Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Half-Life 2: A brief review

I beat Half-Life 2 last night. I was a little disappointed, actually. The final level was somewhat anticlimactic, and the ending was a bit of a downer. I enjoyed playing it, and it is beautifully made, but I felt like something was missing. Maybe it’s because there’s almost no replay value. I’ve overcome all the various challenges and seen the story line spin itself out, and…pretty much, that’s it. There’s no way to compare success rates; I can’t start from the beginning and compare my efforts this time with the last time. Nor do I have any real desire to do so. Half-Life 2 felt more like an action movie that was unfolding in front of me, except that I pulled the trigger. My sister actually watched a stretch of the game for exactly this reason. Now, don’t get me wrong; it was a really good action movie. But now it’s done, and I don’t have any desire to return to the Half-Life 2 environment and experience it further. And I know that it’s not because Half-Life 2 is a computer game. There are computer games that I’d play again; Thief and X-Com both spring to mind. But that is because I enjoy the game environment and the unique challenges therein. Half-Life 2 was a very pretty first-person shooter, but, in the final analysis, that’s all it was.

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