Looking back at Half-Life 2

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it in the past, but there are only a handful of “legendary” video games that I haven’t played. Skyrim is probably the most notable but another game I never really played is Half-Life. Technically, I’ve played the first bits of the first game back in the 90s, but I think I only played the first hour or so. This means I’ve never bothered to play any of the follow-ups, except for Half-Life: Alyx. However, with me finally getting my hands on the Steam Deck, it just made sense to experience Half-Life 2 on it. After spending a weekend absorbed in the gameplay, I see why it’s considered such an important video game.

Gordon holding a shotgun on a stretch of road

A little background on why it took so long

Half-Life 2 was released back in 2004 and at that time I was close to finishing University, still trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life, and playing most games on my PlayStation 2. I didn’t have a good enough PC for the time, so a high-profile PC-only game wasn’t going to be something I’d pick up and play.

A few years later, around 2007, Valve released The Orange Box and I immediately picked it up for the Xbox 360. Of the five games available in the collection, I only played Portal (which I love) and a bit of Team Fortress 2. Half-Life 2 and the Episode 1 and 2 follow-ups were set aside. To be honest, I did start Half-Life 2 with the expectation that I would finally play it, but that just never happened.

I can’t say when I bought The Orange Box on PC, it must have been sometime after Portal 2’s launch in 2011 (still one of my absolute favorite games). The m