Thursday, 12 February 2015

Review No. 104 Half-Life: Opposing Force - PC (16+)

Strong Points:
Superb gameplay
A great range of weapons (greater than the original)
Music is atmospheric
It's challenging
Puzzles are good
You will have to use all the weapons
Storyline is good
You will be on edge for the whole game - no hand holding here
Lots of different types of gameplay (even more than the original)- platforming, shooter, stealth, puzzler, grappling etc.
Being able to save whenever you want to is very helpful
More characters makes the world seem more alive
Makes more sense than the original from your characters perspective (i.e. a soldier could definitely survive better than a scientist)
Very similar to the original

Weak Points:
Not very long
Graphics haven't aged very well
Slightly anti-climactic compared to the first
It can be ridiculously hard (I had 5 HP for the majority of the game - again)
There are no cutscenes so you can miss information
Some glitches
The enemies AI isn't great/sometimes too good (can see through walls occasionally)
HP restore points aren't very evenly spaced
Difficulty spikes
Ropes look terrible and handle even worse
Night-vision goggles aren't as good as a torch (harder to see)
Very similar to the original

Rating: 88%

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
World Wide: November 10, 1999

W Key: move forward
S Key: move backward
Mouse: turn left, right, Look up, down
Mouse Button 1: primary fire
Mouse Button 2: secondary fire
Mouse Wheel: next weapon, previous weapon
A Key: strafe left
D Key: strafe right
Spacebar: jump
Ctrl Key: duck
Ctrl + W Key: crawl
V Key: swim up
C Key: swim down
End: return vision to center
R Key: reload
W Key + Ctrl + Spacebar: long jump
Shift Key: walk
F Key: flashlight
Q Key: last weapon used
E Key: use
Tab Key: show score (multiplayer)

The expansion pack to one of the greatest, and hardest, shooters of all time is... very similar to the original. Now, this is, by no means, a bad thing (as the strong points and weak points show). In fact, it could be classed as either depending on how much you liked the original. However, it is quite a bit shorter (and can be even more difficult -take from that what you will-).

This just goes to show how well made the game was, as it manages to fit in just as many ideas as the original (if not more) in a much shorter space of time. For example there are now grappling sections (which are fun) and rope climbing sessions (which are not) as well as a host of different weapons, including more experimental and alien tech, (which you'll end up using all of, yet again).

In this game, you follow the adventures of Commander Adrian Shephard as he tries to escape from the Black Mesa facility after crashing there. One of the great things about this game is that it gives you a different perspective on the storyline from the last game (even going so far as making you sympathise with the soldiers - but not the black ops, those guy are still as bad as ever).

The weapon varieties are even better than the original (and include electric bugs, grenade spewing aliens, a teleporter and once of those barnacle weapons (Friend-Killer)) and let you try out some pretty ingenious ways of killing enemies. They (specifically the barnacle) also allow you to partake in some more types of gameplay including the aforementioned grappling sections.

Unfortunately, some of the weak points from the original have been left in, including the badly aged graphics and easily missed information. In fact, I missed such a crucial bit of information that I didn't realise I was fighting two, entirely separate, races of alien! However, some backstory is filled in by the radios scattered around the world as well as the other soldiers, guards and scientists (of which there are more of now). There are also new types of soldier (medic and engineer) which adds a protection section of gameplay as well as making the world seem fuller (and you seem less alone).

Overall, Half-Life: Opposing Force is a great addition to the Half-Life series and, if you enjoyed the original (and have a few spare hours), I would definitely recommend picking it up.

Goodbye for now, Harry

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