This final chapter details the climactic confrontation between Wallace Breen, Gordon Freeman and the leaders of the Resistance.
After being transported to Dr. Breen’s office, Gordon is reunited with Eli Vance and Alyx Vance, who are both being kept captive in Stalker pods as well.
Dr. Breen tries once again to gain the allegiance of Eli but, after being refused, prepares to send Gordon, Alyx, and Eli through a portal to the Combine Overworld.
Dr. Breen also hints at the G-Man, stating that Gordon’s “contract was open to the highest bidder.” Mossman protests, but after being brushed off by Breen, decides to intervene, releasing Freeman, Alyx, and Eli.
Breen attempts to escape, fleeing to the Dark Energy Reactor at the very top of the Citadel, to be transported to the Combine Overworld.
Gordon gives chase however, fighting his way through Combine soldiers along the way. Just as the portal to the Overworld opens, Gordon attacks the reactor using his Dark Energy-infused Gravity Gun, causing the reactor to fail and go critical.
Just as the reactor explodes, likely killing Breen and almost killing Alyx and Gordon, the G-Man freezes time and addresses Gordon.
The G-Man congratulates Gordon on his success, stating that he has received “interesting offers” for Gordon’s services. Gordon is put back into stasis by the G-Man, who then leaves through a door of light, with the final words: “In the meantime, this is where I get off.”
The fates of Breen, Eli, Mossman, and Alyx is left unknown at the ending of the game, but Eli, Mossman, and Alyx’s fates are revealed in the sequel. Breen’s fate still remains unrevealed, however.
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 intro and trivia text are 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.
Another game finished. But I’m not left with any sense of accomplishment. I wonder if that’s A: because I have already played it, B: because of the way I played it (more of that later) or C: because the ending was just not hard enough, even considering it was on EASY.
This particular chapter was a little frustrating for me as I really don’t like having to listen to speeches but I recognize that it was needed for the story to be told. Even after I was freed, I felt it was not interesting enough. I know I am being quite hard on this chapter and Valve but it really didn’t float my boat.
I always feel a game, or mod for that matter, should finish on a combat high but this was more like a movie.
Still, it’s concluded the game and my thoughts have already turned to the next instalment.
Now, I mentioned about the “way I played it”. I recognize that playing these games with such long breaks between chapter has a serous detrimental effect on my perception, I have decided to play Ep1 and Ep2 completely and then post them. So, expect a delay between Lost Coast and Ep1.
I will keep notes after each chapter, so that I can still post a meaningful review at the same time and I suggest you do the same.
Half-Life 2 did kinda end on a combat-high, The anti-citizen chapter was the real climax. The last chapters do a really nice job of moving things forward into the start of Episode 1 (To be honest, I think the last 2 chapters are my favourites simply because you get to see what you’re up against fully in terms of scale, knowing that this citadel is also one of many)
Even though anti-citizen does make the end bits seem a tad anti-climatic, it doesn’t devalue them because they are of such high quality.
I think people need to get over the old “the end of the game should have the hardest combat in the game” mentality. That greatly limits the game designers” choices, often forcing them to pull some random contrivance out of nowhere, and it can also detract from the main plot of the game. What if a game’s main plot just isn’t conducive to a huge freak-out endgame combat? Even if you can think of a way to do that for Half-Life 2 in particular, that doesn’t mean it should be any kind of a general thing.
A good example of a game that’s even more of an “easy at the end” game is Singularity. It has a huge and difficult boss battle (with the phase tick queen), but that’s just a little past the game’s halfway mark. The game’s ending sequence is super easy since it’s totally plot-driven without any contrived last-minute mega-boss or huge-mob battles. Such a thing wouldn’t have worked for that game at all. Of course, it totally works for some games, like the original Half-Life. I encourage all game and mod designers to think carefully about how to end their games, and to do what’s best for the game, even if it isn’t a super-hard combat.
Honestly, I never felt like HL2’s ending was anti-climactic in the slightest. In fact, I found it to be one of the best videogame endings ever; the fate of City 17, arguably of the world, lies on your shoulders. The revolution has reached its climax. Mossman betrays Breen, you and Alyx have to catch Breen before he’s teleported into another dimension and kills everyone in the city. The setting is awe-inspiring; giant energy beams, immense alien constructs, the entire city- literally the entire adventure you’ve just gone through- laid out before you like a map. While the combat admittedly wasn’t the most difficult, the conclusion to HL2 is likely the best conclusion I’ve ever played in terms of both setting and story.
Dark energy is a particular chapter. It is the final one, but he also take place on only one map. Nice piece of work.
Of course, as a final act, a big portion of scenario is unavoidable. This is the object of the first part in Breen’s office. This sequence is very well made, not too long or too short, containing a surprise and some troubling elements. What Breen really knows about Freeman ?
After talking, action. We look for a boss but there is only this big green worm in the screen. We must go in pursuit of Breen and a time race start.
The reactor/teleporter phase is very amazing, mixing moving skills and combats. While I was climbing this structure, I remind the Level B in Lambda Core.
Then the Portal open, sharing the only view of Xen Homeworld. Obviously it’s not the same region seen in HL1.
In order to close it we must shoot it again and again, simple no ? Curiously I didn’t understand that in my first play, thinking that only one time will do the thing.
At last, the G-Man step in the fate, probably saving Freeman’s life. What can I say about this abrupt ending ? I have the impression that the G-Man have simply used Freeman for a machiavelian plan. Now he made his job and must be kept for later. That should be the definition of Half-Life regarding Gordon Freeman.
CAUGHT MY EYES
Wow, Mossman was a triple agent !
MY FRENCH LET’s PLAY
Immersion was the key element for me in this game. The action was a device to keep feeding me the emotional payload, which (again, for me) was mostly Alyx and also the atmosphere/environment. I realize that, minus Alyx, HL1 did a better job of this, but I don’t care. This ending had a real impact on me, and I was hopping up and down in my seat when the blast froze. I would have paid almost anything to find out what happened to Alyx next.
That said, ep1&ep2 did not have that impact on me. Maybe it’s for the reasons Phillip listed, I can’t really tell.
The last chapter is not the usual crass ‘fight the super-monster’ ending, but still a challenging fight to stop that deluded Breen’s escape plans. Oh I really felt like taking that guy out as I hung in that transport cage, one nice gloved fist in that supercilious face as his nose explodes with blood! Breen is guilty of mass genocide and I have not forgotten Judith Mossman helping him, so I would not have been as forgiving as Alyx, even though she helped my escape.
The villainous Breen runs off, don’t they always and I get a good look at the office I saw so long ago on my brief transporter ride!
I struggled terribly with my first foray up the reactor core dying so often I quit playing, but my replay was a happier experience, even though I got squashed!
I mastered the grab-fling approach to killing combine with the super gravgun and was at the top in short order.
Shooting the gunships proved tricky due to the bulky gun and energy spheres obscuring my aim, but I got, them? I only seem to recall downing one, but firing at two!
I chuckled at the Tron-like shields guarding the portal core; as I knocked them out in short order as Breen still prattled on. Then the big-badda-boom! What satisfaction after such a long epic struggle, but odd that Alyx thought about running from an exploding portal reactor mere feet away!
And suddenly my old friend appears with his usual cryptic words and departs through that white doorway and!!!.
A fine ending, but you are left thinking about how they will escape an exploding citadel!
I have thoroughly enjoyed my replay of Half Life 2, reading other players reviews and discovering things I had forgotten, or confused with the myriad mods I have played and have come to the conclusion that it is far better than the original, Half Life game.
CAUGHT MY EYE:
Citadels very dangerous working environment!
I noticed him at the end filling my monitor screen!
FIVE WORDS OR LESS REVIEW:
The End? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Dum, dum, dum ,dum!!!..
PLAYTIME: 32 MINUTES.
So this is the end of Half-Life 2
This chapter is full of cutscenes, but I understand that they are needed in order to explain some stuff to the player. We can understand better what the combine’s goal is, and why are they letting Breen in charge.
When We break free, we run after Breen. The elevator is suspiciously perfect for a small emotional “talk” with Alyx, and they we run after the guy. We catch glimpses of what he’s saying, and it seems that he will end up in a host body. It is still unsure as to whether he made it to the host body or died before.
Then a huge climb in the core chamber, with Breen telling us our actions are pointless. When we get to the top, we just do as always: Break shit. It works like a charm. Then right before being destroyed in every way it is possible to be destroyed, and even in some ways that are technically impossible, gman comes out of nowhere and tells us it’s time to leave the battlefield. Cool
I tested if the developpers actually “stopped time” during that sequence or if they just froze the core components (glass shards and stuff) in mid-air. I throwed down the globe that I found in Breen’s office down right before gman froze time. Yep, it was also stopped mid-fall, so the developpers weren’t lazy this time ^^
– Singularity Collapse
As for that challenge, they gave us the illusion of free choice. We HAVE to do it ^^
– Take the elevator with Breen
Yep, but I died on my first try doing it ._.
I ended up losing as much time by dying than I saved by doing the trick.
– Throw some objects in gman’s face
I could have done it with the globe if I hadn’t dropped it down right before gman appeared. You can do it with statues or even Breen’s chair 😀
Five Words or less review:
I actually only just arrived
8 minutes 43 seconds 083 milliseconds
didn’t count the final cutscene. we’re done playing right?
6 Deaths in official videos, +1 death in the failed highway 17 video.
That brings my total deaths to 7 during this game’s TREE
3 Hours 6 minutes 53 seconds 0 milliseconds
The 1-second discrepancy between your HL2 total time and that of TREE is because I round your milliseconds to the nearest second, hence some cumulative error. Otherwise, nice to see that we tally up! Good job Kaito Kid – already looking forward to your EP1 & 2 videos!
Finally, the top of the Citadel and Breen’s office, which we saw briefly near the beginning of the game. A lot of this chapter is spent on exposition, but it’s mostly to thicken the plot for the games following HL2, rather than wrapping up the story satisfactorily (which, if you think about it, is right in line with Half-Life 1’s ending as well).
Thankfully this isn’t a boss battle but rather a series of challenges (the last of which still gave me a tough time on Hard). So overall Our Benefactors and Dark Energy act more like an epilogue to the game, which really had its combat climax down on the streets of City 17 in the preceding chapters.
And here at the end, Gordon’s world is called into question. First Breen calls you a “pawn for those who control him” and then states that your contract is open to the highest bidder. Then of course there’s the Gman’s cryptic monologue at the reactor, with time frozen just as it’s exploding.
A nice finale that may be frustrating but definitely leaves you with more questions than answers and whets your appetite for the next chapter.
Playtime: 18 minutes
Heh I actually don’t recall the end bit with Lamarr.
So sad I didn’t get my final achievement on this playthrough either.. damn lambda caches!
This moment was also full of emotion for me: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=158381364 cus they took my fav toy away!
Playtime: 16 mins