Ok, it’s all been said elsewhere. Brilliant graphics. Well–balanced game play. The gravity gun’s great fun. Good story line. Needs a powerful computer. Buy it.
Doom 3 beats it on atmosphere; that’s down to set design and music, especially the brilliant music. Half Life 2 is much more expansive; it has distance, and things to do in it. The game play, like most first person shooters, is improved, though still nothing special (much better than Doom 3, though). The conversations with other characters consists of listening to them. I hope games designers can get that sorted. Half Life 2 has got a key part done, though, its characters can communicate emotion through the innovative use of facial expressions.
I want to rave about the set, particularly the final part of the game. In a couple of places, you’re taken on a ride through the, erm, I won’t give it away, but save the game before you start the ride so you can repeat the journeys.
Actually, I found the game play in this section is little disappointing, despite the enhanced, erm, I won’t give that away either, but that might simply be because it wasn’t raised up a level like the scenery. Fighting is dirty, the set gleamed.
And the very ending? That guy has to be from Special Circumstances.