Almost as good as the original, donít miss it! This is a standalone expansion of Half-Life. I recommend you play this after Blue Shift because I think itís better and I like to save the best for last. The ratings and my feelings of this expansion are gauged in relation to the first Half-Life.
STORY: 9/10 Here you play one of the marines by the name of Adrian Shephard who enters Black Mesa. You get split up from your team and the game is you progressing along fighting aliens and black ops. The story actually isnít as interesting as Blue Shift, but this has a really cool ending.
GRAPHICS: 9/10 Again the same graphics as Half-Life, but to be fair this was released soon after so not much time to really improve them. Plus it keeps the same feel so not a big deal.
SOUND: 10/10 We get all the same sound effects from Half-Life plus more due to all the new content. What few music pieces there are seem to be recycled from the first game though. There are some new voices for the guards and marines which I like.
WEAPONS: 10/10 Not only do we get nearly all the weapons from Half-Life, but we get more! Notable additions are three new alien weapons. One basically serves as a grappling hook type thing which is pretty interesting but doesnít have much use beyond that. The other two are useful to save ammo for your big guns, but this method isnít needed as you get lots of ammo for everything.
ENEMIES: 10/10 We see a return of all the enemies from Half-Life but with several more. The new creatures are interesting and unique. A certain type is also very tough and can be tricky to fight especially in a certain area with no lightÖ Unlike Blue Shift we get bosses! There is a boss you must figure out how to get rid of much like a certain one in Half-Life, and a final boss which also requires a bit of cunning.
LEVEL DESIGN: 9/10 Unfortunately this game is more linear than Half-Life or Blue Shift, but still not bad. There just arenít as many puzzles or alternative ways of getting places. However I must give props to the tutorial which is where you go through advanced training in boot camp. Pretty cool!
SQUAD: 9/10 Unique to this game is that you get other fellow soldiers who can follow you around and do things. The only ones of note are the engineer who can burn through certain doors, and the medic who can heal you and allies. A few times these guys are used to get past a certain point and you must keep them alive to do their job. They couldíve done more with them, but at least they tried something new.
LENGTH AND REPLAYABILITY This game is short clocking in at roughly 3 hours or so. This is the gameís main flaw. It has a lot of new things like enemies and weapons, but not much time for you to savor it. Regardless it was fun while it lasted and itís still a blast to play with the new weapons and fight the new enemies.
FINAL SCORE: 9.5/10 This game does what an expansion should do and thatís keep the same great gameplay but add more content to play with. This game isnít quite as good as Half-Life mainly due to the length, but that shouldnít stop you from playing this!