The Half Life series is often lauded as being one of the greatest FPS series of all time, with almost everyone saying its completely perfect. Simply put: it's not. Its great, but not perfect. Let me explain in this review of Half Life 2: The game is often lauded for its great production values, enemy AI, immersion, physics engine, and easy modding tools. It deserves a lot of this praise, but the game no doubt has some problems. For example: some of the "puzzles" are really really stupid. Like in one chapter, "Route Canal", you make your way through a sewer, gunning down a whole bunch of Civil Protection officers, when you come across this unreachable area. To get to the area and proceed, you must locate a valve on a pipe to flood the sewer. Thats not even a puzzle. Thats just "find this random red thing located in a red and gray background". However most of the puzzles are pretty good, especially the ones with the gravity gun. Also, I never really felt immersed. Maybe its the giant health bar, or the fact that you cant see your hands while driving, but I never really felt that I was' Gordon Freeman. One more thing: my biggest complaint with the game is that the gunplay is horribly unbalanced. While the MP7 (SMG) and the USP Match (pistol) feel powerful when you are fighting CP officers, they simply feel like toys when fighting combine soldiers (it takes over a dozen MP7 shots to kill one soldier). Later in the game, the only really useful weapon is the shotgun. It kills most enemies with one shot at close range, has plentiful ammo, and has tight enough spread for medium range fighting. The Colt Python (magnum) and the crossbow have nowhere near enough ammo to be effective in normal gameplay. The AR2 is pretty powerful and is a bit more accurate than the shotgun, but the shotgun is still way stronger. Now this might sound like I'm bashing the game, but I'm only pointing out its flaws because the game receives enough praise as it is. It has good AI (even on the resistance members), high quality voice acting, likable characters (especially Alyx) and an awesome physics engine. However, its not the perfect god send everyone makes it out to be. Its a great game (the pros far outweigh the cons), but not perfect. Final Verdict: 8/10 I'd recommend buying it on steam, but chances are you already have.
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