Half-Life 2: Episode One: Direct Intervention

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This chapter consists of Gordon Freeman entering the core to help slow down the meltdown.

Afterwards, they make their way to one of the still running Razor Trains and begin their journey to escape the city.

Later on, Gordon and Alyx are successful in re-engaging the reactor’s containment system, delaying the explosion.

Alyx subsequently discovers that the Combine are trying to use the reaction, and therefore the destruction of the Citadel, to send a message to off-world Combine forces. There is also a message from Judith Mossman, from an Arctic environment north from City 17.

She is talking about a Project which she and her team had discovered, but the Combine attacks the base and she had to cut the transmission. She is able to run away, presumably to safety, before Combine troops, and an unknown enemy invade the area she had been filming in. Alyx makes a copy of the message packet to take to Dr. Kleiner and Eli, ensuring that the Combine make them their prime target and even in their disorganized state use everything they have to stop them.

Alyx and Gordon then board a Razor Train to escape the Citadel. It becomes apparent that the carriage Gordon and Alyx are in was being used to transport Stalkers. Alyx mourns for the Stalkers and is then interrupted by the train derailing, which wakes the Stalkers.

Trivia

This chapter contains possibly the fewest maps of any other, with only two: The Core and the Train Station.

Screenshots

Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.

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Achievements

I won’t be covering the Episode One achievements in the same way as I did in the Half-Life 2 TREE event, because they are less chapter based. However, HLFallout.Net has an excellent guide that I can highly recommend.

The Replay Experience Experiment

This post is part of the The Replay Experience Experiment event. This is a chance to replay all the Half-Life games and discuss them based on our experiences since we first played them.

Hat Tip

The intro and trivia text are taken from the CombineOverWiki, a fan-supported, editable wiki covering the Half-Life series of games.

Walkthrough
A Complete Half-Life 2: Episode One Walkthrough

On the left is a complete text walkthrough for Half-Life 2: Episode One.

It has been written by Stanley E. Dunigan and updated with all the tricks and tips from PlanetPhillip.Com readers.

It is in PDF format, meaning you can open it directly in modern browsers or download it and print it.

(Left-click to open and right-click to save)

Do Not Own This Game?

You can purchase Half-Life 2: Episode One directly through Steam and could be playing in within moments, depending on your internet connection.

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6 Comments

  1. This chapter had the feel of a final level. I mean, it’s almost a boss fight: stop the core from exploding. Has anybody loaded the chapter and just left it run? I’m curious to know if it would actually explode if you didn’t perform the tasks fast enough.

    Anyway, I had completely forgotten this level, but it was never too difficult and I didn’t bother to attempt the achievement that can be gained here.

    It presents the player with a very typical scenario and the three tasks stop the core from overloading. Visually, it’s pretty cool and the gameplay was pressured but nothing that really got me excited.

    I would have prefer a timed event, something like Alyx running into the room and shouting we only have 5 minutes until it blows! Then, over a radio, she is constantly hassle you and maybe having to defend herself from Combine attacks too.

    Yes, it’s easy for anybody to say how they would improve it, but it just didn’t feel exciting enough.

    playtime: 25 minutes

  2. Direct intervention is shorter than Undue Alarm but it is interesting.

    The idea of activating three generators to stabilize the core is not new but the place offers an amazing gameplay. Walking very close to the core or above it allows to show it well and turn the operation very interesting.

    The core itself is fantastic. The animation of texture and the behavior of that huge energy ball is remarkable. I would like a ceiling light just like that in my living room.

    After stabilizing the core a new element of scenario is added. Impossible to know where Dr Mossman is but her recording is fundamental for the intrigue of episodes and probably HL3.

    CAUGHT MY EYES

    Hey! Confining had siphon my HEV!

    DEATHS

    None.

    PLAYTIME

    18 minutes

    MY FRENCH LET’s PLAY

  3. Unq

    A good puzzle-oriented chapter here. We’re still being eased into the combat, and starting off with the juiced gravity gun is actually a really good way to do it. Things aren’t too difficult but you can get caught by a grenade or energy ball if you’re not careful. I had a bit of difficulty with the corridor with double energy balls shooting my way, it took me a few tries to get past that.

    Yes, the tension could have been ratcheted up a bit here, but I’m glad there was no timer to beat. From an overall view, it’s still early in the game and I think a rushed sequence would have been a bit out of place this early on.

    I really like how the core looked, and the overall layout of the areas we have to reach to contain it. There’s also a nice bit of intrigue with Mossman’s transmission, followed by a nice quick preview of a hunter on the monitor, but we’ll have to wait till Episode 2 to see them for real, of course.

    Overall a decent chapter that focuses on puzzles. Bring on the combat!

    Playtime: 25 minutes

  4. Direct intervention has some key beautiful moments that are some of my fondest from the HL2 series.
    The glimpse of the hunter, like the introduction of the Advisor in the previous chapter, is so well done and really gets your heart pounding.

    My next favorite moment is descending in the lift and Alyx saying goodbye. You feel like such a hero as she touches the glass and you descend away from her.

    The combat with the grav gun is fun but I still can’t get the achievement of 4 com one with one energy ball! One day!

    My other favorite element of the map is the core itself. It looks and feels dangerous. You can almost smell the ozone coming off of it. The moment when you have to sneak past it as it pulsates and eats its way into the metal platforms around it is truely nervewracking.

    The train ride out really only has the screaming stalkers moment going for it but its enough to get you ready for the terror of Lowlife.

  5. Ade

    I remember having trouble understanding what I was supposed to do and I noticed only now how the progression was shown on the big screen high up in each containment room, maybe if it was eye level, it would’ve been better (I think there is at least 1 monitor like that but the task still wasnt clear enough for me, Id just see some thingies that needed orbs in em..). And in the last room I had trouble realizing why the damn machine wouldn’t work and how I was supposed to get out of the chamber beneath without getting stuck there. This time round, tho, it was easy peasy.
    Gawd, those stalkers so noisy, even I got scared of em lol

    Playtime: 6 minutes

  6. I already posted this review, but for some reason it never appeared so I guess I’ll rewrite it ._.

    So direct intervention is a well balanced chapters, there are puzzles, combats, story progress and very awesome props (I love the core :3 )

    The goal is pretty simple: get in here and stabilize it. We need to use combine energy balls, which are found a different way every time. We also have to dodge them in small corridors a couple times. Then we speak with Alyx, realize Judith is in trouble (that makes me wonder just how much time passed between both games? Judith is obviously far away, Kleiner and Eli are obviously out of the city and maybe already at White forest)

    Then we battle some more soldiers with rollermines (I forgot that they explode -.-)

    Then we get on the train, we crash, Alyx gets “attacked” by a stalker, and the chapter is over.

    Challenges:
    – Complete the chapter without stabilizing the core
    Look at the speedrun from sourceruns

    – Get Alyx stuck behind an advisor
    Found this by accident, but it slows you down so I didn’t do it here

    Five words or less review
    That core is so beautiful

    Deaths:
    none :3

    Playtime:
    11 minutes 10 seconds 292 milliseconds

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