A bunch more reviews of Half Life 2:Episode One

By Alex84 17 years ago, last updated 6 years ago

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[url="http://www.actiontrip.com/"]ActionTrip[/url], [url="http://pc.gamedaily.com"]GameDaily[/url] and [url="http://www.elitebastards.com"]EliteBastards[/url] have all posted there views on Episode One. Take a read of the snippets: [b]ActionTrip Review[/b] [quote]Certainly, everyone expects us to review Half-Life 2 Episode 1. But, let me ask you this: Would any sane critic review 'The Sopranos' episode by episode? "This episode was very good, 8/10; the next one wasn't so good, I gave it 7/10; granted, episode 3 was just a build up to the events in episode 4, but you know, it's my job to review these episodes as they are aired." That just doesn't make any sense, does it? Well, it's the same with episodic gaming if you ask me, and especially with the single-player FPS genre. Even more so with Valve's games, which strive for that interactive movie experience. Granted, I do understand why Valve is doing this (They view the gaming public as Cash Cows in desperate need of milking? -Mo). They want to provide us with the content, they want to offer us glimpses into their Half-Life opus, while not being bound by the technology creep, which would almost inevitably force them to build the 'proper' sequel to Half-Life 2 on a brand new engine. And that might take years. Then again, the more cynical of you could argue that Valve is only doing this for the money, but I don't think that would be fair to the company (Guilty as charged -Mo). Sure, the financial aspect of cashing in on these episodes (20 bucks a pop) is appealing to any company that wants to reap the benefits of its hard work. Valve in particular has showed remarkable resilience in that sense - shunning the publishers in favor of an original publishing and distribution model - but the very fact that you could tell your story this way without being bound *too* much by the downsides of developing a full game for six years are clear I think.[/quote] To read the full review please visit [url="http://www.actiontrip.com/"]ActionTrip[/url] by clicking [url="http://www.actiontrip.com/reviews/halflife2episodeone.phtml"]here[/url]. [b]GameDaily Review[/b] [quote]This time, however, you won't be conducting so much of a one-man battle against the world. Alex stays with you at almost every step of your journey, which is great because it means you constantly have someone who is talking towards you and making anecdotes. Eventually, you get to rely on her being there, even though you do the brunt of the work yourself. Episode 1 really shakes things up. If you're one of those people who think that first-person shooters are starting to grow stale, with each looking and playing just like the other, then this is the title to breathe some fresh air back into your game. The enemies are pretty much all recognizable from Half-Life 2. No big surprises in this episode, but it makes sense, since according to the game, you only destroyed the Citadel a short time ago. Everything is a wreck (even more so than before) and citizens are trying to evacuate the area before the eventual end descends on them. Hindering their progress is what's left of the Combine army who seem to be enacting their own plans, none of which seems to involve preserving the human race. Although Episode 1 stands on its own fairly well, it is in every way an extension of Half-Life 2 in both story and gameplay. You will have had to finish Half-Life 2 in order to appreciate a lot of the things you see in Episode 1. Besides story and environments, there is nothing in Episode 1 that you haven't already seen in Half-Life 2. Additionally, since it is an episodic game, it's a very short game too. But taking into account that this game costs a little under twenty dollars, you are getting superior value for your money.[/quote] To read the full review please visit [url="http://pc.gamedaily.com"]GameDaily[/url] by clicking [url="http://pc.gamedaily.com/game/review/?gameid=4650"]here[/url]. [b]EliteBastards Review[/b] [quote]At last, we move on the real meat of the matter - Gameplay. In some ways, Episode One differs very little from Half-Life 2 itself - You still control Gordon Freeman and it's still a first-person shooter with a dose of basic puzzles to keep you on your toes. However, the big change this time around is that you are showed at virtually all times Alyx. So, how does this affect the gameplay dynamic? To be honest, it's a mixed bag. Working alongside Alyx certainly adds a different dynamic to the game, but that new dynamic isn't necessarily always a positive one. The big problem is this - Alyx is indestructible. With infinite ammo. And the ability to kill headcrabs by stamping on them. And can fight zombies by kneeing them in the groin. This would be fine if Alyx was only around for the odd section here and there (and to be fair she does leave you to your own devices from time to time), but her almost constant prescence is akin to having someone running in 'God' mode playing the game alongside you. Despite tring to muster all the manliness I could while playing the game, I couldn't help but find myself frequently hiding behind Alyx, or coaxing her out into dangerous situations, to save my own health and ammo. I know, I'm a wimp and I should be ashamed, but I can only stand up for my actions in the name of 'tactics'. I can understand that making Alyx mortal and/or with limited ammunition could make the game hugely more difficult, and that your own abilities and skills (not to mention your gravity gun) are still requires pretty frequently in the game, but with things as they are its hard to suspend your disbelief or really feel like the saviour of the world when you can quite happily leave Alyx to fend off a horde of live grenade wielding zombies while you're busy admiring some pretty HDR effects in another corner of the room. I'm not sure what the answer is, but this one sticking point does severely disrupt the balance of the game at times in my opinion. Reading all that might make you feel that I didn't enjoy the game, but that isn't the case at all - I would wager that if you enjoyed Half-Life 2, you'll enjoy this at least equally, particularly if you can stay away from developing any nasty habits of hiding behind Alyx and go for broke like a good man should. The enemies, weapons and puzzles are all very much in the Half-Life 2 vein (including the return of the super gravity gun and, of course, the trusty crowbar), making this truly feel like the expansion pack that, in essence, it is. It also leaves you desparately wanting Episode Two to come along, and quickly, so Valve must have done something right.[/quote] To read the full review please visit [url="http://www.elitebastards.com"]EliteBastards[/url] by clicking [url="http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=72&Itemid=27&limit=1&limitstart=2"]here[/url].

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