Half-Life 2 (2005) Original Xbox Game Review

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Avatar for patientgamer9
3 years ago

A return of Gordon Freeman on the front of the stage will be made overdue and will have caught the eye of FPS fans for many months. With the limited technical capabilities of the console, we still had some apprehension about this port. Did Valve manage to surprise us?


Half-Life 2 is undoubtedly one of the best FPS on the original Xbox for several reasons.

From the outset, Gordon Freeman is confronted with his worst enemies by disembarking in City 17. This city is controlled by a very influential armed group that directs all the inhabitants' ways of acting, plunging them very often in the worst distress. But what good is such a climate? For money? The power? No, all these means are deployed to find you, Gordon Freeman, the one who plunged the Earth into nothingness a few years ago with the opening of a portal. The first minutes of the game are therefore rather breathtaking with, among other things, a foot chase in the city center (stressful as possible), another airboat chase, quite long, a ride in the land of zombies, and multiple shootings in the city center or the middle of sewers.


Half-Life 2 offers three gameplay types: shoot passages, driving vehicles, and puzzles using the game's physics engine. The shoot passages are made in the old fashioned way, and you have to empty your loader on groups of enemies that present themselves. Despite the mediocrity of the opponents' AI and the game's linearity, these shooting phases are done well. In addition to the traditional shotgun, revolver, and the grenade is the Gravity Gun, a rather unusual weapon since it allows you to take all the objects around you to throw them in the face of your opponents. The physics engine handles this feature wonderfully, leaving the choice of ammunition: barrels, crates, cans, bricks, and the terrible sharp discs, especially handy for slicing your enemies in half. This is undoubtedly the most "fun" aspect of the game, given that it gives free rein to the imagination to eliminate enemies.

The driving phases are, for their part, the least interesting. The view remains in the first person. It is not always easy to know everything going on around Gordon, especially as the handling is not flawless during these phases, often pushing to surpass oneself to avoid 3 missiles, crush two soldiers and perform a jump simultaneously. Despite this small flaw, we must admit that we are very rarely bored.

The handling of Half-Life 2, very classic, also remains very intuitive. The keys seem to have been rigorously chosen to give free rein to the player's desires. Only the driving phases stay a little more complex with less precise movements - another downside: the presence of many loading times that cut the action a little too much. Fortunately, once the image reappears, it does not take long to sport a new big smile of beatitude in front of the game's visual splendor.


Technically, Half-Life 2 is not as good looking as on PC, but it manages without too much difficulty to rise to the rank of the most beautiful games on the original Xbox. Almost everything has been thought out to impress, to the point where you sometimes wonder if the title is running well on the original Xbox. The level design, quite simplistic in the first levels, becomes downright titanic after the first three missions, with terribly well-thought-out environments, although also very linear. The characters' models are really impressive: faces close to photorealism, mind-boggling animations, clothes that don't "stick" to the skin. Almost everything has been implemented to model real digital players. And the creatures are not left out since they also display a very high number of polygons. As for special effects, Half-Life 2 achieves the impossible: to offer superb rendering combined with good physics. To be convinced, throw two or three crates into the water and then pull the trigger. The result is truly impressive.


One year after the title was released on PC, Valve released its port on the original Xbox. And what a port! Half-Life 2 has a phenomenal single-player mode and should be part of every original Xbox owner's game library.

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Avatar for patientgamer9
3 years ago


wow...good ..view my article

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3 years ago

Thank you for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed it!

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3 years ago