Half-Life 2: Episode TwoDeveloper: Valve
UK Price (as reviewed): £24.98 (inc. Delivery)
US Price (as reviewed): $53.97 (excl. Tax)
Computer games are a funny old thing. One moment you can be spending all your time bemoaning how episodes are a failure
and how Valve has failed to make the episodic method work from a storytelling viewpoint
and then you can get bumped back onto your ass – proven wrong in a single game.
In fact, just yesterday was I moaning and whinging to a fellow journalist about how episodic gaming wasn’t really working and how ironic it is that Half-Life 2
was acclaimed for its deep and original story when, in reality, the twists were fairly obvious and the story was never fully explained.
And today, I beg forgiveness.
is awesome. Awesomely awesome. Having literally just finished playing it, I’m still on the edge of my seat and I can still feel my hunched shoulders burning like molten glass from the tension of pushing through another instalment of Gordon Freeman's adventure.
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I’ll come right out and tell you now, throwing myself nakedly (not an image I needed while drinking my morning coffee - Ed.
) before you – episodic gaming is awesome. The Orange Box
was worth the delay. I’m going to give Half-Life 2: Episode Two
a ten out of ten score. Let me tell you why, in a completely honest and spoiler-free review of the facts.
Okay, before we go anywhere, I’ll just say that this review is going to assume you’ve already played Half-Life
, Half-Life 2
and Half-Life 2: Episode One
. It doesn’t assume you’ve played Portal
though, so don't worry about spoilers unless you are stupid enough to jump in and start the series from Episode Two
. Got that?
Good, now we can begin.
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As Half-Life 2: Episode One
closed, Gordon and Alyx (yes, MS Office, I have spelt that correctly actually) were escaping from City 17. They’d apparently toppled the Citadel, home of the Combine advisors. Doctor Breen had escaped into a host body via a portal, the suppression field was down and the Combine found themselves off-guard for the first time ever.
Gordon and Alyx had teamed up, Gordon apparently free from the grip of the mysterious G-Man, and helped Barney shuttle as many citizens as they could out of the city before they left themselves on the last train. The Citadel finally fell and a shockwave reached out towards our two heroes. Doom couldn’t have been more impending than if John Carmack was about to pounce on them - this is where Episode One
And this is where Episode Two