Half-Life 2

aka: Bantiao Ming 2, HL2, Hλlf-Life², λ²

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Critic Reviews 87% add missing review

UGO (UnderGroundOnline) (A)

Half-Life 2 has impeccable style, an unrivalled elegance, and a frighteningly realistic aesthetic that no other game can even attempt to rival. Videogame reviews so often deal in sways of subjective opinion and viewpoints of contention; every reviewer evaluates attributes differently. But, for once, let us deal with cold, hard facts told with a simple yet absolute finality. Discussion of the following statement is not an option; it's a statement of fact, not opinion. Half-Life 2 is not only the best Xbox game of 2005, it's also the best console game-ever.

2005 · Xbox · read review

GameSpy ( )

Last year was all about Half-Life 2 for PC gamers. Valve's highly prized successor to the original Half-Life is the best first-person shooter ever made. And now its landed on the Xbox. While there are some minor bits and bobs that separate the two versions of the game, I can categorically state that Half-Life 2 for the Xbox is not only an incredible achievement in terms of technology, but it's also the best single-player FPS for the system to date (fans of Halo and Halo 2 might, of course, disagree).

Nov 14th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

GameCola.net (9.8 out of 10)

I was drawn into Gordon’s story (fine! He was a scientist in the first, got sucked into a war, had to make a choice at the end, chose to live and work for the G-man, cue the opening of HL2). I wanted to see who he’d run into next (apparently Barney was in the first one). I wanted to see the next graphical wonder. I wanted the next perfectly weighted gun so I could blow some hell into bad guys. Most importantly, I wanted to be Gordon Freeman, and I was. What could make a video game more special or appealing than that?

Dec 2005 · Xbox · read review

GameZone (9.6 out of 10)

You know the story; Gordon Freeman, research scientist for the Black Mesa research group inadvertently unleashes an alien invasion horde and then finds himself dead center of a three-way slugfest between alien invaders, a military death squad and Government assassins sent in to shut everyone up permanently. Winner: Gordon Freeman, but the victory comes at a price. Rather then find himself in the bellies of a horde of toothy critters, he instead agrees to work for a very strange yet powerful Government type.

Dec 18th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

TeamXbox (9.5 out of 10)

About this time last year, Valve unleashed their highly anticipated PC action/shooter Half Life 2 which boasted stunning visuals, fantastic gameplay and a deeply engrossing storyline that captivated hoards of gamers. PC gamers fortunate enough to possess a monster machine with loads of RAM and a mammoth video card experienced a fantastic first-person shooter that was unlike anything we’ve seen before in terms of graphics and gameplay. As soon as Valve announced that they would be bringing Half Life 2 to the Xbox, they certainly had their work cut out for them. Having to face the challenge of efficiently converting their mega-PC title to the more limited hardware constraints of the Xbox console, Valve has risen to the challenge and delivered Xbox owners a near exact version of the single player experience that sports both great visuals and better than average gameplay.

Nov 15th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

IGN (9.4 out of 10)

There are very few times in life when one is able to sit down with a videogame and, over the course of 16 hours, feel waves of wonder, delight, and pure unfettered joy. Valve's Half-Life 2 on PC, and now on Xbox, is such a game.

Nov 11th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Fragland.net (91 out of 100)

In a time where PC games ran fluidly on my PC, my facial hair was disappointing and my love life consisted of a mad adoration for cats, I played Half Life. One of the most defying shooters of that time, but since I didn’t like shooters back then, my first introduction with Gordon Freeman went pretty rough. After seeing numerous gameplay movies of HL2 at the E3 2004, Valve caught my attention. I finally said goodbye to PC games (still using the same PC as I did with the first Half Life) and cheerio to facial hair, a healthier love life and even shooters. Hand over the Xbox version, it’s mine, MINE I tell ya.

Dec 30th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Quebec Gamers (9.1 out of 10)

Half-Life 2 est définitivement une pièce de travail colossal par les développeurs Valve Software et est un jeu que je recommande fortement à tous ceux qui aiment les FPS. Les développeurs on prit les grands moyens pour nous étonner et ça réussit! Un jeu absolument impressionnant! Même si j'ai trouvé l'aventure un peu longue, à la fin je ne pouvais que me dire quelle pièce de travail incroyable que Half-Life 2. Si vous voulez voir des trucs jamais vus à ce jour, procurez-vous ce jeu.

Dec 16th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Retroage (9 out of 10)

Wszystkim lubiącym takie klimaty polecam Orange Box gdzie mamy Epizod 1 i 2 do tego Team Fortress i jeden z lepszych debiutów siódmej generacji grę Portal. Epizod 1 jest dosyć krótki ale na tyle intensywny ,że nie pozwoli się wam nudzić a dzieje się w nim naprawdę dużo do tego kończy się w epicki sposób. Epizod drugi natomiast jeszcze bardziej wciąga z powodu gorącej fabuły i strasznie apetycznego zakończenia. Jest on prawie tak długi jak Half-Life 2. Gorąco polecam ten tytuł miłośnikom dobrego strzelania w ciekawych klimatach. Half-Life 2 zasługuje w pełni na notę 10/10 niestety nie w wersji na Xboxa pierwszego.

Apr 20th, 2013 · Xbox · read review

Gamereactor (Sweden) (9 out of 10)

För mig som redan upplevt Gordon Freemans hektiska, skräckfyllda och strålande äventyr på PC var Xbox-versionen mer en påminnelse om att jag borde installera det på datorn igen än. Half-Life 2 på Xbox bjuder inte på någonting nytt för mig men för de som inte har lirat spelet alls är detta ett lika självklart köp som Halo. Man kan inte med gott samvete missa upplevelsen av att headcrabs plötsligt hoppar mot en i mörkret eller att slåss mot Combines enorma Striders på City 17:s krigsfyllda och ödesmättade gator. Half-Life 2 är fortfarande världens bästa spel och genom Valves skickliga arbete kan nu även Xbox-ägare komma till insikt med detta obestridliga faktum.

Nov 30th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (9 out of 10)

Whether you'll want to overlook such niggling issues will come down to how important the lack of a multiplayer mode is to you. Given that about 98 per cent of European Xbox owners aren't Live subscribers, we'd suspect that - for most of you - it's not the biggest issue in the world. As a single-player experience, even in its slightly compromised state, it's easily one of the most intensely enjoyable console shooters there's ever been. While we'd agree that many of the criticisms levelled at Valve's epic are completely valid, the broader context is that missing out on the opportunity to play Half-Life 2 would be a dereliction of duty to buy and play the very best games around; only this time you can get Steam-ed up about it for all the right reasons.

Nov 21st, 2005 · Xbox · read review

GamePro (US) (4.5 out of 5)

Half-Life 2 is a stunningly accurate recreation of the PC powerhouse, and is only held back by the lack of Xbox Live multiplayer. Gordon Freeman, Xbox players. Xbox players, Gordon Freeman. Now that introductions are out of the way, we don't have to waste any more time in describing how Half-Life 2 on the Xbox kicks total ass. If you're an action junkie, have we got a game for you.

Nov 14th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Play Magazine (9 out of 10)

The well-told story and its expansive presentation—there’s a foundational role-playing quality to the game—elevates the emotion of the experience. Half-Life 2 is special in many ways, not the least in the vast reach of variety of design. But it’s how all this variety and detail is implemented and structured that positions the game as such a uniquely enveloping adventure.

2004 · Xbox · read review

4Players.de (87 out of 100)

Half-Life 2 ist nach wie vor einer meiner All-Time-Classics – erst vor kurzem habe ich die PC-Version wieder durchgespielt und jede Minute genossen. Das hat natürlich den Nachteil, dass ich durch die Grafik verwöhnt bin: Im direkten Vergleich sieht die Xbox-Fassung wie eine rucklige PC-Variante auf niedriger Detailstufe aus. Doch nach kurzer Zeit gewinnt das großartige Spieldesign die Oberhand und fesselt mich wieder ans Gamepad. Was bleibt, ist ein nach wie vor brillantes Spiel, das von seiner Atmosphäre, dem großartigen Sound, den abwechslungsreichen Levels und den aufregenden Gefechten lebt. Auf der Xbox mischt Half-Life 2 somit in der Oberliga mit – ballert sich aber aufgrund der mäßigen Technik nicht in den Wertungsolymp.

Nov 18th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Gamesmania.de (87 out of 100)

Half-Life 2 ist auch auf der Xbox ein hervorragender Ego-Shooter. Die Umsetzung ist in weiten Teilen gut gelungen, besonders da grafisch der Titel wohl das bestmögliche aus der alten Xbox herausholt. Allerdings trüben häufige Ruckler das Spielgeschehen und die langen Ladezeiten hemmen ein wenig den Spielfluss. Aufgrund dessen und der am PC einfacheren Steuerung ziehe ich die PC-Version auf jeden Fall vor, zumal Far Cry Instincts bravourös bewiesen hat, dass man es nicht bei einer reinen Umsetzung für Konsolen belassen muss. Wer bislang wegen der hohen Hardwareanforderungen oder dem Registrierungszwang den Titel auf dem PC noch nicht gespielt hat, wird aber auch auf der Xbox einen der besten Shooter überhaupt erleben. Auf einen Mehrspielermodus muss man dann aber leider verzichten.

Nov 27th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

XBox Front (86 out of 100)

Es gibt wohl kaum ein Spiel, auf das Fans in aller Welt in den vergangenen Jahren mehr gewartet haben, als auf die Fortsetzung eines der besten Spiele aller Zeiten. Die Rede ist von „Half Life“. Nach unzähligen Verschiebungen, einem immensen Datenklau und Ärger mit dem Internetprogramm „Steam“, welches das Spielen von „Half Life 2“ ausschließlich via Internetanschluss ermöglichte, fand der Titel bei den Fans absoluten Zuspruch und setzte neue Maßstäbe. Nun hat „Half Life 2“ endlich auch seinen Weg auf Microsofts Xbox gefunden. Ob das Spielerlebnis seinem PC Vorbild ebenbürtig ist, erfahrt ihr in unserem Test.

Nov 16th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (17 out of 20)

Half-Life 2 n'offre que des bases de gameplay assez simples mais il parvient à plonger le joueur dans un monde complet et prenant. C'est avant tout cette ambiance qui fait son charme et aide à pardonner des séquences ayant tendance à traîner en longueur (l'hydroglisseur par exemple) ou une I.A. sommaire. S'il nous arrive dans une version identique sur le plan du gameplay, il n'en va malheureusement pas de même pour tous les aspects. Techniquement bien moins performant et souffrant de loadings encore plus nombreux que sur PC, Half-Life 2 reste un excellent FPS sur Xbox mais qui aurait pu profiter de l'occasion pour corriger certains défauts ou fournir aux joueurs possédant console et PC, une raison de lui préférer la version de salon.

Nov 22nd, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Gamezine (17 out of 20)

Valve a réussi le pari de retranscrire Half-Life 2 sur Xbox, avec une réalisation d’une fluidité surprenante. La 3D est elle aussi plus que correcte, mais je vous mentirais en vous disant que cette version est plus jolie que la version PC. Cependant, il manque un gros atout : le jeu en réseau, et le développement de mods. Ce sera peut-être pour une prochaine fois… Autre petit détail énervant : difficile de s’identifier à un personnage toujours muet. Mais l’essentiel est là, Half-Life 2 reste un excellent jeu qui prouve qu’avec un peu de talent on peut encore faire de grandes choses sur les consoles actuelles.

Dec 7th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

GameSpot (8.3 out of 10)

Half-Life 2 faithfully captures the excellent single-player gameplay found in last year's hit PC game, but it also suffers from an erratic frame rate and there's no multiplayer.

Nov 15th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

GameDaily ( )

Ever since November 2004 I've wanted to check out Valve's Half-Life 2 but I didn't (and still don't) have the $1200 plus PC rig to run the damn thing, so my only option was to wait a year until the developers finished the Xbox version. Some of the GameDaily staff criticized me for holding out for what they consider to be an inferior port (and they're right), but I'm a console guy who enjoys spending $49.99 instead of several hundred dollars, and with that being said, this is a pretty friggin hot first person shooter. It's not perfect, but I'll be damned if it isn't the best Xbox send off I could ask for.

Nov 18th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

X-Power (8 out of 10)

Half-Life 2 bouwt verder op de succesformule van het orgineel en zorgt wederom voor een memorabele shooterervaring. Grafisch ziet het er enorm strak uit en je wordt getrakteerd op een zeer uitgebreid en gevarieerd feestmaal. Spijtig genoeg zijn er enkele minpunten die ervoor zorgen dat we niet kunnen spreken van een echte topper. De te lage moeilijkheidsgraad, de gebrekkige A.I., onnoemelijk veel laadtijden en het ontbreken van een multiplayer doen afbreuk aan één van de beste FPS’en op de Xbox.

Jan 6th, 2006 · Xbox · read review

Digital Press - Classic Video Games (8 out of 10)

It's obviously the PC version that carries the edge, with a helpful resolution increase (the Xbox port runs in 480p at best), shorter load times, and stronger graphics engine. It also requires a powerhouse system to run, and given the low cost of the Xbox set up, this is an acceptable way to experience this just-short-of-complete-greatness first person shooter. If this is your only option, there's no reason not to give it a spin.

Dec 15th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Diehard GameFan (7.5 out of 10)

It’s not chocolate coated crack, but it’s probably the next best thing, especially if you enjoy a solid FPS. Remember how I mentioned that it will take you around 12 hours to beat the game for the first time? Well, I’m willing to wager that a good number of you will blast through that 12 hours in one sitting, or maybe two or three smaller blocks. Regardless, the game grabs a hold of you and really sucks you in. You’ll want to keep playing just to see what happens next in the storyline and to figure out why you are in City 17 and what is going on. Not to mention the combat and the variety of weapons manages to keep things fresh and interesting. It really is unfortunate that there is no multiplayer mode and that the story is relatively short, especially on your second or third run through, but we covered that in replayability. Suffice it to say that once you start playing HL2, you won’t want to put it down until the credits role.

Nov 23rd, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Game Informer Magazine (7.25 out of 10)

Rather than tyring to get in on their PC-enabled brethren's mojo, though, console players would be much better served enjoying their own defining games. Playing this incarnation of Valve's masterpiece is like watching Return of the King on your grandmother's scratched-up 13-inch black-and-white TV with no sound.

Dec 2005 · Xbox

Gamekult (7 out of 10)

Mais sur Xbox, le principal grief concerne la réalisation : graphiquement fidèle à l'original sur PC, et donc pas vilaine du tout visuellement, cette version souffre d'un frame rate bas et irrégulier que la plupart des joueurs auront du mal à digérer. L'absence d'un quelconque mode multijoueur, très étonnant, aura également du mal à passer. En l'état, Half-Life 2 reste une très belle aventure qu'on pourra tout de même envisager de vivre sur Xbox, à condition bien sûr de ne pas disposer d'un PC.

Nov 25th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

GameLemon (7 out of 10)

Overall, Half-Life 2 is far from a bad game. It's got some solid shooting action and even a bit of non-frustrating puzzle solving, but it also doesn't really break any new ground and can feel seriously restrictive at times. If you're really into first-person shooters where the lone gunman must face down a hoard of invading aliens, needless to say, this one will definitely tickle you in all the right places. If, however, you're sick and tired of shooting alien heads off, or prefer shooters which emphasize tactics, you're probably going to be kind of bored for most of the game's last half.

Feb 23rd, 2006 · Xbox · read review

Player Reviews

Perfect game for any one
by Todd Bello (31)

The Good
Very smart AI that keeps the game interesting.

There are lots of puzzles to challenge the gamer and his or her intellect. the physics in this game make it way cooler than other games.

An array of weapons that not only look good but also are very helpful in combat against the combine. (one shot kill from the magnum, crossbow that is like a sniper, one or two barrel shot from the shot gun, etc.)

The load times (not including the first one) are any where from 5- 10 seconds long (in simple terms there is basically no load times).

The graphics are amazing and there are no cut scenes so its like a movie but you are the camera (what I am trying to say is the dialogue happens during the game rather than going to a cut scene).

The Bad
Sometimes can get a bit confusing and frustrating.

The combine REALLY piss me off at some times because the zombies and head crabs take my life down to like 20 and than (sometimes) around the corner is a combine with a shot gun which just happens to be a checkpoint so when ever i go back to that point, i get shot to like 5 life before i kill the combine.

Also the head crabs waste my amo since they are so small, they are able to evade 5 shells of my shot gun before they go down.

Some times i find myself lost in the game but that's just me.

The Bottom Line
A game recommended for any one that has an xbox or a computer (that can handle it).

Apr 17th, 2006 · Xbox

Who says ports are bad?
by Sam LaSelva (9)

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.
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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.

May 19th, 2006 · Xbox

Plus 44 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Wizo, nullnullnull, Big John WV, Yearman, Sciere, Alsy, lights out party, CalaisianMindthief, Jacob Gens, Patrick Bregger, Jeanne, Cantillon, Alaka, vicrabb.