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User reviews:
Very Positive (598 reviews) - 94% of the 598 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overwhelmingly Positive (35,396 reviews) - 96% of the 35,396 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 16, 2004

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Recommended By Curators

"One of the best Single Player FPS ever made, developed in the rock solid Source Engine which provides responsiveness not found in many other shooters."

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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Very Positive (598 reviews)
Overwhelmingly Positive (35,396 reviews)
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20,458 reviews match the filters above ( Overwhelmingly Positive)
Recently Posted
34.1 hrs
Posted: September 25
Very good game i loved it nothing negative!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
14.0 hrs
Posted: September 25
Still worth buying today. Interesting storyline, great graphics for a 12-year old game and smooth gameplay. Very unique FPS experience, and you can run it on a toaster at high settings. The first Half-Life is recommended to know what's up.
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Broccoli Bill
17.7 hrs
Posted: September 25
Solid game

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4.3 hrs
Posted: September 25
the other parts halflife2 : episode 1&2 are great but the original half-life 2 is good but the game gave me motion sickness from the mission which is mostly happen in water. but it might be different for other people any gud gaem xd

Helpful? Yes No Funny
14.4 hrs
Posted: September 25
Second best game I've ever played.

Awesome story, secrets, weapons and levels.

I did everything in that game, and you could interact with almost everything, which is f*cking amazing for a old game as it is.

PLZ VALVE we need HALF LIFE 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
14.8 hrs
Posted: September 25
This game might be old, but it is still fantastic! :D
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11.1 hrs
Posted: September 25
It's honestly a pretty good game, not really worth a whole playthrough because it starts to get repetitive so just play through the first half-hour or so. As soon as you go through a teleporter you can give up on it. (I'm sorry Valve. Don't hate me.) Feel free to go past that though, it has two episodic sequels that feel like full games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.8 hrs
Posted: September 25
12 Years later... Still an amazing game.
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2.1 hrs
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.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
22.4 hrs
Posted: September 24
This is easily one of the best games in existence.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
54.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
This game is acclaimed as being legendary.
So, obviously I HAD to play the entire franchise.
I'm still hooked on the lore and gameplay.

If you're expecting the old fast-paced bangabangkaoombBLAAAMSCHDOWPOPOPOOM of Half Life 1, well, I'll get in to that later.

The storytelling and graphics hold up to this day. In fact, some would say they're BETTER than todays. Amazing(?) physics, lighting, and if you get past the mayonaise jar glitch with turret-armed Metrocops, the A.I. is spectacular, often working in squads and providing covering fire for one another, throw grenades, etc.

For those old glory fans, this isn't the aftermath of Black Mesa getting nuked. This is the aftermath of a resonace cascade, and gas-masked aliens are here to ♥♥♥♥ up your world view.

The level design is certainly iconic. Looming feeling of the Combine always watching you in the Eastern European City 17, sunset-casted and damp Canals, haunting, deathly and heavy night of Ravenholm. Sheer cliffs and winding highways of the Coast, crumbling and invasive metal structures of Nova Prospekt, and the fiery streets of the battle of City 17, soldiers and natural hazards lurking at every corner of the way.

Gameplay is, and I'm going to shamelessly compare to HL1, slower than its predecessor, but still lots of fun. Your sprint, possibly to service the more serious storytelling, is literally limited to a meter, and that's WITH the suit. Weapon choice is also notched down from the original, which is slightly dissapointing as well. It's made up, however, for a select iconic masterpiece made specifically for this game: and I'm not talking about any old crowbar. The Gravity Gun is one of the best weapons ever made for a videogame, even if it's introduced quite a ways in to the game.

9.5/10. Very slight imperfections I notice, but otherwise a great choice for any gamer out there.

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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
21.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
——— 9/10 ———

+ Level Design/Aesthetics
+ Kinaesthetics
+ Difficulty Fairness/Gameplay Diversity
+ Achievements
+ AI
+ Score
+ Lore

- Characters development/Narration
- Cliffhanger

Recomended controls scheme: PC
Recomended difficulty: Hard

FPS Ethalone.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 9
After years of hesitating to play, now that i've completed this game, i can safely say that this is one of the best steam games you can buy right now. The graphics are great, better than some modern games. The story is pure excellence. the gameplay is superb. The soundtrack is some of the best i heard in a long time. Just play it now, you will not be dissapointed.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 2
I like this game very much and i am collecting badge of this game this is a nice shooting game
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
21.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 21
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
102.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 9
12 Years later and still good as ♥♥♥♥
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
64.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
I don't think I've ever played this game and went "Damn, this is boring!". But that is because this game is never boring, it's such a classic and the gameplay always makes me come back, you can always pick this classic up and play it every once in a month. It might not be much now but back then? It certainly left a mark in history.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
23.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 2
Timeless classic , an absolute MUST play. This game kickstarted Valve , steam and revolutionized pc gaming
and the fps genre forever. I replay this game multiple times a year , mostly with it's Co-op mod Synergy.
Half Life 2 Is a master piece in every way possible and will be remember as the greatest singleplayer fps of all time and it DESERVE'S that title!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 27
I've played this game through many times, and it has a significant replay value, and bears the mark of Valve strongly.

Valve's choice to reorient its games towards characters, and still without sacrificing much gameplay in the process is indicitive of the effect that 'Valve Time' has on their games, and although the source engine is starting to show its age, it works well with this particular title. This is because of the fact that valve used the source engine to non-verbally show character emotion (its ability to show detailed facial expressions), to help puzzle solving and to illustrate architecture, the Citadel in particular. How the game conveys all this is particularly impressive for 2004. Obviously, Source has been updated since then.

However, it does fall short on the pacing on a first time playthrough, particularly in the chapter of Water Hazard and near the beginning of the game. The puzzles the game asks you to solve are pretty easy (in my opinion), but they do drag the flow of the game, often asking you to get out of your airboat to correct some flaw in the route in order to proceed. Half Life 2 can also be vague as to your objectives, but I suppose that may be just to get the player to find a way and figure it out for themselves.

There is also of course, the fact that it's a linear game, where there is often only one way to proceed, but that is just the way valve have designed it so that you can immerse yourself in the perspective of Freeman. There are puzzles to get secrets as well, but these are a almost always just supplies, and a lambda on the wall to show for it, but I suppose they encourage more observant behaviour. The physics puzzles often involve different variations of balancing, which can yet again drag its pacing.

The gravity gun is a good edition to the weapon selection, I found and you can do a varying number of things with just the 2 settings on it, all carefully considered (though it either involves puzzles or killing). The GMan from the first game makes a return, without wishing to spoil much, and with him a 'new' set of challenges.

Overall, HL2 is a game that you can play without playing the first game, but to get a full grasp on it, you kinda have to. It is a linear game and does interrupt gameplay to make way for story (though not too frequently), so if you're a solely gameplay person, you might enjoy this but may get a bit bored at times HL and its expansions are better for that. If you're a story person, this has one of the best ones out there, as overrated as it is by some, but it does span a while. If you require both to be invested, this may appeal to you, but it very much depends on what type of story or gameplay you require. For me, for the most part, it was paced well, though I was put off for a while, but after I played the first game, it got me back into this and I finished it in a couple of sittings. It may be the same for you, it may not.

Overall, I recommend this game (obviously, as that is probably the first thing you saw of this review), and it is a sequal that surpassed the original in story, but not quite in combat. It is a singleplayer Valve classic, and if you're like me, you will like it.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
29.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 4
I can honestly say this is the best game i've ever expericened. Great story, great maps, great enemies.
Everything about this game is amazing, and its a great sequel to the game that started it all.
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