|Half-Life 2 (2004) |
November 18, 2004
Raised the bar and then some!
|by: mclaren_man ( November 19, 2004 )
Experience: < 1 Week
-the Source engine
|» Pros|| |
-Superb sound quality, even with headphones
-music and sound effects are almost perfect
-gripping and addictive gameplay; replayability value
-character and level design is top notch
-CS: Source is a great addition if you like CS
-HL1: Source and HL2 t-shirt in the Collectors Edition are a cool bonus
-character interaction is excellent
-the physics kick a*s!
-voice casting is brilliant
-the storyline and the mood it creates is combined effectively
-realistic facial animations and faces
-the ending makes you thirst for more
-everything works together to bring the best possible experiance
-the menu backgrounds
-no crashes/bugs so far in my Collector's retail version(DVD)
-being able to start new game from any chapter you've already beaten
-Online activation service is shite(Steam), other than this the rest are small negative tid bits
|» Cons|| |
-limited save capacity
-not a terribly huge weapon inventory(where's the OICW?)
-CS: Source the only mulitiplayer option, IF you don't like it
-a few low res textures are used here and there(ex. the mounted rifle that you use in Water Hazard)
-the pistol reload sound is barely audible
-ending is a bigger cliffhanger than that of HL1, also leaving you with many unanswered questions(at least until HL3 hopefully)
-the game eventually ends
I like many, many others have been waiting for this game for quite some time, and the hype HL2 has created is finally realized in this unbelievable sequel. This game has not only lived up to its expectations, but surpassed them. The game is visually stunning and even after a more than 1 year delay, it's still the best game currently out there in every way. What's so great about it, is that it does indeed 'raise the bar' and makes the Source engine shine beyond Far Cry's and Doom 3's. Sure it doesn't have the fancy stencil shadows Doom 3 employs, but it has everything else that Doom 3 doesn't have. That's not to say that HL2 doesn't have its own share of tiny tid bits. Some textures don't seem to be on par with everything else, but thankfully they are not very obvious. Some might complain about an absent sound here or there(the pistol reload)and that it seems a little too short. I tried to look for flaws in this game and to tell you the truth, I didn't find many at all. The biggest problem is Steam and all this authentication bs. By the time you all read this a hack will be completed and cracks will be available for people to download.
|» Review|| |
So, those were my main concerns and issues with the game. Now let's look at the bright side of things. I could rant on forever about how I love this game, but I'm not going to do that. The summary of the main pro's and con's is listed above, so I'll tell you what you do need to see HL2 in all it's glory.
I have a AMD 64 3500+
Asus AX800XT PE
1Gb Corsair XMS ProC2
I'm running the game at 1024x768 with everything set to High, water set to Reflect All,4xAA,8xAF. Going to 6xAA and 16xAF makes little difference, so I turned that down to my default setting. What I noticed is that running with the same settings the FS benchmarks show with my chip, my performance was more similar to that of the 3800+. If you're really budget bound, one of the best video card choices is the 9600XT and get value DDR ram instead. 512mb is plenty. With that you'll be able to play with some eye candy enabled but no AA/AF.
Now back to the game at hand. One of the best things about this game is the physics engine and the Gravity Gun which exploits them in a fantastic way. Also the Source engine and the facial animations are #1. The NPC's, gameplay, gripping story, Dog, Alyx, environments, level and character design, sound effects and music,...ah what the heck am I still doing writing this silly review, I should be bashing head crabs with my crowbar or putting the smack down on the Combine - and so should you!
Doom 3, Far Cry and Halo 2, bring it!
Game of the year for sure!Thank you Valve.
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