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Half-Life 2: The Orange Box

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GF Rating
7.4

4252 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
9

Excellent

Awesome Game With Few Flaws

posted by guitarman5 (LODI, CA) Jan 14, 2008

Member since May 2004

15 out of 16 gamers (94%) found this review helpful

Just as good as the PC version. The Flaws are the framerate issues and a few more loading screens then the PC counterpart, However, Those issues don't effect the gameplay at all they just keep it from being a perfect PS3 title.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Intelligent games for intelligent gamers

posted by VoltesV (DUMONT, NJ) Jan 3, 2008

Member since Sep 2007

17 out of 19 gamers (89%) found this review helpful

I played Half life 2 on PC and loved it. The PS3 version is even better, I mean come on! Five games in one disk ?!? The series is a prime example of what a good FPS game should have: awesome graphics, immersive story, exciting visceral game play and great characters. Portal is one of the most ingenious games I've ever played. It is intriguing and full of good humor and puzzles that will require you to use both your dexterity and mental toughness to succeed. At times the game plays with your head which makes it really cool ;)

So if you are a spray-n-pray, gung-ho, kill-em-all kind of player don't even bother with this one. But if you think you're smart enough...

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

It's Half-Life, what more really needs to be said

posted by GFR013 (MERRIFIELD, VA) Dec 16, 2007

Top Reviewer

Member since Jul 2004

26 out of 30 gamers (87%) found this review helpful

I haven't gone through everything yet but as far as I can tell this is pretty much just a direct port of HL2, the expansions and Portal[1] (I'm not really into network games so I didn't try out Team Fortress). So don't expect "next gen" quality graphics as IMHO it looks like they didn't really change anything for this release. However, it's still HL2 and it's still a lot fun :D Also, to be honest, the graphics and sound really aren't that bad either. It's probably not going to WOW you, but it's still a good looking & sounding game and you'll be able to figure out which way to shoot which is really the important part anyway isn't it ;)

In addition to the games themselves, some of them include a "designer's commentary" feature. When you enable this you'll find little word balloons scattered around the levels. When you activate them there is a quick commentary from one of the people who help develop and design the game. You may not choose to ever do this, but I found it to be interesting and different approach from the standard "making of" feature that is packed into some games these days.

So the bottom line is, if you like HL2, even with all it's flaws (non-skipable cut scenes, drawn out "exposition", occasional "what am I supposed to now" sequences of being lost), you'll probably like this. Even without the online aspect, the fact you get the main game, two expansions and Portal means there's a lot packed into one disk. If you haven't tried HL in the past, now would be a good time to give it a try for the same reason. Frankly Portal is worth the "price" of the rental alone. My only complaints are the fact Portal was too short (and there doesn't seem to be a way to incorporate downloadable content) and they should have added the portal gun to the main game, maybe that's for HL3 :D

[1] If you haven't seen or heard of Portal yet it's a puzzle game in which you try to escape various rooms by means of opening gateways you can create with a portal gun.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

You know nothing about gaming till you play HL2!

posted by machine700 (SPRINGFIELD, MO) Feb 9, 2010

Member since Nov 2009

1 out of 1 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

If you haven't played Half Life 2,you need to. The FIRST true FPS. Maybe the only FPS ever worth playing. I have played through HL2 several times. EP1 and 2 are great but short. The atmosphere that Valve created within HL2 is unparalleled. The sounds are as unique as Star Wars and the plot is vague but sooooo intriguing.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Great fun

posted by PatMan (WOODSTOCK, IL) Dec 20, 2007

Member since Jul 2007

7 out of 9 gamers (78%) found this review helpful

I only played a small demo of the half life 2 on my PC and gave up pretty much before anything fun happened, so I walked into this game thinking that I might return it pretty quickly and that’s it.

But somewhere in finding the right path and starting to run into NPCs, getting the infamous crowbar and finally a handgun, I slowly changed my mind until I played for hours and losing complete track of time. I do agree that the graphics are below what I know the PS3 can perform. Having played uncharted, half life’s 2 graphics seems almost ancient. But it’s quite passable and it doesn’t take away from the overall feeling. Most effect including water and rag doll is premium and the engine is capable of offer decent draw distances, painting quote a nice scenario, especially in vertigo inducing environment like under the large bridge.

And only ones did I run into poor frame rate after I died and had to reload.

The greatest flaw, which is not related to a ‘bad’ port in regards to graphics or anything else, is that first person type games are not ideal of puzzle solving that involves jumping or walking narrow ledges. That type of action is better suited for a 3rd person perspective. I frequently fall off and lose hit points due to a horrid way of not being able to see the characters feet.

But this is easily dismissed given the rich environment, decent NPC interaction and sometimes delightfully frantic action.

I highly recommend this massive set of games that includes not only half life 2, but also a short but interesting game called Portal and a online only game called Team Fortress 2 that I haven’t played yet but looks like mischievous fun.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Five excellent games, marred by technical problems

posted by Zakimonk (SAINT PAUL, MN) Dec 16, 2007

Member since Nov 2007

7 out of 9 gamers (78%) found this review helpful

The Orange Box is an incredible package, but it suffers technically as a bad port. I'll start by discussing the individual parts.

Half-life 2, Episode One and Episode Two - This is one of the most memorable FPS experiences to date. Another reviewer complained about the lack of action in the first ten minutes of the game, but Valve does an incredible job setting up the atmosphere and the storyline perfectly. Generally, the game's environments can be manipulated in many ways - you can interact with people, pick up and throw objects, shoot/throw explosive barrels, etc. You can even play tic-tac-toe in a playground. The sandbox feeling is heightened even more when you get the gravity gun, as you can pick up objects like saws or tables and chuck them at the enemy to save ammo. The action is very intense and has many great shock moments. The driving sequences, however, are tedious at best, with confusing controls and objectives.

Portal- In my opinion, Portal is the strongest piece in the set, and that's saying a lot. The entire game only takes 3-5 hours, but the scriptwriting is absolutely fantastic. You play as a test subject who, at the guidance of a completely insane robot voice, complete challenges using only a portal gun. You'll use momentum to launch yourself through the air, juggle with deadly energy balls, and much more. Portal is one of the most clever, entertaining and hilarious games I've ever played, as the insane computeris says some of the funniest things ever in a videogame. And who could forget the Companion Cube and the credits song?

Team Fortress 2 - This is a very strict and refined class and objective-based multiplayer game. Each map is custom tailored for one gametype, and there are nine classes each with specific roles. Very fun for a while, but the repetition can get old.

I would love to give this game a 10, but frequent framerate issues and unforgivable, frequent 20-second load times after every death or area nearly ruin the experience.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

First Classics Collection on the PS3?

posted by andrewka (ROCKVILLE, MD) Jan 25, 2008

Member since Nov 2007

4 out of 5 gamers (80%) found this review helpful

i suppose as next-gen hardware gets more advanced, games like Half-Life 2 will be in collections similar to how arcade classics like Galaga and Asteroids are on PS2 and Gamecube.

i have to say without sounding too negative that while all the Half-Life games and Team Fortress 2 were all really fun games and a a great deal more intelligent than your modern first-person shooter, you really do feel the age of each one of these games, and small details like shells not popping out of guns and lack of detailed shadows really make you feel behind the times. Couple that with antiquated FPS mechanics and gameplay you really do get the nagging sense that you could be spending your time playing something that looks and feels much better.

personally this type of action-adventure gameplay is not what i look for in a first-person shooter, and with the money i spent on a big-screen HDTV, audio system, and PS3, i want every game i play on it to be cutting edge. i'm not quite ready to play a classics compilation on the ps3 just yet...

portal is something interesting in itself and very cleaver, but personally i don't see what the fuss is about. while the concept is cleaver and innovative, the puzzles were all far too easy and i was disappointed at how short it was. i can imagine speedruns being done on this one, it is really addictive, but personally i wanted more of a workout for my brain.

with games blurring the line between games and reality i'm sad to say while the games of the Orange Box were great for their time, i'd take the intensity and cutting edge graphics of Call of Duty 4 any day of the week.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Must Own..

posted by Diggler42o (ANAHEIM, CA) Jan 3, 2008

Member since Nov 2007

4 out of 5 gamers (80%) found this review helpful

I have enjoyed every minute of this game. I have now purchased it. The online play is extremely enjoyable. Team Fortress2 is Incredible. I wasn't caught up on the Half Life 2 Episodes so I played both.. Not nearly as impressed with them as I was with Team Fortress 2. Portals, if you don't know, is a single player puzzle game where advancing through levels simply complicates the puzzle that needs to be solved. It's enjoyable as well

Pros: Team Fortress 2.
Awesome Online
Episode 1 & 2 for Half Life 2
Half Life 2 Original story.. if you haven't already beaten it..
Portals

Orange box contains five games that will keep you entertained for Hours on end.

Team Fortress also has a stat recorder for how good you do with certain classes that I thought was pretty cool..

Cons: Map choice is a little weak on Team Fortress at the moment (6 maps). It's not really much of a problem for me though because I enjoy any map where I can be the spy and stab a bunch of people in the back.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Mind-blowing immersion in an Orange Box

posted by Ledgic (MASON CITY, IA) Nov 11, 2008

Member since May 2008

3 out of 4 gamers (75%) found this review helpful

Let me just say this: All PS3 owners should buy this game. Each of the games on The Orange Box feature some of the best game and level design I've ever seen. Ever. And no, I'm not exaggerating.

Half-Life 2: Trust me, you don't have to play the first game to get into it. The Physics engine on this game is enough in my book to sell it, but it's also helped by some of the best level design I've ever seen. Not only that, but you've got one full game and two 6+ hours of episodes to play of this masterpiece. Do not pass this game up.

Portal: Even though it's only about 2-3 hours long, that's more than enough time for portal to blow your mind five ways inside and out. Learn the complexity and physics of Portals to create endless hallways, bottomless pits, and more. Portal needs to be experienced to understand it, so I'll just say this: This game is as close to perfection as you'll ever going to get.

Team Fortress 2: Probably the most balanced online shooter I've ever played. Bar none. It's an endlessly fun battle of Red Versus Blue featuring some of the most incredibly entertaining and hilarious soldiers ever. There's a role for anybody, like the Heavy for people who soak up damage while killing everything in sight, Snipers, for those who like to pick off at a distance, and the Spy, for Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell enthusiasts. Endlessly replayable and fun.

So there you go. 5 games, all fantastic. What are you waiting for. GET IT NOW!

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Great Game

posted by bobbykniev (MOCKSVILLE, NC) Oct 6, 2008

Member since Aug 2007

2 out of 3 gamers (67%) found this review helpful

I loved to play Portal. I can't wait for EA to make a Portal 2.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Great Game....Long Game

posted by jdocter (SAINT LOUIS, MO) Jul 13, 2008

Member since Jan 2008

2 out of 3 gamers (67%) found this review helpful

For those of you who enjoy action packed games with some thinking involved. This is a great game. It started out pretty slow to say the least. But after about one hour of playing, I found myself wanting more. I might clasify it as a Resident Evil style game, but not as good. I enjoyed every minute I played. It isn't as easy as alot of games (I always play on medium difficulty) but is just challenging enough. If you want a good game that has a little shelf life, this game was extremely fun and took me at least 25 hours to finish. don't let the cover fool you, the graphics are good.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

HalfLife2+Portal+TeamFort- ress2

posted by Houduuken (LOVELAND, CO) Apr 17, 2008

Member since Mar 2008

2 out of 3 gamers (67%) found this review helpful

I played through the first episode of HF2, played a few levels of Portal and enjoyed TF2!
This was my first experience with half life. The game played very well in terms of sighting of weapons, steering of vehicles and jumping control. The story was there...felt like I was missing something from HL1 I guess. The game really excels in interaction. When you come to a gate early in the game the guard makes you pick up a can to throw in the trash can...you can't proceed until you do it. They throw in a lot of unexpected fun through the game. Beware of hanging tongues.
Only played thru a bit of the Portal part. Very challenging and fun and the narrator is great.
As for TF2 I hated it at the start. But hang on...I had to figure out how to use all the characters in the game to win. Each character has a special weapon such as flame thrower, chain gun, missile(killer weapon)and sniper. But each has a weakness. If you think of rock, paper scissors you can figure it out. Sniper kills with one shot but flames will fry him quick. The spy can kill with only one stab in the back and can go invis but will die quick when attacked by the nade thrower.
Game play is awesome. Capture the flag is sweet. You have to steal the other teams briefcase with the secret plans. To steal it you have to get into the other teams basement by fighting over a bridge and then into their base. Down the stairs into an office with humming computers all around...very cool. Take it back to base and you win...unless you get hit by the sentry guns set up to protect the case. The engineer has great defensive skills but the shotgun is not powerful at long range.
Over all a great game. The load time for TF2 is long and there are no achievement rewards(unlocks).
All in all this game is great fun with many hours held within this orange disk!

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Definately a must have game!

posted by Buccaneer5 (BRADENTON, FL) Jan 15, 2008

Member since Nov 2007

2 out of 3 gamers (67%) found this review helpful

Man this games was so fun! I have heard of it before but never played it so when it came along for the PS3 I had to try it. I especially loved playing Portal. At first I wasn't going to bother with it because it looked boring....boy was I wrong!!! The game really made me think. It was so fun being able to go just about anywhere just by placing a hole on the wall, ceiling or ground! The puzzles were great!! The only reason I did not finish it was because I wanted to send it back so I could get my hands on Burnout: Paradise, otherwise i'd still be playing it. Half-Life was fun also. Team Fortress was ok but having already played online games like Resistance and Call Of Duty 4, it just pales in comparison. Still there's so much packed in this Orange Box to keep anyone gaming for a while.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

TF2 FTW!!!

posted by aerophex (CENTENNIAL, CO) Jan 3, 2008

Member since Dec 2007

2 out of 3 gamers (67%) found this review helpful

I rented this game solely for TF2. I bought HL2 for the PC when it first came out, so I did not need to play it again. I had been eagerly anticipating TF2 and could not wait to try it out.
A fan of the classic HL mod, the new TF2 polishes and tightens the gameplay of the original. Most of the maps are reworkings of the classics: 2fort, Well, Badlands... So it is very easy to jump right in. Most of the characters have different / fewer weapons and I found myself missing quite a few of them.
All in all it is fun, and I will pick this game up on 360 because that is what my friends have it on.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

WOW!

posted by mrpuffy (CARMEL VALLEY, CA) Feb 18, 2010

Member since Feb 2010

1 out of 2 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

This game will change the way You think about cinder blocks

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Good..But Not That Good

posted by baker3292 (HAGERSTOWN, MD) Feb 8, 2008

Member since Dec 2007

2 out of 5 gamers (40%) found this review helpful

I read about how amazing this game was and how portal is one of the best gaming experience out there..but its not. Team Fortress 2 is a mess, and very boring. If you want a good online experience call of duty 4 is deff. the way to go. portal was good, but got boring after awhile of doing the same thing, half life (all episodes) is the best in there, still one of the top 25 greatest games of all time.

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GF Rating
4

Weak

Collection of 5 Average Games

posted by Exzephyr (LINCOLN, NE) Sep 26, 2008

Member since Aug 2008

1 out of 3 gamers (33%) found this review helpful

After the Orange Box received rave reviews from critics I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Half-Life 2, Ep1, Ep2, TF2, and Portal are all included in the box. When you first put the game in you need to install a couple hundred megs on the hard disk; I have no problems with installs. Lets start with Half-Life 2. Once you begin playing the game you realize the game has some great graphics, sound effects, and opening scene. The game stops being great almost immediately after the opening cinema. The game play is extremely repetitive. Once you get to the second level you will know exactly what I'm talking about. You go into a room, shoot some enemies, hit a switch, and rinse and repeat for the whole game. The AI is not smart at all, the story is non-existent, the characters are shallow, the game play gets old after a few levels, and the ending is pointless not mention confusing. I did not even bother getting very far in either Ep.1 or Ep.2. I just don't want to put myself through such torture. Team Fortress 2 is actually pretty enjoyable. It's just too bad the game lags a lot and almost nobody plays the game. At any given time, maybe 30 people are playing TF2. The worst part is TF2 is online only. This is probably the best out of the 5 games, just a shame nobody plays it online. Portal, once again a cool concept, is not executed very well either. The game starts you off with a portal gun and you must use it to navigate through puzzles. The puzzles can be pretty clever but after about the 10th puzzle the novelty of the game wears extremely thin. I got to the 15th puzzle and quit because the puzzles seemed to repeat themselves and were actually very, very, easy. The hardest puzzle had me stumped only for a few minutes. Overall the Orange Box is a huge disappointment. After all the "Game of the Year" awards Half-Life 2 received. I expected the Orange Box a to be a fantastic package. I was really disappointed with these 5 mediocre games.

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GF Rating
3

Bad

Inversion

posted by lowst1 (AUSTELL, GA) Mar 10, 2008

Member since Nov 2007

3 out of 12 gamers (25%) found this review helpful

The only reason I did not enjoy this game was because I couldn't set up the controller the way I wanted. It doesn't allow for inversion of both the x and y axis.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

What happen to the audio

posted by wolfy2671 (KERNERSVILLE, NC) Feb 29, 2008

Member since Feb 2008

1 out of 6 gamers (17%) found this review helpful

Graphics are very stunning but the key to this game is the audio and how it envelopes you in the pc version. The ps3 version has no Dolby digital which is a big downer for me!!!! I had to turn my head left or right to hear what they were telling me in the game. it became very frustrating for me since my theater is strictly DD5.1 Multiplayer is great although i really miss the old school counterstrike.

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GF Rating
7

Good

wanted to like it...

posted by ogkush (LAS VEGAS, NV) Dec 14, 2007

Member since Nov 2007

1 out of 6 gamers (17%) found this review helpful

i really wanted to enjoy this game, but man, for some reason it gives me serious motion sickness. like a bad, lingering one. i never got to try it on a PC and guess i never really will on any platform.
good game,just a heads up though for those whose tummys are a tad sensitive. had i read some other forum reviews prior, i might have saved some queue space.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Only 1 good game

posted by paintball7 (KINGSTON, PA) Jan 13, 2008

Member since Aug 2006

1 out of 15 gamers (7%) found this review helpful

the graphics were terrible. there was 4 games on it and only 1 of them were good (Portal) and Half Life was extremely boring. the only reason why i gave it a 6 was because of Portal.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Just Didn't Keep My Attention

posted by SMoK40 (TEMECULA, CA) Jul 24, 2008

Member since May 2008

1 out of 20 gamers (5%) found this review helpful

I spent 60 minutes running away from human-like guards with no real understanding of why I was doing it, who I was, what my motivation was, where I was, what my objective was...and then it hit me? Why am I playing this game? What is unique? What is revolutionary? What is compelling? What is fun? When I realized that the answer to each of these was "Nothing" I pulled the game out and shipped it back the same day I recieved it.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

The Orange Box

posted by Deanrose (PORT JEFFERSON STATION, NY) Dec 15, 2007

Member since Jan 2006

2 out of 63 gamers (3%) found this review helpful

I started playing Half-Life 2, and after wandering around taunting the guards and the pointless people I couldn't wait to turn it off. Whats up with the faces, it's like a poor version of Oblivian. Most importantly any game that is considered a shooter and has NO action in the first 10 minutes imo stinks to high heaven.

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GF Rating
3

Bad

May have been great for its time...

posted by CJC7575 (NASHVILLE, TN) Jun 3, 2014

Member since Mar 2014

To appreciate Half Life 2 you need to find a time machine and travel back 10 years. Playing it today is rather painful. You literally spend half the game falling from ledges, rooftops, etc. It may have been great for it's time, but that time is long past.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Not as orange as I had expected

posted by MetalMario (PITTSFIELD, NH) Apr 29, 2014

Member since Apr 2010

I had waited quite a while to get my hands on a copy of "The Orange Box" for PS3, since it seems like everybody can't stop talking about how earth-shakingly wonderful "Half-Life 2" is. Well, maybe you just had to be there at that particular time in gaming history, because I simply couldn't get into it. I didn't find it as exciting as some more recent first-person action games (like "Far Cry 3", "Dishonored", or the Metroid Prime trilogy), nor did I find it as cerebrally interesting as something like "Portal". Speaking of "Portal", I was glad of the opportunity to play it here, although it wasn't nearly as awesome or as involving as its sequel. And "Team Fortress 2" was absolutely worthless to me, because I don't enjoy playing capture-the-flag with anonymous strangers online.

Of course, this is all just one man's opinion.

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