Orange Box: What order to play?

Never played half-life or counterstrike. The only game in that engine I’ve played is The Ship.

Anyway, I just ordered the orange box thing. I notice Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Half-Life 2: Episode 2. What order should I play these in?

I’ll assume HL2 are more single player shooters and team fortress is like battlefield without dolphin diving, red tags, vehicles, and crappy servers?

The order that you listed the HL2 stuff is the order in which you should play them (Episodes 1 and 2 continue the story in HL2). Team Fortress 2 is a class-based online shooter that has capture-point maps, but is not a lot like the Battlefield games in terms of how it plays.

But the first thing that you should play is clearly Portal.

I’d break the mold if I were you. Start with Episode 2 and work backward.

The single-player progression is HL2, then Ep1, then Ep2.

Finally found a 360 copy myself last night. Based on the buzz, I’m making a beeline for Portal.

Edit: Slow!

Portal interspersed with TF2, then Portal again, then uninstall it because HL2: Ep2 is even more transparent and tedius than Episode 1 was. Except this time your sidekicks are always cracking jokes about the level design.


I’m not sure. Let me check every single Half-Life 2 thread ever created.

Are you serious??? I mean shit, the only series that wasn’t really shown in order was the Star Wars series, and even that went in order of the numbers.
If you have to ask this sort of question you should head back to elementary school and pay attention.

On a side note; since you’ve never played HL - go out and buy HL - the original. I found that to be a lot more interesting then HL2. (which I still have yet to play through)

Hmmm, I’ve heard you shouldn’t play it until (at least) you’ve finished ep1 (due to spoilers). Is that wrong? I’m holding off on Portal because of that…

There is nothing particularly spoilery in Portal. Go ahead and get playin’!

Portal has no spoilers for HL2/ep1/ep2. Play it first, it’s short and awesome.

Episode 1 Spoilers Below ********************

I just heard that too. Which is too bad, because I also didn’t like Episode 1 much. I’ve been playing Portal a lot, so I still haven’t dived into Episode 2, but if the people who didn’t like Episode 1 are lumping Episode 2 with it, that’s definitely not a good sign. I just don’t understand the people who say Episode 1 was like Half Life 2 condensed to only the good parts. I admit, the second half of Episode 1 was good once you get to the surface of the city, but the citadel sequence with the uber gravity gun, and the dark zombine tunnels filled with antlions all just felt like contrived bullshit to me. The kind that we saw some of in Gearbox’s Opposing Forces expansion pack to the original Half Life. I wasn’t expecting that kind of output from Valve.

But I guess maybe it’s not that common a reaction judging from reactions here. Qt3 seems to be divided mostly into people who don’t like any incarnation of HL2 (which I don’t understand, since I think HL2 was brilliant) but worship HL1. And then there are those who did like HL2, and thought Episode 1 was even better than HL2 because it was distilled down to the good parts (which I don’t understand because of the reasons above).

I guess this is a symptom of the variety in Half Life 2’s gameplay. The game was so diverse in its gameplay elements that there are bound to be lots of people who didn’t enjoy certain aspects of it as much as others. And I guess if you “distill” certain aspects of a game down to what is Episode 1, you’re bound to disappoint some people while making others exclaim that its even better than the original.

Well, I phrased the question poorly. I guess I should have asked what’s worth playing. For example, if I wouldn’t recommend a friend go try BF1942 instead of BF2. Computer games aren’t like chess, they go stale, lose servers and playerbase.

Portal it is, then.

Well, to be fair to the original poster, If you didn’t know anything about the Half Life series, which one would you think came first? Half Life 2, or Half Life 2: Episodes 1/2? Seriously? There’s no clue in those names. In fact, if I were to guess purely on the names, I’d have guessed that Half Life 2: Episodes 1 and 2 were probably prequels to Half Life 2. But they’re not.

Ah, cool. Thanks!

I started with Portal, and then when I got stuck or a bit bored, I’d load up HL2. Then when I’d get tired I’d load up Portal. I played for about six hours straight the first night I got La Boite Orange (wtf is up with that, btw?), which is the longest single player gaming session I’ve played in years.

I guess I should have asked what’s worth playing.

Portal and TF2, the rest is filler.

The question itself is highly subjective, with any purchase you should enjoy the majority of the product, the portions you do not consume are effectively “worthless” to you.

Ahem. Surely you meant to say “Online games” there.

Most online games peter out, yes. Somehow I think TF2 is one of the very few that will still have a strong playerbase a year from now.

Well, everything I hated about Ep1 is back in full force in Ep2. Oh, and if you didn’t like antlions, Ep2 is definitely not for you.

Things I didn’t like about Episode 1 was that it was especially reinforced how linear and scripted it was. It was obvious at times that you had to go through this window, but gasp, you couldn’t break it. Then you walk to the dead end and smash! Zombies through the window!

Ep2 is more of the same. I can see what’s going to happen long before it happens because of the obsessively controlling level design coupled with pretty obvious situations. On top of that, every time there’s weak level design, the NPCs now crack jokes about it. I’m sure it’s some designer believing they were clever, but it just reinforces to me how stupid the game is. You hit these doors that only your side kick can open, and he says “It is a shame that you can’t open these yourself!” YES IT IS. You watch a boring and uninteresting cutscene where the NPCs very specifically spell out what you have to do – which you already figured out before the cutscene even started – and then there’s this five second pause after they finish before Alyx says “Oh, I guess I have to open that door for you! Tee hee!”

It’s just bullshit and I find the level design and scripted sequences boring enough that having NPCs crack jokes about it just makes me want to punch the designers in the face.

And it gets even more annoying than that. Having the NPCs constantly heap praise on you for figuring out a puzzle that only takes two brain cells to figure out drives me batty. “Ahhh! Freeman is good at these kind of puzzles!” “I knew you’d find a way!”

Episode 1 I didn’t like much. Episode 2 is slowly pushing me towards hating the series completely. The only reason I’m pressing on is hoping that glados becomes a major player later.