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| Half Life 2 (Round 2) *runs* (8 comments )|
by: exe3 (551) | Posted in cluster AMD Contest Group
Posted 67 months ago in category DEFAULT
Half Life 2, sequel to the multi Game Of The Year award winning title Half Life by a little ole developer called Valve Software. Many consider Half Life 2 the holy grail of PC FPS gaming, a triumph and innovative example of how games should be and possibly the greatest example of an over hyped game I have ever seen, not to say itís a bad game, o no, itís an easily recommendable game and a great play, itís just not the be all end all game many would have you believe with many issues and unconvincing features that make you wonder what the hype is all about.
Half Life 2ís story takes place many years after the original in a post apocalyptic world where an alien force known as the Combine have enslaved humanity and draining Earth of all itís resources. It couldnít be any more removed from the original storyline begging the question whether this is in fact a sequel or an entirely new game but thatís not the problem, the problem is that very few things happen in the story. The plot has been lauded as a magnificent piece of storytelling with a tale that will grip you from start to end. I couldnít have been anymore bored as I once again went from point A to point B to be told again that something would happen at point C. And thatís what most of Half Life 2 is made up of, a constant trek between points with no real story linking each setting together. There are of course some story elements here and there but there are far too many plot holes whether intentional or not to call this story great.
What the game excels at is its atmosphere but it isnít up to par with the originals. In Half Life you felt like one lone man trying to survive an accidental alien invasion you caused. Levels were dim and moody and gave you the real sense that you were just trying to get out alive and fix the mess you started. Half Life 2 succeeds in recreating this atmosphere, the atmosphere where you want to fix what horrors have transcended, but not always. Often, especially in the later levels, it feels like an arcade shootout where you just shoot whatever moves, no questions asked, you never really know who the Combine are, but who cares, theyíre the enemy and thatís enough.
Speaking of enemies I found it surprising that Valve took out so many classic aliens like Bullsquids and Houndeyes yet only felt the need to offer only the Antlions as a replacement. As great as the Antlions are, they (and a few variations of zombies) are not enough and you start to wish that there was something else to shoot at.
Half Life 2 of course being an FPS has a myriad of weapons for you to try from the iconic crowbar to the trusty shotgun to the innovative Gravity Gun. From that description youíd think Half Life 2 had a great arsenal, and it does, except the weapons sometimes feel useless. Standard weapons like the pistol and SMG lack satisfaction and feel underpowered even if they may not be. The big surprise however is the Gravity Gun, allowing you to pick up any physics object and hurtle it at foes, itís the perfect way to exploit the exceptionally robust physics engine but some work could have been used to put more incentive on using it as an offensive weapon as I found little use for it beyond the odd puzzle and crate smashing, by no means is it bad nor useless in combat, quite the opposite, itís just that I had no incentive to use it in such circumstances as I found it more effective to just shoot the enemy, itís a shame really, but you can always use it for fun if your not too worried youíll get shot.
Another addition to Half Life 2, which happens to be practically a compulsory item in any modern FPS are vehicles. Half Life 2 has two such sequences, one with an airboat, and one with a buggy and I can say with absolute confidence that these segments are horrible and should have been cut from the game long ago. Itís strange that the culprit for much of the horror in the vehicles is the outstanding physics engine, for some reason vehicles are just too touchy and are prone to bouncing (especially the Airboat) making them frustrating to drive. Both of these vehicle segments however perfectly illustrate my points before, each time you get a vehicle it is so you can travel a large amount of distance, essentially going from point A to point B for just the sake of it.
I should give praise for the characters Valve portrays in Half Life 2. With exceptional voice acting and real emotions (and letís not forget Dog, arguably the best non-human character ever) there is no game that makes NPCís feel more real than in Half Life 2 bar none. Too bad this doesnít hold true in non scripted circumstances. During combat NPCís are useless and darn right annoying. They get in your way and say the most stupid things often being failed attempts by Valve at humour and this failed humour is one of the biggest issues that kill the atmosphere.
Half Life 2 is by no means a bad game, taking away the negatives I have described, you in fact have a very well made game that is a lot of fun to play and indeed has its moments. However it is without doubt over hyped and overrated. A good game it is, maybe even great, but it is NOT the be all end all game many would have you believe, take the game how it is and ignore the hype, I guarantee you will have a better experience without it tacked on and influencing your expectations.
|8 User Comment(s) • 4 root comment(s)|
| McStu (113) Nov 19, 2007 - 08:48 am | Edited on Nov 19, 2007 - 08:50 am|
|So.. What score would you give it..? :D Anyway joke aside it's a good review which doesn't bash to much and stays objective but I'm not sure if you hated it enough for the rules.|
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| exe3 (551) Nov 20, 2007 - 01:48 am | Edited on Nov 21, 2007 - 02:12 am|
|lol, yea, I decided to not give a score because in this situation I felt that it would distract from the content and ultimately cause inconsistencies,|
and yea, I was worried about whether I had to 'hate' it enough, like I said before, i'm going to try and write another review of a game I actually did hate (probably morrowind) but I don't see why this review shouldn't be acceptable, the judges allowed the UT review go through and it was more of a history of the game than a review
unfortunately I couldn't get another review done, I just wasn't in the right state of mind and what little i wrote was just flaming with nothing constructive
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