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Universal acclaim- based on 7312 Ratings

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  1. DME
    Jun 10, 2012
    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.
  2. Dec 24, 2010
    A pretty okay game that makes up for a mediocre shooter model by containing an incredible amount of variety. I'd doubt it's actually a shooter at all, but rather an action adventure game, considering the content. You're never doing the same thing for more than an hour throughout the entire game. The story is run-of-the-mill and characters are put in only to say your name and praise you like you're Jesus, but the way it's told, mainly through allusion and details in the environment, is brilliant. Expand
  3. BMF
    Apr 7, 2011
    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.
  4. Nov 24, 2012
    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.
  5. Aug 19, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. An amazingly well built sequel for the groundbreaking Half Life, I was very excited and was disappointed that Half Life 2 didn't meet my expectations...... IT COMPLETELY SURPASSED THEM IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE. Valve has made a complete masterpiece with this game. The enemy AI, while not as amazing as Half Life's, is still top notch. The game is very realistic. I was thrown headfirst into this world and I must say that I was completely immersed in it. The graphics are extremely good and the level design is still amazing. The water effects blew me away! The characters have very good lip syncing and extremely life like emotions with great voice acting. Every location, from the urban City 17, to the extremely creepy Ravenholm are designed very well. I think that many might say that Valve spent a long time on it and will complain but I will just say how I think all that time making it shows. If I could make it so, i would give this an 11. Expand
  6. Sep 10, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This one of my all time game favorites. Started many years ago with Half-Life, which was one of my first games. The game was the kick-off for the Source Engine, that would be used for many other great games. The game provides a new storyline for the Half-Life-series and a total new environment. For the first time wondering around in the outside world (Eastern-Europe?) experiencing the consequences of the events that happened in the Black Mesa laboratories.

    The first game ended with the mysterious Gman and this game starts with him, dropping Gordon Freeman off in City 17. Directly meeting the Combine confronts you with the earlier mentioned consequences. The Combine conquered the world after the aliens landed first via the events of the first game. As a survivor of the "Black Mesa-incident" your trying to find out whats going on and what needs to be done. Overall the game has different great atmospheres. The developers used the look of Eastern European buildings from the Cold War as a decor in urban maps, but also has many other rural scenes. (9.0)
  7. Aug 23, 2010
    Half Life 2 is the very first FPS that I've played. It has probably been the best game that i have ever played in a long time. I started playing platform games, so Half Life 2 took some practice, but it was the best game since Super Mario World. The level design is perfect, the enemies are balanced, and it is long. This game will definitly keep you busy.
  8. Aug 1, 2011
    Truly the best game of 2004. Graphics are great for the year, sound is great, game play is fun, and the story is terrific. You must have this game for your gaming collection.
  9. Sep 26, 2012
    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
  10. Apr 21, 2011
    This is one of the greatest, if not the greatest game of all times. This game just rocks. From the beginning to the end. It's just........ Perfect!
  11. Oct 18, 2010
    When I played HL2, I remember it was like being in a strange dream that seems so real. The design, graphics and sound is epic. What a masterpiece of art. It's simply the best game I have ever played.
  12. Sep 23, 2010
    Half-Life 2 was a masterpiece for its time. High points of the game included gravity manipulation, the NPC companion (so far unsurpassed in the pure FPS genre) and the sense of scale. The source engine is still going strong though user mods never really seemed to live up to the creativity and diversity of original Half Life ones.
  13. Apr 6, 2011
    Anybody who doesn't like this game can go die in a hole. This game is the most-beautifully constructed game ever created, and I have played quite a few beautifully constructed games. The atmosphere is amazing the graphics are unbeatable and the developers are thanked every step of the way. The gameplay is even better and the A.I, are exactly what they are meant to be - Artificial Intelligence. They have smarts and know exactly what to do and when you have loaded even the simplest map on the Hammer Editor you know how much work goes into making this. Expand
  14. Sep 27, 2010
    Been playing this game since 2004, and after 6 years, I still have a blast playing. I love how interactive the enviorment is. If you are debating weather to buy this game, do it! You wont be disappointed!
  15. Oct 9, 2010
    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.
  16. Oct 3, 2010
    .....................Still the only game in history (yet) worthy of a 10................................. Bravo Valve...................................
  17. Feb 19, 2012
    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
  18. Oct 8, 2010
    I've played through this game ten times by now. Every time I do, it's like the first time all over again. The gravity gun makes some of the greatest kills you can have (especially in Ravenholm.) Its graphics are still very impressive when compared to modern games (except Crysis.) Great story, better than solid gameplay, great graphics, and the coolest weapon ever created ever. If it was possible, I would sleep with this game all day, every day. Expand
  19. Oct 9, 2010
    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
  20. May 20, 2012
    Fairly ironic that even Half-Life 2 now stands in the halls of nostalgia like its predecessor. It took the innovation of Half-Life and ran wild with it through more modern means like detailed character development and puzzle elements. Some people do not like the differences whatever they may be from Half-Life. I object in the sense that I am glad both of these games exist even if they are different. A good metaphor being you can have chocolate cake and brownies and both be able to enjoy them in different ways. Expand
  21. Oct 25, 2010
    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.
  22. Jun 28, 2011
    Gordon Freeman is THE legend. Half-Life two isTHE revolution. The original Half-Life is the game that brought fame and attention to first person shooter, and has gotten this game genre the hype it deserves. Half-Life 2 defines how first person shooter should develope. Simply put, Half-Life changed it all.
  23. Oct 18, 2010
    Simply incredible. Half-Life 2 throws you out into action and never lets back. Graphics, physics and character animations are absolutely incredible for a game that was released in 2009.
    This game being released in 2004 just makes that even more unbelievable.
  24. Oct 30, 2010
    My personal favourite First Person Shooter and probably also the best of all time. It is what FPS game should contain: great plot, amazing graphics, hell lot of tools to use (weapons mostly :D ) and what is the most important thing - amazing game-play. Despite what we could thought when the game was at building stage, we have been given amazing product that miss nothing and aims very high for whole genre of PC games. You should buy this game - it really out stands 99% of FPS games. This must play of all PC games! Expand
  25. Oct 25, 2010
    I love it, end of story. The story keeps going and changing. When you think you got it something changes and keeps you in the game. Graphics are great and the story is compelling. I cant wait for the next installment.
  26. Oct 26, 2010
    A good game done well in every way, I honestly can't think of any critism for the game, Don't read this play it now!
  27. Apr 26, 2011
    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.
  28. Nov 5, 2010
    This was the game that got me into FPSs - although of course it's far more than that. Half-Life 2 was the first game in which I experienced 'real' physics. Completely absorbing from start to finish. Brilliant!
  29. Nov 11, 2010
    This game is awesome. it is one of the best FPS's of all time. with an amazing storyline, fun weapons, and the source engine, this game will hook you from the first chapter. i highly recomend this to any gamer.
  30. Nov 17, 2011
    Half-Life 2 is really the first game that drew me to the Half-Life series. The original, as of the time I tried to play it, was just too frustrating and the graphics too dated to get into - at first. Then I played Half-Life 2, and realized what an interesting sci-fi world this was to explore.

    Half-Life 2 got me hooked, and then I went back and played through Half-Life 1.... multiple
    times. Half-Life 2 is just incredible, and its hard to believe so many people play such bland... trashy FPS games these days instead of flavorful titles like Half-Life or Half-Life 2. The storytelling in Half-Life 2 is also special, despite being an action-FPS game. Like Bioshock, Half-Life 2 has a way of telling the story to the player while they are doing other things in the game in such a way that the player never really feels bored with being told a story, despite the fact that they accumulate knowledge of the world and all its intricacies throughout their gameplay experience.

    The physics and gameplay are also masterworks of FPS gaming. This is one of the first gaming worlds that ever felt "real" to me. The graphics are superb for their game, and honestly are acceptable by many even considering today's standards, assuming you aren't spoiled by the recent influx of advanced-graphics FPS games these days that have crappy storylines.

    If you like sci-fi and like FPS, you should definitely consider giving the Half-Life series a try - especially if the somewhat old graphics won't bother you.
  31. Nov 26, 2010
    Alright, i am responding to most of the negative reviewers out there. i have read them. Half of them are about steam. in 2004. These days, steam has improved and is now usable, along with a built in social network. Dont blame the installation. Blame the game. Now i agree... The graphics are aged a bit... but, you dont complain about a fine wine being aged, do you? Now you know that the game works on middle-high range computers. Being overrated and overadverstised...i dont see any commercials for it, or for when it came out. WoW? Yes, i most certainly did. Physics, no bullet penetration...thats real life...items that fall to the ground depending on weight and gravity...thats real life too! You cant say that about most other modern games. Also, these days, modern games are shipped out in a few generic catagories; Warfare(MW2,Bad Company,Black Ops) WWII(CoD, RUSE)Sci-Fi(Starcraft, Star Wars),Attemped survival horror(Doom3)And Low Budget(Big Rigs OTRR). Half life is a step above because of its individualism. it also has elements from some of those catagories. Its a shooter with warfare scifi elements. Also, FEAR was good, but Far Cry was a peice of Sh*t, and Half Life is the only game ive played that doesnt feel the same as every other game ive played. Expand
  32. Nov 26, 2010
    Its a fun game, but it is nothing like Half life 1, the first half life game was probably the best game of its genre, but half life 2 is just a generic fps. It has realy stellar graphics and engine. It has decent acting, but its story falls flat on just shooting combine and running away from combine, but the gameplay was realy well made, i want to give this game a lower rating but they just nailed it off to be a regular game, it is nothing special. Expand
  33. Nov 10, 2011
    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.
  34. Dec 4, 2010
    Valve must be in my brain, because they know exactly what I want. This game couldn't have been better unless it came with a free hooker.
    If you have played the first Half Life, then you will definitely want to buy to this to carry on the story and find out what happens to Freeman after G-man "hires" him. If you haven't played Half Life before, then you should still play through this at
    least once. It is an amazing game with an amazing story. Expand
  35. Apr 16, 2014
    The game I compare all others to. I love it! The first ever time I felt like I was playing a movie. It feels dated to look at now, but the game play and sound design are still far better than most new games. If you've not played it yet, BUY IT NOW! But get the PC version - the Xbox one was a poor port.
  36. Dec 26, 2010
    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
  37. May 18, 2011
    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.
  38. Jan 17, 2011
    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
  39. Dec 27, 2010
    This game is art truly amazing. half life 1 was great but this is awesome!!! i have always been a fan of valve but this brings them to a all new level,and i love the felling of bashing heads with crowbars.every time you play it, it gets better and better and better!!
  40. Dec 27, 2010
    Simply amazing...Seeing is believeing. I myslef had heard of half life through the grapevine but had never got around to playing it as I was formally on a console. Well since seeing the light and switching to the pc I started looking into epic pc titles and within the first few minutes of my internet search quickly saw how revered Valve's Half Life series was. I jumped right into Half Life 2 for 10 bucks on Amazon and let me tell you it has changed my expectations of games completely. Even though the game is dated as of 2010, the well thought out game play coupled with the superb plot, facial animations, and voice acting goes to show that graphics is NOT the be all end all. If by chance you are reading this and have not played Half Life- please, treat yourself and give it 5 minutes-you won't look back. Expand
  41. Jan 2, 2011
    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
  42. Jan 1, 2011
    Playing this still makes me speechless, regardless of the graphics "being too outdated" or what-not Half Life 2 has an amazing storyline and the characters actually have an effect on people and arent cheesy.Eitherway, this game made history.
  43. Jan 2, 2011
    It's quite simply impossible for me to find fault with this game. The story is thoroughly engrossing, the level design is superb, the gameplay is varied and interesting, and it's available at an insanely cheap price point. This is, and probably always will be, my favourite PC game of all time.
  44. Apr 25, 2011
    Half-Life 2: One of the best games ever made!.. Great Story, nice environments, well done characters, fun weapons(gravity gun)... Overall a Fun game!.. How can anyone not like HL2? ... My only complaint is the enemy AI, which seems a bit 'dumb' at times, because sometimes it seems they want to get shot and don't defend themselves good enough. They should have been a little more sneaky and harder to shoot at. Other than that, HL2 is really a great game!! Expand
  45. Jan 4, 2011
    Actually I overgrown most of the games, but I still love HL2.. It has a unique art. A cool mix of technology, urban culture and a lot more that other games just don't have. A very strong visual identity.

    Environment - whether you are on the street, alien outpost or sewer system seem unbelievably real and you feel present. It's not just realistic graphics and textures, it's the spontaneus

    Usual shooter gameplay is spiced up with gravity gun (oh, the stuff u can do with it :D ) .. and versatility of enemies that demand a different approach.

    I feel this is just too big part of pop culture to miss.. like the big movies, series or music.
  46. Jan 6, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's only a well-made shooter. It lasts for over 20 hours, but it has only 4 or 5 real plot twists, and all the other twists are related to the action! (like ravenholm). It seems good at the train station, but soon you'll discover the city isn't real. It's just a lot of combine soldiers. And then you'll have to kill 100 people and 20 monsters to get to the other level, where you'll drive a boat and kill another 100 people and this time 30 monsters. Then someone comes to you and says hey, I'm your father! And then you're like "Noooo!", and kill a couple hundred more. The plot can be written this short:
    - Gordon joins resistance
    - Eli is captured
    - Mossman is a traitor
    - Alyx is captured too
    - Mossman is a traitor again, so prisoners are freed
    - they blow **** up

    So what kind of plot is that?? But anyway, it's nice to play in the parts where it's well made and not too repetitive. For example the lighthouse, turret defense and driving parts I liked.

    After all, a well made linear FPS is always better than a non-linear game gone wrong. For example Far Cry 2 tries to create a free world, but it fails miserably.
  47. Jan 12, 2011
    Best FPS game I've ever played. Great character development, deep story, great combat sequences and amazingly immersive environment. Game still looks and performs fantastic today, years after its release. Great replay value, you can play through the game several times and catch bits of story you didn't get the previous time. Great attention to detail, polished setting and original design. A great breath of fresh air from copycat games and run and gun mindless shooters like COD(1-6). Expand
  48. Jan 23, 2011
    Half Life 2 is an amazing game. It has basic mechanics and it is still being awesome. I mean, the system to change your weapons is the same than the original, and that doesn't matter! It is a memorable game. Every dialog, every scene, is still in your mind after SIX years!
    The guys at Valve are genius. They put in your hands a game which has a main character that don't speak, and despite
    that, the whole series of Half Life has a really strong history.
    It is still amazing me. An absolute masterpiece
  49. Jan 25, 2011
    An overrated game, though I am reviewing it 7 years later from release. The plot is pretty poor, the characters are extremely boring, I don't have empathy for anyone here. The gravity gun is fun for a bit, then it is used outside of what is expected from the developers - I was using it to make staircases, and have other "fun" outside of the scripted level. Very good at the time, but now somewhat boring. Expand
  50. Jan 26, 2011
    Best first person shooter I have ever played. There were a challenging array of scenarios, some cool puzzles, and stellar graphics. Each weapon is particularly helpful in different situations for a variety of different enemies to use them on. This was a very fun game!
  51. Jan 29, 2011
    "Best Game Ever Made". Yes it is! And just one part is boring "driving with car". Ending was done quickly. Graphics were best at that time. This game is a legend.
  52. Feb 2, 2011
    The greatest single-player FPS ever; it puts you into the story instead of merely telling you the story, it's expertly paced with big action scenes that feel as intense as they look without resorting to a shooting gallery, and it always keeps you in the sweet spot gaming goodness by giving you just enough resources to get past each challenge presented to you but demanding just enough of your skill and smarts to make even the smallest victories feel rewarding. It would be nice if Gordon Freeman had some more personality, but the breathless feel of never stopping to watch a cutscene makes this game feel alive and vibrant and all the more real. Even if you missed the first Half-Life, give this one a go. You won't be disappointed. Expand
  53. Feb 3, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The BEST Game Ever made.... Agree ? I hope that everyone agree. ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... Expand
  54. Oct 12, 2011
    This game is beast!!!!!. hurry up episode 3....................................................................................................................................
  55. Apr 5, 2011
    Very good work of suspense and terror, some pretty good graphics and a stunning physical (one of the best I've seen so far, and it's been 6 years).
    The visual effects are simple but effective and the story is impressive and full of adrenaline.
    The movements of the characters left me stunned, but I liked AI is pretty bad.
    The phases are not abundant (13 chapters approx.) but are very long.

    Of course, guns are not abundant and there is nothing to be very effective.
    In short, one of the best FPS games I've seen in my life, but you will be under 1 point for the (very) bad IA.
  56. Sep 14, 2011
    Wonderful game. All from the storyline, to the fps experience. The characters are really catchy, and it can be enjoyed over and over again. A must own in a fps collection (:
  57. Mar 15, 2011
    years later still the best game evar. I play a level or so every so often to this day. I don't do that with Doom 3, i don't do that with Painkiller (its contemporaries). I do that with Half-Life 2. Literally a work of art. creepy. sci-fi weird. even scary at times. Facial animation was revolutionary at the time. and it came with steam! at the time i had dial-up so i was **** and moaning because it took an additional day for the game to update and it wouldn't let me play without it. but now, thank god for steam. It is single handedly doing the heavy lifting to keep the PC gaming community alive. Valve, keep doing what you do. Episode 3 wouldn't hurt, but Half-life 3 would be even better. I have yet to play a Valve game i didn't like. I remember drooling over gaming magazines when they were showing images from the upcoming HL2. and the videos they released that showcased the physics. That clip of the manhacks coming down the hallway, whirring along slicing up everything in their path. And their take on audio is awesome. The sirens, the voices of the combine through masks or communicators. the sound of those weird energy orb thingies. down to the solid way the very first handgun felt in "your" hand. Dont expect textures to be as great as now, and the models have less vertexes and whatnot, but just know, that these guys did it best first. nobody did physics that well then. and Source still holds up.

    Yes STR7THZ, i agree.
  58. Oct 21, 2011
    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
  59. Jun 19, 2011
    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
  60. Mar 26, 2011
    A very good game! A variety of characters, enemies, weapons, and environments to come across in this game. The story line is amazing, you play as Gordon Freeman who was in the original Half - life( which was amazing too). This game has a horror,action, and drama like game-play style. I recommend this game to anyone who wants a good cheap game to play for hours.
  61. Mar 22, 2011
    Given the ratings and praise this game receives it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is an amazingly great game, so if by some chance you haven't played it, get onto Steam and buy the Orange Box, you won't regret it.
    For me this game has the perfect combination of an engaging and intriguing storyline, varied and exciting game play and a beautifully designed and believable
    world. It's the sort of game where you're constantly trying to play just that bit more to see what's around the corner or find out the next part of the story and that to me is the mark of a great game. Expand
  62. Dec 5, 2011
    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.
  63. Mar 30, 2011
    This game has the perfect combination of fast fun action and shooting and deep and involving plot.

    It is a great game to pick up for a while or spend half--your-life on it.

    Great "acting", great story, great characters, great gameplay, great weapons, great boses, great enviroments. Every aspect of the game has seen a lot of love and atention.

    And the bottom line is that is just plain FUN.
  64. Jan 9, 2013
    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
  65. Apr 15, 2011
    I just replayed Half-Life 2 again about a month ago. Even in 2011, seven years after its initial release, I am still reminded why Half-Life 2 is one of the greatest first-person shooters of all time. Not the greatest, but definitely one of them.

    I think the greatest strength in Half-Life 2 (gameplay-wise) is the level design. Over the course of I believe 14 levels, you see an
    incredible variation in locale, level structure, lighting, and gameplay. This is complimented by such a flux in mood, intensity, and immersion that you can't help but to just be enthralled by it.

    For instance, the entire first 3 chapters of the game is a slow build-up to an intense climax. You start as a fugitive, running across the rooftops of City 17 to escape the Combine Overwatch. You are allowed to take a short, 10-minute breather in a safe-haven, then thrust back into the bowels of the city's sewer system, and finally driving your own airboat through the canals. It's such a gradual build you hardly notice it, until you reach the end of the climax, discover you've been holding your breath for the past 30 seconds, and that you've been maintaining a white-knuckled grip on your mouse this whole time. And that's the first 3 chapters.

    After this you are treated to some incredibly creepy locations, and some more intense escapes/shootouts. All the atmosphere is enhanced with some pretty incredible performances both animation- and voice-acting-wise, even if you consider that this is 2011.

    And wow, the voice acting. These are some of the most incredible video game characters to this date. Immensely believable, highly emotional, subtly expressive, the characters help suck you right into the story and world that Valve created, and you could almost be fooled into thinking they are actually talking to you...

    Oh and that reminds me, the story. Okay, so it's not laid out for you word-for-word what's going on, or what relevance all these characters have in terms of the story from the instance you set foot into the game. I have read a lot of reviews and seen a lot of complaints. Yes, Valve did not flesh it out in its entirety in the first chapter. No, you pretty much don't have a clue what kind of influence the combine and the G-Man are right from the word go. But to be honest, I don't care. When it comes to story-telling, I personally enjoy the opportunity to discover the story for myself, and not just have it told to me if I were a five-year-old. There are some pretty subtle hints laying around concerning backstory, main storyline, and intertwining character plots. If you look for them, you'll find that this is actually some interesting sci-fi, more driven by characters (which it should be) than by what's necessary to pluck a plot twist out of your ass. So overall, the story ended up being a plus in my opinion.

    Other than that, the graphics are still good, though a bit dated, physics are awesome, and the gravity gun continues to be the best weapon in the history of gaming, Go Valve! Now I just can't wait until my Portal 2 pre-load finishes...
  66. Jul 8, 2012
    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
  67. Apr 18, 2011
    Do i need to say more besides that it is the best game of all time?
  68. Nov 6, 2013
    Once again Valve raised the bar for the shooter genre and created a blueprint that others would follow for years in its wake. Beautiful visuals that still hold up to this day, immersive and interactive storytelling, creative never-seen-before physics puzzles, and one of the most innovative weapons(Gravity Gun) ever created.
  69. Apr 19, 2011
    The greatest game to date. I discovered this game only last year and it changed it set the infinitely high bar for all FPS to come. Half Life 2 has the most immerse and captivating story line of any video game, and ideas beyond brilliant. The game makes me angry, and happy, delivers satisfaction and is mind wracking at the same time. A beautiful blend of story, interaction and violence. My absolute compliments to Valve for the cheat engine as well, I had A LOT of fun after the campaign just messing with cheats and mods.

  70. Aug 24, 2013
    I dont know, HOW some people can love this crap in the present day? This game have not so much, just good gameplay and nothig more. Not genious story, not awesome graphic, just a game. Without mods it should be suck.
  71. Sep 3, 2012
    If you are reading the reviews there is a chance you didn't played this game yet. Let me tell you one thing: I envy you. This game has the best and longer FPS campaign ever.
  72. Apr 29, 2011
    The most awesome game ever made so far!!!! Deserves a 10 and it will get one from me. Excellent story, characters and the story combined with the peril of humanity made the game extremely immersive and an excellent play.
  73. Nov 27, 2011
    I first purchased the horrible EA port of The Orange Box for PS3 in 2008, mainly because of TF2. I had never read any so-called "hype" about this game before I played it, and it blew my mind. Sure, the graphics were four years old and the loading times showed no mercy, but the story and the variation of Half-Life is its beauty. It isn't just a game, it is a masterpiece. I played it and both the episodes several times, each time longing for more. It is the most perfect game I have ever played - I recently played MW3 at a friends house, and got bored after an hour, I kid you not. Half-Life 2 is the most original game I have ever played, it deserves its rating. How MW3 got its high rating I'll never understand; it's basically the same game as MW2. People need to look away from just having the best graphics, they have to start looking at storytelling and innovation. This game has soul. People says I had my opinion BEFORE I started playing this game, guess what, I hadn't read any reviews, I had barely heard about it. Trust me, turn on subtitles and pay attention to the dialogue of this game, and you will fall in love with it. Expand
  74. Jun 13, 2011
    Without a doubt the greatest video game of all time. People argue that older games like Mario, or Zelda are superior to it, but if given the choice of having to play a game 15+ years old or a game that was only released in the past few years, you'd pick the newer game.

    Half Life 2 is packed with great graphics, puzzles, dialogue, weapons, and game-play. To not enjoy this game would be
    like punching Jesus in the face.

    And you wouldn't want to punch Jesus in the face, would you?
  75. Apr 23, 2011
    Short and sweet review, 6 1/2 years after its intial release...Half-life 2 is one of the best games of its time, from its story to the action and "cutscenes". I actually loaded it back up and played the game for the first time in several years and it was still refreshingly fun, quirky, and decently paced, There wasn't a single aspect of the game that I did not like nor could find any annoyances with it besides slow loading times, and the DLC episodes were really enjoyable, I hope HL3 is in development or a HL2: EP3, because I would love to continue exploring the half-life world. Expand
  76. Apr 24, 2011
    Many years later and this is still one of my favorite games out there. At the time this games Engine was the only one that truly used Physics, Friction, and buoyancy all together at the same time correctly. I hear people saying how this games physics engine is starting to age and needs to be replaced, first off there constantly doing updates to the engine to make it more "correct" and to enable new features and second there are new well known games coming out now that still don't match up to this engine. Hell the new COD MW games physics don't match up to this, there creators even admit that they don't want to spend the time and money on creating a newer advance engine. Any way the story is great, game play is great, the whole freaking experience of this game made me happy. I just wish they would give us some info on the Half-Life 3 / HL2 EP3 game....At least let us know that they are working on it... but any way very good game will always be in my top five. Keep it up Valve. your one of the last true video game makers out there don't let business get in the way of quality Expand
  77. May 18, 2011
    Half-Life 2 is a masterpiece of the FPS genre, i still remember my first playtrough, when i was amazed by the graphics, physics, the characters, their awesome voice acting, etc.

    If i wanted to get someone into gaming i would show him/her hl2

    thx valve for creating this!
  78. Apr 25, 2011
    Bad History, Bad Graphics , Very Bad songs and extreme boring. I really don't like this game and don't understand why it gets so good score. Its my opinion and never gonna be back.. Valve create huge games but this game, he best production sucks.
  79. Apr 25, 2011
    Even with an engine that's now 7 years old now Half-Life 2 is still amazing. This game is a must buy, must play and must love. It was the best game Ever until Portal 2 showed up.... But I KNOW Episode Three will be the best game I'll ever play. The story of this game is just.... incredible, breathtaking. The best game of the past decade. You've got to buy it.... NOW!
  80. Apr 27, 2011
    This is the only game that i can play again and again without getting bored. It has it all: great gameplay, great story, very well-shaped characters and dialogue and an epic soundtrack. Playing this game really puts you in a specific state of mind. Long live Gordon Freeman and his trusty crowbar!
  81. Apr 29, 2011
    Best game I've ever played, without a doubt. I know this game as if it was the back of my own hand, perhaps better! If you haven't played this game, you've missed out. Get it as soon as you can!
  82. Jun 10, 2011
    Half-Life 2 is a good game. What do I try to trick? It is an awesome game! Even in 2010 it offers so much. So, lets start with the good things.

    Half-Life 2 has nice graphics but you can have a bad computer to play it. It also has a beautiful storyline and there are no cutscenes in this game. That is good because you feel like... you are Gordon Freeman and in the center of... everything.
    This game has 15 chapters... well 14 because chapter 15 is the credits. Many of you will agree that the scariest chapter is ' ' We Don' t Go To Ravenholm...' ' . I think it doesn' t fit there where it is but they put the chapter in to show the physics.

    The bad things. Is Gordon Freeman a Superman that he can drive and open doors without hands? Sometimes it is boring to listen other characters because they talk too much. Little graphical failures and they are the bad things. Thanks VALVe for this fantastic game and I am waiting the Episode Three.
    Graphics: 10
    Gameplay: 10
    Sounds: 9
    Story: 10
  83. Jun 8, 2011
    This is maybe the best game ever made. All in this game is perfect. This game changed the FPS genre that we know today. One of the best elements to tell a story in an FPS that was carried over recent games.
  84. May 15, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Fantastic sequel of a gaming-revolution Half-life. After 6 years, we all got the game all of us expected. And the sequel is even better than the HL! Deep Sci-fi atmosphere, fantastic plot, great realistic graphics, soundtrack and sounds, also animation & dialogs - all this make this game perfect! Today we must say HL2 is one of the best games ever! Expand
  85. Dec 1, 2011
    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
  86. May 21, 2011
    One of the best games of all time. Awesome story, awesome gameplay, awesome voicing, awesome graphics at that time. simply awesome.

    ps. bah on the 150 min length.
  87. May 3, 2012
    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
  88. Apr 26, 2012
    Truly one of the greatest videogames - nay - pieces of entertainment of our generation. Combining a well-executed script, engaging plot and lovable characters that will become instantly attachable. The blend of puzzle and action makes for exceptional gameplay and Valve's Source Engine flexes it's muscles on this title. Half-Life 2 is the definition of a perfect videogame.

    And, there's
    that boat-ride... Expand
  89. May 27, 2011
    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.
  90. Jan 15, 2012
    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.
  91. Jun 3, 2011
    Quite possibly the best FPS ever made. No wait, it is... Both the critics and users alike agree! Storyline is solid... (wish Hollywood would figure out how to write good entertainment like Valve did) and the action, the music, the graphics. Just everything is badass!
  92. Aug 28, 2011
    Classic. The first Half-Life was one hell of a journey, but this is even more awesome and worth all the money I spent on a new computer when it was released. The design, graphics and storyline is epic. When I played HL2, I remember it gave me a feeling of being in a strange lucid dream that seems real. What a masterpiece of art. I consider Half-Life 2 to be the greatest game of all time (shared with the SNES title; Zelda: A Link to the Past), both personally and objectively. Expand
  93. Jun 12, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Superbe jeu, à découvrir ou à redécouvrir, découvert a sa sortie, je viens de le redécouvrir avec une carte graphique nouvelle génération, que du bonheur ! Expand
  94. Jun 30, 2011
    One of the most exhilarating and baffling experiences I've ever had. For it's time a masterpiece, and it still is. The physics are absolutely great. If anything, you should also buy it for all the excellent free mods available for this game.
  95. Jun 14, 2011
    This is a great game. If you don't appreciate the great story and gameplay, you are not a true gamer. Call of Duty is crap compared to Half Life. The graphics are great, even by today's standards. Even though it's old, Valve knows their engine, and this enables them to have good graphics and low system requirements. Graphics don't make the game though; gameplay does, and this game definitely has some of the best gameplay ever. Expand
  96. Jun 16, 2011
    This game is a must have it gives a combination of puzzle and shooter. the puzzles are generally physic based and let those who are nerdiest of all shine. while the shooting is great but unfortunately slow to start. but once your well into the game you'll have loads of fun shooting and puzzling through a great story line. this is easily a 10 no question.
  97. Sep 22, 2012
    It's been said a million times that this game is literally perfect in every aspect, but what struck me most was just how intellectual the puzzles and combat tactics were. This game will give your brain a workout that you will never forget.
  98. Sep 26, 2011
    Half Life 2 has obtained legendary status as one of the most flawless modern games BUT the question does need to be asked: is Half Life 2 over-rated? My answer is Yes as all things are flawed (even Half Life 2), that's not saying the game is not one of the best the industry has provided in recent times, it is however just an interactive game with a lot of copied elements of other science fiction, it's not as original as many claim. Half Life 2 has awesome graphics, innovative physics, game play, fabulously designed levels and game moments but my point is that it shows how lacking and unoriginal the rest of the industry is - that many would claim Half Life 2 to be better than it actually is. If Half Life 2 is the best there is in single player gaming - then video games truely are lacking... HL2 is still a real achievement and Valve has something to be proud of. Expand
  99. Sep 10, 2012
    Awesome game, impressively well balanced, fun to play, even over and over, simple but efficient at what it does : entertainment. Clearly, here Valve has shown to everyone that it is possible to make a great FPS without having to be weaker on some other aspects of the game. Hats off.

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]