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on 20 April 2013
I initially purchased this to complete the Half-Life 2 cycle, believing Episode 3 would be just around the corner...
Valve seem to have gone all quiet on this, and my thoughts now is that Half-Life 3 and Portal 3 will become a joint sequal to both games.

Nevertheless, Half-Life 2 didn't fail to disappoint, offering innovative and original gameplay, especially with the gravity gun.
Its a long game, so you'll get some good gamplay out of it, especially with the 2 episodes attached.
Remember: don't go in Ravenholme without a torch!

The real bonus for me however, was the online game Team Fortress 2. When I'd seen trailers online I thought it looked like rubbish graphics and basic gameplay. How wrong could I be! There are 9 classes, each with their own unique function, from the back-stabbing spy to the medic or scout. Each has its own playing style and tactics. The cartoon graphics merely add to the amusement of this game.
The game is easy to pick up, but with much room for expertise, and quickly addictive, with multiple game formats, my favourite being "Payload" where one team has to move a bomb along train tracks into the enemies' base. There is also a cool item system where you can customise your chosen class, particular with hats!

Portal was the other main attraction to this boxset. The premise is simple: use your portal gun to out of the rooms in a very loose escape plot. However, its not that simple. There are switches, sentry droids and other obstacles which mean you have to "think with portals" to complete this one. Its a short game but great fun - I completed it in 5 to 8 hours I think.

Overall this boxset is great value for money.
Whilst these may be considered "older" games, they are still some of the best I've ever played!
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on 29 November 2012
Overall, this box represents amazing value at the 7 pounds and 98 British pence that I paid for it.

The installation process will almost certainly go wrong for you, however you can fix it by logging into Steam and letting it download the whole thing once you have provided the key.

Perhaps this set does not represent the best bits of Half Life ever, but it nevertheless is a solid chunk of fun for several weeks. I had already played the original HL2, and this set still took me about 2 months to get through, whereas a copy of BioShock and BioShock 2 only lasted 2 weeks. I guess I played the latter a bit more intensively but still, this should be on your shopping list, particularly if you don't have the very latest gaming gear.

The HL2 episodes are pretty good, if not particularly subtle or deep. The game suffers the usual weirdness of slightly uncanny characters not quite looking at you while they talk at you, while you (Gordon) remain a man of few words (actually none at all). But overall the game plays well and there is a particularly challenging final battle that I thought was a lot of fun.

Portal starts out as a moderately interesting puzzle game but does actually develop a bit more depth as time goes on. It's never exceptionally difficult. The ending, was, I thought, pretty spectacular and definitely got a grin and a "LOL" from me.

I never play online team games as I am not a teenager, nor do I have a posse. I therefore can't comment on TeamFortress 2. To be honest I have not even loaded it up. Apparently solo play is possible but it wasn't really designed for it. You can let me know how wrong I am about this in the comments.
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on 16 October 2012
At the beginning of Half Life 2, I got a weird feeling that I was gonna be disappointed with this. I wanted it to be a lot like the old Half Life's, and when I saw that it was quite different, I quickly became skeptical. But if you give the game a chance... OMG IS AMAZING!.

Half Life 2 + Episodes 1 + 2 are as good as video games get! If you can appreciate a good story line, good character development, voice acting, and really take your time to appreciate the game, you really will find yourself having one of the most amazing experiences you can have as a video game lover. I've never been attached to characters in video games before, but Alyx will always have a place in my thoughts. The way the characters are used in this game make it more than just a normal video game. You really develop feelings for certain characters, and some of the events within the game really spark emotions within you.

You will have a greater appreciation for the work that goes into certain games after you've played this, and you will learn what an exceptional video game really is. It's very rare that I'm ever so amazed by a game that it will leave a permanent mark on me. I imagine in 10 years time that I will experience extreme moments of Nostalgia over this game. I can go back and replay it whenever I want, but lets face it, there's no experience like the first time you play one of your most favourite all time games. I'll probably wish I could travel back to the time where I was just opening Orange Box, so I could relive the experience over again.

I know I must seem like some obsessive freak right now, but I don't care. I don't often get to experience a game like this, so I'll be an obsessive freak if I bloody well want to!

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Portal is also an excellent game. Again, don't let first impressions lead you to become skeptical of a game straight away. I made that mistake with HL2 and I gave Portal time to build, and I'm glad I did! At first it just seems like an extra that Valve threw in as a little gift with HL2, but it turns out to be a superb experience in itself. It's another brilliant, original idea by valve, and as the game goes on, you'll realise how complex it really is. There's more to it then you think at the beginning. It seems like just an arcade/puzzle game to begin with, but you will eventually discover the true gravity of your situation.

I'm not going to spoil it for you, but please play it. It's amazing!!!

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Team Fortress isn't bad, but just not my cup of tea. It's a decent online multiplayer game, and it makes Orange Box more of a bargain, as it's probably worth more than just a free extra. More exceptional generosity here by Valve!!

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THANK YOU SO MUCH VALVE! GABEN YOU'RE A BEAST!
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on 10 January 2018
Brilliant series is Half Life, many years have been spent playing this game in particular I had the PS3 version so it was natural I had to buy this version for the p.c. very fun to play and lots of action packed moments with some puzzles to solve, though I have not played portal yet to this day I will have to find some time for it one day.
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VINE VOICEon 18 October 2008
The Orange Box is one of the best deals out there for all Computer game lovers. Essentially you get the second chapter of one of the finest Computer game franchises out there along with its own first two Episodes. So thats Half Life 2, Half Life 2 Episode 1 and Half Life 2 Episode 2. Whilst the two episodes are short in playtime they are quite simply stunning. These coupled with the awesome Half Life 2 you are going to be glad you made the purchase. Added to these three gems are Portal which is a superb game and one of the most innovative puzzle games I have come across in ages. It is quite simply brilliant. The cherry on top comes in the guise of Team Fortress 2. There is little I can add to what already has been said about this game. It is stunning. Multiplayer has never been so much fun! So buy this and get involved. My final point is about Steam. Most of the negative reviews surround this. Steam is easy to use. And is far more user friendly then it was in its first inception and to be fair it wasn't bad even then. The truth is that if you have a dial up modem to connect to the internet you are probably best not buying this boxset until you upgrade. If you have broadband then buy this now and stop worrying. I have found Steam to actually be a useful tool rather than a hinderance. Ignore the prophets of doom and fear not. The Orange Box and all its glorious elements can be yours to play! This is PC gaming at its finest. Oh how we love you!!
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on 23 March 2011
I've played Half-life and all it's spawned progeny. Throughly enjoyed the lot of them. But found the 2's and all it's... parts a little shallow. Now, just before you start weilding that crowbar and wishing me a nasty case of head crabs, hear me out ok?;)
The engine on this game is stunning. The load screens on Ep.2 are really watchable. The size, shape and feel of the entire game is excellent. But if it had been any less than this the Valve team would have been in trouble. It's suffered from it's own legacy and in trying to follow the 'game of the year' it's missed it's true potential to be an excellent game. It's redeeming feature is that it was at a reasonable price. If I'd payed full whack for all three parts I'd be bitter. The icing on the... cake is Portal. I'm not going to rave about it but is a refreshing, vibrant and witty piece of logic solving gameplay that will have you coming back for 'just one more puzzle room'. Clear, classic gaming that's ideal at the price and will more than fill a weekend.
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on 14 February 2014
Never played this type of game before but after updating my pc I decided to give Half-Life a try after seeing all the positive reviews which are well deserved, I would have no hesitation recommending this game, quite scary in places though, made more so if you wear headphones!
One word of caution you have to register with Steam to activate the game, it can only be done once, so if you buy second hand the code has already been used. I got caught out by this and had to return the game to the seller.
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on 25 February 2014
Half life 2 is a brilliant game. However I didn't get the full benefits of the graphics until I had a Windows 7 system. For an old guy like me(76), it fills many an enjoyable hour. The graphics are really good and the voice actors brilliant. I'm in love with Alyx. Story and plot really good but I didn't find episodes 1 and 2 just as good. Highly recommended for anyone living on their own. (As long as you don't feel like actually shooting anyone in real life), .
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on 11 April 2013
I'm not one to go dishing out the five-stars -- but this is an absolute must have for any gamer. The value works out at roughly £2 per game - which you have to be insane to turn down. Every game in this box is fantastic - all the titles in this box are at the very top end of gaming.

You don't need a powerful computer to support these games. As visually stunning as they are - not one game fails to perform well on my incredibly old and dusty computer. Valve meticulously optimises their games - and the effect is very noticeable.

Half-Life 2 and it's sequels are atmospheric and chilling - with some great characters and even comic moments to boot. The world is so haunting because of how grounded in reality it really is. It's not a horror game in the generic sense. It is not overly gratuitous or jumpy. It's psychological horror - it has atmosphere. The industrial eastern-european feel to the beautiful environments is something we have all seen in reality. Aside from some truly awesome exceptions (such as the gravity gun and some of the aliens) the game's story is very much real. Most of the scientific explanations behind the story are theoretical possibilities in the world of physics. This realistic grounding removes the feeling that you are simply playing a game - you feel immersed in it entirely.

Portal is set in the same universe as Half-Life. However, being a puzzle game the atmosphere is light-hearted and steeped in some great comedy lines. This mind-bending puzzle game challenges you to think in new ways about solving puzzles - and sometimes you succeed. Valve has done very well at designing the puzzles to be initially challenging without making them frustrating - a very difficult thing to achieve. The only speaking character is the facility AI system called GLaDOS. Despite this - Valve did an amazing job at creating a funny and interesting character in this short game.

Team Fortress 2 will provide you with hours of fun. Unlike other games of it's genre (Class Shooter) TF2 is utterly unique, its great art style and smooth class balances make for a truly fun and hilarious experience. The team element is ever present - if you can work as a team with your team-mates you will have a lot more fun than if you try to do everything yourself. This has created a great community within the game that has kept this classic game relevant even today.

Overall, I have no reservations at all with this box. Buy it. BUY IT for goodness sake - it's the deal of the century. And I can guarantee that it will provide you with more hours of fun than you knew you could have.
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on 28 August 2010
The orange box, is in short, epic. The half life games have incredible level design, and puzzles slotted in with the action. It's pretty much the perfect single player fps. The updated source engine on episode 1 and 2 definitly shows with improved facial expressions. The storylines are immense, and you can definitly get a sense of character from everyone. All of the main characters have a personality, rather than the power armour covered, hyper-masculine characters from other games around.
But that is only half of the box!
Team Fortress 2 is, in short, fun :). I don't think I have ever had a more fun experience on an online fps before. There are 9 fixed classes, and you can customize them slightly, but valve have done a brilliant job making sure all of the classes are balanced, and there are NO overpowered or indeed underpowered guns like in certain other fps's around. I never played the original TF, but this does not deserve to sit behind Half life as an extra. No way.
Portal is also a fantastic game. My personal favourite game in the box. It will only give you about 3-5 hours gameplay, but that is ok in my opinion, so it does not stay longer than it's welcome. 3-5 hours gives you a load of portal based physics puzzles, yet still manages to keep a good storyline with the action. The ending of portal is one of the best endings to any game I have ever played.

You must buy this game. It's as cheap as chips now, you have no excuse. Put down that Halo or Modern Warfare or whatever else you may be playing, and buy this game.
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