Product Type: Vivendi PC games
Newest Review: ... 2 has been noted as being the one of the pioneers of modern first person shooters. And well, that could be true, but to say that H... more
Half Life 2
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Member Name: dirtyripper
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Advantages: Amazing graphics, interesting story, intense and atmospheric gameplay, great variety of locations
Disadvantages: For me it doesn't have the nostalgic appeal and simplicity of the first game, also STEAM
Half Life 2 is a first-person shooter game for the PC developed by Valve Corporation in 2004. It is the sequel to the widely-acclaimed game Half-Life, which was released 6 years before, and the story begins 2 years after the events of the first game. In the first game, you play Gordon Freeman who has to escape the Black Mesa Research Facility after it is overrun by aliens. At the start of Half-Life 2, the mysterious G-man, a government agent, from the first game puts you on a train and sends you to City 17. In the first game, a portal was opened between the research facility and an alien dimension, causing an "interdimensional instability" which we now learn that the aliens, known as the COmbine, have taken advantage of this instability leading them to invade.
City 17 is just one of many cities overrun by these aliens, and on Gordon's arrival, he joins an underground resistance group who plan to overthrow the aliens and restore peace and order. In many ways Half Life 2 is a great improvement on the first game. The graphics are incredible, possibly one of the best I have ever seen in a game, and each location in the game is incredibly well-designed with a huge amount of detail. The variety of locations in this game is also much greater. Whereas the first game mainly took place in and around the research facility, the locations in this game range from urban areas, coastal areas, sewers, underground mines ... the list goes on. The huge variety in terms of levels and locations mean the game is never boring and I always found myself looking around at the scenery in the game. The highlight of this game for me was the Ravenholm level, in which you enter a town completely overrun by aliens and abandoned and blocked off, which I think is probably the most terrifying gaming experience I have had. I was on the edge of my seat throughout, and I defy you not to be even a little bit scared when you play it.
Half Life 2 contains many of the features which made the first game iconic, such as Gordon's crowbar, the lack of cutscenes, and many of the alien species. There are many new features however, most notably the ability to drive, which is used to great effect in a couple of levels. The game does have a good storyline which is very engrossing, however a lot of the appeal of the first game lay in the simplicity of its plot, which let the action and gameplay do the talking. Half Life 2 for me was more science-fictiony and complex than I had hoped, with its dystopian cities, underground resistance, and political aspects making me nostalgic for the simple "kill the aliens and escape" story of the first game.
The controls are what you would expect from a first-person shooter for the PC and are very easy to get to grips with, plus the first part of the game has no action, just to get you acclimatised to the controls and feel of the game. The combat is also good, with a huge variety of weapons and enemies, and in many parts you have the choice to kill your enemeis directly or use your environment in various ways to take them out.
Overall, Half Life 2 is an extremely good game, and technically it is a far better game than the original. The graphics are better, the gameplay is better and there is more in the way of variety, however the original Half Life will always have a larger space in my heart since it was a bigger part of my childhood and I just love the simplicity of it. However, I recommend this game to anyone who has not yet played it and since it can be purchased on Amazon for the excellent price of £9.99 then you have no excuse not to!
P.S. An annoying thing about the PC version is that you have to download Steam in order to play it which I just found time consuming and frustrating. IOt seems like most games nowadays rely on Steam and it really annoys me - why can't we go back to the old system of installing games from the disc then playing them?
Summary: An amazing game which in itself is excellent, but I still prefer the original