you can go about eliminating them as the soldiers in the original did. So if you're a fan of the original, then try it. But keep in mind that it likely hasn't aged too well. The high definition pack for the game might improve things a bit. This can be enabled in Steam. If that still isn't good enough, I would recommend looking up Operation Black Mesa instead, which is a remake of this game.
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