HL2 is the sequel to Half-Life. And also one of the BEST PC games ever made. Taking place 5 years after the first game, the world has become a very different place (the bad kind of different). Did I mention it’s one of the best PC games ever made?
Story telling is good
The first game didn’t have much of a story. I’m not going to tell you the story of either game. (Hey! You have to play the games!) But I’m glad there’s more of a story this time. I’m also glad it’s deeper and more thought-provoking.
Action is good, too
Better than the first game in fact. It’s paced better, and the AI (artificial intelligence) is smarter than the first game. There are very few not-well-thought-out spots. (Most of these are in the chapter Ravenholm where you fight nothing but zombies.)
Puzzles…not so much
This is a problem found in all the Half-Life games. They feel unnecessary and are mostly frustrating. The worst of them is the first one you encounter, the valve puzzle. You have to find a valve and turn it to make the water rise so you can get through a hole in the wall. Sounds simple, right? Well, the valve is placed in worst spot ever (on top of a hard to reach pipe). Who was the bonehead who made that building? Thankfully, most of the puzzles are short.
The Combine recruited some stupid humans
Although the AI is generally better then the first game, there’s one enemy that is dumb compared to the rest. The Civil “Protection” Unit, AKA the Metro Cop. (In case you don’t know, Metro Cops are normal humans working for the Combine. And the Combine are cyberneticly enhanced humans and humanoid aliens, most of which are the latter.) The Cops just seem to refuse to take cover that’s right in front of them. And sometimes they’ll run in to each others’ bullets killing themselves. Or sometimes they’ll take cover behind a barrel that’s about to explode, causing their own death.
In the first game you could kill your own buddies by mistake (or on purpose) or vice versa. This time, you can’t. This is good because sometimes your buddies will run into your bullets, or you’ll accidently fire your weapon, or you will accidently run into your buddies’ line of fire.
Difficulty is more consistent
In the first game the difficulty was a bit uneven sometimes. It’s much better in this game.
I would of liked to fight more aliens
In the first game you got to fight a lot of aliens, which I thought was pretty cool. This time, sadly, you only get to fight Headcrabs, Zombies, Barnacles, Antloins, and Combine. There are no gargantuan Gargantuas, no armored, hulking, hornet-shooting Grunts, no massive Headcrab Queens, no gigantic Tentacles, no poison-spitting Bullsquids (speaking of that, it’s rude and gross, which is why they deserved to be defeated), no Houndeyes and no flying Xen Masters.
HL2 is a great game. It has a few flaws, but the good stuff make-up for them.
RATING: FIVE STARS