Computer Platform: PC (Windows)
Produced by:
Price Range: $11-20
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: Mature Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

     Reviewed By: Cameron (evileye)

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Rating: 3 of 5 (average)
Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Violence: 2 of 5 (heavy)
Adult Content: 2 of 5 (heavy)

Half-Life.  Illustration copyrighted.

Spoilers Ahead

May or May Not Apply To Half-Life for the Playstation 2 or Half-Life Source

Half-Life starts a story that would continue for years afterwards, spawning Half-Life 2 and three more episodes, plus tons of spin-offs and mods. The hero, Gordon Freeman, was hired by the Black Mesa Research facility. He was going to work on a unknown project to connect the human world with a alien race. So, of course, the project goes wrong, and Freeman lets thousands of aliens into Black Mesa. Now, trying to get out and survive, Gordon has to use his brains and brawn to kill and outsmart the aliens and the grunts that are trying to kill him as well.

The gameplay here is standard style. You run, you shoot enemies, and you solve the typical puzzle once in a while. At the time, it was new and innovative, but now its not special now.


Back in 1999 and 2000, there was no such thing as a rag doll. Enemy’s had pre-set death animations, and that’s the only was they ever died. So what do you do to make it more bloody, instead of watching someone just fall down? You make them explode. When you shoot at a enemy, their blood (red for the grunts, green for the aliens) splatters all over the place, but disappears after a few seconds. But after they are dead and have fallen on the ground, a explosion or some various other methods will make them explode into a gory mess. Bones, livers, intestines, skulls and various other body parts will all explode from the character, and fly across the room. You can also use your crowbar to hit them until they explode too. The blood gets all over the ground, and if you manage to kill four or five enemy’s at once with a explosive, it will cause a very gory mess. The bodies always stay, so waiting for one to disappear is worthless because it won’t happen. During multiplayer games, it can get very messy, as people die all the time, and within a few minutes, it can become a huge mess of blood. The first time I saw someone explode, I jumped. It is quite gory. Fortunately, for some who can’t stand blood, there is a password protected filter, that gets rid of all the blood and gore.


The grunts are the only people who you will hear that much language from, and you only see them throughout about half of the game. D— is heard a lot, as is a–. Ba—— is used a few times. No “F” words at all, which is a positive, though Gods name is used in vain at least once. S— slipped into the game a few times.

Sexual Content:
None at all.

Spiritual Content:
The aliens race is Zen, but it has no spiritual meaning as far as I can tell.

For 1999 and 2000, Half-Life was the top of the line. Since then, we have seen multiple improvements to the Half-Life world. It will be hard to play Half-Life if you are coming from Half-Life 2, because the graphics are so much different. Though the graphics are fairly bad all around compared to games today, at the time, the game bragged three or four second loading times all the time, very good character models, and weapons that were very original.


The first person shooters on the PC, honestly, almost all control the same. Half-Life is no exception. It has slick movement, and it won’t take long to get used to aiming the guns. The computer actually helps you aim when you play on Easy, or if you ask it too on higher difficulties. Sometimes it can get a bit tricky on the puzzles, where exact precision is needed, and its something that you don’t quite have. But its nothing impossible. There are options to adjust the sensitivity and a option to smooth out the controls.

Although Half-Life has a sound track, none of it is played during the game. The entire game has no music to it at all, and relies totally on its sound effects and voices to push it along. The voice-overs are high-end, though they can get a bit cheesy at some times. The sound effects for the guns and enemy’s sound top notch.

Final Conclusion:
Half-Life, for some (including me) started, really started the FPS genre on the PC. Sure, there were other FPS’s on the PC before Half-Life, but its was Half-Life that first really stood out and said “Look, there is a whole genre that needs to be tapped, here is how to do it!” The game has won tons of awards, including Game of the Year multiple times. And now you can even buy it with Opposing Force, Counter strike, Blue shift and Team Fortress all in one easy-to-buy pack. All great games, and at the front of the pack is Half-Life. A classic, not to be missed by any means, and plus it opens up Half-Life 2 and all its greatness as well.


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Year of Release — 1999

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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 Answers Network.

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