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Halfway (PC) artwork

Halfway (PC) review

"Lackluster, grindy combat and terrible dialogue make Halfway an utterly forgettable experience."

I was excited for this game. It seemed to have everything I like: pixel art, sci-fi, and XCOM-style combat. It also had an aesthetic reminiscent of Aliens (one of my favourite movies of all time), so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Unfortunately, this game does not deliver. The combat is slow and grindy, the UI is clunky, the inventory management is a pain, the story is uninspired, the characters are completely flat, and the dialogue feels like it was written by a twelve year old.

It's a shame, because this game has a lot of potential. You shouldn't be able to go wrong with a game focused on XCOM-style combat, but this game manages to take that winning formula and dial it back a notch. Most notably, this game lacks an Overwatch feature and instead has "Retaliation", which can be fine, but only if an enemy decides to target that specific soldier. Thus, it is difficult to plan any sort of tactical maneuvers aside from "sit in cover and shoot when it's your turn", and unfortunately, that isn't even fun because many enemies are hit point dumps and are tedious to fight.

In addition, the RNG feels broken - you seem to miss all of the time unless your projected hit percentage is over 80%. I don't know if this is a bug or not, but it was extremely noticeable, especially in the earlier levels.

The game's environments are beautiful and highly detailed, but beyond that there is a marked lack of content. There are hardly any interactable objects aside from a few switches and crates, and the game is sorely lacking in enemy types. After five hours into it, I have only fought zombies and turrets. That's it. There are no security robots, no drones, no aliens, no corporate troopers or anything that could spice up the variety at all. There are a few different zombie types, but they are mostly indistinguishable from each other aside from different colored uniforms. There aren't even any passive combat elements like traps or land mines. All you do in this game is plug one zombie after another, in battles that can take a long time to finish.

Another strange note I feel I should mention is the music. While it is well-composed, it felt oddly depressing for some reason. I'm not exactly sure why this is. Perhaps I just felt that slow, languid synths didn't quite fit the theme of an action-horror game.

I think it's quite telling that this game has been available for a over a year, but only 5% of people who own it have acquired the end-game achievement. Also, this game is fully Steam-workshop enabled, but there are virtually no mods at all. One person has made a spanish language translation, but otherwise there is absolutely nothing available.

I'm sad to say it, but I regret buying Halfway. I don't know if I'll finish it. I'm a real sucker for sci-fi (even bad ones), but playing this game has felt like a chore, and I'm not sure I want to dump more hours into a game that has disappointed me at every turn.

Buyer beware.


Nightfire's avatar
Community review by Nightfire (December 01, 2015)

Nightfire is a reclusive dragon who lives in a cave with internet access. Steam ID here.

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honestgamer posted December 01, 2015:

A scathing review, but it sounds like one that the game also deserves. Your review for Her Story resulted in me almost immediately moving it from my wish list to my shopping cart (a Steam sale also didn't hurt). This review proves that you're equally capable of explaining how promising games can go wrong.
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EmP posted December 01, 2015:

I own Halfway. It's one of those odd games that's in my Steam library, but I don't remember buying it. I've picked at it a bit but it never really grabbed me. Not sure I'll ever bother going back. Glad it's not just me.
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Nightfire posted December 01, 2015:

Thanks for the feedback, guys :)

I love video games, but I gotta be honest about my experiences with them.

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