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User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (26,718 reviews) - 97% of the 26,718 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 16, 2004

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Buy Half-Life 2

Packages that include this game

Buy The Orange Box

Includes 5 items: Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal, Team Fortress 2

Buy Half-Life Complete

Includes 10 items: Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, Half-Life: Blue Shift, Half-Life: Opposing Force, Half-Life: Source, Team Fortress Classic

Buy Valve Complete Pack

Includes 24 items: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Portal 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Left 4 Dead, Portal, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Counter-Strike: Source, Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Day of Defeat, Day of Defeat: Source, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Half-Life, Half-Life: Blue Shift, Half-Life: Opposing Force, Half-Life Deathmatch: Source, Half-Life: Source, Ricochet, Deathmatch Classic

Buy Half-Life 2: Episode One

Buy Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Downloadable Content For This Game


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.
Helpful customer reviews
174 of 193 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
125.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 13
We remember the Freeman. We are coterminous. There is no distance between us. No false veils of time or space may intervene. We see you still in Black Mesa. Clearly we see you in the Nihilanth's chamber. We bear witness to the bright eternity of the Nihilanth's demise. You leap, you fall, we see you flash between the barriers. We are there still, in observance of your final stroke. While our own lay scattered at your feet, you severed the vortal cord that bound the Nihilanth to life, and to us. That sharp spur of hope has not dulled to this day. For once the lesser master lay defeated, we knew the greater must also fall in time.

For a brief time you joined with us. You are one. Between the worlds. Communion of the Vortessence. And that other: a deeper mystery. No deeper than the void itself. We cannot forget those whose cords you cut. Forgiveness is not ours to bestow. Unity of purpose, the shattering of common shackles, a single road we tread. Your song we sing and shall sing for eternity. No matter the consequences of this struggle. You have brought us grief and jubilation beyond measure. With you beside us, a talisman of victory, the day of freedom draws nigh.

Your bright face obscures your darker mask. We call you sib, although your mind and meaning are a mystery to us. Far distant eyes look out through yours. Something secret steers us both. We shall not name it. We have endured these chafing bonds for eons, yet a single moment of further servitude seems intolerable! How often have we slipped our yoke, only to find it choking us again. Let this war end in either total victory or our extinction. No further compromise shall we allow. We take our stand beside you, here, upon this miserable rock.

The way ahead is dark for the moment. What seems to you a sacrifice is merely, to us, an oscillation. We do not fear the interval of darkness. We are a tapestry woven of Vortessence. It is the same for you if only you would see it. How many are there in you? Whose hopes and dreams do you encompass? Could you but see the eyes inside your own, the minds in your mind, you would see how much we share.

We are you, Freeman. And you are us.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
122 of 135 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 6
NOTE: Related Content
Also see my:
Half-Life (1) Review
Half-Life: Opposing Force Review
Half-Life: Blue Shift Review
Black Mesa Review

TL:DR? See Conclusion

Half-Life 2 is a first-person shooter game developed and published by Valve Software (Corporation) and is a sequel to the extremely popular and revolutionary 1999 game Half-Life. Half-Life 2 was originally released back in 2004 and was then boasting the newly developed, highly flexible and powerful Source Engine, it then became an instant classic by making good use of new technology, excellent storytelling, gameplay mechanics and an unrivaled online experience. Alongside its predecessor, both games left a lasting impression, particularly on the FPS genre, as an industry standard for future FPS games to come.

PLOT (No Spoilers):
Half-Life 2 puts the player once more behind the thick-framed bulletproof glasses of Gordon Freeman, an MIT Graduate of Theoretical Physics with an uncanny ability to wield military hardware and the person indirectly responsible for opening a portal to an alien world and exposing Earth to an invasion that is to be known as the 'Black Mesa Incident'. Half-Life 2 is set 20 years after the events of Half-Life 1 and the world is now under the full control of the 'Combine', an interdimensional empire that is currently harvesting the natural resources of Earth including the human race which is now close to extinction.

+ Graphics and artstyle that looks just as good as it is now (2015), as it was eleven years ago (2004).
+ Excellent sequel with an excellent story that expands the Half-Life Universe
+ Excellent memorable supporting characters such as Alyx Vance
+ Great sound quality, facial animation, and voice acting adds to the immersive experience
+ Excellent enemy AI
+ Great level and environment designs but...(see CON #1)
+ Fun gunplay and gameplay mechanics
+ Good selection of weapons and equipment with very creative special abilities (Gravity Gun)
+ Atmospheric with excellent use of lighting, sound effects and environment design
+ Challenging difficulties
+ Expanded levels that give some room for exploration, but doesn't destroy the narrative storytelling
+ Lengthy game time
+ Very affordable price (though I highly recommend the Half-Life Complete pack)
+ Multiplayer is still active as far as I can tell
+ Tons of available mods that expand player experience

- Driving section may be a little too long but it does offer a few 'stops' where the player can stretch his leg muscles and trigger finger.
- The Squad Support AI is down right suicidal with no command to tell them to stay in place for more than 15 seconds before they follow you again. (This is annoying specially if you're trying to keep them alive against particularly deadly opponents such as Striders)
- Rag-doll physics engine can be unrealistically (albeit hilariously) glitchy
- No Steam Workshop Support for the multitude of MODS that are available.

Much like its predecessor, Half-Life 2 is a MASTERPIECE of a game and is a MUST BUY and MUST OWN for any fan of the first person genre because how else can you describe a game that is almost 11 years old, yet, can still retain all the fun and excitement of a recently released title.

If you decide to purchase and try this game, I do recommend you purchase Half-Life: Complete so you may also avail of the two Episodes that was subsequently released.

Half-Life 2's use of the amazing Source engine reflects on the fact that this game's graphics, despite showing some age, still manages not only to look good, but also to look authentic and atmospheric with its excellent use of sound and music that makes the environment feel alive. Graphics aside, the gameplay has survived for even after a decade and has still not lost its charm. The enemy AI provides an imposing challenge while gunplay and the creative weapons creates one of the most fun and immersive experience you can get on a first-person shooter. Storywise, the Half-Life universe can be considered as one of the most beautifully crafted worlds in gaming history. Half-Life 2 fully emphasizes this point with its amazing and memorable supporting characters that can establish a connection with the player on an emotional level. To recap, Half-Life 2 is the game that once again redefined how modern first-person shooters will be made in the future and remains as the benchmark for good single player FPS gaming experience.

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Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
58 of 71 people (82%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
25.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
Is your favourite game company Valve?
Is your melee weapon of choice the crowbar?
Is your favourite scientific symbol 'λ'?
Is your favourite name Gordon?
Do you have so much free time that people call you 'Freeman'?
Do you like to keep robot pet dogs?
Is your best friend's name Alyx?
Do you like to see gigantic ant-like spiders?
Do you like to defy the laws of gravity with a gravity gun?
Do you own a biohazard suit that lets you run super fast and breathe underwater?
Is your father a 'lawyer-like man with a briefcase' and talks with a deep voice?

If your answer is 'Yes' to all of the above or just the last question, THEN HURRY UP AND GET THIS GAME BEFORE GORDON WHACKS YOU WITH HIS CROWBAR AND BEFORE VALVE RELEASES HL3!!

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
34 of 37 people (92%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
15.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
I'll tell you a story.

Once, I went to my grandma's house in March- the THIRD month of the year. It was also the THIRD. I arrived at my grandma's house at 3:33. She has THREE houses on her block. I went up to the door, which had THREE chips on it, and knocked THREE times. After THREE seconds, she said: "Be right there!"- it had THREE words in it. She came up to the door and took off THREE locks on her door. She invited me into the kitchen for cookies, while all of her THREE cats ran past me, one of which had THREE spots on him. She told me to sit down next to the table, which had THREE chairs. She handed me the platter with THREE cookies on it, and said that her THREE cats took THREE of the cookies THREE times. So we sat down for THREE minutes, and talked about THREE subjects: Major companies, Games, and Numbers. After that, we sat in my grandma's living room, and watched THREE different channels. After a while, she started to get thirsty, so I generously got up from one of the THREE sofas, went into the kitchen, and opened the fridge. I spilled THREE drinks, but I got more for my grandma. When I came back into the room, she was watching a commercial for a product that said: "If you don't get it in THREE days, it's free! Only $33.33!" I sat down and started reading a magazine for children- the THIRD issue. It was on how to add. 1+1-1+1+1=3. That didn't seem appropriate for a children's book, so I went on the computer in my grandma's bedroom, and found out the company had been in buisiness for only THREE years. Now it made sense. It was time for me to leave because I was going to a party with THREE of my friends. My grandma gave me THREE seashells as a present, which I thanked her THREE times for. So then I left out the door, walked to my car, and drove away.

So, what I'm trying to say is that I had a great time at my grandma's house.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
32 of 34 people (94%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
472.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 14
Best. Game. Ever.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny