I bought that game more than 1 and a 1/2 years back. A few months later, I started playing it. I saved the first game on 16th april,03 and continued playing for 4-5 days.. getting the hang of it. I've played 2-3 FPS games till now and the only one that has appealed to me has been max payne 1.
I've always played fps games in cheat mode but as a consolation chose the toughest level available.
2 reasons for this-
I don't have much time to play(3-4 days max. Playing w/o cheats would take 3-4 weeks and maybe I'd never finish it) and second, my head lies uneasy until I don't finish the game.
When I started half life, the mesa complex introduction is fine and dandy. But after that its one looong sequence of blah, blah, blah blah blah blah. When I played it last year, I saved the game at the 6th level because it was a little scary and I got bored too. Transferred the saved game files to a cdrw and left it alone until 2nd July of this month.
In these 14 months, whenever browsing through my cd's(about twice a month) one look at the half life cd and I would berate myself for not being done with it. So on 2nd I told myself this is it and re-installed the game. Over the next 4 days I just killed soldiers and zombies and monsters. Nothing else was on my mind (other than the wimbledon semis and finals).
As I came closer to the last few levels of the game, it actually got easier. But the middle levels took a lot of time to complete. I printed off the walkthrough for help and it came upto 22 pages!
On 6th I finally got to the last level. Finished it in 15 minutes but the game got stuck there. Wouldn't proceed further. Why? There is a bug(or feature?) in half life's apprehension map and nihilanth map(last one) where one cannot use any cheat codes at all. And I found that out yesterday when searching on google.
I then disabled the cheat codes and tried playing but the alien monster is too damn difficult to kill (I was playing in the most difficult mode). There are 2 endings to this game and I would have liked to see that but I'm not going to spend any more time and energy on that game anymore.
Some good and bad aspects of this game.
Graphics are still very very good.
AI is flawless.
Bad- The damn game is so long.
Enemies are difficult to kill( partly my mistake, I should have chosen an easier mode)
After serious sam 2, I decided I would only play fps games with humans as enemies. No zombies, no monsters, no aliens. And half life has all of them.
Last year I talked to people on irc games when I was looking for help on some levels and roughly 20-30 % hadn't completed the game. Too long, too tough, too boring.
I hate horror movies because they make me nervous. The same thing is with this game.
If you have played this game and like it, good for you. If you haven't played it yet, keep away from it.
Half life 2 will be coming out in a month but rest assured, I will not be touching that game. Ever. Max payne had a compelling(and innovative) story line.The only game I will consider playing is max payne 2 and that too in 2-3 years.