Release Date: 10/10/2007
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I’m going to write this review as if I were writing a review for 5 different games. After that (here at the top) will be a summary of all 5.
Overall TOB is one of the best deals in video game history. With Valve’s ingenious talent backing this package, there’s no stopping it. Everyone has to pick this masterpiece up because there is something in here you’ll love.
I bought this on my PC about 2 years ago and played it to death (including ALL the mods). Even if you’ve played it on your PC you’ll love it even more on your 360 (or PS3) due to the achievements, and people who can’t run the game very well can experience the game in all its glory. You are Gordon Freeman who has mysteriously wound up in City 17 between a civil war against Dr. Breen and the Combine thanks to Gman. You and your sexy companion, Alyx Vance, have to reach the Citadel and take down the Combine. Instead of explaining what you already know, I’ll explain what’s new. Nothing really. Just the achievements involved (and they are cleverly thought out). You have all the same weapons, levels, and monsters. Just sit back and enjoy the first part of the HL2 saga and you’ll have the best 8-10 hours of your life. Back when the game was released I gave this game a 9.5, but due to its age, it drops half a point.
Half-Life 2: Episode 1=8.5/10
The story takes off after the Citadel blew up and you now have to escape and stop the reactor before all hell breaks loose. With Alyx once again by your side, you have to push back the Combine once more. While EP1 uses the same engine as HL2 with no enhancements (literally everything’s recycled to death) you still get a great experience. Well, there is one new thing ZOMBINES FTW!!! While the game is a bit more on-the-rails-cinematic than HL2 you get more clever puzzles this time around along with some memorable firefights. In the end, if you’ve played EP1 on the PC there’s nothing new here either, but for first-timers, it’s a blast.
Half-Life 2: Episode Two=8.5/10
While this is the best HL2 entry yet with more cinematic gameplay, and some NEW content you’ll love this one the most. After escaping the Citadel and City 17, you and Alyx must head through White Forest to her dad to stop the Citadel portal from letting loose monstrosities beyond our imagining. In EP2 we finally get new content such as acid ant lions, antlion larvae, Combine Hunters, a new vehicle, and an evolved story. EP2‘s story is more touching than ever before and we finally get some background on Gman. EP2 is a couple of hours longer than EP1 and you’ll want to play through it more than once.
This is a whole new creature. Portal is the introduction of brand new technology. You are an unknown tester for Aperture Science and you are given a Portal gun which you use to solve puzzles. This is probably THE most clever puzzle game ever made…ever. You use velocity to launch yourself over obstacles, use portals to navigate through rooms, and even move objects. The game is just so clever it really works your mind but in such a way that you won’t get frustrated. The game has a next-gen engine and looks fantastic as well. After you beat the 3-4 hour game you can go back and beat the advanced maps and challenges for more achievements. There’s nothing more than I can say than to pick TOB for just this game…it’s worth the $60. The game even sports an awesome, and memorable, story that you’ll joke about for years to come…THE CAKE IS A LIE!!!!
Team Fortress 2=8.5/10
I remember playing TFC back when I bought HL1 Anthology and it was a blast. TF2 sports a unique graphical style and wonderfully balanced characters to use. You all know what the characters are unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this whole time. You have a heavy weapons guy who is as slow as molasses in January but packs a serious punch, a spy who can disguise as the enemy, and sneak into the other side, and a sniper who also sports a machete and a machine gun. This is why I love TF2 so much. Everything is perfectly balanced. Instead of being a vulnerable sniper with just a pistol, you get a moderate machine gun. Instead of being a slow heavy weapons guy you get a shotgun. Instead of being a weak Pyro with a flamethrower, you get a shotgun as well. If you love online gaming TF2 will keep you hooked for hours. This is just the 5th reason to buy TOB and you’re bound to be happy.