Finally, Sierra and Gearbox
are giving console owners the chance to play the FPS masterpiece that PC gamers have been
bragging about for years. Hey, any game that can claim 50 "Game of the Year"
awards has my interest peaked.
The story places you in the
role of Gordon Freeman, research scientist and participant in a top-secret project that
has gone horribly wrong. The very fabric of space and time has been torn. Monsters are
everywhere and madness rules. It is up to you to save the world as we know it. But this
isnt your average alien target gallery. Expect plenty of plot twists and puzzle
solving in this story driven FPS.
Half-life has been praised for having glorious level design that is as
practical as it is pretty. It is also one of the few FPS games to make good use of
non-player characters and tools, such as the all-important crowbar. The PS2 version of the
game will have new levels and improved graphics that include a new skeletal animation
system that gives the characters and monsters more fluid and intricate movement. It also
boasts intelligent enemy AI that can "assess threats, run in packs, and shows a
distaste for suicide runs." There are two forms of multiplayer action: a two-payer
deathmatch and the brand new cooperative game, Decay.
The default control scheme resembles those of Red Faction and Timesplitters,
and optimizes the strong points of the Dual Shock controller. Characters move around using
the left joystick and look around using the right. The right shoulder buttons are used to
fire weapons, the left to jump and duck. The triangle button uses the flashlight, the
circle targets, the X uses items, and the square reloads. D-pad up and down cycle through
the inventory items, right and left cycle through weapons. Half-Life will also support a
USB keyboard and mouse.
I have been waiting to see this title on a console for a long time, and now
that it is almost here on the PS2, I am more excited than ever. Admittedly, I am
disappointed at the lack of four-player support. However, I am really looking forward to
the cooperative missions in Decay. This is definitely looking like a must-have title.
Whenever someone complimented Red Faction, they called it the "Half-Life of console
games." Now Half-Life will have the opportunity to be the Half-Life of console games.