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One of the best games I own by far. I purchased the Orange box for £25 out of GAME, and the sheer variety of the contents make this an excellent, well rounded package. It consists of: Half-Life 2, A rich and immersive shooter,
Half-Life 2: Episodes One and Two, two extensions to the Half Life game roughly doubling the amount of play you will get from the Half-Life 2 series,
Team Fortress 2: An excellent online FPS following up the huge hit of its predecessor
And last but by far not least; Portal: The black horse of the bunch, a refreshing new take on the way that the player thinks about games, and how to solve problems.
These 5 games I received for £25, and I can get at least 60 hours of gameplay out of them. I'll review the games in more detail now;
Half-Life 2 and its episodes: A continuation of the genre-redefining and excellent Half-Life. Half Life 2 is the main meat of the box, and is what the Source engine was designed for. The game is really gripping and the gameplay in it is so diverse (example, A full driving section, then a Sci-Fi style battle with soldiers, then modifying the driving
to include a gun, and after reaching your destination you have a 3 hour survival horror-type battle with the undead). The game will suck you in and make you feel that you are in Gordon Freeman's position, even more so if you decide to play it in Hard Mode, which increases the vulnerability of your character and makes ammo scarce, which really makes the game tense. The graphics in Half-Life 2 are beautiful, if only slightly hindered by the fact the the game is linear in design, and you can't really roam about the environment without losing track. The expansions double the length of the game, and can really be included as the extension, with the Half Life formula slightly modified and improved All in all, Half-life 2 and its expansions should be the reason you bought the Orange Box, offering you a good 40+ hours of gameplay.
Team Fortress 2: Don't get me wrong. TF2 Is great on the PC. The graphics are the best I've ever seen in any game, ever. The gameplay is amazingly well balanced offering a place for nearly every player as one of the 9 classes. Take for example you like helping your team by keeping them alive offensively, the Engineer allows you to make turrets to defend bases and prevent attacks on weaker classes. Or defensively, you could go for the Medic, with limited offense but a gun that heals your teammates up to 150% of their health. As for attacking the other players, the Heavy has a huge amount of power and health, but is severely hindered by its slow speed and lack of accuracy. One the other side, the Scout is extremely fast and jumpy, but can't survive much damage and has a much weaker weapon with a short range. This makes for a great game, but the problem is that while PC gamers get custom maps and an active community, I logged onto it with my 360 and only found at most 5 games available, 90% of the time there was only one available and the amount of players is limited to at the most 16, whereas PC gamers can have twice that number. The fact that games are small and hard to find makes TF2 the worst game in the box, and just fails when compared to its excellent PC version.
Portal: I can say that Portal is like crack when compared to Half-Life 2. The game is very short, like 4 hours, but is by far the most fun. I don't mind the game being short when it's this good because the game would probably have been boring if they dragged it out further just for the sake of length, but it still makes you want more. It has some of the best humour in any game I've played and offers interesting and difficult puzzles that don't make you feel completely stupid when they stump you, and you finally find out that little piece of the puzzle that makes it all fall into place. The game starts by giving you no information about your character, and this adds to the feel that you are just a test subject, and you are given a gun which makes portals in walls, and you walk through a Blue to end up exiting the Orange or Vice Versa, and all momentum and inertia is retained when going through the holes. This offers a whole universe of originality in a game and will redefine the ways a player will tackle their target. The most fun of the bunch, but also the shortest.
I must say that the Orange Box has provided me with plenty of entertainment and I whole-heartedly recommend that you buy the game, because no other Xbox game offers this type of variety and longevity than the Orange box, and you're sure to find something you'll love in it.
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