Sunday, March 6th, 2005

the glory that is Half Life 2


I’ve been out of the loop vis a vis PC gaming ever since I got my Mac a couple of years ago. There are a few games on the Mac, notably Unreal Tournament and a surfeit of strategy and role playing games, but the Mack Daddy of FPS shooters, Half Life, never graced Apple. That didn’t make much of a difference to me, as I played and finished the original Half Life on my old desktop PC way before I bought the Mac. But I missed out on playing Half Life 2, the long awaited sequel, until now.

Half Life 2 is, quite simply, an amazing game. If you’ve played the original, it’s like stepping into a warm bath of fragging, monsters and intrigue. The graphics are stunning, but Doom 3 has good graphics too. What Doom 3 lacks, and HL2 has in spades, is clever gameplay and an interesting storyline. The game starts in an unnamed Eastern European city, presumably some months after Gordon Freeman wiped the walls of Black Mesa with alien guts in the original Half Life. The characters convey as much through facial gestures and movement as dialogue. And the puzzles and combat sequences are as good as anything out there.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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