User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 7665 Ratings

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  1. 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
    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...
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  2. 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,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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  3. 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.
  4. 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 thatAlright, 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. Feb 3, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The BEST Game Ever made.... Agree ? I hope that everyone agree. ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... Expand
  9. 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 theHalf-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
  10. Jul 4, 2011
    10
    This game has set the standard in first person shooters the story line is deep the mechanics are unique and all other FPS fall short to the quality of this game. If you haven't played this game yet mistakes were made, also look out for Episode 3/Half-Life 3 it will be epic with today's Graphics.
  11. Apr 29, 2011
    10
    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.
  12. Jun 13, 2011
    10
    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
    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?
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  13. Apr 23, 2011
    10
    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 anyShort 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
  14. Apr 24, 2011
    10
    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 toMany 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
  15. Apr 25, 2011
    10
    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!
  16. Apr 29, 2011
    10
    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!
  17. CRL
    Jul 24, 2011
    10
    Easily one of my favorite games of all time; Half Life 2 incorporates everything it possibly can into an FPS. There are vehicle chases, (mostly) intelligent AI, and a storyline better than some books. Technologyically, the 2004 graphics still feel fine compared to newer games, and that age means that it won't lag on almost any system. A classic all around.
  18. Mar 7, 2012
    10
    I recently replayed this game, and I had forgotten how great it was! While it wasn't as good as Half-Life, it still deserves a 10/10 for great gameplay, a good challenge, good graphics, a great story, and an overall fun game.
  19. Jan 1, 2012
    10
    With Half-ife 2 Valve proved that Half-life wasnt just a lucky shot. It is a worthy successor, a promise for more to follow and that valve cares of their comunity. Every single aspect of what made Half-Life 1 special was taken care of, enhanced and implemented into Half-Life 2. They kept their special way of storytelling, not interupting the gameplay much, but letting the player exploreWith Half-ife 2 Valve proved that Half-life wasnt just a lucky shot. It is a worthy successor, a promise for more to follow and that valve cares of their comunity. Every single aspect of what made Half-Life 1 special was taken care of, enhanced and implemented into Half-Life 2. They kept their special way of storytelling, not interupting the gameplay much, but letting the player explore just as much of the universe as he likes to. A universe that keeps continuously growing during HL1-2, the episode addons and even Portal since it is also playing in the very same fictional Universe.

    Technically it is not trying too fancy stuff but manages to be beautiful and very functional at the same time.
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  20. May 18, 2011
    10
    In times where it's rare that a sequel is better than the original. Half-Life 2 pulls off that feat with ease--well ahead of its time. Put this on your bucket list if you've never played it.
  21. May 18, 2011
    10
    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!
  22. Jun 10, 2011
    10
    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.
    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
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  23. May 15, 2011
    10
    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
  24. May 21, 2011
    10
    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.
  25. Jan 15, 2012
    10
    Best game ever made. Are Valve games are 90+ but Half-Life 2 is the best Valve game. I finished 15-16 times. This game contains a lot of new things when you play it again and again.
  26. Mar 29, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. If you want falling in love buy this game!
    The first and the best!
    Gordon Freeman will became your hero!

    .....................................................................
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  27. Feb 5, 2012
    10
    What's so great about Half-Life 2 is that for some reason, you never get bored. If it was me to say, I'd think it's because of the fantastic, strong and stable story which always makes you wanting more to know about it. Characters have really their own personalities, the physics system of Source SDK is that good that it's truly one of the most important factors of the game. Valve knew whatWhat's so great about Half-Life 2 is that for some reason, you never get bored. If it was me to say, I'd think it's because of the fantastic, strong and stable story which always makes you wanting more to know about it. Characters have really their own personalities, the physics system of Source SDK is that good that it's truly one of the most important factors of the game. Valve knew what to do, and they exploded through all the First-Person shooters, even today! Expand
  28. Jan 5, 2012
    10
    This game goes beyond words by how amazing it is. I actually like this game better than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (mostly because I suck at that game). Everything about this game is just about perfect. The gameplay, the graphics, the music (what little there is), the story, everything. What really disappoints me is that once games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, andThis game goes beyond words by how amazing it is. I actually like this game better than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (mostly because I suck at that game). Everything about this game is just about perfect. The gameplay, the graphics, the music (what little there is), the story, everything. What really disappoints me is that once games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Halo 3 came out, everyone seemed to forget about this near perfect game. Why this is disappointing is because this game is actually better than both of them. To be honest, this is not my favorite video game of all time. Super Smash Bros. Brawl still beats it. However, it doesn't beat this game by much. When the chips are down, this game could still top most competition. I really want the Halo and Call of Duty fans to try this game out, and see if this is really better than both of those games. If you are one of those fans, and you have tried this game out, say yes if this game is really better than Halo or Call of Duty. If it's not better to you, say no, or don't vote at all. It's your choice. Expand
  29. Mar 4, 2012
    10
    what is half life 2? not only is it original, atmospheric and beautiful, it keeps you sucked in to the game at all times (provided that you listen to the story line). the only people i know who would hate this game are-surprise, surprise- the CoD fanboys. the only thing they seem to have against it is "it's too boring" or "it just sucks because it's not CoD". boring? to not be bored atwhat is half life 2? not only is it original, atmospheric and beautiful, it keeps you sucked in to the game at all times (provided that you listen to the story line). the only people i know who would hate this game are-surprise, surprise- the CoD fanboys. the only thing they seem to have against it is "it's too boring" or "it just sucks because it's not CoD". boring? to not be bored at half life 2, please LISTEN TO THE STORY. then you won't get bored! hows that for logic and reasoning, kiddies? this game will keep you playing, and playing, and playing, because this game is as atmospheric, thrilling, scary, and original as FPS shooting will ever get. screw the media, telling you that "CoD is the best FPS out there", or the little kids constantly bashing other games, because they think CoD is the best (even though they haven't played anything else), because they are wrong. they always have been. Expand
  30. Mar 7, 2012
    10
    An amazing game. I spent countless hours playing this when it first came out, I dont know if it still holds up today, but still a game that everyone should play.
Metascore
96

Universal acclaim - based on 81 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 81
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 81
  3. Negative: 0 out of 81
  1. 100
    Nothing less than a revolution in the gaming industry that will keep gamers busy for years to come, just as the original did.
  2. 95
    An ephemeral and controversial ending, along with the few issues described above, means that for me, Half-Life 2, while a compelling and highly enjoyable game, falls short of the size of impact that the first title had on the gaming world.
  3. 100
    A graphics overhaul delivers detailed facial animations and sophisticated physics that leave battle zones strewn with debris after intense shootouts with shuffling corpses, overfed curstaceans and other assorted foes. [October, p.37]