REVIEW SUMMARY: After years of waiting, Half-Life 2 comes on the scene and brings the story of Gordan Freeman back to the world. The game is a very good one and manages to really raise the bar with respect to character models (on a higher end video card) but maintaining playability on older cards. I have tested this both on my main machine and had it confirmed by a friend running a Ti4400 which is a much older card. The folks at Valve really maintained the excellent enemy AI and figured out that folks did not really like the giant floating head at the end of HL1. The game really consists of 3 parts: Halflife 2 the story and game, Counterstrike Source and HL2 Deathmatch (which was added after launch.) All 3 play differently, and I can say that the first two are fantastic. I am not much of a deathmatch fan, but from what I hear that is equally fun. The game is not without its downers though. The game has no “offline” mode and requires an active internet connection to play – major suckage. The load times between levels is a bit longer than I would like, and the ending was anti-climactic for me. I am sure that some will like it, but I am sure some folks think it fits well. Overall, I put this on my must have list along with Baldur’s Gate (1 and 2), Half-life, and Knights of the Old Republic.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Gordan Freeman returns some time after the accident at Black Mesa and humanity has reached a unique agreement with the “powers that be.” You enter City 17 and link up with Barney and the rest of the resistance forces, but the “powers that be” are not happy you are on the other side. So begins the chase and with luck the liberation of humanity…MY REVIEW:
PROS: Great visuals and ambience. The puzzles and missions while not extremely hard were challenging and appropriate for the game. Counterstrike Source is a great game – and I got play that early since I signed up for Steam (the positive thing about the service.)
CONS: The ending really didn’t do it for me – I wanted more, but I guess that was the look they were going for. The game is pretty much a rail game in that there is not alot of decisions required on your path. Steam – the lack of offline mode means getting a hack or not playing without internet.
BOTTOM LINE: Probably one of the best first person shooters out there and there will be a bunch of new mods coming that will enhance the game even more.