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  ‘Half Life 2’: First Impressions, 18 Months Too Late  
Posted 2006-06-19 by Tony Walsh
I was able to sneak in a few hours of gaming recently, despite two critical work projects breathing down my neck, and took in some of the sights, sounds, and actions of Valve's Half-Life 2 (originally released in 2004). I'm sure everyone and their robotic dog has written about the game already, but since I'm both a misanthrope and megalomaniac, I'm going to write about it anyway.

I was substantially impressed with the presentation and game play. I could care less about the story, even though the dialog isn't terrible. While it's a pleasure to use the game's astoundingly-realistic physics to solve problems (I was able to circumvent an impassible roadblock by building a ramp for my car out of metal siding and barrels), it's intensely frustrating to be blocked from climing a small hill because of an invisible ceiling intended to prevent unwanted player actions. That's a game design tragedy in action, and it makes me crimson with rage. Crimson, I tell you.
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