Half Life: Opposing Force

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a game by Gearbox Software
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 2 reviews, 3 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.9/10 - 21 votes
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See also: Half-Life Series, First Person Shooter

What we have here with Half-Life: Opposing Force is the first expansion pack that was released for the original Half-Life. When that original game came out it was the kick in the butt my old man needed to bite the bullet and get a new PC. This was a landmark title and while the original game gets all the credit. Many people seem to have forgotten that this expansion pack was a huge deal back in the day with how rich an experience it was.

Return To The Black Mesa Research Facility

In this game, you do not play as Gordon Freeman, but you are experiencing the same trouble he went through, but from a different perspective. I found this to be a really clever idea and in Half-Life: Opposing Force you play as a marine called, Adrian Sheppard. The aliens are running around causing chaos in the facility and you have been sent there to try and get a handle on the situation. Like the original game, here you see the events unfold before your eyes. The story happens in-game and it is just as effective here as it was in the original game.

Shoot First, Crowbar Latter

As Adrian is a marine, he is a lot more hands-on with getting the alien threat under control. You will still have some basic puzzles that you need to solve as you progress through each chapter in the game. However, there is more combat here and there are even other marines that you will come across which will help you.

Taking on the alien threat is very exciting stuff and there is another force that you have to contend with here as well which I thought was pretty awesome. I know that some people look back at Half-Life: Opposing Force and the main game and wonder what all of the fuss was about, but this was such a groundbreaking title when it was released.

You Are The Star

While it may not seem like much by today's standards, the original Half-Life was amazing in that it made you feel like you were in a movie and you were actually playing a part. The way the story unfolded was very immersive and that is the case here too. I will say that I do not think that Adrian is as, let’s just say interesting as Gordon Freeman, but it is one story that you will most certainly want to play through until the end.

Looks Good For Its Age

The fact I said we had to get a new computer to play this game when you look at the visuals now may seem a bit strange. However, this was a very demanding game when it was released. I feel that it considering its age, this is still a solid looking game. It lacks the finer details, but it is more than good enough to get you invested in what is going on.

I am a massive fan of this series and even I myself forget that Half-Life: Opposing Force was a thing. If you enjoyed the original game, you are going to have a lot of fun with this. For an expansion, it is pretty incredible what they managed to do. Not only did they create a tremendous single-player experience they also included a stacked multiplayer, which I have to be honest and say that even all these years later I have still not played! If you enjoy Half-Life and missed out on this or did not even know it existed, I highly recommend that you check it out.

8.5

Final Score

Pros:

  • The story is clever
  • I liked playing the events of the first game from a different perspective
  • Adrian is a cool character
  • It feels like there is more combat here
  • The amount of content for an expansion when this was released was incredible

Cons:

  • I liked Adrian, but he is no Gordon Freeman
  • If the original Half-life did not do anything for you, I cannot see this one doing it either

Download Half Life: Opposing Force

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

It is impossible to be a gamer and do not know anything about Half-Life. They are some of the most popular game series out there. This time we're talking about Half-Life Opposing Force, an expansion to the original first title.

Even though Valve is the developer of the game, this expansion was a collaboration between Gearbox and Valve. Yes, the same Gearbox that developed the Borderlands games and many more. Released in 1999, this first expansion of the game was a pretty interesting take on the series, but why?

About this game

Half-Life: Opposing Force is a parallel story, sort of a spin-off. This time we're not looking at the world through the eyes of Gordon Freeman, but rather a marine called Adrian Shepard. Playing the role of Shepard we are tasked with a mission to silence the scientists about the incident that took place in the Black Mesa Laboratories in New Mexico.

Yes, that's right, now we play as one of the soldiers sent to eliminate Freeman. Reaching the Black Mesa facility, Shepard's unit is attacked by flying alien creatures, causing their vehicle to crash. Now Shepard must fight the evil alien forces, only to discover that he's also being watched by the enigmatic G-Man.

As the story progresses, the government has to use a different contingency plan, and since the marines failed at the Black Mesa facilities, they send out the Black Ops. Now, just as Freeman, Shepard must also face them to survive. The two alien races, the mysterious G-Man and the Black Ops, all of them fighting at once in this spectacular game.

Similar to the original content

Yes, it is in fact pretty similar to the original Half-Life. it is just an expansion after all, but it helps in building the world bigger and more alive. This time we get to see and play the experience of being on the other side. We are just one of the soldiers sent to kill Freeman, and that change of perspective is something unique.

It is also interesting to see how the stories cross each other from time to time, we even find Freeman a few times throughout the game. After all, they are both escaping the same mess.

It also puts things into perspective for the Half-Life world. If you think about it, both Portal games take place in the same world as Half-Life. So maybe if someday they release Half-Life 3 we'll get to see which role is Aperture Science having in all this.

Review

This expansion is a cool and interesting take on the story of the first Half-Life title. It helps in giving depth to the world and lore. It delivers in everything it attempts. Overall it is an excellent expansion, the new content is great and there the original story is nicely written. It's good to see two amazing developers making a collaboration to deliver such a great experience.

  • Graphics and Visuals: The visuals of Half-Life, while outdated, are pretty unique and characteristic. The art and design are incredible and it's playable even today. Nothing out of this world now but it's definitely not an eyesore

  • Gameplay: Half-Life presents an excellent gaming experience, simple and very polished. The controls are easy and comfortable. The storyline of this expansion is a great addition to the original game. Even though it may not be a huge expansion, it feels natural.

  • Sound: The sound design is pretty good, and the soundtrack is, well, Half Life's soundtrack. It's obviously great.

What we thought

"The game is basically HaH-Life all over again. Tense, nerve-wracking stuff."

What you think

People say:

  • "I have to say how disappointed I am with Opposing Force. Why was it so short? I'm not saying it wasn't hard enough (the bits in the dark tunnels where you needed night vision scared the hell out of me at times), it's just that I got it for Christmas and I had finished it within four days.
  • "A good weekend of entertainment, but Opposing Force doesn't have quite the sparkle that one would have wished for."
  • "The game is fantastic in every sense of the word. My social life has already gone down the drain. Valve should be proud of the folk at Gearbox and what they did."
  • "I installed it at 2pm on Boxing Day and completed it at 10am this morning (27th). This is surely the crappiest and easiest game ever. And as for those stupid, stupid alien weapons..."

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