PC - Windows, Mac, Linux
Half-Life 24 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
The original Half-Life shipped with such a mode, and it was fun to play with some of those settings and weapons in a multiplayer arena. ...When you combine the strong single-player campaign of Half-Life 2 with the popular online play of Counter-Strike, the result is one of the most complete and compelling first-person shooter packages available. While Half-Life 2 breaks little new ground, it's still a superb and engaging first-person shooter, as well as an amazing technological accomplishment.
Like the original Half-Life, this sequel has cinematic presentation and a better-than-Hollywood plot written by a legit science fiction author. There are memorable, well-written characters, such as the beautiful scientist Alyx and your friend, Dog. We can't spoil it, but watch for him. Plus, there's a presence in this game; it inspires an ominous unease. Half-Life 2 has an artistic but militaristic feel, and there are some genuinely scary moments, especially if you have any sort of headcrab phobia.
Like I said before, it doesn't do a whole lot differently than other games in the shooter genre in terms of pure gameplay innovation, but it takes existing styles, then mixes, matches and makes them better. ...It'll hook you, reel you in, and hold you captive for serious hours of hardcore brilliance. This is gaming at its best and shows that the future holds no bounds when the might of technology, precision of design, and touch of artistry work in tandem.
Suffice it to say that Half-Life 2 has astonished us from start to finish. The storytelling and character development is subtle and sublime, the gameplay varied, tense and exciting, the graphics stunning beyond belief. The best FPS game ever made? Oh yes, oh yes indeed. While the rest of the world is still scrabbling to catch up with the original Half-Life in many ways, Valve have just moved the goalposts again - and changed all the rules of the game in the process.