from the PC Gamer Review:
But the core process of this new physics, the key to the success of the game, is to be found in the Gravity Gun. Once you’ve experienced vehicular action and got to grips with combat, Half-Life 2 introduces a new concept – the idea of violently manipulating objects with this essential tool. The gun has two modes: one drags things towards you and can be used to hold, carry or drop them. The other projects them away and can be used either to smash and punch or, if you’re already holding something, hurl it with tremendous force. A filing cabinet becomes a flying battering ram, dragged towards you and then fired into enemies, only to be dragged back and launched again to hammer your foe repeatedly, or until the cabinet is smashed into metal shards. Pick these up and you can blast them through the soft flesh of your enemies. Killing the bad-guys with nearby furniture becomes habitual, instinctive. Or perhaps you need cover from a sniper – picking up a crate will give you a makeshift shield with which to absorb some incoming fire. Likewise, you immediately find yourself using the gravity gun to clear a path through debris-blocked passages, or to pick up ammo and health packs, or to grab and hurl exploding barrels at encroaching zombies, setting them ablaze and screaming. You can even use it to grab hovering combine attack drones and batter them into tiny fragments on concrete surfaces.
Soon, the gravity gun is proving useful in solving puzzles, or knocking your up-turned buggy back onto its wheels. Yes, a buggy. I’ll come back to that. The gravity gun isn’t just another weapon, it’s the soul of Half-Life 2. Do you try to bodge the jump over that toxic sludge, or take the time to use the level’s physics objects to build an elaborate bridge? Do you waste ammo on those monsters or pull that disc-saw out of where it’s embedded into the wall? Of course, you always know what to do. When there’s a saw floating in front of your gravity gun, and two zombies shamble around the corner, one behind the other, well, you laugh at the horrible brilliance of it. Yeah, I think that was the moment I sat back and laughed. It’s just too much.
Look, you guys can all piss and moan, but that sounds like a shitload of fun to me.
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