Too many of you will only read this first paragraph. You will notice it is about Half-Life 2, which is old news by some 9 long years, and you will probably go back to articles about Call of Duty or the 10 Best Nude Scenes Ever (and okay, that’s fine). Why should you read on? Nine years is a long time, isn’t it? Innovations have come and gone and far surpassed the ideas of Half-Life 2 by now, right? Well, I respectfully disagree.
If you’re still here, read on for our 10 reasons why Half-Life 2 is still the best first person shooter ever made.
10. Freeman’s World
I challenge anyone reading this to find across every nook and cranny in the world of culture, art and media, an enigmatic character that has never uttered a single word. Gordon Freeman is one of a kind. Despite not having a voice or being seen – outside of promotional material or box art – the characters around him build up his status to one of legendary choosing.
Freeman is you, you are Freeman, and like looking through a window of a silent room, you look out into a world that is vibrant and alive: the feeling that you are somebody else has never been so powerful as it is in Half-Life 2. Games since have tried to replicate this technique, but none come close to the feeling you get with Gordon.
Since Half-Life began in 1998, you have never once see a reflection of Freeman, hear him make a grunt when injured, scream in anger or utter a show stopping line like so many other mute heroes of the gaming world do.
It is a trend that keeps on coming, from Call of Duty to Bioshock, characters with no voice have never been as loud and beautifully implemented into their worlds as “The One Free Man” is in Half-Life 2.
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This article was first posted on February 14, 2013