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Half-Life 2

Developer: Valve Corporation Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
16 November 2004
Half-Life 2 - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.20 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
3,343 Ratings / 8 Reviews
#41 All-time
#4 for 2004
The Seven Hour War is lost. Earth has surrendered. The Black Mesa incident is a distant memory. Reawakened from stasis in the occupied metropolis of City 17, Gordon Freeman is joined by Alyx Vance as he leads a desperate human resistance movement striking out against the Combine.
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Former Black Mesa scientist Gordon Freeman is awoken from stasis by the mysterious G-Man and finds himself in "City 17", the headquarters of a dystopian alien empire called the Combine, which has conquered Earth. There, he reunites with several Black Mesa scientists and helps resistance members and defeat the Combine in an effort to free mankind.
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Title
Have you heard the bad news?
Because you've already heard everything that's to be heard about this game related to the good parts.

1 - Amazing graphics for the time;
2 - Viktor Antonov's crazily unique art direction for the game, seriously go and look up the concept art;
3 - you get to witness the birth of modern FPS, TPS and all other action-adventure games nowadays in general;
4 - thrilling execution and immersion;
5 - good (although sparse) audio and OST;
6 - a crazy, powerful new engine that makes the experience;
7 - everything is virtually unforgettable. No moment, person or place you'll forget. The craft is amazing.

Now, Half-Life 2 has 3 major, undeniable problems:

1 - the "brainy" parts, too dumb and easy due to incompetent playtesters;
2 - the forced physics mechanics, that should have just been made more for emergent gameplay instead of idiotic "shoot the explosive barrel" bits and the like;
3 - the weird slow pace that makes it clunky.

The new experience Valve made (the story and action-packed cinematic adventure) with this game, that influenced all of the games coming after it, is also the reason for all of these shortcomings: they did it first but didn't do it just right.

Playing it is a chore. It's the classic sin of "shopping list" gaming, where there is no fluidity among objectives, even if they're put in a straight line. The natural feeling of Half-Life 1, that played between the height and space of levels is now replaced by move, stop - shoot, stop - puzzle, move again.

The semplicity has kind of been kept, but lost, as the design fails, giving you no ability to aim again but putting you in situations where aiming is necessary for example; you must throw grenades at the snipers all of the time and avoid them, but never get a rifle with a sight. You get a gimmicky level where you use the sand ants to help you with the enemies, that are useless and boring, just to give a sense of movement on screen and control (that was scrapped in the final game, replaced by a call command for teammates that is useless too), and the gravity gun gives limited excitement because there is just always one and only one way to solve things - you feel really trapped in this sandbox world that doesn't really work like one, everything is actually scripted and all other possibilities are locked.

Why? There is no answer other than the incompetence of the designers. Many steps forward on the hardest accomplishments to be ever achieved in gaming and then some dumb regressions over the simple things.

Luckily, this review is meant to be reactionary in order to write a few things down in a new perspective. The game is great for the most part; just too far from perfect. You should play it if you haven't.
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mattboa 2017-07-26T16:22:36Z
2017-07-26T16:22:36Z
8.5
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P.S.: Too easy and maybe not as good as the first one, which was just as important as this on those important fronts. HL2 could feel like an update to you.
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As a sceptic of many hyped releases across every medium (and also as a bit of a contrarian at times too if im being honest), Half Life 2 was not something I ever really payed any mind towards. I had the orange box on my ps3 growing up, played until the Nova Prospekt chapter, and just gave up. I'm glad to be able to admit that was a massive mistake (although maybe my frustration was with the game's console and not the game itself, trust me when I say this game was not meant to be played on anything other than a keyboard and mouse).

I finally committed to doing a full playthrough of this and despite all the hype, the 11/10 scores from some magazines, and the general mythos of this game all these years later, Half Life 2 is, bewilderingly, as good as people describe it. It took me a week to get to Nova Prospekt on the orange box version on PS3, whereas I beat the entire thing in one sitting on the PC. I was engrossed, every minute detail is almost flawless. the art direction, the graphics (which are still phenomenal in 2022), the story, there is literally nothing wrong with this game, apart from one or two extremely minor criticisms. I played half life 1 before I played this and I was not impressed by that, so its safe to safe my expectations for HL2 were smashed thoroughly. If ME of all people is saying this is exactly as good as people say it is, you better believe it. Absolutely ESSENTIAL, every "gamer" should play this before they die.
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soraka 2022-01-23T17:07:14Z
2022-01-23T17:07:14Z
4.5
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Overrated tech demo with garbage AI, garbage gunplay and baby-tier physics puzzles. The atmosphere is very good though.
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breakfasttt 2021-07-07T20:25:25Z
2021-07-07T20:25:25Z
3.0
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Removes the visual noise and circular paths from its predecessor and flows like an aqueduct. That it is one of the more linear games of its kind and yet also still feels more expansive than most is a thing of great mystery. Really it just does everything so well. To me it's the perfected rhythms of tension and release, of incentivizing forward momentum through novel affordances (weapons and vehicles), and of pure audiovisual affect: the game knows when to reveal a horizon or a sunset, and when to leave you buried or with the sun fading in the wrong direction, feeling in the shadows trapped and alone.
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nostalghia 2018-05-28T23:54:16Z
2018-05-28T23:54:16Z
4.0
11
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the only game that doesnt suck ass
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mystic3xs 2021-05-22T11:15:46Z
2021-05-22T11:15:46Z
5.0
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Undoubtedly one of the most influential games of all time but like some others have already said, it feels pretty empty. Not really in a "dystopian empty" way but in a way that I can't immerse myself into the game because it has that feeling of being in a gmod map in the way that you know there's nothing beyond the confines of the map. Also my enjoyment of the game went down quite a bit after Ravenholm (still like the rest of this game), but it's still a 4 because of how amazing that stretch of the beginning to Ravenholm is. The ending section is also very good. Just wish the latter-middle section of the game was more interesting.
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Catalog

LinusParkourTips Half-Life 2 2022-07-03T04:57:22Z
2022-07-03T04:57:22Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
oicleevan Half-Life 2 2022-07-03T02:55:14Z
2022-07-03T02:55:14Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ho7mes Half-Life 2 2022-07-02T21:59:37Z
2022-07-02T21:59:37Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Xinovah Half-Life 2 2022-07-02T18:06:44Z
2022-07-02T18:06:44Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
paxxtonias Half-Life 2 2022-07-02T16:42:52Z
2022-07-02T16:42:52Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
n33dml Half-Life 2 2022-07-02T13:48:41Z
2022-07-02T13:48:41Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
peyates3 Half-Life 2 2022-07-02T00:14:36Z
2022-07-02T00:14:36Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Spacestronaut Half-Life 2 2022-07-01T23:20:04Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2022-07-01T23:20:04Z
A-
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
feor Half-Life 2 2022-07-01T20:03:02Z
2022-07-01T20:03:02Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jsgeduardo Half-Life 2 2022-07-01T17:36:17Z
2022-07-01T17:36:17Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Abelton Half-Life 2 2022-06-30T23:55:08Z
2022-06-30T23:55:08Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ca_Game Half-Life 2 2022-06-30T22:03:17Z
2022-06-30T22:03:17Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  

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  • PrivateJoker 2021-12-24 21:21:29.753677+00
    As I grow older, I find that I simultaneously admire Half-Life 2 for its creativity, while also becoming aware of its shortcomings. In environments, combat, navigation, and puzzles, it's just a mixed bag. Sometimes it's really creative and original, and sometimes it feels predictable and stale. It has its place in history, but I have little desire to play it again.
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  • imfindinglovewave 2022-01-15 09:45:42.438857+00
    Playing it for the second time, and yeah I didn't feel as absorbed as I did on the first playthrough. The scope of the first run through was really great, it genuinely felt like this long, enthralling adventure. Second run was still generally good, but far less impactful. And the decline from Sandtraps onwards felt more mundane. The tension is just lessened when you know what you're doing and the AI companion's are just so fucking dumb man.

    Still a good experience, just with its fair share of flaws.
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  • earthandspace 2022-02-13 06:06:38.295429+00
    definitely consider playing mmod on a replay, makes the combat so much better, feels great with the change to recoil and projectile bullets, can't see myself playing vanilla half life 2 again.
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  • imfindinglovewave 2022-03-23 09:52:59.063856+00
    Replayed it with Mmod and it was dope. Had a greater appreciation for some of the chapters I felt were a bit of a drag on vanilla.
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  • white_calx 2022-03-27 12:56:12.440797+00
    idk i've played this game like 20+ times and i don't think it'll ever get old
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  • doII 2022-04-15 12:05:29.043731+00
    none of the chapters were a drag this is the best game ever
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  • Drongus 2022-04-20 12:33:54.744943+00
    before you can put "gamer" on your resume you have to play this game
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  • mcluskyism 2022-06-29 14:02:14.204599+00
    Overall a great game, but that watercraft/puzzle section drags on way too long.
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