Most negative Half-Life 2 review

By TS | Thomas · 31 replies
Nov 23, 2004
  1. The following was sent in by a good friend of mine & is probably the most negative review of Half-Life 2 you'll find anywhere ;) just to be clear again, this is NOT my review, I merely offer this as an interesting counterpoint to all the praise other reviews have offered.

    Half Life 2: The Milestone

    As a game, Half-Life 2 might very well be the game that puts me off all computer games for a long, long time. Ironic, given the fact that this game has been heralded as the savior of computer games. The ultimate, next-generation, first person shooting game that will finally show off how far we have come in these last few years.

    Looking at the reviews, you’d think it had delivered in spades.

    Unfortunately every single reviewer has felt the need to give this game as many accolades as possible. At this stage I’m convinced that every single one of those reviewers is severely mentally retarded. I just cant see how anyone could possibly derive any kind of real enjoyment from this game seeing as how it’s identical in every way to every single first person shooter ever produced before it.

    I don’t want to drag this out for too long so let me just say that the game has been sold on a foundation of deceit, lies and fancy marketing.

    Having completed the game a few days back, I quit the application (as the final credits rolled) and slumped back in my chair absolutely sickened. Questions had arisen and they needed immediate answering.

    “Had I gotten some defective, retarded version of the game?”

    “Where was the enemy AI that was allegedly so ****-hot it could get inside my brain and psycho-analyze me and know my every move before I did?”

    “Where was the physics engine that was to make every single thing in the game destructible, opening up a whole new world of gaming?”

    “Where was the virtual world where everything I did had an effect on everything else, and my every action would influence the game in a magical and unique way?”

    The Enemy AI
    Either I am the perfect killer and assassin and an intellectual marvel… or else the AI is pretty damn stupid. The game itself admits this halfway through, when it broadcasts the message telling the guards that if they can’t deal with one puny physicist in an orange suit, then they are officially retarded. If Valve knew that the AI was bad then why didn’t they patch it up a little rather then making lame in-jokes?

    By the end of the first couple of levels I had accounted for approximately 200 enemy soldiers. Granted they didn’t have the luxury of respawning and trying again lots of times like I did (although I rarely had to make use of this luxury), but even so that’s a pretty respectable body count considering my character is an untrained physicist armed with a crowbar.

    Nope… all the poor guards can do within the pathetic confines of their AI is stand around in two’s and three’s and wait for me to kill them. That is their sole reason for existing as far as I could see. The Gordon Freeman character progresses linearly through the game, killing these mindless drones in order of appearance and conveniently re-spawning Groundhog Day-style whenever he does finally succumb to the guard’s gunfire. It’s pretty pathetic really.

    In the promotional clips that were released some months before the game came out, the developers tried to illustrate the intelligence of the enemies. I witnessed an enemy soldier (who was attempting to locate the player) check a door which was barricaded, then attempt to shoot though the door and the barricade, before giving up and throwing a grenade in through the window. Apparently, the enemy had carried out just one on of many possible responses to the situation, and the game would surprise and delight the player every time it was played.

    The enemy never once employed any semblance of intelligence to take me down at any stage throughout the game. I even went out of my way to recreate the bit from the promotional clip… to no avail.

    Oh sure, guards shoot from behind walls sometimes and occasionally throw a grenade my way, but they ALWAYS inevitably ended up charging headlong into my waiting machine guns….

    Which is an admirably brave decision to make it has to be said, but one which gets very old after a couple of hours of it from a players point of view.

    They are pretty retarded given that that game loads up in a sequential series of small chunks, so it’s not like they have a huge world to interact with or anything. They basically have enough AI to maneuver them around whatever small room or arena they happen to be placed. It becomes boring and repetitive after just the first five minutes.

    That leads me onto the levels and the level design. Am I the only one who sees a problem with a game that promises plenty of freedom of expression and delivers a severely linear series of small area’s where the goal in each one is simply to move through each one to the other side?? How many times can a person kill a handful of soldiers and open a switch over and over again before it becomes mind numbing??

    The striders are quiet impressive when they first appear in the game. I had envisioned epic running battles with them through the streets of city 17 with fully destructible scenery splintering all around me as they stalked me with their huge laser weapons… and then I confronted them and my hopes were dashed. The ****ing things follow the same path around and around and around in a circle, regardless of what the player does. Sometimes they bend down… I’m not 100% sure why but it didn’t make them any tougher to kill. Nor did the generous helping of rockets and conveniently placed discarded rocket launchers.

    It’s the age-old problem, which was epitomized in the Deus Ex games. Basically if you are confronted with three locked doors in the game then searching nearby crates and bins will yield three lock picks. Possibly some power armour, nano upgrades and ammunition. Realism and believability comes a poor second to lazy programming.

    I could almost have played Half Life 2 blindfolded. When you reach a mounted machine gun you know its going to trigger a little wave of attackers for you to shoot down, because that’s what every other game before it has done.

    I’ve seen it all before. We all have.

    Is this what every games reviewer in the world is ****ting their pants over? Was this why I waited for two hours online for my game to “unlock”? Can’t people see that we’re just playing the same game over and over again? Medal of Honour, Call of Duty, Half Life… the only difference is the cover of the games box. Linear series of small arena’s interrupted by cut sequences.
  2. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,319

    The Physics Engine
    Supposedly a major feature of the game, the physics promised completely destructible environments and realistic materials. Oh and buoyancy. I can’t tell you how much my gaming experience was improved at the sight of a floating barrel.

    The only things destructible in the game are small things made of wood. Strangely though, not every kind of wood is destructible. Only crates and specific kinds of chairs and tables break apart when shot or hit, anything bigger then that is only destroyed at very specific, scripted points in the very weak threadbare plot.

    Which means that “Congratulations Valve, the physics are on par with every other game that’s come out in the last six years!” Way to go. Truly a milestone in gaming.

    I hate the gravity gun too.

    It’s a pointless weapon, blatantly thrown in to get people to stack boxes and look at the realistic way they fall over when pushed. Look Valve, if I want to stack boxes then I’ll get a ****ing job stacking boxes and at least get a minimum wage for my efforts. I don’t need to sit down in front of a terrible game for hours and pretend to in the hopes that you’ve hidden some enjoyment in there somewhere for me to find.

    Its pathetic to see the lengths the programmers will go to get people to “interact” with the environment. Every time I turn a corner in the game there is a pile of precariously stacked boxes and barrels just waiting to be toppled over and justify the hours spent coding the physics for the game. Is that what “the environment” is?? Stacked boxes??

    The things I actually want to affect are still tantalizingly out of reach. If a door is locked (and there are many, many locked doors in this game) and I want to blow it open with a grenade then why will the physics engine not allow me to? I don’t mind that I can’t perform this meager task, but why the hell does the huge marketing campaign claim that I can??

    To recap, its been sold on a foundation of lies and deceit.

    The ability to pick up items and thrown them around is nothing new in games. It was as pointless a feature in Trespasser and Deus Ex as it is in Half-Life. It’s a pity nobody told anyone at Valve.
    The Ability To Have an “Effect” on Everything
    This was the biggest spin story of them all. The back of the box makes the bold claim that every player action has consequences and “even affects the very emotions of the people in the game”.

    The only things the player can have an effect on are specific wooden chairs and crates. And it’s a very limited effect too. You either smash them, or ignore them. Oh, and you can also shoot enemies and pick specific things up with a gravity gun, but that’s as deep as it gets..

    If you were to replay the game, nothing you could possible do would effect anything enough to give you a different gaming experience then the one you got the first time you played it. The linear nature of the game and the lack of choices available to the player see to that.

    For instance… At one point whilst standing in the middle of a virtual city center I was told to locate a specific character. As interesting a prospect as this might seem, the whole thing boiled down to climbing a rusty fire-escape and following a bleak, claustrophobic corridor for an hour, periodically shooting brain-damaged guards who were only too eager to be killed by any one of my impossible number of weapons.

    Bear in mind that I didn’t choose to go up the fire escape. It was simply my only option given that the city center had obviously been designed to steer me in that direction. Valve obviously doesn’t think much of the players playing the game. The city has to be laid out to strictly funnel us in the right direction all the time otherwise they might have to code other area’s of the city that I could wander into and we in turn, might have to think..

    In the fire escape scenario above, the buildings were all joined together thereby offering me no way to go between them and simultaneously shattering the illusion of a believable city environment. The doors were all mysteriously locked too, along with the windows. What few alleyways did exist were mysteriously bricked up or filled with immovable rubble.

    Like I said, in this sprawling city scene the fire escape was my only choice.

    There is something inherently wrong with a game if there is only one solitary path through a large area of ruined city. It gets laughable when you notice that at some points, the only way to proceed is to wait for the AI to destroy a section of wall in a scripted and predetermined manner.

    This wouldn’t bother me if the physics engine had been up to scratch. I mean, a light tap from a crowbar is enough to splinter a wooden crate, and yet an equally wooden door can withstand shotgun blasts, grenades and even a rocket launcher?? Or glass that just will not break no matter how much heavy ordinance you hit it with?? Where did the nice programmers at Valve learn their physics? I’m presuming it was limited to their teacher pointing at random stuff and getting the class to say whether it would hurt to touch it or not.

    My Conclusion
    Maybe I’m wrong about Half-Life 2. Maybe it truly is the perfect game as every one keeps telling me. But consider the following:

    Games are trying more and more to be like interactive movies with every passing month, even going so far as to get big name actors in to provide the voices. Since this appears to be the goal of every games developer in existence, I can only conclude that their ultimate goal is to end up with an actual movie instead of a game.

    The reviewers obviously feel this is the case and since Half Life has apparently delivered then its been given all the accolades.

    Look at Half Life 2 for a moment.

    It’s a linear series of menial tasks (box stacking, switch pulling) and repetitive “combat” with limited opponents, interspersed with a tiny semblance of a story that’s supposed to tie it all in together.

    There is no room for the player to influence anything in the story or plot, meaning that even the combat becomes just a repetitive and thankless chore.

    Now ask yourself this: If you really want a great story, with 100% accurate physics and water effects that really makes the water look like water… then why don’t you just rent a movie in the first place?

    I’m certain that real life human actors have a lot more facial muscles then Half-Life’s paltry 24. I’m also pretty sure that everything you see in the movies is fully destructible, and if it does happen to explode then the fire and flame effects are going to be perfect. Another plus is that you don’t have to stack boxes or look for key cards or solve retarded puzzles to get the next important plot point.

    In contrast, I never saw Bruce Willis double back through an entire “level” with a key card in any of the Die Hard films. Or making primitive bridges with boxes and crates. That’s probably because it’s a **** idea that no one would want to see, which begs the question…”Why did Valve put such obviously **** ideas into their game?”

    Movies are relatively short and in expensive too. Why pay fifty euros for 20+ hours of tedious box-stacking, when you can get an infinitely better story and better action from a four euro DVD rental that only takes up and hour and a half of your life?

    Games should not try to emulate movies. We already have enough movies to keep us happy Valve. Games developers should focus more on games that are enjoyable and leave the movie making to moviemakers.
  3. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Thanks for posting it Thomas!
    It was an interesting read.

    And I do agree with some of his points. The A.I. really questions the validity of my sig., as it really is dumb sometimes... I've been standing next to guards trying to shoot me with a shotgun, but after they've fired one shot, they stop. Then wait until I do something before trying again. And I'm standing right in front of them out in the open!

    But it seems that the reviewer has missed one crucial point. We're playing this game on rigs ranging from 1.2Ghz cpu, 256mb ram and Dx7 level graphics card to state of the art machines, and not computers with quantum processors, several pytabytes of ram and holographic Dx5000 capable graphics cards. There are limits to how much freedom and realism you can include in the game before it'll run like a slideshow with one frame per hour...

    Yes, the PR dept.'s have exagerated what the game is capable of, but so does every other pr dept.'s for their games. Just look at the Halo2 commercials for a good example.

    And with that in mind, I do feel that HL2 is a very good game.

    And wrt. the movie part, well, if a movie satisfies your need for interactivity, then that is a good alternative for you. But for those of us who prefers doing something more active than lean back in the sofa and eat popcorn, games are still the way to go....
  4. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    If you want another example of poor A.I. and pointless repetitive action, then just watch a live footbal match (or any sport) on TV. :haha:

    HL2 is a game, and as such it will be a very long time before any game comes close to reality. Trying to simulate a single human, or even a small furry animal, is hard enough, so generating a realistic game world populated with intelligent life will never happen. Just being entertained is good enough for me and HL2 does that very well.
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Reading the review, it would seem the AI in Half-Life is actually inferior to the one in the original. Please say it isn't so.
  6. *TiTaN*

    *TiTaN* TS Rookie

    HL2 Ruuuuulz, u sux.. its a hard life

    - Removed unnecessary quote
  7. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    That was a very productive comment. Next time, please don't quote a whole post, take out the specific part you wish to talk about & be more productive with your comments.
  8. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    I'm just getting started with Half-Life 2, got the gravity gun and entered Ravenholm level... so far I'm liking the game a lot (unlike Doom 3 which was awful IMO).

    I have to agree the AI isn't that smart and I did expect better but overall the game puts you in a particular mood with the detailed world environment, fast-paced action and sound effects... it's a very Valve-like experience that many enjoyed in Half-Life 1... so my take on H-L 2 so far is a positive one BUT I'm not sure if I like it more than Far Cry, that was such a great game from beginning to end in many aspects, you must give it a try if you haven't yet.
  9. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    I think Half-Life 2 is a not to be missed game. I'm getting near the end and don't want to stop to do anything else, well except go to work. But as far as the best game of the year, Far Cry gets my vote.

    After the terrific wide open game play, and the graphics in Far Cry, it's kind of hard to be strangled into going down a narrow predetermined path, to reach your goal, and also seeing trees and grass standing perfectly still, instead of blowing in the wind. Granted, there's not a whole lot of trees and grass though. But, having said that, I think the graphics are still outstanding, especially when it comes to detail. In Half-Life 2, the game seems to me to be pretty well scripted as to what you can do, there's really only one way to accomplish your goal, but then again, I guess you could say that about most games. I do enjoy the puzzles you have to solve occasionally, in order to achieve your goal though. And it's fun to interact with the people, instead of going to a cut scene, every now and then.

    There's been enough said about the AI, it sure could be better.

    I do think the guns in this game are great though. The .357 Magnum pistol, (at least I think that's what it is), is my favorite gun, just wish there was more ammo for it. And the gravity gun is indispensible.

    One thing I think this game really is great at, is the audio. I play it on my home theater system, and if you turn up the volume, you'd swear you were really there with real guns.

    The loading time was dreadfully slow, bug after doing some tweaks I read about, it loads a lot faster now, and I can live with that.

    I played the original Half-Life over and over, same as I have been doing with Far Cry, it has a lot of replay value, at least to me. I don't think I can say that about Half-Life 2. I might go through it a second time, but I think that will be about it for me.

    Just my 2 cents.
  10. bedlam_4

    bedlam_4 TS Rookie Posts: 156

    Well I am really enjoying HL 2 as well. I also like Doom 3 but it gets me so edgy I have trouble playing it very long. One of the coolest things in Half-Life is the water. Out my window here is a beautiful tidal lagoon. It looks like a lake at high tide. On the other side of the lagoon is an old mill backed by a mountain side covered with old growth Sitka spruce. Its beautiful the way it is all reflected in the water. The point is this; as I watch the reflection of the buildings and hillsides along the canal. (my character is out of the boat and walking around) the water is evry bit as real looking on the sceen as it is out my window. It is truly amazing.
    If you are looking for a little less linear style of game play I suggest Neverwinter Nights.
  11. Joe_Bloggs69

    Joe_Bloggs69 TS Rookie


    What the hell is wrong with this dude, HL2 is the best game ever, simple as that :eek: . I never heard anything about being able to blow up the walls, and last time I checked physics is things falling and moving. And going everywhere is close to impossible, they could have done it but it would turn into a Duke Nukem Forever, which people have been waiting for close to half a decade, and its more becoming a gamming myth then any revolutionary game, a game unicorn.

    So lets talk AI shall we, yes I agree it doesn’t seem as good as in there show off movie, but maybe valve realised that where not all running multi processor mainframes at home, and maybe this stooge should to. But I’ve seen the AI do stuff I ain’t seen non scripted AI do, like I ran into a house and heard two combine say, “I’ll take the front, you take the back”, and simultaneously theirs two combine taking me from either side of the house. And the striders, umm unless your running it on a 486, or playing it in the Hammer editor (the map maker) 4bd, the striders patrol, but when they see you they follow you, well they followed me.

    I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying this, but really every game must have a path, everything has to be somewhat linear. Sure games like Farcry, can make your exceptionally small corridor seem roomy but it’s the same corridor, not that theirs much of one in Farcry. Even games like Neverwinter Nights, you have to do certain things.

    And I don’t know about you, but while I was waiting for my graphics drivers to download, I spent a clicky half an hour, playing in the park in HL2, trying to fire the plastic doll across the park with the see saw. Try it, and if HL2’s physics ain’t the best you ever seen, please keep dissing it’s physics.

    I guess every ones able to have there own opinion, but play it cause it is 11 out of 10. So before I make a fool out of my self like someone else has, I’ll shut up.

    Good Day,
  12. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I think the MOST important part of any game is to surprise the player. With Far Cry, no one was expecting it to be a great game, and there wasn't really much published about it prior to release to spoil the surprise.

    With Half Life 2, many details about the game were publisher a year in advance and expectations were set very high.

    Much as going through any game is less fun the second time around, playing Half Life 2 was is some cases a bit like this. We already knew much of what to expect and this killed off much of the excitment. The fact that players still liked the game a lot speaks volumes for how good it really is.

    Let's hope that Valve keep everything under wraps until the next episode is actually on the shelves. Then they can surprise us all, much as they did the first time around.
  13. chief barker

    chief barker TS Rookie Posts: 28

    Hi guys....

    I know i'm gonna start a major argument here....but here goes.

    I enjoyed playing Doom 3 more than Hl2.

    But again it all depends on what rig you are playing on i suppose. Hl2 will run on the majority of computers but Doom 3 is a bit more demanding.

    Oh and, TITAN...There is no need to insult the fella. He took the time to write the article. How long did it take to write yours? :eek:
  14. karlt78

    karlt78 TS Rookie

    I think sometimes people forget what games really are. They're meant to be entertaining and enjoyable and a bit of fun for a while.

    I think you're looking to far into it all. You played it, you finished it, you didn't agree with the reviews that other people had given it. It's only their opinion after all.

    I'm enjoying HL 2 and if I'm dissapointed when it's over maybe I should be asking myself my I played it to the very end......

    A game's not going to change your life really is it?

    BTW I'm only really addressing T I Thomas here. No offence meant mate, just saying that it's only a game really....

    Sorry mate, just re-read your post and realised that it wasn't you. Buy you a beer next time we're out, yeah?
  15. DamageInc73

    DamageInc73 TS Rookie

    Great reading!

    This review is very entertaining, and he barely scratched the surface of Steam's B.S. I got so frustrated with steam trying to take over my computer that I was looking for a crack to apply to the stupid game just so I could play it on the same day that I bought it. Finally gave up, let steam tie up my computer and internet connection for hours just to wait for HL2 to update for another 20 minutes the first time I tried to play. HL2 will most definitely be the last game that I buy that is associated with Valve and/or Steam. They just drove a whole box full of nails into the coffin of PC gaming.
    All of that aside, I really did enjoy playing HL2 (in offline mode) and think it was a vast improvement compared to the original Half Life. And as far as being "realistic", it is certainly more fun than getting off of a train into a war zone in a foreign city, getting shot by soldiers and dying only to find that you can't restart because the game creators wanted it to be "realistic".
  16. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 1,319

    Well, like I said, it's not my review ;) I'm disappointed myself though with it. Still playing it on & off. Still having the sound stuttering bug. Steam has actually gotten worse as far as I can see. I was only able to get to play the SINGLE-PLAYER once, it was non-stop "servers busy" messages, & "not ready for off-line play". Obviously I find it highly irritating that I can't even play the game whenever I want.
  17. Snake_Charmer

    Snake_Charmer TS Rookie

    I agree...

    I don't want to say "it sucks", but I don't know a better way to put it. I was chocked when I realized how bored I was after playing only a couple of hours. :dead: Of course I like the graphics, but after sitting in that hoover-thingy or the beach buggy for hours and getting very tired of it, I kind of knew where this was going. And, yes - this was truly a standard FPS with cool graphics and...nothing else. Absolutely nothing...what a pitty... :zzz:
  18. Boone188

    Boone188 TS Rookie


    YOU GET TO PICK ENEMIES UP AND CHUCK THEM AT EACHOTHER!!! WHO DOESNT CONSIDER THAT FUN?! The graphics are phreaking amazing. More so than doom 3 or farcry in my opinion, because of the wealth of differant environments and textures. The physics system is WAY better than either of the other two games as well. It would probably be best for me to give my oponion on each of THE GAMES of 2004.

    Halo 2: Single player was pretty good, tried to do kind of the same thing as half-life 2 but hl2 did it a lot better. The story is hard to follow and sucks balls. Multi-player is phreaking awesome, and i have never been so addicted to a game in my life. Graphics, really suck in single player but work good in m.p.

    Doom 3:
    I was looking forward to this game soooo much. I, like everyone else, downloaded any video i could get my hand on and tried to convince myself that the graphics were actually real. The graphics are amazing, the best lighting model of any game, but if you dont have a 6800 ultra like me you will be missing out a lot. I started playing the game and i thought oh my god this game is the greatest thing ever......hours and hours later.....damn is this game ever going to change AT ALL? I mean really the game was the same damn think over and over. I must admit it was a really terrifying experieance though, which alone makes it better than most games. And yes hell was, after all, COOL AS HELL!

    Farcry: I loved it. I really, really loved it. Much better than i expected. The levels were huge, explorable, and really were just incredible. The AI was the best. I dont think there is any better. On realistic this game is impossible. I would love to meat anyone that can beat this game on realistic. The story on the other hand, sucked. But of course that comes hand-in-hand with the open ended-ness of the game. Yeah the story really sucked and was presented really ****ty. All i can say is, at least it is better than the gay-*** " lost island with dinasaurs on it" story they were originally going for. Man that would have ruined this beautiful game engine. Multiplayer is pretty cool.

    Half-life 2: The holy grail. This is first-person gaming perfected. The graphics are the most amazing i have ever seen. You simply will not see a game more beautiful than this until something is releast that runs the Unreal Engine 3 or artificial studios Reality Engine. And the High Dynamic Lighting hasn't even been added yet, but it will be comming very soon with a new level to showcase it. And the graphics arent even, the best part, the physics are. Wait no the story is. Wait no the presentation is. Really this game is presented in a truly marvelous way. You actually feel like you are gordon freeman and that it is up to you to save the human race from these C*CK-SUCKING ALIENS! The AI isnt really that amazing, but it is pretty good. I think Valve wanted to keep the enemy pretty easy so that you could get through the game without having to reload checkpoints a million times (which they know everyone hates). This game was made to be fun, and fun it is.

    I would rank these games like this:
    2. Farcry
    3. Doom 3
    4. Halo2

    BUT multiplayer is a different story...

    So it comes down to this guys, valve didnt give the combine soldiers ai so much intelligence that you get your *** pounded every time you are outnumbered because they wanted the experience to fun for everyone. And i believe they were successfull in doing so. And after all, who would really want 100% realistic enemies? That would mean that it would make most of the really cool things that we all love to do in video games, like taking on 10 guys a time, impossible.

    Okay I have to stop.

    P.S. Hey TS, make sure your friend gets S.T.A.L.K.E.R. when it comes out, im sure he will love it.
  19. jstillion

    jstillion TS Rookie Posts: 91

    I have very mixed feelings about HL2....

    I do agree that HL2 is better then D3 and I did find both games fun to play. I never played FarCry so I can't compare it to it.

    I do think HL2 was way over hyped and it's not the game they made it out to be. The graphics and the increase world interaction are very good but not what they were trying to sell it as.

    Something no one's mentioned is in Red Faction / and lesser degree Red Faction 2 with there engine you can blow up most walls / doors / windows / floors and in several area's has better world "interaction" then HL2. Note Red Faction (1) for PC with newer Nvidia drivers 57.xx or 6x.xx no longer causes windows to reboot on its own or blue screen :) as it did with older Nvidia drivers and works great on my system despite not being for windows xp.

    Steam on the other hand ... don't get me started on that, all I can say is scrape it or they should of made it work correctly the 1st time.

    I also against steam being a game collector (over 150+ legit PC Games) and if Value went out of business / killed the game, you can't play HL2 unless you warez it due to be all electronic. I can still fire up very old dos games, worst case, fire them up in an emulator.

    Something to consider, Morrowind and the next (Oblivion) in the series offer great graphics and emense world interaction where to finish the game you follow the main plot or ignore it and do what ever else you want, mind you this is at the cost of multiplayer.
  20. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    Reading all of these opinions of HL2 and i think all have a vaild point. I think that HL2 is much like Halo 2, overated. Im not saying that is is horrible, but i was alot of hype. jstillion, nice comment, Morrowind is still one of my favorite games out there. Oblivian looks freaking sweet, and the graphics are going some of the best ever. I am going to have trade in my x700 and get a x800 just to play that game

  21. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I'm not much of a gamer so I'm not like a super-player who can whiz through an FPS with the greatest of ease. But I must say I love HL2, haven't even beaten it yet.

    I won't say anthing agains anybodys' comments about the other games, but I liked HL2 way more than Doom3. Doom3 was real cool, looked great, scared the crap out of me a lot. But I couldn't stand the constant dark halls and crap hour after hour, turning around in circles cause every walkway looks the same. And I've got every brightness setting turned as high as I can go and I can still barely see it.
    I stopped player for a few weeks and then fired it up one day, I couldn't get out of this "room of halls". I swear I spent an hour going all along the walls and looking for a way out and couldn't do it. I finally gave up and uninstalled it after it's wow factor was gone.

    As for HL2, I really like it. I don't think it's as linear as they say. Are you SURE you only have ONE way to do everything? I think not. Just watch a "speed" video of HL2. Those stacking boxes you hate so much can greatly save you time when you use them to jump over an electric wall instead of playing through to the switch.
    Or instead of going through a small level to find a switch, you make a few precise shots from a long distance and break something that crashes through something else and saves you the time of having to go there manually.
    The hoverbike and the buggy are freaking sweet, you could make a whole game just driving those and I'd buy it.

    The physics are sweet, you only interract with what you need to interact with. What would be the purpose of "unlocking" some of those doors that you don't need anyway? So you can go through a few more halls that lead nowhere and do nothing except waste time? They give you enough world to explore without making it seem like to MUCH, which I don't like. I mean, in every "stage" I still have to figure out what to do and where to go. It's not like you walk in a room and there is your target on the other side, it isn't that simple.
    Even Ravenholm seems like you can go anywhere you want, I had a hard time getting through that. But it was fun!

    And I don't know what that dude is smoking but the gravity gun is the coolest weapon I've ever seen in a game!
    He doesn't like that when you have to fight a strider, there are rocket launchers around?!? Would he rather NOT have rocket launchers around? What's the deal? I'd rather not have to grab some ammo in level 4, to use in level 8. I'd rather have the ammo near where I need it. That's what.

    The AI was smart enough for me, who doesn't like walking into a room and blowing the crap out of 15 AI's trying to rip you a new one? Bodies flying everywhere all raggidy anne style. Freaking awesome! That's the fun of it! Would you rather play against a single SUPER AI who can programatically "sense" you, whip out a gun and shoot you square between the eyes and kill you in one hit, before you've even changed weapons? And from across the room? Super smart? Yes. Fun? Not at all. Heck I'd rather have 30 stupid AIs come at me and I toss a grenade into the middle of them and watch em fly like the Matrix burely brawl. Then to be up against a couple super smart AI that I have to strategically chase down for 15 minutes only to die because he layed a mine in front of me.

    And to change subjects slightly, I don't like "realistic" games anyway. They bore me to tears and drive me mad with how LONG it takes to do anything. Why? Because one shot kills you. Because as soon as the enemy spots you, you're dead. Because you have to "crawl" or "walk" so as not to let the AI "hear" you and sound the alarm, dooming you to death again. Making you start back at square one. Because you can only have a few dippy "real world" weapons and no auto-targeting. Cause you get no ammo unless you kill something or whatever. I don't know guys, I just like a game that is crazy, zanny, fun, NOT real world, NOT realistic. That you can play with.

    And yes, picking up the enemy with the gravity gun and using him as a projectile to hit another enemy with, is WAY cooler then any "realistic" game. Sorry to say.

    And nothing beats the hatred you build up for that prick who spreads his BS over the intercom the whole time you're playing! I can't wait to see him in PAIN! SHUT UP YOU TWISTED PSYCHO!!

    It's a sweet game. It's an experience. It's fun, dynamic, cool, and original.

    And I might ask, because no one has mentioned it yet, what mode you play in? Obviously hard mode will be more challenging then easy.
    To be quite frank, if I can't beat a "level" in two or 3 times, it's no longer fun. I want to plow through levels with full armor and ammo as if I owned the place. If I die I want to spring back up around the corner and try again. HL2 does everything right. Except for Steam, of course.
    I haven't had any issues with it. But I would prefer to have a game that I can just install and play without being online, that's all.
    Although I must say it is a cool concept. I bought HL2 for $60, which in one fell swoop gave me like 15 games. That ain't to shabby.

    Not to offend the original poster, but this dude has his facts wrong. If he can't just sit at a game and play it for what it is, then he needs to stop playing games. I don't get in a car and whine about it because it's not a plane. Neither should someone play a game and then whine that it doesn't do what, literally, games, and ESPECIALLY end users equipment, can't do.
    HL2, nor any game, is not a fully interractive, holographic, 3D, immersive environment where the AI could just as well be another human. That technology just isn't here. So stop complaining about it. You want smarter AI? Play a multiplayer game online with other humans.
    To me the review was stupid, the guy just seems full of himself.

    Sorry, but that is my, super humble, opinion :)
  22. BringinHeat

    BringinHeat TS Rookie Posts: 139

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion and in my opinion Half life was a nice experience but i wanted to know more about the Gordon Freeman, there was a lot of unanswered questions to him and the ending did not do anything to answer any questions to what happens to him. The AI is dumb but that didnt bother me and the graphics are nice but to me i like far cry waaay better. More open environments even though you have to get into a small corridor when in the jungle you can attack guards from any location and this gives you alot of replay. The good thing about half life is that their multiplayer is very very good, counter strike and deathmatch are really fun to play the only thing i dont like is the STEAM system where you have to load onto their server everytime to play any game. I know that its for piracy but it gets annoying. I liked DOOM 3 better becuase it was a real rush and scared me and the multiplayer is loads of fun. IF i had to rate the games it would be
    1) Far cry
    2) Half life 2
    3) Doom 3
    but if i take multiplayer into account then
    1) Half Life 2
    2) Doom 3
    3) Far cry (there is hardly anyone playing in the server)
  23. HughJass

    HughJass TS Rookie Posts: 120

    well i have just started playing it (a bit late) and it seems alright and i have enjoyed playing it so far, but this review has really opened my eyes, and i would like to thank you for it. but i would still prefer to play a computer game to watching a movie (unless with my girlfriend, but then we wouldnt even be watching the movie :p)
  24. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    Sometimes you need a walkthrough guide to get you through the rough points.
  25. SoIdidItAgain

    SoIdidItAgain TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Wrote this a few months ago, and looking back on it it does seem a little 'shrill' and others have expressed these views better, but this quote from 'TS Thomas' sums it all up best, apart of course from the small number of dull weapons that always run out of ammo, the less effective than Half-Life 1 enemies, the lack of hostile vehicles, the inability to drive combine vehicles, and the general emptiness...

    "There is something inherently wrong with a game if there is only one solitary path through a large area of ruined city."


    Was anybody else out there as dissappointed, no, frustrated as much as me by Half-Life 2?
    A game that gave us a linear slightly tedious path through what is supposed to be a city and then the coast?
    Its just so disappointing in every way, graphics and sounds just beyond good, physics and realism brilliant, but story and levels, well how do I say it: unimaginative and boring. And there is no excuse for that. Half-life was soo original and well thought out, intelligently made levels with a wide wide variety of INTERESTING enemies and a proper selection of weapons to create ambushes and mayhem.... and then the second game, phhhh, what a let down. Seems like it tries to capitalise on the half life 'feeling', by having all the stuff, like sounds from the suit and the recharge points and stuff, but all within a claustrophobic dull empty environment, with a history of which we are all unaware of!

    Gordon freeman is supposed to be in a large city, but we can only see it from behind fences and force fields and over the top of high walls and ledges. All we can do is move through the very obvious set path to the destinations, and when we utilise the gorgeous physics engine and pile together some garbage to make a ramp over these obstacles, some invisible barrier stops us. It all seems like were being coned by lazy level designers who can't be arsed to go into any kind of detail and would prefer we whisked through everything with only a glance around us. Is this the ground breaking kind of thought and layout we were expecting? All this is present in the original Half-Life but that was in an underground base environment with occassional ventures to the surface, where a tightly set path even aided in giving the feeling and atmosphere of being on the road to alien-hell nowhere, but in the middle of a city, and even on the coast? man wheres the roaming freedom that that should all imply??????

    And a lack of life and activity around us, no moving cars or herds (or even just a small flock) of people, its just a dead, restricted environment. Fair enough it�s supposed to be a
    police state 0f the extreme kind, but we are talking GOD DAMN DESERTED! Even when you walk out of the train station at the start of the game into the square, there are just big gates and police right in front and around the corner, to stop you going anywhere or seeing anything. This is a poor excuse for levels of a game, what is it now MORE THAN FIVE YEARS IN THE WAITING!!!

    Just a little bit more space to move around in, little events or sequences to see, or a glimpse of activity in the distance would have made all the difference. ...And quickly, the entire section in the silver tower was a huge lost opportunity. First you f#uck around in the basement, see what could have been some interesting activities of slave/drone people building weapons, gun ships and tripod dudes, fight on a few floors and then get zoomed straight to the penthouse sweet and miss all the stuff in the middle. Complete cop-out, lack of effort rubbish. No running battles, no hordes of civilian militia attacking, no witnessing of people being made into combine cyborgs, or encountering rooms and chambers full of fresh and ready to roll enemies, residing there in temporary storage for the time being. Just poor poor poor easiest possible method of constructing levels. All smoke and mirrors to hide the fact its plain and dull. Just try playing without some of the nice graphic effects to show you what I mean. And then like, you can�t drive any combine vehicles, and when you should see loads, on the highway sections and in anticitizen 1, you don�t see any. That would have been the perfect section to get ambushed or attacked head-on by some mean grey people carrier thing, but no, empty, just trashed cars.

    You spent most of the time fighting foot soldiers and those flying disc-saw things, which are very very good, but that�s it. The odd gunship, a couple of easily despatched helicopters and apc's. The first half-life had all kinds of vehicle madness, but there are really hardly any here. Nothing really tough or menacing to come after you. Just a couple of sand-lion mother creatures and a couple of gunships. Not even anything dark or menacing in the sewer sections. Just pants pants pants. And those combine guys in the white suits were just the same as the others but with that disintegrating/fading away weapon thing, with which they more often than not missed. A real missed opportunity there, I mean they could have carried a heavy heavy automatic rifle, or a pulse death cannon or grenade launcher, but no, just the silver grey blob gun!
    The story wasn�t explained in any way at all, no details on how long the earth had been under combine control, of how it all went wrong for humanity and why soo much has been devastated, how doctor bream became ruler of earth, what became of black-mesa, or who or what the G-man is. Instead of escaping into raven Holm, freeman could have gone through a section of black mesa to the coast, encountering new up to date takes on the complex, revisiting this once almighty facility and encountering some of its unpleasant inhabitants. But no, none of this, just skipping on ready for the big cr@p ending! The king of let downs, and a very easy way to justify another game, and dragging this whole sorry mess (of a sequel) into yet another incarnation. Moving along a very narrow rigid path, not knowing a scrap of info, while encountering peace meal groups of the same bunch of cannon fodder and wobbly, meat aliens is not my idea of a quality experience, no matter how many objects you hurl at things with the gravity gun, or how many neat faces the characters pull...

    Soo restricted when you can see soo much around you, but all is blocked by the old invisible wall, restricted selection of weapons, same old ineffective footsoldier cannonfodder around every corner and cant drive combine vehicles, AND shameless lack of G-Man info and cop-out ending to lead to another half-life cash in: Half-Life 3, "The great Half-Life cash in"
    This game was not worth the money or the wait, and I sold it as soon as I got through the disappointing last levels, and saw the gash ending.
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