We’re on Day 4 and only two days away from the R-day. So many great games to try to squeeze in before then that I might just cover a little extra today. Today I bring you a double feature. Actually, this was pretty easy to do since both games came neatly packaged in the same disc.
WARNING: This article may contain slight spoilers to Half-Life 1
Half-Life 2 (series)
(Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Mac)
Ladies, do you like the strong silent type? Look no further than Gordon Freeman, the main character in Valve’s Half-Life series. He is a man of many actions but so few on words. Half-life 2 takes place approximately two decades after the events in the original Half-Life where a science experiment at Black Mesa goes bad…very bad. A cross dimensional portal is created and confused/hostile creatures decide to invade Earth’s greener pastures. This leads to a military race of aliens to cross over onto Earth who quickly enslave the human race. Freeman I’m sure would have gladly lead the battles against the invading aliens if he hadn’t been put into a state of stasis by a mysterious deity-like man (only known as G-Man). While the human race is pretty much enslaved, pockets of resistance exist fighting back. 20 years later, Freeman is taken out of stasis by G-Man and inserted right into the middle of the human resistance.
In the games we’ve covered so far, world apocalypse has been herald by people or events out the main character’s control (as far as we know). In Half-Life however, Gordon Freeman was involved in the Black Mesa experiment thus being partially responsible for the human enslavement that followed. The guilty feeling doesn’t last long long, especially when you’re running through close apartment quarters, open fields, sewer systems, and many more environments with enemy fire nipping at your heels.
With the resistance gaining strength, you often run through these pockets of fighters. However, you spend much of your fight alone. This is quite okay since you do have some company in the form of creative weapons including the innovative gravity gun. Half-life 2 is only but one of the many treasures found in the Orange Box.
(Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Mac)
Ever have one of those days where you wake up alone, in a strange place not knowing how you exactly got there, and have a demented AI forcing you to run endless tests? If so then you’re probably test subject x for Aperture science. While a clean, white laboratory may not exactly be your typical apocalypse setting, running through test after test with no end in sight with only a companion cube for a friend feels like the end of the world. Portal isn’t very long, but the entertainment it provides with its puzzles is long lasting. If I were to be left behind with only a diabolical robot with an obsession with tests and a portal gun, I’d be okay with that.
Day 5 Preview: The perfect place for the perfect time.