Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Half-Life 2 begins with the G-Man taking Freeman out of stasis and inserting him into a train on his way to City 17, somewhere in Eastern Europe, about twenty years after the Black Mesa Incident.

Official sources differ on the actual length of this intermission.

A story fragment written by Marc Laidlaw for the development team puts the intermission at ten years, while Half-Life 2: Episode One’s website puts this intermission as “nearly two decades” after the end of the events of Half-Life.

While Episode One is an earlier source, “twenty years” is probably the more accurate figure since in-game references like the picture of the Vance family in Eli’s lab portray Alyx as a small child, no older than 5 years of age.
This is the first chapter of Half-Life 2. It serves as both an introduction to City 17 and the game world itself. Here, the player begins to learn the events that took place during the 20 years between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, and what the Earth has become in the intervening time period. The player will learn about the changes and events from the characters he meets (Barney Calhoun, Alyx Vance, and some citizens he interacts with).

Dr. Gordon Freeman, who hasn’t aged a day since he disappeared after the Black Mesa Incident because he was in stasis, appears on a train heading to City 17. On the train, a couple of citizens talk about city life and the process of being transferred to City 17. Arriving there, Gordon meets armed police officers known as Civil Protection, and is greeted by the image of Dr. Wallace Breen, former administrator of Black Mesa, who is broadcasting a message on a large screen, welcoming the new citizens to City 17. Gordon is ordered away from the rest of the citizens, into a small interrogation room, in which he meets former Black Mesa security guard Barney Calhoun, who is now undercover as a Civil Protection officer.

He contacts Dr. Isaac Kleiner, who greets Gordon warmly. After a bit of discussion they decide to send Gordon over to Kleiner’s Lab, though he must find his own way there as Barney cannot abandon his post without raising Civil Protection’s suspicions. Along the way, Gordon finds himself right in the middle of a CP raid on a tenement house, barely escaping with his life, and being rescued from certain death by a young woman named Alyx Vance.

Trivia
  • When the player is told by the undercover Barney to come with him before nearly boarding the Nova Prospekt express, there is a glitch with the door at the end of the hallway. If the player stands directly in front of the door that the MetroCop opens for Barney, the MetroCop immediately closes the door, and the player is unable to go into the room. Barney remains in the hallway as well, telling the player repeatedly to get in the room using various dialog.
  • If the player uses the weapon cheat and, at the end of the escape, kills all of the Civil Protection, he will not be rescued by Alyx and will remain stuck there.
Screenshots

Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
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Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3
The Replay Experience Experiment

This post is part of the The Replay Experience Experiment event. This is a chance to replay all the Half-Life games and discuss them based on our experiences since we first played them.

Hat Tip

The trivia text taken from the CombineOverWiki, a fan-supported, editable wiki covering the Half-Life series of games.

Walkthrough
A Complete Half-Life 2 Walkthrough

On the left is a complete text walkthrough for Half-Life 2.

It has been written by Stanley E. Dunigan and updated with all the tricks and tips from PlanetPhillip.Com readers.

It is in PDF format, meaning you can open it directly in modern browsers or download it and print it.

(Left-click to open and right-click to save)

Do Not Own This Game?

You can purchase Half-Life 2 directly through Steam and could be playing in within moments, depending on your internet connection.

Published

18th March 2013

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12 Comments
  1. "Point Insertion"..The place where Gordon is inserted. Simple enough. But why not "Insertion Point"? Well, there could be a simple reason and this adjective/noun grammatical switch is possible in English but check the image below:
    "Look
    Notice how the symbol used for the caret insertion point is a reversal of the Lambda image – well almost. The same reversal as "Insertion Point". Too obscure? Perhaps it's one of those times when you look closely enough, you'll find connections everywhere.

    What do you think?

    It all starts with another train ride.

    Well, that's that strictly true because it starts with the G-man's introduction speech. I remember reading that calling him Mister Freeman instead of Doctor Freeman was an insult. I'm not sure this is true. I was taught that besides medical doctors, people are referred to as mister outside of their respective fields. Whether "this" situation is outside his field is debatable. I mean, he is not exactly "doing" science here, is he?

    For the time, 2004, it was an amazing intro and still is really. Not just from a technical aspect, which I don't understand, but from a gaming one. It reintroduces (or introduces, if you haven't played the previous games) a main character that has probably had more written about them than any other HL person.

    "Time to smell the ashes". Gordon is the Phoenix, rising from the burnt hopes of humanity? Who knows?

    Back to our train ride.

    "I didn't see you get on" is the first of many minor interactions with this new world we find ourselves in. I've talked a lot about "WOW" moments and exiting the train could be considered one. Compared to Half-Life what we now see is just amazing.

    True, most had seen videos or screenshots, but not I. I had purposefully, as I will do for HL3, avoided it all. I wanted that childlike wonder to hit me in one full blast.

    Dr. Breen giving us the intro speech. "You have chosen", followed by the very ominous words "or been chosen". Things are not looking good.
    Vortigaunts sweeping the floor! Who are these uniformed and masked people? Pick up the can! Fuck You!

    Actually, in case you don't know, it's possible to not pickup the can and still get through – I wonder if that changes how they react to you.

    Those minor interactions continue in the main waiting area. I never noticed the man just walking up and down, repeating the same lines. Nice touch.

    Selected to enter the room, we find Barney and Dr. Kleiner. "Great Scott!", which I assume is a reference to Doc from Back to the Future.

    Eventually we get to the ticket hall and see food package being dispensed. What kind of world are we living in?

    And then the first real WOW moment, leaving the train station. I have two screenshots here. The one with the women who just collected the food package and one without. I left both in because I liked how she provided a focus to the background but wanted the full effect too.

    I am sure we all spent 5 minutes walking around this area, looking pressing buttons, trying to open doors etc. Never has such an "empty" area received so much attention.

    By "empty" I mean in the sense that besides effect, it's not needed. It's possible to come out of the trains station and just turn right and ignore it.

    When we do eventually move on we are greeted with other ominous touches; Civil Protection (metrocops) blocking doorways, beating and searching people and of course, our first, impressive view of a Strider. Another WOW moment? Maybe, but a warning if nothing else: all you see is but a fraction of what there is – surprise await you.

    When you get to the area with the two men, listen carefully to the ambient sounds. I haven't gone back to check yet but I believe that when I played with the noughts and crosses (tic, tac toe for North Americans?) you can just hear the sound of children playing. maybe this was there before and the volume increased ever so slightly, or maybe it plays when you get into the area. Either way, it's a brilliant touch that gives the feeling of a flashback or remembered moment. At this point in the game, we have no idea there are no children present.

    Now things begin to heat up and the tension is expertly managed. Working your way through the buildings, with metrocops strategically blocking your route/escape we see the brutal effects of this new regime.

    needing to move faster and faster, we finally "get to the roof" and are given a real and metaphorical kick up the backside by the chasing metrcops. No time to enjoy the view, just keep moving. Our path is well but subtly marked; boards, paint cans etc.

    Until we slip and crash through some wooden stairs. What now? Escape is impossible. Gordon Freeman is not all powerful, able to beat any foe.
    Relief comes in the form of an attractive young lady, who apparently knew you back at Black Mesa. She leads you downwards and into a secret passageway and this is where you learn more.

    I didn't believe it was possible but I actually enjoyed this chapter more than the first time I played it. Perhaps, it was because my PC ran it smoothly this time – I was one of the people who had a lot of stuttering at the beginning. More likely, it was because I was able to appreciate all the work that had gone into it.

    Playing this again reminded me and reinforced the idea that the first level of a mod or game, especially a sequel, is so important in setting the right atmosphere.

    We finish this chapter intrigued, hopeful, curious and most of all excited. There is clearly a lot to come, and I can't wait!

    Playtime: 18 minutes

  2. this is were things get interesting …. I have to admit this is when I first became interested in half life games .. I will admit the original half life wasnt my cup of tea… I like it and I know its a extremely good game but hl2 is were it all started to happen
    my first insight into hl2 was the steam demo,however after this I received the orange box for my birthday ( best present ever ) and the rest is history
    like phillip I spent a good 30 minutes exploring the train station looking for doors or any switches however it soon became apparent I needed to continue to the metrocop checkpoint .. why were they picking on me … the nice metrocop then took me to a interogation room ,on the way I had to see what was happening to the other guy..
    after meeting barny and doc kliener thats when the game really started .. being made to pick up a can to continue gave me a idea of how much power the combine had
    opening the door into the main square is one of the most memorable parts of hl2 …. I also spent a good 15 minutes exploring this area … until I discovered the right path …. thats when I met the two guys who were hiding from the cops … this is were the demo went to ravenhome ..however in the game I continued until I met alyx .. across the roofs was a bit scary
    after playing "point insertion" you knew you were in for a epic game …. if you only knew how epic it was going to be …. totally amazing …..!

  3. Kaito Kid 123 comments

    18th March 2013

    The cinematic at the beginning is actually pretty cool, and you can visit the background locations if you use noclip later on. The test chamber is not even close to as cool as Black Mesa made it look.
    Then we get on the train, I am thankful to Valve that they didn't make this train ride as long as in Half-Life 1, I would have hated that. the we get off, see Dr Breen telling us everything is fine, and 0.2 seconds later a lady tells us her husband might be dead because of the combine. It's SAFER here.
    "Don't drink the water" yeah ok I didn't plan to anyway.
    Then we meet barney, disguised as the combine. escaping from a window, neatly placed object tutorial. Picking up the can (or, as most people do, throwing the can at the metrocop then run through while he chases you). We get outside, and we can see just how HUGE the combine really is. we enter a building right before a CP attack, then we escape from the roof. Alyx saves us, talks to us and leads us into a dark corridor :3

    Five words or less review:
    Up to a good start

    Deaths:
    None

    Playtime:
    7 minutes 13 seconds 625 milliseconds

  4. Stanley Dunigan

    18th March 2013

    I had intended to send Phillip a challenge that he could post for this chapter, but I forgot to until it was too late, so I'm putting it in this comment.

    CHALLENGE: Get an armor battery and carry it with you into the next chapter.

    This is possible to do without using any cheats, and it'll get you an extra 15 points of armor charge once you get your HEV suit in the next chapter.

    ReplyEdited at 4:03 PM, 18th March 2013
  5. MisterAddy

    18th March 2013

    Ah, Point Insertion. I really don't need to play this one to comment, I must have been through this chapter dozens of times.

    The introductory sequence is quite impressive, both in recapping the plot so far and introducing what is essentially an entirely new story. The effects are also very impressive technically, it must have been a shock for any players coming straight from HL1 to see the realistic new Gman.

    Walking through the trainstation and then out into the city is very impressive. Rather than the technical aspect, most interesting is all the subtle hints that Valve provides as to the dystopian nature of the Combine, and how the world has changed while we were away. There are so many little scripted elements in addition to some environmental clues. The player is never directly told what is happening in this chapter and yet everything makes sense. The chase sequence is great, and builds up so well that you hardly even notice it. All modders should aspire to an introduction as good as this.

    Now, as much as I hate to say it, the graphics are starting to look a little dated in some places, mostly in some of the small indoor areas which are a little sparse. We can hardly complain given the age of the game though, and more than anything it goes to show how much graphics have improved in the Episodes and more recent Source games, whilst still keeping the same style. Then again some of the open vistas like screenshot 70 are still very impressive, and HL2 has this great "crisp" look to it that seems to be lost in lots of modern games.

    I'm looking forward to replaying a lot of the later segments of the game, that I haven't played in a while.

  6. twin_suns

    18th March 2013

    I am going to straight away admit I played Half Life 2 before I played Half Life. HL2 was my first introduction to Source and to Valve itself. I also have to admit that while I've only properly played through HL1 twice, I've played through HL2 way more times than I can remember.

    This chapter was my first proper experience of Half Life. I remember being a mid-teen and watching as a friend play through the train station and then spawning a Strider outside in the plaza which began to impale citizens. It was an interesting experience but I wasn't really into FPS' at the time. A couple of years later in 2007 the same friend finally convinced me to buy the Orange Box, this was my first proper experience with Half Life and with Valve, and since then I've been hooked to both.

    I feel like I know HL2 like the back of my hand. While watching William's Let's Play of Half Life I noticed how he knew every area, secret, enemy placement and sequence almost perfectly, and it reminded how this is exactly how I am with Half Life 2 and its episodes. Half Life 2's opening chapter Point Insertion is no different.

    The game starts (like many others) on a train and you are quickly thrust into the dystopia of City 17. You immediately know that something isn't right as there is a huge sense of totalitarianism and confinement. I think the best part of the chapter is making a new player slowly learn has happened to humanity since the Black Mesa Incident.

    While it's obvious that the brutal 'police' doesn't necessarily point to anything 'unearthly', the first fantastic view you see of the towering Citadel dominating the City 17 skyline immediately tells the player that something alien and powerful is at work here.

    "Welcome to City 17, it's safer here."

    Playtime: 12 minutes

  7. Olrick 140 comments

    18th March 2013

    General

    Half-Life 2 have one of those intro we all remind. On my first play of it, I have been very impressed by this G-Man, very realistic and perfectly moving his lips while speaking, even in French.

    After that player found himself in a train, usual way in HL series, and obviously, something is wrong.
    Of course it's not Black-Mesa, (who wants an Half-Life 2 looking like the first?) but a weird city simply called City 17 where everyone lives under and accept dictatorship of an old man.

    This chapter show the habits of Earth populations and humanity condition after Black-Mesa Incident. We don't know what happened, but it was many years ago and nobody thinks it's abnormal.

    So that it's a relief to meet a guy calling himself Barney, reminding BM Security guard, and Dr Kleiner who we already have heard of but never seen.

    While Gordon is walking to Kleiner's Lab he can see other detail of miserable life of citizen; junk for food, getting incriminated for being who you are, TV propaganda and curious absence of children. It's also at this moment that we discover the Citadel, huge building presiding in the sky, symbol of this new world.

    Finally, after being purchased for being there, we meet Alyx, daughter of her dad. So there was at least one girl in Black-Mesa ? And what a girl, she had beaten all those cops!

    At this moment, game scenario is not yet set and will start in next chapter.

    Caught my Eyes

    Bike with left-hand transmission, rare but not in City 17!

    Playtime

    15 minutes

    My French Let's Play

  8. Hec 1053 comments

    19th March 2013

    I just have to say. Here is where it all started. We are introduced there to a subjugated world by the combine somewere in Eastern Europe….

    I only wonder if in the 3rd verssion or saga whatever it will be of HL, we are going to still be in that world, or if something even earier or sinister awaits us….

  9. Unq 500 comments

    21st March 2013

    This is a great opening that draws you right in. It's interesting to analyze how it's done. There are of course nice graphics, sound, appearances by our known characters – but how the chapter plays out is more important.

    There's a cycle here. Tension – release – tension – release. The tension is built from the opening, with the Gman's cryptic monologue. The oppressive atmosphere of City 17 is felt immediately in the train station. You're wondering where exactly you are, what happened in the last X years. The other poor citizens just reinforce the oppressive feel.

    And then – Barney! A familiar face! (Well, voice at least). The tense atmosphere is relieved for a bit, you know you at least have allies in the city. And then, a bit of time to relax and explore a little.

    Later, the tension is ratcheted up when you're being chased, through the building and up the stairs and across the rooftops.

    And then – Alyx's introduction, the payoff to the built-up tension. The whole progression from getting off the train to this point is perfectly managed to highlight Alyx's importance without telling you directly.

    And overall, that's the brilliance in Point Insertion – what you aren't told is more important than what you are told. It builds intrigue, and curiosity. It drives you forward.

    But the key is you are shown perhaps the most important aspects of the whole game right in the first chapter: the Gman, your allies, Dr. Breen, and of course the Citadel. It's no accident that the most memorable part of the chapter (and visually, perhaps the most memorable part of the whole game) perfectly frames Breen on the video screen with the impossibly tall Citadel. They stand out against the otherwise normal buildings of the city. You already know what's wrong.

    http://imgur.com/D6xreLN

    Not to be underestimated is the opening music. Understated, ambient, and mysterious – it's actually quite a lot like Vague Voices as well. I urge you to listen to Lab Practicum separate from the game:

    A brilliant opening chapter.

    Playtime: 17 minutes

    ReplyEdited at 3:00 AM, 21st March 2013
  10. I have played this section of Half Life 2 so many times. I have noclipped everywhere and weapons cheated my way around dozens of times.
    My first experience of this game was of trial and error. Error being no Gman, just his wavering voice and trial, being the time I waited for steam to download on my dialup modem! Well it was the usual hassle of finding the sound and graphics card updates and then resolve the odd steam account dropout, early days, and then I got Gman's creepy new visage on my monitor.
    The beginning is entrancing, such rich details and people chatting to you when you clicked on them! So much to see just strolling around the huge station, absorbing the ambient sounds and interacting with everything and every person there, even those weird masked soldiers! I pass a women waiting for her husband who will never appear and play with the soda machine. Finally I figure out the path to the next train platform and a guard orders me to follow him. But it's Barney from Black Mesa. I was sure he died in Half Life? And it is good old Dr Kleiner, sounds familiar, and now I'm actually picking up boxes and falling out a window. I see a padlock and I realise I'm missing a very important thing, a weapon! Then I have to pick up a soda can or get duffed up by the masked guard!
    The plaza is an amazing site and I wander around for ages taking in the sites and realising I have not the foggiest idea what to do next. I see a walking monster from War of the Worlds and spot a way over a fence and I move on through a detailed block of flats meeting more of the apathetic civilians, who are stirred into frenzied action by the arrival of the soldiers. I watch them arrive through the windows and then run panicking and still weapon less through the building and over the roof. Surely someone will give me a weapon! Panic ends with those guards beating me into a white out and the appearance of Alyx Vance, my rescuer.
    An amazing start to a new Half Life universe, a rich detailed environment with new things to fear and graphical challenges for my PC, no shadows, no watery reflections and a touch of stutter at 1280 by 1024 resolution.
    My final replay, and a later spec PC, was played with the Cinimatic4 mod loaded with a more interesting environment, different citizens and a smoother Aylx model and a better mix of soundtrack music just for a change.
    I remember it as a confusing, hazy Half Life memory, but amazing beginning to the new Half Life game universe before I was unfortunate enough to learn the name Ravenholm!

    Playing HL2 when it first came out after years of talk in PC Gaming magazines was something never to be repeated, like seeing Star Wars in '77, no subtitle then, when it was the new kick-start to Sci-Fi cinema!

  11. Rise and shine Mr. Freeman. Rise and shine.

    POINT INSERTION

    I'll be playing the PS3 version of The Orange Box because my computer is very bad. This means no screenshots from me.

    POINTS OF INTEREST

    – Coming out of the train is a real Wow moment
    – All the metrocop brutality really shows how ruthless the Combine are
    – I loved all the little touches like the "cordless" phones and the "Don't drink the water" guy
    – The Metrocop closing the little slit in the "interrogation" room was really ominous
    – Pick up that can!
    – The Strider out in the distance
    – The playground, armless baby and kids laughing in the background was pretty disturbing
    – The couple sitting on the couch was pretty sad
    – The setpiece where you had to run to the roof made you feel really rushed
    – The part where Alyx save you

    BUGS AND GLITCHES

    – G-Man had a higher pitch voice than usual in my version
    – Alyx teleported from one place to another at the Breen poster part

    Playtime:
    23 minutes

    5 words or less:
    Slow to Wake

  12. Ade 902 comments

    25th April 2013

    I'm afraid I didn't time myself for the first chapters, went right in and if I wouldn't've been tired and with work next day, I would've prolly finished it as that's how I get sometimes, but only got til almost 4th chapter. Maybe this weekend, who knows, but then it would be hard to interrupt to time myself and do challenges and write reviews :S (btw I noticed formatting and game stats are gone?)

    Uhm that caret point insertion in unicode is actually pretty freakin cool, I'm a bit into special chars, notations of all sorts and try to learn the English Punctuation terms lol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punctuation and I think it's far from a coincidence.

    As I walked in the main plaza and heard Breen mentioning surgical procedures this time I thought of bionic stuff like in Deus Ex.. anyone else? Oh and before that, I actually managed to pass the guard withOUT picking up the can :D
    I must say playing it for the 4th time I think the emotions are kind of diluted, like I know the first few times when Barney said "About that beer I owed ya" or threw me my beloved crowbar, I was really nostalgic like seeing an old friend, both the human one and the weapon. The music blends in really nicely, I tried to find small map bugs, but besides a weird door shadow, nothing stood out hehe So yea, this still rocks..

    Playtime: 20 minutes I guess

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