Well I JUST got Ep2 (A month and a half later, go figure) and beat it in about 3 hours. And am proud to say it was a wise decision to purchase it.
(I ain't an important user so nobody might actually care for my review, but then again I'm one of the few users who actually took the time to write a review so, eh...)
Graphics: Top notch as far as the Source Engine goes. Textures look sloppy up close, but nevertheless awesome. Nice striking affects. Such as when you shoot an enemy the blood spurts out giving you the look that you actually hit them unlike previous titles. Lighting, I expected nothing less from Ep2. Real time lighting, HDR, and soft particles(making fire, smoke, etc. look better.) Large environments was a MAJOR improvement to the source engine. I hope we see them in multiplayer mods to come... However they should've spent more time on Cinematic Physics. Only about 4 scenes where cinematic physics actually take place,(beginning, first Advisor encounter, end, and bridge where you get the car) Hopefully Ep3 will take in that effect more. Graphics were very good, but I hope they improve.
Gameplay: I was surprised at enemy AI. The Combine actually try to surround me and works.(A real bitch on hard mode) Hunters are my favorite enemy(and probably everyone else's) thus far. The way they look, and act toward the environment and surroundings.(Such as the combine ambush.) Although the only way to really really see these behaviors, I entered notarget, then noclipped and watched the combine overrun Alyx by taking flanking positions.(Mest up yes, but sacrifices mut be made for observation) Antlion half of the game was alright, but not great. Antlion workers killed me A LOT even on normal mode. The Standoff was fun. Before the Vorts came however. I enjoyed allying myself with "Griggs" and "Sheckely." Who I kept defending since I thought they were going to die. The antlions kept swarming them each time I turned my back. For the Vortigaunt portion(escort) I thought he was going to take the fun away by killing all the antlions. More or less I was wrong; he stunned em' which let me kill them and I was able to get the ones he didn't look at or care for. So I was able to get some action in there. He also gave helpful, and displeasing comments when I was out of ammo or helping him("The Freeman is an invaluable companion" when we reached the thumper. Then I thought "Bitch I'm outta ammo! and got 2 health left I ain't gonna crowbar the antlions with 2 health!") Or "I pity the generator that requires a Vortigaunt to power it." The "Guardian Maze" as i refer to it. Was a bit scary at times. Every time I got in a hole I stayed there for about 5 minutes just to thing of a different plan of action.(I.e. Should I launch my grenade at the guard and run for it?) I had no idea how far this "Extract" was so I looked about frantically and got lost a few times. I got shocked a few times when I walked down the rock corridor and BAM he comes charging at me while I try to turn around and sprint for Gordon's life. And Guardian ended up killing me a few. For the final standoff I was expecting Combine soldiers like in one of the gameplay demos. But only Striders and hunters. But I was surprised that even after i launched the Strider buster, as it was in the air the hunters tried to shoot it(and succeeded quite frequently.) Then I saw that I could pick up a log or rock and let the hunters shoot it, then throw it back for an almost instant kill. Overall gameplay was real swell.
Cons: Length. Ep1 was much longer( I believe) and helped me provide more feeling with Alyx, especially when she got stabbed. However she was healed way to quickly and once she was healed, it was back to as if nothing had happened. Each time I see the "Riding shotgun" chapter I think "Not long now." because its not long before you reach white forest and BAM its over. And for those who beat it, you know what happens when its over... I felt that was a harsh decision. And a crappy way to go.
1-10 I give it a 9/10 because the ending left me depressed a little...and of course, wanting more.
EP1 was much shorter when I've played it. On the side note I really hate Alyx, she gets in my way too many times in a firefight, either that or I have no soul.
343guiltymc;4062235EP1 was much shorter when I've played it. On the side note I really hate Alyx, she gets in my way too many times in a firefight, either that or I have no soul.
Well stated. A justifiable Statement. No finer sentence. Yes.
she gets in the way in my game too =/ especially in the apartments that are filled with grenade happy combine or fire barrels =/