a good time to be a gamer, and the timing's right
for the second installment of Half-Life.
was no doubt in my mind that Half-Life 2 for the Xbox
would be just as great as it was on the PC a year
ago. This is a top-shelf game and one that's considered
by many players and reviewers as an instant classic.
There have been so many great games released this
year that Half-Life 2 is just the icing on the cake.
I'm not sure if we could include it as a game-of-the-year
contender for this year since it's more than a year
old, but if that's the case it's good new for the
other hopefuls because this baby is going to be hard
appeal is many and varied. It's great in so many areas,
from the storyline to the mix of genres that include
stealth, puzzles, platform, vehicle driving, exploring
and of course shooting. This is primarily a first-person
shooter but with a survival horror influence with
plenty of mysteries to be uncovered.
the most important aspect of the game is the atmosphere.
It manages to convey the sterile, futuristic, and
mysterious environment that one Gordon Freeman finds
himself in. While aboard a train, Freeman learns of
the oppressive control of the government that controls
the populace. Breaking up families and moving them
to different areas. The locals that he runs into are
void of any emotion. Something is terribly wrong.
Eventually Freeman is contacted by a friend from the
underground resistance that enlists him to help in
the cause of freedom fighting. Alyx is his female
scientist assistant that helps explain technical information
to him in his pursuit of knowledge.
Freeman you play his character from the first-person
perspective. He doesn't talk but absorbs information,
much like you playing the game from the beginning.
Like you, he doesn't have any knowledge of situations
but learns from listening and interacting with others.
This style really assimilates you into the game as
you feel part of it and not just an observer.
seems there are no limits to the weapons that you
can carry. Everything from machineguns to grenades
and the ever-handy crowbar are just one button press
away. Using the D-pad you can switch weapons easily.
Keep in mind they have to be reloaded and the ammunition
is not unlimited. Aiming is somewhat forgiving, you
won't miss using the mouse as a controller. The entire
Xbox control system works virtually perfectly. It's
amazing that everything from the PC game has been
crammed into this title.
graphics and animation are the hallmarks of the Half-Life
series and you won't be disappointed. It looks every
bit as good on the Xbox as it does on the PC. The
environments are empty, sterile and run down due to
some prevailing depression that illustrates how people
have given up on their former lives. The character
models are excellent with amazing facial expressions
that include "tells." You can't always be
sure that what people are saying to you because there
is a level of body language that can be interpreted.
The voiceacting is superb and the script is incredibly
realistic for such a far-reaching storyline.
2 is an absolute must for any Xbox owner. Even if
all you play on it is Super-Bust-a-Move it's time
to grow up - or at least die trying.