What's the first thing that comes to mind, when reviewing a video game? Well, for me, it has to be the visual world that captures the core of our imaginations. And with this little gem called Half-Life, it's no exception that this game continues to boggle the mind and leave people wondering. There is more heart, creativity and scientific ingenuity there is in this one title than there is in most series and is arguably Valve's greatest achievement. (With over 50 game awards, it's a strong justification). Half-Life isn't just one of the greatest FPS games of all time. It's not because Half-Life is one of the best purchases you can ever get on Steam. Half-Life is quite simply, one of the greatest games ever made.
When compared to certain FPS games in the past and modern times, which both heavily rely on long-winded cutscenes to glorify the main plotline, Half-Life annihilates this compulsed aspect, by detailing the plotlines that keeps the player still in control of the first-person viewpoint, leaving the cutscenes rolling while you still have full access to the gameplay and character controllability. For clarification, You will see through the eyes of Gordon Freeman at all times.
The game is a constant puzzle; leaving the player to work at tasks that involve being locked into battle and overall puzzle solving to advance through the many challenges that wait up ahead. Most of the time, the story illuminates the puzzles by the actions to proceed, such as maze scenarios and building boxes to use as staircases. Though Half-Life has short-lived loading screens from time to time after leaving a certain area for a new one, the game has no levels. But, to make up for this traditional concept, the game is split into a number of mind-boggling chapters filled with rich story glory.
To start off with this game's story, you're none other than Gordon Freeman. A young man who holds a Ph.D in theoretical physics who starts his daily grind back at the Black Mesa Research Facility; a fictional complex that is stranded in a remote desert located in the suburbs of New Mexico. Arriving late for work yet again, you take the tram system around the Black Mesa Research Facility and at this point, objectives that his game has fulfilled such as breath-taking visuals and movie quality animation begins to blossom. The tram sequence at the beginning of the game can only be summed up in one word; Incredible. It's as if the things that come flying at you from every angle and position, almost reminiscent of watching an action-packed movie, along with the credits of the producer's names proudly fading in and out on the corner of the screen.
As you make your first step in the heavily secured facility, you're constantly reminded that you put on your Hazardous Enviromental suit, or the H.E.V suit for short. While all things are hunky-dory, those things soon turn to the worst very soon. After a failed experiment, involving a collision between a rare intergalactic specimen from another dimension with an Anti-Mass Spectrometer, the Black Mesa facility falls in ruins, meaning you are one of the only key survivors of the infamous ''Black Mesa Incident''. And with this, alien life-forms from the dimension of ''Xen'' are pulled from their dimension into ours and are running amok the ruined facility, along with the Army that storm the place after the gone, haywired facility's emergency call has been echoed. This of course doesn't make things any easier and you soon find yourself battling both the aliens and army.
While there isn't exactly much to complain about, I would admit that guiding the chickened-out scientists and professors around the facility can be quite a pain now and again, as well as the alien life-form, Vortigaunt, from which you would have to wait and be patient for them to wreck down wooden doors in front of you, as you are not capable of doing that yourself. (You do start off with a crowbar, right?) As well as I'm probably not the only one who made the same mistake by killing them through a small opening, before they did in fact begin to tear down the doors. But then again, this is where the used scripted intermissions started to show, so that's an added bonus.
For the long run, I've had fun and joy both reviewing this amazing game and playing this amazing game. If you haven't play Half-Life and you're not familiar with Half-Life, it's still a massive recommendation from me.