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User reviews:
Recent:
Overwhelmingly Positive (727 reviews) - 95% of the 727 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (35,536 reviews) - 96% of the 35,536 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."
Read the full review here.

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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Recent:
Overwhelmingly Positive (727 reviews)
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (35,536 reviews)
Recently Posted
cake
8.1 hrs
Posted: August 28
valve needs to make a 4th installment
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Golden Ax
16.3 hrs
Posted: August 27
An example to be set for future gamemakers. FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS. (That's my way of saying good game.)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
allahu_catbar
62.0 hrs
Posted: August 27
Must play, even if you've already played it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Stormblessed417
11.4 hrs
Posted: August 27
In brightest day, in blackest night,
I thought this game would be alright.
My expectations were passed with might,
You'll give it a try, if you're fairly bright.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Azi ヽ(◉◡◔)ノ
22.8 hrs
Posted: August 27
my favorit anime
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hunter
120.7 hrs
Posted: August 27
thicc
Helpful? Yes No Funny
WITCH DOCTER
24.0 hrs
Posted: August 27
I grew up with Half life, and when I finally got my hands on Half life 2 I enjoyed every. Single. Hour. In fact, I enjoy the game so damn much that I would even go back to it from time to time from start to finish (including all the episodes). The challenges are fantastic, you can't just run in guns blazing but rather you have to take methodical approaches to finishing off the baddies. And the puzzles liven it up even if they are simple it always breaks the repetitive shooting. The story line is also great except for a few things here and here *cough* Episode's 2 ending *cough*. And to top it all off, you're freaking Gordan Freeman. What else is there to say? 11/10 Will never get old.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Iiro
4.8 hrs
Pre-Release Review
Posted: August 27
One of the best games ever made.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
nobody2345
54.3 hrs
Posted: August 27
RELOAD DR. FREEMAN
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
28 of 33 people (85%) found this review helpful
15 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
"Never fear, Gordon. She's de-beaked and completely harmless. The worst she might do is attempt to couple with your head."
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 16 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
73.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
In what is arguably a more necessary Steam title to have in one's libary than Team Fortress 2 or Dota 2, Half-Life 2 holds up magnificently as a first-person shooter over a decade since its 2004 release as the first title which required Steam to install and play. The game follows an arc similar to most forms of media, especially film media, with the player seeing highs, lows, and an excellent climax as through the eyes of Gordon Freeman.

As stated above, this game remains an amazing title and experience, both in gameplay and in plot, with a great deal of effort directed at character development and map and AI design. You could be told this was released a week ago and would believe it, as both its graphics and physics engine remain top-notch and put to shame those of most other shooters, both at the time and now.

The game follows M.I.T. graduate and Black Mesa Research Associate Scientist Gordon Freeman, who, after being placed on a train heading to City 17, faces off against the oppressive Combine Empire that controls the city and the planet. With the help of the resistance movement and old and new friends alike, Gordon fights the Combine as they launch continued assaults against him, viewing his return to be a serious if not the single greatest threat to their dominion.

The game is an outstanding example of storytelling, with the arc being one of my favorite in any game released - period. Without a word coming from Freeman's lips, the universe and history of City 17 and Earth in general is greatly explained, and through events the player grows to despise the Combine Empire, which in turn grants extra reward to the player when they succeed in trading blows with it.

With an excellent soundtrack composed by Kelly Bailey, the game's means to convey emotion increase, action scenes become more epic, horror scenes become more terrifying, and emotional scenes become more deep and impactful. The game uses its soundtrack in a masterful way, reintroducing old tunes and beats from Half-Life 1, and introducing a new soundtrack that perfectly fits the situation.

The game is also masterful at finding a blend of pleasing and challenging a player; Most concepts are introduced by some form of training to help open the player up to them, rather than forcing the player to learn skills on the spot, though the game makes sure not to help the player too much to keep the challenge going.

If you haven't bought this game yet on Steam, I strongly suggest you do so. It's an excellent title that has everything a good game should have: Interesting Plot, well-written characters, interesting and fun mechanics, a fitting and enjoyable soundtrack, good map design, excellent world-building, and so on. It stands 12 years since its release in most majestic fashion with the means to challenge most AAA titles ♥♥♥♥ out to the market with its first chapter alone.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
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 -- people he cares about -- are counting on him.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
19.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 14
best game ever
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
Half-Life 2, the game that like it's predecessor is seen as a classic. It's time for me to find out if the game still holds up.

The story takes place some years after the events of the original Half-Life. Gordon Freeman is woken up by G-Man to find out that the world had been taken by the alien Combine. Gordon is then joined by resistance fighters to find a way to free humanity.

The gameplay itself is a mixture of shooting, puzzle solving and exploration much like the first Half-Life game. However, all of this is differently executed in Half-Life 2. In Half-Life 2 everything is even more dynamic, because of objects being destructible and having physics, which can result in some memorable chain reactions.

The world felt to me like a real open world game, while it is still a pretty linear game. This has to do with the fact that you are mostly outside and you can explore the different areas and interact with npcs. The world you play in is around the same city area, which means that this time you aren't going to other alien dimensions.

When you think about it there aren't actually that many new things in Half-Life 2. But the things that are new still deliver new gameplay. For instance, the gravity gun that you get can grab and shoot objects which is great for murdering and puzzle solving. The gravity gun really adds a playfulness to the game. The other real new weapon is the bug bait which is a ball that you can throw on enemies or destinations, which will result in a group of your own aliens going to it and attacking the enemies. The only problem I had with this is that you can only use this weapon in a certain section.

The other new gameplay feature is that you can now drive a buggy at certain parts. I read people saying that it was the worst part of Half-Life 2. In my opinion even though the buggy feels clunky I loved that part the most. It really gives that open world explorer feeling, because of you have to get out of the vehicle to look around.

The sounddesign in this game was also done by the same team as the one that worked on the original Half-Life. I can say that I liked this soundtrack even more than the previous one, because of it having more of its’ own style. The epic music sometimes felt a little off though, but they are still fun to listen to. The sound effects add a quirky feeling, and the voice acting is also professionaly executed.

The storytelling of the game was mostly well executed, with also including storytelling through gameplay. Sadly, unlike in its’ predecessor, you are forced at certain parts to listen to conversations. This can be pretty annoying if you have to listen to it again, without the option to skip it.

I have to say that overall the world, story and gameplay doesn't feel as flawlesly connected as it was in the previous Half-Life. That probably has to do with the fact that the game also wanted to show everything impressive that the engine could do.

The game took me 12 hours to complete so it was shorter than the original Half-Life, but I guess that also has to do with the fact that at the beginning I unknowingly played on the easiest difficulty. Later I found out I could actually change it in the options menu.

Even with the complaints I have with Half-Life 2 compared to Half-Life 1, I can still recommend it. The game like its’ predecessor was greatly ahead of its’ time, and at some parts maybe still is. While playing I realized that every futuristic game that I played that came out after Half-Life 2 all had big 'inspiration' from the game. Half-Life 2 is still adventurous enough that it still holds up.

Reviews of the other Half-Life games:
Half-Life
Half-Life: Opposing Force
Half-Life: Blue Shift
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 18 people (72%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 8
Product received for free
I am thinking of a game... with Zombies and future! What game you may ask? Is it Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 Zombies? Nope
It's Half Life 2! The only game you have been waiting for a sequel and you would buy no matter the price

3/3 - Still waiting for a sequel... even thought I just completed the game
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
One of the best games of all time, even today. Technically, graphically, and otherwise.

9/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
One of the best games i have played!

Pros:
Good graphics
Good soundtrack
Good story
Intersting characters
Amazing Sci-fi
Kind a low system requirments

Cons:
NONE

I reccomend this game for everyone
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
54.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
i still have nightmares about that cat
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