Half-Life 2 Episode One

{{DISPLAYTITLE''Half-Life 2 Episode One''}}
{{Article|rw|hl2}}
{{Cleanup}}
{{Game Infobox
|image=FileEpisode One cover.jpg|250px
|name=''Half-Life 2 Episode One''
|hidei=
|developer=Valve
|date=June 1, 2006
|genre=WikipediaFirst-person shooter|First-person shooter
|mode=WikipediaSingle-player video game|Single-player
|platform=WikipediaMicrosoft Windows|Windows, WikipediaXbox 360|Xbox 360, WikipediaPlayStation 3|PlayStation 3, WikipediamacOS|macOS, WikipediaLinux|Linux, WikipediaShield Tablet|Shield
|hidep=
|hideu=
|rating=WikipediaEntertainment Software Rating Board|ESRB M (Mature)
|distribution=Electronic Arts, WikipediaSteam (software)|Steam
|system=1.2 WikipediaHertz|GHz WikipediaCentral processing unit|processor, 256 WikipediaMegabyte|MB WikipediaRandom-access memory|RAM, WikipediaDirectX|DirectX 6 compatible WikipediaVideo card|card
|input=WikipediaKeyboard (computing)|Keyboard and WikipediaMouse (computing)|mouse, WikipediaXbox 360 Controller|Xbox 360 Controller, WikipediaPlayStation 3 accessories Controller, WikipediaDualShock 3|DualShock 3 Controller
|engine=Source
|series=''Half-Life and Portal universe|Half-Life''
|designer=
|writer=*Marc Laidlaw
*Chet Faliszek
*Erik Wolpaw
|composer=Kelly Bailey
|previous=''Half-Life 2 Lost Coast''
|next=''Half-Life 2 Episode Two''
}}
'''''Half-Life 2 Episode One''''' is the first of a trilogy{{cite web|url=http//www.steampowered.com/index.php?area=news&id=629|title=Valve press release, May 22, 2006|work=Steam News}} of expansion packs/episodes for the 2004 first-person shooter game, ''Half-Life 2''. The episode takes place immediately after the end of ''Half-Life 2'', in and around the war-torn setting of City 17. The player is forced to deal with the effects of their actions during the main game. The episode is a stand-alone game; while a continuation of ''Half-Life 2'', it does not require the original game to be installed or registered to a user's WikipediaSteam (software)|Steam account to play. It takes advantage of several major upgrades to the Source engine since the release of ''Half-Life 2'', primarily its high dynamic range rendering capabilities and the upgraded facial animation system. 

''Episode One'' was released together with ''Half-Life Deathmatch Source'', a port of the original ''Half-Life'''s multiplayer, which doubles as ''Episode One'''s multiplayer component. The retail copies of ''Episode One'' also come with ''Half-Life 2 Deathmatch'' for those who have not previously purchased the latter title.

==Plot==
{{Main|Half-Life 2 Episode One storyline}}

==Details==
''Episode One'''s focus is on character development, in particular that of Gordon Freeman|Gordon's female sidekick and friend Alyx Vance, to the extent that she accompanies the player for virtually the entire game{{cite web|url=http//www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=137598&skip=yes|title=''Half-Life 2 Episode One'' Preview|work=Computer And Video Games}} "It's kind of ironic that despite so much of the theme of ''Half-Life 2'' being about other characters and other people, you spent most of the game alone," project lead Robin Walker said in the episode's announcement article in ''PC Gamer UK''.

The announcement article also saw Marc Laidlaw explain the game's premise

''"Episode One deals with the events and issues set in motion during Half-Life 2. You've done critical damage to the Citadel. The whole place is going to go up, taking out City 17 and what's in its immediate radius. You and Alyx are leading the flight from the city getting up close and personal with some of the creatures and sights from the end of the game."''

Despite this comment and much fan speculation, the Combine Crab Synths and Mortar Synths were not present in ''Episode One''; however, Stalkers and previously glimpsed areas of the Citadel are instead encountered and explored by the player.

After some initial confusion, sparked partly with an attempt at humor by ''PC Gamer UK'', which suggested that Alyx was ''Episode One'''s playable character, it was confirmed that players would indeed play as Gordon Freeman – unlike the original ''Half-Life'' expansion packs, which all dealt with different characters. Part of the reason for this change of direction may lie with the in-house development of ''Half-Life 2 Episode One'' previously, ''Half-Life'' expansions were developed by third party Gearbox Software (albeit with scripts produced by Valve).

The game runs on an incrementally upgraded version of Valve's proprietary Source engine, and features both the engine's high dynamic range rendering capabilities, and a new version of its facial animation/expression technology. It also features the commentary node system debuted in the ''Half-Life 2 Lost Coast|Lost Coast'' tech demo.

''Episode One'' is available over Valve's Steam platform for $9.95 USD.  The game is also being distributed through traditional retail channels by Electronic Arts both as a standalone and as part of the ''Half-Life 2 Platinum Collection''. The game became available for pre-load and pre-purchase through Steam on May 1, 2006,{{cite web|url=http//www.steampowered.com/index.php?area=news&archive=yes&id=609|title=Half-Life 2 Episode One Pre-Loading Now|work=Steam News}} with ''Half-Life Source|Half-Life Deathmatch Source'' and Half-Life 2 Deathmatch immediately available for play as part of the package.

The renaming of ''Aftermath'' to ''Episode One''{{cite web|url=http//www.gamespot.com/pages/news/story.php?sid=6144151|title=Half-Life 2 Goes Episodic|publisher=Gamespot}} was an indication of Valve's confidence with their episodic structure, an implication confirmed in February{{cite web|url=http//pc.ign.com/articles/690/690278p1.html|title=Valve Confirms ''Half-Life 2 Episode Two''|publisher=IGN.com}} and May{{cite web|url=http//gamespot.com/pc/action/halflife2aftermath/news.html?sid=6151796|title=Half-Life 2 Episode One gold, Two dated, Three announced|publisher=Gamespot}} of 2006, with news of a trilogy of episodes covering the present story arc. While the plots and dialogue of ''Half-Life'' and ''Half-Life 2'' were written solely by Valve's in-house writer Marc Laidlaw, the "''Half-Life 2'' Episodes" are collaboratively written by Laidlaw, Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw with Laidlaw retaining overall leadership of the group.{{cite web|url=http//www.valvesoftware.com/company/people.html|work= valvesoftware.com|title=The Valve team (staff bios)}}

==Characters==
*Gordon Freeman
*Alyx Vance
*The G-Man
*Barney Calhoun
*Isaac Kleiner
*Judith Mossman
*Eli Vance
*Dog
*Citizens|Resistance members

==Enemies==
* CategoryXen creatures|Xen Aliens
** Antlion
** Antlion Guard
** Barnacle
** Fast Headcrab
** Fast Zombie
** Classic Headcrab|Headcrab
** Poison Headcrab
** Poison Zombie
** Classic Zombie|Zombie
** Zombine
* CategoryCombine units|Combine forces
** Civil Protection
** City Scanner
** Combine Advisor
** APC
** Combine Dropship
** Combine Gunship
** Overwatch Soldier
** Overwatch Sniper
** Overwatch Elite
** Hopper
** Hunter
** Hunter-Chopper
** Manhack
** Rollermine
** Shield Scanner
** Stalker
** Strider

==Behind the scenes and Trivia==
FileHalf-Life 2 Aftermath cover.jpg|thumb|right|Concept cover for ''Aftermath''
FileHL2 Aftermath wordmark.svg|thumb|right|250px|''Aftermath'' wordmark.
FileGman Vortigaunts prologue.jpg|right|250px|thumb|Vortigaunts rescue Gordon Freeman from the G-Man clutches.

*The game was originally named ''Half-Life 2 Aftermath'', but was renamed to ''Episode One'' after planning to make the game episodic.
*http//www.computerandvideogames.com/147512/interviews/looking-back-half-life-2-episode-one/ Valve's Marc Laidlaw and David Speyrer take us behind the scenes of Episode One's development
*With Dr. Breen's absence, Dr. Kleiner has hijacked City 17's public address system, appearing on TV screens throughout the game and keeping the Resistance updated with information about the Combine
** All Citizens are told to evacuate City 17 as quickly as possible, for while the Citadel's Core is currently stabilized, the Combine will eventually succeed in making it go critical once again, and when that happens, all of City 17 will be destroyed.
** Humorously, Dr. Kleiner informs humans already out of City 17 that, due to the suppression field being disabled, now would be "an excellent time for procreation", and urges citizens to "do their part for the revival of the species". Alyx replies to this by asking, while glancing at Gordon, "is Dr. Kleiner really telling everyone to... get busy?"
** The destruction of the Citadel's Dark Fusion Reactor has caused a chain reaction that has put a damper on the entire Citadel Reactor Network, effectively cutting them off completely from the rest of the Combine. However, Dr. Kleiner states that it is only a matter of time before communication is re-established; warning that "In addition to the completely xenotheric species, there are many modified post-human allies (Overwatch Soldiers) still remaining on Earth who will be doing their utmost to re-establish lines of communication and supply with the larger forces."
** And lastly, Dr. Kleiner hints that the Resistance has made "secret technological advances" that may have long-lasting benefits in the war against the Combine.
FileEp1 citadel advisors room advisor breen leaving1.jpg|right|250px|thumb|A Combine Advisor.

*The group of Vortigaunts in the game's opening scene are part of the "third power" at which Valve hinted;{{cite web|url=http//pc.ign.com/articles/703/703602p1.html|title=IGN Interview; "In Episode One, the G-Man loses control of Gordon due to the rise of a third power."|publisher=IGN}} their role and purpose are mysterious.
*The G-Man's loss of control to the Vortigaunts is reinforced by his complete absence from the game thereafter. While he appears at least once in most of ''Half-Life 2'''s chapters, he is not seen at all in ''Episode One''. Neither, notably, are Vortigaunts, but Combine Advisor(s) is/are seen at several points on various video screens, tracking the player and Alyx from their theft of the Combine's data packet onward. The G-man is also, for the first time ever, without his signature briefcase during the opening scene.
*This is the first Half-Life game in which Gordon does not start on a train. Somewhat similar scenes are experienced, however, during the slide of the thrown van entering the Citadel and the final train ride out of City 17.
*A conversation between two resistance soldiers can be overheard in which Dr. Kleiner and other main characters are criticized.  One of the soldiers states that he "kind of misses the Combine" and Dr. Breen's show.  The remark "it seems like everyone's a doctor but me" is also made.
*A reference is made in dialog by two resistance members to the fight that Gordon Freeman|Gordon took part in at New Little Odessa. Their talk suggests that Odessa later took credit for being the one to destroy the Gunship, and that Gordon was never mentioned as being there or was said to have done nothing.
*An often unnoticed addition to the Half-Life series' gameplay made in Episode One is the new change in Combine Soldiers' AI. Episode One makes the soldiers utilize crouching more often than in Half-Life 2, and gives them the ability to crouch while being fired upon in order to "duck" underneath the player's line of fire for the first time in the series. This feature is showcased to the utmost for the first time in the large street battle the player progresses through before entering the rebel safehouse in the game's fourth chapter.
*An unnamed Vortex Hopwire|weapon, nicknamed Blackhole Grenade or Vortex Hopwire, can be used by using console codes.
*One of the most infamous Achievements in ''The Orange Box'' is "The One Free Bullet"; to acquire it, players must complete ''Episode One'' having fired exactly one bullet in their entire run-through. This leaves the player using only the Gravity Gun, crowbar, rocket launcher, and grenades.
*A glitch in the game can cause Alyx to die by the combine energy balls/secondary fire on the Pulse Rifle. It can also happen in Undue Alarm, and Alyx will disintegrate near the lift. The game will not fade out, but the player will not be able to start the lift anymore.
*In the chapter Direct Intervention, when the player no-clips to Judith Mossman's arctic base, the player can see Dr. Kleiner's Corkboard and the Mark V HEV Suit specs in the far end of the hallway where Judith is filming.

==Critical reception==
Critical and public response to ''Episode One'' was broadly positive, with some reviewers praising the game for having more intricate, well-paced action than the acclaimed ''Half-Life 2'',{{cite web|url=http//uk.gamespot.com/pc/action/halflife2aftermath/review.html|title=Episode One review|publisher=GameSpot}} though a common critique of the game has been its short length;{{cite web|url=http//www.game-over.net/reviews.php?id=1061|title=Episode One review|publisher=GameOver Online Magazine}} depending on the player's skill (or patience) the game can take less time to complete than the company line of 4–6 hours, which has caused various observers to raise the issue of whether it justifies the price tag.{{cite web|url=http//www.actiontrip.com/reviews/halflife2episodeone.phtml|title=Episode One review|publisher=ActionTrip1}}

The game's interactivity, particularly in the shape of the character of Alyx, has also received praise.{{cite web|url=http//www.avclub.com/content/node/49481|title=Episode One review|publisher=The Onion}}

''PC Gamer'' magazine gave an 85% in the US edition and 90% in the UK edition to the game. In Australia, the magazine ''PC Powerplay'' awarded the game with a rarely seen 10/10. ''Edge'' gave the game 8 out of 10, praising the "deftness" with which the game was able to direct the player's eyes, and the strength of Alyx as a companion."Review Half-Life 2 Episode One". http//www.edge-online.co.uk/ Edge. August 2006.

===Awards===
''Episode One'' received the "Best First-Person Shooter" of 2006 award from http//www.ign.com/ IGN.http//bestof.ign.com/2006/pc/7.html Best PC FPS - 2006 on IGN

==Soundtrack==

{{Main|Half-Life 2 Episode One soundtrack}}

==References==
{{Imagecat|Half-Life 2 Episode One images}}
{{Reflist}}

==External links==
;Official
{{IA|20070706202244/http//ep1.half-life2.com/|Official website}}
{{Steam|url=380|text=Half-Life 2 Episode One}}
;Game Guides
http//www.gamespot.com/pages/unions/read_article.php?topic_id=20019736&union_id=55 HeadCrab Union Game Guide
http//www.gamespot.com/features/6152502/index.html GameSpot Game Guide
;Press
http//www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=58579 Eurogamer's ''Episode One'' Preview
http//www.gamespot.com/pc/action/halflife2aftermath/preview_6128325.html GameSpot Q&A
http//valve.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3143168 1UP.com exclusive ''Half-Life 2 Episode One'' preview
http//www.vgpro.com/games/pc/half_life_2_aftermath Official ''Half-Life 2 Episode One'' videos and trailers
http//www.gamerwithin.com/?view=article&article=1405 Gamer Within's ''Episode One'' Review
http//www.bytepress.com/half-life-2-episode-one-reviewed-27072006.html ''Half-Life 2 Episode One'' Review - BytePress
http//www.vgrc.net/reviews-153.html Review on VGRC.net 8.75/10
;Critique
http//www.theantnest.com/archives/2006/half-life-2-episode-one-review/ ''Half-Life 2 Episode One'' Review (The Ant Nest)

{{Games}}

plHalf-Life 2 Episode One
ruHalf-Life 2 Episode One
CategoryGames
CategoryHalf-Life 2
CategoryHalf-Life 2 Episode One
CategoryThe Orange Box
CategoryHalf-Life 2 Episodes