PC - Windows, Mac, Linux
Half-Life 2: Episode One7 critics
9.00 to 10.0
8.00 to 8.99
6.00 to 7.99
4.00 to 5.99
0 to 3.99
Visually, Episode One introduces a lot of subtle improvements and enhancements in the Source engine, keeping it in line with video-card developments over the past couple of years. The new high-dynamic range lighting technology (seen only if your video card supports it) makes a big difference, as the outdoor scenes look a lot better, while indoor scenes feature impressive shadowing and atmosphere at times. Some of the textures in the game have been increased considerably, notably on Alyx and the other main characters, and the game looks incredibly sharp.
Episode One offers more of a breakneck potboiler in comparison to Half-Life 2's epic narrative. Five hours is enough to reach the end but the five superbly-paced chapters are hugely satisfying, both in terms of plot and the sheer volume of action. It won't be long until you're pining for Episode Two but this first episode never leaves you feeling short-changed.
Episode One features many of the same locations featured in the sequel but a new dynamic lighting feature makes the environments even more spectacular than before. You can actually see multiple light sources highlighting different angles as well as large outdoor areas that feature various sun-shaded regions. It helps to make things more realistic than ever.
When it comes down to it, you should like Episode One if you liked Half-Life 2. Despite the fact that it isn't as adventurous or dramatic as HL2, Episode One still offers quality that's a cut above the rest. Its humanity (in the face of strange, masked soldiers and sometimes grotesque creatures) makes it more than a rote experience, and the Citadel is still an imaginative and interesting setting. In retrospect, HL2 appears to be a very difficult game to follow up on, and Valve does a very capable job of keeping the fire going.
Half-Life 2: Episode One is well worth your investment. It is short, at around 4-6 hours depending on ability and difficulty level, but they are 4-6 hours of intense, taut and finely tuned gameplay the like of which you're unlikely to find in many other games. Once you're ensnared by the charms of Episode One you'll be chafing at the bit for Episode Two to arrive. It's only six months away, but it might as well be an eternity.
Just like the original Half-Life 2: Episode One keeps the player entertained almost the entire time through perfect pacing, a rich atmosphere and incredible production values. By being inventive, surprising and getting the basics absolutely right, Half-Life 2: Episode One is a wonderful advert for the excitement that true episodic content can generate when approached the right way. The sooner more developers go down this road, the better.
Reprenant les mêmes bases solides employées dans le jeu original, cet épisode inédit en accentue l'intensité et apporte une touche de fraîcheur par le travail en équipe avec Alyx. Courte, la campagne solo que nous livre Valve n'en est pas moins excellente, variée et empreinte d'une ambiance qui ne laisse pas indifférent.