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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Gordon and Alyx try to stop the destruction of City 17 ... with violence.
Violence & Scariness
Not as gruesome as its predecessor, but still very violent. Players use grenades, machine guns, the signature crow bar, etc. Blood splatters, bodies fly apart, zombies catch on fire, and more.
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Occasional, incidental strong language.
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Products & Purchases
Part of a series.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that players navigate a dark storyline featuring an apocalyptic alien invasion and the potential end of the human race. Action is fast and furious, featuring graphic violence and incredibly creepy situations. Players use grenades, machine guns, a signature crow bar, etc., and blood splatters, bodies fly apart, zombies catch on fire, and more. While this is the next installment of the Half-Life 2 series, you don't need the original game to play this chapter.
Is It Any Good?
Beyond the advancing plot, players of Half-Life 2 won't find a whole lot new here. All of the weapons are the same, and only one new adversary is added to the mix. Mature players new to the series should start with the original, or else they won't have a clue about what's going on.
While players might be disappointed in the length of Half-Life 2: Episode One (the committed can finish the game in one multi-hour sitting), they will thrill to the game's trademark creativity when it comes to cinematic style and puzzles. The cut scene introduction is more effective than most summer movies and guarantees to raise a few goose bumps. And the gravity gun (a weapon that works like a magnet, pulling an object close to you then allowing you to launch it violently at an enemy) is also in full effect.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate