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Half-Life 2

Platform(s): PC, Xbox
Genre: Action
Publisher: Vivendi
Developer: Valve

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Microsoft Hails 'Half-Life 2'

by Thomas on Sept. 10, 2003 @ 8:20 a.m. PDT

In Half-Life 2 the player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people people he cares about are counting on him.

"We see 'Half-Life 2' as a new benchmark for the type of amazing experiences that can be delivered on the Windows® platform, and DirectX 9.0 is clearly serving as the catalyst for the development of these state-of-the-art games," said Dean Lester, general manager of Windows Gaming and Graphics at Microsoft Corp. "'Half-Life 2' emphasizes the trend we are already seeing: Games for Windows now deliver the most cutting-edge technology and immersive entertainment available anywhere."

"DirectX 9.0 has been crucial in helping us create a worthy sequel to 'Half-Life,' one that gives Windows gamers everything they've been waiting for, a truly unequaled experience," said Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve. "We are thrilled that our relationship with Microsoft has produced a title that all of us can be proud of."

Among the singular advantages that the DirectX 9.0 API brings to "Half-Life 2" are increased speed and improved graphics - from more-detailed bump-mapped characters to more-nuanced lighting and delicate soft shadows that lend further realism to games on Windows. The central feature of DirectX 9.0, High-Level Shader Language (HLSL), allows for full-spectrum color graphics, video, 3-D animation and enhanced audio capabilities.

"Half-Life 2" and its DirectX capabilities have been critically hailed by GameSpot, which recently wrote, "'Half-Life 2's' characters are so detailed that even [their] eyes are modeled in great detail. So when [one character] was made to look toward the screen, the effect was that she was looking right at us, rather than staring blankly at nothing, as game characters tend to do. ... These are definitely some of the better-looking real-time 3-D characters that we've seen in a PC game to date."

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