I’m a massive Half-Life fan. The first game made me upgrade my PC just so I could play it, and so did Half-Life 2. I also really enjoyed Counter-Strike Source which came with it and Episode One, an expansion pack I bought using the upload client Steam.
Well, now my PC’s getting a bit old and dated but this time, there was no need to upgrade as I got The Orange Box on the Xbox 360 which is just as playable.
What you get in the Orange Box is probably the best game bundle ever. You get the original Half-Life 2, Episode 1, the new Episode 2, a puzzle game called Portal and Team Fortress 2. Phew, what a lot of numbers.
If you haven’t played any of the games before this will keep you going for 30 hours or more, and then with TF2 you’ve got no limit to how much you play. If, like me, you’ve played Half-Life 2 and Episode 1, you’re still going to get a short but incredibly sweet experience with Episode 2 and Portal.
Episode 2 continues where 1 left off. There’s a big explosion and the train you’re on blows up. Your friend Alex gets attacked by a Stalker and you spend the first half of the game trying to help an alien race called the Vortegons pick up some precious elixir from an Antlion’s nest so they can heal her. So the first half is lots of bug blasting which does get a bit repetitive at times, but once you bring Alex back from the brink you find an old car and drive about, finding villages to stop off and explore and then you get to fight lots of Combine solders which is lots more fun.
There’s something incredibly immersive about these games, much more so than Halo 3 and to be honest, I had more fun playing this than the entire Halo 3 game. I laughed, jumped, and got a little emotional in parts too. The sign of a great game.
When you’re done with that, you can move onto Portal, a 3d puzzle game where you must fire worm holes in different locations to reach the exit in a number of different rooms. It’s hard to explain but it’s perfectly balanced and has a very funny computerised female voice providing commentary throughout.
Finally, TF2 is a little simpler than its PC counterpart but provides a balanced and fun multiplayer experience that’s definitely worth a look.
Sorry to only touch on everything here but it’s a bumper box full of variety and fun. The man from Del Monte, he says yes and so do I, it gets 9 out of 10.