From Before I Play
- My big advice is that the game is great, but the vehicle sections kind of suck. Power through them, they don't last THAT long (most people I know who played HL2 found that the boat section ended literally minutes before they were about to quit playing). The SMG sucks but you get a decent amount of ammo for it, the combine assault-rifle dealie is awesome but you can empty it with like 5 seconds firing. Use whatever gun you currently have ammo for.
- Ammo/health/shield drops are based on your current levels of each. If you have a lot of ammo then very little will drop. If you are getting your ass kicked then there will be health packs aplenty in the crates.
- If you shoot the zombies in the head then it also kill the headcrab that was animating them, saves you a bit of effort.
- Fuck fast zombies. Seriously.
- Learn to love the gravity gun. There is something strangely satisfying about beating combine to death with a radiator.
- If you just jump into HL2,without playing HL1, you won't miss much. Valve planned on having a much bigger customer base for HL2, so there's very little in the story you can't infer.
- I'd recommend playing as much HL1 as you want, but if you get tired of it don't feel bad about just jumping to HL2. The quality also steadily ramps up throughout the subsequent episodes.
- Play it on Hard, it's balanced enough to give casual players a fun run for their money.
- As far as gameplay, don't look up the solutions to puzzles, the game has a very organic feeling to its solutions, and it's a joy to figure them out yourself. The combat will be challenging but not overwhelming. Use your weapons based on whatever sounds like the most fun, you'll never have to stockpile ammo.
- The SMG is a weak piece of crap for a weapon, which is why they give you tons of ammo for it. Basically all weapons are under-powered and have little ammo.
- The Pistol is a great sniping gun.
- Aim high when fighting head crabs with a crowbar. They basically jump right onto it when you swing.
- The Magnum easily misses shots on higher difficulties at longer ranges, yet such a slow firing gun will get you killed if you fight guys with a shotgun and if they live.
- You can charge up the Tau Cannon to make it hit really hard and get a strong recoil for effect.