Why half life 2 is still the best

Yeah I know: lots of computer game entries lately. I promise I’ll write about books or something all look all clever sometime soon. But this is all I can think about just now…

This is what it’s all about. A vortigaunt in a lab coat! Simultaneously cool and hilarious! It’s like my car embodied as a lighting-shooting alien. For the coup de gras, note the section I’ve enlarged, showing his photo ID (for the uninitiated: all vortigaunts are physically identical).

This hilarity is from Half Life 2: Episode 2, Valve’s latest expansion to a franchise which is becoming more classic by the second. I was a Half-Life 1 naysayer (I maintain it wasn’t as good as everybody thought), but Half-Life 2 is still the best FPS I’ve ever played, and its latest episode is almost certainly the best yet (subject to hindsight). There are three reasons for this:

1) You get a Vortigaunt companion for some of the levels. And they are chillers.
2) There’s a sandbox level at the end (haven’t finished it yet; want to savour it, no-one tell me what happens)
3) It’s really funny

It’s also changed my mind about episodically released gaming content. I now love episodic gaming. These days I don’t have time for games that are much longer than 5 hours anyway! Though in Valve’s case they need to make the episodes just a teeeeensy bit more often.

And yes, there are still some IRRITATING gameplay issues that could be fixed OH SO EASILY*, and it has been known to crash on my otherwise-sturdy PC, but you can’t really whinge too much when you’re watching dog taking down a strider. Halo 3, Gears of War, and even Crysis (for now) can all suck me off. This is where gaming is at, people!

If you are even vaguely into games and haven’t played this behemoth yet, buy the Orange Box right now. Not only do you get all the Half Life 2s, but you also get Portal (GotY?) and TF2, which I already mentioned recently. All for the price of like, one game. Seriously.

* Wouldn’t it be nice if I could get off a ladder without JUMPING TO MY DEATH?? Maybe it’s because I’m carrying twelvety guns. And a rocket launcher.



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