19 June 2010 | brandon_lee420
Think of it as Half-Life 2 and Half-Life2: Episode One combined!!
After playing the very disappointing Half Life 2: Episode One, I was very upset and was thinking, "How can they propel Episode Two far enough to stop it from being an episode one?". My answer was answered as I played Episode Two through steam and from the first kill, I realized something: I had to get ready for the short ride, a very short ride indeed. From what I could gather, Episode One was supposed to be shorter than Episode Two but it's slow game-play and repetitive fights made the game seem twice as long. The second episode has more legendary scale fights that keep on coming and never stop. It introduces new enemies into the game that you couldn't vs. in the other games such as the "Hunters" and "The Striders" or even both of them at the same time. The Hunters are 2.4 m tall and have the ability to go wherever the player can go. The Striders are five times as tall and their long, long legs play an important part in his height. The Hunters can be defeated with any type of gun but they have a weapon called a flechette to retaliate back with. The striders have powerful guns that can easily kill a human. We also see some old must-kill-Gordon Freeman friends such as the infamous Antlions, Who are basically still the same from the previous two games but a new Antlion Guard makes an appearance as well, the cute but deadly head crabs are back and are still causing havoc, the Combine troops are not as much in this game but if you ever get into combat with them roll 'em and sock 'em. The Zombies or Zombines, whatever, are back and are fun to demolish but the best enemy in the whole game has to be either the Hunters or striders. The level designs have been been vastly improved and a new dark atmosphere is surrounding this masterpiece which creates the perfect effect for this game. The best looking level has to be those ant-lion tunnels or whatever that you have to roam in while being chased by a scary-looking guardian. The game is, oddly, very scary and during the times in the game where you have low ammo, your pulse starts going faster and faster and more enemies come charging at you but you have to learn to use your environment to your benefit. The friendlies are very fun to have around and for the majority of the time you will have someone accompanying you whether it is Alyx Vance or the Vortigaunts, who are very powerful and weird looking. You are still playing Gordon Freeman who is more bad-ass than ever but has no means to express it since he is a mute but all that killing pretty much sums it up. You rock Gordon!!! Now go kick Master Chiefs ass. The weapons that you use are the same and no improvements have been made but, hey, you still have the shotgun with you. The pistol is more reliable to use and when ammo from the shot gun or the assault rifle have been run out, it would be wise to turn to pistol. The assault rifle is ammo wasting and not very accurate but still does a lot of damage once you hit some one with it. The firing sound for it is great to hear. The shotgun has to be my favorite weapon in the episode. The Gravity Gun is used a lot during the end fight (S) and a new type of ammo has been created called The Magnusson Device (its use will become clearer in the end). The rest of the weapons are of no use, in my opinion.
Continuing the plot of Half-Life 2 and Episode One, Episode Two consists of seven chapters telling the story of Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance's journey to a large Resistance base called White Forest. After the destruction of the Citadel, the Combine are working to open a massive superportal to call for reinforcements. An integral part of the plot is the transmission packet which the Combine sacrificed the Citadel to send, a copy of which Alyx and Gordon stole before making their escape. It contains information relating to the location of the Combine homeworld and allows the creation of the superportal to be controlled from the "other side". This information has to be delivered to White Forest so that the Resistance can use it to shut down the superportal and prevent another Combine invasion.
The story is thrilling and imaginative so much that you wish you could skip ahead to see what happens next. The ending was magnificent and I can't wait to see what will happen in Episode Three. There are twists that will shock you to the bone and 99.99% of times it is unexpected. The voice acting is superb and a lot of more effort has been put into it because the characters show a lot more ways to express their emotions and it makes the story a whole lot more serious. Two Thumbs up for Robert Guillaume voice acting as Dr. Eli Vance, the father of Alyx Vance, and his execution of him was flawless. Merle Dandridge who voices Alyx Vance was great but her voice was something that was being read out of a script and she didn't even bother to hide it. I could spot no emotion whatsoever except for the end. The Achievements system is a new style for the Half Life games because they propose challenges which are, I dunno, quite challenging. They should continue this into future half life games!! Overall, everyone should play this game because it is an adventure taht will live with you for many months. I highly recommend it to anyone, young or old.
P.S. I can't wait for Episode three!!!!!
"Over and Out." 20th of June, 2010.