Half-Life 2 Faults

A list of faults I've noticed so far in the game.

27th November 2004 · Last updated: 5th October 2016

Further Reading · Comments

  • The game can freeze, locking up your computer! The only escape is to reboot. This happened to me when racing to the top of the lighthouse. There was a lot of action going on outside that I guess had something to do with it. I was not very happy. Luckily I had saved the game earlier on.
  • You can drop objects through solid areas, like the seat of the buggy.
  • Screenshots are saved as compressed JPGs - you can sometimes see artifacts around things. A shame they didn't choose to save them in a lossless format.
  • Starting the game in Online Mode (when Steam always seems to update!) you can't disconnect from the net or Steam stops the game! I had to reload everything once because I cut my connection after loading the game. I would advise single players to always play in Offline Mode, incase anything happens to your net connection as you're playing.
  • You can get stuck between objects such as rocks and fallen trees - the only escape is to slowly slide out in a certain direction - you cannot jump free. This could prove a major problem if you need to dodge an enemy firing at you!
  • Objects can overlap. Dead soldiers can appear half-way through cardboard boxes, or two boxes may overlap.
  • You can die for no reason - see my review of Half-Life 2 for details.
  • There is a known stuttering problem when starting a new level, or moving round corners - see The Half-Life 2 Stuttering Problem for details. I don't mind this so much as it usually happens just before a wave of new enemies are around the corner, so you know when that's about to happen!
  • The birds are an amazing piece of animation. But sometimes they land in a way that makes them look like they're in mid-air. Also I have been able to move right up to them without them noticing me. Here are some screenshots to illustrate this. Note the birds have their wings closed, yet they were each making a constant flapping noise, which didn't seem to fit at all.

    Screenshot of birds that look like they're in mid-air. Screenshot of bird that looks like it's in mid-air. Screenshot of a bird seen from underneath!
  • Father Grigori in Ravenholm can stand in fire and not get hurt. Watch him when you leave him at the end of that level.
  • Characters appear frozen before you reach them - yet they are clearly visible. The worst instance of this I've seen is a woman holding a petrol can next to the river-boat. You don't even have to zoom in to see her just stood there, arched over the boat with the can. This tends to ruin the sense of realism somewhat.
  • Doors can be frustratingly hard to get through sometimes. It's like they should be slightly wider. I don't notice this in other games. Of course it's a problem when you're on the run from gunfire or monsters.
  • The legs of ant-lions can appear through walls.
  • You can fire at people on your side with no effect whatsoever! Chuck a grenade at them, shoot them at close range with a machine gun - yet they don't die!
  • Twice I've seen guys talking to their intercom radios and just repeating the same line over and over again. Hardly realistic, is it? Surely they'd give up after a while?
  • A crushed car was stuck in a loop, moving slightly up and down and making the sound of being crushed. This continued infinitely.
  • Objects can be dropped through forcefields!
  • You can escape the map! Here's how. During one river-boat scene you will see a bridge crossing the river. There is a concrete slope that turns round which you have to negotiate. But if you step out of the boat there is a wall between both sides of the river. Position three barrels there to use them as steps (see screenshots below). I did this to see if I could climb onto the bridge but there's nothing there! It's just empty space! The good thing is that you can climb onto the bridge railings and explore a whole top area in the scene. Many parts are missing walls (they're usually hidden). I wouldn't be surprised if other areas can be accessed this way too.

    Note: when you jump onto the barrels, turn around and shoot the soldier normally out of view behind you!

    Screenshot of bridge with barrels for use as steps. Screenshot of bridge showing empty space in the map. Screenshot of empty map showing far-off city.
  • When changing levels, squad members who were following you can appear from doorways ahead that no-one's been through yet!
  • Shadows from people on solid steps can appear on the wall below the steps.
  • Pellets from the crossbow can get stuck in railings - even though there's clearly room for them to pass through. (See screenshot.)

    Screenshot of pellet stuck in railings.
  • A soldier falling from the long tongue of a monster on the ceiling disappeared when he reached the ground!
  • Grass can cut into solid objects.
  • There appears to be a bug near the end. In the citadel level called "Our Benefactors", there's a long section where Dr Breen gives a brief message on a huge screen. There's a power core visible through a force-field, but this didn't do anything when I tackled it. After spending ages in frustration I went back to an earlier save point and that time what you had to do worked. Maybe I had done it wrongly before?
  • Boxes can remain in mid-air, after a box underneath them is smashed. See the screenshot. (OK, so this happened while in cheat mode, where lots of strange things can occur, such as combine soldiers freezing instead of falling down when they die.)

    Screenshot of box stuck in mid-air.
  • Objects thrown ahead of you just before a new level is triggered disappear when the level starts. Dead zombies in clear view also disappear.
  • Why are all the zombies male? Do the headcrabs not take over female citizens too?
  • Saws can stick into stone as well as wood! Try throwing them with the Gravity Gun in Ravenholm.
  • You can grab the tire hanging on a rope when you first try the Gravity Gun. But in Ravenholm, you cannot grab the half-body hanging from a tree.

I may add further faults if and when I find them. Have you come across any yourself? If so, add a comment here, but try not to give away too much detail about the game incase it spoils it for someone who hasn't got as far as you. In fact, I will edit or delete such comments if they give away too much about the plot or the characters.

Further Reading

Comments (12)

Comments are locked on this topic. Thanks to everyone who posted a comment.

  1. zziminski:
    the train freeman arrive at city17 are NOT coupled together! take a look.

    also, after getting your first pistol from one of two combine beating up on a guy and his gal...go and outside, wait for the train to pull in, while it is moving, jump on top of it and let yourself get knock on the concrete "arch" (it is actually straight) and...you might just fly into the 13th dimension! you can see the 'whole' map from an angel's point-of-view and seconds later you're an angel (dead)...funny.

    Posted on 10 December 2004 at 6:29 am
  2. vanlen:
    When I started the game all characters where black silouettes. It wasn't until I got a HEV suit that clicking on the flashlight then off, brought colour and texture to people and objects you use.

    Very strange.

    Posted on 11 December 2004 at 7:44 pm
  3. deadmilkmen:
    when light reflects on your hud and you move behind something/someone, the light shines right through that object/person. I am not sure if that is only on my setup though. I am at a part past the mines right after you get the secondary assault rifle gun and some people find me and the black man tells me to follow him into a room but the black man blocks the door and i cannot walk through the door! This is very annoying...

    Posted on 26 December 2004 at 11:14 pm
  4. Martin:
    Hi, nice points about the game.

    Regarding the last point about the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator (Gravity Gun), the reason you can't grab the half-body hanging from trees in Ravenholm is because the gun does not react with organic material. To grab things, they must be inorganic (like wood, metal, paint cans, etc.)

    Of course this changes later in the game but I won't spoil anything for the uninitiated players out there who haven't got that far yet.

    Posted on 29 December 2004 at 3:30 pm
  5. 8688:
    The combine force field lets through combine and inanimate objects only. I think its pretty stupid how all the power sources are so close to the field itself.

    Posted on 30 December 2004 at 12:31 am
  6. Martin:
    Yeah! Guess the Combine, being superbeings and all, couldn't be bothered to walk a few extra meters to activate their force fields. So instead they put it right next to it at arm's length! Great thinking there.

    Posted on 30 December 2004 at 4:24 am
  7. Jamie:
    I found a fault where there are 2 alexes on the same screen (you no the gurl) i think we were excaping the prison and i did sumthign and two of her poped up and i was walking around with two alexes following me

    Posted on 30 December 2004 at 7:21 am
  8. Nutrox:
    Jesus guys, why all of the nit-picking?

    Half-Life 2 is a good game, period. Yes, it has it's faults, but so does every other game out there.

    Most of the "faults" listed here are not actually faults at all, they are designed to improve gameplay. The "You can fire at people on your side with no effect whatsoever! Chuck a grenade at them, shoot them at close range with a machine gun - yet they don't die!" one is a good example... what would be the point of killing the people trying to help you?

    And as for "Saws can stick into stone as well as wood! Try throwing them with the Gravity Gun in Ravenholm." so what? Does it really make that much difference to how you play the game?

    Anyway, this has put me right off this site (I can't stand this kind of nit-picking crap), so adios.

    Posted on 31 December 2004 at 2:31 am
  9. jlperan:
    Hey deadmilkmen, I've the same problem with the black man, how did you solve it?


    Posted on 11 January 2005 at 7:21 pm
  10. mega10169:
    I have the same problem with the black dude as well, i think its cause i downloaded the game, any suggestions, besides saying buy it?

    Posted on 14 January 2005 at 2:28 am
  11. Chris Hester:
    One idea would be to turn on the console (via the keyboard setup menu) and enter a command to let you walk through him.

    In the console, type:

    sv_cheats 1 - to activate cheat mode
    noclip - to walk through objects

    Then just turn noclip off by typing it in again to resume play.

    Posted on 14 January 2005 at 8:56 am
  12. jed:
    im stuck all the character are frozen but me but i can interact with all the object can anyone help ?

    Posted on 22 January 2005 at 2:32 pm