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Half-Life 2 - PC

by Vivendi Universal
Windows 98 / 2000 / Me / XP
Mature PC
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (665 customer reviews) 96 / 100


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  • Sequel to the hit first-person shooter
  • Scientist-with-a-crowbar Gordon Freeman joins a ragtag human resistance fighting extradimensional invaders for the survival of a conquered Earth
  • Unnervingly realistic graphics the likes of which have not been witnessed outside of a motion picture or pre-rendered cut scene
  • Realistic physics: objects have varied and appropriate mass, density, physical properties
  • For 1 player
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Product Details

  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00006I02Z
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches ; 5.6 ounces
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (665 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,808 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Product Description

Amazon.com

In many ways, creating a sequel to Half-Life is an unenviable task. After all, the goal is to craft not just any ordinary game, but an improvement to a title that is widely considered to be the high water mark for first person shooters. Fortunately, Valve does not disappoint on their sophomore effort.

Half-Life 2 picks up exactly where its predecessor leaves off, with gamers stepping once more into Gordon Freeman's HVAC suit as he awakes at some indeterminate time in the future, now apparently in the employ of the mysterious G-Man. Humanity has been sold out to alien forces, and your job is to escape their thrall and lead the resistance to victory.

HL2's key successes are in a few critical areas, the first of which is the new physics & graphics engine, called Source. People and objects fall, fly, tip over, float, and break in an extraordinarily realistic fashion, and in-game puzzles often require you to use simple applications of physics to progress. Second, an elaborate facial structure system coupled with excellent voice acting make for some of the most believably human NPCs in gaming history. This is no small thing; you will find yourself actually caring about the characters who surround you, even those that are normally regarded as cannon fodder. Third, the level design exhibits a subtle brilliance, which frequently fools you into feeling like you're making your way through an organic environment and not a forced linear path. These elements combine to form one of the most truly immersive experiences ever captured on a PC.

This gaming bliss comes at a cost, however. If your computer isn't running the latest and greatest hardware, you may find yourself turning down a lot of the slick graphics to keep the machine from choking. Also, at the time of this writing the only two bundled multiplayer games are a barely updated version of Counter-Strike and HL2 DeathMatch. Counter-Strike: Source is every bit as fun as the original, but the DeathMatch is lackluster and contains only a handful of uninspired maps.

Overall, Half-Life 2 is a smashing success, every bit worthy of the prestige and respect that the franchise has been awarded. This is absolutely a game that every computer gaming enthusiast is going to want to have in their collection. -- Jon "Safety Monkey" Grover

Pros:

  • Advanced graphics and physics system provide highly immersive experience
  • Believable, expressive non-player characters
  • Fun, realistic level design
Cons:
  • Requires a very fast computer to play with all bells & whistles on
  • DeathMatch mode has few maps and is not terribly entertaining

Product Description

Half-Life 2 takes the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original Half-Life and adds startling new realism and responsiveness. Welcome to a world where your presence affects everything else. From the physical environment to the behaviors and emotions of both friends and enemies, every move has a consequence. Enjoy the unique combination of pounding action and continuous, immersive storytelling. Characters can assess threats, navigate tricky terrain and fashion weapons from whatever is at hand. Lush and realistic environments - objects obey the laws of mass, friction, gravity and buoyancy. System requirements: Windows, 700 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM, DirectX 6.0 compatible graphics card/accelerator.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
467 of 507 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a word: Perfect! November 17, 2004
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
I stopped keeping time after 2am so I can't be sure what hour it is, nor can I tell you when I ran out of the cannister of Malt Balls and Peanut M&M's I brought as supplementation. What I can tell you however (in the humble opinion of a dedicated PC gamer for 15 years), is that Half Life 2 is the the most mind blowing game I've ever played.

I was at E3 with my pyscho gaming buddy cleaning the Pizza flavored drool off his chin when we got a preview of HL2. Like most, I counted the days, cursed Valve and Sierra for delay after delay, put all my faith and hope into Doom 3, was underwhelmed, went back to playing Desert Combat...basically went insane with anticipation.

In the brief moments before firing up HL2 for the first time, I was hopeful, but expecting to be dissapointed.

And I was.

Really, no multi-player! I'm one of those that have an absolute allergy to single-player games. Small beads of angry sweat began to form on my back...

But I soldiered on, and in:

10 minutes I was impressed,

at 30 minutes I was completely immersed,

at 1 hour chills were running up and down my spine, and occasional girlish yelps of horror began emanating from my pitch dark office...

...by the third hour I came to the conclusion that HL2 was/is the most impressive game software I've ever had the privilege of living in. Some highlights:

1. The engine is truly revolutionary. Doom 3 has a darn good engine, HL2 in my opinion is vastly better. Indoor AND outdoor environments are near photo-realistic (I have a 3.2GHZ w/ 1GB RAM), the physics are jaw-dropping AND deeply integrated into the play of the game, texture and lighting, faces, water, you name it, this engine is now The Standard.

2. Vehicles.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 5 millionth HL2 review, Im sure. July 18, 2005
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
I followed this game from about a year after it was announced and I had the privilige of sitting through all of the releace date set-backs and I can tell you, it was worth it.

I will now list the games pros and cons as to catagory

Grafics:

This game looked exellent and near-photo realistic. The grafics were also very stable and I had no problem running them on my mid-range PC. Lip-synching was dead on and all of the emotional ranges the charicters could go through was amazing. All of the enviromental effects were superb as well, the water was amazing and reflected EVERYTHING, enemies, geografic features and even explosions. All of the items were extemely well off and all of them were photo-realistic in quality. Metalic objects had a sheen to them, and textures even up close looked very beleveable.

Sound:

The sound design was incredible, halfway through the game, my ear was trained to hear the individual, distinctive sounds of any number of the multiple creatures that could be just around the corner. Nothing is more freaky than hearing a poison headcrab and tring to find it just by tring to listen for it. The dialog was exellent, and the music, while rather artificial, fit the mood of the game.

Level design:

The levels were well spaced out and very well planned. The only issue I have with this part of the game is that the level take FOREVER to load on a 2.1 GHZ prosessor, which is above average (It takes about 1.5 minautes to load a new area, just count those seconds out without anything to do, its a very long time)

Gameplay:

With an extremely impressive physics system and a way to impress your will upon that system, the average gameplay is addictive and you can play in any form you want to.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So I decided to drink the Kool-Aid... February 11, 2005
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
As one of the 3 people in the universe who didn't much care for the original Half-Life, I was hardly awaiting with baited breath the release of this sequel. The things I didn't like about the original, namely the clunky and flawed controls, dated graphics even for 1998, outweighed the undeniable genius of the game as a story. I wasn't ruling out Half Life 2, but I was much more interested and looking forward to Doom 3.

Fast forward to the present. Having just built myself a top-notch gaming PC capable of running both games with ease, I took the plunge, but decided to install and play Doom 3 first. My initial reaction to that game --awe at the graphics and production value, creepy atmosphere-- was quickly replaced with tedium and boredom as the game played out like a 21st century scavenger hunt (find the key card! Get lost in the dark!). When I played Half-Life 2, however, I was BLOWN AWAY. The graphics are as good as Doom 3, but the big difference is that you can actually see them, because the entire game is not in dark tunnels, but rather takes place over a variety of terrains, ranging from beautiful coastline to wonderfully post-apocalyptic cityscapes. This game is truly deserving of all of the "Game of the Year" awards, and here is why:

GRAPHICS: Simply stellar. The textures are terrific, and the water effects are super, second only to Far Cry. The character models are very nicely done, and the way their eyes follow you around the room is both creepy and amazing.

SOUND: Very, very good. The sounds and music are very well done, and complement the game's moods quite ably.

GAMEPLAY: A gift from heaven. The game engine is ruled by physics so real, you're going to try picking up every object just to see what happens.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great games ever made
One of the greatest games ever made. Second only to the original - Half Life. Even if you're not interested in first person shooters, this game is a must play. Even today!
Published 7 months ago by Ryan B. Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best games of all time!
Half-life 2 is by far one of the best games i have ever played Definitely worth 5/5! it has a great plot, character development, and game play!
Published 8 months ago by DERP!
3.0 out of 5 stars Simply not as good as I thought.
When this game came out I heard tons of great things about it and now that I finally have it I am not impressed. The graphics are the worst part about the game. Read more
Published 10 months ago by StevyJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting edge of video game storytelling
Certain games hold up better than others as the years go by. Despite the fact that Half Life 2 was released nearly 10 years ago, while technology keeps marching on, Half Life 2... Read more
Published 10 months ago by James D.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great game!!!
I love this game! I love the whole series of Half-life! I just wish I didn't beat it so quickly!
Published 10 months ago by Pen Name
1.0 out of 5 stars Unplayable due to Steam
I purchased and installed this game a while back but finally found the time to play it on a new computer. Read more
Published 11 months ago by David
3.0 out of 5 stars Half-Life 1 is much more fun
I think this game is vastly overrated. Perhaps in 2005, the game was something to be reckoned with (mostly from a graphics point of view), but everything else is fairly typical. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ryanst
2.0 out of 5 stars had some preoblems with the code
i have the Cd's but i can't play it. It does not have to codes, that is too bad :/
Published 12 months ago by melissayzaguirre
1.0 out of 5 stars Previously registered games are worthless
Half Life 2 must be registered thru Steam - online. games can only be registered once on one Steam account - Steam has no provision for transferring registration to another... Read more
Published 12 months ago by D. Kishler
5.0 out of 5 stars best game ever
so what if the graphics are 1% outdated? no game is as immersive this one. the sound effects are like no other. Read more
Published 13 months ago by avi greene
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