Half-Life 2 Reader Review
Not a lot of point in writing a review for a game over a year old but since I have time to kill so here goes my two cents worth.
Right of the bat I'll admit the game is good, not great but good and it has its moments too (first time you see a strider, getting your hands on the G gun etc). The graphics are phenomenal; it runs, is playable and looks decent even on the lowest of machine specs. The physics are good. Has a large play time (I'd say about fourteen hours). And it has the worlds most popular online game (CS) tacked with it to boot.
But once the buzz and the high that all the anticipation generates fades you start to notice the rot beneath. While the graphics are sweet nothing kills your involvement in a game like seeing a Loading sign for ten seconds after every sixty seconds of game play (slightly exaggerated). And those 14 hours of playtime involves about seven hours of shooting with a gun (not exaggerated): you are driving badly designed vehicles for long stretches with nothing much happening and in one really frustating case making a plank bridge with the G Gun for about a mile with nothing going on. Then you start to notice the AI is really really REALLY (I mean truly honestly really) dumb. They don’t take cover, don’t work as a team, don’t try to flank you and for crying out loud they don't even dodge grenades. The cool looking rag doll physics have been a gaming FPS standard for over two years and Far cry used them much better and more subtly. CS while may be the most popular game online isn't every ones cup of tea, it certainly isn't mine. Some normal run of the mill CTF, TDM etc would have helped. And did I mention the game is mind numbingly linear.
Ultimately the game really is summed up by the making a plank bridge with the G Gun example I used earlier. A cute trick if it had been used sparingly rather than having it rubbed into our faces repeatedly. The novelty of one of the best weapons in FPS history fades quickly as you realize what Valve have done. Note for the future - Never try to make a games physics its most important aspect.
Bottom-line - For a First person shooter not nearly enough shooting.
6 / 10