More Reviews
REVIEWS Titan Souls Review
Titan Souls isn't much like Dark Souls, but the Prepare to Die tagline still works.

StarDrive 2 Review
A 4X strategy game in space. Sounds like a perfect match, right?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Tales of Zestiria Preview
Oh boy, a new Tales Of game? Gosh, I hope it will be a high-fantasy anime-styled JRPG... that would be so unique.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Farming Simulator 15
Release date: 05/01/15


LATEST FEATURES Bandai Namco Understands Niche Games Better Than Any Other Third-Party Publisher
Pac-Man, Dark Souls, F1 2015, and Naruto... any other publisher would just give up.

Top 10 Games Based on Anime or Manga
No, Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle is not on this list. Also, what kind of smutty tentacle anime are YOU watching?
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Top 50 Pokémon of All Time
Can you believe there are now six generations of Pokémon? Six!! That's a crazy amount of different creatures to collect. But which are the cream of the crop? Don't worry, Magikarp isn't actually one of them.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437
Old Before Their Time
By oblivion437
Posted on 04/13/15
Bloodborne's apparently successful launch (see note below) has yielded two interesting points, for me.  One is that it's being hailed as the PS4's savior (see note below) and the other is that it seems to have serious technical problems.  Conversations erupting around...

Half-Life 2: Episode One Review

Colin By:
Colin
06/21/06
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE First-Person Shooter 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER EA 
DEVELOPER Valve 
RELEASE DATE  
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
M Contains Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language

What do these ratings mean?

Where no Freeman has gone before.


Gordon Freeman embodies mankind’s ultimate evolution, single-handedly fighting and defeating hordes of alien invaders with just a crowbar. He’s a scientist in the loosest of definitions, as his focus of study appears to be “kicking ass.” He wears one outfit for years, but somehow no one comments on the smell. Rambo Shmambo – Gordon is the world’s greatest action hero.
 
Which I suppose fits the new episodic nature of his life. Like Magnum P.I. or the A-Team, Gordon’s upcoming adventures will be distributed in smaller episodes instead of full-length movies. If Half-Life 2: Episode One (previously called Aftermath) is any indication, Half-Life 2: The Series looks to be well scripted and voice-acted, but offers very little that you haven’t seen before.
 
click to enlargeEpisode One picks up at the exact moment that Half-Life 2 ended. Those who played through the entirety of that game will know that the ending was a bit of a dramatic letdown, as one is forced to assume that most of the major characters died. Well, with a little help from some aliens and, presumably, magic, all the cast members you knew and loved continue to live. Sorry for the spoiler, but that’s all explained in the first 30 seconds of the game.
 
The rest of the new story follows the now-continuing adventures of Gordon and his attractive sidekick, Alyx, who must escape City 17 before everything explodes. This conveniently leads them back into the belly of the enemy headquarters and out into the ruins of the city, all of which you’ve seen in the original game. With all the voice-actors returning to reprise their roles and the terrific scripting setting the gold standard for video game plot development, Episode One is delivered well, a treat for those who desperately want to know as much as they can about the world of Half-Life. It feels just as cinematic and downright cool to watch as its predecessors.  
 
But this isn’t a movie or TV show - this is a video game, and there’s just not that much new in its gameplay. With no new weapons, abilities or environments, Episode One is lacking in compelling enhancements.  The one new enemy, a head crab infested combine soldier, seems like kind of a cop out. It’s a bad guy wearing a crab hat. Big wow.
 
Speaking of cops, Alyx turns out to be tougher to kill than Freeman, thanks to unlimited ammo and incredible aim. Sexy and deadly, she’s the perfect action sidekick. Action-oriented FPS fans might have a problem with this, though, as often you have to depend on Alyx to destroy the aliens while you solve the puzzle aspects of the levels. You wind up using the gravity gun for much of the game, and while that’s still fun, it’s just not very new anymore.
 
click to enlargeNor are the graphics, but they still rock. The folks at Valve even took advantage of some of the new features found in the top of the line graphics cards, with plenty of groovy new lighting effects. Older cards that ran the original Half-Life 2 still work fine, so don’t freak out if you haven’t upgraded recently.
 
The real question with Episode One is whether or not the content justifies the $20 price. Though short (with total gameplay running around 4-8 hours), the story is really told well and should adequately entertain fans. But the meat of any expansion - new environments, new weapons, and new enemies – is painfully thin. I suppose that’s why this is called an episode instead of an expansion, but rather than take issue with this new world of incremental updates, I’ll just go on record recommending Episode One. While I’d rather have a full game and I still hate the Steam download service with a passion, this is a worthwhile purchase for anyone interested in the further adventures of the toughest scientist this side of Buckaroo Banzai.
B Revolution report card
  • Good story
  • Still fun gameplay
  • But no new enhancements
  • Short

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Half-Life 2: Episode One


More On GameRevolution