TL:DR? See Conclusion
Also see my: Half Life (1) Review Half Life: Blue Shift Review
Half-Life: Opposing Force (also known as Government Cover-up Simulator 1999 or Call of Half-Life: Black Mesa Warfare) is a first-person action shooter game that serves as the first expansion to the critically acclaimed and award-winning Half-Life by Valve. Unlike Half-Life however, this title was made by Valve alongside Gearbox Software. Interestingly, unlike Half-Life, the player will see the Black Mesa incident through the eyes of a U.S. Marine(the Military enemies in the first game).
The player takes the role of Commander…(I mean)…Corporal Shephard, a U.S. Marine with the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit who were sent to the Black Mesa Complex for an unknown operation. While en route inside an Osprey to the Complex, Shephard and his team are attacked by Xen air-borne units forcing the Osprey to crash knocking him out. After regaining consciousness, Shephard learns that the Marines were being severely outnumbered and outgunned by the Xen forces which prompted High Command to call for a full evacuation and that anyone left behind is on their own (totally disregarding the U.S. Marine mantra “No man left behind”). Follow Shephard in his trek across the massive Black Mesa Complex in an attempt to escape while uncovering a government cover-up that would pitch Shephard against U.S. Black Operations Units, Xen forces, and a new alien threat called Race X.
+ New enemy types with unique abilities and weapons (instead of just rehashing the materials of the main game)
+ Fun and interesting new weapons such as the Displacer Cannon and Shock Roach
+ Well made action-packed story which shows players a different side of the Black Mesa Incident
+ Introduction of new game mechanics such as Rope Climbing, Secondary heavy melee attacks, Grappling hooks (Barnacle hook?), Night vision and Portal guns that send you (or your target) to another dimension (See Displacer Cannon above)
+ Possibly the first FPS game to implement a Military Squad game mechanic
+ Entertaining Tutorial with cultural references
+ Story intersects with some important Half-Life 1 events
+ Good voice acting for its time
+ Andrian Shephard is possibly a descendant of Jack (protagonist of Bioshock) due to his uncanny ability to wield a Wrench in battle against Black Ops Soldiers and Aliens.
- Relatively short game with me clocking around 5 hours of game time on hard mode.
- New squad mechanics is clunky (I can actually forgive this since it’s possibly the first squad mechanic on an FPS game)
- Puzzles are not that satisfying to solve
- Final chapter leading to the final boss feels rushed and underdeveloped
- Unsatisfying and easy final boss
GREAT EXPANSION that I HIGHLY RECOMMENDED specially for those who played the first Half-Life game and I say this because it is littered with several subtle nods from the main game. Opposing Force is a good example on how to make an expansion; it introduces new game mechanics, new enemies, new weapons and all the while delivering a new story that still being closely related to the main Half-Life plot.
MUST BUY AND MUST HAVE. I, however, do recommend you purchase the Half-Life Anthology if you already have Half-Life 2 but if you do not have it, get Half-Life Complete.
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