Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2
Game: Half-Life 2
Platform: PC
Studio: VU Games
Rating: 9.5/10

By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism and responsiveness, Half-Life 2 opens the door to a world where the player’s presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviors even the emotions of both friends and enemies
The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people he cares about are counting on him.
The intense, real-time gameplay of Half-Life 2 is made possible only by Source, Valve’s new proprietary engine technology. Source provides major enhancements in:

Characters–Advanced facial animation system delivers the most sophisticated in-game characters ever seen. With 40 distinct facial “muscles,” human characters convey the full array of human emotion, and respond to the player with fluidity and intelligence.

Physics–From pebbles to water to 2-ton trucks respond as expected, as they obey the laws of mass, friction, gravity, and buoyancy.

Graphics–Source’s shader-based renderer, like the one used at Pixar to create movies such as Toy Story and Monster’s, Inc., creates the most beautiful and realistic environments ever seen in a video game.

AI–Neither friends nor enemies charge blindly into the fray. They can assess threats, navigate tricky terrain, and fashion weapons from whatever is at hand.

PLAY: The physics are the power behind Half-Life 2. You feel as if you are working with a real individual. If you pick items up or destroy an item. The environment is necessary to the game and the physic aspect must be used in order to take advantage of every aspect that is available to you. This adds a sense of interactivity throughout the entire game. The gravity gun is certainly one of the coolest weapons and worth buying the game.

There are fights and as well as puzzles. The puzzles are exceedingly unique and bring in the physics. Sometimes you have to create ways to proceed through the game: build a ramp for example. This creates a certain sense that you are controlling everything in the game. One issue is that there aren’t a lot of different weapons to choose from.

GRAPHICS: The environments look real. Doom 3 had set the standard and Half-Life 2 has surpassed that. Every aspect seems shiny and polished—which you could say is better than real life. The characters are modeled brilliantly and it’s hard not to admit playing just to look at the depth and detail the designers put into the game.

SOUND: You hear every thing—like a pin dropping. Not only do you pick up things but it sounds like you do. Every little aspect is done in painstaking detail. The voice acting is right on and would do well in any animated film.

FRANKLY: Half-Life 2 is what a great game is all about. The holiday season is when all the good music, films, and games come out and Half-Life 2 fits in with them all. This is a remarkable release. One footnote however; your computer should have the recommended system requirements because the minimum requirements will not give you all the wonderful details that the max will.

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