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Road transport

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"You want him to take the coast road? He won't last five minutes on foot! It's spawning season for the Antlions!"

Road transport is, in the barest of sense, vehicles adapted for road use, although some may also possess off-road capabilities. Road transport is featured commonly in the Half-Life series as both a mode of transport as well as obstacles or cover.

Types of road transport[edit]

Road vehicles, existing in the Half-Life and Portal universe, are wide ranging, featuring varieties with either threaded wheels or rubber tires, and encompassing cars, trucks, APCs and tanks.

Half-Life and its expansions[edit]

The selection of road vehicles available in Half-Life are confined to those used by the Black Mesa Research Facility, as well as the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit and Black Ops. None of the vehicles can be driven, but some of them feature functional armaments (i.e. turrets) or contain supplies.

Road transport in the Research Facility relies on Black Mesa SUVs, used as an alternative to the Transit System for above ground transport, and Black Mesa trucks, armored vehicles transporting goods that require special care.

Both the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit and the Black Ops use M44 cargo trucks to transport personnel and equipment. The M1A1 Abrams, a main battle tank, and the M2A3 Bradley, a military infantry fighting vehicle, are only used by the HECU.

Half-Life 2 and its episodes[edit]

Rebel fixing a car at Station 21.

With the inclusion of the Combine and the Resistance as the two factions in Half-Life 2, the player is introduced to a new range of road vehicles affiliated with those two groups.

Whilst the player has no control of Combine vehicles, the Resistance owns several controllable road vehicles constructed using salvaged parts. The Resistance's vehicles in particular are integral to two storyline arcs in Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode Two, during which they are used by the player to traverse great distances to a particular destination. The vehicles are indicated to be of utmost importance to the missions, as the player automatically fails if he manages to lose the vehicles by dropping it onto off-limits areas of the map (i.e. deep water or cliffs). They include the Scout Car, used on the Coast, and the Muscle Car, used in the Outlands.

The Combine notably uses Armored Personnel Carriers, which feature pulse rifles and a guided rocket launchers, and Advisor Platforms, needed to transport the Advisor pod. Interestingly, the second version of the APC, apparently based on the American V-100, can be seen above a crushed car in the Half-Life 2 chapter Anticitizen One.

In addition, civilian car wrecks exist throughout much of the games. These wrecks are primarily used as obstacles to the player, but may also be punted as heavy projectiles or used to plug Antlion Soldier holes in Half-Life 2: Episode One, both with the aid of the Gravity Gun; at the beginning of the episode, Gordon and Alyx are thrown inside a car wreck by Dog over a pit near the Citadel. Moreover, the car traps in Ravenholm employ wrecks to crush Zombies. With the exception of the hatchback wrecks, most road vehicle wrecks featured are East European in origin.


Although the game features no vehicles, a parking lot can be seen outside the Aperture Science Enrichment Center.

Related Achievements[edit]

Half-Life 2: Episode One
Car Crusher.jpg Car Crusher (5G)
Use the cars to squash 15 Antlions in Episode One.

Behind the scenes[edit]

Half-Life 2 was originally to feature more road vehicles. These include several brush sedans, vans, and trucks, the AirEx Truck, which was to be seen in the Air Exchange, School Buses, apparently to be used by the Combine as the primary local Citizen transportation in City 17, Merkava, a Combine battle tank, and the Combine SWAT Truck, which can be found as concept art in Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar.

During the development of Half-Life 2, John Guthrie created a number of experimental vehicles. One of them, called the AOD Jeep, in reference to The Oldsmobile featured in the movie Army of Darkness, had a spinning propeller blade attached which severed Zombies in half, and was said to be a source of great fun.[1]

The Episode Two car was originally a Volkswagen Beetle in a poor condition, named "Jalopy". The team decided to redesign it so that players would feel excited rather than disappointed when they saw the car.[2]

An open-air Aperture Science car, originally appearing as a baggage tractor in the Left 4 Dead series, was to be seen in a diorama exhibit sequence cut from Portal 2. It features two seats and an "Area 20" label on the front and the back.





Half-Life 2[edit]





Half-Life 2 episodes[edit]



Portal and Portal 2[edit]



List of appearances[edit]

Road transport
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Main games[edit]