Dr. Freeman is taken out of stasis by his "employer" to help rid the planet of invading aliens forces known as the Combine that entered through the portals he helped create.

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28 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Dr. Eli Vance (voice)
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Vortigaunt (voice)
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Alyx Vance (voice)
Michael Shapiro ...
G-Man / Barney Calhoun (voice)
Harry S. Robins ...
Jim French ...
Father Grigori (voice)
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Citizens / Misc. characters (voice)
Mary Kae Irvin ...
Citizens / Misc. characters (voice)
Ellen McLain ...
Overwatch (voice)
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Storyline

After previously causing portals to open between worlds, Gordon released a race of aliens from enslavement on Xen and was placed into stasis by a mysterious figure known only as the G-Man. Meanwhile a race of aliens known as the combine enslaved Earth and is devouring its resources. Freeman awakens on a train heading for a massive city known only as City 17. The alien Combine empire watches over its human minions from a massive fortress called the Citadel, within which the human governor is none other than Gordon Freeman's old administrator, Dr. Wallace Breen. Uniting with the resistance fighters which contain some of his old acquaintances from the Black Mesa research facility (such as Barney Calhoun from Half-Life: Blue Shift), Gordon leads the resistance to free mankind with the help of the creatures he liberated from Xen, and the Antlion controlled with pheromones. After the fall of the first fortress G-Man places Gordon back into stasis.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

16 November 2004 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was speculated that the reason for the game being delayed from September 2003 to November 2004 was because the source code and a large portion of the completed game was stolen. This is not true. The delay was actually because the game would not be finished in September 2003, and the leak was just a bad coincidence. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
G-Man: Rise and shine, Mister Freeman. Rise and... shine. Not that I... wish to imply you have been sleeping on the job. No one is more deserving of a rest, and all the effort in the world would have gone to waste until... well, let's just say your hour has... come again.
G-Man: The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world. So, wake up, Mister Freeman. Wake up and... *smell the ashes*...
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, you hear Dr. Kleiner, still searching for his pet headcrab, Lamarr. Then the monster drops from above, and jumps into the camera. See more »

Connections

Followed by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Ravenholm Reprise
Kelly Bailey
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User Reviews

 
The most engrossing video game ever made.
14 October 2006 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

"Half-Life 2" really elevates videogames to a new art form. For someone such as myself, who had taken a long hiatus from gaming, this was a refreshing revolution of the medium. There will always be the classic arcade games and the great Mario games for NES - but "Half-Life 2" takes gaming into a new dimension. This is the game that will blow away those of us who always thought games were simplistic. Its plot is better than 90% of action films today and it seamlessly blends realism with science-fiction.

Curiously enough "Doom 3" received more attention for blending cinema with gaming but I think "Half-Life 2" did so much better - there aren't cheesy cut-away scenes such as there are in "Doom 3" (which was still a fine game) and you actually feel like you ARE in an alternate reality. Valve - as they first did with the original "Half-Life" - provides similar scenes of plotting and character dialogue, but you never leave the POV of Dr. Gordon Freeman. And with the advancements in technology since the first game, "Half-Life 2" takes advantage of this to its fullest.

When I first got the game I couldn't play it. I was on a 2001 PC with outdated specs and had dial-up - Steam (which is a major pain and the only downside to this game) takes forever to download mandatory updates and "decryption" files in an effort to cut back on Internet piracy. The irony is that the game has made its way online anyway while people such as myself who purchased it often experience troubles with Steam because if you forget your password, or someone else uses it before you, you have to buy another copy of the game and they won't just replace the password itself.

Apart from Steam (the worst idea ever conceived by any gaming company) "HL2" delivers non-stop. I was surprised how the game combines so many different styles - first you start out in a bleak future-world reminiscent of "1984" and you join the resistance to fight the fascist ruling. The first few levels are eerie and brilliant; what's really scary is that they seem so realistic and not-so-far-away from where we are now.

Then it becomes a sci-fi game with zombie creatures and similar monsters. Then one level evokes atmospheric tension by placing you underground (think "Doom" minus the chainsaw) and then the game ends with a stunning apocalyptic-style war which also blends sci-fi and action together - yet all the while I felt like I could be playing a WWII battle game; the genre-bending is superb.

The storyline is solid and the game's engine is remarkable. The expansive surroundings and beautiful rendering is breathtaking at times. And the physics are the most realistic I've ever seen in any game, ever. It blows everything else out of the water.

The gravity gun at the end of the game is almost too good to be true - I've never seen anything like it in a game before.

At first I wasn't too sure about "Half-Life 2" because it has a fairly slow beginning; but by the end I couldn't stop playing. I re-played most of the game again and the second time around I really enjoyed the opening; it builds up a lot of tension and develops the storyline.

Overall this exceeds in the same areas that many games fail - it effortlessly combines every gamer's fantasy with mixed genres, great action, realistic settings and stunning graphics. I don't think any other game I've ever played has left such an impact on me. This is definitely one of the best games ever and possibly the best of its genre.


26 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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