PC/Mac/Linux
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System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP Minimum Intel Pentium? 233 or AMD K6-2 32 MB RAM 400 MB HD Space 2x CD ROM Drive SVGA, high-color (16-bit) Win-compatible Soundcard 32-bit Internet service provider with 28.8+ modem or LAN
Preferred Intel Pentium? 233 or AMD K6-2 48 MB RAM 3D Accelerator card (OpenGL or Direct 3D)

\'Opposing Force\', the first expansion for \'Half-Life\' has new creatures, new weapons, new areas of the Black Mesa Facility, and the same heart pumping, adrenaline action as the original. This game continues and expands on what made Half-Life great. \'Opposing Force\' comes in a stand-alone package, or you get it automatically when you buy \'Blue Shift\', the 2nd expansion pack. I highly recommend getting the \'Blue Shift\' package. You get the 2 expansion packs PLUS the High-Definition Pack. This pack updates all creatures and weapons (from the entire Half-Life Series) with higher polygon counts to make them look better than ever.

Story

This time around, you are Adrian Shephard, one of the marines sent in to find Gordon Freeman. Your mission takes a different turn when the facility is suddenly overtaken by aliens. You have a new mission. Get out alive. In your mission, you will make your way through areas of Black Mesa not in the previous game. You will encounter brand new creatures. And obtain some new and quite powerful weapons. You will also have some puzzles to solve.

Gameplay

If you\'ve played Half-Life and liked it, you will certainly like Opposing Force. The game has expanded on what made Half-Life so good. You are still winding your way through the Black Mesa facility, fighting against some fairly strange looking creatures. You\'ll be using your MP-5 with grenade launcher quite a bit, but will find a new set of weapons (some alien-oriented) to use. I found the new weapons and creatures to be a nice addition. It\'s a first person shooter, but, what has made the series so great is the way they make you feel a part of the environment. The sounds. The sights. You feel like you are really there. You will come across puzzles on your journey. The puzzles range from fairly simple, to more complex. They are typically of the \'how do I open a door\' or \'how do I get from point A to point B\' variety. Remember the Barnacles from Half-Life? They are the aliens with the long tongue hanging from the ceilings? This time around, you will find a helpful item in the game that\'s a Barnacle you can use. I won\'t give away its use, but it is needed to solve some of the puzzles.

Graphics

I have only played this using the High-Definition pack (explained above), so I don\'t know what the regular graphics look like. The graphics are somewhat dated but I am still very impressed with them. The pulsating and rippling look of the creatures continues to amaze me. Several times you will have co-operative missions with other Marines. These guys look pretty good too. By 2002 standards, the lighting effects and faces probably have the most dated look. Water effects are very limited. Because of these, the graphics rating is knocked down a bit. But overall, the graphics are very pleasing and believable.

Sound

The sound is a mixed-bag. I really enjoy hearing the sound of a creature around the corner before actually spotting it. Your character\'s sounds are also very well done (the sounds of your footsteps, reloading of weapons, and the firing of weapons). Where the sound can sometimes be a problem is when a character is talking to you. Sometimes the voice was too quiet or it was getting masked out by another sound in the room. The sound of a door closing could make me miss a key word or phrase someone was saying. I would have to go back to my last save point and re-listen to what was said.

Stability

The game ran great on WinXP. Only once did I have a problem. I had a save point that kept crashing on me when I\'d reload. This happened about three times in a row. I finally rebooted my machine and never had another problem.

InterfaceThe interface is quite simple and easy to use. There is a heads-up display (HUD) with all you need to know (health and ammo, essentially).

Christian Perspective

The game involves a lot of shooting and killing (both aliens and humans). There is also blood splatter when you make a hit. The blood can be easily turned off in the Parental Controls option. I should note, I don\'t actually consider the game to be a strictly all-shooter game. The game is full of puzzles which are sometimes tough enough to give you a good gratifying feeling when you have figured them out. Unfortunately, the language does get quite rough at times. More so than either Half-Life or Blue Shift.

Longevity

The game has a lot of life. There are user-created levels you can download as well as a multi-player aspect.

Final Analysis

No doubt the game has some terrific game play. The graphics are a bit dated, but still hold up well. I was disappointed to hear some fairly strong language this time around. The heavy violence may be an issue for some. With the ability to turn off the blood, the game becomes much cleaner. I know there are much more violent games available, but some of the scenes are still a bit gruesome.

Final Ratings

Game play: A+ Graphics: B+ Sound: A- Stability: A Interface: A Christian Perspective: D

Overall: 90%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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