Half-Life 2

April 26, 2006 · Print This Article

Half - Life 2Given the crazy success of the original Half-Life (much of it spurred by its innumerous and even more successful mods which were generated by a hyperactive Half-Life 2 modding community), it was never doubted that eventually a sequel to the popular first-person shooter would make its way onto store shelves.

What makes Half-Life 2 truly special stems from its incredibly gripping storyline. Although we won’t go into details here for risk of spoiling anything (trust me, you don’t want it spoiled!), just know that you will be doing plenty of gun-toting once again as the legendary gaming icon Gordan Freeman. The storyline is by far one of the best to have ever occurred on a FPS and it draws gamers in and never lets them go. Of course, such a great storyline wouldn’t be much without some solid gameplay to back it up. Thankfully, Half-Life 2 has just that.

The guns in Half-Life 2 are very solid. Not only were they designed well, but there is a large arsenal of devastating weaponry that can be found throughout the game (and trust me, you’ll need it!). Each weapon has its own advantages and each is good to use against certain kinds of enemies and in certain situations, and learning to master when to use the crowbar, the machine guns, the rifles, the shotguns, the rocket launchers, and the gravity gun are all critically important to survival due to the fact that ammo tends to be limited and the difficulty of the game is not easy, to say the least.

On top of action-packed, intense sequences that will draw gamers close to death multiple times and will force them to use cunning strategy and luck to survive, the game’s enemies also have very advanced AI. This AI will surprise and challenge gamers at every turn. Multiple enemies will use squad tactics and will even attempt to use things such as decoys and other advanced strategy on top of the expected taking cover that has become normal for FPS games.

Interaction with the environment is also good in Half-Life 2. Many of the objects in the environment can be destroyed and pumped full of bullets, and others can be picked up, thrown, used, and be manipulated in other fashion. Some of these are critical to advancing in the game while others were included simply to add more realism and authenticity to the feel of the game.

The visuals in Half-Life 2 are by far some of the best around. Even the Xbox version, which has been scaled down considerably compared to the PC version, was ported quite well and still contains many of the aspects of the visuals that were so dearly appreciated by PC gamers. Water effects, explosions, and other special effects are all spot-on and held to make the game feel more real.

Additionally, character models in the game, ranging from Gordan Freeman to the enemies, are all done excellently. They look and move like real people. They are incredibly detailed and their animations are very fluid. These solid visuals are only backed up by an incredible physics engine which mimics real life movements realistically. It is one of the best physics engine ever seen in a video game.

If you thought the graphics were something to brag about, the sound isn’t far behind by any means. The audio department contains a great musical score, which contributes to the great storyline, and that always matches the situation. Even better, the sound effects are all realistic and solid, making the visuals come to life. The voice acting was also given much care, something that many games overlook.
Overall, Half-Life 2 turns out to be an excellent games that all fans of FPS games should appreciate. It is solid in its fundamentals and has been polished to a great extent, making it a classic and a treasure that all gamers will enjoy.


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