Half Life 2, why?


New member
Jun 26, 2008
Why do we have to go through this discussion every week? Somebody buys Half Life 2, is either underwhelmed by it or hates it, goes on the Internet and sees all the praise it's getting, instantly thinks they're special and creates a thread to call for attention. No offense mate, I understand where you're coming from, I feel the same way about a lot of games, but this is a really worn out topic.


New member
Oct 6, 2009
I didn't really care for Half-Life 1 and I never finished it. Half-Life 2 was the bomb, though. Loved that game, riding around on the hovercraft, shooting headcrabs. I didn't fully understand what was going on, but I sure thought it was neato. Then again, I was playing Half-Life 1 on the 3/4 finished and buggy Dreamcast version. Could really use an HD remake.


New member
Jan 5, 2011
I was told Half-Life 2 was amazing because it was a classic FPS game that had managed to use plot and characterization to far remove itself for the rest of the genre (word for word quote).

It was a decent game, but I'm not quite sure how a silent protagonist running around in a suit of power armour and going around from place to place shooting aliens, humans and zombies with a selection of fairly common weapons is really that far from the FPS I usually play.

Marik Bentusi

Senior Member
Aug 20, 2010
There's two important things to keep in mind about Half-Life 2 (and often Valve games in general):

1. HL2 is dated in many regards and while it has been a pioneer, now many things have been copied and formed a new standard, but we can still look back at a classic that paved the way, just like classic literature. There are still a lot of things HL2 does "right" for many people that contemporary games fail to achieve, but you still have to keep in mind what it means to be a very influential series.

2. Story is told by the world and you have to actively explore, interpret and think, not read text or listen to dialogue. It's one of Valve's most characteristic game recipes and a major reason why many people enjoy playing their SP games.
If my describing of this storytelling technique is too vague, try diving into the Developer's Commentary. I remember Left 4 Dead had a commentary node giving a pretty direct example, somewhere in the first third of No Mercy if I'm not mistaken.

Also, people love the Gravity Gun and the characters, but that's even more subjective than the points I've made already, so I won't hold them up as central arguments. But the Gravity Gun is certainly able of mixing up the combat a bit, there's even an achievement for Half-Life 2: Episode 1 for only firing a single shot, so you'll have to rely on grenades and mainly the Gravity Gun for the entire game.

HL2 is not only capable of holding a giant fanbase over a long time without recent sequels or DLC, it also still generates new interpretations and debates about the game. If a game can keep a big community this busy and interested over such a long course of time, it most definitely did *something* right.


If you're in Prospekt Nova, you should've already been through a fair amount of story. You know your enemy, your allies, your goal and the world in general. The short-term plot is to rescue the leader of the Resistance, your sidekick's dad and your former colleague, the long-term plot is to fight alongside the Resistance to overthrow the oppressive alien government and - most likely - get to their leader in the Citadel, Dr. Breen.
That's a lot of plot actually (without mentioning what Gordon already went through) and most of it was conveyed directly via dialogue from members of the resistance.
I haven't played the first HL either, but HL2 shaped the world pretty much on its own and does a fairly decent job at filling you in if you explore a bit.
I bought the Orange Box at low price mainly for TF2, but I was also a bit interested in Portal, however HL2 and its episodes didn't catch my interest from the sound of it, despite hearing a lot of good in general on the net. I only tried them after I got bored with other games and thought "Eh, you bought em, might at least try em". It was the sort of attitude that usually ensures you won't enjoy the medium because of prejudice and you'll be looking for every mistake to verify your statement (and I'm fairly good at that I believe), but, well, here I am, to my own surprise.


Mar 28, 2009
zelda2fanboy said:
I didn't really care for Half-Life 1 and I never finished it. Half-Life 2 was the bomb, though. Loved that game, riding around on the hovercraft, shooting headcrabs. I didn't fully understand what was going on, but I sure thought it was neato. Then again, I was playing Half-Life 1 on the 3/4 finished and buggy Dreamcast version. Could really use an HD remake.
There's a team of modders who are doing that.



New member
Sep 3, 2010
Ara69 said:
So I´ll start by saying I have never played the first Half Life game.

I was bored with the games I had and noticed I could pick up this highly praised gem for just 8 euro, awsome.
You start out in a creepy city with lots of guards you for some reason have to dodge, you meet the girl from "Beyond good and Evil" and someone who really wishes he was Morgan Freeman.

And then you have to go somewhere else (for some reason), this fails because of a pet...
Then the running starts, you run, stop solve puzzle, sail, stop solve puzzle, drive, stop solve puzzle.

There is no talking, no story, it keeps swapping between dull shooting and a zombie game.
Now, I am only at the prison level thing, and am so bored I doubt I´ll be finishing this. But does it get better? Is it ever explained why Gordon is doing all this stuff?

I disliked just about everything about this game, and to be honest have a hard time seeing why anyone would enjoy it.

So the question is, did you like it? And why?

(FYI, loved portal/L4D/team fortress - not hating on valve)
So you didn't play the first game and your complaining about not understanding the story?

Also why did you feel the need to make a thread about it? I have plenty of games I dislike, I don't make threads saying "NOBODY WOULD LIKE THIS IT'S SHIT NOW TELL ME WHY YOU LIKE IT SO I CAN DISAGREE WITH YOU".
May 5, 2010
Well, first of all, this:
oreopizza47 said:
And second of all, there IS a story, you just have to actually pay some attention to the dialog, which you apparently didn't do.

And thirdly, I don't think Half Life 2 is all that great either, but I dislike it because (A) Gordon Freeman is a horrible character, and (B) the pacing is terrible. Seriously, you go through a good 3/4 hours of mindless traveling in between actually important plot developments. It's fucking boring. I mean sure, crawling across the underside of bridge fighting off soldiers is COOL, but it doesn't have anything to do with the over-arching story, which is what I'm actually interested in.

DISCLAIMER/TLDR: I have beaten Half Life 2. It was OK.


New member
Jan 17, 2010
Well i could waste a few hours laying out why its really good, but to be honest i liked it and to me thats what matters.


New member
Apr 9, 2009
This thread appears to be less about Half-Life 2 and more complaining about the hundreds of other threads about this same damn subject.

Breaker deGodot

New member
Apr 14, 2009
It's my favorite game, actually. I enjoy the excellent level design, great use of physics, the music, and the way each level just seems to flow perfectly into the next.

repeating integers

New member
Mar 17, 2010
Khushal said:
Man im having some major deja-vu all of a sudden...

Did some shit just change in the Matrix of what!?
No, some shit stayed exactly the fucking same in the Matrix.

1) create bajillionth thread about HL2 sucking

2) get rightly criticised by fans and wrongly flamed by fanboys

3) ????



New member
Sep 12, 2008
SirBryghtside said:
Now can we please stop with the Half-Life hate? (not specifically at you, OP, but the site in general)
I'll stop hating half-life 2 the day it becomes something other than a 'meh'-grade shooter that gets way more love than it deserves.

So the way things look, never.


New member
Dec 9, 2009
I just didn't like it because it made me sick to play. I play a ton of games and never have I gotten sick from a game like I do with playing 5 minutes of Half-Life 2.


New member
Apr 12, 2011
Let's break it down.

Half-Life 2: Run - get talked to - Puzzle - shoot - talk - boat drive - shoot - puzzle - creepy zombie town - talk - drive buggy - shoot - controll bugs - shoot - shoot with gravity gun...

Crysis: run/sneak - shoot - drive car - run/sneak - shoot - drive car - run/sneak...

Crysis 2: run/sneak - shoot - drive car - crappy cutscene - run/sneak - shoot - crappy cutscene/...

Killzone 2/3: shoot - cutscene - shoot - cutscene - shoot - cutscene - controll mech...

Doom 3: shoot - shoot - shoot - shoot...

Notice something? If you break a game down like this, they are all pretty bland. And Half-Life 2 has more diversity in this regard than most of it's competition even today.

Now i can see, why it wouldn't appeal to some people: There are now cutscenes that tell and show the player the scope of what is going on. There are few/none of the massive setpieces that make a big chunk of todays shooters. The level of action is generally lower. There are no "objectives" that you can check that tell you, what you have to do at any given time.

A lot of this is due to the fact, that this is a game from 2004. Play some other shooters from that time and compare them. Sure there are people who played the game when it was new and still didn't like it, as it just wasn't their cup of tea.

But, please (I now it is futile to ask for it, but anyway): even if you don't like something, don't be so quick to dismiss it as "a peace of shit". Try to grasp this concept: something can be really good, even though you don't like it.

Some examples:
- Techno music: To my ears, it all sounds the same and it feals like it takes no effort at all to make a generic techno track. Yet I can except that this is propably false.
- Heavy metal music: A lot of people dismiss it as they think it all sounds the same. Yet this is false.
- CoD: Never played it. A lot of people like it. A lot of people hate it. Hint: if something sells as good as this, it has to do something right.
- WoW: See CoD. Have played it, liked it, quit it. Can see why people like it, can see, why people don't. But it is absolutly clear, that more work went into the polishing of this game, than in most others.

Last point: if you call a game, that is widly regarded as a masterpiece, a piece of shit, what do you think of games, that are truly crap? Like Battle: L.A. the game?


New member
Mar 26, 2010
SammiYin said:
Ultratwinkie said:
SammiYin said:
You won't get far on this website by dissing the 'BEST GAME EVAHH'
Even if it is a heap of shit
Pics orit didn't happen.

Evidence supporting your claim or its flame bait.
One would think the whining about this same thread popping up every week [because maybe a game regularly hailed on this website as the Second Coming is actually a below average shooter] is enough evidence to support my claim.
You could also if you want, go back in time to 2004, remove the physics engine, don't call it Half Life, pretend Gordon Freeman isn't a masterwork of characterisation and then see how far the 'fantastic story' carries it.
I notice that all the above mentioned things have very little to do with the actual story (except for the bit about Gorden Freeman). I fail to see how removing those things is going to affect the story at all. Thats like if I was eating a good sandwich in the kitchen, with side of chips, and you said, "Well, if you had no chips, no plate and you where in the living room, that sandwich would suck. No, The sandwich would still be good, the meal just wouldn't be as complete.

Story does not equal entire game. And yeah, If all that was in the game was a story, I'd be pissed, because It's a game. But that's the point. I'm not going to take away the best parts of something and say it sucks. I will take my game and enjoy it.

The other thing I love is the Gorden Freemen bit. "Lets take out one of the defining characteristics of the game and see how it fares." Do that with any great work of fiction and see how it fares.

Op: The plot is told through the perspective of the player. If you don't pay attention, you won't get it. Learn the characters names first (I'm only assuming you don't because you sort of used pet names for them), pay attention to exactly what happens. If you still don't like the game, that its just not for you. And that's fine. Everyone has different tastes. I don't care if you don't like one of my favorite games, then I aint care. Live and let live.


New member
Jul 12, 2010
Cool story bro, but seriously I loved the damn game. the atmosphere was amazing, and the characters was just amazing. And the game play felt really tight, I just hated the level when your drivingg that boat.


New member
Apr 19, 2008
Sooo... why does almost everyone moan about how classic games are weaker than they expected? Should be fairly obvious that classic games introduced elements that surprised players and thus copied many times by other developers.

Ara69 said:
I disliked just about everything about this game, and to be honest have a hard time seeing why anyone would enjoy it.
This is how it works with classics: I belong to the generation of gamers who played Final Fantasy 7 a few days after it launched. Noone knew what would happened to Aerith, didn't know in which way the story would develop and hadn't heared the 10th orchestra version of 'One-Winged Angel'. Before the whole fandom came up the game was a fantastic experience but I absolutely understand that many people are underwhelmed by it when they play it for the first time in 2011. That's fine, it took me almost ten years to play 'Ocarina of Time' and at first I thought 'Yeah... that's what it's all about?'. Same with 'Morrowind'.

Long story short: It's a bit like watching 'Evil Dead 1+2' and complaining that Sam Raimi stole every interesting idea from horror movies that came out in the last 20 years.