The Crowbar Is The Wrong Colour

Half Life 2 is awful. I can’t understand why it’s so revered. If you look past its many and well-documented virtues, it offers nothing. I choose to do so.

There’s no weapon customisation. Also, you can’t instantly melee — instead, you have to select the melee weapon first, then use it. Same with grenades. Additionally, you can’t go prone. All this made the game incredibly difficult for me to control, essentially rendering it unplayable.

That helicopter doesn't look very realistic.

The game opens with a man in a suit talking to the player with an odd inflection in his speech. He also appears at other points, including the baffling, stupid ending. His motivations and relevance are never explained. On top of that, he appears to be able to warp reality and freeze time. How he accomplishes this is beyond me. All he is ever carrying is a briefcase. I could understand if he had the Dagger of Time in his hand, but he doesn’t. This is inarguable proof that Half Life 2 is nowhere near as good a game as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is. In fact, if the man in the suit can freeze time, why can’t I rewind time while I’m playing the more difficult bits? It doesn’t make any sense, and ruins whatever it is they were trying to do.

They’ve made an effort to touch on some philosophical ideas I think, but it’s all for nought as the message lacks focus. I’ve played it all the way through, and I can confirm that nobody gets their head caved in with a golf club at any point — so how on Earth are we supposed to know what to think?

Oh, for a 9 iron and some old-timey music. And an ostensibly Irish man telling me what to do.

Half Life 2 also shoots itself in the foot with its basic structure. It’s too linear. If you’re getting bored of the main quest, you can’t go off and complete some side quests for extra money. There actually isn’t even any money. There’s no shop to buy better items or armour. You can’t even fast travel — essentially all you have to do in this game is walk along a beach, then through some buildings to the big alien base. I simply can’t understand why they haven’t included a fast travel option. I can go and traipse miserably along a beach, hopping pointlessly from plank to plank, in real life. Such a terrible game.

The friendly NPC you interact with the most is a lady by the name of Alyx. She has dark hair. I prefer ladies with blonde hair. I can’t believe they made such a glaring design mistake. It’s like they don’t actually want to make a good game.

Don't get me started on the flashlight.

A big fuss was made at the time of Half Life 2’s release about the physics engine. All that the developers really do with this exciting technology is create fresh and challenging spatial and logical puzzles in practical contexts. It’s a waste — racing games these days have fully modelled and hyper-realistic tyre physics, but the crummy little buggy you have to chunder along in for half of this game does not have anything like that level of authenticity. Again, I’m struggling to imagine that anyone at Valve had quality in mind when they made this game. They’ve phoned it in, no denying it.

Another big problem: to replenish your health, you have to either find health packs (and scoff them down immediately) or use these convenient little health stations hanging from walls. Why there isn’t an inventory is beyond me. I literally can’t understand it. The game would be so much simpler if I could carry around health and use it when I want. Yet another substantial design flaw.

However, the thing that annoys me most about this game is the poxy gravity gun. First off, I don’t want to fire objects at enemies. What’s the point? Just give me an assault rifle, or a sprint button and a knife. Secondly, it doesn’t make any sense that I can’t pick up and throw enemies with it from the start. It would have made my life so much easier if I could have just fired each enemy off into the sky with the gravity gun as soon as I had it.

I just don’t get why the developer has made these choices. They’re not the choices I would have made if I was making a game. The result is something that I don’t click with at all.

Therefore, Half Life 2 is a bad game.







9 responses to “The Crowbar Is The Wrong Colour”

  1. Barry avatar

    I did get bored of Half-Life2 quite easily when it came out, but don’t forget that its already a 6 year old game, so comparing it to FPS’s that you see around nowadays will make it look dated regardless.

    From experience, Brunettes > Blondes >.<

  2. Noozles avatar

    I still love the game…. but then I played it 6 years ago when it was ahead of the curve…

  3. Mark P avatar

    ‘Scuse me, but redheads > ALL.

  4. James avatar

    This morning’s breeze carries the unmistakable scent of satire.

  5. Darach avatar

    Nice 🙂 Very good.

  6. John.B avatar

    I lol’d heartily.

  7. MarkuzR avatar

    You always make me smile, Mr Allen.

  8. Jonny/IV DemonJ avatar
    Jonny/IV DemonJ


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