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...
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  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. Collapse
  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.
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  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
  31. Jun 30, 2011
    9
    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.
  32. Aug 1, 2011
    10
    I dont know why this game is so great, everything flows real nice, the shooting parts are amazing, the guns functions perfectly, real intense gameplay, sometimes we got real creep scenes, night scenes.. we can ride a boat, a car.. the Source Engine is trully powerfull and a "cheepy" PC can run this game nicelly!

    The context is so great as everythin on the game, got the same level as the
    first game and much more. Expand
  33. Jul 22, 2011
    10
    Words cannot even DESCRIBE, How brilliant and well made this game is. Considerably the best FPS series i've played in my life. Brilliant Game play, Awesome voice acting, A Terrific Story. Trust me. When you buy this game, Your gaming Life will be complete.
  34. IRT
    Oct 13, 2011
    10
    System Specs: GFX: HD6970 CPU: i52500 Audio: X-fi Titanium Game : Half-Life 2................................. Graphics: Very good, for the age of game graphics are well above average................................. Storyline: Very good, kept me interested from start to finish................................. Game-play: Very good, quite a long game and has lots of different scenarios to keep you entertained................................. Difficulty: Normal................................. Sound: Good, re verb sounded great.................................

    Half-Life 2 is by all means a superb game and defiantly lives up to it's reputation.
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  35. 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
  36. 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)
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  37. 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.
  38. Apr 5, 2011
    9
    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.
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  39. Jul 12, 2011
    9
    This is one of the best linear FPS games I have ever had the pleasure of playing. The linear style leaves very little room to get lost, which is something that turns me off of a game immediately, and gets you through the story in a timely manner while still leaving small areas that can be explored at the player's leisure. While the characters may not be especially deep, the voice acting is spot-on and is one of the better examples of good voice acting in the gaming world. If you didn't play through Half-Life, which I strongly suggest you do, you may not understand a few plot points. However, not playing Half-Life does not ruin the experience of playing Half-Life 2. This is a solid game that can be played over and over again and is a prime example of what good games should look like. Expand
  40. Jul 31, 2011
    9
    An enjoyable experience albeit the linear model. The story is vague and hard to understand without playing the first game but the level-design is action-packed and offers great outcomes when paired with the Gravity Gun.
  41. Jan 8, 2012
    10
    This is the best game ever made - nothing has ever ever come close in terms of immersion, AI, shooting, first person story telling, and practically everything else. Every aspect of this game is perfect and if you haven't played this yet - you haven't yet experienced a perfect game.
    HL3 - please?
  42. Feb 19, 2012
    4
    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
  43. 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!
  44. 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.
  45. Nov 26, 2010
    6
    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
  46. Jan 6, 2011
    7
    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.
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  47. Oct 21, 2011
    5
    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
  48. Nov 27, 2011
    10
    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
  49. Oct 30, 2011
    9
    The best game ever made. The storytelling, gameplay, characters, action and soundtrack are all top notch. However, the awful teammate AI(They don't give you any space, constantly remind you to reload, and yell "Take cover!" and then get shot) and lackluster ending mean I can't give Half-Life 2 a perfect score.
  50. Dec 1, 2011
    2
    I am a SERIOUS GAMER. i cannot see what the big deal about this game is. you have TERRIBLE weapons with horrible graphics, yet people still call this one of the best games. the game is terribly unrealistic, and the weapons are just complete SH*T. The game is repetitive and has a boring... long story. i wouldn't reccommend this for serious gamers. but if you are a poser, child or beginner then by all means, start playing this game and start putting foward your one sided reveiws. This game was a hit in 2004 but COME ON.. all games have their day, and i think that the end for this game has come. Valves needs to focus on realising more content that appeals to the serious gamers. Half life 2, does NOT cater for us serious gamers! Expand
  51. Dec 22, 2011
    1
    Very disappointing. Personally, I consider HL1 one of the best games ever made, and everything I liked about HL1 is missing in this game. Boring and linear. The story itself is poor. There's no time left to explore the levels because you're constantly being chased, and when you do find the time to look around, it's only to find that the beautiful scenery is in most cases just a cardboard scene placed around a small, single path level, designed so that you don't even think about stepping of the predefined path. I had a feeling as if being a cow which is ran into desired direction through ever narrower paths in a slaughterhouse. It was so repetitive, boring and frustrating that I didn't even finish the game. The only thing I had fun with in this game was the gravity gun. Expand
  52. Jan 5, 2012
    10
    An interesting game, without a doubt. Deserves the title of the best. Once I was very impressed. Graphics, in particular texture, at a height! Surroundings, something between the soviet and european - looks great, for this genre. Acceptable quality model Russian cars are also made to treat with respect to the developers. But the main thing, that creates the environment of the game, it's the music! These beautiful song good convey the mood of the game and add drive. If it were not for the music, the game probably wouldn't have liked it all, as it is now. And here are the episodes disappointed - a feeling that began the pursuit of money, this is not a good result. We Hope, Valve senses and start again make good games, and not the "grey "content for the money. Expand
  53. Apr 17, 2013
    5
    The most overrated game of all time. The silent protagonist is dated even by 2004 standards. The graphics are good, but lack spirit. The guns don't feel quite powerfull enough. The story is nothing special, unoriginal even. It feel like they just made it up as they went along.
    It's not a bad game, but it definetly not a great game let alone a classic one.
  54. Jan 15, 2013
    6
    I really wanted to like this game. I really did. It's just way too gimmicky. There only a few types of enemies - Headcrabs, zombies, soldiers, and antlions are basically the only enemies you really see in the game. The vehicle levels are atrocious and it focuses far too much on gimmicks like the gravity gun (though the ending segment with the high-powered gravity gun was awesome). Overall, it just lacks a lot of the personality and atmosphere of the original Half-Life. If you want a great story-based FPS, go buy the original Half-Life on Steam now, and pass up this one. You won't regret it. Expand
  55. May 19, 2012
    9
    Awards: The Best FPS of 2004, The Best Technical Graphics of 2004, The Best Virtual Characters of 2004. An unforgettable FPS with stunning graphics, outstanding sandbox gameplay and with some memorable characters. The story is perfectly done. Gordon Freeman is back, in the City 17, trying to escape from it. Barney, an old friend of Gordon, rescues him by taking him to a room, and he meets virtually the Doctor, nicknamed Doc. It is a stunning experience, and creepy. There are some AI enemies, like crabs, crabs zombies etc. There are also AI enemy humans from Black Mesa. Expand
  56. Jul 5, 2012
    7
    IMHO Half Life 2 is a good game, but for some odd reason, is quite overrated. The game has a great focus on story and a wonderful sense of atmosphere. But for some reason, it feels flat and largely quite boring. In parts the lengthof levels is too long and I find the pacing quite tedious. Also the story does nothing for me. I can only assume that Half Life 2 introduce a generation of younger gamers to the story based FPS and/or immersive sim/fps (perhaps those who did not experience Looking Glass games etc?). Good for them. Just not for me.
    TLDR: Good. But not best game ever.
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  57. Oct 4, 2013
    1
    Half-Life 2... Often proclaimed one of the best, if not one of the greatest first person shooters, if not video games of all time. Released in 2004 to great fame and accolades, I was but then an 11 year old devotee of Sonic, Metroid, Zelda, and Star Wars. I hardly knew or cared. But as I grew older, and the internet became more prominent in my life, I began to hear of this wonderful thing called Half-Life 2, starring this great hero, a nuclear physicist named Gordon Freeman, who battled against the evil Combine to save humanity from its position under the jackboots of a tyrannical alien regime. When I discovered TvTropes, I got exposed to many more references to this game. I was told of the epic journey of the great hero fighting all alone against the future straight out of Nineteen Eighty-Four. I read that I was supposed to be a critical piece whose actions and choices would decide the fates of billions. I read about leading the citizens in rebellion against their alien oppressors in a climatic battle in City Seventeen. I heard about the awesome Gravity Gun. I read about the fearsome striders. I read about turning the antlions on the invaders. I read about the horror of Ravenholm. I heard about great and memorable characters, an engaging story, and so many other things which sounded like heralds of greatness.
    I first got my hands on a valve game, Left 4 Dead, in '08. And I loved it. I still do, just as I do Left 4 Dead 2. I got The Orange Box in 2010. I got it more or less for Portal. Portal, damn, that game is fantastic. As you would expect, having consecutively played three superb games from Valve, I was very much looking forward to the next game in my sights: Half-Life 2. So I selected it from the main menu of The Orange Box on my Xbox360 and began a new campaign on the medium difficulty setting. I as already an FPS veteran at the time, having played through games like Metroid Prime 1 & 2, Bioshock, Metro 2033, Goldeneye 007, the Halo series, F.E.A.R., Doom, Doom 3, and Quake 4. With everything begun, I was prepared to be blown away. I was eager for the greatest FPS ever made.

    It sucks.

    I personally rate games mainly on story, gameplay, and characters, with all of these being roughly equivalent. For me to approve of a game, it has to do well enough in these three categories. However, I ultimately pass judgement based on whether or not the game was fun to me. I can forgive quite a lot of if a game is an entertaining experience. Do I think Half-Life 2 is fun? NO! I think it's awful. I had to force myself to finish this game. It failed in story, gameplay, and characters. It wasn't even something that I could enjoy taking the piss out of.
    I know, you're probably frothing with rage and confusion over why I think Half-Life 2 is an overrated piece of crap. I've heard the arguments from the fans, but I just don't see it like they do. I respect their opinions, but I disagree. Truth be told, I feel like this game was always very close to being the great experience I was told about. Of course, realistically, nothing could have lived up to the hype. Even though I habitually make a note to deliberately not buy into hype, it was impossible to go in with anything other than great expectations. I could argue that it had to end in disappointment, but I disagree. I've played other great games, like Call of Duty 4, Bioshock, Far Cry 3, Metroid Prime 2, Metro: Last Light, and Portal, and felt that they deserved the praise they got. Perhaps not the extravagant fanboy praise, but plenty of praise and accolades nevertheless. Half-Life 2 got so many elements right and had a lot of good ideas, but the execution was so often feeble. If maybe just only a few elements were different, then perhaps I would be raving about how I love this game. And I think that, had I played it when it first came out, or at least within two years of its release rather than six, then I could very well have been much more favorably impressed. I could I personally actually quite like Half-Life 2: Episode 1, which was a much tighter game with a much more interesting and dynamic plotline where the player character actually seems to accomplish things.
    The story is irritatingly impenetrable while being of only vague concern, and yet still managing to hang constantly over the player while constantly keeping them in the dark.
    The gameplay is the worst part, given how it fails to make combat fun in a first person shooter while bloating the game to excessive length with vehicles and puzzles.
    The characters are mostly forgettable with a few good exceptions. Gordon Freeman is the worst possible kind of protagonist for this game. Alex Vance should have been it.
    The game is not fun except in small doses and in certain parts. Your experience may vary. I would recommend watching a walkthrough or LP rather than spend money on it.
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  58. Sep 3, 2013
    5
    Half-Life 2 is very average game. The game is a very linear shooter with very little deviation from the main path. Only to collect ammo which is everywhere so it doesn't matter. It offers no replay value and its a short 8 hour experience compared to many RPGs that go for 30hours. The story is quiet good but even this has problems. It is presented by conversations but the volume of the NPCs is so unbalanced to the game I can't hear them. There is also no explanation for most of what is going on. The ending is very good but it comes at the end of a bland level and "boss fight". The game looks good and has great sound and some cool weapons, but that isn't enough to save it. I can't recommend this to anyone. Expand
  59. 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!
  60. 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.
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  61. Jan 9, 2013
    8
    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
  62. Apr 19, 2011
    10
    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.

    But really Valve RELEASE EPISODE 3 GODDAMMIT
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  63. Aug 24, 2013
    5
    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.
  64. 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 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
  65. 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 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
  66. Dec 1, 2011
    10
    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
  67. May 3, 2012
    10
    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
  68. 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.
  69. Aug 28, 2011
    10
    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
  70. 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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  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. Aug 28, 2011
    7
    Half-Life 2 feels overall quite polished. Yet I must say, I can't rate it higher than a 7/10. Some parts are simply too long (especially the vehicle-parts), while others come short. There is a good variety of weapons and though you will use each at least once, you want some maps in the end where you just can freely choose your favourite gun. You won't regret finishing the game, but somehow it feels like most of the choices you make, are already made by the developers for you. On the good side: The scripted events are placed perfectly and far better than in most later games I've played. And they make up for a good alternation. Expand
  74. Sep 3, 2011
    10
    With its excellent suspense, atmosphere, gameplay, puzzles(Though they can get frustrating at times), story, and graphics(Even at September 2011 it is beautiful), Half-Life 2 competes with the first Half-Life and Deus Ex for the best PC game ever made.
  75. Oct 15, 2011
    10
    this is made of gold, and shining diamonds, and chrome, and everything good about existence. you may find yourself in the zelda pose, where you dont know what to do, but in this, its fun, so for 6 quid go get
  76. 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 what to do, and they exploded through all the First-Person shooters, even today! Expand
  77. Nov 1, 2011
    10
    I find it hard to stop saying good things about this game, and then again why would i want to.. It keeps getting better with community encouraged mods sp and mp both helping to expand the already huge HL2 Universe. This game at it's time and arguably still was and is ahead of it's time in so many ways. Fun fun fun oh and did i say? FUN!
  78. 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, 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
  79. Feb 4, 2012
    10
    Half-Life 2 is simply amazing. I've noticed some reviewers (one in particular) mentioned that Half-Life 2 "has no storyline". Well, I have one question to ask : are you retarded?

    Anyway, Half-Life 2 = Amazing. The graphics are good! People have to realise that Half-Life 2 was released in 2004. It does not have the graphics that we have today. Half-Life 2 provides excellent voice acting
    from all the cast, including the great Merle Dandridge (Alyx Vance).

    Half-Life 2 also has famous actors such as Robert Culp and Robert Guillaume. Half-Life 2 earned 39 Game of the Year awards. This shows that, well, Half-Life 2 is damn awesome.

    Great gameplay, great storyline, great voice acting, great soundtrack. Great. Buy this game!
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  80. Oct 18, 2011
    10
    Absolutely the #1 Shooter of all time. There is nothing to compare it to because it is just that groundbreaking and original. Half Life 2 Possesses a level of game flow that few games even attempt. By far for the price of it there is no reason every gamer in the world should not own this game.
  81. Jun 6, 2012
    10
    Half life 2 is without a doubt one of the best games ever made. I wish I could say otherwise but it is the truth, everything about this game: the story, the tight level design, the graphics and sound is done with a rare care and attention which most developers are stubbornly against. Despite being eight years old, HL2 is and always will be a benchmark in the video games industry.
  82. Nov 9, 2011
    10
    This game is one of the greatest games i ever played, its so huge and so immersing, you really feel like your the character that your playing and Alyx is just the best female character in a game because its doesnt appeal to sex but appeal to women that they can be brave, intelligent and pratical and also she looks like my girlfriend :P but anyways its a great game and im hopping to Valve to release the final episode of this series because i want revenge on what happen in Ep2. Expand
  83. Oct 26, 2011
    10
    You have never played a game so diverse in it's environments and gameplay variety, it is quite simple one of the best games I have ever played. It has managed to trump its predecessor in every conceivable way, and then some... The Graphics in 2011 aren't all that great (download Cinematic Mod) but that aside, the sheer amount of fun you can have for the price is ridiculous. You are never in one place too long, or doing something for so long it becomes tedious, as the game takes you through different areas, changing your play style subtly and introducing new mechanics and weapons (such is the world renowned Gravity Gun) as well as new enemies. The story unfolds very, very well and the pacing is of the highest quality you will find in a shooter even now in 2011. Voice work is top-notch and animations can be stellar even by todays standards. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys shooters for what they are and is willing to ditch the typical iron-sight for a more classic, fire-from-the-hip feel. Trust me when I say, it is worth every cent. Expand
  84. Oct 26, 2011
    10
    A timeless classic which even in the current era, still stands apart. It delivers an experience like no other, seamless and totally and truly immersive. Never has a game actually put me in a characters very shoes and made me see through his very eyes.
  85. Dec 9, 2011
    10
    No doubt that this is the best game ever build. The lengthy single play game gives you everything you would expect from a shooter; great action scenes, a diversity of good weapons, horror scenes, a great physics engine and so on. This is a game that raised the bar and is up to today still very enjoyable to play.
  86. Aug 23, 2012
    10
    There isn't much to add, its almost a perfect game! Only music is a little bit weak. Hopefully Half-Life 3 score will be much better. All other great games have great memorable music.
  87. Sep 17, 2012
    10
    This is the best FPS of all time, and I say that with 100% confidence. No other FPS even comes close to the sheer brilliance of this game. The physics, level design, and gameplay are unmatched. If you haven't play this yet, you are missing out.
  88. Nov 10, 2011
    8
    Quite outdated now but back in its time,it was a fantastic fps,a thrilling story,great dialogue and easy to master gunplay.

    It spawned a huge following and hopefully we will get a sequel sometime in the near future.
  89. Nov 12, 2011
    10
    Half Life 2 is one of the best games I have ever played, the storyline is fantastic! On the very first level you get sucked into the world of City 17. Basically the game takes place years after HL1. You are a scientist named Gordon Freeman and your mission is to try and stop the Combine from wiping out humanity all together. The Physics are very well done thanks to the Source Engine. The sounds and graphics are also very good as well.

    Bravo Valve!
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  90. Nov 14, 2011
    10
    This game is as good as a game will ever be. Brilliant game-play, beautiful graphics, not the best story ever, but still very good.
    How are you able to combine all those things, and still have a good game Valve?
    Please reveal your secrets. -Huffle.
  91. Nov 16, 2011
    10
    There is a reason this game won so many GOTYs. This a masterpiece. Its the best game of the last decade without a doubt. Bravo Valve. Take your time with EP3/ HL3 to make sure it becomes the best game of the next decade. No pressure.
  92. Nov 18, 2011
    10
    The thing about grading a game like Half-Life 2 is that you have to remember it was released back in 2004. Consequently, some technologies in the Source engine might not have been on the same level as, say, Frostbite 2. That still doesn't stop it from looking absolutely amazing today, complete with lip-sync and NPC animations that don't plunge straight into the uncanny valley...back in 2004. The gameplay and story are also pretty solid, the latter particularly because it never takes away interactivity entirely just to show you an overwrought cutscene. It might lock you in a room, but you can still bunny-hop everywhere if it makes you feel better. On the whole, though, Half-Life 2 is a game that was ahead of its time back then, and honestly, to me, it still is. Expand
  93. Feb 20, 2012
    10
    I can't really say anything that hasn't already been said. This game is great, period. I would consider it art that should be preserved through the centuries. I'll remember this game when I'm an old man wandering around in my underwear inside a department store.
  94. 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.
  95. Nov 27, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In my honest opinion, this is the best FPS video game in the 2000s decade. Despite its outdated graphics and being a 2004 game, the gameplay is way more superior than most FPS games today (i.e. Black Ops, Modern Warfare 2/3, Halo, etc.), and it has an excellent deep plot, which, for me, has political themes as it is about a revolution against foreign alien invaders called the Combine. In addition, the plot has much twists and suspense that will make you feel intrigued and curious on what's going to happen next in the game. In HL2, you play as a mute Resistance leader, Gordon Freeman, in a revolution against the Combine, which was indirectly caused by the Black Mesa Incident in HL1 and with the excellent first person feel, you are able to go in Gordon Freeman's "shoes" as he leads the resistance against the alien invaders. Plus, there are puzzles that make the game challenging, which are mostly used by the Gravity Gun, an awesome weapon intended for carrying objects used for puzzles, and using innocuous objects as weapons against Xen aliens and Combine Soliders. Another proof that HL2 is superior to today's FPS games is that there are various enemies and environments, thus making the game less repetitive and more addicting, especially in the Ravenholm level and the Citadel missions, where you can even throw Combines everywhere with your gravity gun, making you feel like a god. In overall, HL2 is full of thrills and adrenaline which no other FPS games can have. I hope Gabe Newell exits HL3 from vaporware so that I can know what will happen next after Eli was killed by Combine Advisors. Expand
  96. Nov 28, 2011
    10
    Holy **** this has to be my favorite game of all time. The game utilizes the then new Source technology, bringing a very realistic atmosphere and backdrop. Half Life 2 brings a whole new idea to the Half Life franchise, years after the events of the first one. The game starts out in a train, much like the first one, which was very cool. The game progresses at the perfect speed, and weapons are obtained throughout the game. My final say: this game is definitely worth the purchase, and is worth its price because even when you are finished playing, you will want to replay it several more times. Pick this game up! Expand
  97. 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 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.
    Expand
  98. Dec 5, 2011
    10
    This is the best game of all time. The shooting feels amazing with the huge variety of weapons. This is FPS perfection; well almost. A few very minor gripes include long loading screens, which are quite frequent, and an annoying level in Ravenholm. The level's spiral layout makes it easy to fall off numerous things numerous times, but even this level mixes up the gameplay with a bit of horror. This doesn't matter all that much as the game's story and characters are the best I've ever had the fortune to play with. Every character is developed well (even the headcrab Lamarr), and by the end I was genuinely sad when the credits rolled. Each level feels amazing; you get a real sense of being the underdogs in the war against the Combine. This is a must buy, if you don't have the bloody game already. And if you don't like this game, please staple your nipples to the piston of a speeding train. Thank you. Expand
  99. Dec 7, 2011
    10
    Thinking of buying HL2? Please do - it's one of the best games ever made. The 4,293 other users and the 96/100 metacritic score justify my opinion. Definitely worth the purchase.
  100. Jul 4, 2011
    0
    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. Collapse
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]