My top five games, this time, it’s number four.

Number Five Here.

Number Four: Half-Life (PC)

Half-Life on the PC

I was introduced to Half-Life way after it’s release date in 1999. I first played the game on my Intel Pentium III, 400MHZ, in about 2001. It was also my first “First Person Shooter” video game. And, from that point on, it was the benchmark for all first person shooters that I played. The combination of it’s story telling, graphics, gameplay and characters created a atmosphere that ended up being one of my favorite games of all times.

The graphics, for it’s time, were beyond what was thought possible. Valve managed to crank it up to 11, making developers for years go “We need to make a game that looks like Half-Life!” The closest competition Half-Life had on the market was Unreal Tournament, also released in 1999, and it didn’t come close to the realism that Half-Life posed. The environments were smooth and full of life. The characters actually moved their mouths and acted intelligently when attacked. Everything about the technical aspect of this game screamed “We’re here from the future!!”

It was also the one of the first First Person Shooters to incorporate a puzzle aspect in between the fire fights. It blew gamers minds when they had to pause from shooting aliens and push boxes around to be able to climb up on a ledge to continue playing the game. This aspect soon spawned many other games who created puzzle situations into their action-oriented games.

The "Zen" World In Half-Life

The story of Half-Life was also a new thing for, well, not only for the First Person Shooter genre, but for games as a whole. Before Half-Life, we never had an extensive story line in a game. Gabe Newel created an entire world, with back story and many characters, then threw a scientist into the middle of a three way war. And the entire game was told in a first person perspective; not a single cut scene in the entire game. It was the first game to actually put you in the shoes of a character where you could literally become him and watch this story unfold.

I think I’ve made my point that when Half-Life was released, First Person Shooters, and gaming in general, changed forever. And then, when it’s sequel would be released in five years, the same thing would happen all over again.