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User reviews:
Very Positive (160 reviews) - 92% of the 160 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (4,295 reviews) - 94% of the 4,295 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 1, 2006

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Packages that include this game

Buy Half-Life 2: Episode One

Includes 2 items: Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life 2: Episode One

Buy The Orange Box

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

Downloadable Content For This Game


Recommended By Curators

"In this episodic standalone follow-up to Half-Life 2, Gordon Freeman once again teams up with Alyx Vance as they try to escape a besieged City 17."

About This Game

Half-Life 2 has sold over 4 million copies worldwide, and earned over 35 Game of the Year Awards. Episode One is the first in a series of games that reveal the aftermath of Half-Life 2 and launch a journey beyond City 17. Also features two multiplayer games. Half-Life 2 not required.

System Requirements

Mac OS X

    Minimum: 1.7 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM, DirectX® 8.1 level Graphics Card (Requires support for SSE), Windows® 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista/XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

    Recommended: Pentium 4 processor (3.0GHz, or better), 1GB RAM, DirectX® 9 level Graphics Card, Windows® 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista/XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

    Minimum: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8 or higher, ATI X1600 or higher, or Intel HD 3000 or higher Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (160 reviews)
Very Positive (4,295 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 9.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 30
A great follow up to Half-Life 2, expanding the story, and keeping the excellent gunplay while making things fresh and new for those who have played the games before. A modern classic that deserves a good playthrough, or two, or more.
(It is pretty short though)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 7.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 30
personal score: A-RANK
price paid: 50.00 USDs // orange box
price history: buy at a 75%+ price cut
select guide: installing source engine mods
third-party support: mod db // there is no steam workshop support
Helpful? Yes No Funny
HTResty #GrammarNazi#
( 3.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
A really good game. Not as good as Half-Life 2 though

Nothing else to say really

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hiroki Park
( 6.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 28
You could go outside and pursue your hopes and dreams. Instead, you're sitting inside wasting life doing something that barely brings momentary pleasure and means nothing in the long run. Why?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 4.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 28
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OGCrazy Pants (holiday)
( 19.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
Probably prefer this one to Episode 2 because of the atmosphere. its probably just me but i like the thought of everyone trying to escape the city and the Combine trying to stop them. If your into the whole ubran combat theme with all the factions fighting it out in the city this one will be perfect for you, But if your into the story more you might as well skip this episode and go stright to Episode 2.
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( 5.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
OK. I heard a lot of the reviews saying that this is the weakest part of Half Life 2. People say that it's still good but it's not as good as the others. Well, I can't believe i'm going to say this but I enjoyed this way more then Half Life 2. Yeah, seriously! To me, Half Life 2 felt like a really long and sometimes boring but really good action film (the ravenholm chapter was defiently my favourite like many other reviewers have agreed) but this felt like a really, really good short action movie from start to finish. The levels in this episode are so cleverly laid out and they were so fun to complete. In Half Life 2, there were a few boring and frustrating sections like the part where you lay down turrets in a sort of tower defense mission for the tower being you or the boat ski sections, but in here, there was not one dull moment. For god's sake, the episode starts (NO SPOILERS BY THE WAY) with you being pulled out of a wreckage, going into a car and then the car falls down this combine hole as you go on a scripted rollarcoaster sequence. Tell me if that's not awesome.

So in the end, I liked this episode way more than the original game. I moaned that in Half Life 2 there wasn't a speaking protaginist and the loading times were too long but here I can accept it for the less amount of loading times and the fact that not many people are talking at you at once. So becasue of that:
Half Life 2: Episode 1 get's a 10/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 13.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
Even though it is short (Took me about 2 hours to complete on my most recent playthrough) it is still quite enjoyable - 8/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
Still the second one
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
The story picks up right away after the original game and offers more of the same as the original,good game and good story must play !
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
Half-Life 2: Episode One is science fiction first person shooter game developed by Valve Software on the Source Engine. It tells the continued story of physicist-gone-action-hero Gordon Freeman as he and action-hero-gone-love-interest Alyx Vance escape from the physically unstable City 17 before it blows up I think.

In my review of Half-Life 2 I definitely wasn't very nice to the game. I said the game was unfocused and average, with interesting ideas and clever storytelling but drawn-out setpeices and a largely uninteresting plot if you remove all that glittery facial animation. Some of that, I think, is still justified but one thing I forgot to mention was how much I actually really like Half-Life 2.

One thing the HL franchise enjoys doing is pulling the rug out from under the player and then throwing a bunch of enemies at them. That's pretty cool but it's also sort of troubling, considering that most of Half-Life 2 feels very aimless as if Gordon is just drunkenly stumbling between ambushes and set-peices. Episode 1 seemingly tries to fix that by making whatever the current goal is very obvious, either with some kind of environmental clue or with Alyx directly telling you what the objective is:

Escape the tower
Get to the train station

The story is more grounded and because of that the gameplay can throw you into as many accidental circumstances and detours as it wants because you always end up back on track.

I also appreciate how the stakes are a lot higher feeling in this game. It isn't just a vague intergalactic business proposition between Breen and some alien terrorist people, the actual city feels like it's about to blow up and if you keep getting interrupted by the combine than everybody involved will actually die. And it isn't just your life that's at stake here, you spend the entire game fighting alongside Alyx Vance, which sounds like a bad idea but this game manages a sidekick-idea very well.

Anybody who played the first game remembers the third act where you command a squad consisting of that guy who sounds like everyone else and a girl who only occasionally dreams of cheese(?) but nobody WANTS to remember that part because not only is it sandwiched between the two best parts of the game but it also is un-doubtably the worst. The AI blocks the player at every turn and is super reliant on Gordon; they will not go anywhere unless you ask them too and they die as quickly as your enemies do so they may as well not be there--heck the game is more fun when they AREN'T there.

The squad idea comes back in Episode 1 but not only are they more resistant, they seemingly abandon the whole "Targeting" thing--they seem to go wherever they want until you start to progress, and most importantly they stay out of the players way. All of this culminates into Alyx who not only follows the player from the very start but is INVULNERABLE to damage. This could make her too powerful but the devs fix that only giving her a pistol until about halfway through, and even before that she's a very good aim. Most of the opening is spent with the player under a variety of handicaps such as only having a gravity gun or not having a ton of ammo and the devs cleverly use Alyx as your second half, which not only ties their mostly plot-based comradery into the gameplay but also makes you feel like a real team by the end.

Ultimately I think Episode 1 expands on HL2 and makes the game better. There's only one new enemy and a smaller arsenal than before but the gameplay is tightened and the story in more investing. I'll be the first to admit that my review of HL2 was a bit hyperbolic but I still recommended that game and I absolutely recommend Episode 1 as well
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 19
Probably the weakest game in the Half-Life 2 trilogy but still really good.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
Initially, this review was going to be negative and not reccomend it.

The start of the game, is not exactly endearing. It is very difficult to get immersed in what is happening, and the fact that you play Gordon Freeman again (yes, I know he is the main protagonist of the series, but he is just that - the main one). I felt that this was the perfect opportunity to play as Alyx, or Barney again. Someone other than Gordon, indeed, I was more of the mind that this game would have been more interesting if it had changed tact, and the purpose was to find Gordon after the events of Half-Life 2.

Either way, going through the opening chapter of this game was tedius. Mind-numbingly so. It was not enjoyable, it was not great storytelling and it definitely did not flow well. Alyx as an NPC Mary-Sue that offered constant exposition became annoying very very quickly. This issue with Alyx would only continue as the game progressed. Too much emphasis was placed on doing things in a buddy-cop fashion, but without the laughs associated with that genre.

The game didn't get too much better for a while. The reliance on the game to pair you up with Alyx had many of the same issues that you got with Half-Life 2 and the squads, they would constantly get in your way. And Alyx would do that with a repetitive glee that could only be described as malicious. I also found that this game seemed buggier than Half-Life 2 in that you could get caught on so much more debris.

The game also has a predisposition to clunky gameplay, revisitng many of the poorer elements used in the series, such as platforming and un-inspired puzzles. But at least you can still shoot things up with the SMG, Pulse Rifle and Crossbow.

However, the game did start picking up once you got to the final chapter and met up with an old friend again. I believe that this sequence and the final mini-boss fight at the end were the saving grace of Half-Life 2: Episode One. They raised the score of the game enough for me to recommend this game. Unfortunately, though, whilst it tips the scales on the fun side, this game did not enhance the lore of the series.

3/5 - only get if on special.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
If I managed to complete this in one sitting, you can do anything.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
It's quite short, but enjoyable. 9/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
Half-Life 2: Episode One

•• Beautifully put together story
•• Story progression is well paced and exciting
•• Characters do not feel static
•• Graphics are still good even for today's standards
•• Organized and reasonable achievements for the most part
•• Simplistic and engaging combat
•• Well put together environment and futuristic theme
•• Music fits right into the story

•• AI is a little outdated
•• Many times I did not know where to go or what to do
•• Quite a few times the game left me stuck where I had to restart a segment
•• Story still has holes by the end hopefully filled in by Episode 2
•• The "One Free Bullet" achievement is very frustrating where I had to replay half the game to get
•• Puzzles can be annoying at times
•• Physics are inconsistent sometimes
•• Ends in yet another cliff hanger

Final Thoughts: Episode One wraps up quite similar to the previous game with a cliff hanger where you do not know if Gordon survived or not. It also starts with holes not filled and hopefully is filled in by Episode 2. The story is very well crafted but this episode does not do much in the way of the story it just continues the last game. Although there was a few problems with segments not working and the "One Free Bullet" achievement being a hassle, the game is definitely worth your time.

Rating: 8.0/10

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
Played it a lot on my old account. Had to buy it once again and try it in 2K with maxed out settings while waiting for the next Half-Life
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
It's not HL3 but it'll have to do
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
More of the same. Its shorter length actually works to its advantage, as it's much more focussed.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 1

I've just finished my 2nd playthrough so the average gametime you might squeeze out of this will be slightly longer, somewhere around 5 hours.

Episode One is the "odd" Half-Life game, I have to admit. While the gameplay is balanced and the game is of the same difficulty as Half-Life 2 it's not my time of game. I frankly don't find Antlions that interesting, but the Zombines and Stalkers were a fun addition (it's the first time the Stalkers have an actual purpose and gameplay mechanics).

It's a fun addition to the Half-Life series, but don't get yourself stressed over it. I find Episode Two to be a much better sequel.
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