After playing through The Orange Box, this reviewer sits amazed at the contradiction. On the one hand, the sheer brilliance and amount of glorious content for $50 is mesmerizing. The downside is that the ostensible focus of The Orange Box, i.e. Half-Life 2: Episode 2, is a let down because not only does it fail to break new ground in terms of both story and design, it recycles the same puzzles while failing to offer anything new. It even goes so far as to introduce a new character late in the game whom everyone else but you seems to know, while neglecting so much as a passing mention of one of the franchise

The game is just as pretty as it was when it debuted a few years ago. Nothing drastic has been changed other than the addition and tweaking of the HDR lighting. Valve

The sound effects from the first game are recycled yet again so there is nothing new to report on the Half-Life titles other than the voice acting remains top notch. Merle Dandridge remains at the top of her game as Alyx Vance and continues to make her character a genuinely believable companion for Gordon. Episode 2 deepens their relationship and I

The controls handle as well as they do on any other FPS title on PC complete with a scheme that is easily remapped. The standard W-A-S-D controls movement along with the mouse handling the pointing functions, so this is what you

It

For $50 you receive the following: Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 Episodes 1 and 2, Team Fortress 2, Portal, and Peggle Extreme. That is a tremendous amount of gaming goodness for your money and if you already have Half-Life 2 and Episode 1, then you can give them away as gifts via your Steam account. While Valve

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