|Publisher(s)|| Valve Corporation|
|Platform(s)|| Microsoft Windows|
|Release date(s)||November 16, 2004|
|Rating(s)|| ESRB: M
Half-Life 2 (HL2), stylized as HλLF-LIFE², is a first-person shooter video game and the sequel to Half-Life, developed by Valve Corporation. It was released on November 16, 2004 following a protracted five-year development cycle during which the game's source code was leaked to the Internet. The game garnered near unanimous positive reviews and received critical acclaim, winning over 35 Game of the Year awards for 2005.
Taking place in and around the fictional City 17 sometime in the near future, Half-Life 2 follows the scientist Gordon Freeman. Gordon Freeman is thrust into an unfamiliar environment in which the aftermath of the Black Mesa Incident come to bear fully upon human society. Freeman is forced to battle against increasingly unfavorable odds in order to free Mankind from the Combine. In his struggle, he is joined by various allies, including fellow scientists, soldiers, and friends (like Alyx Vance).
The game uses the Source engine, which includes a heavily modified version of the Havok physics engine. Half-Life 2 has been critically acclaimed for advances in computer animation, sound, narration, computer graphics, artificial intelligence (AI) and physics. When sales figures were last announced, over four million copies of Half-Life 2 had been sold. Roughly 25 percent of all Half-Life 2 copies have been purchased using the Steam content delivery service; their exact number is between 750,000 and one million, depending on whether they are included in the figure of four million. Overall, the Half-Life franchise, including Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat, has seen over 15 million sales.
To date, an Xbox port of the game has also been released. Half-Life 2 is included in the Orange Box for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.