Review by HYD

"Game of the year, just the name for it"

Half Life, game of the year, just the name for it, that’s my title for the review. Straight from the synopsis, you can tell that Half Life is truly a game worth playing. And there are many factors that allowed this game to achieve its game of the year status. Firstly, the graphics and audio system are excellent. The graphics of this phenomena game will grasp your attention right away, and it looks as if you are in the game itself. You will tap to the audio music and effects in a few minutes once the game started. The story is very original, and has a few interesting twists of events that will truly astonish your senses. In all, Half Life is more than what the cover box looks like, so get it.

Gameplay: 9
Is the game fun? Definitely. Is the game challenging? Well, quite, but that’s what most games must have in order to make it fun. If that’s all you are asking, well, Half Life has more in store for you. The Gameplay section scores a 9, which makes it very much above average, close to a perfect 10. The game is very fun, and totally keeps you hooked on the screen for hours. Even though much of the graphics are a bit square-blocked, you won’t pay much attention to them once the game commences. The AI rating of the enemies are tough, and these are certainly going to put your First Person Shooter skills to the big test. Your very own Non-playable characters are very life-like, and some of them will even take sides with you to battle out with the forces of the aliens, that is.

Audio: 8
Bam! Bam! The sound of the gun could be clearly recognized. But that’s is what we are not looking for. What Half Life has in store for you is definitely much more detailed than this minor sound effect, in fact, Half Life has detailed sound effects for each weapon, and almost every object in the game! Much of the alien can groan and mumble, and these sounds are very real. The aliens also whimper when they die, and your fellow human buddies will scream in pain, and yell their last breath before they hit the floor and be sent to meet their maker. However, the background music for Half Life is pretty lacking. Most of the places in Half Life have very or little background music. Despite this fact, much of the gamers for Half Life don’t pay much attention to it. I mean, no one stops in the middle of an alien fiasco and struggle to hear the background music, right?

Graphics: 9
The graphics of most games are pretty okay. You get to see where you are, who you are, and what they are. But Half Life promotes graphics of much better standard than this. The alien zombies are scary looking; much of them bear the resemblance from the zombie’s from the popular game series of Resident Evil. It is also quite gory, as the bodies will emit much blood when they die. For the more sadistic ones, you may want to use the crowbar and go hacking away at the poor dead bodies of the aliens and humans to rip them off into meats and pieces. Certainly something you do not want to do at home. The surroundings are also high-tech, quite impressive and promote a full technological game. Your weapons are also very detailed, and they have some stuff that many other games don’t.

Story: 10
Here’s where Half Life totally excels in: the main story, the bread and butter for most games. Half Life has an interesting storyline that many other game producers have never thought of. It has exciting series of plot twisting events, some of them will leave you sitting in your seat, looking blankly at the screen and while you are wondering and thinking through your head, “This is impressive,” While some of you, will just sit there, dumbstruck. The others would be praising Sierra while you go about strafing through alien attacks and falling debris. The story starts off as you being Gordon Freeman, a scientist working in Black Mesa Facility. The introduction has already totally ripped my attention off the window and onto the screen where the automobile train was moving along to the main base. Of course, some old test lab screwed up and its up to you to save the day. The story unfolds as you grab the box, and play it.

Replayability: 7
Here’s another portion where Half Life slacks in. After completing Half Life and watching the ending cameo, much of you won’t want to start Half Life all over again. There aren’t any secret things to unlock like other games, and you certainly do not want to go around hacking crab heads with your crowbar. For the boring ones, starting Half Life all over again might sound like a cool solution, but I can assure you, you will stop somewhere in the middle of the game and never touch Half Life again. Its up to you, for the gamer, to decide.

Buy, or Rent?: Buy, obviously
If you are asking this dumb question, I would suggest you head to the nearest wall behind the computer, and smash your head through it. After typing out all the information of the game of the year, you are asking me this question. Hello!? Buy obviously! Buy it! Right now!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/15/02, Updated 03/01/03

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