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Universal acclaim- based on 1597 Ratings

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  1. Oct 9, 2010
    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.
  2. Sep 29, 2011
    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.
  3. Dec 23, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Half Life 2 is a must get game for gamers.I really like the Antlion Invasion to protect the Vort and Alyx.Really Fun.I also like the Zombine, too.Puzzles are a little frustrating, but you get them some time.I also liked the Antlion Guardian, bossfight. Expand
  4. Aug 6, 2012
    WOW. The first thing that blows my mind is the graphics. When i first played this, I literally stopped moving and all I could do was just look at how good the graphics are. For a 2007 game, holy **** brilliantly done Valve. The gameplay in this episode is intoxicating. The difficulty is FINALLY perfected in this game, with a constant challenge throughout the entire game (or at least enough interest to keep you going), and only one section where the difficulty really spikes. And hOLY **** the music. Valve really knows where to put music in a video game, and when. The placement of the music brilliantly sets the tone for the gameplay. I don't think I have ever played a game with better music than this game. I feel like Valve physically read my mind about what I wanted there to be in Ep. 2, and they delivered. HUGE HUGE changes in this game. The gameplay is radically different, where Ep. 1 is focused mainly on combat, in Ep. 2, combat is much more spread out and it's mostly about navigating and trying to find your way. If you zoom out and look at the game layout, you'll see that it's pretty linear, but it does NOT feel that way in anyway. You're doing all sort of things, holding off attacks, investigating buildings, outrunning choppers, destroying enemy positions, and finding secret caches. The game will switch from exploration, to fierce combat, instantaneously. You will NEVER EVER know what will happen next. The length of the game is astounding, for such a level of intensity. It is easily twice as long as ep. 1, and nearly 3x as interesting. You will not want to put this game down. However, the difficulty is STILL not perfected, and some encounters may cause your health to quickly diminish. The first time I played this, there was a part that I simply could not beat because my health was just simply too low, so I had to go back several saves, which was extremely aggravating, and even then, I STILL had enormous difficulty with the fight. My second time through the game however, I had not trouble at all. Overall, this is a masterpiece video game, and is far superior to ep. 1, and quite possibly, Half-Life 2 itself. Expand
  5. Jul 11, 2013
    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...
  6. Sep 24, 2010
    I was blown away by how awesome this game was. I had only played Episode 1, but this overtook my wildest expectations. It had everything; graphics, gameplay and story. Sometimes the game got hard, but other than that, great game.
  7. Apr 27, 2011
    10/10 = Masterpiece = This add on is YET ANOTHER masterful game from the makers of Half life and Portal. You guys are too damn smart.
  8. Nov 17, 2011
    The Half-Life series is awesome. Great soundtrack, great gameplay, good graphics (for their time), and jaw-droppingly good story. Much better than modern trashy FPS titles. Despite the fact that some of the "comedic relief" - as many call it - somewhat diminished the otherwise intriguing atmosphere of the Half-Life series, I can't help but emphasize once again that it is still much better than modern trashy FPS titles. The Half-Life saga is pretty amazing. Give it a try. Expand
  9. May 1, 2011
    This is a game as only VALVe can deliver. Buy it.
  10. Jan 22, 2011
    Really Half Life 2.2 is the best Half Life i've ever played . End scene was at it's best and one of the best end scenes . Story and Screenplay were awesome . Game was of complete satisfaction . Waiting for it's next installment . 'Half Life rocks and so as VALvE'.
  11. Jan 26, 2011
    I was very disappointed after playing through episode one. My expectations were very high from Half Life 2. Episode two however was no disappointment at all. It held up to my expectations; carried the story line well, and played even better in parts than the original. There are a couple of scenarios that had me jumping out of me seat in fear-full anticipation. I hope they do more of the same for the final episode. Expand
  12. Mar 26, 2011
    A very good game! A variety of characters, enemies, weapons, and environments to come across in this game. The story line is amazing, you play as Gordon Freeman who was in the original Half - life( which was amazing too) and was in Half life episode one, and half life 2. This game has a horror,action, and drama like game-play style. I recommend this game to anyone who wants a good cheap game to play for hours. Expand
  13. Apr 4, 2011
    Gameplay - 9.5 , Graphics - 8.5 , Story - 9.0 , Playing time - 6~8 hours. I would be perfect if the graphics had lived up to the standard of Half-Life 2.
  14. Mar 29, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Fantastic second expansion to one of the greatest games of all time. My reviews are usually pretty long but I'm going to try to keep this one short. The level design, as with Half-Life 2 and Episode 1 is once again top notch. But for me this time it was actually surpassed by the story. Though I've always thought Half-Life's story was excellent, this game surpassed previous titles with 2 gut-wrenching scenes where I literally just paused the game, set my headphones down, stared at the computer screen in shock and shed a couple tears. The emotions in this game are so intense after spending so much time with these characters in the past 2 titles... I just... I just... gah. I really hope Half-Life 3 comes soon. Expand
  15. Aug 22, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Valve continuous to impress with this spectacu..................... Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever.Best game ever. Expand
  16. Dec 20, 2011
    HL2 episode 2 picks up from where episode 1 left off and introduces new sort of areas to the series. Episode 2 mostly takes places in cavern and rural areas as opposed the city. Apart from that, it doesn't offer any other new elements to the basic gameplay or the feel of the game, so most stuff is pretty much the same and holds up to a very high standard set by HL2 and HL2 ep 1. Some new additions are a new type of enemy, the Hunters, and also the final battle opens up an additional use for the Gravity Gun, which is pretty fun. There were some action scenes which were incredibly epic and I'd say perhaps some of the best and most intense gunfights I've ever witnessed in a video game (like the defence against antlion waves, first ever gunfight with the hunters, and the inn scene). Episode 2 is significantly longer than episode 1, but is still only about half the length of the original HL2, so should take approximately 6 hours of total playtime. The game ends on a very sharp note, pretty much a cliffhanger I'd say, and so it's highly likely the story will continue in episode 3. However episode 3 is still unheard of. Expand
  17. Sep 26, 2011
    Half Life 2 has obtained legendary status as one of the most flawless modern games BUT the question does need to be asked: is Half Life 2 over-rated? My answer is Yes as all things are flawed (even Half Life 2), that's not saying the game is not one of the best the industry has provided in recent times, it is however just an interactive game with a lot of copied elements of other science fiction, it's not as original as many claim. Half Life 2 has awesome graphics, innovative physics, game play, fabulously designed levels and game moments but my point is that it shows how lacking and unoriginal the rest of the industry is - that many would claim Half Life 2 to be better than it actually is. If Half Life 2 is the best there is in single player gaming - then video games truely are lacking... HL2 is still a real achievement and Valve has something to be proud of.â Expand
  18. Sep 10, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The plot is astonishing. The death of Eli Vance really surprised me the first time I finished it : you just fight off many waves of striders, and before you can even catch your breath, a dramatic cut-scene occurs. Besides, the game as good as the other prequels. I don't even know what would be PC gaming without the Half Life series... I'm looking forward to the third episode. Expand
  19. Jul 5, 2011
    well what can i say, each episode is better than the next that's because its like a story in a book that ends leaving you waiting for the next episode to come out. this game has great mechanics, a story that keeps you on edge, Weapons that need to be used accordingly, and a story that just sucks you right in. Good job Valve you haven't made a bad game yet at least not that i can recall.
  20. Oct 23, 2012
    Half Life 2: Episode Two has the best gameplay in any Half Life Game by far. And there have been some pretty decent games in the series. The cliffhanger ending was amazing. The action was mostly enjoyable. The puzzles were as good as ever. There's just one thing stopping me from giving it a 10, and that's the length of the game. The game could've easily gone on for another few hours
  21. CRL
    Jul 25, 2011
    Episode Two took all of Episode One's flaws into account and returned to the level of the original game. Instead of the cramped Citadel, the setting is placed among wide open forests and eerie caves. The Hunters are some of the toughest enemies you will ever face (with a surprising weak spot). And the final battle is one of the most challenging and (when completed) satisfying of the series.
  22. Nov 17, 2011
    This is a must-buy expansion for people who liked Half-Life 2. The story keeps unfolding without any plot twists that would alienate fans. The first part of EP2 is full of action, though it is undeniably corridor-to-corridor linear. The second part does what Half-Life 2 does best - Mixing action, puzzles, and scripting. In case you need to understand how it works, let me share an experience. The Combine raided a missile silo, and I need to shut the doors in order to prevent any more Combine from entering in. Unfortunately, at the switch, they set up a turret. I sprint past the turret, leaving me with 90 health. I then grab my crossbow, move a bit from my cover, and snipe the soldier's head. To my dismay there is another Combine, and he manages to shoot me . I escape, but now I have 3 health. I see a health pack, but in order to grab it I need to get out of cover again. I instead push it off using a nearby box and the gravity gun, and drag it over to gain some more health. I then use the box to hide my presence while I sneak to another room. I take out a Combine there, and then open the door, shotgun in hand, and blast that last guy. I shut the door, but I use the turret to fend off all other invaders. THE REASON WHY IT DOESN'T HAVE A 10 IS BECAUSE OF THE ENDING. No, unlike most games, it's not a plot twist that is disappointing. It's just so annoying, and the AI doesn't help either. Expand
  23. Aug 15, 2011
    All I can say after finishing this game is.... WOW!!! Every single thing about it left my jaw hung open! Valve has impressed me yet again with their awesome ability to make such a great storyline, and with their limitless source engine. The ONLY problem i have with this game is that it is a little bit too short. Still, 10/10. I just wish that my jaw could have hung open just a little bit longer.
  24. Feb 3, 2012
    It's utterly amazing how Valve made Half-Life 2 : Episode Two. A brilliant storyline, the best gameplay in a Half-Life game - ever. An often funny, often sad storyline that amazes me. Half-Life 2 : Episode Two is a must buy. It's a game that you will never regret buying. Fantastic voice acting work from Merle Dandridge - as always. Also brilliant performances from Hal Robins, Robert Guillaume and so many more (Including a "friend" of mine, John Patrick Lowrie, and his wife Ellen McLain) I cannot in any way fault the brilliant gameplay, voice acting, soundtrack or storyline. Honestly. You can also look forward to epic fight scenes which I absolutely love. They're a challenge, but when you finish them - you feel like Gordon Freeman. The one free man. Expand
  25. Jun 6, 2012
    Episode one felt like a bit of a rushed out effort from Valve, only really wallowing the the success of HL2. Episode 2 one the other hand feels much stronger than the previous episode. It starts off a bit rocky bit quickly evolves into another Valve masterpiece which improves on episode one. The story is better, the gameplay mix is better and I feel Vlave pushed the envelope a little more. So sit down and enjoy before thinking when the heck they're gonna release Episode Three after five flipping years! Expand
  26. Nov 11, 2011
    The 2nd episode of the HL 2 series. Amazing. The story can be putted in a movie, i felt so inside of Freeman that i got so emotions several times and the environment it simply the best. Everything improved alot from Ep.1 ofering lots of content and very good puzzles. The end was sad thought and frustrating to me. Im hopping that Valve finishes this game to see what happens to Alyx and Freeman, i wish they get married :P Expand
  27. Oct 26, 2011
    If you are a fan of shooting and not-too-hard physics puzzles with tons of variety and a great and compelling story, look no further as EP2 really delivers on its promise to provide a much longer play length than the terribly short EP1 and a welcome change in environment and feel from the urban areas of HL2 and EP1. However even though it is twice as long as Episode 1 I do recommend getting it as part of the HL pack, The Orange box or on special, as it is still only around six to eight hours depending on how good you are and your play-style. Expand
  28. Jun 12, 2012
    Continuing the story in the episode more entertaining and varied situations, including the return of the vehicles that were absent in Episode 1. Again few innovations, such as a purely technical new particle system (Which makes the game really attractive in certain places) and improvements in the shadow system. The story is once again the strength and where more progress is such that it does the Half-Life far more compelling, therefore those who bought the above have a purchase insured, and those who do not have a spectacular FPS before their hands that should not stop. Expand
  29. Jan 1, 2012
    The overall package of this addon is pretty good, Valve quality from beginning to end. No experiments, nothing too fancy, valve just kept on telling their story further and delivered more of what has already proven as very good.
  30. Dec 22, 2011
    Great game that stays more true to HL2 than episode one. The length is not too bad either. It would have been cool if they had added in another gun or something but it's still enjoyable and you can pick it up practically for free on Steam in sales. In fact I did get a free copy from Steam.
  31. Jan 20, 2012
    Better than episode 1 and also slightly longer. When combined with the orange box package this is definietly a must have, as is the whole half life series (HL1 Expansions excluded, maybe).
  32. Jan 3, 2012
    There needs to be a medal for three of this game's achievements, which is my only real complaint. It's HL2, but more more more and, well, more! They kept their precise pacing, absorbing story, enveloping atmosphere, adrenalin-pumped combat, and there's a driving section that, when coupled with one of the aforementioned achievements, becomes the toughest test for any hardcore PC gamer or achievement hunter. Good luck. Now did you get all the bugs? Expand
  33. Jan 8, 2012
    Awesome game. Loses 1 point for play value as there's little reason to play more than the time to beat it and one point for my problem with the entire HL series: the game is VERY linear you follow ONE specific path throughout the game -- there is little exploration and no two ways of doing things. If you can put this aside, it's a great FPS game that takes you on a ride (note: you are very much on a ride, not influencing what happens in any way). I played HL2 + episodes 1&2, and certainly rate episode two higher than the others, if you have not played HL before, it's fine to start here; if you've played any previous HL, it just gets better here, it's cool to see the Valve team refine their skills throughout the series.. Episode two is a fun ride that packs everything into ~6hrs of non-stop gameplay. Expand
  34. Jun 6, 2012
    Fantastic addition to the series and really cannot wait for the next instalment. The time spent in the Half-Life 2 series has been the most fun I have ever had in a game and I continue to replay from time to time reliving the great moments that make the Half-Life story what it is.
  35. May 14, 2012
    I feel obligated to finish this game - this is why I won't give a 10. But the gameplay is still amazing as ever! So don't let this down... go finish the series like a true Half-Life fan!
  36. Dec 16, 2012
    Half-Life 2 is a great FPS game and liking the game I decided to play the episodes one and two. Episode 1 was good but really short and a bit boring, but this episode was interesting and fun. A ending surprising me and I like that. It also can be a bit a chalenge at times so if you like a easy time play on easy difficulty. A 6-8 hour campaign making it a decent length long. Overall very fun but still the exat same with guns and stuff. Half-Life 2: Episode two 8.7/0 Expand
  37. Jun 18, 2012
    Valve will never cease to amaze me... and will never cease to take my money for its amazing games. This game is the second part to Half-Life 2: Episode 1. The story is continued and the graphics are the same as the first half. definitely worth buying like always.
  38. Dec 9, 2013
    This episode has very good game play and story, but it is way too short. I really hoped for longer episode than the first and its 4 hours long. On the other hand i think this episode had better story and game play than episode 1.
  39. Dec 13, 2012
    This is the "Empire Strikes Back" of the Half-Life 2 saga. New enemies, a gripping storyline, creative level design, and fantastic new music and sfx all come together to wrap up the events of the Citadel. It's a shame that they have seemed to drop the ball on episode 3 because it ends on a bit of a "to be continued..." cliffhanger and would be a great segway into HL3. I would rank this higher than HL2 if it weren't so short just because of how tightly tuned everything is in this episode. Expand
  40. Aug 15, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I can't find a single thing wrong with this game, squad AI is dramatically improved from the original Half Life 2, it has more story, and I didn't even think that was possible. More characters, great voice acting, amazing emotions towards the characters, hell, I even cried a little at the end. Great weapons, graphics sounds, the list goes on. This game deserves nothing less than a 9. So go out and buy the series on Steam and enjoy your life. All I have to is... I WANT HALF LIFE 3!!! Expand
  41. Jan 3, 2013
    Truly a masterpiece of its time. Excellent pacing. something games from all future generations can look back too. While I have enjoyed this one extremely, i still can't help but feel it lacks something. I have given it a 10, because, try as i might i can not think of what it is lacking. So, i am just guessing it is a proper ending, which will hopefully be in the next episode/game. Curse valve and their epic cliffhanger. Expand
  42. May 3, 2013
    Once again, a new episode in the Half-Life saga is here. The plot in the Episode Two continues right after the ending of Episode One, and features more characters and even more locations. The action is set as a desperate stab to stop the combine forces. After Citadel's explosion, there's been created a massive super portal, but not at is maximum capacity, and you must stop it from fully opening.

    In the journey you'll find new characters, both friendly and enemies, such as Acid Antlion Worker, Antlion Guardian, the hot new addition from Episode One, Zombines, Combine Hunters, and you'll have your first face-to-face(but not a duel) with the Advisors.

    Half-Life Universe is one of the richest Sci-Fi worlds ever created, and feels the closest universe after an Alien Invasion.

    Episode 2 features brand new locations, new vehicles such as the Muscle Car.

    In game play terms, well, the game still feels and plays like an Half-Life game, with many changes, such as more drama an tensioned conflicts, suspense, and a really great experience, in visual terms the things are even better as well. As the Episode One did, the new episode comes with a greatly updated engine, featuring updated High Dynamic Range Lightning( HDR Short), brand new shaders, particle effects, an physics.

    Like the previous Half-Life 2s, Episode Two contains Achievements, which are a welcome thing, for all type of players, from hard to easy, from newbies to professionals, and even more puzzles.

    Episode Two has everything needed for an sequel, by adding important and great things, and not making the game too different to it's roots, and like the previous Half-Life games, it's a must-own.
  43. Jul 1, 2013
    I gave HL2 a 9 because it's one of my favourite games of all time, but I gave Episode 2 a 7 becouse it doesn't carry the greatness of HL2 and it's even less fun and just as short (or even shorter) as Episode 1. i'm not saying it's bad, just saying it's not as good as HL2.
  44. sft
    May 22, 2013
    Nice told with Alyx

    HALF-LIFE 2 EPISODE 2 starts immediately where Half-Life 2 Episode 1 ended. Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance must continue their fight, alongside the resistance, against the evil Combine. After the ever so slightly below par Episode 1, Episode 2 is a real return to form. Everything that was so good about HL2 is developed here and made even better. The narrative arc is
    strong, the dialogue well-written and witty, the voice acting accomplished and convincing, the environments spectacular and varied, and the mix between puzzle solving and combat just right. We meet several new enemies and some of the combat is pretty challenging, especially the final battle which is big on scale and mayhem and requires real strategy to complete. It’s a tough finale but well worth the effort. There’s so much to enjoy in the whole Half-Life series I can’t recommend these games enough. Expand
  45. AWG
    Jun 7, 2013
    Perfect. Just perfect. Episode Two has not a friggin' single flaw. This game is pure awesomeness from the beginning to the very last scene.
    Just... wow.
  46. Aug 8, 2013
    So, it's simply Half Life 2 with 2 new (great) enemies.
    I finish it in 5 hours (hard mode).
    Epic moment but the same thing than Half Life 2.
    And I ask to fans The game of the decade Really ?
    Yes Episode 2 is like HL2 a good game but the best game ever Certainly not (for me)
  47. Oct 1, 2013
    This episode was better than the first episode. In this episodes, there was so much story development, a decent lengthen game, and the same great gameplay from HL2. This sets up perfect for Half-Life 3, whenever Valve decides to make it.
  48. Mar 12, 2014
    I think the first two chapters are a little bit worse than the rest, because it has little variety in environment and enemies. I also thought that the last big combine attack would be more spectacular. Everything else is excellent (story, characters, enemies, weapons, ...)!
  49. Oct 21, 2013
    This is personally one of my favorite games. I can't wait for 3, much like a lot of people. Game was shorter than it should be but gets the story across. 10/10.
  50. Nov 2, 2013
    Like HL2 in core mechanics, but better overall, in my opinion. The rebels feel full of life, rather than just tools to use in killing the combine. They have important parts in the story, conversations, and generally just feel more like real people. The final boss was incredibly challenging, but not impossible, as the game teaches you exactly what to do. Just how a final boss should be. There's comic relief here and there to pep up the dark atmosphere. The G-Man is as mysterious as ever. There's exploration. This game is fantastic. Expand
  51. Feb 3, 2014
    Story: 8 out of 10, Graphics: 9 out of 10, Fun: 9 out of 10, Controls: 9 out of 10, Ease to Learn: 8 out of 10, Length: 4 out of 10, Re-play: 3 out of 10, Value: 7 out of 10
  52. Dec 24, 2013
    Excellent, one of most exiting games ever, from the beginning to the end is a master piece. All in this game is designed to make us fall in the story, feel what Gordon Freeman feels, that's hard to get, but Valve did it with this game, congrats, and if you haven't played the half life saga let's do it right now! is one of the best video games ever created.
  53. Jwv
    Jan 9, 2014
    Does a great job of improving over the already genius Half-Life 2 formula. New weapons, new puzzles, new game mechanics (the use of your flashlight), new cool enemies, a great story and absolutely magnificent locations and events (cf. the hunter-trap in the shed). Way better than Episode One.
  54. Sep 23, 2014
    A great expansion to half life 2. The story in this one is great and is better than episode 1's, combat is pretty much the same but thats good. I recommend getting this if you liked Half life 2.

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. 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.
  2. More great story blended with improved AI and better firefights. It's starting to retread old ground though.
  3. 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.