Half Life 2: Episode Two

It's Half Life 2, with more features, better graphics and sound, open enviroments, and compelling characters. Do you need another reason to go play it?
Colonel Link - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

Violence: Enemies spurt some blood when shot, and ant lions blow up in yellow goo and body parts.

Language: D**n and Hell are said a few times, and GD**n is used once. One very mild sexual innuendo.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two is the second installment in Valve Corporation’s series of episodes for the computer game Half-Life 2.

Continuing with Valve’s method of orienting each episode around a particular theme or set of technologies, Episode Two focuses on expansive environments, travel and less linear play. Following the closing events of Episode One, it sees Gordon Freeman and the series’ other major players moving away from City 17 to the surrounding countryside. This episode was released as a part of a bundled package, The Orange Box, and is available via Steam worldwide.

Plot:

Half Life 2: Episode Two takes place immediately after the events of Episode One, with you, Gordon Freeman, waking up in the wreck of a train. The game consists of 7 chapters, most of which involve you and Alyx Vance trying to reach a resistance base called White Forest. You must deliver vital information that will be the key to destroying the combine and saving earth.

Episode Two.  Illustration copyrighted.

Graphics: Simply stunning. The amount of detail put into the game is absolutely huge. But, as typical with Half Life games, most computers less than 4 years old should be able to run it at a decent speed (Note to Laptop Users: Unlike other half life games, EP 2 is not designed to run on intel graphics cards. There is a workaround, but it is very complicated and the game will run very choppy even if it does work). Also, much of the game takes place in huge, open areas, and unlike other FPS, there is actually a small degree of freedom in relation to how you complete your objectives.

Gameplay: The controls are exactly the same as in previous Half Life games, and so is the gameplay. The whole game is played in a First Person perspective, and there are no cutscenes. You will still be using your huge arsenal of deadly weapons to kill combine soldiers, ant lions, zombies, and a few new enemies. There is only one new weapon, and it only becomes available during the last stage of the game.

Episode Two.  Illustration copyrighted.

Sound: By far the best of all the Half Life games. The weapons sounds have been polished up a bit, as have enemy sounds. Also, the outdoor environments sound like….outdoor environments. You can hear mosquitoes buzzing, birds chirping, and even trees swaying in the wind. The music is also top notch, with creepy tunes down in the mines, and hard rock during the final battle scene.

Violence: The alien “gore” has been kicked up a notch, meaning you will see more flecks of green in the yellow blood. Also, one of the “cutscenes” (parts when you can’t move and have to watch a certain event), you see an alien stick it’s tongue through a mans head, and there is a little bit of blood spraying. Other than that, exactly the same as in Half Life 2.

Language: GD is said once, and a couple of D**ns and Hells.

Sexual Content: Eli Vance (Alyx’s father) says: “Now that the combine are gone, everyone needs to do their part.” He looks meaningfully at you and Alyx; and when Alyx says “Dad!”, he answers: “You can’t blame a guy for wanting a grandchild.”

Episode Two.  Illustration copyrighted.

Spiritual Content: None.

Conclusion: I had a great time with Episode Two, and it’s my favorite of the Half Life series so far. It is a must play for any Half Life fan, due to it’s immersive story and incredible gameplay. Recommended for ages 15 and up.

Half Life 2 | Half Life 2: Episode One




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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