Yes indeed. It's finally here; crowbar and all. The highly anticipated/hyped/delayed sequel hits us like a laser guided rocket. Right in the face.
One of my first reviews EVER on Pluh.com was on Half-life. It's a terribly constructed review that didn't quite deliver the message I wanted, but one thing was definately clear - Half-life is/was a phenomenal game that deserved to be rubbed up against a variety of boobs.
Hmm, where to begin. Hopefully I won't get too long winded.
I would first like to point out that I have aquired a massive amount of geek points yesterday. See, the game CAME OUT yesterday, and I already finished it. "Buts Kaynenen!", you retort, "does that mean Half-life 2 is short and stupid?!" No. It took me 16 hours to finish. Yes, that's right - I played the game for 16 hours - the rest of the 8 hours in that day resting/eating. 12 of those 16 hours were back to back. Scary!
Half-life 2 pretty much just lowered it's adhesive tongue from the ceiling, pulled me into it's jaws, and slowly started digesting my weak, human flesh. Just like those... things in HL2 that does that... thing.
Half-life 2 opens up with the G-man "waking you up" from your "slumber" in a very cinematic way (those who finished Half-life will know more behind this). Right off the bat, you get a feel for the breathtaking facial animation and texturing in Half-life 2 just from watching him talk to you. More on that later
"Wake up, Mr. Freeman, and... smell the ashes."
Gordon finds himself on a train with a couple of other guys inbound towards City 17 (I thought, "Cool - on a train thing just like the HL1 intro!"). The other fellas on the train look pretty bummed out - both are wearing some sort of bland uniform. The train finally stops... "Whelp... end of the line," one of them depressingly utters.
As you step off the train, a strange little device hovers towards you and snaps a photo (or something), then hovers away. As you approach the station, you'll see a man with a lot of luggage being oppresed into moving along.
Then it hits you. Something isn't right here - the whole place is under some sort of martial law, and you're in the middle of it.
Once you approach a fence with a rotating door-type-thing, a woman yells out, hoping for some sort of sign of a loved one, "Is there anyone else on that train?" Poor lady.
As you pass through the lobby area, the same feeling of hopelessness is present. Once you get to the checkpoint though, you're suddenly halted and forced to follow one of the strange masked soldiers into an interrogation room.
"Get in!" he orders. Tough to go in there with all the blood on the floor next to the chair he's pointing at. Then you step in, and the door closes...
Strange that the opening sequence of Half-life 2 reminds me of high school. Bleh!
Now, along with that story above, there's a lot of stuff about the environment I did not mention. The wind blowing the garbage around. The look of fear and uneasiness in the people's eyes. The amount of detail in the surrounding walls. It's all so... REAL.
And throughout the game, you get that very same sense of really being there as before with Half-life. Except just moreso here. A lot moreso. Yes. Everyone reacts to you - everyTHING reacts to you, it seems. The physics in the game are simply... well, let's just say that you won't believe your eyes once you see it in action.
What boggles my mind is that every single object in the game is interactive. Bottles, crates, barrels, computers - everything. Once you acquire the Gravity Gun, there's no end to the amount of fun of blasting object away at a high velocity; especially when it's used to defeat an enemy. "Hey Mr. Combine Soldier! I hope you enjoy dying via DEATH MATRESS!" Good times.
Another perk are the weapons, some of them making a comeback. You get a nice 9mm pistol for starters (aim for the head, heh). Then, Mr. Machine Gun. One of my favorite weapons, the 6-shooter Magnum, also makes a comeback (although there's NEVER enough ammo for it). The Shotgun, my second fav, is back and just as powerful as before. The laser-guided rocket launcher is also present. The other newer weapons, like the Pulse Rifle, kick ass.
Well, I won't get into much more of the gameplay at this point so I don't spoil it for you. Sometimes there's this slightly annoying techno song that plays, but it's not that bad. Also, later in the game when you've got some companions following you, they can get in the way. They know it too, and they'll apologize for it. :D
BAH! I have nothing more to say. I can't begin to describe the clever puzzles, the convincing AI, the insane firefights, the charm and intelligence of Alyx, the vehicles, the intimidation of the Striders, the emotion of the people, Dog (hehe), and so much more.
Despite the maddening delays and other BS that happened during it's development cycle, I would like to congratulate Valve on accomplishing the task that was Half-life 2. I can only imagine the hardships they had to endure to get this game out to the public. Keep 'em coming guys! We can't get enough of the innovation.
RAWR! Bring it on.
|Gameplay||So much fun that I couldn't sleep.||5|
|Graphics||Amazing. How this game was crafted by people, I do not know.||5|
|Music/Sound||Explosions, guns, voice acting; perfection. Music is also extremely well done.||5|
|Replay Value||The game has so much going on, it'll take a long time to get tired of it.||5|
|Originality||The most original FPS I've ever played.||5|
|Misc. Stuff||A few engine glitches here and there. You have to be connected to Steam to play HL2 (weird).||4.5|
|Final Verdict: 4.92|