Half Life 2

Half Life 2 - PC Review

Half Life 2 - PC Review

“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,

  Half Life 2 - PC Review
Half Life 2 - PC Review

shoot and think your way past numerous obstacles to complete your goal. Along the way you will meet old friends and enemies (Half Life 1) that will see you as their saviour or exterminator, plus the mysterious G-Man who can only be described as the shop keeper to your Mr. Benn. The levels are astounding and all have a splattering of character interaction, I especially enjoyed the Ravenholme level a town inhabited by Zombies and the eccentric Father Gregory who's purpose in life is to deliver his divine rights with a shotgun and a large range of hand crafted booby traps to the towns grateful dead community. The vehicle levels add an extra facet to the game and can come as a welcome break from all the running around, charging around the environment on a buggy or air boat (both of which look superb) solving the odd puzzle or downing the enemy. Expect the usual array of weapons for this game but add the spectacularly effective Gravity Gun which allows you pick up just about anything and throw it at whatever or whoever seems appropriate.

Now for the bad bits….long pause. Well its really difficult I will be accused of nit picking if I say that the load points are a little often and a bit too long or if I say I would like to interact with the other characters verbally (Gordon Freeman is the Strong silent type). Infact the only down point to this game is that it's a sequel and to be a true 10/10 game I believe it would need to be even more ground breaking than it already is but 9.8/10 is as near as damn it.

From beginning to end the game doesn't last as long as one might think but with the game comes the ability to play CounterStrike Source (the world most played online shooter) and Day of Defeat Source via Steam. With this in mind there is no reason why the disc should leave your CD drive until Half Life 3 hits the shelves.

PC gamers should rush out in their droves to by this title…..no lets start again PC owners should rush out in their droves to by this title!

 

9.8 out of 10

 

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