I bought this game through a retail store before activation started at noon.
This game also comes with Half-Life 1 Deathmatch: Source, which is HLDM but
revamped with the Source engine. It's not like you think it would be. It's
basically HLDM but the graphics are slightly better and it has HL2 glass
and water in it. Also all the old HLDM maps you have won't play in HLDM:Source.
This game was $20 and is said to be the first of three episodes to be
released after Half-Life 2. The packaging this time around was a lot better than
Half-Life 2. This time it came in a double wide DVD case with the game on DVD
and the quick reference card. I'm glad it came on DVD instead of CD because
Half-Life 2 comes on FOUR CDs!
Since I already have the other games and Steam already installed,
installation was easy. I did get an odd blue screen of death the first time
around but I got it working. I will note this, the first time I went to run the
game, a warning pops up telling me I should update my video drivers. I told it
to ignore and played anyway, but found the game to be extremely laggy in certain
areas. I finally updated the drivers and this took care of the problem.
The gameplay is just like Half-Life 2. This game really solidifies the
relationship between you and Alyx. The entire game you play with Alyx at your
side. She really helps out shooting enemies too. Most of the time I'll let her
kill everyone because she has unlimited ammo and I don't. The only time you
leave her side is when you have to complete a puzzle or something.
They made the game out to sound like it would last 6 hours, but it doesn't. I
took my time the first time through and it lasted about 4 hours. If you recall
with Half-Life 2: The Lost Coast, they put in a commentary track that you could
play while playing the game. They did this with Episode One as well. After
completing the game first time through, you can play it through again, hopefully
on Hard difficulty, and with commentary on. This gives the game great
replay-ability, and you get to learn secrets about the game when it was being
The last "level" of this episode is actually the Episode Two Teaser Trailer.
You get to see this when you complete the game the first time. It shows you some
of what happens in Episode Two and wets your appetite for the next episode. That
video is listed below to download, but beware, it contains spoilers, especially
if you haven't played Episode One.
They said Episode Two should be coming out in late 2006 probably before
Christmas. The third episode will come out sometime in 2007. Valve released a
comment saying the rate it takes to make an entirely new game, and at the rate
they were going, it would of been 2022 before Half-Life 3 could be released.
That is why they are doing episodes. It is kind of an experiment but it allowed
the creators to get more games out there quickly instead of years later.