Recently, Valve software released Half Life 2: Episode 2 as a package called "The Orange Box". This included the original Half Life 2, HL2: Episode 1, and a few other software packages that people may have already owned. Thankfully, people who already owned Half Life 2 and Episode 1 are allowed to give those as gifts to other people who don't. I was lucky enough to get myself a copy of Half Life 2 for free (and you may too if you know someone), and while I'm waiting for someone to give me a copy of HL2: Episode 1, I started playing.
Since every other person and game company is reviewing the newest title to come out, I figured that, for those who haven't already played the game, I should write a review for the game that came out 3 years ago to tell people what they're going to get in to.
The story began with the original Half Life. If you haven't played that yet, you're definitely behind in the times. At the beginning of Half Life 2, a person known as G-man apears to you in what can only be described as some sort of psychedelic dream. He tells you that "Your time has come", What ever that means. After waking up in City 17, you are prepared to live in the town, until someone recognizes you. That's where the fun begins. I won't go on any further, I gotta leave some mystery, no?
Graphically, the game is amazing. Even as the game approaches its 4th year, the game looks fantastic. I bumped my graphics settings up as high as the game would allow, and the detail that went into the game is just amazing. They didn't spare on any detail, making sure every gun, every person, every rock, was unique.
Soundwise, the game just sound quality is superb. The game gets very scary at times, and doesn't skimp on trying to keep you on the edge of your seat. Every bullet can be heard with crystal clarity.
The gameplay wants to keep you playing until the wee hours of the night, or until you've had enough scares for one day. This game is not for the faint of heart. I personally couldn't finish Half Life 1 back in the day (I watched a few people play through it though, and I had to leave the room at times), and while I can handle scary things more now, this game still gives me the creeps.
Overall, I can see why this game is being perceived as one of the greatest games to ever be released. If you haven't got a copy yet, find someone with it who bought The Orange Box and get them to give it to you. If you don't know anyone, buy it!