Posted: June 29
I only got this game because of the Steam Summer Sale (I honestly thought that it would be outdated and unappealing) because I wanted to understand and appreciate the "heritage" of Valve, and see what all the hype was about. Little did I realise that I had stumbled upon (arguably, but at least in my opinion) the best FPS of all time. Half-way through the game, I also bought the other games in the series (save for Half-Life: Source and HL: Deathmatch and some others). Here are some pros and cons, along with some informative stuff:
+ Challenging, but not frustrating / great level design / intermediate puzzles
+ Great story with interesting characters and enemies
+ Interesting mechanics create non-linear gameplay
+ Many, many mods
+ It's hard to go wrong with a mute theorectical physicist who kills alien parasites and incomprehensible meth junkies (hence the respirators) with a crowbar whilst being haunted by a godlike businessman with a speech impediment.
- The story leaves many, many, MANY questions unanswered, and Valve has explicity stated that episodic development is superior to making full games. We already have two HL2 episodes (which have a massive cliff-hanger by the way). Therefore, if Valve even decides to pick up development of the Half-Life series, which probably won't even happen at this point, it would take many, many more episodes to complete the highly complicated story.
+/- As with any game series, consider the price of the other games as well as this one, because if you enjoy this game, you'll want to play the original Half-Life (so you understand some of the stuff in this game) and the two episodes (because HL2 has a cliffhanger). The main games in the series are Half-Life, HL2, HL2-Episode 1, and HL2-Episode 2. It is fine to play the first two out of order, but the episodes build off HL2, so neither one will make sense unless played in succession. There are also two games that take the original Half-Life from other perspectives: HL: Blue Shift and HL: Opposing Force. If you really love the series, there are also plenty of other stuffs such as HL: Deathmatch and HL: Source, as well as the new game Black Mesa. If you are like me and don't know if you'll like the series, get HL2 first. If you enjoy it, then you could get a Half-Life package and give the extra HL2 to a friend. However, if you are confident you will enjoy the series, it would be cheaper to get a package.
+/- It took me 22 hours to complete the game, but I goofed around and took the scenic route a LOT. You will probably get about 12 hours of gameplay out of this at least if you don't goof around any. I can't really make an accurate judgement of this based on just my own experience of the game, so that's really just a wild guess. If you do everything perfectly and don't goof around, it would take roughly 5 hours (based on walkthroughs). So, somewhere between 5 hours and 22 hours depending on if your filming a walkthrough or filming every little detail in the game.
Also: Pick up that can.