User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 6843 Ratings

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  1. 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
  2. Apr 27, 2011
    10
    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!
  3. 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.
  4. Feb 3, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The BEST Game Ever made.... Agree ? I hope that everyone agree. ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... Expand
  5. Jun 16, 2011
    10
    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.
  6. 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.
  7. Dec 26, 2010
    10
    Half-Life 2 is so much more than a game, because you end up forgetting it's a game. You just keep playing it again and again starving for some more. HL2 is not just about mindless shooting and killing... VALVe offers you one of the most diverse gameplay: each chapter has its own mechanics and new weapons, real NEW weapons: they're not just more powerful, they're really different (as the gravity gun). The story is great and very immersing: you know who you are, what you must do and why you do it... It isn't like: "Hey! that's the story! keep doing whatever you were doing! (mindless killing in most cases)". The AI isn't great, that's agreed, but it's somehow acceptable because it's not at the center of the game. The graphics are getting old too but it's very well done (I still play the first Half-Life: it doesn't matter) and the physics are still great, actually it's really the only game where you have a real interactivity with the physics. Expand
  8. Apr 15, 2011
    10
    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...
    Expand
  9. May 3, 2012
    10
    A standard by which all FPS games should be compared and/or measured against in today's modern world. Truly the best overall game that has ever existed by a great company named 'ValvE and a multi-platform game which still shows beyond-oustanding PC support to it's most faithful audience and/or customers. This is simply better than CoD, Halo or any series for that matter, genre - RPG, FPS, RTS, MMORPG, etc... the list goes on. Simply put, an engaging story, amazing physics and challeging and innovative gameplay and puzzles as well as deep character development and excellent level design. Get this and any title made by Valve, The Orange Box e.g. has this game and a few others and is easily the best gaming bundle deal of the century because of one reason - it has this game and the fact that you won't find a better game than this, I can assure you and anyone who reviews this with a 0 or something like that because of Steam. Steam has greatly changed and improved over the years has no idea of what they're talking about and should go and play CoD and then start talking as it'll change their mind and they will see, just how perfect this game is, just how much it has achieved - awards, game design, technology improvements and innovation as well as being a pure, landmark title that noticeably and simultaneously remarkably stands out from today's games where campaign's last only about 6 hours or less (compared to Half Life 2's length of approximately 25 hours or more) and do not care about their fans or the fact that the game is complete garbage and continue not to fix or upgrade it. Having said all this... there's still not enough to be said or praised about this title, what it represents, how much it has made known gaming as an activity/hobby, achieved - i.e. (that is) famous, just how good it is and how it deserves to be played by anyone who is interested in anything or any certain type of game as this game is simply put, as the best game that has ever come out and existed and will contine to be so for centuries to come, having its name yelled out and its legacy and origin living on (no pun intended). My PC friends, you will find no better game than this and me constructing long sentences for this game review is completely justified when you understand how good this game is and when you have played it - being immersed and absolutely bewildered at just how good this game is - if I haven't said it enough ALREADY - THIS game is good, more than good, in fact if I could rate it 20/10 I would do so but that would lead to an improper fraction and also metacritic doesn't let me :(

    Overall, that is all. BUY NOW as YOU WON'T REGRET IT, if I haven't convinced you enough - look at the all other positive reviews and take these facts for one: highest metacritic scoring game - EVER, most awards and impressive achievement shown and won by a game, biggest PC community - mods and support and made from ValvE - the people who implemented Steam - a download client program for PC (like XBox Live for Windows) and made many Source game-engine based games that were successful and have been continuing to make blockbuster sequels since then including continuing and expanding this 'Half-Life' game into a series and they are known for much, much more other stuff and being the most awesome people on the planet that make games for gamers by gamers as they say, a great development team and/or publisher of their own games and/or work, need I say more about this game or ValvE... ?!
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  10. 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.
  11. Feb 5, 2012
    6
    You spend a lot of this game doing repetitive tasks. The game is very linear and each sort of 'stage' or 'chapter' in the game seems to be really dragged out. For example the chapter called 'Water Hazard' (I think that's what it's called) you tend to end up being able to guess what you have to do next as you've done it a billion times already. Often you'll also find yourself going on really long-winded routes to overcome one obstacle, which is obviously just to make the game last longer.
    However I do agree that it's a very innovative and original game, and the graphics and physics are impressive.
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  12. Mar 30, 2011
    10
    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.
  13. Apr 18, 2011
    10
    Do i need to say more besides that it is the best game of all time?
  14. 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
  15. Jul 30, 2011
    10
    I find it hard to thinkof how one cannot like this. This is FPS at it's finest, it **** CoD in the face. If you miss out on this, you miss out on everything.
  16. Nov 9, 2011
    7
    In Valve's "Half Life 2", each and every level is unique and cool. The graphics are pretty sexy if you compare it with the standard rate. However, The gameplay was too original; i've played these kind of puzzle FPS before. I'm not saying its bad; there's a profound story and shocking visuals that covers this up, but I expected more than just running around in cars and boats, stopping by for some zombie kills and ammo, and repeat that stuff all over again. In conclusion, it's a solidly great game that will entertain you as a game no more or no less Expand
  17. Jan 10, 2012
    8
    I finally got around to finishing this game in 2011. Every other time I gave up in Ravenholm after getting bored. While the game does have some great qualities, It's very overrated. Let's talk about the good first: The graphics are amazing and have aged so well! You'd never guess it was made 7 years ago. The games progression, while linear, is very varied and entertaining. There are action packed moments, puzzles, and vehicle sequences. Unlike other shooters, this game does a great job of making fights feel epic (strider battles!). Now for the bad. The story is boring and the characters aren't very interesting. There are a few deadly glitches. The enemy variety isn't too high. The vehicle sequences are mostly boring. Sometimes the varied gameplay takes you from playstyles that you like to playstyles that you hate. Feels a bit formulaic at times. Regardless, with how cheap this game is on Steam these days it's still a must buy especially since it has aged so well. Expand
  18. 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.
  19. Jun 19, 2011
    10
    I don't give 10 out of 10 lightly. This game deserves it and more. The most impressive thing about it is how it weaves gameplay and story seamlessly. The atmosphere is incredible and the graphics are effective even years later. The controls work perfectly and I cannot honestly remember a single bug that occurred in any of my playthroughs. The episodes that came after only increased how awesome Half Life 2 is. If you haven't played this game, for the love of all that is good and holy play it as soon as you can! Expand
  20. Jul 3, 2011
    10
    Brilliant game. The most innovative FPS in recent times. It's hard to believe that it's 7 years old now, because even by today's standards it's fantastic - truly ahead of it's time!
  21. Jul 4, 2011
    9
    Half Life 2 arose from the imagination-less wasteland that other shooters tend to came out of. HL2 is how a game should be made. Not many games have this unusual balance of realism with the fiction of most games but this game does it well. You are placed in an Eastern European locale, not very common with games, filled with powerful imagery of propaganda, graffiti, and the feel of an Orwellian fascist state. The characters are also good and a nice change from the uncanny valley-esqe companions of other games. They look and emote like real people and all have their fair share of important and serious lines with some lighter toned comical lines, however they don't show up much. Even the poor unlucky civilian bastards are kind of interesting and you actually feel a bit sad when they die, of course you also feel angry when they can't navigate through a simple hallway. The friendly and enemy AI are both impressive but in combat, they sometimes have their moments. The music is great with its balance of atmospheric dark rhythms and upbeat techno songs. And, get this, it actually has a story! The game sometimes feels dragged on at times ( aka Highway 17 and the gunships ), but the areas with ammo and health do appear in almost every level. Great replayability. Expand
  22. Oct 7, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Half-life 2 has great graphics if you play it on an AlienWare, the story is so wonderful.
    You can play it 4 times or much more and can't get bored.
    I really recommend to buy it.
    The end it's just awesome.
    When the tower explode and G-man shows up to the player, then the game ends.
    Expand
  23. Jan 19, 2013
    10
    This is the best game i've ever played , it is the perfect style of game , no doubt of it.
    The storyline is amazing (pretty much in all hl games) , this is a 10 no doubt of it , if there was an 11 I'll put it, best game , deal with it.
  24. Oct 12, 2011
    9
    This game is beast!!!!!. hurry up episode 3....................................................................................................................................
  25. Nov 7, 2013
    5
    After having replayed the game on PC (rather than X360) in 2013 I have to say it's better than the Xbox 360 version with regards to the graphics and controls, but the core gameplay is still very much stuck in the 90s. The basic game mechanics are so outdated and unimmersive it's difficult to take it seriously. Small things like meleeing enemies with the crowbar and mounting turrets as well as primitive controls and movement make it seem really amateur for the standards of today. The one thing that makes this game stand out is the level design. The levels aren't only long and adventurous but they manage to cram in so much variety with so few tools and gimmicks. The use of the physics engine as well as the famous gravity gun is particularly commendable. However, the shooting has no weighty feel to it, and weapons don't have any recoil. Enemies take damage with no seeming impact until they die. The characters are almost non-existent because the game's lack of cutscenes prevents any real development in the story. At every point when you play Half-Life 2, you feel like you're using compiled C code rather than playing a video game. It just feels like software that's made for a specific purpose. Although the voice acting, lip-syncing and attention to detail in the environments are all top notch, the main gameplay of Half-Life 2 is just plain bland and boring despite the varied levels. It's definitely an overrated game. Expand
  26. Oct 6, 2011
    10
    Even better than the first HL, wow I didn't think it was possible. While it is a shooter, it involves a lot more gameplay types, it allows you to drive through to point A-B with intense action, areas where you need to sneak past, you get to control troops of rebels (and even antlions at one point). And the regular shooting is great, it's also a true sequel meaning it's just a bunch of higher tech HL. (with the same physics puzzles and similar gameplay) It also has one of the best sci-fi storyline's of the century, including characters, dialog, and of course just story in general. It introduces a new gun that is just OMG, try launching a paint can at something, see how much damage that will cause. Just amazing, like HL1, I really have NOTHING negative to say about it. Expand
  27. Nov 14, 2011
    4
    Most overrated game ever made. Half-Life 2 is not just disappointing, it's really boring. The first one was much better than this. Of course HL2 has some interesting things such as the Source engine (although many really poor textures), the gravity gun or pheropod, but this isn't enough to keep the game alive. And, as this wasn't enough, the game doesn't have a decent ending. I'll never understand why Half Life 2 is so praised. Expand
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. Apr 25, 2011
    9
    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
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]