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That's the tag line behind Valve's latest offering that packages in three new games along two previously available ones.

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Pros

Tons of content for your money

23 agree

Team Fortress 2 is an excellent multiplayer game

16 agree

Half-Life 2 is still one of the best games ever made

16 agree

PORTAL! AWSOME, additictive, innovative game

10 agree

Great price considering the inclusion of both Episodes as well

9 agree
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Cons

Many people already own Half-Life 2

11 agree

No split screen play

3 agree
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Five games, One Box. That's the tag line behind Valve's latest offering that packages in three new games along two previously available ones. In a departure from Valve's usual operations The Orange Box will be available simultaneously on consoles alongside the PC. Naturally the title will be available from Valve's Steam digital distribution system, where each game can be purchased a la carte, though at a higher combined price.

Half-Life 2 and Episodes

Half-Life 2 released in 2004 to great critical and commercial success. The Orange Box contains the original game with updated graphics and improvements to the underlying Source engine technology. Half-Life 2 is praised for its solid physics engine with resulting physics-based puzzles, and immersive world and environments. HL2 was also ported over to the original Xbox with many features downgraded, the Xbox 360/PS3 port are nearly identical to the PC version.

Half-Life 2: Episode 1 is the previously available episodic addition to HL2. Once again you take control of Gordon Freeman, fight alongside his partner Alyx and try to take down the Combine the game's main enemy. Episode 1 reuses many of the same gameplay elements as vanilla HL2 with the addition of a few new items and weapons.

Half-Life 2: Episode 2 is a new addition to the series introduced in The Orange Box. The latest installment picks up right after the events of Episode 1, and again introduces a few new tricks to the bag. Originally slated for release as a standalone offering similar to Ep1 in Fall 2006, Episode 2 was delayed for a year and incorporated into The Orange Box release.

Portal

Originally started as a class project, Valve was so impressed by the initial demonstration of Portal that they hired the team and made the mod a standalone game. Built upon the Source engine Portal features no guns or weapons of any kind. Instead you have a "gun" that can manipulate portals, which are tiny wormholes that allow you to teleport from place to place. The game is a sequence of rooms each one being its own individual puzzle that requires you to figure out how and where to place the portals to get from the beginning to the end.

Team Fortress 2

Almost a decade in the making Team Fortress 2 was originally set for release in 1998 as the sequel to the popular Half-Life mod: Team Fortress Classic. The original game was set in a modern day military setting, and introduced the concept of class-based multiplayer where each person can choose from a different role with specialized weapons and abilities.

TF2 follows the paradigm of class based gameplay that has since become extremely popular, but goes for an entirely unique design aesthetic. The graphics are cartoony and over the top, with each class being represented by a highly stylized character. The abilities and skills of each class are limited relative to previous offerings as there are only a few weapons and skills available, however Valve added depth through the sheer number of classes and how they interact with one another. For example, pairing a medic with a heavy class grants the heavy character a major boost in health which makes them a far more formidable opponent to deal with.

Differences in Versions

Graphically Valve states that all three versions of the game will look nearly the same, though obviously a top of the line PC will win out. Both the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game do not support mouse and keyboard setups. Valve is directly responsible for developing the PC and Xbox 360 port, while a development team inside of EA handled the PS3 port.

Post Review
Howlsthunder
05/27/2008 09:11

It's hard to overstate my satisfaction. :D

Rabidpotatochip
04/24/2008 07:28

I bought this mainly because of Golden Eye: Source, a Half-Life 2 mod, but Team Fortress 2 and Portal made it worth the money for me.

I'm making a note here: huge success. ;)

Howlsthunder
04/30/2008 05:58

So far I have only rented this to play Portal, which I absolutely love. I wish they'd make a stand-alone version for the XBox (I don't have a Windows machine available to me for playing the current stand-alone). :)

*Edit to add: I take this back - I rented it again to show Portal to a friend and we ended up playing Half-Life 2 non-stop for the 5 days we had it rented for. I found a new love in the videogame world. If I owned an XBox, I would own this game. The graphics are gorgeous, the total immersion in the world is awesome (no chapter gaps, you keep in 1st person, playable mode during what would otherwise be cut-scenes, etc), and the design of each area is done so there are many different ways to go about accomplishing a task. Its just so lush. I also like the lack of any leveling up system, meaning you cannot 'fall behind'. I also like that nothing feels tacked on - nothing is in the game just for the sake of being in the game. I am not a hard-core gamer in that I don't go for super difficulty: though I do like to have challenges, I also like to have fun (as opposed to controller-chucking and lots of swearing). ;) Just... yay.

Gt-d
04/04/2008 11:03

Got the orange box, played through Portal (I think it took me about 3 hours the first time, and about an hour the second for the story mode), played through both episodes, played a bit of TF2...

It's freaken great... Portal is everything I expected it to be (but fairly short), each episode was awesome, TF2 is a fun game like classic TF and the original.

Highly recommend it... simply amazing.

Also its been on special for $49.99 on steam.

Squalorking
01/30/2008 05:28

Portal is probably the most addictive game ever. I'm not much of a gamer, but I had access to my cousin's Xbox for a weekend....

Well. That doesn't take much exposition.

Gt-d
01/10/2008 11:40

Yeah, I have HL2 right now - but I really want to try out all the new stuff, especially portal... too bad I'm so enthralled in WoW :/

SilenceOmo7
11/06/2007 07:49

This is one of the most amazing values I've ever seen in the video game world. All these games are good if not great.

Dialupinternetuser
10/18/2007 05:39

I saw some teenager who was trying to get his Mom to buy it for him at Target, except from the side it looks like some little kid movie from Nikolodeon (i.e. Dora the Explorer) so it was vaguely amusing.

Erik
10/10/2007 10:33

It's now available for download on Steam.

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