Half-Life 2 Image
Metascore
96

Universal acclaim - based on 81 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 6843 Ratings

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  • Summary: [Metacritic's 2004 PC Game of the Year] 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 -- people he cares about -- are counting on him. [Vivendi Universal] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 81
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 81
  3. Negative: 0 out of 81
  1. This is a jaw-dropping, exhilarating game. It's the game you'll remember for years.
  2. Half-Life 2 isn't flawless, just like any great work of art, but that doesn't make it any less of a masterpiece.
  3. Half-Life 2 is a first-person shooter. But in action, storytelling, technical achievement, atmosphere and intensity it has far outdone its peers. Valve just hit the top note no other PC game developer could reach...The excuse that 'it's just a game' won't cut it anymore. [Dec 2004, p.102]
  4. It's a beautiful game with fantastic design and writing that's a little short but delivers boatloads of action in what time you do end up playing.
  5. The great graphics, incredible physics' engine, impressive sound/music and engaging story line all add up to a classic game.
  6. You will be hard pressed to find a FPS that looks better than Half Life 2 when it is played at its max settings.
  7. 85
    I think this is probably the worst teammate AI I've seen in an FPS since "Daikatana." It's like every one of your followers are the Redshirt sidekicks from "Star Munchkin."

See all 81 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Jul 23, 2012
    10
    Not much to add here- a game every gamer should play at least once. A story, soundtrack, and experience to rival that of any other piece of fiction. Despite not really enjoying HL1's overall gameplay (and horribly dated graphics), HL2 more than makes up for it. Anyone who dismissed this game after having an unfavorable experience with its predecessor absolutely should give it a second look. Expand
  2. Nov 26, 2010
    10
    Alright, i am responding to most of the negative reviewers out there. i have read them. Half of them are about steam. in 2004. These days, steam has improved and is now usable, along with a built in social network. Dont blame the installation. Blame the game. Now i agree... The graphics are aged a bit... but, you dont complain about a fine wine being aged, do you? Now you know that the game works on middle-high range computers. Being overrated and overadverstised...i dont see any commercials for it, or for when it came out. WoW? Yes, i most certainly did. Physics, no bullet penetration...thats real life...items that fall to the ground depending on weight and gravity...thats real life too! You cant say that about most other modern games. Also, these days, modern games are shipped out in a few generic catagories; Warfare(MW2,Bad Company,Black Ops) WWII(CoD, RUSE)Sci-Fi(Starcraft, Star Wars),Attemped survival horror(Doom3)And Low Budget(Big Rigs OTRR). Half life is a step above because of its individualism. it also has elements from some of those catagories. Its a shooter with warfare scifi elements. Also, FEAR was good, but Far Cry was a peice of Sh*t, and Half Life is the only game ive played that doesnt feel the same as every other game ive played. Expand
  3. Aug 17, 2013
    10
    Half-Life 2 is one of the best games you will ever play in your life... And it's one game that you'll never forget! As you go more into the game the action, gameplay, and experience will blow your mind! This game has all of it. Support characters, plot twists, amazing dialog, tough enemies, everything! And by time you'll finish this game you will always enjoy it. Expand
  4. Jul 22, 2012
    10
    And in response to some fa**ot that commented some time ago:

    I'm sure in 2004 this was the best game ever and blew minds, but this is 2012
    and I'm judging it by 2012 standards.
    -ok fine
    1) the game is 100% linear, claustrophobically linear. -Sometimes linear is needed for a storyline to be followed right.
    2) it handles like **** The controls are not responsive, jumping is a pain, etc.
    -The handling is just perfect.
    -The controles are responsive, just not for your **** HP wireless keyboard, or maybe you're playing it on ps3/xbox.
    -You can jump by pressing space.
    -etc.
    3) The guns are really dull except for the gravity gun.
    -That can be set by setting difficulty.
    -It could also help a whole lot to aim at the enemy.
    4) The enemy AI is beyond retarded.
    -Set dificulty higher.
    5) The story is an incoherent mess.
    -Follow the storyline. It aint hard to understand if you understand english.
    6) the art is soviet era rot, brown and grey and depressing That is because the enviroment is supposed to be depressing. It aint Angry birds you're playing.
    7) the assests look like they are from 2004, you know when videocards had 128mb of ram and people were playing games on the ps2 and original xbox? And don't forget that this game was made for original xbox. -The game is for 2004, so I guess it looks like it's from 2004.
    8) puzzles involve moving boxes around, and platforming with above mentioned **** controls. All in all, this game just does not stack up to great shooters like like crysis, Stalker, Metro, New Vegas, DayZ, etc. I supose if you are into playing old games like Fallout 1&2, Thief, etc., then you'll like this one. But if you are like me and find old PS2/xbox era games totally unfun, then stay away. YMMV blahblah.
    -Physics were new at that time. If you know how to think through obstacles and can actualy use a keyboard, it's no problem solving.
    Expand
  5. Dec 1, 2011
    10
    Took me a few years to get a "wake up call" and to properly get into this game. When HL2 first came out I wasn't so keen on it. Now that having played through it again, as well as both of the episodes, I really came to appreciate how decent the game is, even compared to the games coming out nowadays. HL2 is not just an FPS game. It might seem like so at first, but there is a whole new level of depth to the gaming experience when it comes to this game. HL2 puts the player in all sorts of varying environments and against all sorts of enemies, each time changing the situation, so that you're never bored. The game is very dynamic. It keeps you surprised, changing the challenge all the time. On top of that it is very rewarding, as games should be. If you spend some time to explore for example, you find good items. The weapons are very enjoyable to use in combat, and some are even pretty unique. The Gravity Gun for example is very diverse in its applications and can be easily used for most of the combat situations in the game. The rocket launcher gives a whole new meaning to the term "homing" as you navigate the missile at your enemies with a laser sight. Every weapon is fantastic, whether it's an awesome sniper crossbow, or bugbait used to attract antlion creatures to attack the enemy. The storyline continues from the first game, except takes place a few years after. Gordon Freeman (the playable character) now finds himself in a dystopic society, where alien civilisation by the name of Combine is ruling over the humans on Earth. The story of HL2 manages to show tyranny and oppression really well. The story still leaves some loose ends, which opened up an opportunity for the sequels. Half Life 2 is generally an all round great game with no outstanding flaws whatsoever (although I felt that earlier parts of the game weren't as good as the latter parts). Great story, fun gameplay, beautiful visuals, nice soundtrack, and very lifelike NPCs (they act just like real people!). Expand
  6. Aug 19, 2010
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. An amazingly well built sequel for the groundbreaking Half Life, I was very excited and was disappointed that Half Life 2 didn't meet my expectations...... IT COMPLETELY SURPASSED THEM IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE. Valve has made a complete masterpiece with this game. The enemy AI, while not as amazing as Half Life's, is still top notch. The game is very realistic. I was thrown headfirst into this world and I must say that I was completely immersed in it. The graphics are extremely good and the level design is still amazing. The water effects blew me away! The characters have very good lip syncing and extremely life like emotions with great voice acting. Every location, from the urban City 17, to the extremely creepy Ravenholm are designed very well. I think that many might say that Valve spent a long time on it and will complain but I will just say how I think all that time making it shows. If I could make it so, i would give this an 11. Expand
  7. Nov 20, 2013
    0
    Vomited while playing the game; must be the camera. Worst game ever. Not to mention that the main character is uninteresting and the storyline is boring. Expand

See all 1753 User Reviews

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