Half-Life Blue Shift
Genre Action -> FPS
Today's Rank 6065
Homepage
USA
Date 2001-06-13
Publisher V.U.G.
UK
Date 2001-06-15
Publisher V.U.G.
North America Retail Box ArtAlmost three years after the release of the original perennial game, Gearbox have completed a second expansion pack--Half-Life: Blue Shift. This time you play Barney, the security guard who you originally met entering the top secret Black Mesa facility as Gordon Freeman, who also decides to go after the invaders from Xen. Fans will be relieved to see more of the same first-person exhilaration experienced in the first two games, viewed from a new angle. The same choreographed set pieces that form the narrative are still evident, including a brilliant scene where the player is trapped in a broken lift when the aliens first arrive at the facility. Blue Shift is more than just an expansion pack, though; it's a standalone game--meaning you don't need the original to play it. It also upgrades the graphics of both Half-Life and previous add-on Opposing Force to higher definition content. Players will notice improved skins on the characters, especially the scientists and the weapons (although the firepower on the weapons remains unchanged). It's therefore almost compulsory to replay the previous episodes before embarking on the new levels. Blue Shift is an excellent new angle on the Black Mesa adventure and essential when good single-player games with storylines are becoming rare. Hardcore Half-Life fans will find the game too short but for the price and the graphical improvements to the original it's hard to resist. For online gamers, a new 32-person multiplayer "Capture the Flag" game has been included. This expansion pack will add some additional longevity to the thrills enjoyed in the previous outings and keep us waiting with bated breath for a full-blown Half-Life sequel. --Colin Neal
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