Review by LiquidZero

"A wonderful trip through the other side of the Half-Life story."

For all those people who don't know, Half-Life Opposing Force is the official add-on for Valve's Game of the Year, Half-Life. It's developed by GearBox. This review may be a little biased, depending upon your opinion... so I present a disclaimer. I waited for Opposing Force (OpFor for short) for a good month or two. I finally get my hands on it, and play it to the hilt. I decide to write this review for everyone who may or may not have heard of OpFor.

Now we get in-depth about it.

From the beginning, the menu is nothing big in any game, but there are a few rewrites, helps build the whole idea you're ''In the Army now!''. I suggest any newbie to OpFor to play the Boot Camp training level. You don't learn anything major, but it's fun to hear the Drill Sargeant. The game even tips it's hat to the movie ''Full Metal Jacket'' in the beginning.

Now we get into the real game.

Unlike Half-Life, there's no huge boring intro scene. I'm sorry, but I found riding in a little subway thing annoying. You start on a helicopter, but at least it's a story builder, and interesting. Well, this isn't much of a spoiler, but everything quickly turns SNAFU. Your first weapon is a wrench, which shows you that our man Shephard is a quite bit stronger than Freeman. The game has a few hold-ups, where you WILL die a few times. Save often, trust me. Think like a soldier though! Look around closely, observe everything. Those few hang-ups, there's no apparent solution, but if you wait around while everything is going to Hades, you'll find an exit. You'll get a few new weapons in the beginning, one of which is a VERY USEFUL weapon. The .357 will get you out of a lot of tight spots, because it drops smaller enemies like a bad habit. Near the middle of the game, there are some exquistely difficult parts. Conserve ammo, it's a necessity. Thankfully, you don't spend a lot of time in Xen, like Half-Life. Just a little bit, and it's simple. The ending gets decently hard to provide enjoyment, and there's even a nice puzzle now and then. Overall, with the original rooms and some never seen before places, it still feels like Black Mesa, and that's a good thing.

Now, let's take a look at the graphics.

They're great! Of course, they're better running on a hardcore machine with a powerful video card. They aren't much improved a lot over Half-Life, but that's because HL's were so terrific... I like the fact that the graphics haven't changed much, it really feels like you're right back in Black Mesa. And the Night-Vision goggles, they're a much nicer item than the wussy flashlight. They even manage to almost look like real night-vision. Overall, they do the job, and dazzle once in while. Unfortunately, they do get a bit more complex than the original Half-Life, causing some slowdown once in a while.

How about the sounds?

They work. Not too terribly impressive, but again, just as good as the original, and they effectively convey the feeling well enough. One major complaint I had with Half-Life, and still have, is the NPC's still don't have enough unique sayings... so you'll hear your squad saying the same thing over and over. Overall, nothing special, but not terrible.

The value?

This one depends. I picked up my copy for 30 dollars, and for 30 dollars I sure can't complain. It's not quite as long as the original, but very worth the 30 dollars. Replay value is shifty, because once I had finished it, I probably won't pick it up again for a few months. Multiplayer is good, the new weapons add a bunch more fun to multiplayer, but the maps are just blah. Nothing special about the maps. Overall, this is worth picking up if you loved Half-Life.

The conclusion!

I gave this beauty a 9 of 10, whereas I would give Half-Life a perfect 10. It's no worse than Half-Life, but playing it, I got just a hint of the ''Been there, done that'' feeling. I still enjoyed it extremely.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 02/15/00, Updated 02/15/00

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