EA Games Half-Life 2: The Orange Box
- Every game offered up is solid, Portal is especially awesome
- The new games, especially Portal, are a bit too short
Valve's done an amazing job with Half-Life 2: The Orange Box, and it shouldn't let down any fans of the series with its slick presentation, great game play variety, and entertaining stories.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
You want to talk about getting your money's worth? Take a look at The Orange Box: not only do you get Half-Life 2 and the two episodes, you also get Portal and Team Fortress 2. For first-person shooter fans, it doesn't get much better than this.
What's even better is that each individual game runs amazingly well on the Xbox 360. The graphics are amazing as is the presentation. The interface that Valve created for navigating through the content is also wonderful. You can easily choose a game from the main screen, play for a bit, exit out and jump right into something else. A useful auto-save function keeps tabs on your progress so you don't have to worry about losing any of your hard work.
As for the games themselves, we'll skip Half-Life 2 and Episode 1, as they have been covered elsewhere (they're still awesome, by the way) and stick with the three new titles -- Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal.
Same great taste
We wish we had the space to go in-depth on all three games; in fact, each deserves its own separate review! But since space is at a minimum, we'll just say this: they're all awesome in their own right. Episode 2 delivers more of the same action that we saw in the original and Episode 1. It's a great continuation of the storyline and it will no doubt satisfy diehard fans who have been waiting to continue the adventures of everyone's favourite quantum physicist turned warrior, Gordon Freeman.
The online FPS Team Fortress 2 is also a winner with its unique cartoony visual style and its finely tuned game play. It doesn't weigh you down with a billion class options and focuses instead on just simple fun. It's a great counterpart to the serious sci-fi battles of Halo 3 and should attract its own fan base in short order.
Lastly, we have Portal, which is easily one of the most creative, mind-bogglingly addictive games we've ever played. You start out as a test subject taking part in an experiment put on by Aperture Science Laboratories. You are tasked with overcoming puzzles using portals. The portal system sounds almost too ambitious for its own good: first, you create a blue portal on a wall, floor or ceiling. You then create an orange portal in another location. Walk, jump or fall through one portal and you'll end up coming out of the other.
Amazingly enough, this system has zero flaws. The difficulty ramps up well and while the later stages do get fairly complex, there's (almost) nothing impossible in Portal. What's also surprising is that Portal has a fun storyline which features some genuinely witty writing. Although it only weighs in at three to four hours, Portal is one of the biggest attractions in the Orange Box, managing to steal its fair share of the spotlight against the other amazing content with its ingenious premise and superb design.
Bang for your buck
Before we end this review, we have to just point out some minor quibbles with the game. First, we feel that the Gravity Gun is an awesomely innovative tool in the Half-Life series, but for Episode 2, we had hoped that Valve would address the fact that carrying around a large object obscures your vision field. Another nit-pick: while The Orange Box has a lot to offer, some of the new games are a bit too short, particularly Portal. A game this good deserves far more than an all-too-brief four-hour play time. That's not to say that those four hours aren't incredible but that the experience is over far too quickly.
But beyond that, there is nothing bad we can say about this package. The fact that you get five games is awesome. If you divide it out, you're essentially paying $10 for each game, which is an incredible bargain.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
- This week in games: Free Titanfall 2 weekend, Star Wars Battlefront meets Rogue One
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- CCTechnical lead (Informatica MDM)Other
- CCData Migration Lead - SAPNSW
- FTSecurity Incident / SOC Analyst (Tier 1) - Permanent - North Ryde BasedNSW
- FT.NET DEVELOPER | MID-SENIOR LEVEL | MEDIA INDUSTRYNSW
- FTChief ArchitectVIC
- CCProcess Specialist - short contract, asap start!VIC
- TPData AnalystVIC
- TPSenior Business Analyst - Risk & ComplianceNSW
- CCNetwork Systems Engineer l Application Support l Linux l Port MacquarieNSW
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- FTManager Integration PlanningNSW
- FTLife/400 Developers / Programmers - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- CCDigital Business Analyst l SalesforceNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantNSW
- FTSnr SOC Security Coordinator - Perm - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTMDM - ConsultantNSW
- CCService Desk Consultant-Baseline Clearance RequiredNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD
- FTC ProgrammerACT
- FTLife/400 Technical Business AnalystNSW
- FTBack End DeveloperNSW
- FTConsulting Solution/Integration ArchitectVIC