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November 30, 2007

Evil Xmas List #3: Orange Box...

Real value comes from two things: a great price, and a great product.

Orange Box is a real value.

It contains the original Half-Life 2, which polished up the amazing breakthrough in FPS that was Half-Life, and takes it to a new level of bizarre and compelling story telling.

It adds in Half-Life 2; episodes 1 and 2. OK, one of the worst naming schemes in gaming (with the possible exception of the unending Final Fantasy line) making you say "well I've already played HL2, so that must have included Episodes 1 and 2, right?  Well, wrong.  Episodes 1 and 2 take up the end of HL2 and march you down a new serialized story with the same characters.  And don't worry, these stories are better than the Lucasfilm Episodes 1 and 2...

Add as butter the latest version of Team Fortress, which brought specialized player types to online multiplayer games.  Frankly, we're working our way up to TF, haven't played it, but only hear good things here.

The capper here is Portal.  A FPS without a projectile gun.  It's actually a series of puzzles, woven into a bizarre story about your relationship with an insane testing computer.  Truly innovative, with physics we only saw hinted at in games like Prey, the idea of a gun that shoots warp doors into walls wherever you want to place them is just great.

So, four games. All of which would be worthy of full or near full price by themselves. For the price of one new game. We recommend the PC version, but it's also available for XBOX 360 and PS3 (yeah, finally something that might be worth playing on the

That's value.  That's a present that keeps on giving.

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