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 - Possibly the most influential first person shooter made.
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Member Name: mblain1
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Advantages: Amazing story, excellent value for money.
Disadvantages: There are none!
This game is one of my favourites. It's amazing how a story can suck you in and a game to become so addictive.
With several awards Half Life 2 was nominated as one of the 'greatest games of all time' which may seem like an overrated view. However, this game does deserve that title.
First off I have to discuss the Source Engine. The 'source' of it's graphics. In 2004 when the game was released this engine was used for numerous games created by the game developers at Valve. A very famous example of this is the 'Counter Strike: Source' game which sold hundreds of thousands of copies. The engine was highly praised by critics and users alike.
The story of Half Life 2 follows on from the previous instalment in the series Half Life 1. Gordon Freeman is back but this time comes back to City 17, a dystopian, autocratic city ruled by the 'Combine' an Empire which spans across the universe. From there we seen Freeman fighting the combine, occasionally with the help of the Rebels and Vortigaunts (aliens who've made an appearance in the first Half Life, and are now part of the resistance), and meeting new characters along the way, such as Alyx Vance and the mysterious G-Man.
The gameplay element combines puzzles and first person shooting. The FPS aspect of the game is now a little outdated but still highly enjoyable. The puzzles throughout the game give the player something to think about other than mindlessly shooting. At certain points in the game the player is able to drive a buggy and a hovercraft (Airboat in game), which is extremely fun, unfortunately it doesn't seem to be in the game quite enough, but maybe if it was it wouldn't seem as fun and the novelty may have worn off.
In the game there are so many different places to explore. From the East Berlin style bloc to the evacuated, zombie-ridden town of Ravenholm. The game lasts around 20-30 hours, depending whether you rush ahead or explore every place you can, finding the numerous Easter Eggs that are present throughout the game. The good thing about the game is that you can play it over and over again, it is fairly linear but so enjoyable that it doesn't matter!
The sound is both awe-inspiring as well as highly frightening. The voice acting throughout the game is fantastic, we see that each character (other than the silent Gordon Freeman) has a complete personality, and can feel real at times. The voice acting of the rebels is also quite a big part, it's clearly been taken with care since ever rebel sounds different and it gives you and idea of so many different people who are involved in the rebellion. The soundtrack to the game is also decent, the sound can either wow you when you're looking across a vast city, or can scare you as it does in the town of Ravenholm.
As I've stated, it is one of the best games you can buy, and now it's around £10-£15 for 'The Orange Box' (A game combination of different games based on the Source Engine including Half life 2, Episode 1 + 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal) Personally I'd rate this game at a 9/10, knocking off 1 mark for the outdated graphics as well as the bland and boring multiplayer.
Summary: If you love single player FPS games with a brilliant story. This is the game for you.