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Released: 1998

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: PC - Windows

Publisher: Sierra

Developer: Valve

Submitted by: Kai Lunkeit

Okay, so maybe this isn't exactly retro and I can already hear some of you moaning about this entry being not "old enough".

But ten years ago, HALF-LIFE broke into our gaming world and changed it forever! This gaming masterpiece truly is an outstanding and thrilling experience and it brought the FPS genre a giant leap forward.

The game design is pretty perfect, be it the bone-chilling scripted sequences, the thrilling storyline, the jaw-dropping visuals or the terrifying enemies. Everything was down to the point and – most importantly – served the story.

You play Gordon Freeman, a scientist in Black Mesa Research Facility. In a stunning intro sequence you witness the vastness of the whole complex. After an experiment goes horribly wrong and opens a gate to another world (no pun intended), you've got to fight your way through the huge complex and finally experience the mysteries of Xen (I won't spoil what that is) and the even more mysterious G-Man.

On top of that you've got one of the most fun multiplayer games in history and back then this game offered one of the most simple to use and most stable network games around!

I especially love the sound design, the cool radio messages of the enemy forces and the scripted sequences where you can see, for example, how out of nowhere a scientist gets grabbed by a monster right in front of you. And those mean headcrabs still give me the creeps.

Make sure that you also play the brilliant add-ons OPPOSING FORCE (1999) and BLUE SHIFT (2001).