|Half-Life 2: Episode 2|
|Half-Life 2: Episode 2 Artwork|
|Release date(s)||PC - October 10, 2007|
Mac - May 26, 2010
XBOX360 - October 10, 2007
PS3 - December 11, 2007
|Available on||PC, Mac, XBOX360, PS3|
|Rating||ESRB: Mature 17+|
Episode Two is the second installment in the various episodes of Valve Corporation's Half-Life 2 franchise. The first two sequels were developed concomitantly by two separate teams. Episode Two was released as a part of the bundled package, The Orange Box. A disbanded copy of Episode Two is available in Russia and off of Steam.
Valve originally wanted to implant more drivable vehicles into the open, but was saved for the Final Battle. Episode Two comes equipped with more puzzles than was originally in Episode One. Players have to think on their feet in order to progress through various levels, such as the damaged seesawing bridge. Episode Two features numerous achievements that can be unlocked through carrying out certain tasks, such as killing the first few Hunters or escaping the Combine troopers. Some are more essential, such as defending a certain area or killing a boss. Some achievements require the player to be flawless, killing a set number of enemies without any damage or preventing attacks in the near future. There are also bizarre achievements, such as the player picking up a lawn gnome and advancing through the chapters with it.
Recorded messages in Episode One hinted about the Hunter synth, making appearances throughout Episode Two and is also the nemesis and means of emotional development of Alyx Vance. The Hunters are difficult-to-kill, powerful creatures standing over eight feet tall, often forcing the player to flee while attacking--going anywhere they can go.
Antlions are harmless, light-giving creatures in the game with no real purpose other than a slight health-booster and for an achievement (kill 333 of them).
The Combine Soldiers also sport a new design in Episode Two, displaying orange goggles, a dark brown and green suit pattern, and the Combine Elite symbol on an orange armband.
The enemies in Episode Two are as followed:
- Antlion Workers
- Antlion Queens
- Antlion Grubs
- The Combine
- Hunter Synth
Episode Two features no new weaponry for Gordon Freeman to take advantage of, but there are a number of new objects to pick up and launch with the gravity gun. Most important here are the smaller fuel tanks that can be found throughout the chapters, and the Magnusson Device that is used in the final battle of this Episode. The fuel tanks are important because they are much easier to aim than their larger counterpart, the fuel drum. The Magnusson Device, named after the leader of the White Forest base, Arne Magnusson, is used to easily dispatch of Striders. Watch out for Hunters though, as they will try to destroy the devices when they see them. Another important thing to notice about weapons is that you can use an enemy's weapons against them, and that there are awards for doing so.
 System Requirements
Taken from Steam.
Minimum: 1.7 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM, DirectX® 8 level Graphics Card, Windows® Vista/XP/2000, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection
Recommended: Pentium 4 processor (3.0GHz, or better), 1GB RAM, DirectX® 9 level Graphics Card, Windows® Vista/XP/2000, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection