Half-Life 2

Review

posted 11/22/2004 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PC
Another new game play addition is the inclusion of drivable vehicles in the game. During the course of the game, you will get to drive two different vehicles. The vehicles are a nice addition to the game and during the vehicle missions you will have to get out of the vehicle to either clear the way to take care of some Combine forces. Some of them are optional and the vehicles do add a lot to the game (it is a lot of fun to run over Combine soldiers)

Half-Life 2 is simply a beautiful game to play. The environments are mesmerizing and while they aren’t as lush as the environments in Far Cry the game is simply amazing to look at. The broken down jail level and the city levels are just dripping with atmosphere. The place looks well lived in and run down which further enhances the feel of the game. Another big innovation in the game is the character models. The level of facial details in the models is startling and almost scary in some instances. Everything from the lip syncing to the eyes represent a new level of realism in the industry.

The in game sounds match the excellence in the graphics. Valve brought a lot of the sounds over from the original game but the new sounds in the game deserve special mention. The sounds of the Combine solders are excellent. From the chatter between soldiers to the radio squawk when they are sent to the digital maker, it’s hard to imagine better sounds. The best sound in the game though has to be when you dispatch one of the large Striders toward the end of the game. Maybe that’s just because it’s a pain to take them out but the sound is just so other worldly

Music is used sparingly in the game but when you do hear it, it fits perfectly into the scene. There’s none of the brazen heavy metal chords or orchestral strings from Halo 2 but more of an electronic music that gets the pulse racing.

My quibbles with the game are minor. There is an acknowledged problem with the game that will cause the sound to stutter at points in the game (mostly right after a level loads). Another issue is that level loading tends to break up the game play a bit. It’s not a big deal and de-fragging your hard drive will help the problem a bit. There is a plot to the game but it’s not explicitly stated within the game. Rather, you’re fed bits of it by the characters in the game. This makes it easy to miss things and given the looseness of the plot if you miss something you’re hosed.

Overall, Half-Life 2 is one of the best FPS games I’ve ever played and I was really disappointed when I finished the game. Was it because the ending sucked? No it was because there wasn’t any more game to play. If that’s not a testament to a great game, then I don’t know what is.


A
Simply the best FPS experience on the market. The mood, atmosphere, and graphics are perfect. Finally, a game that lives up to most of its hype.



Page 3 of 3