I have had this game since it first came out and I feel that only now can I give it the review it justly deserves.

You must remember that this was not supposed to be as good as it was, there was very little advertising and it was released on the Quake II engine which at the time was considered old-hat.

How we were all proved wrong! Half-Life is nothing short of fantastic! When I first booted it up, I was expecting a sub-standard Quake clone with no style and very little substance, it is nice to be suprised, but I nearly shit myself several times during my first outing!

There is very little left to be said about Half-Life's graphics, sound, plot and action that countless others haven't offered opinions about, so for a change, I will now move on from all of that and concentrate on what will be the meat and veg of the game in the coming months/years: Internet Half-Life!

Those of you who like Internet gaming will be glad to hear that Half-Life looks after you well. There is a whole section of the game options menu that opens up a chat-room program and even searches for all the active Half-Life servers complete with filters to find the best ones!

Set-up is fiddly as you must have the latest patch and WON attempt to authenticate your copy of Half-Life each time you connect to a server which is arse as if your copy is even slightly different to theirs, they will not allow you on the servers.

After the authentication though, you get a list of servers, the maps they are on and how many players are on complete with response times and ping ratings!! The best part is that if you do not have the map, Half-Life will download it for you and if the transfer is interrupted, Half-Life will resume where it left off!!

The game itself is basically Quake II in the real world. Good weapons and a nice selection of maps make this an all round winner.