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Half-Life (Windows)

94
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  NeoJ (428)
Written on  :  May 30, 2009
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars

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Summary

Indispensable FPS

The Good

Half-Life was for a long time one of the best FPS games in the world and maybe it's still the number one. The Valve studios made one of the most shocking games using a genre which was a little bit stocked, only unreal was on a par with the game. The game has no important new features regarding other competitors of the same genre, it's just a FPS, with weapons (human and alien weapons), enemies (humans and aliens too), and no puzzles, just go on and kill everything that's trying to kill you and you'll finish the game. The story is more of the same, aliens on Earth and soldiers trying to kill the survivors to mask the truth.

Then, why is this game so important? It's because of its essence, it has a great story, something special is behind everything. Gordon Freeman is a perfect character, and he doesn't even speak! How is it possible? That's the essence I'm talking about. Lovecraft could be proud of this game, we have gates from another dimension, monsters coming from there and everything's because of human's mistake. Ted Backman designed the monsters and he really did a brilliant work, the aliens will not give you a fright, but they're disgusting (specially the crabs) and repulsive. There are many enemies and the game isn't repetitive.

Some survivors will help you along the way, security members will go with you killing enemies with their guns (they'll die soon, it's really difficult to protect them and they will be more like a bait to you) and scientists will heal you and can't fight. They can also open closed doors along the game (something like secret areas with extra ammo and med-kits) and that's why you should keep them alive as far as you can.

There's an enigmatic and deep story behind the game, you'll see a man with a briefcase during the entire game, talking with scientists and observing what you do from the distance. You can't reach him or shoot him and you won't know what's happening 'till you finish the game. When you play the game for the first time you'll notice him sometimes, but it's a good choice to start the game again and look for him (now that you know who he is).

The game has three difficult levels, and they're not really hard, they aren't impossible, so, if you've played many FPS try the hard level because it's difficult but not frustrating. There are many weapons and many-kits and when you know how to deal with all your enemies you'll finish the game with no problems (anyway you'll die many times).

The Bad

There are some things that are not as good as it should. The game has two important parts: Fighting against soldiers - Fighting against aliens. There are some parts in which both of them will try to kill you, but not so many, that's why sometimes maybe you'll be a little bored of killing soldiers/aliens and you'll miss the other enemies.

About gameplay, the design of the shark is poor comparing with the other enemies and fighting with it is not a comfortable experience. The survivors that will help you along the way are really stupid, they have a poor AI and they will stop walking leaving you alone. You'll have to come back to make them follow you and not walking so fast to avoid this thing, furthermore, they're not useful as a fellow team member.

Music's not good and this game deserves something better. There's only music in some parts of the game, and it doesn't suit with it. It sounds strange and out of place. It's the only important bad thing of the game (well, better to have this bad things instead of other important things like gameplay, right?). The FX is good, and the dialogues (maybe I should say "monologue" because Freeman doesn't talk and he just listen to what the others say) are adequate.

The Bottom Line

Half Life is something more than a FPS game. If you like the FPS genre you'll notice that since the beginning. The atmosphere, the characters, the enemies,the main story... Everything has something special. It's a really pleasure to play a game which you know that will make history since the beginning... and it's not overestimated.