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User reviews:
Overwhelmingly Positive (529 reviews) - 96% of the 529 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overwhelmingly Positive (35,742 reviews) - 96% of the 35,742 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 (529 reviews)
Overwhelmingly Positive (35,742 reviews)
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20,637 reviews match the filters above ( Overwhelmingly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
33 of 38 people (87%) found this review helpful
15 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 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
6 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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12 of 15 people (80%) 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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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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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
Half-Life 2 (stylized as HλLF-LIFE2) is a first-person shooter video game and the sequel to Half-Life (1998). Developed by Valve Corporation, it was released on November 16, 2004, following a five-year $40 million development, during which a substantial part of the project was leaked and distributed on the Internet. The game was developed alongside Valve's Steam software. It introduced the Source game engine and, because of Steam, was the first single-player video game to require online product activation.

Some years after the events of Half-Life, protagonist Gordon Freeman is woken by the enigmatic G-Man to find the world has been taken over by the alien Combine. Joined by allies including resistance fighter Alyx Vance, Gordon searches for a way to free humanity using a variety of weapons, including the object-manipulating gravity gun.

Like its predecessor, Half-Life 2 received critical acclaim. It was praised for its advanced physics, animation, sound, AI, graphics, and narrative. The game won 39 "Game of the Year" awards and the title of "Game Of The Decade" at the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most important video games of all time. Over 6.5 million copies of Half-Life 2 were sold at retail by December 3, 2008, (not including Steam sales); as of February 9, 2011, Half-Life 2 had sold over 12 million copies.
Like its predecessor, Half-Life 2 is a single-player first-person shooter broken into several chapters, permanently casting the player as the protagonist Gordon Freeman. The sequel has nearly the same mechanics as Half-Life, including health-and-weapon systems and periodic physics puzzles, except with the newer Source Engine and improved graphics. The player also starts without items, slowly building up an arsenal over the course of the game. Despite the game's mainly linear nature, much effort was put into making exploration rewarding and interesting; many optional areas can be missed or avoided.

A diverse set of enemies is present, which usually require being approached with different tactics: some coordinate in groups to out-maneuver or out-position the player; others, like the Manhack, fly directly at the player through small openings and tight corridors; still others use predictable but powerful attacks, while others hide before swiftly attacking the player. Gordon can kill most enemies with his weapons, or make use of indirect means, exploiting environmental hazards such as explosive pressurized canisters, gas fires or improvised traps. For some portions of the game, Gordon can be joined by up to four armed Resistance soldiers and medics, and can send his team further from him or call them back.

Many of the game's new features utilize its detailed physics simulation. Two sections of the game involve driving vehicles. Instead of button-based puzzles from Half-Life, environmental puzzles are also introduced with makeshift mechanical systems, revolving around the player's new ability to pick up, move, and place objects. Solutions involve objects' physical properties, such as shape, weight, and buoyancy. For example, in Chapter 3, Route Kanal, the player is required to stack cinder blocks on a makeshift see-saw ramp to proceed over a wall. Alternatively, the player can use these to build a crude staircase, so sometimes, multiple approaches lead to the desired outcome.

Part-way through the game, Gordon acquires the Gravity Gun, which allows him to draw distant objects towards himself or forcefully push them away, as well as the ability to manipulate larger and heavier objects that he cannot manipulate without the weapon. These abilities are required to solve puzzles later in the game, and can also be used to great effect in combat, as any non-static object within proximity to the player has the potential to be used as a makeshift defense (e.g. a file cabinet) or a deadly projectile (e.g. a gasoline can or a buzzsaw blade).

The game never separates the player with pre-rendered cutscenes or events; the story proceeds via exposition from other characters and in-world events, and ensures that the player controls Gordon for the entirety of the game. Much of the backstory to the game is simply alluded to, or told through the environment.Half-Life 2 presents a dystopian alternate history of Earth, where the resources of the planet, including the human race itself, are being harvested by an oppressive multidimensional empire, known as the Combine. The game is set around the fictitious City 17, roughly 20 years after the events of its predecessor Half-Life.

During Half-Life, the scientists, including Gordon Freeman, at the Black Mesa Research Facility, accidentally caused an inter-dimensional instability known as a resonance cascade and later as the "Black Mesa Incident", when an experiment on an alien crystal sample went wrong.[1] Alien creatures, such as the Vortigaunts and headcrabs, from the borderworld of Xen, flooded into the facility. Gordon fought his way through them and the government cover-up response combat units, making it to the Facility's Lambda Complex. There, the Lambda scientists helped Gordon teleport to Xen, where Gordon destroyed a large alien entity keeping the rift open. Gordon was then suddenly extracted by the mysterious G-Man, who had been watching Gordon over the course of the game. Impressed with his ability to survive against all odds, the G-Man offered him a job before placing him into stasis, which Gordon had no option but to accept.

Some time after the ending of Half-Life, the instability at Black Mesa had attracted the attention of the Combine empire, and they invaded Earth. Humanity surrendered at the conclusion of the resulting "Seven Hour War". City 17 became the home of the gigantic Combine Citadel, and Dr. Wallace Breen, the Administrator of Black Mesa who had negotiated the surrender, was appointed representative and Administrator to supervise the survivors on behalf of the Combine.[2] Unable to breed due to a Combine suppression field, humanity matured. The Combine implemented a brutal police state of Civil Protection officers and Overwatch soldiers by recruiting and biologically assimilating humans and other species. Meanwhile, an underground "Lambda Resistance" of humans and Vortigaunts, now working together, was formed. This saw Freeman as a saviour who would lead them to freedom.20 years after the Resonance Cascade, the Combine emerge from the portal with advanced technologies, enabling them to conquer the world in 7 hours. Gordon Freeman is brought out of stasis by the G-Man, who inserts him into a train arriving at City 17.[3] After arriving at the station and eluding Combine forces, Gordon joins Lambda resistance members including Barney Calhoun, a former Black Mesa security guard now working undercover as a Combine CP officer, and Alyx Vance, the daughter of one of Gordon's former colleagues, Dr. Eli Vance. After a failed attempt to teleport to Eli's resistance base known as Black Mesa East from Dr. Kleiner's makeshift laboratory in City 17, Gordon, re-equipped with the HEV suit and a crowbar, is forced to progress on foot through the city's old canal system. After obtaining an airboat, he battles his way to Black Mesa East, several miles from the city.[4][5]

Gordon is reintroduced to Eli and meets another resistance scientist, Dr. Judith Mossman.[6] Alyx introduces Gordon to her pet robot D0g and gives him a "gravity gun", an instrument which allows Gordon to easily pick up and move large objects. Black Mesa East comes under Combine attack, and Eli and Mossman are taken to a Combine prison, Nova Prospekt. Separated from Alyx, Gordon takes a detour through the zombie-infested town of Ravenholm with help from its last survivor, Father Grigori. After making his way through the town and a mine, Gordon arrives at a Resistance outpost. He uses a customized dune buggy to travel across a crumbling coastal road to Nova Prospekt.
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4 of 4 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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3 of 3 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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Recently Posted
3.2 hrs
Posted: October 23
Rise and Shine, Mr. Freeman :3
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.4 hrs
Posted: October 23
A classic that has many elements that still hold up incredibly well today... and many that don't.

I think the oversaturation of the Source Engine might be part of the reason. As someone who played mass amounts of Garry's Mod years back, I find it weird to see all the characters and models and sounds in their actual context.

None the less, the psychics system leads to some interesting puzzles and cool moments. The game does often require thought for you to figure out how to proceed, and I like that.

The combat is... average at best. It's never really been the Source Engines strong suit in my opinion.\

Still worth playing this if you haven't yet.
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106.4 hrs
Posted: October 23
probebly the best game ive ever played
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26.3 hrs
Posted: October 23
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23.0 hrs
Posted: October 23
This game, THIS. GAME. Is one of the best story-driven games I've ever played! Physics, ragdoll death, a Gravity Gun (you can call it the Zero Point Manipulator, if you really want to - Alyx) to mess around with those physics, trust me, its fun to get to throw barrels at Combine, and the difficulty of the puzzles really make me think and thats what i love about this game the most.
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2.5 hrs
Posted: October 23
this is the reason i got steam! and is still the top (dated) fps mute crowbar monster game! every steam member should own this game.
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12.9 hrs
Posted: October 23
Absolutely classic!
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10.5 hrs
Posted: October 23
the best game of 2004 love it its one of best game series ive played
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16.7 hrs
Posted: October 23
I want Half-Life 3.
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8.8 hrs
Posted: October 23
Blah blah Half-Life 3 joke blah blah.

One thing I never hear anyone talk about is how well this game's graphics have held up. When you compare it side-by-side to recent games, you can see how old it looks, but when you actually play, Its hard to notice.
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