Review by maximus86

"A Good Add-On"

Half-Life, an adventure game in first person shooter mode has been hailed as the best game of the year by many magazines and web sites and we will see why I think the same and why this game is so good. Now, the first expansion pack has been released and it is called Opposing Force.

Personally, I prefer first person shooters with levels, so you can take breaks and in between levels you heal. But, nevertheless, I always give these types of games a try, because I guess it is more of a challenge. Instead of having a safe spot to save when the level is done, Half-Life doesn't have levels so you have to decide when is the right time to save. I auto save almost every time I kill an enemy just so I don't forget to when I'm really into the game and forget about the whole concept of saving.

But hey, it's a different type of action game, so I guess you have to get used to it.

Visuals: 10/10

If you got a great computer, and since most PC players do, then Half-Life will be a great game in terms of graphics. The monsters, marines, scientists, and everything else looks very detailed. The scientists you see do get repetitive and many of them look the same, but that's not enough to get the score down. And yes, of course the marines also look similar, but everybody knows the army has a uniform.

The water is not bad, and when you break boxes with that crowbar the wood comes out like it should. Some backgrounds are 2-D. For example when you get outside and you're standing in an open canyon and all you can see is gorges and mountains, than you will notice they are 2-D, but todays technology can't make everything 3-D, especially when you can see for miles on end.

Audio: 10/10

If I'm not mistaken(because I have not played this game in a long time), there is very littlr or no in-game music in Opposing Force. Instead you will be hearing the great sounds of gun fire, death, explosions, machines moving, people talking, helicopters flying, electricity...doing its thing, and so on. I love it when you can hear the radio chatter of the marines' walkie-talkies. It sounds so real and it means they are nearby.

The voice acting is well done. When characters talk, they talk like they mean it. They sound scared or excited when the time comes. As ironic as it is, you never hear Adrian's voice (the protagonist and the character you are playing as). The sound of guns is nicely and realistically done.

Gameplay: 8/10

As most of you are familiar as to how first person shooters play, I won't explain too much about that. There are many guns and explosives available to you during the whole game, some which are very hi-tech and do not yet exist, although the game takes place during present time era. There will be two main opponents you will combat: marines and aliens. There are many forms of aliens, and different ways to kill them quickly. Some are slow and most can only attack at close range, but there is this one type that can tele-port and sneak up behind you. The marines are and basically act like professional American marines.

Another important part of this game is problem solving and solving puzzles to get in to the next area or room. This can involve moving boxes, hitting switches, jumping gaps, and even ordering air strikes to destroy a wall. One particular time you have to jump on and stay on the pipes to get into the next room because the entire floor was destroyed, so if you fell, you died. There will be many of these situations with their unique problems and solutions. The learning curve will take about fifteen minutes to get used to, once you finish the tutorial, you should be all set and ready to go.

Boss fights are another thing to discuss. Since most games have it, it is only fair to say how good they are. The confrontations of boss fights in this game usually involve big monsters. So common sense will tell you that they can not be killed by guns and bullets, and if you try, you will quickly find out it doesn't work. A grenade might stun them, but won't do any damage. There is always a different way to destroy them, and that is another puzzle of its own. There aren't a lot of them, but when there are, they are usually long and might need you to use a walkthrough.

Story: 7/10

Half-Life starts off great, and keeps going great, right until the end. As the name suggests, you are the opposing force of Gordon Freeman, a marine sent out to kill him. Without saying too much, you are Adrian, a regular marine for the United Stats of America. One day, you go for a helicopter ride somewhere unknown because you're orders are secret until you get there. Then almost all the helicopters get shot down by some weird alien ship and you are the only one alive from your crew. During the game you will see a mysterious man in a suit, always observing you and walking away. A great story that leaves provides you with an excellent point of view from the same event but a different character. There aren't any cut scenes, you will just have to watch what is going on around you and listen to your fellow marines and scientists speaking to you.

The environments change often and there are lots of them. You will find yourself on mountainsides, underwater, indoors, on a dam, and even in another world. No location gets boring, because almost every place is different.

Replay Value: 7/10

The story mode of Opposing Force is quite long and time consuming. It could take about 6-9 hours first time through on easy difficulty. There are three difficulties, and if you haven't guess them by now they are easy, medium, and hard. Although it is en expansion, it still still rather a lengthy game game and by no means really short.

Exact Score: 8.4

The Good
-good way of showing the story through another person's point of view
-great sound
-great graphics

The Bad
-by the end, it slowly starts to get old
-not much new stuff

In the end, you get an good add on game in the first person perspective with a good story that most will be very familiar with if you played Half-Life. If you love these kinds of games, then chances are you will also like this game, but you might be caught up in other online craze *coughcoughCounterstrike* so you might find this game not as fun to play as something else.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/19/02, Updated 09/21/02

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