“Wake up and smell the ashes”
Reviewing a top quality game boils down to 2 things the first being to explain why it's so great and the second is to explain why it doesn't score 10/10.
So let's start with why Half Life 2 is so great. Like films, sequels in the gaming market can often be a let down. Half Life originally came out in 1998 and sent tremors through the gaming industry with its sublime graphics, frantic action and a story line to die for. So where do you go from there? Firstly you push the graphics past the usual into a whole new realm of believability, you craft a story line that is the perfect continuation from the old one, add an outstanding sound track and Bobs your uncle stand back and wait for the applause.
Sound easy but very few are able to pull it off, take for example the eagerly awaited and much hyped Doom 3 release this year, it had all the parts but seemed to miss the mark by a country mile. Half Life 2 somehow manages to pass all of your expectations and delivers what is for me one of the closest to perfect games experiences of modern times. Graphics for the game use the same technology as Pixar used to create Toy Story ™ and the loveable Monsters Inc ™ creating environments that will leave you breathless. Probably one of the most noticeable and astounding graphical enhancements to this game is the facial animation. Valve has programmed 40 distinctive “muscles” to convey the full range of human emotions adding realism to the characters never before seen in a computer game. Finally there is the physics engine from pebbles to a two ton truck they all float sink bounce etc etc exactly how they would in the real world!
As in the original you play the character of Gordon Freeman a research scientist with a will of iron. You will walk, run, drive,