Lately I have been playing a game called Half Life 2 on XBox and let me tell you if you have not played it and like games then you should run right now to the store and buy it immediately because it is one of the most fascinating games I have ever played.
The game starts out and you are Gordon Freeman, a fugitive on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people people he cares about are counting on him. I
t’s pretty basic, you run around killing bad guy soldiers and trying to get the guy that started it all. Along ythe way you meet Alyx Vance who is one of the hottest chicks I’ve ever seen in a game. Unlike Lara Croft who is overtly physically sexual with her pontoon boobies, Alyx is just the hot bad girl chick you knew in college. Shapely, smart and resourcful. I am amazed by the detail in this game as the people look the most like actual humans I have ever seen. Great eye candy the whole way through.
Ok so it’s pretty to look at… why do I like it so much? Well, unlike most games where you are corralled from one spot to another and then watch a “movie” of what’s happening in the story, Half-Life 2 just keeps you in the room as ewveryone speaks making it feel more like you are actually living the experience. What’s more is that you can pick things up! That’s right… you can pick up, throw and kill people with most things. In a true puzzle nature, in certain places you need to figure out how to get to new areas by either stacking boxes or wood or bricks or using a ballast to hoist you up somewhere or using a 2X4 to lay across a chasm so you can precariously walk across it.
Apparently the whay they do it all is by using a physics engine called Havoc which makes almost everything in the game moveable. Pretty amazing. Later in the game you’re given a Gravity Gun which allows you to pick up and hoist huge things. You can even grab soldiers and throw them at other ones! How cool is that!?!?!
It also uses a thing called ragdoll physics so when you shoot someone on top of a building they fall and bounce arms flailing and flopping around. Very real.
It’s not too bloody either so you don’t have to really worry about that with regard to kids but it is a bit scary as there are lots of dark places for baddies to hide and there are these things called Head Crabs which jump onto your head and take over your body turning you into a zombie-like creature. Very scary. There are also these bugs called Ant Lions which are nasty creatures that burrow in the sand and they can feel the vibrations when you walk on their terrain. They lie bured eveyewhere waiting to kill you. Later you figure a way to control them and sick them on the bad guys which is really cool. Really amazing stuff when you consider that it’s all just 0′s and 1′s running through your computer or XBox to create all this stuff.
Here’s a bit from the Half Life 2 Website toting some of the game’s impressive features!
- Characters – Advanced facial animation system delivers the most sophisticated in-game characters ever seen. With 40 distinct facial “muscles,” human characters convey the full array of human emotion, and respond to the player with fluidity and intelligence.
- Physics – From pebbles to water to 2-ton trucks respond as expected, as they obey the laws of mass, friction, gravity, and buoyancy.
- Graphics – Source’s shader-based renderer, like the one used at Pixar to create movies such as Toy Story® and Monster’s, Inc.®, creates the most beautiful and realistic environments ever seen in a video game.
- AI - Neither friends nor enemies charge blindly into the fray. They can assess threats, navigate tricky terrain, and fashion weapons from whatever is at hand.
Anyway, it’s a great game and having just finished it I am a bit miffed that the newest game Half Life 2 Epsiode ONe isn’t coming to the XBox. It’s only for PC play. Grrrrr.
Buy the game. You will not regret it.