Review by JW ACE

"Not Valve....But Not Bad......"

It was only a mater of time before an official add-on for this game came out. And while I do like Counter-Strike, its multiplayer only??? Call me old fashioned but whats the point? What if I go to play and noone else is playing? And for you CS fanatics out there who are now saying ''what do you mean no one else..'' let my change the question to, what if I want to play a map other than de_dust, cs_italy, and cs_office? Yeah, that shut you up didn't it? But enough about that...my point is that I want a single player mod/add-on. Gearbox, thankfully fit the bill.

Graphics
Well, what can I say, the game came out not too long after Half-life, using the same engine, so its a little older, but it still looks good. The aliens all look just as creepy and ugly. Not to mention that new one or two the entered. Geez...and most people think the headcrabs are scary.

Sound
Nothing new about the sound...really...so the only complaint I can think of is the fact that Gearbox didn't improve it in anyway.

Control
Same old...same old...

Gameplay
.......well a few new weapons, some of them pretty cool too, like the barnicle. However, that is used more for problem solving than actual fighting. Other than that....well ahhhhhh hey it is an add-on.

Story
Ok, now maybe its because I was looking for anything good after the ending to half-life, but I seriously think this story is rather well done. Especially the little details that only someone like me would notice. You hear holographic messages of scientists saying they need to be at the Anomalous Materials lab tomorrow for an important experiment...now what could that have been? You also get to see some familiar parts of black messa. Now, I guess it is only fair to state what a lot of other people were disappointed in the story of the game...you don't get to mow down any white shirt nerds! No, seriously, I was thinking that was what this would be about. But no.

The opening chopper crash is well done. And it explains why you don't want to kill the scientists and the Barny's(or their rather fat couter-parts) because they helped you. And you later realize that something rather sinister is going on. Plus, when ordered to withdraw, that Administrator jerk stops you from getting on the chopper. Is this guy your long-lost boss from Enron or something?

While the beginning is great, Gearbox must be trying to compeat with Valve for the worst ending in a game, because the ending, well....sucks a bit. It does, however, leave the story open, which, with HL2 on the horizon, Shephard(you) are still ''alive'' and could be a part of the HL2 story. What do you think Shephard and Freeman would say to each other if they met? Well probably nothing as neither one of them seems to know how to speak, but honestly, that is something to think about.

A great add-on if you want more singleplay story. Gearbox did a good job. Its ashame its seems they can't make a game from scratch(cough Nightfire cough). But for those of you who can't stand HL gameplay, except for CS go buy quake 3.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/09/03


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