|Half-Life 2 (2004) |
November 18, 2004
|by: monkeynetman ( November 26, 2004 )
Experience: 1 Week - 1 Month
|» Pros|| |
- Creative Environments
- Reasonably lengthy
- Scripting (dialogues and scenes)
- Minor bug issues
|» Cons|| |
- Long load time just for the main menu
- Need Steam/Internet to run it
- Vehicles are so-so
- Ending sequence
I finally got my hands on this game on the day it was released and I'm very satisfied with it.
|» Review|| |
Gameplay was pretty much the same as the original Half-Life, but this time physic comes into play a bit more. Just like the original Half-Life the game consists of action and puzzle solving. This time however, the puzzle deals mostly with the physic. The thing is, the game kind of made it too obvious on how to solve it, but there are a few that are challenging. Action-wise... it's fast paced and there's plenty of shooting to satisfy your thirst for blood and "yellow stuff". Some of the areas are just so much fun to play... that you just want to go back and play it again. There are some areas with scripting that's so memorable it's basically tattoo'ed into your head... *DOG*... *ahem*. NPCs are well programmed and incorporated in this game, but when you come to the point in tight buildings and such, you'll get a little frustrated when they're in your way... don't worry though, they'll apologize personally for that! =D. Another great thing is that after 6 years of waiting, the game is considerably long... takes about 15 hours if you rush through it (not recommended if it's your first time; explore more and you'll appreciate the game more). Approximately 30+ hours if you try to find all the easter eggs!
The game's graphic is surprisingly good and it's definitely up there with Doom 3 and Far Cry. Would've been nice though if they could try integrating Doom 3's per pixel lighting into those darker areas of the game, would've made it even more creepier. The facial animations and the animations in general are definitely impressive: the lip syncing is right on the spot; the emotions they show with their faces are very convincing; everything in the game is fluid and life-like! The environments are beautiful, both indoor and outdoor. It's worth noting that the Citadel/Jail and made my jaw drop - without a doubt, they definitely got one helluva design team!
The sound is great, from the Combine's helicopter, the buggy's engine, some of the guns, and lots more. Many of the music were recycled from the original, but it still fits in the mood for Half-Life 2, so to me, I still enjoyed it.
Okay, now for the bad news...
I did encounter a few minor bugs throughout the game, such as the notorious and numerous glitchy sounds and loading points. I did get stuck a little bit in some of the objects I was playing around with. In a way, this made my gameplay experience a little bit distracting, but overall though, it's smooth.
The vehicles in the game didn't really suit me, especially the buggy. It was pretty difficult to adapt to the vehicle, unlike Halo's Warthog. For example, when I was accelerating in any of the vehicle foward while turning and when I push the back key... the way I was turning starts turning in the other direction. The designers definitely could've refined on this.
Now the controversy over Steam/installation being a good or bad thing... overall from what I experienced, is smooth and excellent. (DVD and directly from Steam). I do have to agree with some of the community that in order to play Half-Life 2 you have to log on to Steam, is a bit too far, but I've been hearing that Steam is working on a SecureROM on this issue. Hopefully that issue will be corrected.
The main menu frustrates me a lot. Everytime when I want to go back to play one part of Half-Life 2, I have to wait a minute or two for the main menu's background screen to load, before I can play that one part. I'm pretty sure that there's a command/patch that can disable this... but it's still annoying.
Lastly, the ending sequence is a short cliffhanger. It will literally make you ask yourself: "WHAT THE HELL?!?!?"
Conclusions - Well this game gets my two thumbs up. The game could've been executed a little better though, but other than those nitpicks I mentioned... the game is a blast to play!
Personal Note: Don't buy Half-Life 2: Collector's Edition... IT'S NOT WORTH THE 80 DOLLARS! Buy the standard edition or get it from Steam!
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