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Sword Bearer

Half-Life 2: Episode One (Possible spoilers inside)

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I am going to have to borrow a quote from Peter Griffin to describe this semi-mini game.

 

"HOLY CRAP! That was friggin awesome man!"

 

And it is frigging awesome. The opening of the game doesn't explain a whole lot, it is still cool, and gives you an idea as to how Alex survived the explosion of the teleporter at the top of the citadel. Lets just say that the Vortigons are a little more powerful than they would, at first, seem. But to skip ahead a very little bit.

 

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*

 

The game opens up to Gordon waking up with Dog digging through rubble that has collapsed on top of him. Alex is there also, and after a quick simple Gravity Gun puzzle, you end up talking to Alex's father. From here you learn that the Citadel core is about to go critical, and that you need to get out of the city before it does, because then there wont be a city. To do this, you have to first restabalize the core to buy yourself some time. After a very Disney Land style rollercoaster ride, you end up inside the Citadel. Only this time, the Stalkers (the skinny dudes with the funky limbs) are real enemies, with lasers! So to cut out most of what happens, there are a lot of Gravity Gun puzzles in this area, including an elevator ride where you have to grab those weird energy balls, and deflect falling debree from hitting your ride. This was very, very, frustrating. But in the end you get down, find the core, restabalize it, and start making your way out of the big tower. About halfway through, you find a large chamber, with a giant stack leading up to the top of the tower. And being loaded into the stack, are what look like single passanger ships. As one of the goes into the stack, it seems as though whatever is inside of it begins to attack you telepathically. (Personally I think these are more of the last boss that you had to fight in the first Half-Life) So you and Alex run out of the room, and escape. So you manage to get out of the Citadel, only to get into very dark, very anoying, subway tunnels. To be fair, most of the places in this game are anoying :thumb:.

 

It is here that you run into a remake of an old enemy. Namely, the head crab zombie. Only this time, its Combine Soldiers that are being turned into Zombies. These guys will either walk, or run at you, and occasionally grab a grenade from their person, and try to kamakazie with you. Oh, and they are frigging hard to take down to! Most of the time it either takes three shotgun blasts to the torso, or two to the head to get rid of them. One of the more memerable places you have to get through is a parking garage. In the center of the garage are three Ant Lion holes. Now, in HL2, you never ran into these that were against you. Now you do. And let me tell you, these things are, you guessed it, anoying! I died several times before I found that you have to use the gravity gun to push cars into the holes, sealing them. Once that is done, make your way to the top, and open the door.

 

You should hit a few more tunnels, an elevator area where you have to fight off several swarms of zombies of all types, except poison ones, although the poison crabs make an appearance. So you get in the elevator and make your way to the surface, and face off with a fortified street. You'll have a little help is some of these areas, and Alex is actually helpfull...Most of the time. There are a few spots where I try to backpeddle hard, and she was blocking my path, and I died.

 

Ok back. No lets see, where was I? Oh yeah, the fortified street. This is a fairly interesting level, as Alex stands back, and lets you move forward alone, in a sense. She actually grabs a dead combine soldiers sniper rifle, and helps out by picking off zombies for you. While its not a good idea to let her do all the work, as that will lead to a quick death, it still is pretty awesome to finally get to see an NPC doing something helpful! While most of the game is an excort mission, Alex pretty much stands back, and lets you lead, without getting herself killed. There is a point here where you come to a sky way, with the windows covered by wooden planks. By now, you probably dont have any ammo, and your best bet is to remove the planks, and let Alex kill most of the zombies. So you make your way through the building, and come back out to the street. Here, Ant Lions are attacking the Combine Soldiers, and one of them is in a box above the street shooting at them. A fun way to deal with this dude, is to pull the box apart with the Gravity Gun, and let Alex sniper him before he even knows whats happening. And so you break through the gate they have set up, and make your way back into more buildings. (If there is one real problem with this game, its that you spend to much time inside. HL2 had multiple levels where you were outside for a good portion of time.) But anyway, after making your way through the building, and a quick battle outside with more Soldiers, and some Rebels, you are taken into another building, that is the HQ of what is left of the Rebel forces.

 

Turns out that Barney is still here, and both he and Alex are wondering why the other is still in the soon to be gone city. Barney, it seems, is trying to help the last group of refugees out of the city, by getting to the train station. The only problem, Alex and Gordon have led the Combine straight to them. And so, Alex and Gordon take a long route to get to the train station, through a seemingly abandond hospital. Seemingly abandond, because its still occupied by Soldiers, and Zombies alike. There are several points where you have to fight all of them, at the same time. And, just because Valve hates you, a Gun Ship is chasing you outside the hospital, trying to shoot you at every chance it gets. And so, you make your way to the roof, where you get there just in time to watch the Gun Ship take out a rocket launching wielding Rebel. Now, at first it looks like a nice little roof, slightly rotten, and then the Gun Ship begins to tear the whole place apart with its machine gun. Cover quickly gets taken out, but it also clears away stuff so that you can shoot the rockets at the Ship. Once it explodes, make sure you not in its way, as the Ship will crash next to the door that you came in through. And that is how you thoroughly impress Alex. And so you once again begin to make your way back through the Hospital, trying to reach the ground. Lots of Zombies, and Soldiers have decided to make this place their home...And grave, and you have to fight your way through them. There is a point where you fall through the floor, and have to solve a puzzle involving locked doors, and electrified water. Alex is upstairs killing zombies right now, and shows back up when you are done. Its after this puzzle that you first run into the poison zombies. And yet another room where you are trapped by lots of zombies outside the room you are in. And so, some gun toting, and many gashes later, you make your way out of the hospital, and straight to the train station. As soon as you reach the station, a camara sees you, and now the Combine have figured out what it is that you are trying to do.

 

And now Barney shows back up, with a few of the Refugees left. And its your job to escort them to the train. The first batch of people is small, but now Soldiers appear to screw things up, and so you get to know where it is that you have to lead them. Right outside the door that you have to get them through, is a machine gun mount, that Alex snags to guard the door. And its back to Barney for you. Now, it is an escort mission, but it really isn't that bad, as the Refugees all have weapons, and dont die to easily. After the second trip, a Combine Car/Tank thing appears, I cant remember what they are called, and begins to shoot rockets at you. Fortunatly, there is a rocket ammo crate right there, ready to serve you fresh rockets whenever you need them. You know when the last batch of Refugees is ready, because now Barney will follow you. Once getting everybody inside, Alex locks the door, and Barney and she decide that Barney with the Refugees, needs to go on a seperate train. So they leave, and you and Alex run to find another nearby train.

 

Upon reaching the next station, which is a nice peaceful walk actually, you come to a door that you have to open for Alex. The crank to open it is inside a fenced in area right next to the door. And so Alex goes in to get the train ready. Unfortunatly for you, a strider decides to rear its oddly shapped head, and blasts the crank. So the door slams shut, and you now have to fight this thing on your own. Now, the room your in is kind of a rectangle, filled with a great many boxcars. And on the oppisit side from where you are, obviusly, is a box of rockets. And so now the main issue is to get from one side of the room, to the other, without dying...Duh. This is actually a lot of fun to do, and has a few surprises mixed in. One of which is the fact that every now and again, the Striders big laser can push the cars, and try to crush you under them. Thats just awesome.

 

And so you kill the strider, and Alex and Gordon board the train...And thats all I'm going to tell you. Go beat the game yourself to find out what happens as they leave the city. :mm-wiley:

 

SB

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