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User reviews:
Overwhelmingly Positive (516 reviews) - 95% of the 516 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overwhelmingly Positive (35,756 reviews) - 96% of the 35,756 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 16, 2004

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Recommended By Curators

"This is the one unmissable game. It’s time to get that cutting-edge PC system. Sell your grandmother, remortgage the cat, do whatever you have to do."
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About This Game

1998. HALF-LIFE sends a shock through the game industry with its combination of pounding action and continuous, immersive storytelling. Valve's debut title wins more than 50 game-of-the-year awards on its way to being named "Best PC Game Ever" by PC Gamer, and launches a franchise with more than eight million retail units sold worldwide.

NOW. By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism and responsiveness, Half-Life 2 opens the door to a world where the player's presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviors even the emotions of both friends and enemies.

The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself 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 he cares about are counting on him.

The intense, real-time gameplay of Half-Life 2 is made possible only by Source®, Valve's new proprietary engine technology. Source provides major enhancements in:

  • 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.
Customer reviews
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Overwhelmingly Positive (516 reviews)
Overwhelmingly Positive (35,756 reviews)
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20,646 reviews match the filters above ( Overwhelmingly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
35 of 40 people (88%) found this review helpful
16 people found this review funny
16.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
-_- *waiting patiently for hl3*
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22 of 26 people (85%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
17.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
One of the best video games in history of mankind. Enough said.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
Okey,finaly i beat this game and now i write rewiev (sorry for my realy bad englesh)
okey experiens is awsome you play as doctor fremen lot of fun and one of best game i played
it's have nice grapic for year it's out on and lot of fun mods you can play
i kill combine whit box
10/10 IGN
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
213.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
"There is really no place in this enterprise for a rogue physicist."

This game, being a decade classic, still excels in the departments of character interaction, intriguing dialogue and voice work.

To this day, this game is still really enjoyable to boot up and just play countless times, I am still shocked that there are people still out there that have not played this game. Let alone not have it in their library.

10/10 - Your hour has come again.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
14.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
A First Person Sci-Fi Shooter
+ The gameplay even to this day is a TON of fun. You will mainly be blasting soldiers, zombies, and a variety of alien-like creatures. You also get to do a fair bit of puzzle solving, exploring, and a few vehicle based driving missions.
+ Mysterious yet deep sci-fi rich story. Basically, the Combine (An alien-race) have taken over Earth and essentially enslaved the population. You Morgan Freeman are basically the savior, and lead the rebellion for freedom. (Although trust me, there's a lot more to it)
+ Very large open environments with a lot to explore.
+ Variety of unique weapons with many that have an alternate fire ability. More importantly the "Gravity Gun" which you can use to pick up and launch objects at enemies is just so much fun!
+ The Physics and Physics-Based Puzzles were fantastic, even for today's standards. The puzzles just feel very satisfying and are not overly difficult to solve.
+ Personally, the Airboat and Scout Car vehicle missions were a joy to play with a great sense of speed and freedom along with being very well thought out with some unique obstacles.
+ Very challenging "boss" fights that come in many varieties. You take down helicopters, gunships, Antlion Guards, Striders, and so fourth that are all very exciting and thrilling.
+ Ravenholm...a level with a dark eerie vibe infested with zombies. In my opinion, this level was amazing and probably inspired Left 4 Dead. This level was completely different from anything encountered before or after, and is truly a fantastic zombie-survival experience...with a comedic Russian companion to help you along.
+ For a FPS, Half Life 2 has A LOT of content. According to some surveys, the main story takes about 10-14hours. It took me about 9 hours going through pretty quicky, but I was left feeling completely satisfied.
+ Fantastic soundtrack with many atmospheric pieces that really help emerse the player into the game world.
+ The controls felt great, making gunfights fun and skill-based.
+ You get to control companions (including Antlion creatures) for a few missions which is quite enjoyable
+ Although this game was made in 2004, I need to mention that the graphics still look good to this day.

- I felt like some levels were overly drawn out or a bit too lengthy. Especially Nova Prospekt (The Prison). At some points it felt like I was just going through a very long maze filled with enemies.
- The story is lacking in some aspects and can leave new players feeling a bit lost. For the majority of the game you are traveling alone for long periods and are told to go from place to place without a good explanation of what you are meant to be doing and why. Even at the end of the game, I couldn't help but wonder what was going on...

~ Just a personal note, but I wish they included some sort of medium range rifle or burst-shot gun. You get pistols, shotgun, pistol, crossbow, and machine guns, but not much to precisely take out enemies from afar. I was also a bit curious as to why they did not give you a sniper rifle as the Combine are seen using them throughout the game.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
111.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
A legend that needs no explaining. It's Half-Life 2.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
The second game in the incredible Half Life series.

Obviously this game has made VAST improvements over the original. In terms of graphics, gameplay, animations, etc. Not only that but it has a modding community. Now it may not be as grand as Bethesda's modding community. But what THIS particular modding can do uniquely is make fan-base games, and other things from the engine that Half Life 2 runs on.

There aren't any real negatives to this game. Sure the vehicle controls are bit iffy when playing on a keyboard. But that's just a nitpick. You can just play this game with a controller.

The game is pretty straight forward like the first one. You are 'now' legendary Gordon Freeman. You are thrusted back into the world that you "left behind" to come back and realize the world is different while you've been gone. A new threat has taken over the world and now it's up to you and the Resistance to put an end to the Combine.

And of course, the game doesn't really give you everything all at once. It spoon feeds you. So don't expect all the answers to be um...answered! Lol.

If you are a fan of the original Half Life. I recommend gettng this.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
I simply loved this game. It has just the right ammount of story, gameplay and a small bit of puzzles. For me, I see a lot of replayability. Some acheivements are easy to get and some are hard. You get to do fun stuff like breaking into a prison with a handful of bugs to help you save your ally, find a town infested with zombies and have to find a way out! I think the game is without a doubt it's worth the money.

Warning: It just makes you want more Half-Life.

But seriously: Gabe Newell please make Half-Life 3!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
26.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 21
great game but how do i download season 3 xd
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Recently Posted
Tonald Drump
79.9 hrs
Posted: October 25
awesome physics engine, a very good stroy from start to finish
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.5 hrs
Posted: October 25
Dont hop in the hype train this is a pretty lame game and really boring.There is no story at all.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.0 hrs
Pre-Release Review
Posted: October 25
Play this game, its a part of history
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Cod God
27.3 hrs
Posted: October 24
Low tier graphics, low quality gameplay, low quality story, this game sucks everyone don't even consider picking it up. Which bumbling bafoon gave this a 96/100?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Banana Boss
2.0 hrs
Posted: October 24
too cheap
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.0 hrs
Posted: October 24
Oh lord, this will get downvoted like crazy but I have to be honest and adress the emperor's new clothes.

Half-Life was a milestone in first person shooters that changed the entire genre for better or worse. Everyone who was around back then can tell you how monumental it felt. It was incredibly well-made, balanced, though linear always gave you the feeling of actually exploring the levels, which in a sense disappeared altogether because the whole game felt unbroken from beginning to end, despite the technical limitations of late-nineties PCs that wouldn't allow entire games streamed without load times. The platforming was a nuisance but everything else aged incredibly well and is still worth checking out. I'm more partial to the jedi knight series and the first Unreal but there's no denying Half-Life's status in the gaming world.

With Half-Life 2 I was just never sure what the fuss was all about. Few games deserve universal acclaim and journalists are quick to jump on the bandwagon. Just try to find a review of Final Fantasy VII from back in the day that doesn't praise every aspect frantically for example. There are games I don't like but get the appeal of but from day one I found Half-Life 2 to be mediocre and despite several attempts over the years I've yet to complete it. You're on a painfully linear progression from beginning to end. Tunnels connecting stationary shootouts like pearls on a string. There's no fun gunplay in the shootouts and there's no interesting discovery connecting them. Back in an era when gaming quickly moved into character-driven open-world and semi open-world territory (mostly on consoles though with the exception of beyond good & evil) this approach to set-piece focused gamedesign felt really outdated. When gaming embraced deeper characterization and atmosphere, a sense of discovery and adventure you're stuck with a mute protagonist shooting anonymous faceless enemies in a gaming world that feels controlled and lifeless. Physics engines were new back then but there's only so many times you can wow me with a physics puzzle that feels like incredible machine for dummies.

Half-Life 2 isn't horrible, I don't engage in hyperbole, but I find it still as unremarkable now as back then when it was brand-new and I can't for the life of me understand why it gets so much praise. Praise the first one, praise Deus Ex, all of them more worthy. Even Half-Life 2's peer Doom3 aged better and it was mocked mercilessly for its dodgy design decisions. Given the same close scrutiny as other titles Half-Life 2 just falls apart.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
27.4 hrs
Posted: October 24
While the game play is good, the story is long - too long. Going from section to section can be tedious at times. Graphics are very good though. IF you played Half Life, then you may want to play this. Just be prepared for more of the same...
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2.1 hrs
Posted: October 24
good and very spännande game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DatBoi (G.E.W.H)
147.8 hrs
Posted: October 24
Epic points of interest:

breaking into nova prospekt

going into underground tunnels once alyx was taken

invading the overwatch nexus

fighting in the big bases in chapter water hazard

honestly this is just some of the parts that make it a good game, that make it what it was to be

Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.0 hrs
Posted: October 23
One of my favourite games of all time
Story and gameplay work so well together for a great experiance
Helpful? Yes No Funny