Review By: jenksy | Posted: 18/11/2007
The Final Word
Bargain of the year
Being a games reviewer isnít always as brilliant as people expect it to be. Sure there are free games, but there is also sorting out screenshots and game info, writing the review itself and also having to play a game that is terrible. The thing that frustrates me most is when I have several games to get through, especially when I could be spending my time playing a game that I have paid for and enjoy. Well at the moment I have five games to review and Iíve never been happier. Orange Box is five games in one though each one stands out in its own right.
Ok, Iím going to save you some time. Stop reading this review and go out and buy the game. It really is that simple. If you donít have the money, trade some games. Even if you have to trade five old games you are no worse off.
The term Ďbargainí is frequently used when referring to the Orange Box and for good reason. For those of you that didnít already know Orange Box contains it consists of; The original release of Half Life 2, The first expansion Episode One, The brand new expansion Episode 2, First person Puzzle platformer Portal and finally the long awaited multiplayer shooter Team Fortress 2.
Iím not going to go into much detail with the story parts of the Orange Box. Half Life 2 has been around for some time now and there are dozens of reviews out there concentrating on that game alone. Likewise with episode one. Instead Iíll discuss how the game compares now that a multitude of other top class first person shooters have been released.
The Half Life games have generally considered as FPS royalty on the PC with and adoring group of followers. There is a reason for this Half Life 2 is a very good game. Even three years after itís initial release itís clear to see that it is a quality title. Though if you have been doing much gaming recently on your 360 then HL2 wonít be as innovative as you may be used to. It doesnít have the engrossing story or flexibility of play style that Bioshock has nor does it capture the essence of gaming in the same way as Halo 3.I may be sounding a little critical here but the fact that HL2 deserves to be compared with these titles speaks volumes. As you progress through the first game and onto episodes one and two the game does seem to play a little closer to more recent releases. At its heart Half Life 2 is a linear affair though it is a linear game done exceptionally well.
Now Iíll be honest, puzzle games, whilst very addictive, really annoy me. In fact they annoy me almost as much as platformers do. Now Portal in essence is a first person puzzle game with platforming elements. On paper this is the game worst suited to me. In reality itís a game that Iím having difficulty turning off of an evening. The game is very small on story yet big on gameplay. You play a female character who has to negotiate her way through a facility solving a variety of puzzles. The crux of this is the portal gun. This allows you to create an entrance and an exit for a portal. The game features a host of increasingly complex and difficult puzzles. Over time enemy sentries flying energy balls, switches, boxes and other items are added to increase the complexity of the game. Whilst a relatively short game Portal is well worth playing and is a title that could have stood on its own without the rest of the contents.