9.0

Half-Life 2 review
Love it

The good:

Story being continued from half life 1
Weapons revamp
Sound track
Sound effects
Graphics

The bad:

Loading Screens

Summary:

When Half Life 2 was released on November 16, 2004, it had a lot to live up to, because of its older brother Half Life one.

Will it be as good?

I have always been a massive fan of the Half Life series, when I bought Half Life one, I knew I would end up buying Half Life 2, as throughout Half Life 1, I was gripped to the plot and how each character would be affected by events throughout the game. Half Life 2 continues this type of style, as at the end, when you kill Dr Breen, you are left with the question "do I survive?" as it leaves you with a similar ending to Half Life 1, where Gman is speaking to you.

Story/plot - 7/10

The story in general is good, especially at the end when you are left with the question "do I survive" as you want to know more. This is because the story towards the end is very much fast paced, discovering the inner workings of the citadel, and the finale at the end.

The flow of events throughout the story, link together very well, as from the start where you get off the train and meet barney, who we met in half life blue shift. To being shoved into an airboat, and ending up meeting alyx and her dad.

The missing 3/10 that would let me give the story a 10/10 is , to me the citadel part, I think that the lead up to meeting dr Breen, especially when you just climb into the prisoner carrying device, and ending up at his feet, without weapons a bit rushed. I think it would of been better if you fought your way entirely to him, and then be ambushed in a big battle, or some kind of ambush, like in half life one where you are ambushed by black ops, and have to find all your weapons to fight again.

Graphics - 8/10

You can defiantly tell, that between Half Life 1, and Half Life 2, there has been a long time between them, from the 1998 of Half Life 1, and the 2004 of Half Life 2, graphics have came a LONG way.

But what I can say is that, People in Half Life 2 now have recognisable faces! And there are not just 4 different types of people; you can see lots of different people, because the graphics have enabled the developers to do make more people in the game.

The water affects in Half Life 2 are amazing; you can see ripples caused by your character walking in the water, and the water jumping up from when bullets hit it.

Weapon effects and the look of the weapons has been refined and near perfected. For example the crude pixelated revolver from half life one, is completely inferior to the revolver of Half Life 2, for example, when you reload you can clearly see the detail on the empty cartridges you are removing.

Explosions, are now not 3-5 stage graphics compared to Half Life one, they flow smoothly, and leave behind a nice smudge of smoke, also since the explosions are now 3d, as you can walk around them and not see the image of the explosion moving with you, you can judge better where the explosions is and what threat it has to you.

Music/sound effects - 8/10

The sound effects sound a lot more "real" in Half Life 2, they actually sound like real weapons, compared the computer generated sound feel to Half Life 1. For example when you reload the assault rifle in half life one, you can hear it clunking, like a cheap toy. But in Half Life 2 you can hear metal on metal, as you put the new magazine into the weapon.
When hit or shoot various objects in the game, they all have their own specific sound, for example a soft wood, would have a different sound to a harder wood.

The thing that I would like to see improved about the sound effects, is a better range of sounds for when you are hitting the objects, not just 1 or 2 different sounds for each time you hit/ shoot something

The music for the game is very good; each scene the story takes you to has its own different piece of music/feel. For fighting scenes it will be fast paced, energetic music, and when you are crawling through sewers it will be slow paced "tense" music as you don’t know what is around the next corner.

Lifetime of the game - 8/10

The game had just about enough content in it, Half Life 2 kept me going for a good 6 - 7 hours. This is about right for a game, when I was reaching the 7 hours worth of play, I was feeling nearly satisfied, with how long the game had kept me going. But for the game to achieve full marks it would have to had at least another 30 minutes to an hour extra gameplay.

Gameplay 10/10

I couldnt be more satisfied with the gameplay, than with Half Life 2. For example, I mastered the controls of the game very quickly, within a couple of days playing the game, I could properly appreciate the game, since I knew the controls, the difficulty of the controls will please anyone from new players, to players that have been playing pc games for a long time.

Replay value 8/10

For me, I would not get bored of Half Life, by playing it over and over. The game still has enough suprises for me, so much so that I can play it over again, each time I play it, I still find it a good fun challenge, fighting my way through hundreds of Combines.

Bad point

Loading screens are my only nag about Half Life 2. The loading on half life one is very quick, and lets you resume play in about 1-2 seconds of loading. But on Half Life 2, it can take up to 20 seconds! This can be annoying when you are having a very big battle with the Combine, and you walk round a corner, and the game stops to load. The big loading times can ruin the pace of the game.

Summary

Half Life 2 is more than a match for Half Life 1, and for people that had forgotten about the half life series, after such a gap between games the jump forward in pc gaming, that is Half Life 2 will be the perfect game to restore their memory, and love of the Half Life series.

I would seriously recommend this game to people of all pc gaming ability’s, hardcore gamers and “noobs” alike can all enjoy this game. This, in my mind is one of the best value for money games I have bought, and one of the best games I have ever played.

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