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Half-Life 2 is Guardian’s game of the decade

Thursday, 17 December 2009 10:06 GMT By Patrick Garratt

halflife2

The Guardian’s named Half-Life 2 as the best game of the decade. It’s a user vote thingum.

Apparently, “Half-Life 2 is the game of the decade, not just because it’s good, but because it encapsulates so much of what mainstream gaming has been trying to do for the last ten years; the aspiration to create believable, physically accurate worlds, then to make us a part of them.”

Knock yourself out. We really want to stop now.

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31 Comments

  1. NiceFellow

    A very good choice in my view.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Johnny Cullen

    HL2 is a good game, but this video should represent how I feel about the choice of no. 1

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Blerk

    I really liked it. Would I call it the game of the decade? Probably not. But I have no idea how I’d ever narrow my shortlist down to a single title.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. nea

    Maybe I wouldn’t call it Game of the Decade but I could easily sign the statement “because it encapsulates so much of what mainstream gaming has been trying to do for the last ten years; the aspiration to create believable, physically accurate worlds, then to make us a part of them.”

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Dannybuoy

    Screw the Guardian, they thought MW2 was game of the year!

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Len

    Gets my vote, a wondeful wonderful game which blew me away at the time. I like the Arthouse vs. Hollywood analogy, most apt imo.

    Now please give us some info on Eps.3 and not just another measly bit of art Valve!

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Blerk

    Yes, Episode 3 very soon, please. Before I forget what happened in the rest of the game.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. The Hindle

    Yes Ep 3 its been 2 years and we have heard nothing, i think they maybe building a new engine

    #8 5 years ago
  9. DarkElfa

    HL2
    TF2
    CoD:MW

    3 best of the Decade for me.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. NiceFellow

    what would you put in 1 then Johnny?

    #10 5 years ago
  11. mington

    ep 3

    What we know, and what to expect?We know the episode is going to be set in the northern reaches of the world of Half-Life, these will be cold places filled with ice and snow, oh and a Borealis.

    The Borealis is that great ship that disappeared during some experimentation by the same sort of scientists that caused the Resonance Cascade from the original Half-Life. From what we have seen from Portal and the previous Episodes the Borealis is a scientific ship that was involved in teleportation tests at the Aperture Science labs. Something went wrong which led to the ship disappearing completely from its original location. It is only during the events of Episode 2 that we find out that it has returned, this time in the coldest reaches of the world.

    http://www.halflife2.net/half-life-2-episode-3

    i don’t know if this is just a load of bull, but half life hasn’t done snow yet

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Len

    Like you say, bring on the Borealis and a portal/gravity gun combo!

    And surely they have to be working on a new engine to take this long…?

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Quiiick

    I don’t play PC-games & I don’t play/like MMORPGs but nonetheless “World of Warcraft” is probably #1 game of the decade.

    My personal choice would be among the following games (US release dates):

    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – Oct 13, 2009
    Killzone 2 – Feb 27, 2009
    Fallout 3 – Oct 28, 2008
    Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – Jun 12, 2008
    Grand Theft Auto IV – Apr 29, 2008
    Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune – Nov 16, 2007
    Black – Feb 28, 2006
    Resident Evil 4 – Oct 25, 2005 (PS2)
    XIII – Nov 18, 2003
    Final Fantasy X – Dec 17, 2001

    #13 5 years ago
  14. mescalineeyes

    my game of the decade is Silent Hill 2.

    Half-Life 2 I found incredibly overrated and worse than the original, which I loved.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Gekidami

    Personally i think there were better games then HL2 in the last 10 years. I’ll bet the fact its been rereleased keeps it fresh in peoples memories and thats why they vote for it.
    Silent Hill 2 is a great example; Awesome game but when was the last time people played it? It came out in 2001 and unless you actually go looking for it in your collection you arent going to be playing it. HL2 came out last year in the Orange Box.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. mescalineeyes

    yeah Geki, it’s the same with end-of-the-year best-of lists.

    at least that’s what I tell myself when I don’t see SFIV on one.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Johnny Cullen

    NF – One of the four.

    Metal Gear Solid 3
    Metal Gear Solid 4
    Grand Theft Auto III
    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Hunam

    Half-Life is better than Half-Life 2. Why cant you all see this?

    #18 5 years ago
  19. Psychotext

    We’ve done this before Hunam… and you’re wrong. :D

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Gekidami

    Half-Life didnt come out in the last decade so it dosnt matter.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Hunam

    I know, I just always see people claiming HL2 is the best thing ever and whilst it’s a great game, I can never really vault it to the heights everyone else thinks of it because it’s an inferior sequel.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. abbe

    Actually the Orange Box came out in 2007.

    Hunam:
    In my opinion Half-life 2 is better in the narrative and the way it actually tells a story and a world in peril, however Half-Life is better in the replayability spectrum because it doesn’t have long travel bits that just kills your soul.

    I have tried to replay HL2 several times but I just can’t do it. I would still say its one of the best games of this decade, probably just after TF2.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Hunam

    I actually think the story and story telling in HL2 is dire and almost puts me off the game. It’s filled with jokey characters that yabber on about crap for far too long whilst intently looking at you. In EP2 when Aylx gets skewered, I actually just walked off and left her too it, imagine my surprise when those aliens had saved her and she was sitting there waiting for me. Cunts.

    Half-Life 1 uses the technique of having a story that isn’t told to you, but by you. The story is of your adventures in Black Mesa, you’re fights, your interactions with security guards and other crazy stuff. It’s what you tell your friends about the game that defines the story. It has no real narrative but it genius in that it is a string of events relating to a single incident. For a shooter, HL1 story hasn’t been bettered IMO.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Game of the decade………that’s a tough call……

    #24 5 years ago
  25. NiceFellow

    @johnny

    those are good games but not as good as Half Life 2 IMHO – and I guess at least in terms of the voters for this list that’s the majority view.

    My main issue, and what I agree with in their view, is that MGS labours its narrative mechanics, and struggles with unweildy exposition, while Half Life 2 (and Half Life before it) elegantly delivery exposition without cutscenes or recourse to mechanics borrowed from cinema.

    GTA narrative is also always messy, although to be fair Rockstar persist in trying to marry some form of narrative to an open world game, and it never works, although GTA IV probably got a bit closer than most of their efforts.

    The key thing about Valve approach for me is they don’t have cutscenes, they don’t borrow from cinema, everything leverages videogame mechanics and moves seamlessly from action to exposition or even has the two nicely mixed.

    Saying that, I’ll be curious to see how I feel about Uncharted 2 over coming years. I always think it’s a mistake to skew lists like this to recent releases, but although it does use cutscenes, Uncharted 2 is probably the smoothest, best narrative I’ve experienced since Half Life 2 itself.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. Anders

    Good pick. For me, the storytelling was what really made the game. Feels natural and immersive in a way few games released since then have been able to replicate.

    Oh, and yeah – Half-Life 2: Episode 3 plz.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. abot

    HL2 is a great game but I have to go with Deus Ex as my GOTD.

    Deus Ex tells an incredible narrative through a first-person interface years before that started becoming cool. Unique inventory system, great weapons, a thinking mans shooter.

    #27 5 years ago
  28. OlderGamer

    “of the decade”?
    Nope.
    Not in my book.
    I don’t have an answer, and I don’t think there is one. This an opinion based thing. But I think that there are tons of games that are as good if not better then HL2. And, again we would be asking ourself based on what? Metacritic? User reviews? Sales? Breaks new ground? If someone can come up with a scintific fomula for to back such a statement, then I will entertain the notion. Maybe.
    But games that I have enjoyed more then half life in the past decade are:
    The past two Civ games Civ III and Civ IV
    Marvel Vs Capcom 2
    Mechassult
    The past 9 years of EAs NCAA/Madden Football
    Rockband 1, 2, TBRB, even Lego RB
    Zuma
    Diablo II
    Phantasy Star Online
    and yes I whole heartedly agree that my biggest game of the past 10yrs, off the top of my head, is World Of Warcraft.
    The game boasts something like 11 or 12 million subscriptions. Thats a heck of a lot of people playing. It has spawned South Park episodes, The Guild web tv, and has more then a few dev/pubs scratching their heads and asking themself if they could somehow copy the game sucesses.
    HL2 is a great game. And this type of subject matter is impossible to define. What works for one person won’t work for everyone. And with a past ten years being filled with great games, why would you want to limit yourself to just one? They should have done a big list and thrown out the numbering system all together. Given 25 games, in no real order. That I would have liked much better.

    #28 5 years ago
  29. DaMan

    exactly, it’s a matter of opinion. how do you name a ‘game of the decade’ out of different genre ones?

    #29 5 years ago
  30. No_PUDding

    ICO, it was the tip of the surf, of a crashing wave of interest in games as a mature medium. Mature in interaction that is.

    The first game that favoured substance over entertainment only. And was universally acknowledged for it. People are actively searching for that in development and playing of games.

    And that’s why it HAS to be a game of the decade. It’s influenced a hugely popular movement in videogames later on in this decade.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. DaMan

    that’s a good point, but it depends on what you want from videogames. then I’d say it’s equally GTA3, WoW and Ico.

    anyway,
    here’re the Edge awards btw: http://www.edge-online.com/features/the-best-of-2000-2009

    #31 5 years ago

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    White Night is here, not long after it was revealed and with a mysterious launch trailer. White Night, the black-and-white survival horror set in 1930s Boston, has revealed its launch trailer. White Night is mix of old-school horror, exploration and puzzling solving in an eerie, noir setting. The game’s main mechanic is light. any object […]

  • Free-to-play is “a significant part” of PlayStation’s digital future

    Free-to-play games on PlayStation 4 have seen enough growth that Sony is now considering the model a major part of its future digital business. Sarah Thompson, senior account executive for PlayStation’s free-to-play business said at a GDC panel that Sony has witnessed impressive growth in the free-to-play sector. “We’re really looking at this as a […]

  • Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter documentary releasing free on YouTube

    Broken Age making of documentary Double Fine Adventure will be made available to all. When Double Fine turned to crowdfunding, changing the industry forever, it promised to give an unprecedented look behind the scenes with a professional documentary of the whole development process of Broken Age. That documentary was initially restricted to Kickstarter backers, but […]

  • Gone Home console ports cancelled following Midnight City difficulties

    Gone Home won’t be made available to the console masses after all. Indie hit Gone Home was announced for console release almost exactly one year ago, and we’ve heard absolutely nothing since then. Turns out, that’s because it’s not happening: developer the Fullbright Company confirmed to Eurogamer that the ports have been cancelled. “Our publishing […]

  • Microsoft rang Mojang the day Notch joked about selling

    Minecraft developer Mojang was sold because founder Markus “Notch” Persson made a joke on Twitter. Ever wondered how Minecraft came to be a Microsoft property? It’s actually a pretty great story. Remember when Notch tweeted this? Anyone want to buy my share of Mojang so I can move on with my life? Getting hate for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking update rolling out

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been updated to help fix its tragic matchmaking. Again. Now almost four months old, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was still pretty broken as of this morning, with rubbish matchmaking and plenty of other issues to go around. 343 Industries is still trying to fix it, and has today […]

  • Nvidia unveils Shield, an Android 4K Smart TV set top box

    Nvidia has named yet another product “Shield” in an attempt to render us all hopelessly confused. The heart of Nvidia’s GDC 2015 press conference was the Shield, a $200 Android set top box launching in May. Apparently the “world’s first 4K Android TV”, the Shield supports 4K content encoded with h.265. The box runs on […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront footage shown behind closed doors

    Star Wars Battlefront is being shown to retailers. Now we want EA to show it to us. Star Wars Battlefront is expected sometime this year, so it’s about time EA gave us a look at DICE’s latest. It turns out that while press and gamers have had to twiddle their thumbs, EA is showing it […]

  • Dragon Age lead creative moves onto mysterious new BioWare project

    Dragon Age creator David Gaider is leaving his baby behind. Dragon Age is a team effort, but Gaider was one of the key creatives behind the franchise, creating the setting of Thedas (which, I was recently amused to learn, is an acronym: “THE Dragon Age Setting”). He was lead writer on all three games and […]

  • Unity 5 available for free with “no fucking around”

    Unity 5 looks amazing, and you can download and faff about with it for free right now. “We’re not nickel-and-diming people. When we say it’s free, it’s free. We’re not charging a royalty, which I think is akin to looking for whales.” Unity Technologies announced the release of the fifth version of its popular, simple, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 may be the end of the series

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 released yesterday, and many fans theorise that it marks the end of the series. Five Nights at Freddy’s developer Scott Cawthon has released a new teaser image on his website, but rather than pointing to a new game, many fans believe the teaser signals the end of the series. The […]

  • Source 2 announced, will also be free

    Valve has formally unveiled Source Engine 2, the third major engine to go free to developers at GDC 2015. Source 2 is the successor to the engine Valve has been using since Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2. Valve didn’t have much to say about the technicalities of this long-awaited release. It is apparently focused on […]

  • SteamVR: Valve’s Lighthouse tech allows you to walk around while playing

    SteamVR’s key differentiator is a piece of tech allowing headsets to connect with other devices for extra accurate, room-scale tracking. Valve has announced a new bit of technology called Lighthouse, which it is making freely available to any hardware manufacturer. Like the extra tracking LEDs on Sony’s updated Project Morpheus, Lighthouse improves the headset’s accuracy, […]

  • Steam Machines, Controller, streaming box to launch in November

    Steam Machines will finally become a reality before the end of the year. Valve’s living room PC systems will release in November, the company announced today. Well, I say Valve’s – the idea behind Steam Machines is that a number of manufacturers will offer variously priced systems. Alienware and Falcon Northwest are among the dozen […]

  • Telltale veterans form new team, announce teen thriller Oxenfree

    Oxenfree is a supernatural teen thriller from some of the team behind Telltale Games’ award-winning adventures. New indie Night School Studios unveiled Oxenfree at GDC 2015. It tells the story of a group of friends who accidentally open a “ghostly rift” at an overnight party on the coast. Night School, which is made up of […]

  • PS4 global sales now stand at over 20.2 million

    The PS4 has sold 20.2 million units worldwide. Sony announced the new PS4 sales milestone at GDC 2015 today. It’s a hell of an achievement and salt in the wounds for Microsoft, which hasn’t updated us on Xbox One sales since it shipped “almost” 10 million back in November last year, and has fallen back […]

  • PS4 VR headset Morpheus out in 2016, capable of 120 FPS – video

    Sony’s VR headset Project Morpheus has some impressive grunt. Virtual reality and Morpheus were the heart of Sony’s GDC 2015 presentation today, ahead of its newly announced first-half 2016 comemrcial launch. SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida detailed the headset’s impressive capabilities, notably the fact that it can handle 120 FPS VR games. The PS4 […]

  • Papo & Yo developer making a VR game about dinosaurs

    Some days you write a headline and it makes you so happy that that you have to do a little chair dance, you know what I mean? Papo & Yo developer Minority Media, whom I would personally go to the wall for after they cut out my heart and stomped on it via the medium […]

  • Wasteland 2, Shovel Knight and more in big ole bunch of indies coming to Xbox One

    Xbox One owners are about to receive a pile of great new indie games. At GDC 2015, Microsoft revealed a list of new indie games headed to Xbox One. Some of these titles have already released on other platforms, so it looks like Microsoft has really relaxed the parity clause of ID@Xbox – or perhaps […]

  • Here’s an indie VR game made with Unreal Engine 4

    GDC 2015 is blowing up with indie games, VR and Unreal Engine 4, so here’s a video combining all three. Loading Human is a virtual reality adventure from indie developer Untold Games. It’s in the works for Mac and PC, and Sony has given an early green light for Project Morpheus, too, so expect it […]

  • GTA Online: Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode coming next week

    Heists aren’t the only thing coming to GTA Online next week: players can also expect Adversary Modes, new Daily Objectives and other Freemode activities. GTA Online’s Adversary Modes are new PvP modes which feature a range of competitive challenges and will unlock as players progress through Heists. Here’s a rundown straight from Rockstar: Come Out […]

  • Syndicate is the latest free game download on Origin

    The latest free title to be added to EA’s Origin service is 1993′s Syndicate. For a limited time, you can download the game for free and keep it, much like previous titles such as Theme Hospital. The isometric, real-time, tactical-action game was developed by Bullfrog Productions and released in June 1993. It is a favorite […]

  • Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen now available

    The Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It will run you $7.99 and builds upon the existing lore, characters, and storyline. Have a look at some new screenshots in the gallery below.

  • Shadowrun Online gets a name change and release date

    Shadowrun Online developer Cliffhanger Productions has announced the game’s name has been changed to Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown and a release date for April has been set. The new title was formed via the developer and its Kickstarter backers, with the goal being to let those unfamiliar with the game know by the title alone […]

  • Amazon hosting Rockstar and 2K Games sale

    Amazon is hosting a Rockstar Games and 2K Games sale with discounts Max Payne titles, Bully and more. Here’s just some of the offerings listed: Manhunt 2 PC Download $3.00 Max Payne 3 PC Download $4.00 Bully: Scholarship Edition PC Download $3.00 LA Noire Xbox 360 $2.95 L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition PC Download $6.00 […]

  • Destiny weekly reset video shows off Inferno Crucible gameplay

    We have a gameplay video featuring Inferno Crucible gameplay featured in the Destiny weekly reset for you. In it, Arekkz Gaming gives you a look at Inferno Crucible and goes over the various intricacies. You can read up on the weekly reset through the links.

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode 2 available from today

    Episode 2 for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is now available. If you’ve purchased the Complete Season, you’ll be able to download Episode 2 on PS3, PS4 and Xbox One. Steam players should see the episode go live around 9-10pm PST, and Xbox 360 owners should be able to download very early tomorrow morning, per Capcom […]

  • Here’s a sneak peek video for Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide

    Fatshark Games has released a sneak peek video for its upcoming Games Workshop title, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide. Vermintide is a FPS, co-op action title coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and its set during the End Times of the Warhammer universe in the city of Ubersreik. Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare video shows Ascendance DLC early access weapon

    As you know, Xbox Season Pass holders now have early access to the Ascendance DLC Pack bonus weapons for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Now you can watch a trailer for the weapon. The OHM directed energy hybrid weapon can switch between an LMG and Shotgun “on the fly,” and it also includes the OHM-Werewolf […]

  • March PS Plus games include OlliOlli 2, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, more

    March PlayStation Plus titles have popped up on the PS Plus page. Noticed by NeoGAF user skynidas, the titles include: OlliOlli2 (PS4/VITA) Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS4) Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (PS4) Counterspy (PS4/PS3) Papo & Yo (PS3) Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment (PS3) A notice has also been posted on the EU PS […]

  • Sci-fi horror game Caffeine will release on Xbox One, PS4 alongside PC – new trailer

    Caffeine creator Dylan Browne has announced the Unreal Engine 4 game will be released on Xbox One. The game will be published through Microsoft’s Indie Program. As previously announced, it is also coming to PC and and now PlayStation 4. Caffeine is a sci-fi horror game which stars a young boy who has been abandoned […]

  • Xbox 360 Preview program invites going out this month

    Much like the Xbox One Preview program, starting early this month, invites for the Xbox 360 Preview program will start rolling out. Select invitees will be able to join program directly from their Xbox 360. A special Xbox Live message will be sent, directing users to head over to their Settings page. Further instructions are […]

  • Tron: Legacy director in negotiations for Gran Turismo film

    Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski is said to be in early negotiations to direct the Gran Turismo film. This is according to the Hollywood Reporter, which states Michael De Luca is still slated as one of the producers alongside Matt Milam, Dana Brunetti, Josh Bratman, DeVon Franklin and Elizabeth Cantillon. Plot details are still unknown […]

  • Fifth add-on pack for Alien: Isolation is available for download

    The Trigger, which is is the fifth add-on pack for Alien: Isolation, is available to download from today. In it, players will “compete against the clock” across three new maps in Survivor Mode. Set before the events of the main game, players step into the shoes of Sevastopol Station’s Ricardo who will do what he […]

  • HBO Go app now available on PlayStation 4

    Sony has announced the HBO Go app will be made available for download later today for PlayStation 4. The app works just like the PS version. Now you can watch True Detective, Game of Thrones, Veep and more through your console. Information on installation is available through the PS Blog.

  • Skyrim mods no longer restricted to 100MB in size

    Bethesda has announced a beta for Creation Kit update 1.9.33, lifts the 100MB size restriction for Skyrim mod makers. The beta is for both Skyrim’s PC launcher and the Creation Kit which will allow for unlimited file sizes. Here are the notes: Creation Kit 1.9.33 Update Creation Kit now supports unlimited file sizes for mods […]

  • Mad Max release date set for September, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions canned

    Mad Max from Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios has been given a September release date, along with the new of a last-gen cancellation. The axing of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were announced via Game Informer. Mad Max is the magazine’s featured game for the April issue. Avalanche, according GI, nixed development on […]