User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 6842 Ratings

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  1. Nov 13, 2013
    10
    The Half-Life series in general is the best set of games I've played ever! Worth whatever amount anybody throws at you, even today it's an amazing game with one of the best story lines ever!
  2. Nov 14, 2013
    8
    Though it did change the WAY we look at games in general, I have never been wowed by Half Life's gameplay. It gets an 8 from me standing on it's genre changing nature all by its own, but if you stood it up only on it's game play, I would probably give it a 6.
  3. Mar 6, 2014
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Worst game ever, i hate it. **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** ****
    Dont hate me Mi I love you.. but.. **** **** **** **** **** **** ****
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  4. 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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  5. 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
  6. NLS
    Jan 21, 2014
    10
    There is a reason I review this 10 years after its release. Even today, this game is a MONUMENT to gaming. So many things done so right. It stands well (actually great) even today. We see many of the concepts other games used after HL2, here in their original form. Actually some things in HL2 are still not implemented (properly) in other games of the genre. Pity Valve is weird about the release of sequels (Portal/Portal 2 another example). This game REALLY REALLY deserves a fantastic HL3 (which is possibly what Valve is afraid of).
    This is the other game from Valve that needs to be (and actually is, topping some) in EVERY "best games of all times" list.
    Who ever doesn't have this, yes 10 years after release go and get it.
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  7. Nov 18, 2013
    10
    Half-Life 2. There is so much to say, and the true greatness of this game cannot be expressed in a simple review. After playing through this game, you look back and just want to play it again, to experience it all over again. Even today, Half-Life 2 still holds up in the 'looks' department, running on Valve's truly amazing Source engine. What makes Half-Life 2 so great, you might ask? What makes this game from 2004 still one of the best games ever made? Let me indulge you.

    As a preface to this review, I implore you to play the original Half-Life. Otherwise, this review may be a little confusing. Although playing Half-Life is not needed to understand Half-Life 2, it certainly helps in terms of the story line.

    The game begins with a greeting from 'G-Man', a familiar face from the previous Half-Life games that can be seen wandering throughout Black Mesa in Half-Life. After G-Man ends his tidings, you awaken on a tram headed for 'City 17'.You have no idea why you are on the tram, or what you are doing, but you know that something is afoot. You are Gordon Freeman, a bearded scientist that used to work at Black Mesa as a physicist. This brings me to 'point one', of what makes this game truly great. Instead of being a burly super-human bullet sponge trooper with the 'generic rifle 9000' strapped to your back, you play a mute physicist. Yes, a mute physicist. This makes it a lot easier to get immersed into the game and feel like you are Gordon Freeman. This is enhanced by the fact that Freeman does not speak throughout the course of the game, allowing you, the player, to think what you wish and not be told what you are thinking by your character bursting out in song.

    The story line of Half-Life 2 is a wonder to play. I won't spoil any of it for you, you'll have to experience it for yourself. A myriad of characters help Freeman on his way, fleshing out the world and making the places Freeman explores seem alive... or dead, as the case may be. Brilliant voice acting from all of the cast puts the cherry on the cake and does wonders to immerse you in the story of Gordon Freeman.

    But what about gameplay? Surely gameplay is the most important thing in a GAME. Don't fret Half-Life 2's gameplay is some of the best in any game. Ever. Forget lousy 2 gun limits and boring AK-47s Freeman can carry a whole truckload of weapons and grenades; all tuned to fit in with the setting and the world. From the early pistol to the RPG and the combine weaponry, the guns in Half-Life 2 do not disappoint. The weapons feel good too they have a nice oomph to them and feel like they should as well as the animations being great across the board. Even by today's standards. And we're talking about a game that's almost 10 years old. But, it's not just guns. Oh no. Ohhhhh no. A bit into the game, you get the Gravity Gun the star of the show. With this beauty, you can lift and throw physics objects. This may seem boring at first, but wait until you pick up a buzzsaw and shoot it at that headcrab, splitting it in two. That feels awesome. But, it's not just a one-gun show. Throughout different levels, you get different, cool weapons to try. At one point, your Gravity Gun even becomes supercharged, letting you throw PEOPLE. Yes, you pick up enemies and throw them at each other.

    What more can I say about this game? You owe it to yourself to play this if you haven't already. Log on to, or get Steam, and go buy it now. You'll thank me later. Trust me. This game is truly worthy of its legendary status in the hearts of many gamers. You don't even need a beast PC to play it either. As I said, 2004. You can run it. Trust me.

    10/10. From the heart. One of the best games ever made.

    "Wake up, Mr. Freeman. Wake up, and smell the ashes."
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  8. 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
  9. Nov 20, 2013
    0
    Vomited while playing the game; must be the camera. Worst game ever. Not to mention that the main character is uninteresting and the storyline is boring.
  10. Nov 21, 2013
    10
    This game is one of those scarce ones that could survive the years to come. Hell, if the planet would be destroyed I want this piece of art to be saved along with couple of other great paintings, movies and books. If you haven't played Half-Life 2 yet, then go ahead, and don't get discouraged by the graphics, which are in my opinion still pretty good. This masterpiece provides much more. The Atmosphere, the story, the voice acting, the humor, environments, revolutionary gameplay, that many titles copy to this day. There is nothing else to say. Half-Life 2 is worth more than those 7 euro that it is now on Steam. Dont forget the DLCs, Happy shooting! Expand
  11. Nov 27, 2013
    10
    If you have not played this game yet, you are missing out! This could probably be Valve's best game yet! But that's just my opinion. Now I have one more question, can we please have HL3 now? Please, Gabe?
  12. Nov 30, 2013
    10
    This is truly the best game i've ever played in my whole entire half life. *Pun* I can play it over and over again without getting bored. The storytelling, characters, music and physics is amazing and it's probably the best FPS of all time. (Including the Portal series)
  13. Dec 3, 2013
    10
    Il miglior gioco che ho mai giocato trama fantastica,personaggi fantastici,gameplay vario e buono,molte armi molto fighe e non penso di aver trovato qualche errore
  14. Dec 16, 2013
    10
    Half Life 2 is pure gaming high school at its best. Since the release of the first episode, Half Life put itself as a model of excellence for all other FPS (and not only FPS...). This second episode not only absolutely confirms the unique values of its predecessor, but also introduces new, incredible features to the first masterpiece. Incredible physics engine and physics puzzles above all.

    Any gamer that calls himself a gamer should play this artwork at least once. This is gaming history at its most glorious peaks. No one should miss it.
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  15. 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.
  16. Dec 21, 2013
    10
    Wow, was amazed. The first game I played was the first half life, and it was amazing, accept the old graphics. Half life 2 was even more amazing, the combination of the action and the puzzles were awesome, I have played many modern first person shooter games, but even if it's 10 years old, this is the best. And about the graphics, you can always play cinematic mod.
  17. Jan 26, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Half Life 2 is the best game ever!!! Even though multiplayer is not that popular, we really need to look at the story. I can't stop playing Half Life 2!!! So much mystery and Half Life 2 has the best gameplay. Half Life 2 has a really good weapon's sounds and you can kind of feel the weapon like it's in your hands. There are really great characters like Alyx, Barney and other people you meet, and there are some characters that you want to beat up like Dr. Breen and G-Man. Guns are awesome too. I can't believe that in the end of the game they also take your normal Gravity Gun and make it a Super Gravity Gun. And The only thing I might not really like is that you don't have a sniper rifle, but it's good that Valve at least put a crossbow in the game. I also like the physics. Source made this game awesome and the graphics are still better than some games we play today!!! Expand
  18. Dec 23, 2013
    10
    It's just amazing game. Physics looks really realistic and shooting system is great. My jaw has dropped after playing this for 30 minutes. Valve's done a great work. Graphics looks nice for 2004 and story is really addictive. I want to see next episode, Half-Life 3 or Half-Life 2: Episode Three. No words, the best game EVER.
  19. Dec 30, 2013
    9
    A heavily anticipated sequel to the seminally influential Half-Life, Half-Life 2 is an indubitably well-executed and enthralling media experience. The game artfully exemplifies a precipiced human race beset with the horror of a xenocratic dystopia whilst also providing interaction and levity with relatable characters, both central and minor. From the very outset, I was immersed in the eerie mystique of the opening characters and the ostensibly artificial setting. The player's character, Gordon Freeman, never speaks, nor does he need to; his humanity and heroism become progressively apparent as the player completes the game, despite the perennial air of mystery he conveys.

    The immersive realism of the game is brilliantly augmented by precise and complex game physics, impressive facial animation, and the perpetual necessity for the player to utilise his environment to complete chapters, rather than the gameplay being excessively linear and unchallenging.
    The dark, tyrannical undertones of the game stir the player to empathise with the plight of the fledgling resistance movement and become further psychologically involved in the plot. Half-Life 2 is gripping, stimulating and revolutionary. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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  20. Dec 31, 2013
    10
    The Game That Started it all for me, and got me On to steam. Love This game over and over again. I can play this game, but it is frustrating at moments, just when I think I cant pass a part I figure it out no problem.
  21. Jan 3, 2014
    10
    Quite possibly the best FPS ever made. People below and above this who have rated it 5 to 0 have either been influenced by how bad Steam used to be (which I can really understand, 3-5 hours installation time is really going to change your overall opinion of a game) and have not remebered that this game was made in 2004. For the time it was released, the story, AI, graphics and physics engine were exceptional and such quality in a game was unheard of. If you want more up-to-date versions of this game that continue the storyline and improve texture quality (and a good chance to see what Steam as it was then turned into; a brilliant idea that other publishers then took up, such as Uplay [Ubisoft], Origin [EA] and the XBOX LIVE Marketplace [Microsoft]) then get Steam and knock yourself out with Half Life: Episode 1 and Half Life: Episode 2. Expand
  22. Jan 3, 2014
    9
    Half-Life 2... Where do I start. Even now I am still in awe by just how amazing this game is. I wish I could rate this something like 9.9/10; if it weren't for a few minor things than it would have gotten my full appraisal.

    The gameplay is varied, you could either be trying to avoid walking on sand to attract antlions, driving around in different vehicles, or shooting through hoards of
    zombies/combine. Along with this, the game uses a physics engine to make gameplay varied, either in puzzles or in combat.
    The story is immersive, well paced, and interesting. Superb dialogue. Along with all of this, the game looks and runs very well.

    The game had minor faults. Some areas would feel a little too long, i found myself really only using the shotgun and SMG, the other weapons I would use only once my ammo ran out. The rocket launcher I used basically when I absolutely needed to e.g when trying to take down a helicopter. The ending was great, but left more questions than answers.

    Overall, the game was just astounding and surprisingly good. If you are a fan of first person shooters you need to play Half-Life 2.
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  23. Jan 6, 2014
    10
    Truly, Half life 2 was one of the most polished games ever. Its refreshing to see a linear game that focuses on level design and not multiplayer. I have played the game several times, and it never fails to satisfy. there is a superb job on voice acting and story telling. Moreover, the graphics were unheard of at the time. the physics were sublime, and the game could be scary at parts. In the beginning, its more sneaking around and trying to get from place to place, then it becomes scary, then it becomes an all out battle. I love the way the game progresses. Expand
  24. Jan 8, 2014
    10
    Half life 2:
    +Amazing Graphics+
    +Nice Characters+
    +Nice Storyline+
    +Nice Weapons+
    +Great Enemies+
    +Strong AI+

    Half life 2 is Awesome, still playing it!
  25. 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
  26. Jan 12, 2014
    10
    G-Man: Rise and shine, Mister Freeman. Rise and... shine. Not that I... wish to imply you have been sleeping on the job. No one is more deserving of a rest, and all the effort in the world would have gone to waste until... well, let's just say your hour has... come again.
    G-Man: The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world. So, wake up, Mister Freeman. Wake up
    and... *smell the ashes*... The game is just amazing. Expand
  27. Jan 13, 2014
    7
    breaking it down:
    hl2 is a brilliant masterpiece, or to be precisely: the engine is the best since...well hl1 i guess.
    the new, sharp looking graphics and awesome, never seen before physics, were state of the art back then and have brought us many, MANY great looking games.

    apart from this half life 2 is a dumbed down ripoff of the first game, the story is poor/hollywoodstyle with
    little surprises.
    even worse: the intend of the devs to make it EPISODE 1(to sell more eps after the first) is a good indicator for how they write storys...they didnt!
    as an fps it was slower, the enemies where not as "smart" and, apart from the hand-holding(the robot/girl), the unlimited grav gun really messed it up for me(get a chunk of trash/barrel/whatever and shoot at enemy-->instakill), leaving you with enough ammo at any given time.

    i wont even start about steam.

    try black mesa, the hl1 mod for hl2 engine and see for yourself.

    BUT if you are not such an old ***** as myself, and dont know about the glorious times of fps games,
    when enemys tried to actually kill you, instead of running for cover, it sure looks like a well made game.

    i think it doesnt deserve 9,2 user and 96 meta score, and thats just my personal op.

    8/10 (back then and 7 now because ooolllddd)
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  28. Jan 19, 2014
    10
    This is the game of the games.YOU might think it is bad now because of the graphics, but back in the day, it was simply out of this world. So not judge it with games like BF3, or ARMA or COD. If you look at the games released back then, most of them were **** If you want to compare Half-Life with others games, then wait for Half-Life 3.
  29. Jan 24, 2014
    0
    GAME garbage PLOT FOR SHAME OBOSRANY Gabe Newell Eban VALVE FEMALE CREATURE all their games scripted draw reflections and shadows GRAPHICS garbage SHAME!!
  30. Jan 20, 2014
    10
    Half Life 2 has reached such a level of the story, the characters, the atmosphere that it can not be called just a game. Everything about this game is amazing it is a must buy, you will know what I mean if you play this game. I would give it an 11/10 if I could.
  31. Jan 28, 2014
    10
    This is one of my favourites. It's long and has nice traps that you can use. Even enemies were cool. Sometimes the AI annoys me but usually it's fine. The welcome to Ravenholm was my favourite part of the game.
  32. Feb 5, 2014
    10
    Only two games ever I can say that the second I finished playing, that I just started over immediately, being this and Super Metroid. Half Life 2 is just one of those games that gets everything right. To find fault, one must look pretty hard. Valve brilliantly incorporated it's source engine in their true masterpiece.

    When you find truly good games, you of ten find things put in by
    the developers to enhance the realism. For example, in Metroid Prime, Samus's reflection can be seen during flashes of light and certain events. She also interacts with her arm cannon if you wait around long enough, creating the whole image that Samus isn't just what you tell her to do. This is evident in HL2 in spades. Explosions deafen you, guns wield realistically, and infinite amounts of care went into character's expressions and tone of voice.

    This game is truly an instant classic that has an amazing story, well developed characters, awesome gameplay, and truly impressive depth. This game is good to the core.
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  33. Feb 21, 2014
    5
    It's not the best game I have ever played but it is a pretty game. I like the story line but the AI for some of the characters are pretty bad and the zombies almost made me puke because they look so disgusting.
  34. Feb 24, 2014
    10
    It is a amazing game i have finished it 3 times so i feel i have a pretty good understanding of what the game is sure there is a few small bugs. That's the only thing i found wrong where the small bugs.
  35. Mar 6, 2014
    10
    Half life 2: Best first-person shooter

    Graphics 10
    Characters 10
    Storyline 10
    Weapons 10
    AI Enemies 10
    Atmosphere 10
    Length 10

    Half life 2 is Awesome
  36. Mar 7, 2014
    10
    This game is FPS at its best! No matter how many times you play it, youll either crap your pants or have your mind explode out of the sheer awesomeness of this g...you havnt lived yet.
  37. Mar 8, 2014
    9
    El juego es simplemente espectacular, ambientes, sus detalles, historia, personajes en especial G-man y Gordon que son mis favoritos de la saga, ni hablar de las fisicas, el unico problema es el doblaje al español XD debieron haber sacado una version en español latino.
  38. Mar 14, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is how every first person shooter should be!

    Pros:
    Fantastic Graphics
    Excellent Enemy AI
    Facial and all body animations
    Thrilling gameplay and levels

    Cons:
    Ravenholm Level (Spoiler for level)

    Besides only one of the chapters, this FPS is pure as it can get!
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  39. Apr 15, 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 gameplay flaws.
    ===========
    Half-Life 2 expands on it's predecessor and makes everything about it even better. The only gripe I have with it is the gameplay - nothing special.
  40. Mar 26, 2014
    10
    The game I have been waiting for my whole life. This is the way I like FPS genre, the gameplay of this game is just so smooth you will not believe what you see. The game has got everything you would need. When I first played it in 2004 I was amazed. I couldn't believe my eyes. The graphics and animations made the game look like a movie, everything seemed almost perfect. But then I got to experience the physics. The Source engine is really a brilliant piece of work, the way everything was moving and living really made my jaw drop. And with all these beautiful and functional graphics came an immensely intense gaming experience. Half-Life 2 focused more on the story side than its predecessor, almost every G-Man speech remained in your memory and made you really take a step back and think about all the things that happened already in the Half-Life universe. Amazing gameplay from the first game stayed and got even better because of all the new features brought by the new engine. The most anticipated game in my life did not disappoint me, this is a real must-play, which gives you no other choice in rating the game. 10/10 for my second most favourite game of all time. Expand
  41. Mar 27, 2014
    10
    Graphics: For a 2004 game. the graphics can't be beaten and somehow are still kinda up-to-date even in 2014

    Gameplay: Smooth, no bugs/glitches, nothing that annoys you constantly other then one or two parts where you couldn't find the exit or couldn't complete the puzzle.

    Story: Better then anything I've ever seen, total masterpiece! The game doesn't only uses dialogs to give the
    storyline but also graffiti/posts and even sounds to not only immerse the player to the world but tell the story of it. many times you can hear ingame "echos" of the past.

    There're very few games in my 10/10 games list, Half-life and Half-life 2 are ones of it.

    for all those who say the game is overrated are trying to be "out-of-the-hoard" and fight against psychology, something they don't understand is impossible.
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  42. Mar 29, 2014
    10
    As this game has won over 50 awards, me personally having 1700+ hours on it, winning Game of the Year 2004 AND Game of the Decade... (By IGN) This game truly is amazing. From the story to the characters to the gravity gun, this game cannot get boring despite coming out in 2004. As Half-Life 2 is at max settings, you can easily compare this game to any of today's titles, and still think it has great graphics. Expand
  43. Mar 31, 2014
    10
    for a 2004 game, no wonder this game got high scores. very good graphics and gameplay. storyline, very good but half-life 1 is better i think. love alyx though, charming but why cant i carry her when shes down in episode 2? gordon is her to be partner right? no more to talk. this is a very good game. still play it alongside with other new crappy fps games (cods, farcrys, crysis, etc), no offence though. however, it is the biggest shame of the century though that they dont continue the half life franchise ~i dunno if they do, still waiting :) come on valve, u guys are like albert einstein in the gaming world, dont stop developing E=mc2 formulas or we wont have any nuclear warheads. if you guys publish the long-waited continuance of half-life franchise, i swear ill buy the original copy of the game, no more jack sparrow dvds or torrents. take your time, but not your fans patience

    *my rating here is for half life 2 and its episodes games including the orange box. good job valve!
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  44. Apr 12, 2014
    9
    What's to say that hasn't been said already? It's a Half-Life game. It's one of the best FPS's with great game effects ever published. If you haven't played this game...well, you're missing out. Even as dated as it is the game is still unbelievably fun to play.
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]