Half Life is the first 3D "Doom clone" that tries to bring some of the interactivity of multiplayer to the single player game. You are a junior scientist, assigned to a top-secret government project at the Black Mesa research facility, somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
The starting sequence sees you riding the transit train into the huge underground facility, a fantastic and beautifully rendered voyage that is accompanied by data on the screen that fills you in on your character's background. The voyage into the bowels of the complex is clever, as it mirrors the objective of the game, which is to escape the complex.
The opening sequence is long, and each section of the journey has to be loaded like a level, but it is an enjoyable ride. Finally you arrive at the facility, where you start to meet the non-playing characters (NPCs).
Fellow scientists urge you to hurry to the test lab where you are expected to take part in trials, and there are also security guards who chat as they open security doors for you.
Of course, the trials go wrong: aliens start beaming in on a dimensional warp and sucking the life out of scientists. To survive, you have to interact with the survivors to help you open doors, and get security guards to provide cover. One key is used to interact with the NPCs: press once to get someone to help you, press again to tell them to stay put.
A new take on 3D shooters, Half Life delivers a great interactive plot with stunning graphics. The multiplayer side of things is superb as well, with good performance over a LAN and excellent deathmatch levels.
As with most 3D shooters, Half Life is pretty power hungry, and to get the best from it you'll need a fast PII with plenty of memory. If you want to experience the game at its best, we recommend a 3D accelerator.
- Publisher: Sierra
- Telephone: 01734 303322
- Price: #34.99.
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