15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
It surprised me,
This review is from: Half-Life 2: Game of the Year Edition (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Back in the day when Half Life 1 was king and nearly every PC gamer was playing it or one of its mods I tried on numerous occasions to like it. I even bought it and sold it twice but it never sat comfortably with me. It is for this reason that it has taken me two years to get around to Half Life 2.
It seems that I picked a good time to try it out because the new episodes are starting to emerge and I don't know if I could have waited for the new episodes if I'd started a year ago!
The story pulled me in in such a way that I was sad to finish it, only to find that Episode 1 came out and fed me with just enough to keep me hooked. The game is set in a European style city called City 17, which is currently swarming with alien soldiers, zombies and other incredibly irritating creatures. Inevitably a resistance to their oppressive regime is forming and it seems that you've already been chosen to lead it (or at least hold it together).
Your journey will take you through a number of varied environments that are all drawn brilliantly. The havok physics engine makes everything act as though it has real weight too. Everything adds up to a very impressive looking package. Fortunately its not all show and no go, there is a very engaging game underneath the Source engine and a cast of characters that have a convincing personality to them.
Even if you didn't like Half Life 1, don't let it put you off HL2, its brilliant.
A lot of people complain about the fact that you need Steam installed. I can see their point. It does mean that you can't really sell your copy of HL2 when you've finished it but it has its benefits too. There is no more hunting around for patches - they're downloaded and installed automatically so you always have the most up to date version. If you have a credit card you can buy other Steam based games much cheaper thanks to the exchange rate and you don't even have to leave the house or wait a week for it to arrive. Plus, if you change PC's all you have to do is log onto steam and all of your games will download to your new machine. Work within its limitations and it'll work for you.
The Game of the Year Edition comes with a handful of extra online games too, which can't be bad.