"What every mod should be!"

Half-Life: Opposing Force is a modification for the original Half-Life, which expresses the marine point of view of the Black Mesa disaster. You run into these guys during Half-Life, they are trying to hunt down Gordon Freeman, and kill everyone on the Black Mesa project. Strange enough, the guy you control, has no intention of doing anything but escaping.

Story 10/10
The basic overview of the story still follows the story of the original Half-Life, except in a different perspective. You control Corporal Adrian Shepard, a government soldier sent in to put an end to the Black Mesa incident, kill everyone who has any knowledge of it, and contain it. As the marines go to land near Black Mesa, strange aircraft approach from the sky, and eliminate their helicopters, causing a crash landing. Everything goes black, and you awake in a battlefield, guns blazing. A nearby missile hits, causing you to blackout again. When you awake for a 3rd time, you awaken in a medical room, where you see your fellow allies, dead. A scientists tells you the currently situation, and asks if you can perhaps call for help. The project to contain Black Mesa goes horribly wrong, and the troops are recalled from Black Mesa to make an escape. Unfortunately, the rescue chopper takes off just before you can make it, and instead of now containing Black Mesa, your objective is to escape it.

Graphics 9/10
Opposing Force obviously uses the Half-Life engine. This engine is also of course, old. Depending on how well your video card and computer is, this game can either look ultra-choppy, or very smooth. With a poor computer, the pixels in the area are very easily seen, even from a distance, and the graphics on characters and objects are very blurry. With a high-end computer, the graphics will definitely be improved, but not modern day. The pixels can still be seen, but only if you stand directly at the wall and the character models are more smooth and detailed. Overall, the graphics are great for a dated engine like Half-Life, and Gearbox really worked the engine well. A lot of things can be interacted with as well, some in which can aid in defeating enemies. Some including: explosive crates or fire extinguishers. Most crates can also be broken as well, some containing useful equipment.

Audio 8/10
The audio still uses a lot of the sounds from the original Half-Life, with only a few new sounds with some new weapons. Not like the Half-Life sounds were bad, but there could of been a few more. The gunshots are a bit inaccurate, and I wouldn't expect it to sound like that in real-life. Explosions are average, and also don't sound like I’d expect them to in real-life either. The music has a techno feel to it, and not so much a creepy and eerie feeling like Half-Life tries to portray. Luckily, the music really only comes on when the situation is intense.

Gameplay 10/10
The gameplay definitely ranks up there with the original Half-Life, and contains a lot of improvements Half-Life should have had, and integrates them into Opposing Force. You fight aliens and humans in this game, like other Half-Life games. In Half-Life, aside from marines, assassins also hunted Gordon. The assassins are also after the marines, to eliminate them as well, I still don't know why though. To aid you in the battle, and also to progress in the game, you will need the help of your comrades when you find them. The medic is an excellent ally, who can not only help fight your enemies, but can heal your other allies, or even you. The second person to your group is the engineer, who is adept at also killing enemies, but more importantly, an engineer is probably the guy you are going to want to keep alive, so you can progress in the game. Engineers can torch down doors, to allow you to access new areas. There are also assaulters who can aid you, who serve no purpose but to aid you with enemies. They have more powerful weaponry, such as machine guns, but they serve no purpose other than gunning. The game is just about, if not the same length as the original Half-Life, and will probably take you a good 10 hours or so to complete. Unlike the terrible Half-Life mod, Blue-Shift, this game has a huge weapon arsenal, larger than Half-Life. There are also a few more new enemies to take on, most in which are harder than those in Half-Life, creating a challenge for the veterans of Half-Life.

Multiplayer 8/10
The multiplayer is decent on Opposing Force, but not the best ever. Opposing Force contains a Capture the Flag like game, and Deathmatch modes. While they are fun to do, it doesn't compare to Counter-Strike, or Day of Defeat.

Replay Ability 7/10
While there are no additions to the game if you manage to beat it, besides self accomplishment of course. The only reason I can see to replay single player is if you want to try it on a harder difficulty, or use cheats to goof around.

Recommendations
If you want to experience more sides to the Half-Life story, you might want to try Blue Shift, another Half-Life mod where you play as the security guard on Black Mesa. However, be warned, Blue Shift is a lot shorter from Opposing Force, and contains a weak weapon arsenal. Half-Life 2 also promises to be a great addition to the Half-Life series to try. Halo is another great alien shooter game, if you haven't played that amazing game already.

Worth the Money?
Definitely. Be sure to try Opposing Force before you try Blue Shift, Opposing Force is definitely the better buy, if you are looking for single player as deep as Half-Life.

Final Words
Opposing Force ended up being an excellent follow up to Half-Life, and contained a good lengthy single player, good multiplayer, with more weapons and enemies. Now that’s what I call a good mod. If you are a die-hard fan of Half-Life, this game is a must to add to your collection of mods.

Overall Score 9/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/15/04


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