Half-Life 2


by Blue Vixen
author awarded score: 90/100

Half Life 2 Review
Published by: Vivendi Universal
Developed by: Valve Software
Format Reviewed: PC
Review by: Blue Vixen

For a game that only has two instalments it sure has a hell of a lot of story to it, not to mention its developer Valve software. There first project nearly failed. The second was stolen right out of there hands. But in the end it would become one of the best selling games of all time. This is the story of Valve software and there amazing franchise Half-Life.

The year is 1996. A Microsoft executive by the name of Gabe Newell decides to leave the company along with other employees to start there own developing company. Here's what Gabe said about the process." It sure wasn't an easy task starting Valve. I had to go through countless hours of paper work. A funny story about the process. I will always remember the anniversary of the company. Because it was founded on the day of my wedding. I can still remember my friend shoving paper work in my face before the ceremony. Our first game was a kind of RPG. It had a story of a boy trapped in the internet." Unfortunately the game was cancelled soon after the beginning of development. But there next game would forever change gaming. The game was called Half-Life. You played a man by the name of Gordon Freeman. But Gordon was not like your typical run of the mill mega built superman. He was just a scientist, an everyman. In the story you started your day off at the Black Mesa research facility. You would come across many people on your way to work that you would interact with a lot through out the game.

 Half Life 2 female game review

A big change from other first person shooters is that in Half-Life for the first half hour you have no gun. This was really different and some people didn't take to kindly to this. Once you got to work you had to put on a Haz mat suit and continue some research. But something goes terribly wrong. The experiment goes haywire and a mysterious phenomenon is starting to take over the facility. But before Valve could continue on developing something goes wrong. They start noticing that the pieces of Half-Life are not fitting together. They are left with two options. Scrap the game or start the game over from scratch. They decided to start over. They were determined to finish this game. Valve ultimately finishes the game only a month before E3." I was so happy that the game was almost ready for launch. But now we had to get the game ready to show at E3." Half-Life is shown off to the public at E3 1998. The response is overwhelming the game is ultimately awarded best action game of E3. People started talking about this new game and soon after becomes one of the most anticipated games ever. The game finally ships a few months after. It sells 4 million copies in its first year and is named game of the year by 50 different publications. Plans for a sequel are already underway. The game would use the latest advancements in video game technology. Valve would create one of the most beautiful games ever using there newly made source engine. The engine would give the game amazing lighting effects. It would also create the most sophisticated looking character ever seen in a game. "To make the characters look next to real we needed to get the facial expressions right. One day we called in a phd to give us layouts on a human face and how they can show emotion through it. In the end we had incorporated over 50 different facial expressions into every character. We were now ready for E3." Valve finally showed off Half-Life 2 to the world at E3 in 2003.

 Half Life 2 female game review

The results were spectacular. Everyone was astonished by how real the game was. And at a Valve press conference Gabe Newell himself shower off a demo of the features of Half-Life 2. He showed the lighting effects and one of the most important aspects to the game, physics. Every single thing in the game obeyed the laws of gravity, friction and buoyancy in the way they would in reality. But the real show stopper was in what game said at the end of the demo “Half-Life 2 will be in stores on November 11th 2003. People started applauding Gabe and became instantly excited by the fact that they would be playing this game in just a couple of months. Little did they know that Valve would become victim to one of the biggest hacks in video game history. " Well one day a hacker managed to get into Valve's server and all in all steal the source code for the game." Images of the game and demos started to appear all over the internet. "People came up to me and said are we going to go out of business? It was a truly dark day for Valve." Unpronounced Valve turns to the FBI for help on this matter. "I asked them will you be able to find this person and the response almost one ever gets caught came up." But they did help. Valve even went to there fans for support. " The response of the fans in this case was overwhelming, we got thousands of e-mails every day explaining where they saw clues or suspicious people. All the information led to a location of Germany. But before we could get there we got mail from the hacker saying you know I'm not such a bad guy really." The hacker was soon prosecuted. Now it was up to Valve to finish this game, finish it they would. Half-Life 2 finally ships to store on November 16th 2004. What comes out is ground breaking. Half-Life 2 was one of the most stunning games ever made. Half-Life 2 had officially raised the bar on gaming and the way it is played today.

 Half Life 2 female game review

One of the best aspect of Half-Life 2 is the story. If you are a fan of anything sci fi you'll instantly fall in love with the story. You once take the role of everyman Gordon Freeman. You start off on a train heading for the mysterious City 17. Once you get there you notice that the civilians are acting strange. Guards with batons guard allies and houses, a giant strider makes its way down streets and no one seems to care. From there you are taken away by one of the gas mask wearing guards. He takes you to a room with a chair surrounded by blood. You feel that something bad is about to happen. But believe it or not it's your good friend Barney from Black Mesa. Once you get acquainted Barney calls up Dr. Kleiner on a nearby computer monitor, another familiar face from Black Mesa. They tell you to get down to his lab right away. But without warning other guards attempt to get into the room. You escape but Barney stays and gets back to his job if you will. But once you get out you make your way secretly through the streets unnoticed by prying eyes. Once you make you way to a nearby apartment guards find out you whereabouts and attempt to capture you. You escape through the roof and finally make you way into Kleiners lab. There you get appointed with Alyx the daughter of one of the other scientists from Black Mesa. Kleiner gets you into your familiar has mat suit. But something jumps out at you a head crab. But no need to panic its just Kleiners pet, it's harmless. But it and Barney don't seem to get along. It attempts to latch to his head. But it gets scared and jumps up onto a rising platform and disappears some where into the next room. You're taken into that room to be teleported to a facility where you have to get acquainted with Alyx's father. Something goes wrong during the teleportation process. The head crab jumps in with you. And something happens. You begin to be randomly teleported to other locations and finally back to the lab. Once again guards find your whereabouts and you are once again required to escape. Outside Barney catches up to you to give you a present, something you forgot at Black Mesa. So begins your journey through the incredible world of Half-Life 2.

 Half Life 2 female game review

Half-Life 2 is at its core a first person shooter. Much like the first game you don't have any weapon for the first half hour. But over time you will come across handguns, SMG's, Rocket Launchers and crossbows. You will also come across to unique weapons. The Gravity Gun or better known as the zero point energy field manipulator if you really want to call it that. The weapons are made for playing around with the games physics. Every object will react differently to the Gravity Gun. Another weapon is the bug bait. Now this is easily one of my favourite weapons to play around with from any game. It's the heart of antlion queen, an enemy that you'll run into quite often in the game. You squeeze it summon antlions to do your bidding! Throw it at or near an enemy and they'll attack them. Unfortunately it only works in areas with sand. The enemy AI is also amazing. They take cover, throw grenades and even call in back up. You'll be in for some intense battles. For people who have played Half-Life know that there are absolutely no cut scenes. The game progresses through encounters with other characters. You'll notice during these scenes you'd know that this is where a cut scene would be. The environments of the game are jaw dropping. From city environments to rivers to the coast. All are well represented and detailed. Each delivering a new and exciting experience. They come to life with sound and interaction. My favourite is the coast. The music of Half-Life ranges from spooky to action and intensity. That pretty much sums up Half-Life 2.