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Review: Half Life 2 - Xbox

by Steven Williamson on 13 December 2005, 12:34

Tags: Half Life 2, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), PC, Xbox, FPS

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Half Life 2 - Xbox

Way back in 1998 Viagra was introduced and caused a surge of bedroom activity around the world. Meanwhile, whilst Viagra was cementing relationships, Half Life was breaking them and providing a stiff alternative to ‘having an early night’. The whistle blowing , feet stomping, dazzling, heart pounding masterpiece was being played on PC’s up and down the country. This was a time where, in households across the land, the words,
“Fancy an early night darling?” were soon followed by, “You go to bed then, I’ll be up in half an hour.” Four hours later you would head for bed, eyes bleeding, cramp in your right foot and a thousand multiplayer memories whizzing around your head. The apologetic post gaming, pathetic look on your face was never enough to appease your partner. The immersive storyline, beautiful environments and gripping multiplayer mode, led Half Life in becoming a flagstone for future first person shooters. This was a firm favourite of the single, or soon to be single man.

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In 2004 Half Life 2 arrived on PC and faithfully embraced the success of its predecessor. Valve produced an equally gripping gaming experience albeit with a dodgy ending. This sequel became one of the PC hits of 2005. One year later and Xbox owners finally get to taste the magic of this top notch FPS.

In HL2 you undertake the role of Gordon Freeman, a spectacled, silent, space-hopping scientist. Earth has been conquered by aliens formed through experiments gone wrong at Black Mesa, a government research facility. Unsurprisingly, your goal is to rid the world of these mutants.You will team up with Alyx Vance, the daughter of a Black Mesa scientist. Your main aggressor will be the combine soldiers although, until the story unravels you will be unsure as to why they are after you. They appear in the game wearing masks so it's unsure as to whether they are human or not. You'll battle through many locations including City 17, a harbour and an icebreaker ship in a bid to save civilisation from the totalitarian regime that inhabits future earth.

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This isn’t your standard FPS. In a Big Brother-esque world where voices spread across the city through radios and video screens preaching propaganda, Half Life 2 manages to capture the paranoia and intensity perfectly.After the initial chance to explore your surroundings, HL2 grabs you by the scruff of the neck and throws you into a frenzied battle across expansive , beautiful environments against relentlessly clever A.I. Run and gun is the order of the day. Whilst navigating through a linear series of levels you encounter both human troops and hostile alien wildlife. You won't get far without the unique gravity gun! The gravity gun enables you to throw objects at enemies, use objects as shields, grab health kits and ammo that may be too hard to reach, return enemy grenades and even build bridges from objects that are littered around the environment. Half Life 2 boasts some great weapons including the Gauss gun, the crossbow and the mighty powerful rocket propelled grenades.Weapon switching is easily controlled via the d-pad and firing your weapon by pushing the left trigger. These are standard FPS controls and it will be an automatic reaction for most gamers.

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