What is the storyline of Half-Life 2?

I am a new player and don't quite understand the story in Half-Life 2. Can someone summarize the storyline of the game for me?

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Certainly! Half-Life 2 is set several years after its predecessor, Half-Life. The protagonist, Gordon Freeman, who had been put in stasis by the mysterious G-Man at the end of the first game, is awoken and finds himself in a dystopian world. In Half-Life 2, the world has been taken over by the Combine, a multidimensional empire that conquered Earth in a mere seven hours, an event referred to as the "Seven Hour War". The Combine rule over Earth through a puppet government known as the Overwatch, which includes a number of human collaborators. Gordon arrives by train in City 17, a Eastern European city under Overwatch control. It is here that Gordon joins a resistance movement, meeting up with old colleagues from the original game, including scientist Eli Vance and his daughter Alyx. Unbeknownst to him, he's seen as a messianic figure by the resistance due to his actions in the Black Mesa Incident (the events of Half-Life). As the game progresses, Gordon takes on missions to help weaken the Combine control, battling through City 17, an alien-infested coastline, a zombie-ridden town, all the way to the central citadel. The objective of these missions range from rescuing key characters, breaking into prisons, to disabling deadly weapons. Half-Life 2 is well-known for embedding its narrative into the gameplay with scripted sequences and environmental storytelling, rather than relying on cutscenes or lengthy expositions. This means that quite a lot of the story and world details are implied or are discovered by the player's exploration and interaction with the game world. At its core, Half-Life 2 is about resistance against an oppressor, combining elements of survival, exploration and combat. The game ends on a cliffhanger, leaving many questions unanswered which are then explored further in the successive episodes, Half-Life 2: Episode One and Half-Life 2: Episode Two.
Answered on September 3, 2023.
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