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Half-Life 2 Game Review

This long awaited sequel to the master piece game half-life is no let down. In the newest game from Valve, you'll battle your way forward against all type of enemies, only to recover quickly by picking up health packs and recharging your hazard suit at energy stations. Some of these enemies are familiar, such as the headcrab and the barnacle, while others, like the manhacks (essentially flying buzz saws) are completely new. The weapons in this game, most of which are the same from the first game, such as the shotgun, submachine gun, pistol, crowbar, and the crossbow are still fun to use. These weapons haven't changed much, and they feel about the same. There are only three new weapons, including the pulse rifle, which is a sort of super energy rifle with a devastating secondary attack. Another one of the cool new weapons are the pheropod (bug bait), which allows you to control the always dangerous ant lions, and lastly is the gravity gun, which can be used to pick up and throw objects.

The gravity gun is one of the great new features introduced by the game. I think that this is one of the greatest weapons ever in a FPS game. Thanks to the new physics engine, it has all sorts of applications in and out of combat. It's just as useful for picking up and hurling a chair at an enemy as it is for solving any number of puzzles in the game.

One other important addition to the game are vehicles, specifically an airboat and a high-speed buggy. These vehicles are fun to drive and I was impressed by the powerful, detailed graphics while riding in these new toys. Often times you are just required to follow a specific path with a few jumps and a few puzzles to solve along the way when using these vehicles in the game.

The game features a decent amount of puzzles. Most of these puzzles are clever but not too difficult, particularly if you've played previous first person games. Half-Life 2 also features a fair number of jumping puzzles, some of which are decently difficult. There was one particular point in the game that took me a few hours just to figure out how to jump a certain way.

You'll be on your own during most of the game, but there are levels in which you'll have the opportunity to fight alongside allies, both alien and human. Some of the best team moments come later in the game, when you're battling the Combine in the streets and buildings of City 17, with large-scale battles going on between groups of humans and the Combine's huge, spiderlike striders. You never really develop any attachment to your teammates, though, as they tend to be very disposable, and replacements are available at regular intervals. And teammates have a tendency to get in your way in cramped interiors--while they'll slowly move out of your way, it's still a little annoying. In addition to taking on teammates, you'll occasionally have the opportunity to set up sentry guns to assist you in defense.

Overall, I would say that this is a very solid game that lived up to my expectations. The detailed graphics and advanced physics engine will change the way games work from here on out. I give this game a 9/10 and would suggest that you give it a try.

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