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Gearbox Studios



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By: Matt C. on March 25, 2002

Half-Life. Now there's a word that brings back good ol' memories. No, not from Chemistry class, but from the time I bought myself a copy of the PC version 4 years ago. From start to finish, HL had me hooked like a bass during fishing season.

As expected, I received the same feeling as I booted up the PS2 version of Half-Life. Just about everything from the PC original has been kept in tact - aside for a few minor level modifications. The graphics have been upgraded and each character, whether it be a scientist or enemy grunt, has a higher polygon count.

Most importantly, the transition from the keyboard and mouse to the Dual Shock 2 was done quite well. Navigating narrow halls and HL's traditional jumping "puzzles" are fairly easy using a game pad. Also, the lock-on feature is a welcome addition to the game and it makes killing those damn crab heads a whole lot easier without the precise aiming capabilities that come with a mouse.

The new Decay missions in the PS2 version of Half-Life is also a welcome addition to the game. Although it isn't as polished as the main story mode, Decay does manage to provide excellent co-op entertainment. The bad part is that the weapon models were taken out at the last minute to keep the framerate manageable. Luckily, you can play the Decay episode by yourself, but I wouldn't recommend it. Switching back and forth between the two characters becomes cumbersome.

Overall, Half-Life is an excellent game to add to your PS2 library, but there aren't enough extras to warrant a purchase for those of you who already own the PC version. As for people who still haven't played any version of HL yet - I recommend that you at least rent it and experience this masterpiece. Afterall, it didn't win over 30 website and publication awards for nothing.

Graphics: 8 Sound: 9 Music: 7 Replay Value: 7
Overall Score: 9.0

Good Stuff (+) Bad Stuff (-)
Excellent PC port Weak 2-player Deathmatch Mode
Decay Episode No Online Features
Upgraded Graphics '

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