Half-Life 2 - PC

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Also for: Xbox
Viewed: 3D First-person Genre:
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Valve Soft. Co.: Valve
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB/GB)
Vivendi (US/GB)
Released: 2007 (GB)
16 Nov 2004 (US/GB)
Unknown (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 15
No Accessories: No Accessories


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The sequel to what many regard as the greatest PC game ever opens the doors to a world where your very presence affects everything around you, from the physical environment to the emotions of friends and enemies. As the bespectacled and formerly mild-mannered Gordon Freeman, once again you start out by picking up the crowbar as you go about rescuing the world from the wrong you unwittingly unleashed back in Black Mesa. Earth's population is dwindling, the alien-infested land running short on resources - it's a dirty job, etc., and people are counting on Gordon.

The original Half-Life has picked up more than 50 industry awards since it made its debut in 1998, and while its storyline was - on the surface - nothing out of the ordinary, the gameplay certainly was. Encouragingly enough, Half-Life 2's lengthy development time means that you have an equally exhilarating experience to look forward to. All the intensity and high-octane action present in the original has been amped up to the extreme for HL2. Advanced AI of friends and foes has been improved so that they can deal with all kinds of situations, such as mastering tricky terrain, assessing threats, and fashioning weapons from whatever comes to hand.

Anyone who saw the footage from this year's E3 cannot fail to have been impressed by the explosive 15 minutes or so of action that unfolded on screen. Well, now it's playable, and if the next instalment takes another six years to materialise, then it should go by in a flash. We reckon that Half-Life 2 will be the game of choice for genre fanatics and that the sheer scale of HL2, its stunning animation and graphics, and highly charged atmospheric gameplay should guarantee its place in the apocryphal Hall of Fame. Developer Valve had better order a new trophy cabinet, while you...you get a Half-Life.