User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 7698 Ratings

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  1. Dec 4, 2014
    3
    This game is way overrated, there are so many better games out there. People always praise it for its story and rich dialogue, but unlike Portal (which had me excited to progress through the story and listen to ALL of its witty, funny and overall extremely well acted characters) Half Life 2 was less than mediocre. Good dialogue was few and far between, with most of the speech just beingThis game is way overrated, there are so many better games out there. People always praise it for its story and rich dialogue, but unlike Portal (which had me excited to progress through the story and listen to ALL of its witty, funny and overall extremely well acted characters) Half Life 2 was less than mediocre. Good dialogue was few and far between, with most of the speech just being "look its Gordon Freeman!" or "are you Gordon Freeman?!".... its disappointing to say the least. I'm not counting the graphics because my pc isn't great and the game probably looks amazing on ultra settings but I wouldn't know.

    Secondly, the story isn't at all innovative or different, I couldn't care for the characters or the world. I wasn't interested enough to who, what, where, why, when or how for any of the story's components - it's nothing new.

    However much anyone says about the gravity gun, to me it will always be a glorified hand - it picks things up and throws them. Apart form that the combat is just like a typical fps although they did a good job with the weapons.

    Finally, the gameplay isn't too great: linear level design, empty landscapes, dull environments. I just wanted this game to be over, I didn't enjoy playing it. If you want a gaming masterpiece, check out Portal and Portal 2.
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  2. Feb 7, 2015
    3
    A nauseating first person shooter in an unrealistic and dull environment. You have to do everything the way the game wants you to, so all you do is shoot up men in masks hundreds of times using the same weapons. Story was sort of interesting, but it bored me.
  3. Sep 14, 2013
    2
    Long empty rooms. Long empty landscapes. Easy tasks. Uninteresting story. Plastic heroes. Lack of narrative. Only Oh! Doctor Freeman! Ah! Doctor Freeman! Wow! This is you Doctor Freeman?
    Blah! Boring game. Cure for insomnia. I dont recommend this game.
  4. Dec 29, 2014
    3
    I'm giving this game a low rating because it does most of the things I hate:
    -Unskippable cut scenes.
    -Acting like I care about any of these dumb characters. -Half the game is driving. Rage pulled the same stunt in 2011 and that too was a disaster. All it does is make the game painfully slow. -Does this game even have a plot? It was so boring that I didn't care to find out. A good game
    I'm giving this game a low rating because it does most of the things I hate:
    -Unskippable cut scenes.
    -Acting like I care about any of these dumb characters.
    -Half the game is driving. Rage pulled the same stunt in 2011 and that too was a disaster. All it does is make the game painfully slow.
    -Does this game even have a plot? It was so boring that I didn't care to find out. A good game tells you very little so you're left wanting to know what the story is. HL2 does the exact opposite. Unskippable cut scene after unskippable cut scene. Instead of googling to find what the story is, I'm googling to see if there is some console command to skip the stupid cut scenes. I can't believe someone at Valve actually thought it was a good idea to force players to watch the same crap every time they play the game. Start a new game - hey I wonder if that face hugger is going to screw up the teleportation this time. I'll need to watch the 5 minute cut scene to find out!
    -It seems like large segments of the game are unfinished. Half of the game is driving or walking, but there's nothing going on. There's nothing to shoot and there's nothing shooting at me. Why was this left in the game? It's like they forgot to add monsters and nobody in beta testing noticed how boring those sections of the game are.
    -Physics are completely broken. You can run 100mph in reverse just by running backward and jumping. At least bunny hopping from quake took some practice.
    -The guns seem a lot crappier than they were in HL1. The amount of ammo one can hold has also been greatly reduced.
    -HL1 was awesome because it was straight forward. It told a story without telling you anything. An experiment goes wrong, monsters appear, military try to cover the whole thing up, etc. HL2 is about.... what exactly? it's about running through water canals because a guy in a turtle neck sweater is the leader of some people who wear gas masks. This is Metal Gear Solid level of bad story telling. Snake, you have nanobots inside you because blah blah clones Big Boss blah blah The Combine blah blah turtle neck sweaters.

    You can't truly grasp how boring this game is until you watch someone do a speed run of it. Then watch someone do a speed run of Quake. Which one looks more like a game and which looks more like a tech demo?
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  5. Oct 4, 2013
    1
    Half-Life 2... Often proclaimed one of the best, if not one of the greatest first person shooters, if not video games of all time. Released in 2004 to great fame and accolades, I was but then an 11 year old devotee of Sonic, Metroid, Zelda, and Star Wars. I hardly knew or cared. But as I grew older, and the internet became more prominent in my life, I began to hear of this wonderful thingHalf-Life 2... Often proclaimed one of the best, if not one of the greatest first person shooters, if not video games of all time. Released in 2004 to great fame and accolades, I was but then an 11 year old devotee of Sonic, Metroid, Zelda, and Star Wars. I hardly knew or cared. But as I grew older, and the internet became more prominent in my life, I began to hear of this wonderful thing called Half-Life 2, starring this great hero, a nuclear physicist named Gordon Freeman, who battled against the evil Combine to save humanity from its position under the jackboots of a tyrannical alien regime. When I discovered TvTropes, I got exposed to many more references to this game. I was told of the epic journey of the great hero fighting all alone against the future straight out of Nineteen Eighty-Four. I read that I was supposed to be a critical piece whose actions and choices would decide the fates of billions. I read about leading the citizens in rebellion against their alien oppressors in a climatic battle in City Seventeen. I heard about the awesome Gravity Gun. I read about the fearsome striders. I read about turning the antlions on the invaders. I read about the horror of Ravenholm. I heard about great and memorable characters, an engaging story, and so many other things which sounded like heralds of greatness.
    I first got my hands on a valve game, Left 4 Dead, in '08. And I loved it. I still do, just as I do Left 4 Dead 2. I got The Orange Box in 2010. I got it more or less for Portal. Portal, damn, that game is fantastic. As you would expect, having consecutively played three superb games from Valve, I was very much looking forward to the next game in my sights: Half-Life 2. So I selected it from the main menu of The Orange Box on my Xbox360 and began a new campaign on the medium difficulty setting. I as already an FPS veteran at the time, having played through games like Metroid Prime 1 & 2, Bioshock, Metro 2033, Goldeneye 007, the Halo series, F.E.A.R., Doom, Doom 3, and Quake 4. With everything begun, I was prepared to be blown away. I was eager for the greatest FPS ever made.

    It sucks.

    I personally rate games mainly on story, gameplay, and characters, with all of these being roughly equivalent. For me to approve of a game, it has to do well enough in these three categories. However, I ultimately pass judgement based on whether or not the game was fun to me. I can forgive quite a lot of if a game is an entertaining experience. Do I think Half-Life 2 is fun? NO! I think it's awful. I had to force myself to finish this game. It failed in story, gameplay, and characters. It wasn't even something that I could enjoy taking the piss out of.
    I know, you're probably frothing with rage and confusion over why I think Half-Life 2 is an overrated piece of crap. I've heard the arguments from the fans, but I just don't see it like they do. I respect their opinions, but I disagree. Truth be told, I feel like this game was always very close to being the great experience I was told about. Of course, realistically, nothing could have lived up to the hype. Even though I habitually make a note to deliberately not buy into hype, it was impossible to go in with anything other than great expectations. I could argue that it had to end in disappointment, but I disagree. I've played other great games, like Call of Duty 4, Bioshock, Far Cry 3, Metroid Prime 2, Metro: Last Light, and Portal, and felt that they deserved the praise they got. Perhaps not the extravagant fanboy praise, but plenty of praise and accolades nevertheless. Half-Life 2 got so many elements right and had a lot of good ideas, but the execution was so often feeble. If maybe just only a few elements were different, then perhaps I would be raving about how I love this game. And I think that, had I played it when it first came out, or at least within two years of its release rather than six, then I could very well have been much more favorably impressed. I could I personally actually quite like Half-Life 2: Episode 1, which was a much tighter game with a much more interesting and dynamic plotline where the player character actually seems to accomplish things.
    The story is irritatingly impenetrable while being of only vague concern, and yet still managing to hang constantly over the player while constantly keeping them in the dark.
    The gameplay is the worst part, given how it fails to make combat fun in a first person shooter while bloating the game to excessive length with vehicles and puzzles.
    The characters are mostly forgettable with a few good exceptions. Gordon Freeman is the worst possible kind of protagonist for this game. Alex Vance should have been it.
    The game is not fun except in small doses and in certain parts. Your experience may vary. I would recommend watching a walkthrough or LP rather than spend money on it.
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  6. Mar 22, 2015
    0
    This game has aged horribly. The story is rather decent, but the gameplay is just pathetic. Shoot your peashooter weaponry at guards and zombies, and then use your gravity gun to pick up a saw and throw it at people.
    You will then take the saw with you on your entire game and use it exclusively.
    Sure, you can argue that a game that has a good story is all that matters. But, a sandwich
    This game has aged horribly. The story is rather decent, but the gameplay is just pathetic. Shoot your peashooter weaponry at guards and zombies, and then use your gravity gun to pick up a saw and throw it at people.
    You will then take the saw with you on your entire game and use it exclusively.

    Sure, you can argue that a game that has a good story is all that matters. But, a sandwich with the world's best bread (the story) is still a horrible sandwich is the meat is made out of a dead dog's **** (the gameplay)

    As it stands, Half Life 2 is a prime example that gamers will reach to the bottom of their fanboy purses to make anything Valve makes overrated.

    This game would be better fitted as a book, to be honest. It tells a great story, but the gameplay is just so agonizing that I couldn't get past 40 minutes. If you want a good first person shooter, go play Far Cry or Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. Don't buy into the hype about this relic. It was good when it launched, but it's just dog **** that's beloved by nostalgia-blinded neckbeards who have probably never gotten to 1st base.

    By the way, this review is going to get a lot of flak for not worshipping a game this overrated. Just some foresight.
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  7. Nov 10, 2013
    3
    Here's the problem with giving an overrated game a bad score: people will ignore what it says and just say that that person is wrong. First of all, I am not hating this game just to hate (hell, at least I gave it a 3). Second, I am taking all the hype for this game out of the equation. Graphics: I honestly felt like I got a beta version of the game when I started it and saw the very basicHere's the problem with giving an overrated game a bad score: people will ignore what it says and just say that that person is wrong. First of all, I am not hating this game just to hate (hell, at least I gave it a 3). Second, I am taking all the hype for this game out of the equation. Graphics: I honestly felt like I got a beta version of the game when I started it and saw the very basic (borderline texture starter kit) and dry textures. The guns didn't look too bad but everything else looked like it hadn't even started rendering (yes I played the game on Ultra settings). Concept: put a gun in front of the screen, give an invisible entity a name, and have people tell it to do stuff only to always be interrupted mid sentence by enemies and never find out what they were going to say. Valve tried to give Freeman no personality or dialog so that the player could relate with him but the outcome was the exact opposite. It felt like just controlling a floating gun with zero personality. Story: The biggest confusion for me was how much people praised this game's story line. You literally start the game with many questions from the last game and are only given more questions. The G-Man spouts off nonsense and makes it seem like it's important and you wake up in god knows where in the future (no clue as to how many years because the game never specifies). No one is shocked in the least to see you after so many years looking the exact same you did when they last saw you and they ask you to go from point A to point B for no good reason. That last sentence is literally the entire story. One full game and two 3 hour episodes with absolutely no story progression except for the end of episode 2, and even that isn't that great because you had no emotion ties to the character who dies. People will constantly defend this and say "Valve will eventually explain the story. Just give them time". Why? Why judge a games story based on what your assumptions are? That's not innovative, that's sloppy writing. AI: I never even knew this was something that was seen as something great about this game until after I beat it........ so I have no idea why it's praised. Enemies act like enemies (in annoyingly low numbers and way too weak (even on hard)). Alyx is uncomfortable with how she acts with a guy who is probably twice her age and is actually quite annoying pointing out everything that happens in front of you. Replay Value: None. The game is linear with nothing on the side to keep it entertaining. Physics Engine: similar to the AI, I didn't even know this was something that was looked at as innovative. A physics engine should not determine a games worth especially when it's only used to have you "solve" kindergarten puzzles or to encourage you to use a weapon (Gravity Gun) that was boring and useless right after its tutorial. Conclusion: this entire game felt like a students project for an indie game. No story, no atmosphere, bad dialog, slow paced, confusing for the sake of being confusing, and has a complete lack of feeling like any work was done with it. This game was very underground when it came out (mostly because pc gaming wasn't as big in 2004) and so most of its original praise is from the, for the lack of a better word, hipsters that played this game. In essence, this game is a hipster game. It's a hipster game because it's full of things that normally wouldn't be seen as good but it's praised for those things so people jump on the bandwagon (similar with Stanley Parable). This actually only a small fraction of what I can say about this game but I am not about to write three reviews for one game. Expand
  8. Nov 8, 2014
    0
    The graphics are clunky and absolutely disgusting, the guns are unrealistic and disproportionate. Its lame I do not recommend this game to anyone who calls themselves a lover of games. This game is a classic, a classic piece of ****
  9. Jul 27, 2014
    1
    this is the worst game ever
    the story sucks . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . very bad
  10. T0G
    Dec 14, 2013
    4
    Maybe my expectations were set too high by the first game and all the hype but Half-Life2 is so linear it may as well be an arcade game. One of the few games I have uninstalled immediately after finishing. Very disappointed. I will avoid the 3rd outing.
  11. Apr 15, 2013
    3
    Lack of story telling; leaves you with a mindless fast paced shooter that gets old after a few hours of gameplay. Cutscenes are non existent as well which only enforces the lack of story this game has, which is unfortunate because with a simple google search you can discover how in depth it truly is.
  12. Aug 22, 2014
    2
    **** for its time and **** now... not an immersive story, first half of the game you do boring tasks and then when you start to shoot things and run away from that its still boring.
  13. Nov 14, 2011
    4
    Most overrated game ever made. Half-Life 2 is not just disappointing, it's really boring. The first one was much better than this. Of course HL2 has some interesting things such as the Source engine (although many really poor textures), the gravity gun or pheropod, but this isn't enough to keep the game alive. And, as this wasn't enough, the game doesn't have a decent ending. I'll neverMost overrated game ever made. Half-Life 2 is not just disappointing, it's really boring. The first one was much better than this. Of course HL2 has some interesting things such as the Source engine (although many really poor textures), the gravity gun or pheropod, but this isn't enough to keep the game alive. And, as this wasn't enough, the game doesn't have a decent ending. I'll never understand why Half Life 2 is so praised. Expand
  14. Jul 11, 2014
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is the most pointless game ever.you spend the first 30-40 mins doing pointless menial tasks that are not fun to do and are incredibly boring. This game has to be one of the worst games ever created. I f i wanted to watch a film that takes 30 mins to get to any action i would have done so instead of playing the first half of this pointless game. To top it all off valve after 7 years still have not released the sequel to this stupid game.

    spoiler................

    It sucks all the balls
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  15. Dec 22, 2011
    1
    Very disappointing. Personally, I consider HL1 one of the best games ever made, and everything I liked about HL1 is missing in this game. Boring and linear. The story itself is poor. There's no time left to explore the levels because you're constantly being chased, and when you do find the time to look around, it's only to find that the beautiful scenery is in most cases just a cardboardVery disappointing. Personally, I consider HL1 one of the best games ever made, and everything I liked about HL1 is missing in this game. Boring and linear. The story itself is poor. There's no time left to explore the levels because you're constantly being chased, and when you do find the time to look around, it's only to find that the beautiful scenery is in most cases just a cardboard scene placed around a small, single path level, designed so that you don't even think about stepping of the predefined path. I had a feeling as if being a cow which is ran into desired direction through ever narrower paths in a slaughterhouse. It was so repetitive, boring and frustrating that I didn't even finish the game. The only thing I had fun with in this game was the gravity gun. Expand
  16. Sep 2, 2014
    0
    I saw on the internet all the hype and reviews that say that this game is the best game ever so i bought it
    it was soooo boring; lame puzzles story ehh average and the gameplay horrible so overrated
  17. Sep 28, 2013
    1
    The first Half-Life was a brilliant game that turned the once and for all the FPS genre. What we offer Half-Life 2? Well, it's a real benchmark! benchmark samy as games from сrytek! Developers simply spoiled masterpiece of all time! Multiplayer missing weapon was half that of the previous game, the enemies are very stupid, and the game Will pass for 4 hours!Game of the year?!You reThe first Half-Life was a brilliant game that turned the once and for all the FPS genre. What we offer Half-Life 2? Well, it's a real benchmark! benchmark samy as games from сrytek! Developers simply spoiled masterpiece of all time! Multiplayer missing weapon was half that of the previous game, the enemies are very stupid, and the game Will pass for 4 hours!Game of the year?!You re seriously?Doom 3 was MORE BETTER than this "masterpiece".Yuk! Expand
  18. Aug 18, 2012
    3
    I got to the speed boat part and that's when I had to stop. It was miserable. The monsters were boring, cold boring environment... everything bad. Very disappointing game.
  19. Aug 16, 2014
    0
    I will never understand why this game gets as much hype as it does . It makes you do silly puzzles randomly to show off its engine . I heard this was one of the best games if not the best so i was expecting a lot more then this .
  20. Sep 25, 2012
    2
    The first Half Life was and remains one of my all time favorite games. It's so great to me that it defies explanation. The short of it is that Half Life 2 just tried to copy the first game, and it came across as a very cheap copy. The only improvements are in things that don't matter. Graphics and animations, guns, sounds, physics. If you're not wowed by those things, and I'm not,The first Half Life was and remains one of my all time favorite games. It's so great to me that it defies explanation. The short of it is that Half Life 2 just tried to copy the first game, and it came across as a very cheap copy. The only improvements are in things that don't matter. Graphics and animations, guns, sounds, physics. If you're not wowed by those things, and I'm not, Half Life 2 has very little to offer Expand
  21. Dec 5, 2011
    4
    Flat and mediocre sequel to one of the most innovative shooters ever made. Half Life had a depth that is definitely missing from it's overrated sequel.
  22. Dec 1, 2011
    2
    I am a SERIOUS GAMER. i cannot see what the big deal about this game is. you have TERRIBLE weapons with horrible graphics, yet people still call this one of the best games. the game is terribly unrealistic, and the weapons are just complete SH*T. The game is repetitive and has a boring... long story. i wouldn't reccommend this for serious gamers. but if you are a poser, child or beginnerI am a SERIOUS GAMER. i cannot see what the big deal about this game is. you have TERRIBLE weapons with horrible graphics, yet people still call this one of the best games. the game is terribly unrealistic, and the weapons are just complete SH*T. The game is repetitive and has a boring... long story. i wouldn't reccommend this for serious gamers. but if you are a poser, child or beginner then by all means, start playing this game and start putting foward your one sided reveiws. This game was a hit in 2004 but COME ON.. all games have their day, and i think that the end for this game has come. Valves needs to focus on realising more content that appeals to the serious gamers. Half life 2, does NOT cater for us serious gamers! Expand
  23. Feb 19, 2012
    4
    On rails shooter. Mindless FPS pap by the shovelful, apparently for a market of mindless drektoids that can't get enough "by the numbers" FPS games. Well, here's another from 8 years ago. Story is meh, Gordon is neither geeky enough to be "neo-cool" nor macho enugh to be "funny" he's just annoying. What distinguishes this game from hundreds of other on rail shooters? Absolutely nothing. AOn rails shooter. Mindless FPS pap by the shovelful, apparently for a market of mindless drektoids that can't get enough "by the numbers" FPS games. Well, here's another from 8 years ago. Story is meh, Gordon is neither geeky enough to be "neo-cool" nor macho enugh to be "funny" he's just annoying. What distinguishes this game from hundreds of other on rail shooters? Absolutely nothing. A dull dull game. MIght as well play the original Quake or any other FPS from the 99cents bargain bin than fork out for this over hyped stuff. Graphics (even for 2004) are WELL below average, control is exactly the same as 1000+ other FPS, weapons are ok, story is boring, locations are bland. Avoid. Is OOTP2007 a better game than this? You bet it is! What is it that other people see in FPS games? It's sprt of a serious question, becasue from where I'm sat the big producers are remaking the same game over and over and over again. If I want to play a game like this, I'll play Quake WASD to move, left mouse fires, right mouse Alt fire..that is this game, and every other FPS in totality..end of story. I'm beginning to think everyone in gameplay land has had their brains turned to mush to keep buying carbon copy games overt and over again. I played HL2 for about 5 hours (past the hover boat sequence) and sat there wondering what all the fuss was about. Overhyped and just the same - avoid at all costs Expand
  24. Jul 5, 2011
    4
    This is hands down, THE most over rated game of all time. It shouldn't even be allowed to use the title Half Life, it is that insulting to the truly awesome Half Life 1. The graphics are ugly, seriously, until the later updates to the Source engine that weren't part of HL2, the engine put performance on low end machines ahead of looks, and the result was urgh. The game itself is only ratedThis is hands down, THE most over rated game of all time. It shouldn't even be allowed to use the title Half Life, it is that insulting to the truly awesome Half Life 1. The graphics are ugly, seriously, until the later updates to the Source engine that weren't part of HL2, the engine put performance on low end machines ahead of looks, and the result was urgh. The game itself is only rated highly by reviewers for 2 reasons; 1) they are paid off by valve or valve fanboys and 2) the blue balls story of Alex. The entire plot revolves around a moderately attractive female and all the teenage kids cant stop drooling. There is no exploration, it is utterly linear, go here, do this, go there, do that. No freedom or choices to make. The weapons are awful, terrible. they are the same stupid weapons from HL1 they held on to purely for nostalgia and they suck. 10 years later and no personalisation, no new weapons of any note, no customisation, no free roam, no open maps, no interactivity with the exception of a gravity gun that lets you - wait for it - pick up a box. Holy Crap! Wow! A box! The AI of enemies blows and of squad members (which was a much praised addition) sucks so hard its hard to even put into words. Their only contribution is to get in the way and block you. The levels are generic, ugly and totally bland with no imagination or originality. The only thing they have is a few parts ripped from Hollywood films like The Matrix. the ending sucks, the characters are all vanilla and forgettable, the G-Man appears like a caricature of a bad guy. The game is short, aimed so they can throw out more DLC at a price, it is probably half the length of HL1. This game is at best a 6/10, but I'm giving it 4 because of the obscene reviews posted that are just blatant lies. Expand
  25. Mar 28, 2015
    0
    Unrealistic game with bad graphics and boaring story. The entire game is super easy and designed for Call of Duty PC kids. The entire game is about shoting bullet spoonge enemies with unrealistic and porly desined "weapons" and useing a completely unrealistic gravity penis. Grow up PC kids and play some real games on consoles like mario and zelada instead of playing what is basicly theUnrealistic game with bad graphics and boaring story. The entire game is super easy and designed for Call of Duty PC kids. The entire game is about shoting bullet spoonge enemies with unrealistic and porly desined "weapons" and useing a completely unrealistic gravity penis. Grow up PC kids and play some real games on consoles like mario and zelada instead of playing what is basicly the 2004 version of COD: Advanced Warfart.

    0/10 IGN_Reviews
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  26. Apr 17, 2015
    0
    The gameplay was completely ruined by the fact it's only single player. How can you truly enjoy a game with your friends all by yourself? Let your friends WATCH you play? Absurd. Need same room multiplayer!
Metascore
96

Universal acclaim - based on 81 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 81
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 81
  3. Negative: 0 out of 81
  1. 100
    Nothing less than a revolution in the gaming industry that will keep gamers busy for years to come, just as the original did.
  2. 95
    An ephemeral and controversial ending, along with the few issues described above, means that for me, Half-Life 2, while a compelling and highly enjoyable game, falls short of the size of impact that the first title had on the gaming world.
  3. 100
    A graphics overhaul delivers detailed facial animations and sophisticated physics that leave battle zones strewn with debris after intense shootouts with shuffling corpses, overfed curstaceans and other assorted foes. [October, p.37]