Review by BlooditeDrakan
"I just got my hopes up to high, didn't I?"
And so friends and readers, the saga known as Half-Life has come to a close for me. I recently finished the expansion pack we all know by Gearbox as Opposing Force. Was it as good as I had hoped? That depends on what one wants in a game like this. You see, I was expecting some VERY dramatic changes to this. I was expecting this to be more or less, uh, squad oriented. Surely that can't be so much to ask for but apparently it well, didn't turn out how I would have liked it. You'll learn more about my opinion in the appropriate matter.
Story. Well there's really not a lot I can say here. You're Adrian Sheppard. You're part of one of the very last of the squads to arrive to mop up the last of the mess. Before your sergeant can explain why you're here, a lightning bolt slices right through your chopper and plummets to the ground. It turns out you're one of the few survivors who was resuscitated by a scientist. And so it's time to find some guns and a vest to arm yourself with and do your duties: Kill anything other than soldiers to help conceal the evidence of an alien outbreak.
In other words, seeing how this takes place roughly before Gordon's ending you're basically given little to do other than kill aliens. That sucks, I wanted to help mow down some egg heads! As usual it also throws in some unexpected things that just simply make the story confusing.
Graphics. The same as before really. They look like rubbish without the HD pack, and look slightly better with it. Your HUD also has changed to green sporting a new look to suit being a marine. How about the level design? For the most part it was more or less like Half-Life. You got a mix of open flat areas with vents and underwater areas to plod through, so it's basically the same thing here.
Sound. Nothing has changed here really. Adrian can't talk as expected, and the voice acting is about the same as ever. Well at least your fellow soldiers finally sound HUMAN! Other than new sounds for the new aliens and security guards, nothing has changed at all.
Gameplay. Like I said before, whether or not I'd like this game hung with what I expected and got. First, let's talk about what I expected.
Word was told that this was a squad game or featured it I don't remember which. Well, I was hoping that the game would at least have many moments of being back up by a squad. I was also assuming that since you were being backed up by fellow soldiers that Gearbox would have at LEAST tweaked their AI up a bit. Along with that I sadly assumed that there would be more action packed sequences and less vent crawling and such.
So then. What did I get?
The amount of times you're backed up by your soldiers is minimal. I can recall maybe 3 scenes in one chapter each involving commanding a squad. Now and then when you do you usually get an engineer to open a locked door for you. Once he does that, he's useless. So useless he is that you might as well take his gun if get how I mean. You also get a medic soldier with limited healing medicine. How about the rest of the soldiers? They might as well be promoted security guards. These guys are absolutely pathetic. Getting them to follow you is a chore as sometimes they just stand their like goofy idiots until you keep pressing that use button to convince them to follow you. And they can't crouch or climb either. If you're going through a roof or vent, then just kill them and take their ammo because you're basically just leaving them behind. How about in open areas that evolve around you and your squad against the aliens or Black Ops for that matter. Don't bother relying on them. They just stand there shooting or throwing grenades and take all the firepower the opposing enemies give them until they drop dead. At least they make a good distraction. So there you have it. A game involving being a soldier and yet all you get are worthless AI soldiers to help you fight and scrap-all as far as cleaning the house of scientists go. So how about the rest of the game?
Well there's new replacing weapons which is always a good save somewhat. Instead of a .357 revolver, we now have a .357 eagle handgun, complete with a laser sight. Along with that we have a heavy machinegun called the M-249 SAW and a sniper rifle. Neat! Instead of the gluon gun, we have a weapon called the displacer. Just think of it as BFG with an interesting alt-fire. And finally, new Xen weapons being the Barnacle grapple, a shock roach and spore launcher. Along with new weapons we have a new breed of Xen called Race-X (gee, that's original). They're basically new and finally more challenging enemies to be hunted by in the Black Mesa labs. Seriously, these guys will make life difficult.
And of course, seeing how being in a squad is only a minor feature, the level designs suck. Sorry, but there's no way around it. It starts off ok being on the surface and all, but you'll still wind up crawling through vents and other places of annoyance. Mind you, there was some interesting (although confusing) scenery of trapped Xen being studied by scientists. Huh?? Oh well. Whatever suits you, Gearbox.
Replay. Well I sure don't intend to play this one again! Replay? 1/10
We'll give it 3 out of 10 again. I cannot be reached for further comment
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 04/25/06
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