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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Half Life 2 - Without Question the Best Game on XBOX
Well I've heard great things about Half Life 2 on the PC and when the reviews also credited the Xbox version as being a must buy, I thought that I had to buy it to see what all the fuss was about.
It seems that with the reviewers no game is allowed to be credited up there with the mighty Halo. I for one thought Halo was good, but for me it was surpassed by Doom 3...
Published on 1 Dec 2005 by matttymm

versus
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Visually Impressive, but little replay value
I was impressed by the graphical detail in the characters' facial expressions and in the scenery of the game world Valve have created, especially the strange part alien, part machine dropships that look like some kind of weird flying crab.
The physics engine is impressive and the gravity gun makes the most of this, allowing you to manipulate objects to use as...
Published on 15 Dec 2005 by SteveOll


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Half Life 2 - Without Question the Best Game on XBOX, 1 Dec 2005
This review is from: Half-Life 2 (Xbox) (Video Game)
Well I've heard great things about Half Life 2 on the PC and when the reviews also credited the Xbox version as being a must buy, I thought that I had to buy it to see what all the fuss was about.
It seems that with the reviewers no game is allowed to be credited up there with the mighty Halo. I for one thought Halo was good, but for me it was surpassed by Doom 3. The major credit to Halo was that it was far more expansive than Doom in terms of the freedom to move and the size of the landscape, but Doom had for me greater variation, better graphics, storyline and a real intensity.
When I played Half Life 2 I have to say that I was completely blown away. Sure it doesn't have the intensity (so far) of Doom, but in a straight fight between Halo and Half Life, HL would be an easy winner.
The gameplay on HL is a blend of Halo style action but with a puzzle element similar to Tomb Raider - but only in style and not in complexity. Where HL takes gaming to a new level is the shere expanse of area to explore. On Halo when you drive a buggy you have a limited area to explore and in reality you are pretty much guided to following a route or playing within an area. This experience compared to HL seems massively limited.
In HL you have the ability to explore in vehicles massive areas which gives the illusion that you are in a real world and not the confines of a game. When in Halo you would storm a beach area, in HL you explore miles or terrain or follow miles of river in a jet ski/hover craft.
Another benefit to HL is the Doom style interaction with your surroundings, pick up a bottle and throw it and it will smash, throw a crate at an enemy and it will knock him down and smash into and disturb other objects. The whole environment seems alive at at your mercy to change and interact with.
When it comes to weapons, Halo has variations on a theme - Guns with different styles and powers - Half Life's weopans have a wonderful blend of power accuracy and usefulness. Withouth doubt the star of the show is the Gravity Gun which allows you to pick up objects such as explosive barrels and hurl them at your enemies, pick up and stack objects to access other levels, and fire sharp objects like saw blades that can leave multiple enemies cut in half bleeding where they once stood with a single throw.
The biggest asset to Half Life though is the variation to gameplay, one minute you are trying to get your hover bike over pool by raising the ramp with floating barrels, the next you are dodging bullets and hiding from an attack helicopter, the next you are hunting enemies in a spooky graveyard and avoiding traps. This variation in intensity and variation of game objectives gives the game a real sense of not knowing what is coming next, where with Halo and Doom you know that around the corner there will be with certainty a group on enemies for you to kill and get past.
The only downside to Half Life is that there are no multiplayer or live options, which lets the overall package down. At least some access to Live for future levels (as available on PC) would have been a major plus, because Half Life leaves you with a really wanting for more.
Overall if Halo was rated at 98% Half Life must be a 100% - in summary, BUY IT AS YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR LIFE'S BEEN MISSING
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hl2, 29 Nov 2005
By 
This review is from: Half-Life 2 (Xbox) (Video Game)
What a game this is. It is truly the best FPS ever to grace the xbox.
Nothing else touches this game with graphics, or gameplay or the size of the game, its huge.
The graphics are superb on this. Farcrys graphics were the best to date on the xbox but this game blows it away. Even from the openeing sequence to the game when the G man is talking, you are left in awe at how good it looks, and it never lets itself down anywhere during the game. There is some slight slow down, but I never noticed it until three quarters of the way through, and then it is normally just after a loading screen so it never affects the game so people kill you.
The controls are very easy to use and weapon selection is miles better than using a keyboard. There are a couple of chapters that include vehicles, and again these are easy to get the hang of, something farcry might have done well to do!
Enemy AI is very intelligent, from combine hiding behind objects when being shot at, to a squad of them using different tactics and weapons to fish you out of your hiding hole, it is very realistic. But the only qualm about the ai is the friendly ones. They tend to stand in your way in doorways and coridors, but this can be forgiven as they do help you out greatly in battles.
The variety in the chapters is huge. Every one is different and you very rarely do the same thing over and over unlike a certain bungie game where the levels were so monotonous. There are a lot of checkpoints so when you die you dont have to re-do difficult parts in the game, also you can save it whenever you like.
You really must buy this game. There is nothing better on the market. It has everything in one, driving parts, platform and jumping puzzles, stealth parts and all out blowing everything up levels.
As with all games though, they are never perfect. Although this is the closest to perfection I have played there are just a couple of thing that can be annoying, well for me anyway. When the ant lions and you squad stand in your way you cant get past then, and they wont move, and the only other thing is I seem to get stuck on door frames! When your trying to run away from someone shooting you cant get through the door and also trying to edge your way along a wall you get stuck on things like drain pipes and broken bricks, although I suppose this shows that everything in the game is real and is actually there and not just a painted bit of wall!
For some reason though, I cant help but think that this isnt as good as the original. Ofcourse it is graphically superior and runs a lot better and AI is better, but I found that the puzzles on this game werent as hard as Half Life 1. There were many times on that game where I would be truly stuck as of what to do, but this one just seems a bit easy, and everything is put on a plate for you. Nevertheless though, it still good!!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Half-Life 2 on XBox, 9 Mar 2006
By 
D. Martin "Dan" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Half-Life 2 (Xbox) (Video Game)
Great game, it took me about 15 hours to complete. I have a few complaints about it, one the loading times, there are so many loading times and they really get in the way of the gameplay, to me this was a major let down. Graphically this game is very impressive, slow-down doesn't really happen that much and for me never got in the way. My second complain is about re-playability, once you finish this game, there's no incentive to go back, no multiplayer... And the end of the game seems rushed I was left wondering, all this for what? I was very disappointed, and also I felt that some of the checkpoints weren't placed in the best sections, as sometimes was left almost with no life and surrounded by a bunch of enemies, which meant I died and had to load from my last save, which could have been an hour back, so my advice save a lot :D. All in all a great game but not as great as some people make it, at least not the XBox version, maybe it should have been released on 360...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Half life, remembered, 21 Nov 2005
By 
J. T. Brennan (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Half-Life 2 (Xbox) (Video Game)
I have just finished this game (as it is actually out now!) And I can confirm that I have had one of the best gaming weekends of my life. Yes that sounds a little sad, but if you love your Xbox and a quality FPS, then you must own Half life 2.
From start to finish the experience is second to none, it’s a game world you feel fully immersed in from the moment you calmly step off the train in the first level through the unrelenting action that follows right up to some frantic battles in the later levels. Valve really have surpassed themselves in cramming this game onto the Xbox. Forget about what PC owners say, sure it does look noticeable that its inferior at times and you can actually hear your console whirr away attempting to load some screens, but that is missing the point because it more than stands up against other Xbox shooters such as Halo, albeit in the sense that it feels more ‘real’. It certainly beats everything else hands down for sheer size and looks – the corridor sections for example easily surpass Doom and the vast outside driving sections quite frankly embarrass the likes of Far cry and that is no easy feat.
So the aesthetics of HL2 are near perfect, what of the game play? You will not be disappointed. Fans of the first game will recognise many weapons from the trusty crowbar to the all powerful magnum, add to this some great new editions namely the gravity gun, which really shows off the games physics engine perfectly, and you have a varied arsenal at hand which is mostly great fun to use. Some old enemies return too – the head-crab zombies are a favourite (although its mainly the new humanoid Combine that die at your hands throughout) and there is the shady man in the black suit that you will catch the odd glimpse of from time to time. It all helps to keep the story flowing while you blaze or drive your way through set pieces aplenty and levels that really beggar belief at times due to the class of their layout. So what are the problems then? Well there really aren’t any. The occasional long loading screen may slightly annoy you and there is no multiplayer, but so what! Enjoy this game for what it is, an excellent one player experience, a classic first person shooter which at times has A.I. good enough to make you believe your fellow comrades are real people fighting with you. The variety of firepower, the differing human and alien enemies you face (with nods to Aliens, The matrix and War of the Worlds all thrown in the mixer), and the imaginative levels all add to the experience.
I think this may be the last and probably best game of its type to grace this generation of consoles. It really is worth the five stars and more for an outstanding achievement that proves games can live up to and exceed your expectations – you owe it to yourself to play this, go on…They’re waiting for you Gordon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sending the xbox out with a bang, 29 Jan 2006
This review is from: Half-Life 2 (Xbox) (Video Game)
I gave this five stars because i have never seen a better game. The sheer size of the levels and quality of the ai blew me away. The weapons are great fun with the garvity gun being the coolest. Ive just completed this game and I cant wait to start again.
Games usually last about 3 weeks but a month has gone and ime still playing. You start with a crow bar but as you go through the game you get about 8 more weapons including grenades and a shot gun. Its amazingly well made. You can interact with everything.
Its like a big puzzle with challenges such as getting over a wall have to be solved by cleverly moving things around just so you can get over. Also basic objects can be used as deadly weapons. Pick up a table with a gravity gun and fire it at the nearest enemy. Anything you dont like the look of, pick it up and throw it into the sea. Its the little things that make this game so good, its been made to perfection.
Anyway the ai is mindblowing. From sand ants to zombies it has a big range of opponents(the little jumping spider things are bastards!lol) each providing a unique way to kill them.
My personal favourite level is the ravenholm one. The music sets a great atmousphere and you never know whats round the corner.I wouldnt try playing this alone in the dark! You can pick up saws from the floor and fire them at the zombies,l its so cool. Simply pulling a lever can bring down a car of your enemy or send a wooden cartto smash into them.
If you've got an xbox BUY THIS GAME. It's as simple as that. I doubt the ideas in this game will ever be beaten. This game is phonomanal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a PERFECT FPS +++, 2 Mar 2006
By 
SWAY (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Half-Life 2 (Xbox) (Video Game)
In a word - this game is PERFECT.
Just like the first Half-Life, this is a ground-breaking, stunning game. Few games live up to their hype, but despite the massive build-up surrounding HL2 this game even exceeded those high expectations.
This game plays like no other. The famous physics engine is so realistic it's almost frightening. This recreates real life physics such as buoyancy, leverage, mass etc. This is great fun and makes the maps incredibly interactive with some novel puzzles in there to really show off HL2's capabilities.
There are some great new additions to Gordon Freeman's arsenal including a gravity gun, which allows you to pick up and throw just about any object you can see, including grenades, the enemy etc.
There is a wide range of new vehicles as well, which really allow you to fully explore and admire the stunning, expansive maps. As you'd expect the story is immersive, fast-paced and addictive.
With the extras including Counter Strike: Source and Lost Coast this is great value for money and no other game comes close to matching this epic title.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing (For an Xbox), 16 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. G. Moores "super bear" (Merseyside) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Half-Life 2 (Xbox) (Video Game)
OK, first things first, if you have an Xbox 360, get The Orange Box, or if you have a powerful enough PC, get the PC version, they're better and offer more.

THAT BEING SAID...

When you consider the system it's running on, this is an amazing achievement. Sure, the frame rate can drop, and it looks worse than the other versions I mentioned, but it still looks very nice, and plays incredibly well.

If you can only play this on the Xbox, please do yourself a favour and get it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FPS Heaven, 26 May 2007
By 
J. Sheffer "J Sheffer" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Half-Life 2 (Xbox) (Video Game)
Wow. How far has the xbox come. From Die Hard Vendetta to Half Life 2, its like a different console. The graphics are amazing, the interactive objects and environments straight off a PC.

Being only a second rate, pick up and play gamer who prefers not to spend more that an hour at a time at a game it is a rare occurance for me to be hooked, but hooked I am.

As a general rule I don't like having to think too much in my video gaming. A little point and shoot satisfaction and I am happy man. But here comes Half life 2. Run, drive, point, shoot, is intersperced with simple puzzles that even I am happy solving. At least you are guaranteed that a quick search in the area and a little lateral thinking will help you progress.

My one slight gripe is the constant loading breaks. But given what they have acheived and the convenient breaks in the action that allow this loading not in interfere with the action, even this is forgivable.

If you are still to go next gen because of the cost, if you dont have to have the latest and greatest simply to show off, then this two year old gem will keep you going for ages. Just dont expect to sleep if you play to late. The adrenaline pumps like mad. A feeling not enjoyed since the first Medal of Honor all those years ago on PS1.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Good Fun, 22 Nov 2005
By 
S. Teasdale "teasdale03" (County Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Half-Life 2 (Xbox) (Video Game)
This game is amazing, the graphics and physics are mind blowing and so is the game play. All this is fine apart from one thing. There is ALOT of slow down compared to any other game, although it is mostly at the beginning and at the end. alot of the time i couldn't believe how much there is but i got over it! It's forgivable. This is a great game but loses one star as a result of the slow down. Also i would like to say that this game took me about 12 hours to complete but this is played from friday to sunday as i live in a small village with nothing to do..
In conclusion, buy this game if you have the money, or infact, what you could do, is buy this game if you are getting an Xbox 360 and the slow down should pretty much go... Why didnt i think of that??
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5.0 out of 5 stars They said it could not be done..., 28 Mar 2005
This review is from: Half-Life 2 (Xbox) (Video Game)
How do I start talking about one of the most acclaimed games ever made? For me this is and probably for a long time to come, will always be the pinnacle, the last word and the full stop in the First Person Shooter genre, a style of videogame that has become the games industries block buster genre. Back in 1996 an American company called Valve that was unknown at the time created a game called Half-Life, and with its unparalleled action, story telling and atmosphere it quickly became one the best games ever made. Countless clones appeared on the market shortly after, claiming to be Half-Life beaters, with admirable efforts from Bungie's Halo and various top-drawer PC games, but it wasn't until that game's sequel arrived that the Half-Life beater was crowned. Ironic, isn't it?
In 2004 Valve unleashed the highly anticipated follow up after more delays and push backs than any game before it - some believed the delays signalled a dud on their hands, and the hype had no chance of living up to such grandeur early screen shots and video footage created. Yet when the finished product was finally played, we all had to hold our hands up and hail the coming of a new age. Valve had been working on Half-Life 2 since the final code had been entered on the first game, and the effort shines in every conceivable aspect, from the atmospheric opening twenty minutes with no weapons and thankfully like its predecessor, no cut scenes. Valve were unique in never taking the player out of the game, giving them the freedom to miss or walk away from pivotal events, if he or she so wished. Then they decided to throw in life like characterisation not seen outside of a top-drawer animated movie, where 'digital actors' conveyed real emotion, and trust me it's a remarkable achievement in immersing the player in a living, breathing world.
The Half-Life games follow the story of scientist turned vigilante Gordon Freeman, who seems to get put in the worst possible situations seemingly by accident, be it a government experiment that goes wrong and opens the portal to another world (HL#1), or arriving in a city controlled by an overpowering Nazi-like regime only to become embroiled in a resistance movement hell-bent on restoring freedom (HL#2). It's all done with total believability and with great moment following great moment that from beginning to end, there is a big fat grin slapped permanently on your face.
Valve has probably designed the blue print by which all proceeding games in this genre should take notes from. The environments are varied, realistic and interesting. The weapons are fun and imaginative (especially the 357 Magnum Revolver, the high-tech Cross Bow, the Combine Plasma Rifle (with it's glowing bouncing orb secondary attack) and of course the much celebrated Gravity Gun, that is one of the coolest gadgets in a game ever!). Add to this plethora of features the stunningly real physics, from the astonishing water and glass (see how the glass cracks and breaks) or how objects and furniture react in total believability due to their shape and weight, and one of the most fun virtual playgrounds you have. The enemies you face are also a uniquely interesting group of opponents from the Combine Guards and their realistic attack patterns how they communicate to one another, re-load, take cover and work together, the Zombies infected by Alien-inspired head crabs, the Running Zombie who can navigate drain pipes and other scenery to reach you, and then the Drop Ships and Fighter Planes that close in to kill you. The list of stunning touches is endless and increasingly jaw-dropping. Just wait until you get to control a bunch of mutant cock-roaches known as Ant-Lions, and you will see exactly how beautifully realised this game is.
Half-Life 2 had been out on the PC for a year before the XBOX version arrived, and in that time the gossips were up in arms at the prospect of one of the most technically advanced games ever was even capable of running on Microsoft's console. Well I am glad to say that Valve has done a remarkable job. Unlike the version of DOOM 3 that reached the XBOX, none of the content has been trimmed or cut, and absolutely no compromises have been made in bringing the game to a console format. Technically the game's only fault is a slightly fluctuating frame rate which neither hampers gameplay nor proves annoying (at least for the most part - when you have a squad following you, things get pretty sluggish). Other than that in translation from PC to XBOX, I can only see a low resolution to the textures an obvious difference, and even some of the PC's more flashy effects have been carried over nicely (such as the magnifying glass in Doctor Cliener's lab, for example). All the characters are wonderfully animated, there's no glitches (at least what I have seen) and despite lower quality textures, improved lighting and reflections on walls and flooring make each location still look stunning. Those that complain the lack of new features, additional content or multi-player have obviously missed the point. Yes, the PC version will support downloadable levels, that could have been but isn't included here, and a version of Counter-Strike source wouldn't have gone amiss, but obviously Valve wanted all their time to be spent on getting the XBOX version right, and it has to be said, they've done it.
Verdict 5 /5
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Half-Life 2 (Xbox)
Half-Life 2 (Xbox) by Electronic Arts (Xbox)
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