Opposing Force is a pleasant addition to a rocking game

Half Life: Opposing Force
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Opposing Force is an expansion pack for the best game of 1998, Sierra’s Half-Life. This time you are Corporal Adrian Shephard, a member of an elite force sent into the Black Mesa Complex to kill Gordon Freeman, the star of Half-Life. In the fashion of all black ops, you don’t actually find all of this out right away.

It’s interesting to note that there are at least 10 solid add-ons that you can get for free for use with your Half-Life game, including user-created scenarios, Team Fortress, the counterstrike module and a few others. Plus there must be 1,000 user-created maps (or more) that you can download that range from pitiful to really awesome, with me majority being pretty bland. But there are some gems out there if you can find them that are even better than the ones that shipped with the game.

My point is that it’s odd to see an add-on pack that you have to buy for a game when there are so many high-quality free upgrades out there. The argument is that company-made and sold packs are of a higher quality, but even the developers are releasing modules for free in this case. Opposing Force is probably worth the money you will pay for it, but in this case Sierra may be a victim of its own success.

In OpFor, you are originally sent in with 100 other marines to quell some sort of unknown disturbance. Once that mission goes horribly wrong and most of your team is killed, your first job is to get back to the rest of the team, once you do that, they leave seconds before you can get to them. I did not tell you that to ruin the story, and I am sorry if I did, but I just wanted to give you a sense of what is going on in the game.

Opposing Force includes one of my favorite features, a training mission. In this case it’s a really cool boot camp course which I found somewhat challenging and very helpful. It allowed me to try out some of the new additions and weapons in the game. The neatest thing was the addition of ropes that can not only be climbed, but used to swing over large distances. The one thing that I personally found most challenging was having to jump out to one rope then swing over to another rope and then swing on that second rope to a platform.

The reason that I like training scenarios is that you don’t get killed and have to reload, you just land in a big pool of water and feel humbled. Unfortunately the ropes where not as heavily used as I was hoping in the single player game.

One of the other neat new additions is a weapon, specifically a rifle with a sniper scope that reminded me a lot of the rifle I loved in Delta Force. The last neat new features is the addition of other marines that you can command. They include a soldier, an engineer, and a medic, but like the ropes, they were not used as much as I expected and I was a bit disappointed by this.

When I first started playing the single player version of the game it was just so cool. But to be honest, it got old really quickly. You start out with a wrench which is new, but before long you pick up the old crowbar and pistol. I think you get the picture. There were lots of neat puzzles, but again, they got old quickly. I guess I was just expecting something really new, and this was just the same game in a new package with a few new things thrown in. The concept of going back and playing one of the hunters was such a good idea, but Gearbox could have done just so much more with the idea.

I was just starting to get bored with playing the multiplayer version of Half-Life when Opposing Force came out, so the addition of 15 new kick-butt maps really added to my enjoyment. But in conclusion, while Opposing Force was good, I am anxiously awaiting the release of Team Fortress 2. My first experience with the original Team Fortress was when it was added to the Auto update of Half-Life, and the sequel is going to be – or at least should be – hot.

Opposing Force has some really great new features. I especially liked the ropes and the addition of skilled marines that could do things that you can not do. All and all, it’s not a bad add on, just not the great one I was hoping for. I rate this game as a bit above average with 3 1/2 GiN Gems. If you really like Half-Life, get it. Otherwise, wait for Team Fortress 2.

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