FREE DOWNLOAD GAME : Half-Life in 2D, Wow!

Half-Life in 2D, wow ... i can't hardly wait to play it !!

CODENAME: GORDON BEGAN LIFE as a fanmade project in honour of the impending 500lb gaming-gorilla that was going to be Half-Life 2. Well, as you are no doubt aware HL2 has suffered a big delay, and in sympathy (we think) so did Codename: Gordon - which had everyone worried the guys might not get it out before HL2 as they'd promised.

The good news is that during their hiatus Valve picked the game up and now, with the 2-person dev team going under the name Nuclearvision, CG was put back on track and now it is available for free download via Valve's propriety Steam system (or as a standalone download if you know what rocks to look under on the that thar interweb thingy). It's about 39MB in size. Which is a huge given the type of game that it is, but what you have to realise is that it's all been written in Macromedia Flash... 'whatever tools come to hand' being the operative phrase here.

What can you expect? Well it's a 2D switchscreen platform hopper featuring Half-Life's very own Gordon Freeman who's struggling to save the world from the sudden loss of the third dimension. 'Nuff said. As you wade through the levels you come across all sorts of familiar objects from Half-Life: crates, pistols, submachine guns, grenades, zombies, headcrabs, HEV and health stations, etc. But you also get a shoot at or use a few of the new features and enemies promised in HL2, such as dune buggies, manhacks, combine guards, alien gunships, striders, and the manipulator gun - which works as advertised, and is indeed, pretty k3wl.

Needless to say it doesn't take itself very seriously at all. Some of the dialogue with the other characters in the game like Dr. Kliener, Alyx and Barney is very funny and just drips with rampant HL2 insider fanboyism - especially when, as Gordon, all you can do is reply with various kinds of smilies: :D :) :/ etc...
The controls have obviously been designed to be instantly recognisable by Half-Lifers and 3D shooter fans in general: being of the traditional WASD + Mouse layout - they even map back to their usual FPS functions with something approaching familiarity. The movement keys are fairly explanatory, and the mouse controls the aim of the bullets/flashlight in a manner reminiscent of the old sidescrolling Abuse game.

The graphics aren't too bad; with everything firing and exploding in a fine manner. The action can get a little hectic at times and some of the bosses can be quite tricky. Though as with most console-ish arcade action games it's just a matter of keeping your finger down on the fire button as you dodge the incoming shots. The one thing is does lack is a savegame feature; but then as it only takes 15-20min to complete the whole thing there's not much of a problem there.

Overall if what you are looking for a quick 20min, 10 level blaster this is the game for you. Like Tomby said on the HL2 forums, all it needs now is for Counter-Strike to be modded to it...


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