User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 7311 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Aug 19, 2010
    9
    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
  5. Sep 10, 2010
    9
    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)
    Expand
  6. Aug 23, 2010
    10
    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.
  7. Aug 1, 2011
    9
    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.
  8. Apr 21, 2011
    10
    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!
  9. Oct 18, 2010
    10
    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.
  10. Sep 23, 2010
    9
    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.
  11. Apr 6, 2011
    10
    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
  12. Sep 27, 2010
    10
    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!
  13. 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.
  14. Oct 3, 2010
    10
    .....................Still the only game in history (yet) worthy of a 10................................. Bravo Valve...................................
  15. Oct 8, 2010
    10
    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
  16. 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
  17. May 20, 2012
    10
    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
  18. 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.
  19. Jun 28, 2011
    10
    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.
  20. Oct 18, 2010
    10
    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.
  21. Oct 30, 2010
    9
    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
  22. Oct 25, 2010
    10
    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.
  23. Oct 26, 2010
    10
    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!
  24. 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.
  25. Nov 5, 2010
    10
    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!
  26. Nov 11, 2010
    10
    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.
  27. Nov 17, 2011
    10
    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.
    Expand
  28. Nov 26, 2010
    10
    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
  29. 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.
  30. Dec 4, 2010
    10
    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
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]