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Half-Life 2: Episode Two review

AT A GLANCE
  • Incredible adventure
  • Action and threat level are perfect
  • Better than Episode One
  • No new weapons
  • Alyx is kind of weak here
  • Where's Episode Three?

Episode Two is, needless to say, so polished that it hurts to look directly at it in sunlight - so our only criticisms are pretty feeble. The first is that it's slightly too easy, right to the end. We wouldn't mind if Hard mode only increased the damage you took. But it also reduces the damage you deal, and that renders almost all the game's weapons meek and unsatisfying. Speaking of which, we still haven't had a single new gun since the end of Half-Life 2. That game never went nine hours without introducing several new weapons, so where are our shiny new deathsticks? The armament is the only part of the Half-Life formula that's starting to go stale.



Episode One seems dismally small and boring by comparison, however much we loved it at the time. But the one edge it does retain over the second is Alyx: she's not quite as charming here. There are a few really wonderful character moments with her, and one superb performance from actress Merle Dandridge, but nothing quite as heart-meltingly cute as Episode One's Zombine joke. To be fair, that's only because the grim plot mostly keeps her in her less convincing emotional states.

More Info

Available Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Genre: Shooter
Published by: EA GAMES
Developed by: Valve
Franchise: Half-Life
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language

2 comments

  • deora2dude - June 7, 2009 10:45 p.m.

    i still think those damn antlion levels were a bit too drawn out
  • GMAN2 - July 23, 2009 6:54 a.m.

    I liked this episode better than HL2 or Episode One. This level has way more action, and it brought a new environment. I was getting sick of City 17. The only thing is that I want to see a new gun.

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