Posté le : 24 janvier
Some people say better late than never, so here are my thoughts about the game.
Half Life 2 Episode One is a direct sequel to the 2004 game Half Life 2. A rather controversial option to spilt the sequel into an episodic format was taken by Valve to ease up the wait for the final product, given their previous track record with their games. So, this option did work?
Long story short, yes and no. First of all, given the lenght of the previous game, it's a dissapointment to see this game end up in almost four hours (and that's if you take your time or play in higher difficulties), and the overall game doesn't change too much the formula of things.
On the other hand, it's more of the really well made shooter of 2004 and that's always a good thing and it wraps up nicely as a direct sequel of the second game of the saga.
Some points to discuss, some of them with minor spoilers so be careful with that:
Gameplay: It's Half Life. The shooting, while it may be not very good for some people, it's functional and provides a sense of weight to each weapon which makes the overall gameplay fun. There are some 'interactive cinematics' moments but thankfully they don't derail much of the overall product. A gripe that I have with this point is the lack of new weapons. The Gravity Gun is once again the spotlight of the game and comes back as resourceful as ever, but then again, you get the upgrade at the beggining of the game and then it's taken off from you almost immediatly. I really wanted to see the OP Gravity Gun in action on the outskirts of the Citadel.
Story: It's good. Not great but good. Basically it all boils down to 'Escape City 17 as soon as possible because everything is gonna explode like real fast' and it doesn't change that much. Sure, it serves as a catalyst for things to come, but it's something explored better in the second episode. I'll give this a pass because it's the start of a trilogy. You can't throw nonsensical twists or a complex plot at the start of a seasonal game, you'll make things too confusing for no good reason.
Difficulty: Rather easy, as with the second game it's because of the Gravity Gun. It makes things way too easy sometimes and in certain occasions you can discard your weapons entirely if you come across a car engine or something with similar weight, it one shots almost everything in sight. One fun thing to do it's play with the achievement 'The One Free Bullet' in mind, it makes the whole game more intense.
Overall: Yes, it's a good game with a few shortcomings, but most of them are the standard ones with a trilogy in mind.