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)
Best Deals (Selling at 3 stores)
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.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z3 review: The no-frills flagship
- 2 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: The busiest, biggest and best Samsung phablet
- 4 Aldi's $279 Bauhn Sphere review: Disappointing
- 5 Nokia Lumia 735 review: Perfectly ordinary
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Three ways enterprise software is changing
- T-Mobile to pay $90M for unauthorized charges on customers' bills
- Companies battle for control of Italy's national fiber network
- Obama promises response on Sony hack, says pulling movie was mistake
- Trojan program based on ZeuS targets 150 banks, can hijack webcams
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.