Review by El Greco

Reviewed: 10/06/03

Great mod, but it could have been better

Half-Life: Opposing Force is one of the more popular of the Half-Life mods that have been released. You are Adrian Shepard, a government grunt sent in to eradicate the alien infestation of Black-Mesa and the scientists who work there. You will be accompanied by your comrades into battle who will back you up by providing cover fire, healing your wounds, and staying by your side until they die. You eventually become one of the sole survivors of the Marines sent in, and you must battle your way out to save not only your own life but to save the world.

Opposing Force expands on the original game by adding new enemies, weapons, characters, and areas. The game adds nothing innovative or original but it is still just as fun as the original.

The weapons in this game have either just been slightly changed or modified or they are all together new. For example: instead of the crowbar you get a wrench, or instead of the Glock Pistol you get a Desert Eagle. The Mp5 is still present since you got that in Half-Life by killing a marine and it is the standard weapon for the marines. You also get several new weapons such as a knife which can be fun but when you get the higher level weapons you will quickly discover the joys of those and forget about the knife. One of them is a high-powered machine gun that will quickly eliminate any enemy that it is pointed at. Also, you get a few more exotic weapons such as the displacer, which allows you to teleport your enemies to Xen where they cannot bother you, a spore launcher that releases little spore balls at your enemies. And then come the standard FPS shooter type weapons, a sniper rifle and a rocket launcher.

If you are want to get acclimatized to the controls of the game and its weapons then you can do a training course that is somewhat reminiscent of the boot camp in “Full Metal Jacket”. You will get to train with most of the weapons that you are sent into battle with or will find in the game: grenades, machine gun, sniper rifle, and pistol. You are also trained on how to get over various obstacles and use your backup who can be infantry, medics, or engineers.

The infantry personnel are quite obvious in what they are; they are combat units just like you, Adrian Shepard. The medics are perhaps the weakest personnel in the game they are only equipped with a crappy little pistol (Desert Eagle), but they are very useful on the battlefield. They will provide you with a good amount of medical attention when you are hurt, thus greatly adding to your chances of survival. The third type of unit is the engineer. He comes equipped with a shotgun and a torch. His shotgun can clear out a good amount of enemies which is useful (I suppose) but his second tool is much more useful. He has a torch that allows him to cut through thick metal doors and open up new passages for you and your team.

There are only two new enemies in this game, there is a new creepy little thing called a ‘Pit Drone’ which slice through you with two sickle-like arms and then there is the ‘Shock Trooper’ which will shoot a rapid succession of electrical bursts at you. Both of them do add a new challenge to the game but it is very quickly eclipsed once you become familiar with the best ways to kill them.
We also have some old friends returning from the original such as Barney the security guard with a thousand lives, the scientists, the Military Assassins who are still out for your ass for some reason, the headcrabs, zombies, houndeyes, and giant tentacles.

Once again you must use your wits and skills to blast through aliens and solve complex (sometimes) puzzles. The challenge of the original Half-Life is not present in this game and most people will probably have no trouble completing the game but the game makes up for that in action. The action in this game is better than in the original Half-Life, that’s an opinion not a fact. That brings me to my next point….

This game is somewhat disappointing in the sense that it is shorter than the original game. This was the complaint of most people who have played it and one of the main reasons for the lower scores on some of the reviews. I didn’t find this particularly disappointing since the game made up for it in action.

Now, the story is essentially the same as the original game, just it is skewed slightly to fit the perspective of a marine sent in to wipe the Black Mesa Research Facility clean of every living thing. Perhaps one of the best parts of the story is that the infamous G-Man returns to follow Adrian Shepard around Black Mesa just as he did with Gordon Freeman in Half-Life. Jeez, that guy is everywhere.

Getting away from the good stuff I will talk about graphics. Just like in Half-Life we have the same crappy graphics and there has been no obvious changes to it in the time elapsed since the last game. The same goes with sound; the sounds are essentially the same as in the original game.

There is no music to speak of in this game; the only sounds are the sound effects and human speech. The sound is realistic, every gunshot, footstep, and squeaky hinge is perfectly recorded. Some of the sound effects are used too often and do get monotonous after a while. The sound of a mechanical door being opened and water being pumped out of a tower are the same for some reason.

All in all, this was a pretty good mod for Half-Life. It combines excellent, pulse-pounding action with a good yet somewhat unoriginal story. The only bad points to the game could be the graphics and some of the sounds. If you have the original Half-life (which is required to install Opposing Force) then you should definitely buy this game, it is well worth your money.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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