Review by Zakaloot
"Better than Half-Life? No, but still a worthy purchase"
Opposing Force was an Add-on Game for the Game that won 50 Game of Year Awards, Half-Life. Instead of being made by the Game's Original Developers (Valve) it was made by a Third Person Company, Gearbox, the people responsible for making games like Halo (BTW Halo was made WAY after Opposing Force). I would say they did a fine job, no its not Half-Life, but its fun and that is what really Matters.
Opposing Force is based off Half-Life's Story line so Opposing Force doesn't make any sense unless you've played Half-life. Here are the first 10-ish minutes of Half-Life. You are Gordon Freeman, a Research Associate at Black Mesa Research Facility. One normal day an Experiment goes horribly wrong and breaks a gateway into another world and now Aliens from the plant Xen are coming into Black Mesa! You, Gordon Freeman have no experience what so ever in Fighting and simply follow instincts to kill. Unfortunately things don't get better from there; the Army has found out about the invasion and is coming to Black Mesa to destroy everything and cover up the incident.
In Opposing Force, you get to play as a Marine on a mission to hunt down and kill Gordon Freeman and anyone or anything still inside Black Mesa. Unfortunately your day, as well as Gordon's, did not turn the way you would have liked it. En route to Black Mesa the plane carrying your Squad is shot down by Alien Spacecraft with a handful of survivors. It is up to you to escape Black Mesa, hunt down Gordon Freeman and most importantly, keep yourself alive.
I though both the Half-Life and Opposing Force stories were well thought of and told. Half the story is not the actual story, but rather how you present the story. I think Gearbox has done a great job at presenting the story and sticking to Half-Life's tried and tested format of presentation; primarily the lack of cut scenes. During the entire game there are absolutely no cut scenes so the user will never get bored or playing, stopping for a cut scene and playing again.
The sound, like all Half-Life games (Opposing Force is built off the HL engine, which is a heavily modified Quake 2 Engine) is good, the sound didn't make me feel I was actually in the battlefield similar to Call of Duty or Medal Of Honor, The sound effects of the weapons and of aliens and such were not great, but what was great was the voices, unlike countless other games the voice acting was top notch, they made me believe they really were cowering in a corner scared to death of what might jump out at them.
Its Half-Life, what do you expect? Yes these graphics are old (6 years old at the time of this writing) but they get the job done and aren't horrendous to look at either. The graphics are solid and there is very little break up. At a decent texture (1064x768) the textures are very smoothed out and are solid, no it's not Doom 3 but it does the Job and can run on Low Specs.
The most important part of any game, the Gameplay in Opposing Force is much like that of Half-Life; lots of baddies to kill, lots of puzzles to solve and lots of level to explore. Since this game is based off Half-Life the Gameplay is very similar to Half-Life, thus I will not waste KB and tell you what you could easily find out in a Half-Life review. I will however, tell you about some new features included in Opposing Force not found in Half-Life, namely the Artificial Intelligence (called AI from now on)
The AI in Opposing Force is a new addition to the Half-Life games, previously the only allies you had were Scientists who would give you some health and Security Guards who help weak pistols and often died before your enemy did. In Opposing Force you get many Allies, which are more powerful than their Half-Life counterparts. There are three classes in which your Allies can be; Medic, Engineer and Heavy Machine Gunner. A Medic's role is obvious, the Engineer can knock down sealed doors and the Heavy Machine Gunner wields a HMG that can cut up an enemy faster than you can say WTF
But unfortunately these Allies have a problem, a BIG problem. What is it you may ask? Simple: These Allies are about as smart as... uh you know... a... not... smart...person. Seriously though, they are pretty stupid and here are some examples:
1) You will have to repeatedly tell them to move or to follow you
2) You can't take your Ally through levels, if a level change point is in the middle of the hallway and you are on the left, you Ally will just stand on the right, because for some twisted reason you can't get Allies to change levels with you.
3) Many times Allies you will get in your way, when this happens you will probably accidentally shoot, and if you shoot a Teammate you will automatically fail the mission and have to start from where you last saved, which is extremely frustrating if you haven't saved in a long time
Multiplayer isn't anything new from Half-Life so you only like Multiplayer this game won't be any fun for you. The Multiplayer consists of Standard Vanilla Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch across 13 Out-of-the-box Maps. The focus of this game is undoubtedly Single-Player.
Final Verdict 7/10
This game is worthy of a Purchase if you liked Half-Life and want more Gameplay. If you hated Half-Life this game won't make you like it so stay away. Alternatively if you have Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat or any other Valve Product you can use the CD Key to download for free off Steam. For info about Steam go to www.steampowered.com
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 07/07/04, Updated 10/11/04
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