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Half Life 2 back to reviews
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...Am I missing something?
I'm sorry but...I don't see why so many people like this. People have constantly told me about how this is the most immersive, well paced and well written game ever made and how it shines above others and how it uses wise gameplay mechanics such as a wide arsenal of weapons and no regenerating health. The weapons are nothing special, just your generic standard FPS weapons minus the gravity gun, which was ammusing at first but became annoying after awhile. The characters seemed rather flat, the only thing I can honestly say about most people is "they're nice to me because I'm awesome" not exactly anything to write shome about other than that they go through a couple of good emotional moments, Alyx getting angry when her father was betrayed I could get behind, but apart from that these characters didn't really stand out from all of the others that I've seen in the past few years.

Also the puzzle system feels really gimmicky and really forced, for a game that is universally praised for immersion, I have to say that stopping to stack a bunch of boxes on top of one another for figure out how a pully system works, that breaks the immersion for me, it becomes very clear that I am playing a game because stuff like this would never ever happen in the real world. The combat is, for the most part, ok. Fair and stable and the assualt rifle's secondary weapon is fairly ammusing but apart from that it's pretty bland with me just fighting swarms of the same enemies over and over again. This last complaint is rather personal and slightly nitpicky, but the level design just bugs me. Something about Combine building design just bothers me, it feels like it's just a bunch of scrap metal slapped together and it doesn't reflect servents of an interdimensional empire that well, in my opinion at least. Other levels feel repetitive, generic and oddly dirty for no real reason.

Overall, not bad, but not the groundbreaking, immersive best game ever made that I've heard about. The sad thing is that I was really excited when I got this game, thinking that I was in for the ride of my life. Sadly though, it just didn't deliver.
Half Life 2 was groundbreaking. The gravity gun was the first weapon of its kind and has been copied endlessly, the in-game-story-progression was refined, and the physics engine pretty much defined physics engines for years to come.

Also, I personally love the level design. Ravenholm is probably one of my top ten favorite video game levels due to how creative and fun it was.

Half Life 2's worst problems are Seinfeld Is Unfunny: The best parts of the game have been done again and again in games influenced by it.
comment #12179 Scardoll 4th Jan 12 (edited by: MrW)
OP, I agree with you. Maybe this is victim to Seinfeld Is Unfunny...but I have to say, I haven't played a single other game that repeats the seesaw puzzle that Half-Life 2 made me do about 14 million times by the end of Episode 2. The gravity gun is certainly a nifty toy (possibly my favorite part of the entire series was the supercharged version that can chuck soldiers around), but a nifty toy does not make for a good game.

Yeah, I get that scripted events are cool (and Valve is certainly a master of them), but they don't make for a good STORY. They simply act as one-off events that can lend to an immersive atmosphere, but don't entirely create one just by themselves.

Maybe this is just me personally, but I found the final battle of Half-Life 2 to be so frustratingly hard/awkward/clunky that I didn't even want to finish it. (I blame this almost entirely on the poor driving mechanics, because apparently the Hunters go down easily...if you can manage to steer the car into them. I couldn't for the life of me.)I ended up skipping to the final cutscene just to see what happened.

All-in-all, I don't like this game for the same reason I don't like movies that rely on cinematography, lighting, and other behind-the-scenes elements to be good. I'm in it for the story and the experience it presents to me, and Half-Life 2 just lacked all of that.

Still, props to the Source engine, because I love plenty of other games that use it.
comment #13638 JobanGrayskull 4th Apr 12
I generally felt the same way when I first played it, and I don't even think I'm suffering from Seinfeld Is Unfunny as I enjoyed the first Half Life immensely when I managed to get my hands on it (Black Mesa is awesome!). I agree with almost everything you said. The gameplay felt flat (most of that is due to the lack of variety in enemies. Seriously, Half Life 1 had a good selection of different enemies. Half Life 2 made me shoot humans for most of the game. If I wanted a war shooter, I'd play a war shooter. I want to shoot a varied group of enemies when I play a Sci Fi game), the puzzles felt gimmicky (seriously, stacking stuff broke the flow of the game very much and, as the original reviewer said, never happen in real life), and the story is rather simplistic( sure, the world building was impressive, but there was also significant world building in games like Halo and Doom 3, both of which were criticized for having simplistic stories, and I'd probably agree.)
comment #17875 gameragodzilla 27th Jan 13
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