Episode One of a Sequel to the Sequel
his game begins with an interesting cinematic that provides a lot and very little insight to the story at the same time. I won’t say what the cinematic had except for the fact it was very intriguing. I would like to say I don’t think people understand the concept of episodic content. It is supposed to be short and cheap, which I will admit $20 is a bit extensive but if you were smart you would have bought it before June 1st you would of save $2. Will now with my insult out of the way I will now start with me review.
You have to get back into the citadel in the beginning of the game. If you don’t the core will go into a chain reaction and destroy you, Alyx, and a whole bunch of citizens so, with that understood you have to “retard” the cores chain reaction. So you go back into the citadel with a roller coaster ride (literally). Then from there you find your way to the core, the gravity gun becomes supercharged for only 1 chapter. After you have successfully “retarded” the core you must get out of City 17. Along the way you will meet the Zombine, which is a zombie only with a combine body. Being with Alyx for this whole episode adds for a different game play style which is a big welcome.
I will not go much into what you will see along the way except my favorite part of the game is where you are in this huge room and it is pitch black. The elevator has loss power and you have to find the power box. So you must illuminate the way for Alyx and you and find the box, once you do the elevator gets power. At the same time you have awoken every single Zombie and Zombine and they are going to kill you. You have to illuminate the enemies for Alyx to shoot; it will get your heart pumping. Something to note is that the Zombine have this suicide idea where they charge at you with a grenade, very entertaining.
The graphics in this are improved on a little but the biggest introduction is HDR, which people would be surprised by just how much better a game looks with HDR. So I will say yes the world is beautiful and the series still has some of the best graphics for a first person shooter. Valve has also added a more dynamic voice acting and facial expression system. Adding that to Alyx makes for a very moody girl, which I’m sure most people welcomed when it looked like she was about to cry in the game. Also they added some nice techno music to go with some of your firefights.
Overall this game is fast paced with a lot of overwhelming action. Complete that with a Zombine and some unique puzzles it makes for a very nice game. Then add the new facial expression system along with HDR and other ambient sounds it pushes the source engine and Half-Life 2 into better graphics. This game to me is good for the $17 I paid for and I would have even been happy to pay $20 for. I will be going back and playing this game again.