Monday, September 12, 2011

Half-Life 2 Episode Two

Half-Life 2 Episode Two
Developer: Valve
Publisher: Valve
First Person Shooter - PC
HD Backup
1 player
Orange Box

After four years, I finally played through all the (available) HL2 games! Picking up immediately from where. Episode One left off, you pretty much know what to expect from Episode Two. Thankfully, Half Life 2 Episode Two isn't a carbon copy of HL2 like Episode One was.

Although you have the same weapons and tools available to you, Valve tried to mix up things a little bit by adding a few new enemies and varying the settings. Sure, it does have the same feel of generic action game + occasional light puzzle. But Valve also added some new tricks, like experimenting with collectathon aspects by having you seek out supply caches. There's also a new addition to how you can use your weapons to take down some of the bigger enemies of the game. The result of their efforts pays off. Somewhat.

The biggest problem is that the additions feel a little tacked on. They're too segmented. When you're in the ant hill section, the game plays like such. When you're searching out hidden supplies, that's more or less what you do for that specific section of the game. It lacks integration. You play the game a certain way for only a fixed scene and that's it. Thus despite their best efforts, Episode Two is still pretty mediocre overall.

If you've read any of my write-ups on the series, I never enjoyed any iteration of Half-Life. One might find the setting and story interesting, but the games come out so far apart from each other, I really don't remember what events occurred previously. As far as gameplay, I find the combat scenarios to be pretty dull overall, relying too much on hordes of generic enemies than actual game design. Episode Two does little to change my opinion of the series.