So Friday afternoon I got Orange Box with much anticipation for Team Fortress 2, included inside. I'll give you guys the rundown on what I've played so far:
1) Half Life 2: I've never actually played HL:2 and only briefly even played the original Half Life. That being said what I've played so far seems really quite solid. The game has a nice story and while the graphics are slightly outdated the overall quality of the game is quite nice. Love the physics engine, character responses, etc.
2) Team Fortress 2: What can I say, it's a great shooter. The art style is quite unique, it had a nice class selection, and the maps are great. I do have a few gripes, however. By and large the pacing of the game is too fast, I'm not talking twitch factor, but just how easily objectives can be captured, and how much easier it is to kill than not be killed. It feels like a battleground where everyone is a AP/POM Mage. Too much offense. Also, the fact that there is no inclusion of a standard Submachine gun wielding circle strafing warrior really pains me. This was likely the intent of the dev team to really make each class have a super niched role, but I've played too many WWII shooters to go without this type of class. I really wish they'd made a class like the Heavy that moved a lot faster, but *actually* requires aim. Also, before buying the game the Demoman looked very interesting, but his effectiveness is too limited to certain locations of a map. Again, super niched, I know. Am I dogging it too much? Maybe. Like I said, I like the game, but I'm one to point out the faults(at least as I see them) in everything. Thumbs up to Valve on this one!
3) Portal: Here is the shining gem of Orange Box. Boy am I glad I paid the extra 20$ to get the collection instead of TF:2 by itself. It's a somewhat difficult game to describe, so I'll just say it's a spatially challenging game that gives you access to a portal gun to create rifts in space to connect two points in order to complete puzzles and finish each level. You really get to do some crazy shit. For example there are several levels that require you to use gravity to sling yourself to location you couldn't otherwise reach. Set Portal A on the ground and portal B high on a wall 30 feet up. You jump into A, fly through B, after you come out of B you fall towards the ground, while falling you create a new portal A, drop through it, rocketing yourself through portal B with the force of gravity flinging you onto a platform you couldn't otherwise reach. While rather short I must say this is one of the most innovative games I've played in years.
Definitely get Orange Box if you can to experience these titles. Feel free to add me, Draele, to friends on steam. Maybe we can play some TF:2 together!