"The Orange Box"
Having never played the "Half-Life" games by Valve on the PC,
"The Orange Box" gave me the perfect chance to play one of the
gaming world's classics, "Half-Life 2", as well as the two smaller
adventures that comprise two-thirds of what would have been
"Half-Life 3" if the game's producers had just decided to package it
all into one game.
So, as it is, you get three "Half-Life" games in "The Orange
Box", which follow the adventures of the world's greatest
physicist/action hero, Gordon Freeman, as he fights against evil
soldiers, zombies, nasty monsters and the occasional psycho robot.
"Half-Life 2" is the best part of "The Orange Box", and the two
additional adventures are both very strong; this will get you about
20 hours of first-person shooter action just by itself. Then,
as an added bonus, you get "Portal", a very short puzzle game that
basically hands you a gun that shoots holes into the environment
that you can run through to complete objectives; for about 90
minutes, "Portal" is pretty good.
The main reason I bought "The Orange Box", though, was to get my
hands on "Team Fortress 2", which I was hoping would satisfy my
desire to not just kill everybody onscreen in an online game, but
rather give me some team-based combat that was objective driven.
Problem number 1: only six maps for the game. This is bad;
worse, the online interface absolutely blows. The lobbies
aren't nearly as good as the ones in "Halo 3";
the game connections had so much lag that it sometimes took 15
minutes to find a good game; and, worst of all, players don't seem
to take the "all for one, one for all" approach to playing; they
seem mostly interested in killing the other team, instead of working
together to strategize in a way that's fun.
So, you get three good components and an average fourth.
Hey, for $60, this is still a great deal...just not the best one on
the market right now.
Feedback? Comments? Salma Hayek's digits?
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": Buy
this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why
that's a good move. A game experience that will almost
guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high
resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end.
after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly,
or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new
games. Usually, that's about $40. You'll feel good
getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite
run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box
for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.
game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from
either half.com or eBay. You also might let a friend buy this
game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make
them feel better. Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy
"Rental": Like my
cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about
first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something
worthwhile. For games in this category, this is the maximum
amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either
gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.
Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you
are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.
Games like this should have never been released. If you play
this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the
experience. Further, if you can get this game for free, don't
do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience