Half-Life Image
Metascore
96

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 2700 Ratings

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  • Summary: Half-Life combines great storytelling in the tradition of Stephen King with intense action and advanced technology to create a frighteningly realistic world where players need to think smart to survive. Half-Life has won more than 50 Game of the Year awards from publications around theHalf-Life combines great storytelling in the tradition of Stephen King with intense action and advanced technology to create a frighteningly realistic world where players need to think smart to survive. Half-Life has won more than 50 Game of the Year awards from publications around the world, and was named 'Best PC Game Ever' in PC Gamer's November 1999 issue. [Sierra] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 100
    A masterpiece of epic proportions, the "Saving Private Ryan" of first-person shooters.
  2. I have yet to play a more immersive game period. From the word "go", I found myself completely engulfed into the pseudo world that is unfolded before your eyes. [6 "drips"]
  3. It isn't everyday that you come across a game that totally revolutionizes an entire genre, but Half-Life has done just that.
  4. It combines a balance of tense action, puzzle solving, story, and fun that has yet to be equaled on in the FPS arena.
  5. 95
    It constantly presents you with variety, surprises, and new challenges to keep you hooked. It is a tour de force in game design, the definitive single player game in a first person shooter.
  6. The closest thing to a revolutionary step the genre has ever taken. Through a series of subtle and artistic design decisions, Half-Life creates a reality that is self-contained, believable, and thoroughly engaging.
  7. Unfortunately, Half-Life’s puzzle-oriented play leads to some problems. On several occasions, you’ll be forced to make almost impossible jumps. The difficulty of such maneuvers finds you making 10, sometimes 15 attempts. The frustration distances you from a story that should have you absorbed.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 461
  1. NicholasG.
    Aug 4, 2008
    10
    I just completed Half-Life, and boy am I tired. I've gotten little sleep these past 3 days, my eyes have been glued to a monitor for I just completed Half-Life, and boy am I tired. I've gotten little sleep these past 3 days, my eyes have been glued to a monitor for hours and hours on end, and I would do it all over again many times. Of all of the games I've ever played, none have ever reached the level of absolute excellence of this game has. It raised the bar back in 1998, and is still a very stunning action/story oriented game that every gamer should play. Expand
  2. BlobN.
    May 5, 2006
    10
    Probably my favorite game combining Fps and puzzle elements. It casues the player to use their skill and their brain to beat the game.
  3. mikeg
    Jul 13, 2009
    10
    THIS game has Extraordinary Graphics,Very Beautiful Gameplay,Movie like Sequences, and Awesome Sound! I hope people who play this game will THIS game has Extraordinary Graphics,Very Beautiful Gameplay,Movie like Sequences, and Awesome Sound! I hope people who play this game will last a life time in there hearts because this game still ROCKs all others ever made for the PC Valve i love your Work! please keep kickin ass on the best game series you have made in the Years and in the years to come! Expand
  4. Jan 24, 2013
    10
    I'll never forget half life. It played a large part in defining my science fiction existence. No FPS had been anything like it before. ThisI'll never forget half life. It played a large part in defining my science fiction existence. No FPS had been anything like it before. This was largely in part due to scripted sequences. Instead of cutscenes, things actually played out infront of your eyes while you were still playing. It set the standard that nearly all games followed since then. The levels were also ingenius. Each level was its own separate level, but designed in a way to look like it was seamless. Level A would end in a hallway, a loading bar would pop up while it loaded level B, with the beginning of Level B looking just like that hallway. It gave a sense that you were never really removed from the game world.

    The storytelling was great as well. Instead of just being overloaded with cheesey information, you start off simply as a regular scientist working in a secret underground research facility somewhere in the south US known as Black Mesa. While performing a landmark experiment despite safety concerns from officials, you accidentally open a portal to an alien world. This experiment causes a "resonance cascade effect" (whatver that means) which causes temporal rifts to open throughout the entire facility, warping in hostile alien forces. The entire game is a story about surviving against all odds. The plot thickens even further as US Special forces are sent in. When you first see them you think "Awesome, backup!" but soon find out they aren't there to rescue you: they're there to destroy you & all the evidence with it.

    It thickens even further when you advance through the game, you hear the Special forces are pulling out because its too much for even them to handle and you get the hint they are about to nuke the entire facility into oblivion.

    One of the reasons the storyline is so great is because its so plausible. The actions from the scientists to the Special forces makes sense. If Half Life actually happened, it would very likely play out something like the game. Nothing turns me off more than an implausible story.

    From the scripted sequences of scientists screaming by on a falling elevator, survivors in vents scared out of their minds, half life delivers an incredible variety of experiences. Action, suspense, hopelessness, triumph, uncertainty. While playing, you really couldn't predict what would happen next which is always one of the signs of a good story.

    A real 10/10, and it isn't awarded lightly either.
    Expand
  5. JeremiahJ.
    Jul 6, 2007
    10
    Very scary! Great game, i recommend this game to anyone who isn't too jumpy!
  6. Jul 19, 2012
    10
    The Half-life1 Series of games are storytelling masterpieces!
    Still the best fps games ive ever played,There Gameplay/puzzles/Atmosphere
    The Half-life1 Series of games are storytelling masterpieces!
    Still the best fps games ive ever played,There Gameplay/puzzles/Atmosphere really set the mold for all modern fps.
    Expand
  7. AnonymousMC
    Jul 4, 2008
    0
    That game is awful. Not to mention frustrating. First of all, the parts where you have to ride around in vehicles are horrible. Those partsThat game is awful. Not to mention frustrating. First of all, the parts where you have to ride around in vehicles are horrible. Those parts are long, boring, and frustrating due to the horrible controls. But the vehicle part of the game was only the first thing that made me hate it.
    Then on top of that you have annoying characters. If it were possible, I would have killed all of my allies within the first 5 seconds of meeting any one of them. And believe me, I tried. Alex is the worst by far. Everyone is useless and annoying. Seriously, every five minutes it's "Oh, look, Freeman's here. He'll do all of our work for us because we're lazy/incompetent/useless." If I was Freeman, I'd just let everyone die. Or better yet, kill them all myself. The only thing that would get me to consider playing the sequels would be if I got to go on a murderous rampage killing all of my allies.

    You waste more ammo than anything. With any automatic weapon, it seems that at best 1/3 shots hit their mark. It's impossible to aim with them because instead of your spray pattern being affected by how long you hold the trigger, it follows some kind of pattern. Your first shot might hit its target. It might not. It's horribly frustrating.

    I bought the Orange Box back in January after hearing how great it was. Worst $50 I've ever spent, since the only good part of the whole thing is Portal. About 4 months ago I got killed somewhere near the end of the game. After this, I exited the game and haven't played it since. I have no desire to go back and finish it, or play Episode I or II.
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See all 461 User Reviews