Pick up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people, people he cares about, are counting on him.
Half Life 2 is in my opinion the greatest first person shooter ever made. The story line and it's integration into game play is as epic as any RPG I've played. The graphics and game play are second to none. After playing the COD MW games I played yet another round of HL2 and was shocked by the texturing, color and quality there. The multi player game is a blast with excellent maps and of course my favorite weapon... the anti-grav gun for smashing an opponent against a wall with a car or launching a grenade caught in midair back at it's launcher. I have no intention of risking any story spoilers, so I will simply say that the day episode 3 comes out (assuming it ever will) I will be one of the hardcore nerds sitting outside Best Buy at 3am with a thermos of coffee waiting for the doors to open.
Half-Life 2, the direct sequel the critically acclaimed Half-Life set the benchmark for all games that followed. Taking place about 20 years after the original, Half-Life 2 begins with the G-man awakening Gordon Freeman from stasis and placing him on a train bound for City 17, the primary location of the game.
When I first stepped off of the train and into City 17, it was as though I stepped out of my room, through my monitor, and into the world Valve had so carefully crafted. It was a game far beyond its time, and still amazes me to this day. Every little detail, every spec of dirt, every can, all of it builds an atmosphere unlike any other. The world feels real, eerily real.
This is somewhat in part to the great graphics and realism of the characters actions and dialogue. The color pallet is dull at times, but fitting.
The graphics, when coupled with the excellent level design, create a world that feels alive. Things don't seem to just be placed together. This is especially apparent in the Ravenholm level, where the player is forced to avoid traps and navigate the area all while fighting off headcrab zombies.
Fighting off zombies are only part of what Gordon Freeman must contend with. There is an entire army of Combine made up of everything from armed troops, armored cars and the massive tri-pod Striders. Throw the vicious Ant-Lions on top of that and there will be no shortage of targets to shoot.
A nice variety of weapons is available. They range from a standard pistol, shotgun, and smg to more unique weapons. Each one feels good, they are fun to use and fit their role perfectly, which only enhances the gameplay.
The overall gameplay is a solid mix of gunfights, puzzles and vehicle segments. The pacing is near-perfect and you almost never feel cheated by the game.
Overall Half-Life 2 is a solid, well explored FPS. The overall atmosphere of the game is coupled with brilliant gameplay and fun weapons. The only drawback is the constantly dull color pallet.