Half-Life Generation is a compilation pack which contains the video game Half-Life, and add on packs and mods for it. The latest incarnation of it was released on the 22nd of March 2002.
Half-Life was a landmark FPS game when it was released and it has gone on to become the second biggest selling PC game of all time in the United Kingdom, behind that fattest of cash cows, The Sims. After two add ons were released and people around the world were playing the multiplayer smash Counter-Strike, someone obviously realised that a lot of money could be made from sticking it all in a box together.
So you pay about £20, and you get all the games. Not a bad deal for someone (like me) who had never owned any of the games before this. Unfortunately I bought the pack before they started bundling Half-Life: Blue Shift in with it, but I got everything else.
The pack contains:
- The game that started it all: a brilliant sci-fi adventure starring Gordon Freeman as a hapless scientist who gets trapped in the underground Black Mesa complex and has to fight his way out past legions of aliens who are after his blood, and legions of marines, who are also after his blood. Brilliant level design, scripted set pieces and weapons set off the package a treat, and Half-Life remains one of the greatest games ever made. The version actually included in the pack is the Half-Life : Game of the Year version, which comes with Team Fortress Classic and Half-Life: Uplink included.
- Half-Life: Opposing Force
- The first add on pack for Half-Life was developed by Gearbox. This time you are put in the shoes of one of the marines who is sent in to clean up the mess at Black Mesa, but as usual, something goes wrong, and your transport plane crashes in the first few minutes. The gameplay is very similar in style to the original, but with some added complexities: for example, if you should meet up with your marine buddies again you can have them follow you around, help with the fighting, treat your wounds (if you find a medic) and weld through locked doors (if you find an engineer).
- Half-Life: Blue Shift
- The second add on for Half-Life was a stand alone which did not require the original game to be installed. This let the fans down somewhat because it was a little short, but it did provide a few hours of action packed gaming. This time you were in the shoes of Barney Calhoun, a security guard who worked in Black Mesa. Everything goes wrong yadda yah. Perhaps the most exciting feature of this game was that it included a high definition pack which not only provides upgraded graphics for this installment, but also improved the models and textures for the two previous installments of the series. although the game in itself may leave you unsatisfied, it is well worth it when included in this pack.
- Counter-Strike is the most popular mod (modification) the Internet has ever seen, period. A fan-developed project that became one of the most loved games ever was a guaranteed commercial hit (even though it was and still is available to download for free), and so it was snapped up by Valve and released first on it's own, and then in this compilation. Unfortunately, because the game is updated so quickly, the CD you get in the box will contain an out of date version which cannot be used to play online. Most PC gaming magazines will carry latest versions on their coverdiscs though, so look around. The game itself is a objective based team game, pitting the terrorists against the counter terrorists or C-Ts, with real world settings and weapons. Each round is a few minutes long, and the teams have to fight ot protect hostages, save a VIP or set/defuse a bomb. After each round money earned by, for exampling, killing opposing team members can be spent on guns, ammo and other equipment. It can only be played online, but there are countless servers, so finding one should not be a problem. A few other lesser known mods are also included to fill up the CD, such as Half-Life: Firearms.
Overall, H-LG is a great compilation of some of the best computer games ever made. It is available for about £20 (not sure about foreign prices, but I'd guess about the same value, so probably about $30 in the US) and to be honest, that would be a price worth paying just for the original game alone - but with all the extras, this becomes unmissable. Buy it today.
Owning the pack.