Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Episode Two is an absolute must-purchase for any FPS fan. It’s an amazing experience from beginning to end. I truly cannot think of a way to improve this game.
  2. 100
    I've selected these examples at near-random to avoid spoiling truly standout showpieces. Episode Two's entire five-hour experience -- vivid, emotionally engaging, and virtually unsurpassed -- is full of them.
  3. Episode 2 is an awesome example of packing various kinds of gameplay into a compressed time span without the whole thing descending into a discombobulated mess.
  4. 95
    Half Life 2 Episode Two equals Half-Life 2's achievements and in many cases vaults over the high bar which it created. Brimming with great story telling and excellent action it is almost a must play for anybody even remotely interested.
  5. 94
    Any way you look at it, Episode Two stands out, even among the Half-Life series, as something special. It may be shorter than the original, but it's a burly experience packed into roughly six hours or so that offers up all the diversity, level design, and thoughtful gameplay we've known while making sure to propel the story forward and leave us wanting more.
  6. Episode Two is the most sumptuous chapter of the Half-Life saga, and by a country mile. It's as if Valve's tech and art teams are trying to outdo each other: the Source engine has had a striking technical overhaul that renders textures, materials and curves uncannily well, and the artists clearly relish having a fresh palette to work with.
  7. On its own, Episode Two might not seem like much for its price tag, but as part of the Orange Box package, it becomes an excellent value that's packaged alongside two very different first-person games.
  8. A happy medium between the mind-blowing excess of its parent game and its somewhat compact Episode One offspring. While initially lacking in gameplay novelty or many truly 'new' elements that fans always hanker for, it more than makes up for this with its consistently engaging narrative tricks, refined set-pieces and a staggering climax.
  9. By staying true to the already exceptional foundation of the series and adding meaningful changes that enhance the player's experience even further, Valve have demonstrated yet again that in this ever-competitive genre they still have the ability to impress and excel.
  10. Half-Life fans are going to flip out over what Episode Two has to offer and FPS fans in general should find a finely crafted, lean experience.
  11. A really solid add-on, as long as some full games and made like a good science fiction movie. At last the combat isn’t confined to city streets and cellars, so one can breathe freely. The only problem is the lack of new guns. But it’s an excellent sequel anyway. It has a megaton of mood, believable characters, sensible story motivating the hero and the old American clunker of a car switching gears with a wonderful grinding sound. It’s hard not to like it - and the Episode Two as well. [Dec 2007]
  12. More great story blended with improved AI and better firefights. It's starting to retread old ground though.
  13. In fact, though a good bit shorter than the original Half-Life 2, Episode 2 quite possibly rivals it in terms of memorable sequences. These include some lengthy vehicle sections, some stunning scenery, some stand-out plotlines and a good few damned enjoyable fight sequences.
  14. The emotion, presentation, story and overall action-packed gameplay cements Episode 2 as an excellent addition in the Half-Life 2 series and PC gaming in general. While playing Episode 2, I never felt detached or alienated from the game.
  15. Fine addition to the overall storyline of Gordon Freeman. Fails to stand alone, but I guess that's episodic gaming. Bit on the short side and the weakest link of The Orange Box, but good fun as long as it lasts.
User Score
9.3

Universal acclaim- based on 1553 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 316
  1. Oct 9, 2010
    10
    Much better than the first episode and that is saying a lot, considering this is an expansion it provides a lot of content and if you are a fan of the original you already own and beat this haha, but if you are not consider getting the original and both addons, you won't regret it. Full Review »
  2. Sep 29, 2011
    7
    The gameplay and story pick up in this one, but carrying that stupid gnome through the whole game is a bugger. Still, it's a good game in its own merit, with great level design as usual. Worth playing even if you haven't played HL2 or Ep. 1. Full Review »
  3. Jul 11, 2013
    10
    Silly hunters! While half life 2 had some minor flaws in the pacing (specifically in chapters like Root Kanal and Water Hazard) i think this game was paced perfectly and beautifully. The original HL and HL2 were challenging but, this game is also pretty challenging. And the ending battle with mini striders and striders was just magnificent. Still waiting on episode 3... Full Review »