With an equal balance of action and storyline, you play Dr Gordon Freeman, a professor starting a new job at a black ops research facility. However, soon after you arrive, things go horribly wrong with some of the experiments. Left to your own devices in a locked down facility, you basically have to get out alive. The game is based across one seamless level--the facility.
Half-Life broke the rules of the level-to-level games before it. Here you get immersed into the Half-Life world, yet it isn't just the maps that are different from what you have come to expect from this genre. Where Half-Life excels is the multiplayer options; as a standalone package this game will keep you busy but with three add on packs you'll have hours of FPS action.
Opposing Force expands the original Half-Life experience allowing you to play as a soldier sent in to eliminate Freeman. You'll play through some totally new levels using new weapons and commanding small teams of miltiary specialists.
In Blueshift you play Barney, the security guard who you originally met entering the top secret Black Mesa facility as Gordon Freeman, who also decides to go after the invaders from Xen. Fans will be relieved to see more of the same first-person exhilaration experienced in the first two games, viewed from a new angle.
The same choreographed set pieces that form the narrative are still evident, including a brilliant scene where the player is trapped in a broken lift when the aliens first arrive at the facility.
Half-Life: Counter-Strike contains all the elements of the popular online multiplayer game originally built as an add-on for Half-Life. The team-based gameplay divides players into terrorist or antiterrorist squads. Each team has access to different real-world ammunition and equipment, and all players have unique attributes plus the ability to upgrade their gear after completing missions. Missions have different goals, such as defusing a bomb or rescuing hostages.--Jason Hamilton
I first played Half-Life back in the day on a AMD K6-2 300MHz machine with 64MB RAM, and a ATI Rage Pro graphics card. That was just about enough to play it at a resolution of 640 X 480 with a fair bit of chugging when the action got heavy. Play it now on an up to date machine and you can set the resolution as high as you want and the whole game flows as smoothly as silk, and looks lovely too. If anything the improvement in PC specifications has just allowed the game to show itself to it's full potential rather than making it look dated like most other games from the time it was released.
Watch the opening movie from Half-Life on a up to date system set at a high resolution and you are totally sucked in. The sound, if you have an EAX capable soundcard and decent speaker setup, is amazing, and the game music is perfection. The buzz you get from the music when you first put on your environmental hazard suit is unrivalled in any game, and that is just an unimportant bit near the beginning! This game will convince you that PC games only have a few, very short, steps to take to reach cinematic standards in visuals, sound, and storylines. Besides all this, the character you play 'Gordon Freeman' is the hardest geek scientist ever. Now that's special!
Half-Life is not perfect though.Read more ›
The singleplayer game was awesome when it came out, with very varied gameplay and challenges, each level flowed to the next, and the storyline was blended excellently with the gameplay. While things have progressed since 1998, even today, Half-Life's singleplayer campaign is one of the best and most rewarding experiences available. Some thought the Xen levels late on were a letdown; while I thought they weren't quite up to the standard of the earlier levels, I still found them to be very good.
There are a few minor niggles such as occasional clipping problems and a few dodgy sequences, but nothing that detracts significantly from the overall experience.
Then there's the addons. Blue Shift and Opposing Force are also solid singleplayer experiences, they do smack of "more of the same", but this is not a problem when they are all bundled within one pack instead of you having to buy them separately. Then there is the legendary Counter-Strike which is the most popular multiplayer game of all time. Even the vanilla Half-Life multiplayer, such as Capture the Flag and the deathmatch, has things to offer that should keep the prospective gamer occupied.
In short, if you haven't played Half-Life yet, and you are even remotely interested in first-person shooters, buy this now. You will not be disappointed.
If you have played Half-Life but don't have two or three of the addons offered in this pack, I can also recommend it, since two or three of the addons are worth the price of the pack alone.
In short, this pack is the best ever, if you haven't got Half Life, there's never been a better time to join us in the enjoyment of a classic game.