Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Video Game Assessment: Half-Life 2 (2004)
Half-Life 2 is one of the best video games of all time. To me this game beats out every other first-person shooter I've ever played... by far beats them out. I mean it beats them out so much that they're left bleeding on the ground begging for mercy, but the crowbar that Gordon Freeman carries around with him has no concept of this human thing called mercy. Instead it beats those first-person shooters by sheer betterness. I know that's not a word, but I don't care anymore. Do I look like I care? No. BioShock? Bah. Gordon Freeman beats you to death just by trying to kind of be like him. Any of the Halo games? Don't even make me laugh... because you won't like me when I'm laughing.
Half-Life 2 is simply better than those other games. It's a six-year old game that literally stands up better than ANY game made today... which kind of makes me sad. I mean, you would expect video games to get better over time, but that is just not the case here. This game is just so good that it literally influenced an entire genre of gaming. It heavily influenced almost every first-person shooter out there and is often compared to other apocalyptic games. Although it is always better.
There are some horror aspects of the game as well, which I like. The whole game has an unsettling feel... especially the abandoned areas in which Freeman travels. Ravenholm comes to mind in particular... almost being a zombie apocalypse kind of scenario. Also the prison level of Nova Prospekt, which has some very creepy imagery. The whole game has an oppressive and sinister feel to it. Freeman really feels like a shining light in a world full of unspeakable horrors.
There are headcrabs, barnacles, the Combine, striders, and the zombies... all of which create an atmosphere of dread for the player.
This game has perfect pacing. PERFECT PACING. It needed repeating. So many stories don't have the tight pacing this game has and they suffer for it. Every game developer and story-writer should go and play this game for the simple fact that they can see a masterpiece at work.
I should also speak of the weapon this game is known for: The Gravity Gun. Awesome. That's all I have to say.
I know this game is usually well-loved by critics... and I just have nothing bad to say about it. It's a wonderful experience. It also happens to be in my top five favorite games of all time. I'll probably mention the other games on that list at some point. I find it funny that four of my top five games are sequels to what I consider inferior games. That's always awesome when a developer really gets it and makes the sequel better.
ARGH. Now I want Half-Life 3!
Well, that's my review. This game is so awesome it makes lesser games explode from inadequacy. It should be played by every single person out there regardless of feelings on video games or skill level or whatever. It's a game that deserves to be seen because it's just as good as ANY movie, even the best of the best. It really shows that video games are certainly going to be a lasting medium.