User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 7364 Ratings

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  1. Nov 9, 2011
    7
    In Valve's "Half Life 2", each and every level is unique and cool. The graphics are pretty sexy if you compare it with the standard rate. However, The gameplay was too original; i've played these kind of puzzle FPS before. I'm not saying its bad; there's a profound story and shocking visuals that covers this up, but I expected more than just running around in cars and boats, stopping by for some zombie kills and ammo, and repeat that stuff all over again. In conclusion, it's a solidly great game that will entertain you as a game no more or no less Expand
  2. Nov 7, 2013
    5
    After having replayed the game on PC (rather than X360) in 2013 I have to say it's better than the Xbox 360 version with regards to the graphics and controls, but the core gameplay is still very much stuck in the 90s. The basic game mechanics are so outdated and unimmersive it's difficult to take it seriously. Small things like meleeing enemies with the crowbar and mounting turrets as well as primitive controls and movement make it seem really amateur for the standards of today. The one thing that makes this game stand out is the level design. The levels aren't only long and adventurous but they manage to cram in so much variety with so few tools and gimmicks. The use of the physics engine as well as the famous gravity gun is particularly commendable. However, the shooting has no weighty feel to it, and weapons don't have any recoil. Enemies take damage with no seeming impact until they die. The characters are almost non-existent because the game's lack of cutscenes prevents any real development in the story. At every point when you play Half-Life 2, you feel like you're using compiled C code rather than playing a video game. It just feels like software that's made for a specific purpose. Although the voice acting, lip-syncing and attention to detail in the environments are all top notch, the main gameplay of Half-Life 2 is just plain bland and boring despite the varied levels. It's definitely an overrated game. Expand
  3. Oct 9, 2010
    10
    This game is one of my all time favorites and I've been playing games for a while. I am not a big pro FPS player but I've always enjoyed them and this game was incredible and even playing it again for the 12th time this day it feels great and to this day not many games can come up to it's level.
  4. AWG
    Jun 4, 2013
    8
    Graphics are stunning and the storyline keeps being as interesting as a well-written tv series. I personally got bored very soon by the hovercraft levels but that's just one subjective flaw among innumerable actual merits.
  5. Dec 13, 2012
    10
    Definitely one of the best FPS games ever. This game is what really started it all for Steam. It was a beautiful game back then and still stands the test of time today without any modding. It's packaged in a multitude of bundles and is on sale regularly so it's a real shame if you haven't played it within the past 8 years.
  6. Jan 1, 2014
    10
    Absolutely, unquestionably one of the greatest games to hit the surface of our fair planet. Still, to this day amazing. I have lost count of the amount of times I have played through this game. The elegance of the leve design is unbelievable. introduce a concept.... let you use it.... then challenge you with it and make you feel really clever for working it out. Stunning story.
  7. Oct 5, 2013
    6
    "Gordon Freeman!?" "Gordon Freeman!" "Gordon Freeman??!" Graphically, HL2 has aged gracefully, gameplay has not. Dry, extended sections of shooting the same character model over and over again, dull, stupid AI that bumrushes (enemy) or constantly gets in the way (friendly) and annoying platforming sections (still) in a FPS whose character slips and slides around, uncontrollably at times. Overrated when it came out, and overrated now. Expand
  8. Apr 1, 2012
    10
    Half Life 2 is FPS perfection. Nothing gets better than this. For a game of 2004 the graphics are astounding. The interaction in-game characters have with you and facial movement is remarkable. The shooting is back and better than ever. Now less repetitive, longer, better and sexier.
  9. Sep 26, 2011
    9
    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. Expand
  10. Mar 22, 2013
    10
    A first-person shooter with incredible storytelling, a groundbreaking technical achievement, plenty of atmosphere and intensity. Nothing less than revolutionary.
  11. Dec 19, 2012
    9
    A very diffrent type of style for a FPS then any other FPS game I have ever played. Its a interesting FPS with a little puzzle to it. Very good story and fun missions. Half-Life 2 9.6/10
  12. May 18, 2011
    10
    In times where it's rare that a sequel is better than the original. Half-Life 2 pulls off that feat with ease--well ahead of its time. Put this on your bucket list if you've never played it.
  13. Jul 9, 2013
    7
    Meh, it's okay.
    Half-Life 2 does a lot of things right. It looks great, plays great, has a large interconnected world, and has a fairly interesting story with cool characters.
    Except the game feels somewhat tedious. Every level is similar to the last later on in the game. You kill the same/similar enemies over and over again. Every now and then there is a driving section to break up the
    tedium, but those suck.

    This game is really overrated. I've played much better FPS games than Half-Life 2; games that were far less tedious and less boring. It's a good game, just not that great.
    Expand
  14. Aug 5, 2014
    7
    I liked it, Half-Life 2 is a good atmospheric FPS, but is it something more, something breathtaking that should blow everyone's mind as everyone in this world seems to think? Hell no, I feel absolutely the same way about Half-Life 2 as I did with the first Half-Life, it's good, yes, but that's it, for some reason both Half-Lifes are extremely, but I mean EXTREMELY over-hyped and overrated. It's a really good FPS, don't look for anything much more here. 7/10 Expand
  15. Jan 9, 2013
    8
    I'm so going to be hated to death, but I didn't love this game as many others tend to do, even though it's actually very good game for itself and even 8-9 years later it's still fresh to play and doesn't look aged at all. But despite all that, I definitely enjoyed Half Life 2 less than the previous chapter. I wil also say that I started with this chapter and then bought the previous game. First of all, I did like how the game, like I said, is still fresh: the graphics are surprisingly great and the engine is extremely good, and once you get the gravity gun you can exploit the physics of the game at its best. The characters are, for the most part, very remarkable and likeable to interact with, so nothing wrong here, except that maybe some characters disappear and reapper from the plot and will eventually confuse some people (or not). The game is also very balanced in the combats, with a good variety of weapons, a great variety of (very smart) enemies and with also many different situations to play. Infact, the best word to descrive this game, is "variety": you'll have a lot of situations in the game and they all are surprisingly fun to play and hardly bore you (like the boat section and ravenholm, where you will exploit the gravity gun). The story is...interesting...but I tend to get confused at times and I don't remember really much. And here comes some flaws in my opinion; while the story is good and well written, the game somehow seems very padded because, with some exceptions, the sections seem like a bunch of different parts glued all together! This isn't a big deal but, because of these sections that look like different parts completely, the story might get confusing, because (like I said) characters might appear and disappear all of the sudden and the story seems to get a halt for a pair of hours (the biggest example to me was the teleporter sceme: it seemed like an excuse to insert another part of the game). While I liked the first game because there wasn't much to understand, but only much to discover, in here it felt like I needed too much to understand, with nothing to discover at all. Also, this is kinda personal, I never got the links between the first game and this one (one big reason why I HAD to buy the first), but after finishing that game I still don't know what happened here after the events of the first (especially since that the ending of the first game didn't look like it had anything to do with the start of this. Except the presence of G-man). Maybe I'm just dumb, so I might be totally wrong on complaining this much. Moving to the combat: while I hated a bit the first game for the unbalance between the enemies (entire magazines to dispatch a few soldiers, while few shots would take down big aliens), this game actually fixes a lot of issues, especially with very well balanced weapons and with enemies that, for what I saw, have weakpoints (a head shots seem to do more damage here). My biggest complain here, is that the weapons aren't that many, even if there's the gravity gun. Quality over quantity is always the rule, however we could have used more variety of guns, or have a better thought for using them. For example, one of the rifles is rather bad because of the small magazines, and both of the rifles' secondary fire is very limited due to the lack of proper ammo; the magnum is great, but I hardly found that many ammo to use it so often; the grenades must be choose apart, while it should have been a button instead, or at least a faster way to choose it. And few weapons won't be used at all after certain parts, like the pheromone bomb. And while the gravity gun is a great invention, I found it very limited at times and, to be honest, I used it only on one section (Ravenholm), and NEVER used it again, because there was almost no other reason to use it afterwards and, strangely, only a very limited amount of weapons could be used. On the other hand, when it gets powered, things change completely. Just too bad it's for a brief time. All in all, I liked this game, but I honestly expected much more: while the first one had flaws and could use some more story and more balance, in here the situations don't always match the story properly, resulting in some unnecessary padding at times, and while it was very innovative for its time (and still kinda is), right now we also have games that took from the innovation that this game made and actually evolved it. Probably I'm just not a fan of this game and opinions will be varied, but it's still a good game to play and there's nothing exactly wrong with it. However, if people can't go past the "oldness" of this game, probably it's better to step away. Or else, give it a try and see for yourself. Expand
  16. Aug 26, 2013
    7
    i personally think that half life 2 is the most overrated game of all time i can't see anything special about this game you're running from soldiers hitting some soldiers killing zombies and that's it the story is not good as it seems and the protagonist is so boring he never says a word the entire game in the end it isn't bad but it doesn't deserve all that hype about it
  17. Nov 14, 2012
    10
    Amazing follow up to a great game. Amazing physics and graphics at the time as well as an enthralling story make this a must for any PC gamer looking for a quality SP experience.
  18. CRL
    Jul 24, 2011
    10
    Easily one of my favorite games of all time; Half Life 2 incorporates everything it possibly can into an FPS. There are vehicle chases, (mostly) intelligent AI, and a storyline better than some books. Technologyically, the 2004 graphics still feel fine compared to newer games, and that age means that it won't lag on almost any system. A classic all around.
  19. Nov 24, 2012
    6
    Good game.
    If every software house did a game like that, we would all be happy: challenging gameplay, good story, pretty good graphics and good longevity.
  20. Dec 13, 2012
    9
    This is an excellent shooter with a good storyline, characters, and environment. The game starts out a bit slow, but it does a good job of pacing and building up to the big action. The physics in the game are fun and make for some interesting possibilities which were impressive when it was released. The episodes do a good job of building on the story and offering some improvements without changing what makes the game good. Personally I found it very refreshing to have a female character/sidekick with an actual personality and skills, rather than someone who was just there to be a tough dude with boobs. Expand
  21. DME
    Jun 10, 2012
    10
    Half-Life 2 was one of the greatest games I have ever played. It's very diverse, immersing, interesting, and just plain fun. One of the coolest things about it was the way you could manipulate the environment in crazy ways to complete your tasks. Unfortunately, the game has one drawback. It has an appalling ending. But, everything leading up to the ending is such a blast, it's forgivable.
  22. Dec 25, 2013
    9
    Half-Life 2......it doesn't do a whole lot differently than other games in the shooter genre in terms of pure gameplay innovation, but it takes existing styles, then mixes, matches and makes them better. Another triumph.
  23. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    This is a darn near perfect game. A bit gruesome for my tastes but very well written and genuinely gripping. At times I find my self truly startled by the game. The combat mechanics are stellar. The puzzles take thought but are not overly difficult to figure out. The animated scenes that play the role of the "cut scene" are not true cut scenes as you stay 100% involved and able to act as the NPCs talk to you and the story plays out. The only real downside is the lack of a voice for Gordon Freeman the silent protagonist AGAIN but that is pretty minor. The graphics turned up to max look incredible given the 2004 release date and run very smoothly. Check points are liberal enough to not have to curse yourself and replay something difficult if you blow it. Valve has an incredible IP and I only hope that eventually there will be a half-life 3. Expand
  24. Sep 29, 2011
    7
    I will begin by saying that if you thought that the original Half-Life was one of the best gaming experiences ever, you will be grossly disappointed by Half-Life 2. The differences and lack of continuation easily outnumber the similarities. First, there was the unexpected motion sickness. I was surprised to discover, upon Google searching, that many others also were put through the same discomforting extreme nausea. In short, the game is repetitive, surprisingly linear, lacking severely in storyline, and not much really happens. You just go from point to point, without not very much explanation. I should also mention that you should expect to spend between two and three hours driving around in vehicles; which I did not appreciate in any way. I like the Combine soldiers; they are cool, but besides them, there truly aren't many interesting enemies or a good variety of them. Another letdown is that you cannot inflict damage to friendly NPCs like in the original Half-Life. This really bothered me. Also, why are Vortigaunts suddenly my friends, without any explanation whatsoever? Squad members are close to useless and have no real point in being there except for acting as decoy and getting in the way of your path. Valve decided it was a good idea to include incredibly annoying and cheap techno music at times, which disrupts the dark mood and atmosphere. There are too many situations where you are forced to shoot at the same, ever repeating, large, uninteresting targets with an RPG. The boss fights (if you can even call them that) are not creative at all. They are uneventful, uninteresting, and anti-climatic. Overall, Half-Life 2 lacks a story, depth, and creativity. It took me about 21 hours to complete. Expand
  25. Nov 3, 2013
    10
    One word: AMAZING. Improving upon the original while keeping the atmosphere and feel of the game the same, albeit with upgraded visuals and effects of course. Love it. Definitely one of my favorites.
  26. Nov 20, 2013
    7
    Half-Life 2 has been an interesting yet mixed experience… At times throughout playing the game my interest just fell completely flat and I couldn't play it any-more and yet at other times I just couldn't stop playing… So I feel the story and action elements were very much hit and miss, however the graphics are flawless. I’m unsure if they've ever been updated but for a 2004 game it’s got incredible textures! The most frustrating thing about this game is when Gordon is joined by a group of soldiers and they continually trap you in rooms by clogging a doorway, minor issue but seriously annoying… Spinning more positively, the enemies were great, the majority of the environments were interesting and it was a generally good game. Expand
  27. Nov 3, 2013
    9
    Half-Life 2 is one of the best FPS games, but i just liked HL1 (Half-Life 1) much more. I really miss Xen in HL 2, i know its because of story, but i really hoped on revisiting that weird dimension. I think that original half-life had more enemy types and more interesting weapons. On the other hand, the story and characters are some of the best. The only reason i do not give it 10 is because of parts where you drive vehicle (some of the worst driving experience i ever seen). Expand
  28. Jun 19, 2011
    10
    I don't give 10 out of 10 lightly. This game deserves it and more. The most impressive thing about it is how it weaves gameplay and story seamlessly. The atmosphere is incredible and the graphics are effective even years later. The controls work perfectly and I cannot honestly remember a single bug that occurred in any of my playthroughs. The episodes that came after only increased how awesome Half Life 2 is. If you haven't played this game, for the love of all that is good and holy play it as soon as you can! Expand
  29. Sep 5, 2012
    9
    Outdoing the original Half-Life is no easy task, but I am happy to report that Valve has succeeded in exactly that. Half-Life 2 is a breathtaking FPS that will have you on the edge of your PC chair from start to finish. Story: (10) Just as good as the first, Gordon is one of the best characters of a game. There are even a few unexpected twists and parts that are actually scary. Graphics: (10) Some of the best available when released, this game looks awesome on full settings and still respectable today. Sound: (10) Best of the best sound effects and background music. The soundtrack is definitely worth checking out. Gameplay: (9) Just as good as the first, if not better. There are several challenging areas and some of the boss fights are epic. The shooting feels more accurate and I must say the AI in this game is incredible. Endgame: (8) It is fun to go through again on harder difficulties but I would have loved to see some sort of multi-player support besides deathmatch. Overall if you are a PC gamer you CANNOT pass this game up. Just the story alone is enough to keep you going and the suspense builds at every corner. Still to this day the graphics hold up really nice and the source engine is smooth and a blast to play. Overall: 9 Expand
  30. Aug 11, 2014
    7
    Half-Life 2 is a cool game. Tricky and exciting. I like it. The gravity gun. The big bugs. They are endless and really annoying. But once you kill their momma and take its organ they will all become your slaves. Your loyal army. I really liked that part. But I find the story uninteresting.
  31. Sep 2, 2014
    10
    Isn't it sad that this 10 year old game looks a lot better than most games that have came out in the past few months?
    Also-HL3 CONFIRMED
    Also-GORDON FREEMAN
  32. 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. 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
  33. Dec 1, 2011
    10
    Took me a few years to get a "wake up call" and to properly get into this game. When HL2 first came out I wasn't so keen on it. Now that having played through it again, as well as both of the episodes, I really came to appreciate how decent the game is, even compared to the games coming out nowadays. HL2 is not just an FPS game. It might seem like so at first, but there is a whole new level of depth to the gaming experience when it comes to this game. HL2 puts the player in all sorts of varying environments and against all sorts of enemies, each time changing the situation, so that you're never bored. The game is very dynamic. It keeps you surprised, changing the challenge all the time. On top of that it is very rewarding, as games should be. If you spend some time to explore for example, you find good items. The weapons are very enjoyable to use in combat, and some are even pretty unique. The Gravity Gun for example is very diverse in its applications and can be easily used for most of the combat situations in the game. The rocket launcher gives a whole new meaning to the term "homing" as you navigate the missile at your enemies with a laser sight. Every weapon is fantastic, whether it's an awesome sniper crossbow, or bugbait used to attract antlion creatures to attack the enemy. The storyline continues from the first game, except takes place a few years after. Gordon Freeman (the playable character) now finds himself in a dystopic society, where alien civilisation by the name of Combine is ruling over the humans on Earth. The story of HL2 manages to show tyranny and oppression really well. The story still leaves some loose ends, which opened up an opportunity for the sequels. Half Life 2 is generally an all round great game with no outstanding flaws whatsoever (although I felt that earlier parts of the game weren't as good as the latter parts). Great story, fun gameplay, beautiful visuals, nice soundtrack, and very lifelike NPCs (they act just like real people!). Expand
  34. Jun 6, 2012
    10
    Half life 2 is without a doubt one of the best games ever made. I wish I could say otherwise but it is the truth, everything about this game: the story, the tight level design, the graphics and sound is done with a rare care and attention which most developers are stubbornly against. Despite being eight years old, HL2 is and always will be a benchmark in the video games industry.
  35. Aug 27, 2013
    10
    The sequel to Half-Life but much different the graphics are still quite good but the animations are still really good it still is Half-Life so you will know its Half-Life the stroy telling is amazing as well an absolute masterpiece
  36. Sep 18, 2013
    10
    The best game for me, for its original story, gameplay, duration, was the only game I played with my friends, not only was fun, it's more this game was the reason that shooters are not just shooting, ie telling a story that grabs you from the first minute of the game, a game exciting and burgeoning high quality. The masterpiece of gaming, a game I recommend to play.
  37. Oct 25, 2010
    10
    The best FPS the world has ever come to witness. Half-Life 2 brings you through a torrent of different settings, enemies, and events that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Nothing too much should be said as no game of this caliber should need an introduction, but it is suffice to say that if you are a fan of FPS, this is not a game to be missed in your entire life.
  38. Apr 26, 2011
    10
    10/10 = Masterpiece = Best First Person Shooter of all-time, also one of the most innovative games to date on the grounds of story telling AND technical.
  39. Sep 17, 2012
    10
    This is the best FPS of all time, and I say that with 100% confidence. No other FPS even comes close to the sheer brilliance of this game. The physics, level design, and gameplay are unmatched. If you haven't play this yet, you are missing out.
  40. May 19, 2012
    9
    Awards: The Best FPS of 2004, The Best Technical Graphics of 2004, The Best Virtual Characters of 2004. An unforgettable FPS with stunning graphics, outstanding sandbox gameplay and with some memorable characters. The story is perfectly done. Gordon Freeman is back, in the City 17, trying to escape from it. Barney, an old friend of Gordon, rescues him by taking him to a room, and he meets virtually the Doctor, nicknamed Doc. It is a stunning experience, and creepy. There are some AI enemies, like crabs, crabs zombies etc. There are also AI enemy humans from Black Mesa. Expand
  41. Aug 17, 2012
    10
    With It's outstanding story, fancy graphics and a fast paced, fun gameplay, Half Life 2 easily is a masterpiece. Graphically/visually is so realistic that the game comes to life, because of the impressive Source Engine. And the long, enjoyable story is remarkable. From these words, this game is perfect. 100 out of 100
  42. Jan 1, 2012
    10
    With Half-ife 2 Valve proved that Half-life wasnt just a lucky shot. It is a worthy successor, a promise for more to follow and that valve cares of their comunity. Every single aspect of what made Half-Life 1 special was taken care of, enhanced and implemented into Half-Life 2. They kept their special way of storytelling, not interupting the gameplay much, but letting the player explore just as much of the universe as he likes to. A universe that keeps continuously growing during HL1-2, the episode addons and even Portal since it is also playing in the very same fictional Universe.

    Technically it is not trying too fancy stuff but manages to be beautiful and very functional at the same time.
    Expand
  43. Jan 5, 2012
    10
    This game goes beyond words by how amazing it is. I actually like this game better than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (mostly because I suck at that game). Everything about this game is just about perfect. The gameplay, the graphics, the music (what little there is), the story, everything. What really disappoints me is that once games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Halo 3 came out, everyone seemed to forget about this near perfect game. Why this is disappointing is because this game is actually better than both of them. To be honest, this is not my favorite video game of all time. Super Smash Bros. Brawl still beats it. However, it doesn't beat this game by much. When the chips are down, this game could still top most competition. I really want the Halo and Call of Duty fans to try this game out, and see if this is really better than both of those games. If you are one of those fans, and you have tried this game out, say yes if this game is really better than Halo or Call of Duty. If it's not better to you, say no, or don't vote at all. It's your choice. Expand
  44. Dec 21, 2011
    9
    Like its epic predecessor Half Life 1, this is pretty much the same thing but much better. Great characters, excellent story, and more importantly; the way the story is told is superb. Almost 10 / 10.
  45. Oct 15, 2011
    10
    this is made of gold, and shining diamonds, and chrome, and everything good about existence. you may find yourself in the zelda pose, where you dont know what to do, but in this, its fun, so for 6 quid go get
  46. Sep 26, 2012
    7
    Really? Are people still raving about this after all these years? To be fair the gameplay's solid enough, the graphics are still surprisingly good and ther's just enough variety and twists to keep you playing till the end. I'll give HL2 it's due; it's still a good game (and fairly influential too) but certainly not the great game it was in 2004. Hate to break it to you fan boys but all the things HF2 did that seemed ground breaking and/or mind blowing back in the day have been improved and expanded on many times now. Try playing any of the Uncharted games, Resident Evil 4 or Gears of War then tell me the plot, atmosphere or pacing is so great. Expand
  47. Apr 20, 2012
    7
    This is not perfect or revolutionary but it sets the benchmark. This is the quintessential linear FPS game by which all other linear FPS games are compared.
  48. Feb 3, 2014
    9
    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: 10 out of 10, Re-play: 7 out of 10, Value: 10 out of 10
  49. Jan 15, 2012
    10
    Best game ever made. Are Valve games are 90+ but Half-Life 2 is the best Valve game. I finished 15-16 times. This game contains a lot of new things when you play it again and again.
  50. Nov 29, 2013
    9
    An all time classic. Even after playing through Half-Life 2 many times, I still get alot of fun out of the playing it. Almost everything about the game is top notch: the levels, characters, music, sound and graphical style. The game's physics were at the time unheard of and still even today are quite good in how you can use the gravity gun to pick up and throw objects at enemies and to solve puzzles. As you play, you will see the characters develop and you will start to care about them and how they interact. The whole game being a long continuous level is also really cool as you can clearly see how the whole game links together. If I were to nitpick the game, the vehicle sections are a little too long, especially the car levels, but this is just a minor complaint really. If you haven't played this where have you been?!?!? Expand
  51. Oct 27, 2014
    10
    I know I am treading well-worn ground, here, but Half Life 2 is one of the few games I’ve played that has lived up to the hype surrounding it. I felt like I had to tip my hat, because it is perfect in every appreciable way.

    Even though HL2 is a decade old, I only recently got around to playing it thanks to a Steam sale. Absolutely fantastic. I love everything about this game. Still
    looks gorgeous, not at all dated like the first Half Life game. Voice acting is spot-on. Mechanics are good. Nice selection of weapons without having TOO many. Gravity gun is a blast. Music is used very well: long stretches of silence with appropriately creepy or intense electronic tunes depending on what’s happening.

    What pushes this over the top for me, though, is the story. It was barely there in Half Life 1. You still have no idea what’s happening in HL2 but you discover bits & pieces as you play. At one of the resistance HQs, for example, there is a bulletin board full of newspaper clippings about the alien invasion which took place while Gordon was…elsewhere. It’s a nice payoff which helps everything else happening in the game make sense. Aside from that, you may only hear certain plot points once or twice from NPC banter. Even if the banter doesn’t contain any story information, though, it’s all scripted well and fun to listen to.

    HL2 also appeals to gamers who only play shooters for the pew pew and don’t care about story. The maps may be linear (which I don’t mind in a shooter) but you have a lot of freedom and fun ways to go about solving them. There is also a nice mix of gameplay elements which keep things fresh, from turret defense moments (literally) to vehicle driving. You’re not always marching through hallways so it’s very difficult to get bored.

    The only complaint I have is that there’s no Half Life 3! Of course, I’d rather have an excellent series which rarely releases games than a series that releases a title every year and beats everything we liked about it into the ground until we can’t stand it any longer (*cough*Assassin’s Creed*ahem*). Half Life 2 is one of those amazing gems that is still as good today as it was on the day it was released. Definitely a game which everyone who considers themselves a gamer should play.
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  52. Apr 26, 2014
    10
    The original revolutionized gaming forever, and this sequel did the same. 10 years later I am still in love with this game. The story is incredible, the gameplay is flawless, and the source engine of course speaks for itself. This is a game that deserves every point of its perfect score.
  53. Jun 8, 2014
    10
    Half-Life 2 is a masterpiece of gaming history. Surprising story, amazing FPS and puzzle gameplay, awesome graphic with unbelievable physic system, and great sounds. Although Gordon Freeman is still a quiet guy, but Half-Life 2 is an unforgettable title you have to say loud when someone wants to know about the best game of 2004, or maybe, of all time.
  54. Oct 12, 2012
    10
    Half-life 2,like its predecessor, is one of those games that leave a mark. Masterpiece of fps games! run to buy this game if you haven't already done.
  55. Mar 1, 2014
    10
    This game is just wonderful. It has a great story, great atmosphere and most of all characters which you won't forget quickly. I think it's more an adventure FPS, where you can discover a world with interesting enemies and places (even if it's linear). The physics engine and graphics are also revolutionary and changed the FPS!
    PS: Do yourself a favour and DON'T DOWNLOAD THE CINEMATIC MOD!
    It destroys the atmosphere, characters and gameplay of Half-Life 2! Expand
  56. Dec 26, 2010
    10
    Half-Life 2 is so much more than a game, because you end up forgetting it's a game. You just keep playing it again and again starving for some more. HL2 is not just about mindless shooting and killing... VALVe offers you one of the most diverse gameplay: each chapter has its own mechanics and new weapons, real NEW weapons: they're not just more powerful, they're really different (as the gravity gun). The story is great and very immersing: you know who you are, what you must do and why you do it... It isn't like: "Hey! that's the story! keep doing whatever you were doing! (mindless killing in most cases)". The AI isn't great, that's agreed, but it's somehow acceptable because it's not at the center of the game. The graphics are getting old too but it's very well done (I still play the first Half-Life: it doesn't matter) and the physics are still great, actually it's really the only game where you have a real interactivity with the physics. Expand
  57. Jan 17, 2011
    10
    This is basically video gaming at it's best. People who say this game is overrated and bad simply have no idea of what makes a great video game. The game adds a minor scare factor that adds to the enjoyment and keeps you wanting to play more. The music is an absolute amazing addition to this game, with soundtracks coming into the game at the right moments (driving sections of the game). I thought I was going to spoil this game by playing a large amount of Garry's Mod before playing and making the main characters look silly, but boy was I wrong. If you think there is no story or it is a horrible story, once again you have no idea. The storyline is another excellent dystopian story which is made clear by the Rebels and Citizens trying to survive in this horrible world. And if that is not enough for you, the game is riddled with challenging puzzles to make the game experience even more enjoyable. This game is not a "generic FPS" simply because it is a masterpiece where only Bioshock comes close to being as good. I was first very skeptical about critics saying this was the greatest PC game ever made, but now i have played it I can see why critics have regarded this game so highly. You cannot afford to NOT play this game. Expand
  58. May 6, 2012
    10
    This game is perfect. Simply perfect.
    Amazing graphics which are beautiful even on weak PCs because of compatibility and greatly designed Source graphics engine. The story is great, voice acting is above average and sound quality breathtaking.
  59. May 31, 2012
    10
    An incredible and rare stroke of genius for the first person shooter genre. Featuring an incredible sense of isolation, perfected storytelling and pacing, wonderful and memorable characters, and exhilarating set piece moments that stay with you for years, Half Life 2 stands triumphant at the pinnacle of the genre as the perfected first person shooter.
  60. Oct 21, 2011
    5
    I had fun for about 3 hours, soldiered on for about another 3 and then lost interest completely. A game more bereft of personality I have yet to play. I can't say that I saw much evidence of a story or any story telling for that matter - just a continuous chase with a few guns and vehicles thrown in. Oh yes, a couple of humans too who did nothing except break up the monotony of shooting stuff every once in a while. It has some good moments no doubt but very quickly I neither cared about what I was doing or why I was doing it. A faceless, straitjacketed and shallow game is the only way I can describe it. Expand
  61. Jul 4, 2011
    10
    This game has set the standard in first person shooters the story line is deep the mechanics are unique and all other FPS fall short to the quality of this game. If you haven't played this game yet mistakes were made, also look out for Episode 3/Half-Life 3 it will be epic with today's Graphics.
  62. sft
    May 22, 2013
    10
    All hail the crowbar!

    This is the game that got me hooked on shooters. In that respect I guess it has a lot to answer for! And, along with Episodes 1 and 2, it remains my favourite to this day. Valve have taken their 1998 classic Half-Life and improved on it in every conceivable way. Much improved graphics, much improved physics, much improved AI, and much improved weapons, most notably
    the wondrous gravity gun. Once again it mixes a wide variety of spectacular environments with some satisfying puzzles and some fantastic combat. It also develops the story started in the original and fleshes it out nicely. Another important gain is the introduction of Alyx and her father Ely. Alyx will be a welcome companion and will, periodically, fight by your side. This is a big factor in HL2 the introduction of team play. You will have small bands of resistance fighters with you sporadically during play in the single player mode and this adds a team element which greatly increases immersion and the sense that what you do matters. I could bang on about this game for ever and a day, but just let me say this: play it you won’t regret it. Expand
  63. Mar 3, 2013
    10
    This game is genius, the graphics and gameplay have stood the test of time and every single inch of the game has had massive attention paid to it. How anyone can say this is a bad game is under age of 16 or they have a terrible choice in games.
  64. Aug 7, 2013
    10
    Far, FAR better thanthe origonal. The beefed up the graphics, and yet my laptop could still play it very well. New aliens appear and old ones get a nice new polish added to them. Having breakable environments and the new grav gun and ability to pick up items makes the world far more interactive and easy to emerse yourself in this game.

    If you have played the first one and not this one
    then what the hell are you doing? Expand
  65. May 27, 2011
    7
    IMHO Half Life 2 is the most overrated game to date. First i find Half Life 1 superior. I am not saying that Half Life 2 is a bad game, bit its over and over the same thing. Same stupid boring soldiers all the way. And so prized story is almost non existent. Just watch Half Life in 60 seconds on youtube :) that sums it up :)
    Half Life 1 wasn't much better story wise but it had better atmosphere.
  66. Nov 1, 2011
    10
    I find it hard to stop saying good things about this game, and then again why would i want to.. It keeps getting better with community encouraged mods sp and mp both helping to expand the already huge HL2 Universe. This game at it's time and arguably still was and is ahead of it's time in so many ways. Fun fun fun oh and did i say? FUN!
  67. Jun 19, 2013
    10
    A beautiful game, that is a very competent FPS and action game, but at the same time one of the most intelligent puzzle games ever created.
    This game does not guide you by hand. There will be no quest list, map or arrow pointing to your objective. You won't have an army behind you destroying everything in your way. But ut does not lack in action. It is one of the most intense games I ever
    played, it is not easy and it DOES NOT presume you want it to be. Valve presumes you are just as intelligent as they are and the entire game is based around it. Around the fact that you are smart enough to go trough a game without a guide and a army, that you can be emerged in an amazing universe and understand a complicated storyline, that you can understand your objective without it flashing in red and gold every 3 seconds, and that you can solve physics based puzzles, under pressure and enemy fire without any clues.
    Half Life 2 also brings a sense of open world, free to exploration, but even without a map or any guide you never get lost.
    Probably the best game ever created. A freaking masterpiece.
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  68. Sep 30, 2013
    10
    This game is truly amazing in every way. Great storytelling and great gameplay combine into one of, if not THE, best shooter of all time. I have found myself playing it multiple times, and still enjoying it just as much as the first time.
  69. Nov 24, 2012
    9
    I can't believe this game is 8 years old, even revisiting it after all this years it's still a blast.The fact it has held up this long is a tribute to how far ahead of the generic shooters out at the time that it was. The Half-Life series is an absolute joy.
  70. Nov 12, 2011
    10
    Half Life 2 is one of the best games I have ever played, the storyline is fantastic! On the very first level you get sucked into the world of City 17. Basically the game takes place years after HL1. You are a scientist named Gordon Freeman and your mission is to try and stop the Combine from wiping out humanity all together. The Physics are very well done thanks to the Source Engine. The sounds and graphics are also very good as well.

    Bravo Valve!
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  71. May 3, 2014
    7
    HOW I RATE: 10-9 score: perfect or near-perfect don't exist; 8 score: one of the best games ever. Top score; 7-6 score: great but not one of the best; 5-below score: serious flaws.
    ===========
    Half-Life 2 expands on it's predecessor and makes everything about it even better. Try the episodes as well.
  72. Nov 10, 2011
    10
    Seriously, this is the best game of all time. I cant put it any other way, do you remember when sequels meant somthing new to look forward to? I hardly do, but this was in the golden age of FPS. So play it. Steam is much improved since this was released, so dont listen to the trolls.
  73. Jul 31, 2011
    9
    An enjoyable experience albeit the linear model. The story is vague and hard to understand without playing the first game but the level-design is action-packed and offers great outcomes when paired with the Gravity Gun.
  74. Nov 17, 2013
    10
    There is only 4 games that I would give a 10/10 Half Life 2 is one of them. My favoraite mission is in Ravenholm. Very very jumpy from the zombies. The best thing about Half Life 2 is the Gravity gun and the voice acting. They are great. Th voice acting is great in my opinion. The best character has got to be DOG. It's in caps for a reason. DOG is amazing you can play fetch with him and I made him spaz out. I mean like I was not playing with DOG. I was playing with Alex. DOG was on the barrel and Alex was throwing rock at me. Funniest glitch ever! If you have never played this game I suggest you do. You are missing out on a lot.

    Overall
    -Funny Glitches
    -Amazing voice acting
    -DOG
    -Gravity Gun
    Score 100/100
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  75. Jul 22, 2014
    9
    The best shooter and the best game ever made. Valve is one of the best video game companys and all of there games are top notch. This and team fortress 2 are there best games.
  76. Sep 3, 2011
    10
    With its excellent suspense, atmosphere, gameplay, puzzles(Though they can get frustrating at times), story, and graphics(Even at September 2011 it is beautiful), Half-Life 2 competes with the first Half-Life and Deus Ex for the best PC game ever made.
  77. Feb 4, 2012
    10
    Half-Life 2 is simply amazing. I've noticed some reviewers (one in particular) mentioned that Half-Life 2 "has no storyline". Well, I have one question to ask : are you retarded?

    Anyway, Half-Life 2 = Amazing. The graphics are good! People have to realise that Half-Life 2 was released in 2004. It does not have the graphics that we have today. Half-Life 2 provides excellent voice acting
    from all the cast, including the great Merle Dandridge (Alyx Vance).

    Half-Life 2 also has famous actors such as Robert Culp and Robert Guillaume. Half-Life 2 earned 39 Game of the Year awards. This shows that, well, Half-Life 2 is damn awesome.

    Great gameplay, great storyline, great voice acting, great soundtrack. Great. Buy this game!
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  78. Xon
    Jul 6, 2013
    10
    This is by far for me the truest realisation of a videogame. The game features a terrible dystopian setting with hopeless inhabitants struggling against an unbeatable foe.
    One aspect of the game that I love the most is that you never "leave" the game. All discourse and interactions coccur in-game.
    As near perfect a game as I've ever seen. Some places might seem a bit empty, but hey, the
    human population has been decimated.
    All in all a great experince.
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  79. Nov 4, 2014
    10
    This is simply the best game ever made. There are too many good things to say about this game, so I'll make a long review short.
    Buy it. Buy it now.
    .
  80. Sep 9, 2012
    10
    With awesome story and very nice gameplay, this is definetly one of the best singleplayer games i have ever played. I would recommend it for anyone who haven't played it already.
  81. Apr 22, 2014
    8
    There was something very incredible about the original Half-Life. It was ground breaking for its time because it was the first game I played that really felt alive. Half-Life 2 is a step back in some ways. While it continues the same classic formula of run and gun rail shooter, it however goes back in several areas.
    While it has more of a storyline than Half-Life, its just not very
    interesting. The combine are perhaps the most bland enemy I've ever seen, the key problem is they are unmemorable. Like a weaker version of the Strogg (from Quake).

    While it has the best physics (which makes sense as you are Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist). The game took a nose dive into a completely different locale. The claustrophobia of underground research facility is gone, and some classic aliens don't make a come back (bullsquid/hound eye)... and Vortiguants are friendly -_-

    The game also noticeably lacks difficulty, even on hard the game is perhaps the easiest I've ever played.
    Less explosive barrels - Half-Life 1 had a perfect balance. Every time I saw a barrel in Half-Life 2 I knew someone was going to either go near it or hide behind it. Less health kits, once again HL1 had a perfect balance.. here I always find 2-3 to many. Those unlimited ammo/grenade supply crates where so unnecessary.

    The mediocre AI.. I want the AI to find ways to circle around me and trap me in corners, flush me out with grenades. The airboat portion in Half-Life 2 was dragged on far too long. In between each section you kill a few easy metro cops and then on you go... like some sort of tech demo.

    +Gameplay is fun, and level design is logical
    +Ergonomically designed, so you can play the whole in one sitting
    +Characerisation
    +Very long
    +Ravenholm

    -Easy game, even on Hard
    -Bland enemy design for the combine
    -Unmemorable music
    -Mediocre AI

    -Physics puzzles brought FPS a interesting twist, but I thought that they really didn't do anything substantial to move the genre forward. Instead it feels like a technical achievement rather than the merging of FPS gameplay and physics in some meaningful way. Using the physics gun to launch objects at enemies is about as far as it goes in this regard. I think future games to come end up achieving something like this more so.

    -Why does Gordon have to be a silent protagonist? I feel like it's more a crutch on the story.
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  82. Oct 3, 2010
    10
    .....................Still the only game in history (yet) worthy of a 10................................. Bravo Valve...................................
  83. Feb 20, 2013
    10
    Half Life was pretty good. But it's far from Half Life 2. The campaign for Half Life 2 is easily one of, if not the, best I have ever played. The first time I played the game. I hated the first two chapters. But I have since grown to love the whole game. Even after beating the game, it is still great fun to play. The graphics, for 2004 were amazing, and the game still looks pretty good now. The puzzles are a tad repetitive sometimes, but the action and storyline make up for it. Another issue is the multiplayer. You have to pay for it seperately, although it is also great fun if you do Expand
  84. May 23, 2012
    10
    I have played many games, but there is only one game I keep coming back to hoping to know what happens next, and this is it. My favourite game of all time!
  85. Mar 13, 2012
    10
    The perfect shooter. It doesn't get boring after what must be the 20th replay. Incredible level design, creepy enemies, amazing atmosphere. The benchmark of FPS since 2004 that many have tried and failed to top.
  86. BMF
    Apr 7, 2011
    10
    If only all single player shooters could be this great. HL2 is the shining gold example of storytelling and game play all fused into the perfect package.
  87. Oct 9, 2010
    10
    Think about your favorite FPS. Now look at this game. Half Life 2 is seriously, no joke, one of the best games ever created. The story is a masterpiece, showing you a world held hostage by the powerful Combine, an alien race who came to Earth after the events of the first game and all but enslaved us. Remember the physics of the first game? Half Life 2 has cranked those up to 11, with beautiful flames that will have you standing by fires and realistic crows that take off when you approach. And then there's the combat. Like the first game, it is executed perfectly, but I noticed that many of the guns are almost exactly the same. You get the standard pistol, the crowbar, the shotgun, the smg, the rpg, the grenades, and the crossbow. The only weapons that seemed new were the assault rifle and the gravity gun. Oh man, the gravity gun. I could write an entire review just about that, how you can pick up and push items, solve puzzles, etc. Throughout the game you'll visit a number of locales, from the Antlion-infested beaches to the city of Ravenholm, which is positively crawling with zombies. If you like to play video games, then you must play Half Life 2. Expand
  88. Oct 6, 2011
    10
    Even better than the first HL, wow I didn't think it was possible. While it is a shooter, it involves a lot more gameplay types, it allows you to drive through to point A-B with intense action, areas where you need to sneak past, you get to control troops of rebels (and even antlions at one point). And the regular shooting is great, it's also a true sequel meaning it's just a bunch of higher tech HL. (with the same physics puzzles and similar gameplay) It also has one of the best sci-fi storyline's of the century, including characters, dialog, and of course just story in general. It introduces a new gun that is just OMG, try launching a paint can at something, see how much damage that will cause. Just amazing, like HL1, I really have NOTHING negative to say about it. Expand
  89. May 14, 2012
    10
    Look no further - THIS IS THE BEST FPS OF ALL TIME. The source engine at its finest delivers amazing graphics. The game itself is essentially bug free. The supporting Steam platform is flawless. The world savior Gordon paves way for many alien-invasion-and-world-saving-by-a-one-man-army all came after this game, and all have failed to surpass this milestone.
  90. Mar 23, 2014
    10
    Best single player game ever. 10 years later most of these scenes are still better looking than the newest games that come out in 2014, and it deserves an 11 for that. Graphics aren't just high definition textures and more polygons, they are also the context they are put into, proportion, and sound.
  91. Jwv
    Jan 18, 2014
    10
    Probably the best single-player game I have ever played on PC. The Source engine has a great eye for detail; portrays a realistic picture of a totalitarian regime, which kindles a real sense of sympathy with the rebels; a squad-system (although not the best); likeable, unique and realistic characters; varied gameplay and locations with some particularly epic parts like Ravenholm (which even now, 10 years later, still gives me the creeps), the hovercraft and buggy scenes, and your first Strider-confrontation; cool weapons; smart AI; an enormous amount of different enemies to shoot; a great story; a great momentum in the game (action-packed and serene scenes alternate nicely); an enjoyable soundtrack adapted to every moment (cf. combat, Ravenholm, etc.), good voice-acting and great sound-effects (anyone not creeped out by the zombie-dogs?); smart puzzles (but just some really stand out), great use of physics; and one of the best first hours of gameplay ever (with a great sense of dependence, realism and adrenaline). Expand
  92. Aug 23, 2013
    10
    How does this game have a lower metascore than GTA4? This game is almost perfect, except for some bad follower AI which is a non-issue and not even worth complaining about.
  93. Jan 2, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is a great game and I absolutely love it! The combine are great to kill. And I found it amusing to make the guards angry in the first level. I love the new zombies and the new poison head crabs and zombies are awesome! There are also the funny yet annoying fast zombies! Overall A masterpiece Expand
  94. Jul 8, 2012
    10
    There are some people who would argue that this is the best game of all time. I can't really argue with that. But it's up to everyone to decide if it's their favorite. I say, top 5
  95. Jan 3, 2012
    10
    Poor graphics. That's IT. A true benchmark for PC games, and an example all developers should learn from. Award-worthy story, overwhelming atmoshpere, dynamic physics, perfectly paced action and puzzles, intense firefights, good character development, surrealism in video game form, and one of the biggest moral plights in video gaming history; Gordon Freeman--the "badass normal" scientist turned soldier, originally intending to create and produce, suddenly turned warrior with all the paradoxis of killing to save, fighting for peace, and destroying to create that go along with it when he (technically was used) to start a chain reaction of events that ends everything he ever cared about. Which he only found out about after several years of being in limbo. If anyone's tragic, it's him. And he's never said a word. Expand
  96. Jan 8, 2013
    10
    Best game of the decade, hands down. The Source engine rivals most games today graphics wise, and yet it was released back in 2004, more than 8 years ago. Amazing. It's not just it's amazing engine, it's also the gameplay as well as the subtle story that makes this game what it is. Half-Life is probably the best known video game franchise ever, spawning loads of spin-offs and mods to make Valve loads of money. Expand
  97. May 7, 2014
    5
    Hopelessly mediocre game that's on-the-rails and constantly insults my intelligence with puzzles a kids with downs could figure out. It has nice graphics, but boring gunplay and DRM called Steam. 10 years later, still no sequel to tie up the loose ends. Bottom line: Valve sucks!
  98. Mar 22, 2013
    10
    Half life 2 is truly the best single videogame I've ever played. Great graphics, physics, level design, plot, characters, weapons, difficulty, enemies, and overall gameplay experience I have had and probably will have for a long time. (Read: When HL3 comes out) And once you've finished the game, you can enjoy going back and finding all the subtle things you missed, or try out some of the community made mods for the game. You can get this game for $10 which is just about the best price vs. entertainment factor I've ever seen. Ever. Expand
  99. Vas
    Jun 29, 2014
    9
    This is pretty epic, really well done. A nice long story with plenty to do and isn't so easy that you can simply run through it. Really, there almost isn't any room for improvement in this. This game is just amazing, just get it, you won't regret it! I can't even figure out how there is a single bad review about it here. :P You simply can't hate it! That is like, successfully dividing by zero.
  100. May 3, 2012
    10
    There's no such thing as 'The perfect game', but Half Life 2 comes damn close, it excels as a shooter, has some of the most likeable NPC's you'll ever meet in a game and is one of the most immersive games around thanks to the lack of any cut-scenes. There was not a single point in the game where I wasn't having an enjoyable experience and it's graphics still hold their own today. This is one the few must have games for any true gamer, you really are missing out if you don't play this at least once, and you're robbing yourself of a true masterpiece. Expand
  101. Jun 12, 2012
    0
    From the gameplay, to graphics and sound section then, this game is spectacular. A compelling story, divided into episodes, not so linear gameplay, varied and full of surprises, with the use of physics. Using a gravity gun is the most innovative game, something never seen before. The Source engine debuts with this game, and to date, complied very well with one of the best physical that can be found for a game. The original voices are among the best out there for a game (Valve always take care of this). Collapse
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]