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Half-Life - PC
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Half-Life - PC
Half-Life - PC

Half-Life - PC

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Half-Life - PC Product Overview As Gordon Freeman, a young research associate in the Anomalous MaterialsLaboratory of the Black Mesa Federal Research Facility, your mission is toinvestigate a strange crystalline being. You find yourself battling not onlythe alien monsters but also the government troops sent in to keep the crisisunder wraps. Sophisticated monsters and creative technologies make this game awinner. Review A major goal in any game is to create the illusion of reality, a fact that isespecially true for first-person shooters. The whole point of the genre is toput you, literally, in the role of the protagonist. In light of this, it'ssurprising that so many games have stuck to a blueprint that breaks theillusion at every possible opportunity, with text-based mission briefings,jarring level transitions, and weapons and power-ups scattered around likedecorative furniture. But Valve Software has obviously spent a lot of timestudying the mistakes of the past. The result is Half-Life, the closest thingto a revolutionary step the genre has ever taken. Through a series of subtleand artistic design decisions, Half-Life creates a reality that is self-contained, believable, and thoroughly engaging. And while it may be surprisingthat no game has utilized any of these ideas in the past, it's clear that anyfuture shooter will be remiss to overlook them. The plot of the game is typical (in fact, it's little more than an elaborateversion of Doom). You are Gordon Freeman, scientist at the Black Mesa ResearchFacility, involved in some mysterious experiments. These experiments go awry,and foul creatures begin taking over the complex. It gets more complicated,but there's no need to ruin the surprises that await. Suffice it to say thatHalf-Life isn't a great game because of its story; it's a great game becauseof how it presents that story. From the opening moments of the game to thefinal showdown (and even beyond) all hell is continually breaking loose, andthere is never a moment where you are not seeing things through Freeman'seyes. There are scripted events in the game. There are opening and closingscenes. But they all occur naturally within the game environment. It may soundsimple, but it goes a long way toward helping create a believable world. Weapon, ammunition, and health placement follows the same philosophy. You'llhardly ever come across an item that is just bobbing and spinning in placelike some gift from the heavens. Valve has done a good job of justifying thetypical health and armor meters. Freeman is wearing a hazard suit, used byresearchers involved in dangerous experiments. To regain health and armorenergy, you must fill up at power stations. These are almost always located inlogical places, usually near areas where dangerous work would be performed.There are no power-ups to be found. Weapons and ammo are taken from supplyclosets or the corpses of fallen security guards and soldiers. Even the moreexperimental weapons have their proper place - in the weapons researchdepartment of the facility. And late in the game, once you've left theresearch facility, the supply of ammo and first aid kits is believably scarce. There are no levels in Half-Life, or, more specifically, it lacks the conceptof levels and episodes we've come to expect. The game is a continual stream oflocations from beginning to end. You can move back and forth at will (withonly a few exceptions), as can those who are pursuing you. And though thebrief loading time between zones is the one artifact that breaks the flow ofthe game, the transitions are thankfully brief. The attention to detail doesn't just stop with the basic structure. The gameis full of surprises, continually throwing new obstacles and challenges inyour path. There is a wide variety of textures, lending a distinct look toevery area. The numerous scripted events bolster the illusion of reality, andyou'll come across detailed scenes that are continually suspenseful. Thegameplay is very puzzle-oriented, but the puzzles hardly seem to besuperficial obstacles. Whether you're repairing a reactor or finding some wayto dispose of a massive locked door, the puzzles always seem plausible in theworld Valve has created. The alien enemies are well designed and occasionally border on the terrifying.From the basic headcrab (which resembles a cross between Alien's facehuggerand X-COM Apocalypse's brainsucker) to monstrosities a hundred times its size,the enemies truly look like organic beings. There are human enemies in thegame, and these display a level of artificial intelligence that is remarkable.While many a game's idea of excellent AI is simply monsters that can make itthrough a doorway to follow you, Half-Life's antagonists act in a manner thatis frighteningly realistic. They won't follow you through a doorway - they'lljust lob a few grenades to where you're hiding and be done with it. The weapons look and sound great, ranging from the realistic combat shotgunsand grenade launchers, to the science-fictional, high-powered particleaccelerators. The level design is diverse (owing a nod of thanks to JediKnight), including the expansive research facility, some great outdoor areas,and foreign locales that are best left to be discovered on your own. Sufficeto say, it never gets repetitive. The only problems with Half-Life are the results of it being so ambitious. Thefact that all of the humans in the game look like clones takes from theotherwise realistic atmosphere. The diversity of the levels and puzzles willundoubtedly leave you thinking some areas were better than others. Butcomplaints that arise are simply a reaction to the fact that the game is soclose to ideal. Half-Life is an exceptional single-player game and a solidmultiplayer game (though the upcoming Team Fortress add-on may make it evenbetter). It takes the tried-and-true one step further but ends up leaps andbounds ahead of the rest. _--Ron Dulin_ --_Copyright (C)1998 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited._ -- _GameSpot Review_ Details: Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S. International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More Media: Video Game Release Date: February 15, 1999 Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes Features: New weapons; new levels; solve a variety of puzzles; first-person shooter Made with JoeLister Quality Products Have peace of mind knowing that your order will arrive original factory sealed packaging. That means that you'll have the full force of the manufacturer's warranty to protect your purchase. Fast and Free Shipping You're already purchasing the item. Why pay additional for shipping, especially slow shipping? We get your order shipped out and delivered to your doorstep as quickly as possible. Commitment We are committed to making sure that you leave this transaction satisfied. That means having access to real people that get your questions and concerns answered quickly. Give us a shot and we will make sure that you will look to us again!
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