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8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2356 Ratings

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  1. EddieD
    Aug 5, 2009
    7
    In all honesty, the original HalfLife game is at least twice as good as Episode 1. It was more challenging and had a better plot.
  2. RobA.
    Oct 12, 2007
    7
    Felt more like a user mod than a professional game. Tedius areas and very little plot advancement.
  3. PatW.
    Dec 23, 2007
    7
    Very buggy and crashes a lot with my graphics card (Nvidia 8500GT). Loaded newest drivers, crash; reduced the hardware acceleration, crash. Great game play - when it works.
  4. Gate28
    Oct 3, 2007
    7
    While it is an interesting addon to an amazing game, i wouldent pay more than 15 bucks for it. The only reason I got it was because it came in The Orange Box. Although, I will be getting episode 3 simply because I wanna know how it ends
  5. AS
    Oct 26, 2008
    7
    Episode 1 is pretty disappointing. HL2 was an awesome game in 2004 and everyone was amazed at the graphics and gameplay cause noone had ever played anything like it before. Episode 1 however is exactly the same as HL2. There are absolutely no new areas to go to, nor any new enemies. It's very linear and gets very boring because you've essentially played it all before. I was Episode 1 is pretty disappointing. HL2 was an awesome game in 2004 and everyone was amazed at the graphics and gameplay cause noone had ever played anything like it before. Episode 1 however is exactly the same as HL2. There are absolutely no new areas to go to, nor any new enemies. It's very linear and gets very boring because you've essentially played it all before. I was expecting new stuff but didn't get any. All the gameplay has been experienced in HL2 with same environments and enemies....and so it doesn't deserve to be Episode 1...it feels just like part of HL2. Episode 2 however added new places and enemies and deserves the 'Episode' title. It's also only 4 hours long and whatever story they tried to add doesn't add anything at all...just as Computer Games Magazine said "It feels like exactly what it is: a small and perhaps insignificant part of something much larger"....which is 100% true cause it's more of a lead up to the exceptional Episode 2. So all up Episode 1 feels exactly the same as HL2 which you may think is good because HL2 is good but it's bad in the sense that it's no different from HL2. As strange as that sounds, I'm sure you know what I mean. When you've played HL2 for the 10th time and then play Episode 1, it feels like you're playing HL2 for the 11th time. That's how I felt. Expand
  6. LeeW.
    Jan 10, 2009
    7
    This is MUCH better than anything Valve has pulled off before. Though it still has all the regular linearity and low-resolution graphics and bland AI of Half-Life 2, and it's still on their heavily (and horribly) modified version of the Quake engine, there are actually redeeming qualities that expose themselves. The best happens to be the HDR rendering, which gives the game some This is MUCH better than anything Valve has pulled off before. Though it still has all the regular linearity and low-resolution graphics and bland AI of Half-Life 2, and it's still on their heavily (and horribly) modified version of the Quake engine, there are actually redeeming qualities that expose themselves. The best happens to be the HDR rendering, which gives the game some atmosphere, and works especially well with the fact that it's set at sundown. The enemies do a little more damage. It's not because their AI has been improved, just because is a less-than-infinite supply of ammunition and med-packs everywhere and the enemies are more varied. They also come in big packs. The puzzles that a blind three-year-old can solve are spaced farther apart with more time for puzzles that may lead to actual harm. The voice acting is somewhat better and the characters seem more realistic, which is very good since the girl follows you around. AND she has infinite ammunition for her weird machinepistol. Some story is added as well, instead of HL2's original idea of the player just running around as some retarded mute with a zappy-gun that moves things. You're still playing the retarded mute. It just has more feeling to it. The levels are still pretty linear. Except this time they don't send you in a straight line. Over all it's still got that regular Valve-trademarked shittiness, but they may have hired some kind of person who actually cared for the game, not just money from kids who never played an actually good game in their life, the kids who think Half-Life 2 was brilliant. Too bad it's DAMNED short. Expand
  7. MicahF
    Jul 16, 2009
    7
    The only problem with Half Life Episode 1 is the fact that it's unlike Half Life 2. What I mean is, having a sidekick is annoying. Especially one like in this game. She gets in the way and talks too much. If the developer had left her out, I would have given this a 10.
  8. Patrick
    Dec 29, 2007
    7
    Recycled environments and the end boss are my only problems with this game. I'm not going to spoil it but you face the end boss several times in HL2 and I think the way the fight was planned out was great but I would have liked to see an actual new enemy rather than an old one that seemed to me to be little more than placed strategically. However the lack of new content is the main Recycled environments and the end boss are my only problems with this game. I'm not going to spoil it but you face the end boss several times in HL2 and I think the way the fight was planned out was great but I would have liked to see an actual new enemy rather than an old one that seemed to me to be little more than placed strategically. However the lack of new content is the main problem. You can skip from HL2 to EP2 without playing this but it's only $10 for a solid extension of the story and a good shooter on it's own right so why not? Expand
  9. Jul 15, 2013
    7
    My review is simple.
    Probably, you played the original game Half Life 2 before the episode one (obviously).
    And I played 5 additionnal hours of the original game. Same ennemies. Same guns. Same ambiance. Practically the same place. The episode one is an extension with nothing of new. You like Half Life 2 like that and you don't need smething of new That's for you. You
    My review is simple.
    Probably, you played the original game Half Life 2 before the episode one (obviously).

    And I played 5 additionnal hours of the original game.
    Same ennemies.
    Same guns.
    Same ambiance.
    Practically the same place.

    The episode one is an extension with nothing of new.

    You like Half Life 2 like that and you don't need smething of new That's for you.

    You like Half Life 2 and you want an incredible innovation of Valve's disappointment for you.

    If you dislike Half Life 2, why you played at this ?

    For my rating, the same as Half Life 2 Good FPS, great atmosphere but where is the marking stuff ?
    What makes the game "worship" ?
    I don't find that.

    The game aged so the half life's 2 revolution is past. I expected more for "the game of the decade" but he is pleasurable.

    PS Epic the fight at the end
    Expand
  10. CRL
    Jul 25, 2011
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Episode One is in my mind the weakest game in the Half Life series, though still pretty good. For almost half of the game your only weapon is the enhanced Gravity Gun... which is pretty cool but loses its charm after a while. Another third of the game is spent in lightless tunnels full of zombies, which also loses its charm after a while. However the last two chapters make up for the first half's mishaps with a fun and sometimes challenging dash to escape City 17. Expand
  11. Dec 22, 2011
    7
    Since you can practically pick it up for a dollar every other month on Steam I don't know why any fan of FPS games or Half=Life would appreciate this game for what it is. A short, cheap, and nice expansion to the original game which continues the story.
  12. EdL.
    Jun 27, 2007
    7
    Not as long as the original and not as fun. It did not have as much plot. Was it only made to see how many impossible situations you could stand or to see how many times you could die? I don't mind a difficult game but to go from one to another to another to another lost its appeal.
  13. Apr 25, 2012
    7
    This is a pretty decent expansio, but it doesn't hold the same standard as the original game. I kind of just wanted to rush through it, and that's how I still feel about it. Still, a mediocre Half-Life game is better than most other games.
  14. Nov 29, 2013
    7
    Episode One is definitely the weakest link in the Half Life 2 series. The main problem with Episode One is that not much happens: you go into the Citadel, Alyx picks up a copy of the Transmission, and then you escape the city. Add in the fact that this game is also very short. In my opinion, the beginning of Episode One (inside the Citadel) is a bit boring. The game does get better onceEpisode One is definitely the weakest link in the Half Life 2 series. The main problem with Episode One is that not much happens: you go into the Citadel, Alyx picks up a copy of the Transmission, and then you escape the city. Add in the fact that this game is also very short. In my opinion, the beginning of Episode One (inside the Citadel) is a bit boring. The game does get better once you leave the citadel and are presented with numerous puzzles. The hospital portion is also quite good and the new zombine enemy is quite humorous. Episode One is not bad by any means, but having played through all the Half Life games, this stands out as being comparatively weak. Expand
  15. scottd
    Jan 1, 2010
    6
    dont think im hateing, i think the beggining of half life 2 ep 1 is dazzleing and amazeing (and a great way to experience the organic grave gun if you havnt gotten up to that part in half life two) and i think the ending is brillaintly epic, but everything inbetween is just a bland blur and is mostly just rehash of the latter parts of half-life 2 (follow freeman), that and i personaly did dont think im hateing, i think the beggining of half life 2 ep 1 is dazzleing and amazeing (and a great way to experience the organic grave gun if you havnt gotten up to that part in half life two) and i think the ending is brillaintly epic, but everything inbetween is just a bland blur and is mostly just rehash of the latter parts of half-life 2 (follow freeman), that and i personaly did not enjoy bogging through the darkened underground before getting to city 17 topside, good start, epic finish, bland middle! Expand
  16. DanielGaggini
    Mar 11, 2009
    6
    I really have the feeling it's a poor 2nd part of HL2. The levels are often already played and are just a bit retouched. The storyline is poor and a good part of it is boring. Add to that a really short play time and you understand why I think it's really a pure commercial addon. Episode 2 is really better and worthy.
  17. JBobinski
    Jun 10, 2006
    6
    More frustrating than fun, especially the really dark parts.
  18. YoannF.
    Sep 5, 2006
    6
    Great and beautifull, but... too short! I achieved it in two afternoons ... i was expecting weeks of gaming :-( That is a great deception to me ..... When i buyed it (19.9
  19. TJH
    Oct 19, 2006
    6
    I was expecting more-
    There was no
  20. MartinI.
    Jun 13, 2006
    5
    Im afraid I can only give this game 5 out of ten. Not because I didnt enjoy it, but because it was very short; way to short in fact. I enjoyed the new sections, the brevity of the episode left me feeling ripped off. Be aware I finished this in an evening and I am not even a full time gamer anymore! wait until it comes down in price, Valve has become what all successful corporations are, GREEDY!!
  21. KillerDM
    Oct 1, 2006
    6
    To scripted. To much help along the way take away from the suspense.
  22. DeJhonM.
    Nov 8, 2006
    6
    Money, a precious commodity that few people have and many others want. That being said, one can infer that most purchasers of this game did not have sufficient funds to self purchase the game, or had a gross excess of funds allowing the price to seem minute and insignificant. Unlike what some people seem to think, Half Life 2: Episode 1 is not an expansion, Valve made this very clear Money, a precious commodity that few people have and many others want. That being said, one can infer that most purchasers of this game did not have sufficient funds to self purchase the game, or had a gross excess of funds allowing the price to seem minute and insignificant. Unlike what some people seem to think, Half Life 2: Episode 1 is not an expansion, Valve made this very clear during their advertisement campaigns, it is merely a collection of new maps and media. With Half Life 2: Episode 1 Valve skipped through several months of development to quickly deliver a playable game. This is similar to what they did with Blue Shift and Opposing Force, both of which reused Half Life 1 media. The main difference is that Opposing Force was a rightful contender with Half Life in length, puzzle quality, and bosses (Blue Shift was significantly less of a game then Opposing Force and Half Life). However, the end pricing of Half Life 2 Expand
  23. Uriel.
    Aug 25, 2006
    6
    game is too short even for a episode, especially if it costs about 20
  24. JohnD.
    Jul 27, 2007
    6
    The graphics are nice but it is WAY TOO SHORT.
  25. ChrisDickens
    Nov 4, 2007
    6
    Merely a decent FPS experience with obnoxious puzzles thrown in to lengthen the disappointingly short playtime. While the remarkably flawless inclusion of Alyx as a constant companion certainly added an interesting element to the gameplay, Episode 1 lacks the ingeniously designed fights and thrills of it's predecessor, and none of the new positive aspects are given enough time bloom.
  26. Jan 26, 2011
    6
    Half Life 2 left me wanting more, but this just did not suffice. The "episode" was too short and somewhat corny at times. It just didn't feel like the same game-too short and not challenging enough. Is worth playing though to stick with the story line. Esisode 2 was much better.
  27. Oct 14, 2015
    7
    The gameplay is freakishly entertaining with new game mechanics and many memorable levels. It's as good as Half Life 2. The story? Unfortunately not as rich and up-to-the-mark as Half Life 2. We simply have to escape City 17, that's all. I expected at least something new once Alyx and we escape the citadel but it's just run-run-run and run. The boss fights and a certain sniper level makeThe gameplay is freakishly entertaining with new game mechanics and many memorable levels. It's as good as Half Life 2. The story? Unfortunately not as rich and up-to-the-mark as Half Life 2. We simply have to escape City 17, that's all. I expected at least something new once Alyx and we escape the citadel but it's just run-run-run and run. The boss fights and a certain sniper level make up for it though. But didn't have the feel and severity of Half Life 2. Made just for fun. Expand
  28. Sep 23, 2014
    7
    A good continuation of half life 2. Combat is the same as Half life 2, story is good but not as strong as half life 2. Overall its good and worth getting if you liked Half life 2.
  29. Oct 2, 2015
    7
    This is really really short and pain in the ass to fight the final boss, just play it to kill time or if your high or drunk as **** or just play it when your bored.
  30. ArtK.
    Jun 20, 2006
    6
    Disappointing!
    * the game was a 1 day game , too short
    *The game got no shoot action, I know action is not the point of the game but lack of it nakes it nothing * it is not as smooth as I expected it to be, it is not polished enough. By that, I mean the game got quite a lot of flaws in the design * Valve gave up :( , can't u c. Valve is making episodes cause they want money and
    Disappointing!
    * the game was a 1 day game , too short
    *The game got no shoot action, I know action is not the point of the game but lack of it nakes it nothing
    * it is not as smooth as I expected it to be, it is not polished enough. By that, I mean the game got quite a lot of flaws in the design
    * Valve gave up :( , can't u c. Valve is making episodes cause they want money and all they do is say at the end of the game " oh, what happens next...BUY THE NEXT EPISODE AND FIND OUT"
    * 20$ = RIP OFF, C'MON ITS WORTH 8-12 $

    well, Valve forgot about the true meaning of the game. It is GRAPHICS ADVENTURE ACTION
    but replaced it with GRAPHICS ADVENTURE ALYX
    All this is is a rip off, the truth can be sad

    HL1 = 10
    HL2 = 8
    HL2 episode 1= 6

    see where this is going

    the game lost its replayability quality, and shooting action and if its 4 more episodes they are making, get a life cause that is 4 days of gaming for 100$ and probably 2 years of waiting
    People should start making something good and long like HL2 but not rush and make a worse game such as the aftermath
    Expand
  31. DylanT.
    Aug 20, 2006
    7
    should be longer even though its an episode and should have more action and stay with its true meaning.
  32. MarkE.
    Jul 7, 2007
    5
    What a shame there was not more substance to this game - it seemed like gameplay for gameplay's sake rather than a comprehensive and well thought out storyline. And as others have said, short... very short. I've gone back to playing the original as it had more meat and more substance... here's hoping episodes 2 and 3 don't make the same mistake as it has the potential What a shame there was not more substance to this game - it seemed like gameplay for gameplay's sake rather than a comprehensive and well thought out storyline. And as others have said, short... very short. I've gone back to playing the original as it had more meat and more substance... here's hoping episodes 2 and 3 don't make the same mistake as it has the potential to be an amazing trilogy (the original plus 2 and 3!) Expand
  33. Greg
    Oct 4, 2006
    7
    The game seemed, in terms of quality, to fall short in comparison to the original HL2 release. There were a few areas in the game where it felt things were just thrown together; or just fell short to the level of experience we've come to know and love. Still a cool game.
  34. RonyeG.
    Jun 10, 2006
    6
    The game is very easy and too short! The graphs are fine and yuo can play it with any average video adapter. $20 is too expensive for a 3 days game. HL2 was much better!!
  35. Michael
    Jun 2, 2006
    6
    Hi. Not as good as HL2 :( Some really nice scences but too short and sometimes a bit boring. cya
  36. JohnT.
    Jun 5, 2006
    7
    Absolutly brilliant - just too short.
  37. ToddS.
    Jun 5, 2006
    6
    The game is entertaining but fails to recapture the magic of Half-Life 2. The Source Engine displays several new tricks not seen in Half-Life 2 but the gameplay itself is nowhere near as good. It feels like you play through the same part two or three (or more) times before you're allowed to move onto something new. The fact that you have Alyx running around with you the entire time The game is entertaining but fails to recapture the magic of Half-Life 2. The Source Engine displays several new tricks not seen in Half-Life 2 but the gameplay itself is nowhere near as good. It feels like you play through the same part two or three (or more) times before you're allowed to move onto something new. The fact that you have Alyx running around with you the entire time is being used as a selling point. Let it be known, though, that having an invincible side-kick with unlimited ammo actually detracts from the game's immersion. More than too many times did I step back in the middle of a fight to watch Alyx play the game for me. And if having an NPC steal all my kills wasn't enough, anytime I encountered a puzzle she held my hand and told me exactly what to do. The game definately has its moments but the same level of quality and polish that were found in Half-Life 2 are just not there in Episode One. I'm honestly not sure if I regret paying for it or not. It's right on the line. Buy it if you're a Half-Life fan and have 20 dollars to spare but don't be surprised if you're a bit disappointed. Expand
  38. CaseyG.
    Jul 7, 2006
    6
    Good Game, Good story, good graphics, Very Short!
  39. Pase
    Sep 7, 2007
    5
    Too short!
  40. NathanF.
    Oct 5, 2006
    5
    Poor game, I don't understand why Steam keep ripping people off with these small games... they uses the same engine as HL2 so it should be free... it was fun to find out what happened but I wouldn't buy it.
  41. Bill
    Jun 10, 2006
    7
    Great start for the next release, but it was way too short for $20. I had it finished in 3 hours. The graphics and sounds were perfect and it had a great story line.
  42. Chucky
    Jun 18, 2006
    7
    The game play is exerllent! The HDR is coming along, including character interaction, a shame the game was far too short!! I'd waited for ages to play, only to finish it in one night! I'm a hard-core gamer! And would still rate this game far higher than any current game around due to its posiblities! such as: graphics, gravity elements, gameplay, and more... Lets hope the HL2:E2 The game play is exerllent! The HDR is coming along, including character interaction, a shame the game was far too short!! I'd waited for ages to play, only to finish it in one night! I'm a hard-core gamer! And would still rate this game far higher than any current game around due to its posiblities! such as: graphics, gravity elements, gameplay, and more... Lets hope the HL2:E2 is a allot longer! Expand
  43. JohnS.
    Jun 19, 2006
    5
    As said elsewhere the game is SHORT, far too short for the money. Gameplay is same old, same old, with nothing new or innovative at all. As a fan of HL & HL2 I was sadly disappointed with this release, which falls well below par. To be honest the Lost Coast was better to play in my opinion. I hope that this isn't the way Valve is going, with poor quality and terrible value episodic As said elsewhere the game is SHORT, far too short for the money. Gameplay is same old, same old, with nothing new or innovative at all. As a fan of HL & HL2 I was sadly disappointed with this release, which falls well below par. To be honest the Lost Coast was better to play in my opinion. I hope that this isn't the way Valve is going, with poor quality and terrible value episodic releases. I'll be much more wary befor thinking of any purchase of Episode 2. Sadly disappointing. Expand
  44. SlowJustice
    Jun 2, 2006
    5
    Game is just to short for the $$ for it. I have been a half-life fan since the day the first one was released. I would rather have waited and got the full game as to do in in chapters and be done with it in a day. I have told everyone I know how great hl is because you get a lot of game time for your money.. but this time I will have to say that as good as the game is, its not worth the Game is just to short for the $$ for it. I have been a half-life fan since the day the first one was released. I would rather have waited and got the full game as to do in in chapters and be done with it in a day. I have told everyone I know how great hl is because you get a lot of game time for your money.. but this time I will have to say that as good as the game is, its not worth the money spent on it. Expand
  45. MattG.
    Jun 3, 2006
    7
    CONS: Way too much money for such a short experience! Took two to three hours to complete the entire thing! Also, the game seemed to give me a lot more trouble a lot more often then the original HL2 ever did... Crashed a few times for no apparent reason. PROS: The game itself is great as Half-Life has and hopefully always will be. Great story, great gameplay and although it was only two CONS: Way too much money for such a short experience! Took two to three hours to complete the entire thing! Also, the game seemed to give me a lot more trouble a lot more often then the original HL2 ever did... Crashed a few times for no apparent reason. PROS: The game itself is great as Half-Life has and hopefully always will be. Great story, great gameplay and although it was only two hours it was an interesting two hours. Expand
  46. DavidC.
    Jun 3, 2006
    7
    The good: It looked amazing, and at $17.99 for preorder, it was affordable. It seemed to flow well. The bad: It was terribly predictable, with painful plot holes. A lot of repetitiveness. The ugly: For $20 I expect more than 3 hours of game play, and the story more or less didn't advance at all. E1 leaves you right back where you were with HL2 wondering "Uh... now what?"
  47. MattB
    Jun 6, 2006
    7
    Excellent gameplay that I've come to love from Half-life 2 and the graphics are as good as ever. Two issues with this game though: Loading screens and length. While loading screens were placed much better throughout the game than in Half-Life 2, I still question the need for them in modern games. With all this time they've invested in graphics upgrades, it's a real shame Excellent gameplay that I've come to love from Half-life 2 and the graphics are as good as ever. Two issues with this game though: Loading screens and length. While loading screens were placed much better throughout the game than in Half-Life 2, I still question the need for them in modern games. With all this time they've invested in graphics upgrades, it's a real shame they couldn't figure out how to do away with the decades old loading screen. My biggest issue was the length. I completed this expansion in one nights play easily - something I didn't expect for $20. A price closer to $10-$15 would have been better fitting for the entertainment provided. Overall though, very well done, look forward to episode 2!!! Expand
  48. AverageGame
    Jun 6, 2006
    5
    Far too short for the money, alyx was doing everything for me, easy levels BUT, good story good everything and great commentery evens out to a good 5/10 (will buy next episode for the hell of it)
  49. Pase
    Jun 7, 2006
    5
    Too short!
  50. Sucker#1875
    Jun 8, 2006
    6
    Well game play, what there was of it is a 9.5-10
    I believe the price tag is too high as im sure many others do (as ActionTrip says). I am going to try and get friends to pay me $5-10 to get my user/pass, so they can play it w/o being ripped off for $20. It was fun to re-enter the HL2 universe, but i think from now on I will be the renter, not the original purchaser.
  51. MikeF.
    Jul 31, 2006
    5
    Too short. A pretty boring money grab on what was a great game. Not worth buying, and not worth playing. Looked great, but too bad not enough time was put into making a worth-while product.
  52. Paul
    Jul 4, 2006
    7
    [Minor Spoilers]
    Good addition to story? Yes, even though it was basically a movie version of Doom 3. Sure they introduced a new enemy, but it was almost exactly like the Command Zombie in Doom 3, fighting it even felt the same. The "Hospital" level seemed almost completely ripped out of Doom even.
    Better Graphics? Yes, slightly. Not once did I notice the "hard" edges around
    [Minor Spoilers]
    Good addition to story? Yes, even though it was basically a movie version of Doom 3. Sure they introduced a new enemy, but it was almost exactly like the Command Zombie in Doom 3, fighting it even felt the same. The "Hospital" level seemed almost completely ripped out of Doom even.

    Better Graphics? Yes, slightly. Not once did I notice the "hard" edges around charactesr that HL2 had, and I'm still using the same brand new computer as I did a few hours ago for HL2. Other graphics enhancements? Didn't notice any.

    Ally AI? Sure, a lot of it was pretty good... except that within the first 5 minutes of having Alyx as a teammate she was stuck not 3 inches below my level, trying to run _through_ a stair instead of up it. Besides that I wish I had some of the moves she does, i.e. busting down zombies by beating them with my shotgun. Largely because it takes so long to get anything but a pistol, shotgun, or gravity gun.

    Advances to plotline? Yes, actually. [lots of spoilers for this part] You have to watch for it, instead of be sucked into the shoot-shoot-shoot-turn crank-shoot part of the game. I.E. Alyx starts hitting on you (Gordon) at one point. Also there's the message being sent out, yours, Alyx's and Barney's escape routes, so on and so forth. [end spoilers]

    The problem with all this is that it was released in an Episode for too much. Half-Life 2, takes say 20 hours (I know not for us more experienced gamers, but on average if you're not just trying to rip through it). Now if you paid 40 dollars for HL2, that means it's 2 dollars per hour. Episode 1, took me under 3 hours (and I had issues with some of it), but say 5 hours. Taking that same ratio, you should only pay 10 dollars for it.
    The way they're going now, the entirety of the "Episode" will be a 60 dollar game, that lasts 9 hours. Bit of a problem.

    Ultimately I'll still buy Episode 2 for the story (I see it as starting to bloom, and answer things, although at this rate very slowly). If Episode 2 isn't overall worth it, like Episode 1 wasn't worth it, then that's where I end the HL story for myself and I'd recommend others to do as well.

    Note [and spoiler]: They actually introduced 3 new enemies, but you only get to fight 1 of them; for those who weren't paying attention. Episode 2 is where you get to fight one of them more often.
    Expand
  53. John
    Jul 8, 2006
    6
    I'm sorry but I will not vote higher than 6 for ANY episodic game, however great it is as I have no intention of promoting games that in the UK cost £20 ($30) for 5-6 hours of gaming! It is too expensive and I can see where episodic gaming is going. Where your PC can run Episode 1, it only manages to run episode 2 and needs a new something (that Valve have 'partnered with) I'm sorry but I will not vote higher than 6 for ANY episodic game, however great it is as I have no intention of promoting games that in the UK cost £20 ($30) for 5-6 hours of gaming! It is too expensive and I can see where episodic gaming is going. Where your PC can run Episode 1, it only manages to run episode 2 and needs a new something (that Valve have 'partnered with) to run episode 3. At least with a whole game you don't need to upgrade half way through to play the last third of the game and it probably hasn't cost you $6 per hour of gaming. On that basis can you imagine what a 30 hour game will cost in a couple of years? Expand
  54. MH
    Aug 10, 2006
    5
    This game is a puke* because its short, 20 bucks!!!! I did not like the ending cause gorden and alyx just drive of with a train, you could have made the player shot some combien during the ride and shot some of those crapie shopers. Where are new weapons??? Where are rebel Zombies??? and. those antlion holes are all over the map why not put a new monster in play? But still a good game, notThis game is a puke* because its short, 20 bucks!!!! I did not like the ending cause gorden and alyx just drive of with a train, you could have made the player shot some combien during the ride and shot some of those crapie shopers. Where are new weapons??? Where are rebel Zombies??? and. those antlion holes are all over the map why not put a new monster in play? But still a good game, not worth the 20 dollars. Expand
  55. MarkSaccomandi
    Aug 2, 2006
    7
    Nice game, I enjoyed playng it. The only problem is that it was way too short (you could easily finish EP1 in an evening, and that is a little too fast for 20$). And playing at difficult level was still too easy (Half Life was much more challenging). But a part from this it is a very good game
  56. SteveH.
    Aug 5, 2006
    5
    The game lived up to being a Half-Life 2 game the one time it worked. Since then the game won't run.
  57. JopV.
    Jan 26, 2007
    7
    Entertaining but definitely lacking the variety in scenery and theaters of HL2. Also the storyline is less captivating and clings to the Citadel setting much too long. I'll still be waiting for the next episode though.
  58. JeffM.
    Aug 8, 2007
    5
    It is fun, looks great and is short. Very short. HL and HL2 took awhile to finish, and had great puzzles as well as great fights. HL2e1 was a let down. Graphics and animation were improved, but that was about it. Not much happened, I just hope the gameing world isn't comeing to graphics that are incredable at the cost of game itself.
  59. Pase
    Oct 14, 2006
    5
    Too short!
  60. philipgaunt
    Oct 22, 2006
    5
    a bit disapointed to find this game onlt had 5 parts to it a far cry for hl1 which had 18 and hl2 which had 15 yes i know these episodes are all part of hl3 but why are we having to pay the full price for these episodes as we did for the full hl 1 and 2 games???? its a big con if you ask me i won't be buying episode 2 unless its cheaper than the full games.
  61. Mr.E.
    Jun 11, 2006
    7
    A generally space-less shooter. The player becomes disengaged from the characters & scenarios of this game Each scene is more puzzle-based than Half-Life 2, and the interaction with Alyx is not cooperative enough to compliment such emphasis on puzzle solving. .
  62. NagaSadow
    Jun 11, 2006
    6
    The game was far shorter than I expected. For $20 I expected more than 2 hours of gameplay. It was nice to see the introduction of HDR into the game but there really wasn't much else here. The game was too easy, too short, and at the end of the day felt quite empty conpared to the origional. Hopefully Episode 2 will actually we long enough to make an afternoon out of.....
  63. Dan
    Jun 12, 2006
    7
    The game itself is great. Amazing graphics, unique AI, intesnse action, and trivial puzzle-solving. But the game is just too short, you dont get your moneys worth, and its too much like the origonal HL2. Now, I get that valve is 'extending the story', which is fine....though why did they insist on making more of HL2 when it was perfect how it was? Why did they split it all up The game itself is great. Amazing graphics, unique AI, intesnse action, and trivial puzzle-solving. But the game is just too short, you dont get your moneys worth, and its too much like the origonal HL2. Now, I get that valve is 'extending the story', which is fine....though why did they insist on making more of HL2 when it was perfect how it was? Why did they split it all up and make it into different episodes? Why not just make one great, huge game? Conclusion: Stupid decision by valve just to draw in more profits...yet still a great gameplay experience. Expand
  64. OzW.
    Jun 12, 2006
    6
    Too short, need some new weapons. It may be cheap episode by episode, but in the end could be quite expensive. $20 for an evening.
  65. JackW.
    Jun 13, 2006
    7
    Episode 1 was a great continuation of the Half Life story. I really enjoyed having a companion through most of the playable game. One glaring issue instantly smacked this reviewer's rating down from a perfect 10 to a mediocre 7. My jaw hit the floor when the game ended. Friends down the hall wondered why I just yelled "That's IT?!"
    I'm excited that Valve wants to
    Episode 1 was a great continuation of the Half Life story. I really enjoyed having a companion through most of the playable game. One glaring issue instantly smacked this reviewer's rating down from a perfect 10 to a mediocre 7. My jaw hit the floor when the game ended. Friends down the hall wondered why I just yelled "That's IT?!"
    I'm excited that Valve wants to continue working on the Half Life universe, but for the next episode, they had better lower the price if all they are going to release is 4 to 5 hours of gameplay.
    Definitely NOT impressed for the $25cdn. that I paid for the "Special pre-relase pricing". Otherwise, loved it.
    Expand
  66. AndrewN.
    Jun 14, 2006
    7
    More of the same from HL2. FIrst part is by far the worst with only the grav gun to play with, gets better as more weapons become available. However good the graphics engine and physics are still only takes about 5 hours to complete so value for money is an issue.
  67. ScottR.
    Jun 16, 2006
    7
    A good continuation story to the Half Life Universe, some nice new touches to the machanics of the game. The A.I. has been in prooved in terms of allied NPC's, most puzzles remain challenging and imaginative. Let down by it almost feeliing like Ravenholm all over again not of progression in the story and FAR too short. Buy it through steam don't bother with the high street A good continuation story to the Half Life Universe, some nice new touches to the machanics of the game. The A.I. has been in prooved in terms of allied NPC's, most puzzles remain challenging and imaginative. Let down by it almost feeliing like Ravenholm all over again not of progression in the story and FAR too short. Buy it through steam don't bother with the high street prices it's not worth £20 imo but it is worth $20. Expand
  68. ChrisK.
    Jun 2, 2006
    7
    Fun and a nice continuation of Halflife 2 but for the price tag its rather disapointingly short.
  69. T.B.
    Jun 2, 2006
    7
    I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel to Half Life 2, but for me it had one major disappointment - perhaps by its very episodic nature it lacked some of the scope that made Half Life 2 so spectacular. It didn't have any of the amazing open vistas and strong sense of journey that characterized Half Life 2, instead repeating the more claustrophic feeling of some of the former game's I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel to Half Life 2, but for me it had one major disappointment - perhaps by its very episodic nature it lacked some of the scope that made Half Life 2 so spectacular. It didn't have any of the amazing open vistas and strong sense of journey that characterized Half Life 2, instead repeating the more claustrophic feeling of some of the former game's latter sections. Having Alyx with you nearly the entire time completely changes the feeling of the game. Not necessarily in a bad way, but Gordon has always been, first and foremost, a loner. While the Half Life franchise has always had some of the best character interaction of any FPS, that sense of mostly being alone, and in control of what you are doing, has always been pervasive. Not so in Episode One, where you seem to spend most of your time following Alyx's directions like a faithful puppy dog. Although all that is perhaps worth it just to hear her ask if there is room for two in your hazard suit! The puzzles are mostly interesting and inventive, if usually fairly obvious. But always fun. On the positive side, the visuals are impressive. The story is fascinating. And it's a lot of fun to play. The gentle humor of Half Life 2 is also well and truly evident. Definitely worth the money, and looking forward to Episode 2. Expand
  70. LawrenceS
    Jun 30, 2006
    7
    Very short but very nice. They did improve the engine added effects and tweaked and expanded the npc interaction. But those things are not visible enough for most players i guess. IMHO new weapons and mobs would not have greatly improved the gameplay. I praise valve for sticking to the storyline and not making just another addon like some ppl think it is.
  71. AllanConstable
    Jun 30, 2006
    5
    I loved half life 2 it was a good length and the only disappointment was the ending which left me quite bewildered (having completed EP1 i can now sleep easy:) ). Considering the shortness of this new game and the closed in feel of the levels i think the price tag was a bit too high and development time too long perhaps to tease that bit extra cash from the eager public. There was nothingI loved half life 2 it was a good length and the only disappointment was the ending which left me quite bewildered (having completed EP1 i can now sleep easy:) ). Considering the shortness of this new game and the closed in feel of the levels i think the price tag was a bit too high and development time too long perhaps to tease that bit extra cash from the eager public. There was nothing like the wonderfully long canals in HL2 the path was extreamly rigid in this title. Some of the visuals were breathtaking but there was no chance to explore at all. As many have said far to linear. The next episdode is looking far more promising as teasers are showing woodland. Please valve let us take a stroll this time. Just to see whats there. Expand
  72. HenryJ.
    Jun 5, 2006
    6
    Pretty short for $20!! I doubt I'd buy episode 2 knowing how short it will be.
  73. SilkyChodski
    Jun 6, 2006
    6
    More of the same...started well but tailed off quickly.
  74. LeonS.
    Jun 6, 2006
    5
    Although the story continued from the previous game, I think they milked it too much. They could have left the city much earlier and made the game seem a bit more satisfying if the went on to a new location. It felt like I was being held in the city long enough to make the game seem long enough to be an expansion. Although the graphics and enemies were just as difficult and interesting to Although the story continued from the previous game, I think they milked it too much. They could have left the city much earlier and made the game seem a bit more satisfying if the went on to a new location. It felt like I was being held in the city long enough to make the game seem long enough to be an expansion. Although the graphics and enemies were just as difficult and interesting to play against as in the first game, nothing really made me say HOLY S*** this is an awesome game. Nice game but not worth my time. Will definitely buy the next expansion but they better get their acts together and make it worth playing. Expand
  75. RichardL.
    Jun 7, 2006
    6
    Sorry Valve, just don't see what I got for my money? It's over before it even gets started. I hope your not planning on going up to epsidode 10 cos you can count me out. Short lived and nothing new. I paid for a story basically, and not a very orginal one at that.
  76. JamesH.
    Jun 7, 2006
    7
    A decent deal for the price, the game works better as something to entertain the people watching behind your back as you play than you yourself. Excellent visuals, decent plot (for a game at least), and tons of detail everywhere. The game lacks difficulty as the first one did. The puzzles are easy, especially if you played HL2, the enemies are still pretty single minded / scripted, and A decent deal for the price, the game works better as something to entertain the people watching behind your back as you play than you yourself. Excellent visuals, decent plot (for a game at least), and tons of detail everywhere. The game lacks difficulty as the first one did. The puzzles are easy, especially if you played HL2, the enemies are still pretty single minded / scripted, and your given tons of ammo and life, considering you have the juggernaut alyx on your side. The dynamic difficulty from SiN: EP1 has spoiled me I guess. Overall though, the novelty of the game engine has worn off and the lack of consideration for advanced players has costs the game points. Expand
  77. RobertF.
    Jul 11, 2006
    7
    Typical great game play, I enjoyed what was there. Very entertaining, but I expected much more for my $20.00. I could not recommend it to anyone for that reason.
  78. Mike
    Jul 22, 2006
    7
    Overall this game was unimpressive. The graphics and new HDR lighting were awesome, but the environments were sometimes dull and incomplete (a feeling likely caused by a lack of atmosphere sound). The characters were dull and the dialogue was slow and boring (The very beginning is a great example). Why can't I learn more about these characters? Why can't they be exciting and Overall this game was unimpressive. The graphics and new HDR lighting were awesome, but the environments were sometimes dull and incomplete (a feeling likely caused by a lack of atmosphere sound). The characters were dull and the dialogue was slow and boring (The very beginning is a great example). Why can't I learn more about these characters? Why can't they be exciting and funny? The gameplay doesn't support the story. There are few details of the story revealed through the gameplay. Some people might say, "screw the story". Well fine, then make the gameplay great. Do something new, THINK! you have one of the best gaming engines at your finger tips and thats all you can come up with? Also, this game along with HL 2 needs a harder gameplay setting. This game is way to easy compared to Half-Life 1. Where was a new boss battle? Why did I find myself fighting the same "bosses" from HL2 in Episode One? I understand you didn't introduce mystery creatures in HL2 that we didn't get to fight then so how can we fight new creatures in Episode One. Answer: I don't care, the designers dug themselves into that hole so fix it. $20 dollars for this. Recycled Half-Life 2. I gave this review a seven because I love Half-Life and this game was solid all around but when the developers bore you with a game that has so much potential it just makes you wonder why they made it at all. Expand
  79. KarlP.
    Jul 24, 2006
    6
    Episode One is about 1/4 the playtime of HL2. Much like the Sin episodes you should wait for all of them to be released in some giant collection before I buying each one.
  80. AnsonG
    Jul 3, 2006
    5
    Half-Life 2 was a huge disappointment for me. Only 2 1/2 hour i finished this game. Why the valve created this game such a time like this? The game chapter were quite few, there is no new weapon at all, and theres only one new enemy creature, which is call Zombine. Yes, i like that enemy. The gameplay is your typical Half-Life 2 but there were only a few exciting and nervewracking momentsHalf-Life 2 was a huge disappointment for me. Only 2 1/2 hour i finished this game. Why the valve created this game such a time like this? The game chapter were quite few, there is no new weapon at all, and theres only one new enemy creature, which is call Zombine. Yes, i like that enemy. The gameplay is your typical Half-Life 2 but there were only a few exciting and nervewracking moments to be found. Anyway Episode One is worth a rental. Expand
  81. Parker
    Jul 7, 2006
    7
    fun to play continues the story but i was really dissapointed one the gravity gun was used like one third the game second way way to short third it said i needed to update a bunch of stuff i did and it still syas it i had to lower the game setting even though my computer surpasses the reccomend requirments forth alyx seems to be pretty strong surviving grenandes and like ten people fun to play continues the story but i was really dissapointed one the gravity gun was used like one third the game second way way to short third it said i needed to update a bunch of stuff i did and it still syas it i had to lower the game setting even though my computer surpasses the reccomend requirments forth alyx seems to be pretty strong surviving grenandes and like ten people shoting her all at once fith the endind ahhh why do they have to end them like this its like straight up oh my gosh what next then in a second that it are you kidding me. and finally 20 dollars for a couple hours of gameplay i barely play games that much really and i got this done in a evening no not even an evening more like two or four hours come on guys you cant expect me to pay for a couple hours. the only reason it is a 7 is because of the story i really enjoy all of the action in the game lets hope that EP2 is longer thats all i ask oh and to reviel the plot some more all we now guy kills bad guys aliens help wierd thing with a mask follows you and a dude in a suit ahhhh. Expand
  82. WillC
    Aug 19, 2006
    5
    I have not yet played the game and so my 5 being my rating is somewhat biased, but the reason I have not yet purchased half life 2 ep. 1 is also do to the pricing. I agree 100% with Jon H. I have not doubt the game is an excellent one, but splitting an entire game into episodes really is a joke. Why not combine them all and call the collective episodes 'Half-Life 3'. WhyI have not yet played the game and so my 5 being my rating is somewhat biased, but the reason I have not yet purchased half life 2 ep. 1 is also do to the pricing. I agree 100% with Jon H. I have not doubt the game is an excellent one, but splitting an entire game into episodes really is a joke. Why not combine them all and call the collective episodes 'Half-Life 3'. Why valve thinks it has to exploit its fans in order to be successful boggles my mind. The half life series is one of the best, people will put their money into whether or not it comes in parts. I for one am also eager and willing to put my dollar down on any of valves new creations, except thats is, when its obvieous my whole dollar is only paying for a quarter of a game. Expand
  83. William
    Nov 26, 2007
    5
    Episode 1 is exciting, interesting, immersive, and fun. But it is _way_ to short. It has just a few hours of gameplay. By the time I felt I was getting back into the story (continued from HL2), the game was over; finished before lunchtime on the first day I played it.
  84. TomJ.
    Jan 15, 2007
    5
    Not as good as Half-Life 2 (The main game). There is no real story and to less game time. And the beginning of the game is boring (the citadell / reactor level). And by the way: I hate your steam system!
  85. StuartP.
    Jun 27, 2007
    5
    this game is good everything is better than half life 2 apart from the fact that its way to small the game needed to be quite alot bigger. even though i liked it i felt a bit out of pocket for the fact that its like less than half a game
  86. PeteH.
    Dec 12, 2006
    7
    Very good game and plot, graphics are very impressive, even when not on full settings, I would say this is still one of the best looking games on the market but on the downside it isn't very long duration to complete the game, valve is milking the money from the consumer bringing them out as episodes, but it is better than waiting anouther 5 years for Half-Life 3.
  87. ApoRomero
    Oct 24, 2006
    7
    Good game but hard to download from net, I paid for it and got the licenced game why am suppose to wait hours to download from the net and wait for the play I said for get it and gave up playing, Ihad lot's of problems while loading, this is not playing or enjoying the game it is like suffering, working, forget it, I wanna have fun and downloading etc. is not fun at all.
  88. HectorS.
    May 31, 2006
    6
    After what seems like an endless wait for new content, Valve present us with a big technical exercise and no substance. Perhaps they think we've all been playing Half Life 2 for the last 2 years (glassy eyed and dumb struck). Move on, and make a new game. I'm bored with this one. It's a decent enough add-on, but did we really have to wait this long? And pay again? If this After what seems like an endless wait for new content, Valve present us with a big technical exercise and no substance. Perhaps they think we've all been playing Half Life 2 for the last 2 years (glassy eyed and dumb struck). Move on, and make a new game. I'm bored with this one. It's a decent enough add-on, but did we really have to wait this long? And pay again? If this extra content were priced realistically, there would be less of a problem. Expand
  89. ReneMaes
    Jun 12, 2006
    5
    I became a fan of Half Life2 the minute I played with it the first time only two months ago! Discovery of Half Life1 after V2 made me realize the progress made by the team at all levels in a few years.
    I'm am now under the deep shock to have prepaid for Episode One and found myself with an unplayable game as it does crash on a "cannot read memory" at every start attempt (V2 works
    I became a fan of Half Life2 the minute I played with it the first time only two months ago! Discovery of Half Life1 after V2 made me realize the progress made by the team at all levels in a few years.
    I'm am now under the deep shock to have prepaid for Episode One and found myself with an unplayable game as it does crash on a "cannot read memory" at every start attempt (V2 works just fine). Done all that is recommended by Valve on their FAQ with no avail. I don't see the Valve commercial service to a customer here, in saying a game user should flash his Bios and the like in order to play the sequel of a working previous version. Fact is: I paid, it does not work, I am a dissapointed customer and a frustrated player. I will say this everywhere until I get a decent reply to my mail (with system description attached) to Valve. At this moment no answer from them. Located in Bellevue it looks like some Microsoft habits leaked on Valve customer services.
    My 5 is not for the game (which I'm sure is again a masterpiece I can't judge today). It's for the lousy customer support. A FAQ is not sufficient guys!
    You need to address all customers issue. Or pay me back.
    Expand
  90. JesseE.
    Jun 12, 2006
    7
    Its a very good game, with lots of action. It didn't have any of the stuff that I really liked from HL2, along the coast or rides in the vehicles. Overall, too short for $20, maybe $10.
  91. MichaelM.
    Jun 14, 2006
    7
    I think this game definitely lives up to the awesome experience that was introduced with HL2. However, EP1 was ridiculously short. After having played EP1, I don't think I'll be spending $20 on another one of these little "episodes." A good price tag for this game would have been $9.99. That is the worst part about the game - it just leaves you feeling like you were ripped off. I think this game definitely lives up to the awesome experience that was introduced with HL2. However, EP1 was ridiculously short. After having played EP1, I don't think I'll be spending $20 on another one of these little "episodes." A good price tag for this game would have been $9.99. That is the worst part about the game - it just leaves you feeling like you were ripped off. No questions are answered besides, "Do they live?" and in retrospect it seems the plot wasn't planned as a continuation of the story of HL2 but rather as an extension, once Valve saw all the potential that continuing the series had. Expand
  92. JimK.
    Jun 23, 2006
    6
    Great graphics, good AI, let down by short story and were still been treated like Alice, that is kept to the yellow brick road so we don
  93. RickO.
    Jul 27, 2006
    6
    It was enjoyable, but definently not what I expected.After beating the game so quickly i feel very dissappointed that there was barely anything new. It has an excellent story line, but that's it. Only recommended for people who are die hard fans of Half life.
  94. DmitriyM
    Aug 12, 2006
    7
    Great game. Awesome storyline and very quality execution. Nothing new besides the story however, I think I counted 1 new monster and that's about it. Still fun though. The only reason I give it a 7 is it is VERY short. It took me about 5 hours to beat, and I'm a very slow and curious player... saving and loading until I find the perfect way through an area. This game should have Great game. Awesome storyline and very quality execution. Nothing new besides the story however, I think I counted 1 new monster and that's about it. Still fun though. The only reason I give it a 7 is it is VERY short. It took me about 5 hours to beat, and I'm a very slow and curious player... saving and loading until I find the perfect way through an area. This game should have cost $10, not $20, if Valve keeps being this greedy, I'll have to think twice before buying the next episode. Expand
  95. JoeM.
    Nov 26, 2007
    5
    This game provides no new environments or story. you could easily skip from hl2 to hl2e2 and not miss a beat, While what is here is done well it is just too short and doesnt help a game with an already patchy story. The gfx and sound both look good, but nothing new over hl2, The AI is much improved and reacts very well to various challenges. Overall this is a mediocre filler game. Pros: This game provides no new environments or story. you could easily skip from hl2 to hl2e2 and not miss a beat, While what is here is done well it is just too short and doesnt help a game with an already patchy story. The gfx and sound both look good, but nothing new over hl2, The AI is much improved and reacts very well to various challenges. Overall this is a mediocre filler game. Pros: Gameplay Gfx and sound AI Cons: Story Length Repetitiveness. Expand
  96. IanB.
    Feb 12, 2007
    5
    Not the challenge the original Half-Life 2 was, short and not worth the money I paid for it.
  97. BenC
    Jun 12, 2007
    7
    I thought it was a good game but finished it in a day really and the new combine zombies just annoyed me with the grenades, i did enjoy it and will be buying the next chapter but if its not longer and theres no new story il start to get bored. =D
  98. Pase
    Jul 14, 2007
    5
    Too short!
  99. Dec 13, 2012
    6
    The equivalent of a filler episode. You could probably go right from HL2 into episode 2 because of how little happens in this episode. It's still a Valve game and has it's moments but it's plot is stretched thin between predictable puzzles and fights. Worth playing if you get it in a bundle but I wouldn't recommending purchasing it on it's own.
  100. Jan 11, 2018
    7
    Episode One was a lot like Half Life 2. Some sections of fun or investment, but even more sections of frustration or boredom, or both. This game didn't do it for me. Episode Two makes this game look like the Old Boy remake. Average.
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 61 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 61
  2. Negative: 0 out of 61
  1. Just like the original Half-Life 2, Episode One keeps the player entertained almost the entire time through perfect pacing and by being inventive, surprising and getting the basics absolutely right. It's a wonderful advert for the excitement that true episodic content can generate when approached the right way.
  2. Episode One is a memorable romp through the Half-Life universe, with gameplay that's even more satisfying than that of "Half-Life 2." The only downside is that, due to its episodic nature, it's over far too soon.
  3. 85
    A brief, stylistically claustrophobic experience whose polish and personality manage to keep things moving.