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Half-Life: Opposing Force

"The idea was to take the Half-Life concept and show it from a different perspective while in the same time line"

Half-Life was a revolution in gameplay and continues to live on in most people's memories as THE benchmark for the first person shooter. With its high levels of interactivity crossed with live cut scenes and ever-enthralling level design, Half Life made even the sceptics into fully-fledged FPS gamers in a matter of moments. Soon after the initial release it became clear that Valve would need something to fill the void between HL (Half-Life) and Half-Life 2 as well as Team Fortress2. As the months passed a unique idea for an expansion pack was proposed to valve and sierra by little know Gearbox software, formerly of PraxWar.

The idea was to take the Half-Life concept and show it from a different perspective while in the same time line. Not only would this add depth but the ability to play as a completely different character to the goatee Gordon Freeman. On top of that would be new levels, models, weapons and more to be added. The current Half-Life engine was about to be taken as far as the technology would permit before a sequel arrives and it did it!

OH no, Oh no.. ahhhhhhh!

Who could possibly miss the ever immortal groans of fear that inhabit the halls of Half-Life in its abundance of scripted perfection, Not I. For this is Half-Life but not as you have ever seen it before. You are Adrian Shepard, a rather hardcore military grunt under the employment of one rather dubious Mr Gman for work at Black Messa. After an accident at the facility caused by the goatee Freeman you are called in along with your squad to clean up the mess, little did you know it would be the mess cleaning you up!

Playing as a soldier your approach into the game from different parts of the facility and vary occasionally crossing paths previously visited in the first game. You even get a single glance of Freeman nearing the end of the game but it's not something to shout about. Initially you are dropped off outside and are the sole survivor of your planes crash after being attacked by some silly looking Zen triangles (they really are silly you know). As the base crumbles around you your mission is to find other soldiers and get home before the evils of Black Messa take hold.

Obviously in being Half-Life the controls are perfect and extremely easy to set-up so no gripes on that part. Yet perhaps the most important thing about this official add-on is that it's not in the least bit repetitive as you might expect, this is no user created single player pack you know.

A touch of humour

Wading your way through the plant you soon realise that just about every monster and model has changed slightly from the original. Scripted sequences are all totally new and Gearbox has redone a vast portion of the sounds and texturing to make it seem as different from HL as possible without destroying the atmosphere. It does this with un-believable accuracy.

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