Half-Life 2 begins with the G-Man taking Freeman out of stasis and inserting him into a train on his way to City 17, somewhere in Eastern Europe, about twenty years after the Black Mesa Incident.
Official sources differ on the actual length of this intermission.
A story fragment written by Marc Laidlaw for the development team puts the intermission at ten years, while Half-Life 2: Episode One’s website puts this intermission as “nearly two decades” after the end of the events of Half-Life.
While Episode One is an earlier source, “twenty years” is probably the more accurate figure since in-game references like the picture of the Vance family in Eli’s lab portray Alyx as a small child, no older than 5 years of age.
This is the first chapter of Half-Life 2. It serves as both an introduction to City 17 and the game world itself. Here, the player begins to learn the events that took place during the 20 years between Half-Life and Half-Life 2, and what the Earth has become in the intervening time period. The player will learn about the changes and events from the characters he meets (Barney Calhoun, Alyx Vance, and some citizens he interacts with).
Dr. Gordon Freeman, who hasn’t aged a day since he disappeared after the Black Mesa Incident because he was in stasis, appears on a train heading to City 17. On the train, a couple of citizens talk about city life and the process of being transferred to City 17. Arriving there, Gordon meets armed police officers known as Civil Protection, and is greeted by the image of Dr. Wallace Breen, former administrator of Black Mesa, who is broadcasting a message on a large screen, welcoming the new citizens to City 17. Gordon is ordered away from the rest of the citizens, into a small interrogation room, in which he meets former Black Mesa security guard Barney Calhoun, who is now undercover as a Civil Protection officer.
He contacts Dr. Isaac Kleiner, who greets Gordon warmly. After a bit of discussion they decide to send Gordon over to Kleiner’s Lab, though he must find his own way there as Barney cannot abandon his post without raising Civil Protection’s suspicions. Along the way, Gordon finds himself right in the middle of a CP raid on a tenement house, barely escaping with his life, and being rescued from certain death by a young woman named Alyx Vance.
- When the player is told by the undercover Barney to come with him before nearly boarding the Nova Prospekt express, there is a glitch with the door at the end of the hallway. If the player stands directly in front of the door that the MetroCop opens for Barney, the MetroCop immediately closes the door, and the player is unable to go into the room. Barney remains in the hallway as well, telling the player repeatedly to get in the room using various dialog.
- If the player uses the weapon cheat and, at the end of the escape, kills all of the Civil Protection, he will not be rescued by Alyx and will remain stuck there.
Click on the thumbnails below to open a 1024 pixel wide image.
WARNING: The screenshots contain spoilers.
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.
The trivia text taken from the CombineOverWiki, a fan-supported, editable wiki covering the Half-Life series of games.
On the left is a complete text walkthrough for Half-Life 2.
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)
You can purchase Half-Life 2 directly through Steam and could be playing in within moments, depending on your internet connection.