#578 Half-Life 2

Posted: 3rd February 2018 by Jeroen in Games
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668th played so far

Genre: First-Person Shooter
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 2004
Developer: Valve Corporation
Publisher: Valve Corporation

The Half-Life series is one of the big ones that revolutionised story telling in games and really pushed the FPS genre forward. We noticed this when playing the first game already and I know it’s been said about its sequel as well. It’s also the second part of a trilogy that will likely never be finished, but it seems like it has reached heights that might be difficult to equal at this point.

This game also required Steam and was responsible for getting that on every PC, meaning it gave it to chance to change and dominate PC gaming as it does today. That, however, has little to do with the actual quality of the game – whatever that quality might be.

Our Thoughts

I enjoyed jumping into this world. I still feel that, on some level, the train ride of the first game sets up the world better than the loose fragments of this game. At the same time, we’ve moved from starting in an industrial complex to an occupied city. It’s very dystopian, different from what I expected and showing the larger, open areas we’d been encountering in this game.

What follows, initially, is a story in this dystopian world where you are constantly chased. You meet up with the resistance, but need to get from location to location without help while under attack from the army. There’s some neat gadgets that come in – a lengthy vehicle section that feels really good – but the real highlight comes with the gravity gun, at which point the game’s excellent physics move from a puzzle implementation (which happens several times and work incredibly well) to being a great combat option.

I did have trouble with some combat encounters, as progress isn’t always as clear while enemies keep respawning. It’s focused a lot on creating cinematic and exciting moments, which is annoying when you miss an entry and assume it’s a physics puzzle. While I get it’s part of the game and it can be a good thing, it’s usually so seamless that it feels weird when they get it wrong.

Final Thoughts

Half-Life 2 provides a nice cinematic experience in FPS form, combining the two pretty nicely. The seams do sometimes show between the two, with some less impressive bits when they join – some of it felt quite empty or tedious, while others are still pretty exciting and fun to play. Still, for the most part it connects and it does create a bunch of great moments.