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Half-Life 2 is simply one of those games that can be held up as art, as something that is smarter than Halo or Gears of War while still being engrossing to play and fun to explore.

Half-Life 2: Episode 1 picks up right where HL2 ends: with the destruction of the portal atop the citadel in City 17 and the apparent death of Dr. He’ll be missed. He’ll be missed. Half-Life is a first-person shooter video game developed by Valve and published by Sierra Studios for Microsoft Windows in 1998. It was Valve's debut product and the first game in the Half-Life series.Players assume the role of Gordon Freeman, a young scientist who must escape the Black Mesa Research Facility after a failed experiment causes a rift between Earth and alien dimension. HALF-LIFE sends a shock through the game industry with its combination of pounding action and continuous, immersive storytelling. Valve's debut title wins more than 50 game-of-the-year awards on its way to being named 'Best PC Game Ever' by PC Gamer, and launches a franchise with more than eight million retail units sold worldwide. 38 Games Like Half Life 2 Episode 2 for Mac. Half-Life® 2: Episode Two is the second in a trilogy of new games created by Valve that extends the award-winning and best-selling Half-Life® adventure. Gordon Freeman, you were last seen exiting City 17 with Alyx Vance as the Citadel erupted amidst a storm of unknown proportions.

I run Half-Life 2 natively on Mac OS X yesterday evening, in the same configuration I run it on Mac: 1280x1024 resolution, 8x anisotropic filtering, High Dynamic Range bloom rendering, all graphic settings set to 'High'. It run like charm. I'm impressed. Half-Life 2 was the only reason until today to keep a Windows XP partition on my Mac, and use Boot Camp. But it was inconvenient, the rebooting, even if I did it about once a week on a sunday afternoon for few hours of gameplay.
The magic behind this is called CrossOver Gaming.
Yesterday, I got an e-mail from Codeweavers where they announced CrossOver Gaming Beta. For those unfamiliar, CrossOver is a Wine-based Win32 API compatibility layer for Mac and Linux, allowing Windows application binaries to run natively under these operating systems on machines with x86 CPU architecture. I did test drive CrossOver earlier (that's why I was on their e-mail list), but it left me unexcited, not by its own fault, but really because I had no need for any Windows applications at the time.
I was intrigued by the CrossOver Gaming product though, as it does answer a need I have, namely playing a game I own without needing a reboot (VMWare fusion doesn't run Half-Life 2). Or needing a Windows license. The difference between 'regular' CrossOver and CrossOver Gaming is that Gaming will see more frequent releases, will be more bleeding edge, basically less conservative as to what goes into it and frequently updated to accommodate game compatibility problems. You won't necessarily want that from a software that you use to run, say, your Windows-only accounting package, but for games, this model makes perfect sense.
Well, it works pretty much as advertised on the box. It knows of a bunch of 'supported' applications, one of them being Steam (and all games available through it). It will install a surrogate HTML library (lacking Internet Explorer, right, there's no Microsoft-shipped mshtml.dll in the system) that allows Steam's built-in store browser to work, then download and install MSXML redistributables and Steam itself. Steam then launched, I logged into my account, downloaded Half-Life 2: Episode One, crossed fingers, and launched it.
It runs just as it did under Windows, and I think I couldn't say anything more praiseworthy about this CrossOver product, even in its beta. I'm totally buying this when it comes out.
I'll briefly mention that there is another player in this space, Transgaming, but unlike Codeweavers, they forked off Wine and aren't donating code back upstream to Wine, so if you need to choose, it seems as if supporting Codeweavers seems like a better option from the moral point of view, as Codeweavers do donate back to Wine. Also, Transgaming's Cedega product doesn't allow users running unaltered Windows games on Mac, only on Linux. They don't offer Cedega for Mac; they have Cider, but that's not a runtime but rather a library that developers need to link against to produce Mac-runnable versions of their games written against the Win32 API. So in reality, CrossOver is the only solution for running a Windows game natively under Mac OS X. Fortunately, it seems to be a good one.

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Half-Life 2 (stylized as HλLF-LIFE2; often shortened to HL2 or λ2), the sequel to Half-Life, is a first-person shooter video game and a signature title in the Half-Life series. Developed by Valve Corporation, it was initially released on November 16, 2004, following a protracted five-year, $40 million development cycle, during which a substantial part of the project was leaked and distributed on the Internet. The game was developed alongside Valve's Steam software. It introduced the Source game engine and, because of Steam, is the first video game to require online product activation. Like its predecessor, Half-Life 2 was met with near-unanimous critical acclaim. It was praised for its advanced physics, animation, sound, AI, graphics, and narrative. The game won 39 'Game of the Year' awards, and a couple of publications have named it 'Game of the Decade'. It won the title of 'Game Of The Decade' at the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards. Over 6.5 million copies of Half-Life 2 were sold at retail by December 3, 2008, making it a bestselling PC game (not including the number of sales via Steam). As of February 9, 2011, Half-Life 2 has sold over 12 million copies.