Review by bibliomaniac15
Half-Life 2 and Multiplayer: What Else Could You Ask For?
Many of us are familiar with such multiplayer online games like Counter-Strike. Now imagine the goodness of the Source engine and Half-Life 2 in such a multiplayer game and you have Half-Life 2: Deathmatch. When Half-Life 2 was first released, there was no multiplayer. This acts as its multiplayer, which was first bundled with Counter-Strike: Source and is now available separately on Steam for $4.99 or in 5 other packages at the same place. Five bucks or no five bucks, this is an awesome game and definitely worth the value.
The premise of the game is simple: kill or be killed as the Rebels or the Combine. There are two game modes available, a free-for-all Deathmatch, or a team Deathmatch. It's sad that there are only two game modes, but the fast-paced killing will make you forget it anyway. There's a much different stratagem than Counter-Strike; while CS will emphasize standing still to increase your accuracy, it will get you quickly killed in Deathmatch, which emphasizes constant movement and continuous attack.
The weapons are all the weapons from the Half-Life 2 game: from the crowbar to the pulse rifle, plus two new weapons, the Combine stunstick, used instead of the Crowbar, or the SLAM, which can act as either a laser tripmine or a remotely detonated device. As a result, there's a wide variety of weapons for all types of players, whether you're a crossbow sniper or a shotgun runner. Perhaps the most interesting weapon to use is the Gravity Gun. Scattered about on the maps are debris ranging from simple barrels to toilet bowls that you can hurl around. These weapons, when discharged, are instant kill, making the game even more hectic. Often games will turn into a lethal game of catch, and those who really master the gravity gun may even throw grenades as a nice surprise.
The official maps are all influenced by Half-Life 2 levels, ranging from a Combine experimentation lab to City 17. There are seven official maps to choose from, all very well made, as well as the myriad user-created maps to join. As such, there's plenty to see and try out in Deathmatch.
Graphics and Sound: 9/10
As can be expected, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch takes the amazing sound and graphics from the main game. The environments look fantastic, and if you do get a chance in between dodging cars and toilet bowls take a look around you. All the weapons sound amazing, like they did in Half-Life 2. After all, what would you expect from the Source engine?
Replayability and Value: 9.5/10
So how replayable is this game? If you are addicted to online multiplayer, this game will last a long time. Even if you're a casual gamer, this game is definitely something to experience. Playing deadly catch with your gravity gun or vaporizing enemies with the pulse rifle never gets old. Individually, the game is only $5, much better price-wise and quality-wise than your average bargain bin game. I would recommend a package though, so that you can experience the awesomeness that is Valve Corporation.
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch may not sound like much, but it is guaranteed to bring a bang for your buck. After all, Half-Life 2 + Online Multiplayer = A match made in heaven.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Half-Life 2: Deathmatch (US, 11/16/04)
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