What do you get if you cross one of the greatest FPSs ever made, with one of the greatest multiplayer shooters of the modern era with one of the greatest puzzle titles ever created? Why its The Orange Box of course!
I was working at Gamestation (when it still existed *sniff*) at the time and the announcement that The Orange Box was coming to Xbox 360 was met with universal amazement in mid-2007. Launch price on the shelves was a mere £40; game publishers simply didn’t give gamers packages with this much value in them!
Half Life 2 was already 3 years old at this point. However, as one of the PC’s highest acclaimed shooters ever, this was many console players first chance to try it out. Remember the gravity gun? It was a completely unique idea at the time and Half Life’s linear but open levels strongly encouraged experimentation with it and the game’s terrific AI. Gordon Freeman was silent as in the first game but somehow the writing and direction allowed you to draw conclusions about the relationship between him and his partner Alyx that was never voiced.
Team Fortress was new and included on the disc. A brightly coloured but complex multiplayer affair which gave each team member a specific role and asked you to function as a team – unique at the time! So good in fact that it’s still got a large and dedicated PC community to this day. Oh and little game called Portal. Just thinking about that game with it’s taxing multi-dimension based puzzles and Gladys’s flatly delivered threats/ humour give me the heebie jeebies. It spawned not just a brilliant sequel but a cultural t-shirt, printing, lying cake based phenomenon.
What a package!