Half-Life

Worst eight hour work shift ever recorded.

You begin as one of gaming’s sixth generation most iconic protagonist, Gordon Freeman. A Quantum Theorist running late to his day job at ultra top secret Government project site, Black Mesa.

But running late to work is about to be the least of Freeman’s worries as a massive reactor explosion unleashes a new hell on Earth. Grotesque parasitic aliens infest every corner of the contaminated site. As an immediate dash to the surface begins the game.

Half-Life was created by Valve as their very first project back in 1998 for the PC. Gabe Newell, Valve co-founder said at the time the team felt that the First Person Shooter genre lacked innovation. They wanted to make a FPS with story, character and brains and the move paid off handsomely. Half-Life won over 50 PC “Game of the Year” Awards.

By November 2001 it had been ported to the PlayStation 2 and the port is smooth, runs great with some very minor frame rate drops but looks good and is as fun (and difficult) as ever. The soundtrack and the story is fantastic, certainly enough to keep you coming back for more when you fail because you absolutely will.

Lovely

The game starts as a mad dash to the surface to try to get help as your lab miles underground begins imploding. Many of the scientists around you naively believe that the Government is sending in a clean up crew to contain the wreckage and help the survivors. It’s obviously no big surprise when scientists running to the arms of armed soldiers for help begin getting gunned down, as it turns out their mission is to terminate every living things on the site – the scientists included.

One of my favorite parts of the entire game is later when you teleport into the alien’s dimension. You see corpses of what could be yourself from possible previous attempts

A nice touch as well, going the extra distance to immerse you in the environment is the longer you survive the more and more little signs of exasperation from the soldiers you see. As the game progresses and you mow down every living thing standing in your way you begin to see spray painted messages, “Give up, Freeman” and other signs showing the focus becomes solely on you. The only scientist seemingly armed and dangerous.

What I see every time someone bitches about gas prices to me

The Half-Life team was tired of first person shooters only being run and gun firing ranges. They brought in Science Fiction novelist, Mark Laidlaw to lay out the story, also a first to the genre at the time. Ultimately a nearly flawless combination of other instant classics like, Myst, Quake, Doom and Goldeneye the PC masterpiece port to the PlayStation 2 did not disappoint. A must for any gamer, regardless of what console or operating system you plan on running it on.

Overall: 93%

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