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Half-Life 2: The Orange Box

Released on 14 December 2007

Rating: 15+ (BBFC)

4.0 out of 5 (67 customer reviews) | Write a review

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The Orange Box delivers five innovative action games from Valve - creators of the blockbuster Half Life franchise, in one box. The Orange Box includes Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal and Team Fortress 2 in addition to full versions of award-winning Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode One for an engrossing first-person action experience.

In addition to Half-Life 2 and the expansion pack Episode One, The Orange Box also features the following new games:

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - Half-Life 2: Episode Two takes gamers deeper into one of the best-known stories in gaming, following the desperate struggle of Gordon Freeman against the mysterious Combine. In this episode, gamers will leave the confines of City 17 for the first time.

Portal - Portal delivers an innovative new action gaming experience. Arming players with a portal gun allowing them to create portals from one location to another with the press of a button, Portal will forever change the way that gamers interact with their environment.

Team Fortress 2 - Team Fortress 2 is the sequel to granddaddy of role-based multiplayer action games. Featuring nine distinct roles - Heavy, Spy, Scout, Demoman, Engineer, Medic, Sniper, Soldier and Pyro - Team Fortress 2 is one of this year's most anticipated multiplayer games for any platform.

5 games, one box: The Orange Box is the ultimate collection of innovative action games for the PC or console, and an amazing introduction to the Half Life series for console gamers

customer Reviews

 Average rating (67 reviews)

 A great game, with exagerated problems. Very playable.

| | See all Savant's reviews (1)

I am an old fan of the Half Life series, and played both HL and HL2 on the PC when they originally came out. This, the first Play Station rendering, was somthing I've been looking forward to buy for quite some time.

The Half Life 2 games are still amazing, and this package contains all three of them (the original, and the two episodic expansions). The gameplay is almost unequaled in the genre, with the physics engine providing many great puzzles. Their graphics are beginning to age slightly, but are still competetive even now, and are clear and effective. The plotline, whilst intrinsically simple, has a wealth of detail and setting behind it, and this, coupled with a great soundtrack-ranging from enemy comm-chatter, to random quips from your rebel teammates- leads to a very immersive, fun experience.

The new solo offering, Portal, is a fantastic game, marred only by its shortness. The addition of portals to the Steam engine provides a very playable puzzle game, whilst the wicked sense of humour and concept provide an unforgettable gaming experience. Not quite worth the £50 RRP all by itself due to its shortness, as part of this package, Portal is a must-buy.

Team Fortress is the area where I have had least experience, but neverthless, the multiplayer offering rounds out the selection, providing a light, entertaining bit of carnage. The team-play dynamics are well balanced, and the game is different enough from the other competitiors (Resistance and Call of Duty) to stand out. The cartoonish graphics are some of the best I've seen, and the bright, styalised gameplay is qutie refreshing after the atmospheric Half Life, and dowright disturbing Portal. The only problems I've encountered come with the rather limited map selection, and possibly the reduced player count, but again, these are minor gripes, and this aspect of the box is a strong addition to the product.

Having said that, I was nervous of buying this game due to all the negative press it was reciving complaining about lockups, frame rate lags, and even crashes. Having completed both Portal and the main Half Life 2 game, and made some headway in Episode one, I have to say these problems are overblown. I have had the game freeze on me a grand total of once. There are a few patchy framerate places, but these are rare and not serious, definately not game-breaking. Had I not read the reveiws complaining about these problems, I wouldn't have even noticed them. The one aspect I do agree with is the complaints about loading screens, but these exist even on the PC version, and they are annoying (as loading screens always are!) but again, nothing approching game breaking. Maybe the game is better played on the xBox, or even the PC. I wouldn't know, but this game, on the PS3, is still a must-buy title.

The games themselves deserve 5/5, and the five-in-one value pack makes it a great buy. The few technical issues, and the pervasive belife that maybe this could have been avoided with a slightly better port are enough to knock off a star, at most...

 in response to weejok's review

| | See all LastBritishMonkey's reviews (2)

thats completely untrue. While there is some slow down in places it is virtually undetectable and certainly negligable in comparison to the great storyline, playability and value of the package.

Half life 2, episode 1 and episode 2 are all good quality lengthy games with quality graphics and gameplay

portal is a challenging puzzle game which is worth the money of the package in itself

team fortress 2 is an incredibly addictive multiplayer game giving the package playability over time as it can continue to be played after the single player games have been completed. Once again, team fortress 2 is worth the cost of the package in itself again.

 Great Value

| | See all SkykidFiera's reviews (20)

Buy this box set... even if it's just to play Portal.
Very high quality box of games that caters for single player or online multiplayer.
If you have never delved into the Half Life universe here's your chance to catch up with the rest of the world.
Enjoy.

 I am new to the series

| | See all RevantSolty's reviews (30)

Personally this is my first step into the the half life 2 universe, and i decided it would be on the Playstation 3.

When i loaded the game up i was required to install some data, upon doing this i was sent to a screen with the option of playing

Half life 2
Half life 2 episode 1
Half life 2 episode 2
Team fortress 2
and lastly Portal

Since i hadn't tried the origional game i went onto portal, Portal is a game which looks amazing on PS3 by the way, where you play as this woman in the aperature science place, eventually recieving a portal gun in which you shot a location, a portal appears, and you appear on x location on the map, it sorta is the input, output thing, you use the portal gun to solve puzzles, and that is as far as i got.

Now moving on the Half life 2 game you start off as Gordon freeman on the train, again i didnt get majorly far, still in city 17, but this game is kinda fun, the graphics are nice, and everything else feels really polished.

if you are new to the series or first person games in general, why not try this? i wasn't disapointed, it hasnt held me for long but it's great none the less

 Poor port of a great package!

| | See all weejok's reviews (14)

If you can get the 360 or pc version of the orange box. The ps3 version is a very poor port, it was coded by EA and not valve who handled the other versions. The ps3 version suffers from terrible slowdown and episodes 1+2 are virtually unplayable in some sections. Real shame for ps3 owners because this is the greatest selection of games around at the moment.

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Rating15+ (BBFC)