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.
UT3 and HL2 of which modern modding wouldn't exist in it's current form. The game itself, standing out on it's own genre defying own, is a blend of RPG and FPS, but with so much of it's own that is neither. If you boiled HL2 down to it's esssential parts you could call it a FPS, but that would be doing the engine, the people and the numeruous mods that have sprung up around the source engine a huge injustice. HL-2 is without a doubt the one game every gamer worth his/her salt should have in thier catelog.
Half Life 2 has to be the hilight of my FPS playing history. The gameplay is simple and yet enjoyable, the story is very interesting, and the characters are so life-like I feel like I've actually met them.
However, the game does have it's drawbacks. The main one is load times. They are long and frequent. If I could wish for one feature to be in HL2 or even ep3, it would be level streaming, at least some of the time. The loading is driving me crazy.
Moving on, there aren't many more bad things to say about this game. The graphics are beautiful for running so fast on many older computers, and the difficulty is balanced enough that probably anyone with the right time could beat it. A worthy successor to Half Life 1.
I'd better stop now. Writing this review is making me want to play it again.
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.
Everything is great about this game. The story, the characters, the gameplay, however; two flaws prevented me from giving this game a masterpiece rating. The vehicle controls and clunky and hard to get used to and it has several compatibility issues with Windows 7 that caused several crashes. Ironically, the Mac version is much more stable and if you have a Mac computer, I highly recommend this game.