Half-Life 2: Orange
"I'm not going to lie to you and tell you there are a million reasons to go back and play [Half-Life 2] again," Valve Director of Marketing Doug Lombardi says of this spiffed-up but downplayed version of the acclaimed and atmospheric first-person blaster. "It's optimized and tuned, but it's the same game."
Wait, what? That's no way to hype one of the titles that'll make 2007 so tip-top for gamers. But fortunately, you'll find a lot more than a 2-year-old Xbox 1 game in this citrus-tinted rerelease (so named because orange, along with silver and black, is a box color connected to the series). Orange also packs bite-sized follow-ups Episode One and Episode Two (which, when combined with the third episode due in eight months, will comprise what Valve is unofficially calling Half-Life 3), as well as far-out first-person puzzler Portal and the online squad-based multiplayer war zone of Team Fortress 2.
Episodes One and Two pick up right after Half-Life 2's finale, with you clearing citizens out of about-to-be-demolished City 17 while working more closely with a chattier, feistier Alyx (she joins you in combat). Episode Two puts you in more vehicles to traverse a forest complete with a tweaked physics system (unlike before, enemies can take out entire buildings--with you in them). "Even if you don't consider Half-Life 2 as part of this package," says Lombardi, "there's still 20-plus hours of single-player content here, plus really first-class multiplayer with Team Fortress 2. Our friends at EA think we're putting too much in here."