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Half-Life 2: The Orange Box Review (PS3)

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Half-Life 2: The Orange Box - PS3

Half-Life 2: The Orange Box - PS3

© Valve

The Bottom Line

Yes, the "true" Half-Life 2 experience is to be had on a PC. Yes, I will admit that the mouse keyboard combo is a better hardcore option for shooters than the Sixaxis. But, Half-Life 2: The Orange Box is a superb PS3 game, and an excellent option should you not be able to, or want to play the PC version. Sure, it may run smoother on the Xbox 360 or have more community content on the PC, but if you want the experience, and have a PS3, this is not only adequate, it nears excellence. Playing Portal on your HDTV sitting on your couch beats the office chair/monitor setup any day of the week.
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Pros

  • Quite possibly the greatest gaming value in history, or at least close to it
  • Console jockeys now will know the pleasure of Half-Life 2, et al
  • Portal is one of the more memorable and original FPS experiences in years
  • The Half-Life games tell a story better than any FPS in recent memory

Cons

  • Driving in Half-Life is dismal
  • People will complain about the controls, others will be glad to be keyboard free
  • Yup, framerate issues again, the Xbox 360 version runs more smoothly
  • Load times can be a drag, not too long, but close for a FPS
  • The cake is a lie

Description

  • Graphics: 3.5 Stylistically, you can't beat the art, technically the game looks nowhere near as good as Resistance
  • Sound: 4 Portal's "Still Alive" will have you recording your own YouTube Karaoke version
  • Control: 0/4 Some like console controllers, some don't either way driving should have been mapped to the Sixaxis differently
  • Difficulty: 3 The only truly difficult game in the bunch is Team Fortress 2, and that's due to the folks who will rock you
  • Gameplay: 5 Yes, it's all based on the same game engine, but it plays so well and really shows diversity in this package
  • Multiplayer: 3 Sometimes animation and framerate issues lead to inexcusable deaths in Team Fortress 2
  • Online: 4 Enough with the EA accounts, one PSN account should be enough for all PS3 online games
  • Documentation: 4 Clear and concise, what more could you ask for?
  • Rated: Mature Lots of gunplay, but nowhere near as dark as Doom or Unreal... I'd let a teen play it
  • All scores are out of 5; final score is not an average of the individual score

Guide Review - Half-Life 2: The Orange Box Review (PS3)

Yes, Half-Life 2: The Orange Box is prettier on the PC and Xbox 360. If you have those platforms perhaps those are better options. Truth be told, you will still love it on the PS3, so don't beat yourself up if your Dell was built in 2001 or you don't have an Xbox 360, this version will do you just fine.

First, let's make sure you understand there are five full games on this disc: Half-Life 2, Half Life 2: Episodes 1&2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. The Half-Life games rank among the best single player first person shooters to date. The dark dystopic world is the perfect place for a shooter filled with incredible action, great puzzles, memorable characters, and shockingly good storytelling (yes, HL2 is that good). Portal is the short, surprisingly compelling first person puzzler that involves less shooting and more thinking. It is also one of those games people will be making insider comments about for years, it is a must-play. Team Fortress 2? This is pure online multiplayer madness. Think of online shooters, only with cartoony characters and incredibly well designed/balanced gameplay.

No I will not be able to review each game here individually, but suffice to say, I'd be willing to give each game in the set a 4 star rating individually, and I'd give Portal 5, it's that good.

If you somehow missed Half-Life 2, and really aren't a PC gamer (don't listen to the fan-boy press, there are far more console gamers than PC gamers these days) this will not only give you the chance to catch up on a modern classic, but to play some new content as well. The only thing keeping this from a five star rating is that the other versions (Xbox 360&PC) simply run better. A small complaint, but enough to keep it from perfection... it's darn close, however.

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