Published by: FinalCloud on 2007-01-26
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The best game ever made! - Gamer Magazine
Ok, to start, Half Life was deemed to be probably the best first person action game ever made on the PC. So with this tough act to follow, Half Life 2 comes crashing onto consoles everywhere, but how does it compare to its amazing predecessor? Well, it does a stand up job. Following on from the events of the first game, you reprise your role as Gordon Freeman, the dimensional crossing scientist from Black Mesa. Recruited by the mysterious G Man, you must once again battle Earths foes.
The game includes a wide variety of weaponry from the sub machine gun to the gravity gun (a bit like Doom 3''s). The original Half Life was released in 1998 and was an instant classic thanks to its cinematic gameplay and engrossing story, Half Life 2 continues this tradition, although is nowhere near as groundbreaking as the original. Like most sequels, Half Life 2 plays it safe and doesn''t veer too much from the original formula. You''ll battle a vast array of foes, aliens and tanks and system is solid throughout the levels and at times, its almost a bit deja vu from the first title. Between combat you''ll have plenty to solve, many of which use the game advanced physics engine. You''ll also have the opportunity for the first time in a Half Life game to take control of vehicles, specifically a high speed buggy, as you race around lining your foes with lead.
Typical controls for a first person shooter, using the right trigger to fire, while you have interact, jump, reload etc on the buttons. No real problem in handling the control system, its now become a fairly generic layout and anyone who''s played a first person shooter before on the Xbox will know how to handle Half Life 2 straight away. The game does play at a frantic pace at times and you''ll find your hands moving quickly over the pad, coupled with frantic turning as enemies jump past you, with you strafing to avoid them. So nothing out of the ordinary or groundbreaking with the controls, but a good solid system adding to ease of use.
The lip syncing in the game is excellent and this is greatly enhanced by some strong voice acting. Actors such as Lou Gossett and Michelle Forbes offer great talent to the roles and the interaction between characters is top class. The Half Life series, much like Doom 3, doesn''t involve a great deal of audio tracks and prefers to concentrate more on voice acting and sound effects to lift the game up. While this worked well in Doom 3, with its enclosed spaces, beeping computers and hissing pipes, it Half Life 2 the lack of audio makes the game feel a bit hollow at times. Still, when your gun is roaring and the enemy is attacking in hordes, you''ll soon forget about it.
If your the kind of person that loves playing games and getting all the answers, Half Life 2 is going to leave you disappointed. Ultimately, Half Life 2 is just one installment in a much larger plan. It utilises the same strong formula that the original had, but doesn''t really push it much further. Xbox users are also not going to benefit too much from sources new graphics and physics engines that make the PC version look incredible. However, it does do what it set out to, which is bring the next stage of the Half Life installment to our tv sets and although the PC version is definitely the better looking, the Xbox version does a good enough job to stand up and be noticed. The single player aspect is only half the story, when that is completed, its time to go tackle the multiplayer aspect, which is CounterStrike Source. CS Source is a face paced multiplayer game and one of the biggest multiplayer games on the web and unless you''ve lived in a cave for the last 10 years, I''ve no doubt you''ve heard of it. So although it doesn''t break new ground, it does capture the essence of what made Half Life so great and its a faithful sequel in the sense.
Related Link: Official Half-Life 2 Website
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