Review by BlooditeDrakan
"What did you expect?"
You all know Barney Calhoun. The generic cloned security guard found through out the destroyed Black Mesa labs. Only now you get to play as one of many of these clones. You might be wondering why, after blasting Half-Life, I'm playing this. Well, long story short: I bought the Platinum pack thinking maybe CS wouldn't be that bad with bots, got bored of it, decided to finish Half-Life (seeing how I started it so many times), and seeing how it came with this and Opposing Force, well... So, how did this turn out? Read on.
Story. It's sort of the same as before. It's another day at the lab, but now you're in another facility with computer programming going haywire. Pretty soon after that, you'll witness the facility being invaded. It turns out some other experiment or what-not had something to do with Gordon's experiment going wrong. And now it's to some lowly security guard (that being you, of course) to assist some scientists to help them use this device to escape the Black Mesa. Now, they said on the back of the box that you learn more about what happened in the disaster, but I didn't learn a damn thing beyond what I just told you. To sum it up, I learned NOTHING as to what caused the alien invasion.
Graphics. Ok, I'll admit it. I used the High Definition package. Does it really boost the graphics comparably to newer games like they say? Well, yes but only to an extent. Your guns now look prettier. The security guards look younger and more realistic and the scientists look slightly better too. That's where it all ends though. The texturing still looks like crap. And the whole lack of variety amongst the people still sucks too. It's even worse when it comes to the Barnies as well. I'm at the armory. Look, there's one! I go to the front desk. Another one! Then the opposite side of that room. There's yet another! You think being an expansion pack that they'd actually fix this problem but apparently no. On top of that, the places you go through are still bland and boring. So basically, the HD package did little beyond the modeling to make anything look prettier.
Sound. The same as before basically. Good voice acting, nice gun sounds, the barney you play as has no voice YET AGAIN! And it's even worse than before. Considering in situations an answer that needed a question to prompt it needs to be said and... is never said looks plain ridiculous. I could go on about more examples but then I'd bore you. To basically sum it up, the sounds are exactly the same.
Gameplay. It's Half-Life gone worse. First, it's nice and short, making every experience all but brief. The Xen world isn't even that interesting to explore. You'd think having to go in there to switch on a device you'd go through more interesting things than boring old caverns, tunnels and waterfalls at least Half-Life gave the Xen world some sort of factory (not that I could figure out it's purpose). The levels are still linear as hell, all the more fun weapons aren't even touched (you know, like the hive hand or guass gun), and I managed to beat it within not even a day. Maybe 3 hours? And you think the puzzling in Half-Life was bad? (Well of course you don't...) Try Blue Shift. It's not even about timing or anything anymore like that. You actually have to use your frigging head to work out how to get past a broken bridge or whatever. If I wanted a puzzle game, then I think I'd play Hexen, because when I'm playing an FPS, I want to spend more time killing things than using my head. Not to mention there's so few enemies that I felt more like I was in an obstacle course than in a threatening environment.
Replay. It's a mod. A short and boring mod. What's there to come back too?
Let's just hope that when I get around to playing Opposing Force that it'll actually be more fun. It certainly sounds like it, surprisingly.
Reviewer's Rating: 1.5 - Bad
Originally Posted: 04/06/06
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