All member reviews for Half-Life 2: The Orange Box

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Common Sense Media says

Five gripping, mature sci-fi shooter games.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

Users say

(out of 135 reviews)
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Parent Written byXboxmom777 July 13, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Common sense you have judged a game by its rating yet again

I have a 12 year old son who has had a Xbox for about 5 months now and I got him this game. Now I'm not very familiar with games like this but I think if he is mature to play simple T rated games then this is a perfect game for kids his age group. Portal is such a fun and brain teasing game and calling it mature in any way is absolutely ridiculous. Now for Half Life 2. It is NOT in any way needed to be negotiated about being both T and M its T easy as that I myself do have a problem with guns and I am disgusted when my husband goes out and hunts.However I watch my son play Xbox a lot and this game is not in any way bloody sure some blood when you kill aliens.but nothing extreme. Now Team Fortress 2 is what you should be worried about. Its very cartoon looking but I assure you it is very bloody even though it is very fake and almost ridiculous it is very bloody. Now language is sort of an issue. But if your child is 12 or older he has probably been exposed to language enough that it doesn't even phase them. That's my review of the orange box. Not being a huge video game player, this may or may not be accurate, but its my review as a parent for a parent.
What other families should know
Educational value
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byramro2002 February 21, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Common sense overlooks another great game.

Well, common sense does it again. Their biased reviews only hurt the parents view on this game. True, this game (collecction) is rated M, to buy this game and let your kids play is your choice, and based on their maturity. My parents have allowed me to buy this game box (for a steal of 15 $). All games by valve have a console, for the pc. if you press the `~ button, you have options to turn of blood and gore. Portal is a great mind game that requires some really complex thinking, Team Fortress 2 is a cartoony, fun, battle game, with blood off options. The half life games are intended for a mature audience. Both games have bit of language, but what are you supposed to expect from a Mature game? So, i completely disregaurd the ESRB ratings, and focus on the value of the games. Half life the series has a engrossing, intellegent storyline.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bycountofcounts December 20, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Great deal! $20 for 5 great games!

The Orange Box comes with 5 games on 1 disc. It's best to review them seperately. Here goes... HALF-LIFE 2 (3 separate games) This game frightened me when I was in my basement, alone, with the lights off. It's gloomy and creepy. Lots of corpses, large amounts of blood stains (it's all over the floors and the walls during combat and remains there for the rest of the chapter), and pretty much... violence. The fight for human survival is inspiring, though. And there is a happy ending. Adult language: People say "dam", "hell", and "sh*t". It's infrequent, but still there. PORTAL: This is an innovative puzzle game (that I love to death). It's educational, because players have to strategically place portals and solve problems while using a unique method. The blood is EXACTLY the same as in Half-Life 2. When the player is shot by enemy drones, the Half-Life 2 blood is spilled and stains the walls and floor. Throughout the whole game, the player's blood is the only blood spillled. Very frequent use of crude and dark humor is present in the game. Yeah, it's funny. Yeah, it's creepy. Such phrases include this one: "Here at the test chamber, we are dedicated to letting you know anything of importance. Stepping on the floor past this room will result in having an unsatisfactory mark on your final report... followed by death." TEAM FORTRESS 2: There is no offline to this game. If you don't have internet for your Xbox 360, then this game is pointless. Two teams play capture the flag, or try to steal each other's control points. Players use lots of weapons and there are very large ammounts of blood splatter (the developers seem to really like blood) will stain the floors and walls and even discolor the water. Players can be stabbed, blasted, set on fire, and even hacked to death by an axe. It's incredibly violent. But most of it is portrayed as comical and funny... (which can be bad or good). The art style is VERY cartoonish and there is absolutely NO REALISM. Seriously... why would two opposing enemies build there bases 20ft from each other? It's a lot of fun, but honestly, the PC version is better. AGE RATINGS: ---------------------- HALF-LIFE 2: I rate this game ON for ages 16+ I rate this game IFFY for ages 13-15 I rate this game OFF for ages 12 and under. PORTAL: I rate this game ON for ages 12+ I rate this game IFFY for ages 9-11 I rate this game OFF for ages 8 and under. TEAM FORTRESS 2: I rate this game ON for ages 15+ I rate this game IFFY for ages 12-14 I rate this game OFF for ages 11 and under.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Educational value
Great role models
Parent Written bymaanu123 July 3, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

good fun for nearly evvry1

Many of these games are great for kids. WHile half life may need a adult supervision, it is a thoughtful, suspensul game where kids will need to think before every action. Portal, is of course, the best for kids. Calling it "Explicit violence" and saying people weild weapons is innaccurate to the point of vomit. Portal, you only "gun" is the portal creator, a invention that creates entrances and exits, that let you solve puzzles in this delightful game. Team fortress 2 is edgy, but is great fun for the mature pre-teen. Just watch out for language. all in all, this is great games
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism
Teen, 13 years old Written byFalconpunch64 January 3, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
ok tf2 is a little gory but portal is educational
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great role models
Written byAnonymous January 8, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

A breakdown of the games

I'll give you a breakdown of my opinion of the games: Portal: 7+ great game, nothing really bad about it, but only people 12+ will properly appreciate the style of humour in the game. Half Life 2, Episode 1 and Episode 2: 12+ unique shooters, but there is language and the violence seems a little more realistic than the other games. Team Fortress 2: 12+ arguably the BEST (now free for PC) online multiplayer-only game. language isn't bad, but violence is the main part of the game, and you will see blood and body parts flying around all over the place, but it is presented in a cartoony way, which makes the game appropriate for kids in my opinion
Educator Written byphycologyGuy September 13, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Halflife 2

It is an perfect game for a 13 and older child. If he/she is mature and understands what is realy happening in this game.There is also an option on any of the orange box gammes that allows you to turn off any blood gore swears ext: Enjoy
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byAussieIsaac December 6, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
Well I'd say that the Orange Box is an amazing package of games that, although may be rather violent, are fun, with nothing that young teens these days wouldn't be able to handle. However, each game is totally different with different levels of badness. Portal- Portal, despite being rated teen, doesn't really involve any violence. A bit of blood can be splattered on the wall if the player is shot, and an evil robot threatens to kill the player, but all done with a kind of quirky humour. The gameplay in Portal really makes you think and is very clever. I could even say it could be educational. So in conclusion, Portal would be appropriate for kids 10 and up. Half Life 2- HL2 and it's episodes are all pretty gloomy and very violent. However, the storyline is intriguing and the game itself is a masterpiece. Since it is set in a bit of a post-apocalyptic time, corpses can be seen often throughout, and quite frightening species of aliens are often encountered, the most intense being the 'headcrabs', which jump on peoples heads and turn them into gory looking zombies. Despite the high amounts of violence, the unity of the surviving humans is something to be inspired by, and it is nice, near the end of the game, to liberate the city. All in all, HL2 is something for older kids, and is rather gory, but doesn't include anything that could affect people too much. Team Fortress 2- TF2 is purely multiplayer, with the whole point to verse people in death matches over the internet. Although it is quite bloody, all the graphics are very stylized, being somewhat cartoony. I personally find this a very fun game, however is only appropriate in moderation (you don't want to be on a killing rampage for too long). However it is highly addictive (one of my friends has played 350 hours on it in the last few years, which I feel is too much). I'd say that TF2 doesn't really have many benefits, apart from being able to play with friends, and I'd say that TF2 shouldn't be played by small children due to it's very 'killy' nature. Overall, the Orange Box is a truly amazing package, that is great value. However, shouldn't be played by kids under 14 years old, or otherwise already corrupted by high school. Again, it is rather violent but doesn't including anything that would be 'too much' for teens. Thank you for reading.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Educational value
Great role models
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent of a 15 year old Written byzdtn22 July 30, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

fun game

great game, a little bit of blood, but nothing that's too inappropriate for a mature teenager
Adult Written bykittens21 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Excellent game(s)

First off, Half-Life 2 and Portal are easily two of the greatest games ever made. Episodes One and Two are also fantastic and Team Fortress 2 provides some excellent multiplayer. (Arguably better than Halo 3 or Gears of War.) The language is a bit worse than Prime Time TV stuff but nothing compared to most PG-13 movies. Sex is definitely not an issue: Half-Life 2 and Portal are two of the best non-kiddie games out there when it comes to sex, and have the only non-sexualized women in games. The violence is what you'd expect in the shooter. Yes, obviously, people fall down when you shoot them, and yes, unfortunately for kiddies--who shouldn't even be playing these games--you can see blood too. The gore at times in the "We Don't Go To Ravenholm..." chapter is pretty disturbing at times. Don't play that level with a weak stomach. Outside of that there's nothing really to worry about for the target age group. It's mostly M-rated (parents, don't be fooled by the "T-M" rating) so it's for adults. The only game safe for kids at all is portal, and that's supposed to be released on its own soon, so if your kid wants it I'd wait for that.
Adult Written byCommonSenseCritic January 25, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Valve is Best Gaming Company

TF2 ROCKS!
Teen, 14 years old Written by3dblaster May 1, 2015
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Article Is Wrong

The article says there are 4 M games and 1 T game. This is wrong. There are 2 T games (Portal and Team Fortress 2) and 3 M games (Half life games.) TF2 is cartoony and pretty appropriate, plus you can turn off blood. Portal is fun and challenging, with good humor and a loose connection to the Half life universe. Half Life 2 + episodes are some of the most gripping FPS games out there. It has violence and some language, but is not nearly as bad as Common Sense says.
Adult Written byBobSnerk January 8, 2015
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

NOT FOR KIDS

What you need to know is that these games should NEVER be played by teens or children. It contains blood, that's right you heard me RED BLOOD. There is no way anyone should be playing these graphic video games. There is also horribly graphic language such as damn. You might be hearing that your child is in middle school and is exposed to this all the time but it will SCAR your child in the most evil ways. Guess what one of the games also includes multiplayer. Everyone knows that everyone on a server swears like a sailor. Don't you EVER let your child play one of these awful games.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 14 years old Written bySol9000 October 19, 2012
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

My mind is at war as to weather I should download TF2 or not

Seen the game footage, going after Pyrovision Goggles to tone it down, and most likely gonna play as the Medic, but still on the fence as to weather I should get it or wait a while longer. Anyway, Portal. Played a bit of it. Liked it a bit, but got stuck on the Companion Cube puzzle. Yeah, sad. Anyway, it has learning potential, but I don't recommend it for younger kids is simple: They won't last ten puzzles on this game. Why? Simple: Since us kids haven't completely developed our brains yet, we are much more prone to being bad at puzzle solving. In the end, it was good, but I think I'll pass... maybe. As for TF2, none of these reviews helped my decision.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 9 years old March 13, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Incorrectly rated.

The Orange Box is one of the most gripping game collections, and although it is rated M, the content should be rated more T and that's at it's worst. The first game in the package is Half Life 2, one of the best games I've played in all of 2012. It has an intense plot that may scare younger children, and the monsters are even worse. We have the combine, which is essentially the Nazi's of the future. They are equipped with gas masks, stun sticks, and a vocoder. In the beginning, you are brutally treated by the combine, which may steer some parents of younger children away. The survivors, however, will be rewarded as the game progresses. Although incredibly creepy monsters such as the Headcrab or Poison Zombie appear, once you perform a full assault on City 17 (The starting point) you learn true teamwork and leadership. You lead 4 citizens with the same goal as you - over- throw the combine. You have to be tactical with the squad however, because if they die, you won't get anymore. Next is the 2 episodes, who have the same plot - overthrowing the Combine, and I explained that in the review of Half Life 2. Up next is the game I play away every free hour of my life away with - Team Fortress Two. It has 9 unique classes, the bad tempered Boston Scout, the grizzled veteran Solider, the sociopath Pyro, the (almost always) drunk Demoman, the Russian sleepy Heavy, the polite Texan, Engineer, the insane german Medic, the bizarre australian Sniper, and the dashing rogue Spy. Enough good things about the game - this is where it gets intense. You'll see a LOT of blood in the game, including heads flying off, limbs falling over and landing in a pile of blood as characters scream, and they have various weapons such as Jarate which is a jar of urine you throw at enemies. This may sound intense and scary and mindless, but actually, it's a funny game. Characters constantly throw out quips, and it teaches teamwork as you're about to die.. 5 HP.. You look over at a medic who could win the entire game, but he puts down the winning briefcase just to heal you. You lose the game because of that medic helping you out from a grisly death. Also, if playing the PC version, you can turn off blood and replace body parts with something like screws or hamburgers. Next up is the brilliant puzzler, Portal. You are a test subject to the darkly humored, yet eccentric sounding GLaDOS. She quickly turns from a young sounding voice on a microphone to the worst beast you've ever met. She constantly makes comments once you're escaping with things like "You're an orphan. You were never worth one thing" in a desperate attempt to make you throw your hands in surrender. I won't spoil what happens, but it involves a cake. For only 30 dollars, this game is a great grab for kids 9 and up.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bySpudling January 24, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Not as bad as it seems...

The blood isn't as graphic as described and the swearing is infrequent and moderate, really nothing to get into a hoo-haa about compared to some of the games available today.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written bybowser52 August 10, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Wait,

I can decide whether or not a game is suitable for me without my parents consent although I still discuss with them before buying/playing. I was originally not allowed to play Half Life 2 until i found a mod that actually removes the blood and gore for the entirety of the game. The game still keeps the violence of nonstop murder but removing the blood takes this down to a Teen rating. Keep this in mind before deciding. Otherwise this is a great game by all means and better with others off or online.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byBenaldo July 16, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

A great bundle, but not for the young 'uns.

The orange box is a great value, no doubt about it. Portal is in my opinion a wonderful experience fit for any kids old enough to handle a controller. Team fortress 2 is violent, however the setting is obviously cartoony and gore can be switched off. Multiplayer servers on TF2 are unmoderated however, and cursing and obscene "Sprays" (A feature of multiplayer valve games) are common. Half life 2 is the main reason i'd rate this as bad for 12 and under. Although an astounding game, Half life 2 is very violent in a realistic way. The player is pitted against humanoid and alien enemies, although the human enemies are faceless police units with little to no humanity. Gore is common, an entire chapter of the game is devoted to fighting against zombified victims of an alien parasite in a dark and dreary small town. Said small town is riddled with gore in the form of corpses, blood, and other things. Although the game has a clear good vs evil story, the gratuitous violence used by both sides sends bad messages to kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written byduddy199 May 25, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Hardly bad at all

I really have to disagree with Common Sense Media on this one. The only "real" violence is in Team Fortress 2, and even then it's so cartoony and fake looking it is hardly even bad anymore. If you are really that concerned, they can play the other 4 games. These games are brilliant masterpieces, and it would be bad NOT to let your kids play them.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old January 3, 2011
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Awesome Game.

When I played Half-Life 2, It almost made me destroy my XBox, The game Is so good! Portal Is educational cause of the puzzles. TF2 Is my favorite, but It has no updates. :(

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