Review by arkena
"Adrian Shepard, USMC Corporal sent to Black Mesa"
When Half-Life was released in 1998, nobody couldn't predict the real revolution the game started in the FPS World. As Doom, Half-Life was one of the best FPS in all times. You can't reject the old games in the name of graphics or age.
Remember, you were Gordon Freeman, a poor scientist turned into a killing machine - survive and try to save the world (well, in your mind, it was save Black Mesa and its survivors). You didn't know at that time the consequences of your actions. But if you know Half-Life 2, you already know what Gordon triggered.
And I've written a review about Half-Life Blueshift, released in 2001 and you were Barney Calhoun, a guard also turned to a killing for the same purpose: survive and help people you can.
In between these two stand-alone about the Black Mesa Incident, 1999 saw Half-Life Opposing Force as the add-on of HL. You were sent again to Black Mesa but this time, you were one of the Marines sent to clean the center (and its survivors) but your plane crashes. Scientists helped you to recover, so, you know that you can't kill them. I mean, Gordon Freeman is your target but believe me, with all the chaos in Black Mesa, you'll let him doing his task. And G-Man is watching you...
Your name was Corporal Adrian Shepard, one of the most populars HL characters.
So, you woke up in a devastated Black Mesa (for giving you a time, Gordon was probably near Lambda Core at that moment). And you begin to fight against Xen and a new race.
You're a Marine? That means new weapons: desert eagle, sniper rifle, a big chaingun, alien grenade launcher, barnacle (yep, that's also a "weapon"), shocktrooper's weapon (cooooool) or displacer (kind of teleporter, developed by Black Mesa).
That means also new allies: your fellow guys, medic, engineer, soldier, well, that's cool when you know that you have Black Ops as enemies (and the appearance of the Male Black Ops).
You'll perhaps recognize some places (Black Mesa Inbound, you know, your trip in the tramway at the beginning of Half-Life or Lambda Core) but you'll discover others facilities.
Well graphics are the same but the soundtrack is original, which is good and one of the reasons that players were disappointed with Blueshift as it was really a minimal game.
You don't have the flashlight but you've an infrared vision, cool, screen is green :) but sometimes it's not practical.
News aliens are interesting, even if some will remind you of the ones in Half-Life. The Giant Worm for example can be compared to Tentacles even in the way of killing it (weapons don't have an effect).
Gameplay is still the same, yep, but why change it? I mean, it's a good one, so, I don't see the point to develop new things.
Half-Life Opposing Force is short - but you'll have a lot of fun, even on Xen.
GAMEPLAY: 8/10 - It's Half-Life....
STORY: 8/10 - Opposing Force relates the way a Marine see the Black Mesa Incident, even if you already know some things about it with Gordon.
SOUND: 9/10 - More military soundtrack but some tracks, as the one before the final Boss, are worthy.
GRAPHICS: 8/10 It's the GoldSource engine but even if some will say it's old, it stayed as a correct one.
GAMELIFE: 7/10 - It's shorter than Half-Life but longer than Blueshift, you can be addictive to it.
FINAL: 17/20 - Half-Life Opposing Force, despite its age, is one of the best add-ons never released, like Battle Out of Hell is for Painkiller or Extraction Point for Fear. You must have played if for enjoying the Half-Life Universe and understanding the mod for HL2 The Awakening as Adrian Shepard is the hero. Valve promises us that Adrian will appear in the HL2 era but we're still waiting that G-Man pulls him out of stasis. He's the last of the trio Gordon-Adrian-Barney. HL2 will not be complete if you don't have the three heroes from Black Mesa reunited for the last fight against Combines. It would be a great symbol for the Earth, no?
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/29/08
Game Release: Half-Life: Opposing Force (US, 10/31/99)
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