Sunday, 15 February 2015

First Impressions: Half-Life: Blue Shift

This is the second of the two expansion packs for Half-Life and has you playing as Barney Calhoun, a Black Mesa security guard. This gives you another, whilst not as drastic, outlook on the storyline from the original game and shows you how the security guards live and work (not to mention how rude the scientists are). 

Yet again, the gameplay's the same as the original (in fact, I'd say that it's more similar to the original than Opposing Force was) and so are the graphics. Being a security guard doesn't offer as many benefits as being a soldier or scientist as you don't get the extra armour of the soldier nor the radiation resistant aspect of the scientist's hazmat suit. However, you do get a pistol from earlier on as well as more ammo and armour (which can be regenerated from picking up other guard's armour and helmets). Finally, the game now gives you the option to miss out sections (whereas, in the last two games, I found that you almost had to do everything in order to proceed) or do them in the wrong order which can lead to some rather puzzling moments.

The weapons that I've seen so far are:
The pistol: still as good as ever.
The crowbar: it's back and brilliant!
The shotgun: ol' reliable's back for another round.
The pistol's big brother (aka sniper pistol): this is a more powerful version of the pistol.
And I've apparently missed out the grenades and satchel explosives which would have been helpful.

And the enemies that I've seen are:
Face-Latcher: how many times do I have to say that it resembles a roast chicken?
Zombie Scientist: a face latcher and a scientist have met in unholy matrimony yet again.
Electric *?!£$%: why are these so powerful? The answer: spinach.
Friend Killer: Johhhhhnnnnnnn!!!!!
Sonic Dogs: still lethal, still adorable.
Toxic Spitter: avoid this alien's mouth (I'm not sure why you'd go near its mouth but there you go).

Overall, this game looks to be almost as strong as the last two but suffers from a lack of innovation and, for me at least, a pretty annoying bug (every time I load up a save, my weapon keeps shooting until I swap it or purposefully shoot it).

Goodbye for now, Harry

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