The Orange Box

Platform

zScore

96%

The Orange Box

Developer:Valve Genre:Action Release Date: Download Games Free Now!

About The Game

Once again players assume the role of Gordon Freeman, a scientist destined to save the Earth from hordes of gruesome alien attackers. Valve has created a fully realized world in Half-Life 2, with objects and characters that feature accurate physics properties, behaving with the appropriate mass, density, and physical properties of their real-life counterparts. Extremely intelligent computer AI result in enemies that plan, adapt, and respond to the player's actions.

Following on the heels of the similarly-titled next-gen console edition, this package is a near-complete package of the Half-Life 2 phenomenon, packed with bonuses in addition to the genre-expanding original Half-Life 2 game. Half-Life 2: Episode One and Episode Two add-on levels are also on the disc, as are the stunningly complex puzzle game Portal and the online phenomenon Team Fortress 2.

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The Orange Box

The Orange Box Review

By Chad Montague |

Valve's reputation as a top tier developer began when Half-Life released in 1998 and was cemented in 2004 when they released the spectacular sequel. Now, they're bringing that magic back with The Orange Box. As we've said in countless previews, this is one of the best deals we've ever seen in gaming, especially for those people that have yet to play Half-Life 2 at all. With Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 Episode One, and Half-Life 2 Episode Two, players can take the entire Half-Life 2 journey up to now in order. If that was the entire package, it'd be hard to express much discontent even with Half-Life 2 being a three year old game, but Orange Box also comes with two other games: Portal and Team Fortress 2. They're quite a bit different than Half-Life in spirit, but offer up unique puzzle based and multiplayer experiences that have exquisite style and beautiful senses of humor. Everything has the spit and polish that we've come to expect from Valve and nothing in the package disappoints.

We've reviewed Half-Life 2 and Episode One in the past and decided to review Episode Two, Portal, and Team Fortress 2 separately as you can purchase them individually via Steam. You can find the links to all of those reviews directly below followed by our overall thoughts of The Orange Box if you don't care about the individual reviews.

Episode Two, without giving too much away for those of you that haven't played Half-Life 2, sees Gordon Freeman and the rest of the crew moved out of City 17 and into the surrounding wild areas that happen to be filled with Ant Lions and combine remnants. Valve has created widely varied levels with claustrophobic fights, frantic defenses, outdoor driving missions, and plenty of the corridor shooter missions that were so good from the original. The final fight alone is worth the look but there's so much more to see here including two new combine evils, The Hunter and The Advisor. Both are visually thrilling and the hunter offers up some of the best enemy battles in the Half-Life series. Episode 2 is definitely the best looking of the saga and adds a wealth of engine tweaks to visuals and physics performance. Once again, Valve has some of the best character models in gaming that can bring real emotion to character development. If you don't like the side characters by the end of Episode 2, there's something wrong with you.

Read the Full Review of Episode Two

Portal also manages to tie into the Half-Life universe in some more subtle ways and also gets a mention in Episode Two. For that alone, Half-Life fans will probably want to give portal a shot. It's certainly not going to take a long time. From start to finish the first time through it probably took us 1 and a half to 2 hours. The first 15 of 19 levels were pretty damn easy with only the last few missions offering up much of a challenge. Even so, the game was consistent in its presentation and polish and offered up an evil sense of humor that had us wanting much more by the end. Finishing the game will add some content. Six levels open up with new challenges to beat including how much time, the number of steps you take, and number of portals you use to beat the challenge. With bronze, silver, and gold marks to meet, this could infuriate you and make you obsessive for several more hours. Those same six levels have also been re-worked in Advanced mode and are much, much harder than they are in the normal game. If you don't care for the extra challenges, Portal is worth finishing just to hear the ridiculously excellent song during the credits that had us laughing out loud.

Read the Full Review of Portal

Team Fortress 2 is the last piece of the puzzle and though it doesn't factor into the Half-Life universe, it's a worthy multiplayer game in its own right. With an amazing visual theme that includes some spectacularly loveable animations, your eyes will never have a dull moment. Valve has proved again that visuals are not only about cutting edge technology but also about consistent style. Sound is equally as brilliant with character in every sound blurb and effect in the game. Thankfully, TF2's gameplay holds up to the visual and auditory polish. Each of the nine available classes looks and plays very differently. Teams will need a good balance between each of these classes in the various team-based maps and game types to be successful. While lone gunman play is possible, it's definitely better to work in a crew. Our complaints sit mostly with the number of maps available at launch, which is six, and the fact that each is tied exclusively to a game type. It's hard to complain too much since each of the maps was obviously specifically designed with each game type in mind, but it might have been fun to see each map repurposed for some kind of capture the flag or team deathmatch games as well. Either way, it's a riot of fun and an awesome atmosphere to play in.

Read the Full Review of Team Fortress 2

The main thrust of this amazing package is definitely the Half-Life 2 series. If you haven't played it yet, you should now feel compelled to take the opportunity. The base game is still brilliant after three years, but you'll also get to play through both Episode One, which is good, and the brand new Episode Two, which is spectacular. Those of you that have already played through the original and episode one shouldn't scoff at the chance to play through everything together in the right order. It's as beautiful as reading a series of books from the start and offers up a view into development not often seen in gaming as the complexity and visuals of the series increase over the episodes. The entire series still looks fantastic though some key improvements have been made to the Source engine that unsurprisingly make Episode Two the best looking iteration in the bunch.

Read the Full Review of Half-Life 2 | Read the Full Review of Episode One

Our recommendation for those of you that have always been interested in Half-Life 2 and haven't tried it is simple: buy this package! Not only do you get the best single player first person shooter ever created, you also get the two next chapters, a 3D puzzle game that also happens to live in the Half-Life universe and a terrifically fun team-based multiplayer first-person shooter. This is a lot of game in one package for only 50 dollars.

As PC gamers, we will have a few more options to purchase each piece than the console guys. Each of parts is available for separate purchase via Steam, though the cost is much more prohibitive than just buying Orange Box. The original Half-Life 2 is 30, Episode One is 20, Episode Two is 30, Portal is 20, and Team Fortress 2 is 30. Aside from the fact that it's likely you can find Half-Life 2 by itself for cheaper elsewhere (actually at the moment it's been reduced to 20 on Steam), all the pieces individually add up to 120-130 bucks. All of the new stuff together is 80. Do the math. Even if you only want two of the new games and don't plan on ever playing the other games, the Orange Box is a better deal, especially since you can give the other games away to friends.

The Orange Box Cheats

This process modifies your game files, so make back-ups of the proper files and directories before attempting this hack.

  • You need both Portal and Half-life 2 for starters. Install or re-install both games now.
  • Back up your Portal directory. Unless you changed the install path, the directory is in ...Steamsteamapps(your_username)portal. If you make a mistake during this hack, you may need to re-download Portal through Steam (or at worse, Half-life 2 through Steam).
  • Download and install GCFScape if you do not have it already. This program allows you to access the cached game files for games using the Source engine.
  • Head into the directory ...Steamsteamapps for all the available GCF archives available. Open the file half-life 2 content.gcf via GCFScape. Click the hl2 folder on the left pane of the GCFScape Explorer window. Right mouse click maps and select the command Extract to place all the contents of the maps folder into the directory ...Steamsteamappsthe_great_bundiniportalportal. This merges Half-life 2 maps with the Portal map folder.
  • Repeat the above step with the scenes folder via GCFScape.
  • Boot up Steam to run Portal. Drop the developer console with ~ (you may need to enable it under your keyboard options or enable it via the -console command switch on the executable's shortcut).
  • On the developer console, type maps * to list all the available maps; this should inclde the Half-life 2 maps imported from the previous steps. Type map and then the name of that map (i.e., map d1_canals_01).
  • Once the map is loaded and you can play, drop the console and enable the cheats for Portal by entering sv_cheats 1. Give yourself all weapons (including the Portal Gun) by entering impulse 101. You may need to input upgrade_portalgun to enable you to fire both portals.
  • Enjoy the havoc. Note that this hack also works with Episode 1 and Episode 2. You will notice that while NPCs from Half-life cannot pass through portals, all other inert objects (including yourself) and weapons fire will pass through with no problems.
  • Submitted by Primotechnology.com

    Turn on the cheat console in-game, and press the tilde (~) to bring it up. You can then type the codes in below for the desired effect...

    • ai_disable - NPCs are turned off
    • give item_battery - Receive 15 battery points
    • give item_healthkit - Receive 25 health points
    • kill - Character eliminates himself
    • npc_create - Create NPCs

    Hit tilde ~ and type "npc_create npc_ [name] to spawn an NPC. Here is a list of the names you can enter for [name]:

    • "alyx" (Alyx Vance)
    • "barney" (Barney Calhoun)
    • "dog" (Dog)
    • "kleiner" (Dr. Kleiner)
    • "eli" (Eli Vance)
    • "mossman" (Judith Mossman)
    • "monk" (Father Grigori)
    • "citizen" (Citizen)
    • "headcrab" (Regular Headcrab)
    • "zombie" (Regular Zombie)
    • "zombie_torso" (Regular Zombie Torso)
    • "headcrab_fast" (Fast Headcrab)
    • "headcrab_black" (Black Headcrab)
    • "headcrab_poison" (Poison Headcrab)
    • "fastzombie" (Fast Zombie)
    • "poisonzombie" (Poison Zombie)
    • "antlion" (Antlion)
    • "antlionguard" (Antlion Guard)
    • "combine_s" (Combine Soldier/Combine Elite/Prison Guard)
    • "metropolice" (Metro Cop)
    • "stalker" (Stalker)
    • "cscanner" (City Scanner)
    • "manhack" (Manhack)
    • "rollermine" (Rollermine)
    • "combine_mine" (Hopper Mine)
    • "combine_camera" (Combine Camera)
    • "turret_floor" (Combine Turret)
    • "turret_ceiling" (Ceiling Turret)
    • "turret_ground" (Ground Turret)
    • "launcher" (?)
    • "combinedropship" (Dropship)
    • "combinegunship" (Gunship)
    • "strider" (Strider)
    • "pigeon" (Pigeon)
    • "crow" (Crow)
    • "seagull" (Seagull)
    • "barnacle" (Barnacle)
    • "ichthyosaur" (Ichthyosaur)
    • "vortigaunt" (Vortigaunt)

    Episode One and Episode Two

    • "clawscanner" (Shield Scanner)
    • "zombine" (Combine Zombie/Zombine)
    • "fastzombie_torso" (Fast Zombie Torso)

    Episode Two Only

    • "antlion_grub" (Antlion Grub)
    • "antlion" (Antlion Worker)
    • "hunter" (Good A.I. Hunter)
    • "combine_s" (Combine Shotgunner)
    • "antlionguard" (Green Antlion Guard)
    • "magnusson" (Dr. Magnusson)
    • "vortigaunt" (Vortigaunt Doctor)

    Episode One Only

    • "ministrider" (Bad A.I. Hunter)

    Additions by Mega Sean 45

    All commands are done via the console. They must be enabled via the console option on shortcut, or enabled through the in-game options under the Advanced section of Controls. It is then accessed by pressing ~. (Note: Most of these require sv_cheats to be set to 1.)

    change_portalgun_linkage_id #

    Replace # with 0, 1, 2, or 3. This allows for separate sets of portals to be created.

    ent_create_portal_weight_box

    Creates a Weighted Storage Cube for your use.

    fire_energy_ball

    Fires an energy ball that can be used in solving puzzles.

    sv_portal_placement_never_bump 1

    Self-explanitory.

    sv_portal_placement_never_fail 1

    Portals can be placed on almost any surface.

    upgrade_portalgun

    Will allow use of second portal placement.

    The various grafitti in Portal can help you crack the code for the website www.aperturescience.com. Go to the website (it uses Shockwave Flash) and type in the command LOGIN.

    The user name is CJOHNSON and the password is TIER3. Once you are in, you may type in HELP for a list of valid commands. Have fun!

    Addition by PRO_GAMER_: You should also be able to login to aperturescience.com with the username GLADOS and the password PORTAL, as well.

    Addition by red7ring: It actually doesn't matter what name you login with. You can login with any name you want. It's the password you insert that's important.

    Addition by Spilled Salt: After logging in, type at the prompt "thecakeisalie" (minus the quotes). Doing so will unlock some secret messages for you to view.

    The Orange Box Game Walkthrough

        ,-' 
                        

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