Minimum System Requirements
CPU: 1.2 GHz Processor
RAM: 256 MB
Graphics Card: DirectX 7 capable graphics card
Windows 2000/XP/ME/98
Internet Connection
CD or DVD rom drive

In Episode One, a first-person shooter video game, players make their way through a linear series of levels and encounter various enemies and allies. The gameplay is broken up between combat-oriented challenges and physics-based puzzles. Episode One also integrates tutorial-like tasks into the story to familiarize the player with new gameplay mechanics without breaking immersion. A head-up display appears on the screen to display the character’s health, energy, and ammunition. Throughout the course of the game, the player accesses new weapons and ammunition that are used to defend the character from enemy forces. Also, in the beginning of the game, the player gains a unique weapon, the gravity gun, which plays a crucial role and allows the player to use physics to manipulate objects at a distance in both combat and puzzle-solving scenarios.

The artificial intelligence (AI) for Alyx Vance, Gordon’s companion, was designed specifically for co-operative play in Episode One to complement the player’s abilities. The developers described Alyx’s programming for Episode One as a “personality code” as opposed to an “AI code”, emphasizing the attention they gave to create a unique and believable companion. In addition, she was specially programmed to avoid performing too many mechanical or repetitive actions, such as repeating lines of dialogue or performing certain routines in combat situations. Examples of this co-operative gameplay include combat in underground levels. In this scenario, the player can conserve their ammunition by using a flashlight to help Alyx spot and kill oncoming enemies. Similarly, Alyx will often take up strategic positions and provide covering fire to keep the player safe while they travel to a certain area or perform certain actions.

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