Half-Life: Opposing Force Steam Review

Opposing Force is the first expansion pack for the five star new standard bearer FPS Half Life 1. The bottom line is this is a great expansion pack.

You are a marine, Corporal Adrian Shepard sent into the Black Mesa facility after Half Life 1’s protagonist Gordon Freeman uh accidentally created a rift in space / time and brought aliens in. Everyone talks to you in the game without cut scenes.

When you start the game, Gordon in Half Life 1 is still there and your mission goes from being sent to kill him to fighting for your own survival. You visit portions of the first game yet changed, such as you will visit some of the entry tunnel from the first segment of Half Life 1. You will visit the dam from the original game. Everything changed with new challenges in each. There are plenty of puzzles some are different than the original game and others are more complex. Such as instead of having to use a push box once, you need to use it 3x pushing it from room to room.

1I’d say those old environments (destroyed with new challenges) are maybe 1/100th of the map content. The new environments feel fresh and they use a lot of lighting to make it look different. It feels fresh because the other universe is starting to be integrated into our own universe through the aliens making it and because Black Mesa had creature exhibits. There are new textures, you’ll go through vine covered sewers where giant fat aliens have their nests.

There are also new gameplay elements that you will be introduced to in an optional training course. The training course is a very nice tutorial that will show you everything new such as ropes to climb and swing on. It’s a very nice mechanic. The flashlight has been replaced by night vision goggles which are very nice. You also have new squad mates to find in the game that will aide you like the medic who can heal you on command, the engineer who will blow torch his way through some doors and your standard commandos. Each of these three will fight intelligently and won’t just stand around getting shot. They will defend the territory if you command them to stand there.

That’s another thing the enemy and friendly AI is great as always from the game. AI will run from grenades, throw their own grenades, flank you, run from your fire and other things. It’s very nice.

There are a lot of new weapons. I was surprised. You start with new melee weapons, a new pistol with an optional laser sight, a new sniper rifle that can be quite useful, new alien technology (if you don’t want to hear just skip to the next paragraph), such as an electrical gun, a cannon that looks like a BFG from Doom (only more awesome), an acid spitting alien, and a ceiling grabber (yes the enemy) that can be used as a hook shot!

All the old enemies are here too… but there are a lot of new enemies too (if you don’t want it spoiled, skip on!), the new enemies seem to be faster and more dangerous. From waist high creatures that run to you, to taller electric shooting aliens controlled by ant like parasites, giant fat electrical discharging enemies… and their offspring, the list goes on, but you’ll be surprised at some of the things the expansion comes up with.

With a 5+ hour play through the first time, I do wish it was a bit longer so they could divvy out the enemies a bit slower. But hey it’s an expansion pack. The graphics are not improved and they still have bugs like getting stuck in the floor of elevators and lifts, but all of that can be overlooked. A lot has been added to make this expansion worth anyone’s time. Great expansion pack!

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