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The Orange Box

version: euro (it) - year: 2007 - developer: valve - publisher: valve - format: pc dvdrom- condition: mint - rarity: common

The Orange Box is all about content as the retail package isn't that exciting, since it basically has no physical instructions manual and the second DVD is in a spartan paper case.

 

Episode 2 features overhauled backgrounds and models compared to Episode 1 & Half Life 2.

 

Outdoor locations are simply gorgeous and won't require a very expensive PC to run properly. With my radeon XT800, everything was flawless aside from some occasional slight slowdown.

 

If you think the architect of the Matrix is messed up and makes no sense, you need to talk to the man with the suitcase...

 

The artistry at work in Episode 2 is beyond what's seen in many other FPSs

 

"What are you waiting for, Freeman? A hug?! The situation is not going to investigate itself!"

 

Portal's graphics are kept simple and functional...

 

...because this game is all about its extraordinary play-mechanics.

 

Although sometimes, graphics will look very inspired..

 

Getting close the the end!

 

The distant cousin of HAL-9000 at last...

 

Portal is a true gem, make sure not to miss it!!!

Review - The Orange Box is a generous package which includes the brand-new Half Life 2 Episode 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2 along with the original Half Life 2 and Half Life Episode 1.

This is a hell of a package considering the price, so if you're looking for value for money, your quest ends right here...

This review will focus on Episode 1 & 2 and Portal while for the original Half Life 2 you can read the review here. Unfortunately, I didn't play Team Fortress 2enough to review it so for now, I'll just skip it...

Half Life 2 Episode 1 & 2

Half-Life was probably the single-most influential FPS on PC along-side with Doom.

The serialization into episodes of the almost equally impressive Half Life 2 has actually allowed to develop in depth the plot and the characters while gameplay feels as fresh and as engaging as ever!

Episode 1 basically includes the same graphical level of Half-Life 2 while it introduces some interesting gameplay twists while Episode 2 includes improved graphics and a few outdoor sequences which are simply breathtaking in scope and detail.

The facial animation, the plot and the dialogues really add a lot to the atmosphere while zombies finally start to look a bit more scary…

If you enjoyed the original HL2 or simply, if you enjoy FPSs in general, there is no way around these additional chapters, they are just must haves!

 

Portal

The apparently puzzle-oriented flair of Portal turned me off at first, but since this game was part of the Orange Box package, I decided to try it out and to my surprise, I was simply unable to stop playing until I eventually reached the end.

Portal is based around an initially simple and straightforward concept of portals. Basically, you walk around in various test chambers, armed with a gun which can shoot two different kinds of portals (orange and blue) and you need to shoot them on walls and ceilings in order to make progress and access otherwise inacessible spots.

Initially, things seem to be pretty easy and straightforward but as you venture deeper into the game, thinga will start to become more complex and almost mind-bending! But don't worry, this game is so fun to play that you will never feel frustrated or demoralized as you'll be pushed by the awesome play mechanics to dare and think the unthinkable. Think lateral, think outside of the box and Portal will become your kingdom!

Add to this the unsettling atmosphere with that ever-present Hal 9000 super computer gone-mad monitoring each and every step you take, and the final package is truly outstanding.

Occasionally, some of the sanitized test chambers might not be completely sealed off, allowing you to take a brief look of the real world out there made of rusty staircases, slightly depressing looking storage rooms and the likes.

In the end, Portal represents a game so original and so fun to play that I recommend to give it at least a shot. Screenshots don't do this one justice, because under the slightly obsolete looking graphics resides a true timeless masterpiece.

Bottom line: an unbelievable package, which will keep you busy for months....10/10

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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