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Half-Life 2 continues the story of Gordon Freeman, the scientist-turned-marine who managed to escape from the Black Mesa Research Facility in Half-Life. In Half-Life 2, Gordon has accepted the G-Man's "offer" and become a government agent on Earth. However, the Xen aliens, Combine soldiers, headcrabs, "ant lions," and other enemies threaten everything.
Gordon begins his quest in City 17 and, with the help of Eli and Alyx Vance, begins to unravel the mysteries behind the rapid changes on Earth. Freeman also encounters gigantic spider-like monstrosities that tower over buildings, impale humans on sharp spindly legs, and emit devastating blasts from their bodies — "striders."
All the voice actors from Half-Life have returned to voice their characters in Half-Life 2. The physics engine has been updated to include all objects within the game world; players will be able to shoot chairs to pieces, manipulate futuristic "gravity" guns, and interact with objects in complicated ways. Several vehicles will be available during certain levels, and environments include City 17, some suburbs, a dry ocean bed, an icebreaking ship, and a jail. An included game editor allows the creation of mods, maps, and level editing.
Editor's Note: Although Half-Life 2 is primarily a single-player game, a connection to the Internet is required to play it. Users must set up an online "Steam" account, hosted by developer Valve, in order to unlock the game content they install from the disk(s). ~ Mark Hoogland, All Game Guide