Review of The Orange Box Compilation for Playstation 3

Half-Life 2: The Orange Box - PS3


Half-Life 2: The Orange Box is prettier on the PC and Xbox 360. If you have those platforms, perhaps those are better options. You will still love it on the PS3 though, so don't beat yourself up if your Dell was built in 2001 or you don't have an Xbox 360, this version will do you just fine.

First, let's make sure you understand there are five full games on this disc: Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episodes 1&2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. The Half-Life games rank among the best single player first person shooters to date. The dark dystopic world is the perfect place for a shooter filled with incredible action, great puzzles, memorable characters, and shockingly good storytelling (yes, HL2 is that good). Portal is the short, surprisingly compelling first-person puzzler that involves less shooting and more thinking. It is also one of those games people will be making insider comments about for years, and it is a must-play. How about Team Fortress 2? ThisĀ one is pure online multiplayer madness. Think of online shooters, only with cartoony characters and incredibly well designed/balanced gameplay.

If you somehow missed Half-Life 2, and aren't a PC gamer (don't listen to the fanboy press, there are far more console gamers than PC gamers these days), this will not only give you the chance to catch up on a modern classic but play some new content as well. The only thing keeping this from a five-star rating is that the other versions (Xbox 360 and PC) merely run better. A small complaint, but enough to keep it from perfection (it's still darn close, however).


  • Quite possibly the greatest gaming value in history, or at least close to it
  • Console jockeys now will know the pleasure of Half-Life 2
  • Portal is one of the more memorable and original FPS experiences in years
  • The Half-Life games tell a story better than any FPS in recent memory


  • Driving in Half-Life is dismal
  • People will complain about the controls, and others will be glad to be keyboard-free
  • Yup, framerate issues again, the Xbox 360 version runs more smoothly
  • Load times can be a drag, not too long, but close for an FPS
  • The cake is a lie

Game Specs

All scores are out of 5; the final score is not an average of the individual score.

Graphics: 3.5

Stylistically, you can't beat the art, and technically the game looks nowhere near as good as Resistance.

Sound: 4

Portal's "Still Alive" will have you recording your own YouTube Karaoke version.

Control: 0/4

Some like console controllers, some don't either way driving should have been mapped to the Sixaxis differently.

Difficulty: 3

The only challenging game in the bunch is Team Fortress 2, and that's due to the folks who will rock you.

Gameplay: 5

It's all based on the same game engine, but it plays so well and shows diversity in this package.

Multiplayer: 3

Sometimes animation and framerate issues lead to inexcusable deaths in Team Fortress 2.

Online: 4

Enough with the EA accounts, one PSN account should be enough for all PS3 online games.

Documentation: 4

Clear and concise, what more could you ask for?

Rated: Mature

Lots of gunplay, but nowhere near as dark as Doom or Unreal. Suitable for teen play.

The Bottom Line

Yes, the "true" Half-Life 2 experience is to be had on a PC, and we'll admit that the mouse keyboard combo is a better hardcore option for shooters than the Sixaxis. But, Half-Life 2: The Orange Box is a superb PS3 game, and an excellent option should you not be able to or want to play the PC version. Sure, it may run smoother on the Xbox 360 or have more community content on the PC, but if you want the experience, and have a PS3, this is not only adequate, it nears excellence. Playing Portal on your HDTV sitting on your couch beats the office chair/monitor setup any day of the week.