Half-Life finally makes its cross-platform debut with Gearbox and Valve Software’s enhanced version of Half-Life on to consoles. Featuring the classic single-player game, a head-to-head deathmatch mode, and a new cooperative multiplayer expansion called Decay, Half-Life for the PS2 is a gripping combination of superb story design, sly artificial intelligence, taut combat sequences, and logical puzzles.
Half-Life’s storyline slowly builds in intensity. The setup is simple and revealed in Half-Life’s unique opening sequence. You assume the role Gordon Freeman, a research associate working in the materials laboratory at the Black Mesa research facility. From that moment, details are discovered little by little and a great deal of the game’s background information is left to your imagination. Even the action unfolds with impressive precision. Instead of throwing all its enemies at you at once, Half-Life showcases each creature with its own introduction. Each encounter with a new creature provides both danger and a sense of wonder rarely offered by first-person shooters. In addition, brilliant scripted sequences enhance Half-Life’s harrowing suspense, but the sequences are fixed and do not differ from game to game.
Half-Life’s gameplay sticks close to typical first-person run-and-shoot standards, and can be a bit disappointing as a result. You’ll still face most hostiles with a varied weapon arsenal, including a crowbar, pistols, a shotgun, an assault rifle, a rocket launcher, grenades, and laser trip mines, and you will locate health from medical stations scattered around Black Mesa to mend Gordon’s wounds and energy-charging stations to repair Gordon’s environmental suit.
Half-Life is a game to buy for PC, but also PS2 right now.