Half-Life 2 (2004)

Video Game   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi


Half-Life 2 (2004) Poster

Dr. Freeman is taken out of stasis by his "employer" to help rid the planet of invading aliens forces known as the Combine that entered through the portals he helped create.


9.5/10
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  • Half-Life 2 (2004)
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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

David Speyrer

Writer:

Marc Laidlaw

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


1 November 2007 | armoreska
10
| TheMilestoneInGamingHistory, TheBestGamingAction and actually TheBestPCGame
PC Game: Half-Life 2.

Genre: Sci-Fi First-Person Shooter.

Developer: Valve Software.

Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games.

Release Date: 16.11.04.

Engine: Source.

Protagonist: Dr. Gordon Freeman.

Settings: City 17 and its outskirts, somewhere in Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania or Ukraine).

Start of Half-Life is, PC Gamer certified, the brightest gaming moment ever. Start of Half-Life 2, the sequel to Half-Life, and the whole feeling till the end are the most positively shocking moments in MY history. Graphics, sound, music, the whole world around you – KO, brilliant. Still, 3 years after HL2’s release, there is no large commercial game that perfect. At the start of the game, the G-Man speaks to Gordon Freeman as part of a hallucination-like vision as he is pulled out of stasis. The world has been overtaken by an extradimensional military force known as the Combine. Gordon meets up with Barney Calhoun and sets out for Isaac Kleiner's lab while being chased by Combine Civil Protection.

Taking place in and around the fictional City 17, Half-Life 2 follows the scientist Gordon Freeman. Freeman is thrust into a dystopian environment in which the aftermath of the Black Mesa Incident has come to bear fully upon human society. Freeman is forced to fight against increasingly unfavorable odds in order to survive. In his struggle, he is joined by various allies, including former Black Mesa colleagues, oppressed citizens of City 17, and the Vortigaunts.

Throughout the entire game, Freeman never speaks, the action is viewed through his eyes only (i.e., there are no cut scenes) and there are no discontinuities or jumps in time (from his point of view).

There has been some criticism of these narrative holdovers from Half-Life, since they effectively limit how much of the backstory is explained. Due to the lack of cut scenes, the player never directly sees what has happened in Gordon's absence. Ultimately, it is not clear to what extent Gordon exists as a separate character outside of the player's influence. Since the start of Half-Life, Valve has made sure that the player's and Gordon's experience are one and the same. An example of Valve's player strategy is shown during the scene in Eli's lab. Investigation of certain props (most notably the newspaper board) triggers Eli to give some explanation to their meaning and history, thus indicating that Gordon presents emotions that the non-player characters can detect.

Half-Life 2's gameplay is broadly similar to that of the original. Players make their way through a linear series of levels, encountering both human troops and hostile alien creatures. As in Half-Life, the gameplay is broken up with a series of puzzles; however, Half-Life 2 includes physics-based puzzles. For example, one puzzle requires the player to either turn a seesaw-like lever into a ramp by placing cinder blocks at one end, or to stack the cinder blocks into a crude stairway.

The use of physics extends into combat with the gravity gun. This unique weapon plays a crucial function throughout the game, granting the player an unprecedented amount of creativity in its use, such as picking up and throwing objects at enemies, holding objects indefinitely for use as makeshift cover, grabbing healthkits and ammunition from out-of-reach places, returning enemies' grenades, building makeshift bridges, flipping over an overturned buggy, or manipulating objects through Combine forcefields.

Vehicles are another major gameplay addition. Although Gordon battles through much of Half-Life 2 alone, he is at times assisted by friendly allies. For the most part these are human members of the resistance, but Gordon is also helped by Vortigaunts and later Antlions.

Many familiar enemies from Half-Life return in this game, such as headcrabs, barnacles, and headcrab zombies. However, the majority of the game is spent fighting the Combine, who wield large military forces against Gordon and the people of City 17. Combine forces are varied and consist of modified humans, biomechanical creatures, robotic weapons, including the use of headcrabs as biological weapons.

Several of the weapons featured in Half-Life 2 are carried over from Half-Life, including the trademark crowbar for mêlée fighting, the conventional firearms of the SPAS-12 shotgun, .357 Magnum revolver (resembles Colt Python handgun), crossbow, and rocket propelled grenade launcher as well as the Gauss Gun, or Tau cannon. Several new weapons are also introduced: the Combine AR-2 pulse rifle, H&K MP7 SMG, new H&K USP pistol, and most significantly, the Zero-Point Energy Field Manipulator, or gravity gun.

Original score by Kelly Bailey consists of 53 tracks in .mp3 format (some of them borrowed from HL) and 2 tracks in .wav.

Half-Life 2 Deathmatch was released later.

As of June 8, 2006, over four million copies of Half-Life 2 have been sold. Exact numbers for digital delivery service Steam and retail have not been revealed, but in general, the former accounts for 25% of Valve's business and is significantly more profitable per unit. Half-Life 2's public reception was overwhelmingly positive in terms of reviews, acclaim and sales. Half-Life 2 became one of the most critically acclaimed video games in history. It is currently one of the highest ranking PC games at Game Rankings with an average critic score of 96%. It was one of only four games ever to get 96% from PC Gamer UK, the best score they have ever awarded, and the game is only one of two games ever to get a near perfect score, 98%, from PC Gamer US, while the game became the fifth title to receive Edge magazine's 10/10 score. MobyGames – 95%. Gamespot – 92%. Absolute Games – 91%. My rates (compared to 2004’s level, of course):

Gameplay: 9.5/10.

Graphics: 10/10.

Sound: 10/10.

Score (OST): 9.5/10.

Story: 9.5/10.

Controls & Interface: 9.5/10.

OVERALL: 10/10.

If you like this game I also recommend: Half-Life, Half-Life Uplink, Half-Life Opposing Force, Half-Life Blue Shift, Half-Life 2 Lost Coast, Half-Life 2 Episodes 1,2,3, F.E.A.R., F.E.A.R. Extraction Point, Doom 3.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

The submachine gun used by Gordon Freeman, the Combine, and Resistance Fighters in the game appears to be based on the Heckler & Koch MP7 Personal Defense Weapon. The real HK MP7 is small enough that it can be easily concealed, carried in a holster, and fired as a pistol due to its low recoil. The butt can also be extended in order to allow the weapon to be fired as a rifle. In fully automatic mode, the weapon can be used as a submachine gun, as is the case in the game.


Quotes

G-Man: Rise and shine, Mister Freeman. Rise and... shine. Not that I... wish to imply you have been sleeping on the job. No one is more deserving of a rest, and all the effort in the world would have gone to waste until... well, let's just say your hour ...


Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, you hear Dr. Kleiner, still searching for his pet headcrab, Lamarr. Then the monster drops from above, and jumps into the camera.


Alternate Versions

Shotgun Soldiers appear throughout Half-Life 2 and its episodes in the console versions of The Orange Box, but originally only appeared in Episode Two on PC. As of the May 26, 2010 updates, Shotgun Soldiers appear in Half-Life 2 and Episode One on PCs as well as consoles. This also adds red goggle-wearing Nova Prospekt guards to the PC version of Half-Life 2. In the Half-Life 2 port for the original xbox there are no Shotgun Soldiers because the game was released in 2005, two years before the orange box.


Soundtracks

Requiem for Ravenholm
Kelly Bailey

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Details

Release Date:

16 November 2004

Language

English, Russian


Country of Origin

USA

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

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