Top positive review
35 people found this helpful
Poor conversion, but a classic nonetheless. And amazing value.
on 16 March 2008
Incredible value for money. Half Life 2 is one of the best shooters ever made, this package also includes Episodes 1 & 2, along with puzzler Portal and online shooter Team Fortress 2.
For someone who has never played Half Life 2, this is an essential purchase. Even on a repeat play its still gripping and lots of fun.
Half Life games have a tradition of redefining what makes a shooter great. With the originals release in 1998, the focus on narrative was completely new. The game did away with cut scenes and everything was viewed through the eyes of central character, Gordon Freeman. This tradition continues with Half Life 2, but Valve has also placed great focus on physics and the way objects react within its world.
As it was first released in 2004, these aspects are slightly showing their age; but no game has done it better. This is helped in no small part by the Gravity Gun. A superb innovation that never gets boring, and makes lethal weapons out of everyday objects.
Episode 1 is a solid if forgettable expansion pack, which picks up the story from Half Life 2's dramatic conclusion. Yet sadly, only the level 'Lowlife' provides any real excitement.
Luckily Episode 2 serves up an electrifyng change of pace, switching locations from the urban squalour of City 17 to the more rural 'White Forest'. Theres also a new vehicle to drive, in addition to previously unseen weapons and enemies. Unfortunately the Half Life saga is left on yet another cliffhanger, as Episode 3 is still some way from completion. It needs to arrive soon, as the Source Engine is already looking dated when compared to the likes of Bioshock or Call of Duty 4. There are some nice HD effects, but its disappointing more hasnt been done to update the visuals.
Portal is truly unique and has to be played to understand what its about. Team Fortress 2 is a deep, rewarding shooter, and quite a change from the standard online shooter fare. As the name suggests, TF2 requires teamwork to achieve victory. The cartoony visual style seperates this massively from the others in the package.
Of the versions available, PS3 loses out, which shouldnt be the case.
Having played this on a friends 360, the load times are shorter and the annoying slowdown when too much happens on screen is non existent. This is completely unacceptable.
But The Orange Box is still great. Put simply, theres truly something for every shooter addict. Be it obscure, epic or online.