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The Orange Box Xbox 360

Reviewing: Valve The Orange Box  |  Rating:
By crackpot_inventor on
Badge: Author | Level: 4 | Gaming Expertise:

The Orange Box is one of the best gaming deals currently available on the market. For your $60, you receive Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. Seldom do you get as much bang (ha!) for your buck.

Half-Life 2 should need no introduction. It is one of the finest first-person shooters in recent memory. Despite being several years old, the visuals still impress, and the gameplay is rock-solid. Believable voice work and a pounding soundtrack round out the package. The story is told from the perspective of silent protagonist Gordon Freeman, and while few things are actively spelled out, the tale remains gripping. You'll want to find out what happens to the characters. Episodes 1 and 2 continue the story, offering up improved graphics and new gameplay scenarios.

Portal is arguably the smallest part of the package, but is also, in my opinion, the best. The main draw of Portal is that your only "weapon" is a gun that creates, of course, portals that you are then able to travel through. You use the portal gun to solve a variety of puzzles inside a sinister testing facility. The visuals are of similar quality to Half-Life 2, while the sound is more subdued (although the ending theme is quite amazing). Portal also features one of the most darkly humorous stories of any game I have played.

Lastly is the multiplayer-only Team Fortress 2. Choosing from one of several different character classes (Engineer, Demoman, Pyro, Medic, Spy, Scout, Soldier, Heavy, or Sniper) you work together with your teammates in order to accomplish various objectives (such as Capture the Flag, Assault, or Territories). Sporting cel-shaded characters and cartoonish environments, hilarious character voices, and exqusitely balanced gameplay, this game needs to be tried at least once.

When multiple games are packed onto one disc, it is usually an attempt to use quantity to mask the lack of quality. Not so with The Orange Box. Each game is excellent in its own right, and if you are a gamer on the lookout for a bargain, than look no further.