Written by  :  Sam LaSelva (10)
Written on  :  May 19, 2006
Platform  :  Xbox
Rating  :  4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

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Who says ports are bad?

The Good


Incredible plot and gameplay

Extremely high replay value

Amazing graphics and sound

The Bad


No multiplayer

Occasional lag

Annoying and frequent loading screens

The Bottom Line

Half Life 2 is the sequel to the game many people believe revolutionized the PC gaming world. So how can a game developer create a sequel that can out perform its well awarded big brother? Not very easily, but this is one game that is the exception. Half Life 2 for the Xbox combines a rich story with unique weapons and jaw dropping gameplay. This 12 to 14 hour game puts you in the middle of a resistance movement in a futuristic 1984 inspired world. Although Half Life 2 contains no multiplayer aspect, the deep plot and terrific gameplay will keep you coming back for more. Half Life 2 gives the gamer memorable moments and what many games now-a-days don’t have…….fun.

You play the role of Gordon Freeman, a quiet butt kickin scientist who means business. With your trusty crow-bar and your other array of unique weapons, you reek havoc among the Combine forces. Half Life 2 is split up into 15 chapters with annoying loading screens after every step of progression. The game does lag a bit, but not so much that it will get you killed. Half Life 2 also has a magnificent physics engine. On top of that, the game lets you manipulate the physics with the gravity gun, but more on that in a sec. This game will give you so many stories to tell to your friends…..although I don’t think they will be great conversations to pick up a girlfriend. I distinctly remember the chapter Ravenholm. Surprisingly it was scarier than most horror games. Anywho, during this chapter you try to escape this deserted town with one sane man who turns out to be a priest. The only problem is that his congregation is a bunch of zombies who want to beat the crap out of you…..In comes the gravity gun. This unique piece of hardware lets the player pick up just about anything and hurl it at enemies. I especially liked to use this on saw blades……ahhhhh let the good times roll in.

Apart from the gravity gun, you receive many other weapons such as the standard submachine gun. The great thing about these weapons is that almost all of them contain a secondary feature. Including the assault rifle’s (not to be confused with the SMG) ability to launch energy ball things that disintegrates all matter (including people) in its path.

In addition to the great gameplay and unique weapons is the intelligent AI. There emotions change depending on the situation. The first time I saw that, it felt like I was holding the Cabbage Patch Doll that really urinates. Not only will there facial expressions change, but the enemy AI will take cover, re-group, and do what ever it takes to kill you. This installment of intelligence makes the game more challenging and a blast to play. The most entertaining part about the enemies is there one-liners they say right before they die. The ones I like the best are “Where is ARRRRGG!!!!” and I certainly can’t forget the ever famous “Outbreak, Outbreak, Outbreaaaaaaaarrrrrrggggggggggg!!!”

I’m having so much fun typing my personal stories with Half Life 2 that I almost forgot to talk about the graphics. Beauty comes in many shapes and sizes. Some believe flowers and Christina Aguilera are beautiful. I may get some weird looks for saying this, but in my opinion, Half Life 2 is the essence of beauty. Cityscapes of mind boggling architecture dominate the game. Well crafted character models inhabit that game, and shiny metallic weapons find there homes in the palm of you hand. Half Life 2 has graphics that compare to those of many next-gen games.

Playing Half Life 2 has proved to me that there is still life in the old Xbox. With the games awesome combination of gameplay and story, it is in my opinion, one of the best single-player games I have played in a long time.


Three Monkeys Reviewing System:

Hear No Evil – The sound of Half Life 2 is simply amazing. It gives the player the feel of actually being in the game. Players who own surround sound will simply smile to themselves every time a helicopter’s minigun blows off round after round in their direction.

See No Evil – The graphics are also one of the main factors that make this game a wonderful experience. Beautifully crafted environments and player models rival those of most next-gen launch titles.

Speak No Evil – Half Life 2 has one of the highest replay values I have ever experienced for a single-player only game. The gravity gun lets the player choose several different ways to annihilate the enemy, which makes Half Life 2 that much more re-playable.