Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm a big fan of Half-Life2 Single Player and Episode 1, and have been eagerly waiting for the release of Episode 2. I decided to grab Orange Box because of the extras, the price was too good to pass up. Orange Box (at least when purchased via Steam) comes with: HalfLife 2, HL2:Episode 1, HL2: Episode 2, TeamFortress 2, Portal, and Peggle Extreme (A Orange Box themed demo version of Peggle Deluxe by PopCap Games)
First, let me say Peggle is an unbelievably fun game, unicorns, rainbows and all! A ball to play while you wait for the rest of your games to be finish downloading.
I used to hate the Steam delivery engine. A complete 180 for me over the past couple of years. Effortless game buying and loading. Ok, the download on a fresh computer if required takes a while but EASY!!! And much much much to my delight, I can now “gift” my version of HalfLife2 andHL2:Episode 1 to someone as Orange Box comes with them. Sheer genius I say!
The star of the litter, in my opionion is “Portal” ! Every review you've read that calls it brilliant and amazing is absolutely true. This is the only title I have ever seen that I would consider a First Person Puzzler. 19 Test Chambers of movement puzzlers plus a gripping antagonist! I was 110% invested in this game within the first 3 chambers. If you are unfamiliar with the game, you have 1 “gun” and it can shoot two portals. An Orange portal and a Blue portal ( i am unaware of any specific technical name for the color differentiation of the portals). Basically you shoot a portal at a surface that allows that and you can walk through one portal and come out the other, regardless of their placement or orientation. I.e. one may place a portal on the wall and the other on the floor and you will go through the floor and come out the wall or go in the wall and pop out the floor. And you use this technique to maneuver around the test chambers and complete the goal. Hop on YouTube.com and look for some videos, I can't do it justice. Worth every penny of the $20.00 USD, I promise!
I gotta say, I love the looks of this game. The character models with a more, cartoony feel, really make it feel more like a game then war simulation. Which, is why I play games, if I wanted war simulations, I could join the armed forces. The class based concepts are very nice. I personally can't stand them. I hope someone mods TF2 to remove the classes and let all weapons be avaaliable all characters. Also, the players should be move the same speed. I realize that is not how class based games are supposed to work, and I will again mention that I do not like class based games. If TF2 and Quake3 could have a twisted love child, I am all about that!! Great work on this game, wish I would be getting more use out of it.
HalfLife2, HL2: Episode 1, HL2: Episode 2
I'm not going to recap HL2, it's a stunning great game! So nice to being able to see the maps then the near pitch black of some other FPS games (which I love!!) A great continuation from HL2. I really enjoy the storylines. I don't have much to say here, if you liked HL2, you will like E1, and most likely E2. Though I have not had a chance to crack it open yet. I am not allowing myself to until I finish Episode 1. (Yeah. sorry, tough year, was sorta busy 🙂 )
All in all, the guys at Valve are doing an amazing job and some amazing work across the board from game development, content delivery, and game playability. Hats off to you fellas, if you're ever in Cleveland, Ohio, stop by, dinner is on me!