At an estimated completion time of 25 minutes it was always going to be an intimidating task to approach the colossus that is Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, but this was where I chose to begin my challenge…I had no choice but to be ready.
For the uninitiated, Half-Life 2 is an absolute masterpiece, no other FPS games came close at the time and I think you could make a compelling argument that even now (13 years later!) that there are still very few which do.
Now I’ve played Half-Life 2 to completion multiple times, the Episodes too, yet Lost Coast has continued to evade me. The Half-Life that got away. I understand that it was designed to show off new features off the source engine and was added to the libraries of people who already owned HL2 as a nice freebie.
To start off with, Lost Coast has aged about as well as Lindsay Lohan, it’s pretty clear that it used to be something special but unfortunately age has not been kind and no amount of botox (or in this case, upping the resolution to 1440p) can quite resolve things.
Fortunately, looks aren’t everything and for all the dated looking character models and textures I was pleased to find that HL2 plays just as well as it always has. Much like the main game the gravity gun is the real star of the show and is absolutely brilliant to play around with, enemies are relentlessly aggressive and the all out action makes for a refreshing change from the tedious duck and cover routines of many modern FPS games.
Lost Coast itself is little more than a short level in which you fight your way through the combine forces as they attack a nearby town, it ends nicely with a helicopter battle before Gordon Freeman fades away, ready to fight another day. Clocking in at just under half an hour it was a nice place to start working on my backlog. If you’re one of the many with this sat in your ‘unplayed’ pile then I can definitely recommend taking half an hour out of your busy schedule to revisit the world of Half-Life.