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The Orange Box

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Written by Vividbreeze on Thursday, October 25 2007

The Orange Box is Valve Software's console version of five of their latest and greatest games. The one disc includes Half-life two, Half-life two episode one, Half-life two episode two, Portal, and finally, the long awaited Team Fortress 2. Yes, you get a ton of gaming goodness for the price of one disc. Already, that makes the score of this title higher to begin with, and the fact that all games are built on the new Valve Source Engine, means they look beautiful as well.

Since most of you have had experience with Half-life two, and most likely Half-life two episode one, we will gloss over those two sections of The Orange Box. In fact, all I will say about Half-life two, is that it is one of the best games to be released for the PC in recent memory. Half-life two episode one follows along the same suit. While episode one is definitely shorter than Half-life two, it plays and looks just as well. Let's begin with episode two.


Keep in mind, that any story related information in his review is going to be a definite spoiler for anyone who has not played Half-life two or either of the episodes yet. That being said, episode two begins exactly where episode one ended. The infamous Dr. Freeman, and Alyx have just escaped City 17, and the train they used to escape has just crashed. Alyx helps to free you from the wreckage, and you begin your journey through the wilderness to the rebel outpost at a place called White Forest. As you progress through the Combine infested suburbs, you will pick up a bit of information that fills in significant parts of the Half-life story. To answer your first question, no, we do not find out any more about the G-man's origins.

If you have not already familiarized yourself with the Source Engine, I can tell you this. This custom-made Valve game engine software is not only one of the top looking game engines around, but it is also a whiz when it comes to physics. In fact, many of the little tasks you must perform in order to progress through certain parts of the map require you to use your gravity gun, which moves and stacks heavy objects with ease, in order to clear the way, or even build a new path. You must also use physics at times to help you take down the bigger enemies. So many times today do we see game developers make a great and realistic looking game, only to couple it with physics that would make no sense in the real world. No faster way to negate the graphical realism of a game, in my book. Fortunately, this is not the case with Valve's Source Engine. The game both looks and feels like you are living the last days of the human race, and what a dismal time it is.

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The Orange Box

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Player Support (1-16)

Co-op multiplayer
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Co-op multiplayer
Head to head multiplayer

Co-op multiplayer
Head to head multiplayer

Fully configurable control scheme
Dolby Digital 5.1
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