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Half-Life Is Free-to-Play on Its Twenty fifth Anniversary With New Updates and Steam Deck Verification

Put together to really feel previous: Half-Life turns 25 on Sunday. And to have a good time, Valve has gone all out on commemorating the milestone, together with making Half-Life free to personal on Steam for a restricted time and releasing a giant anniversary replace, which incorporates Steam Deck verification, up to date graphic settings, new multiplayer maps, and extra. 

In a weblog put up, Valve rolled out a large Twenty fifth-anniversary replace for Half-Life, with the corporate deeming “this anniversary model of Half-Life to be the definitive manner” to expertise this late ’90s basic. Just a few highlights within the new replace embody Half-Life lastly getting verification for Steam Deck, updating the in-game menu’s design to look extra just like the one discovered within the 1998 authentic, and UI scaling to permit for larger resolutions.

And when you’ve got but to play or personal Half-Life, the Steam model is free to acquire. The sport was accessible freed from cost briefly yesterday, however the promotion is again up on Steam, with customers having till Nov. 20 to assert a replica for his or her digital library.

Past a giant replace, Valve has additionally revealed a documentary the place the unique growth group shares their recollections of the creation of Half-Life.

Half-Life was launched on Nov. 19, 1998, and it rapidly turned one of many extra influential video games within the first-person shooter style and the trade as an entire. It spawned a sequence that consists of 5 video games, but additionally influenced the creation of mods that may ultimately develop into standalone merchandise, together with Counter-Strike, and an unofficial remake launched in 2020 known as Black Mesa

Our evaluation of Half-Life stated, “[Half-Life] is a tour de pressure in sport design, the definitive single-player sport in a first-person shooter.”

Try the patch notes under for extra on modifications launched within the Half-Life Twenty fifth anniversary replace. 

Half-Life Twenty fifth Anniversary Replace Notes

  • New Content material
    • Now Verified on the Steam Deck (and our native Linux runtime has been set because the default).
    • Half-Life: Uplink — the unique standalone Half-Life demo — has been added to the sport, and is accessible via the “New Recreation” menu.
    • Added 4 all-new Half-Life Deathmatch maps: contamination, pool_party, disposal, and rocket_frenzy
    • Added three previous Half-Life Deathmatch maps previously accessible solely on the “Half-Life: Additional Knowledge” CD: doublecross, rust_mill, xen_dm.
    • Added Ivan the House Biker, Prototype Barney, Skeleton, and Too A lot Espresso Man as participant fashions to Half-Life Deathmatch.
    • Added dozens of latest sprays previously accessible solely on the “Half-Life: Additional Knowledge” CD.
    • Added help for Steam Networking, permitting simple multiplayer by way of Steam’s Be a part of Recreation and Invite options.
    • Added help for Steam Pals Wealthy Presence, permitting your folks to observe your journey via Black Mesa.
  • Nostalgia
    • Introduced again the unique Valve Intro video. May be skipped with the “-novid” launch command.
      Up to date primary menu to a design impressed by the sport’s authentic 1998 primary menu.
    • Modified the default fashions to the unique (non “HD”) fashions.
  • Gameplay Modifications
    • Improved physics for throwing grenades.
    • Improved randomness for preliminary spawn factors in multiplayer.
    • Improved satchel cost controls: main hearth now all the time throws a brand new satchel, and secondary hearth all the time detonates.
    • Mounted push-able entity motion being primarily based on framerate.
    • Mounted gamers with excessive framerates freezing in place on dying in multiplayer.
    • Mounted some instances the place the participant might get caught in place on stage transitions.
    • Mounted some instances the place characters would interrupt essential dialogue with their “greetings” dialogue.
    • Mounted weapon view-bob angles.
    • Mounted purple barrels firstly of Floor Stress not launching as supposed.
    • Mounted Snarks attacking FL_WORLDBRUSH entities (resembling func_walls).
    • Mounted gamers typically failing to deploy a snark whereas crouching and searching down.
    • Mounted sure convars (“pausable” and “sv_maxspeed”) being set to incorrect values when getting into a singleplayer sport after a multiplayer sport.
    • Mounted singleplayer auto-aim setting being modified when getting into a multiplayer sport that disallows auto-aim.
    • Mounted the flashlight HUD displaying empty after loading a savegame.
    • Mounted rockets in CONTENTS_SKY not all the time detonating.
    • Mounted incorrect bullet influence sounds for NPCs.
    • Mounted gauss gun making a loud static noise if it was charged throughout stage transitions.
    • Mounted a crash in mods that show keybinds of their UI.
    • Mounted singleplayer weapons not auto-switching away when exhausted (grenades / snarks / satchels / and so on)
    • Mounted interpolation artifacts when animated fashions are moved by different entities.
    • Mounted some buffer overflow exploits.
  • UI Modifications
    • Primary-menu background and buttons have been reskinned, and now scale primarily based upon display decision with out stretching, supporting background picture layouts as much as 3840×1600.
    • In-Recreation HUD now makes use of double or triple sized sprites when taking part in at larger resolutions.
    • UI dialogs and in-game fonts now scale to enhance readability at excessive display resolutions.
    • In-Recreation HUD HEV swimsuit show has been shifted to the left of the display, and not modifications place at bigger display resolutions.
    • Added an “Allow texture filtering” setting.
    • Added an “Permit widescreen Area of View” setting to right non-anamorphic FOVs, for widescreen and ultrawide shows.
    • Re-organized all of the Settings screens to enhance legibility, and help controller navigation.
    • Up to date the Pause menu to concentrate on the present gameplay mode.
    • The default server identify and multiplayer participant identify at the moment are primarily based on the participant’s Steam Persona.
    • The Steam platform menu has been eliminated, now that each one its options are in Steam itself.
    • Mounted software icon rendering incorrectly when utilizing the software program renderer.
    • Mounted participant and spray pictures not updating their coloring on the settings display.
    • Eliminated the now very pointless “Low video high quality. Helps with slower video playing cards.” setting.
  • Enter Modifications
    • Improved help for keyboard and controller navigation all over the place.
    • Added “Decrease Enter Latency” choice: Synchronizes the CPU and GPU to scale back the time between enter and show output.
    • Mounted points that precipitated jerky mouse / joystick enter.
    • (We mainly rewrote all of it – in the event you’ve received a customized Steam Enter controller configuration, it is best to rebuild it from our newly revealed Official Configuration).
  • Multiplayer Balancing
    • Elevated the 357 harm from 40 → 50.
    • Hive Hand reload time has been lowered from 0.5s → 0.3s per shot, and it will likely be chosen at larger precedence than the pistol on pickup.
    • MP5 now all the time begins with full ammo when initially picked up.
    • Gamers not drop empty weapons, and any which can be dropped are reloaded by what’s within the dying participant’s backpack.
    • Improved client-side prediction to scale back “ghost photographs”. Like Counter-Strike, contemplate hitboxes and never simply bounding containers for hits on the consumer.
    • Mounted community predicted crowbar swing harm being incorrect.
  • Rendering
    • Added setting to show off texture filtering when utilizing the OpenGL renderer.
    • Default gamma has been decreased from 2.5 → 2.2, now that we aren’t all taking part in on CRTs.
    • Restored OpenGL overbright help.
    • Added help for UI Sprites and Texture recordsdata bigger than 256×256.
    • Added help for UI Font particular render modes: “blur” and “additive”.
    • Default decision is now primarily based on the decision of the desktop, as a substitute of a 640×480 window.
    • Software program renderer will now accurately filter out incompatible resolutions, until there’s only one decision accessible on the show.
    • Mounted fullscreen software program renderer crashing on methods that do not help 16-bit colour.
    • Mounted software program renderer being stretched when utilizing widescreen resolutions.
    • Mounted skyboxes and sky colour incorrectly carrying over when transitioning maps in multiplayer.
    • Mounted the sport showing too darkish after modifying video settings.
    • Mounted MSAA in windowed mode.
    • Mounted mipmap rendering on studio fashions.
    • Mounted gluon gun sprite rendering in multiplayer.
    • Mounted gluon gun sinusoidal noise being incorrect.
    • Varied optimizations to help the newly elevated engine limits.
    • OpenGL optimizations for the Steam Deck.
  • Engine Enhancements for Mod Makers
    • Elevated most restrict of dynamic sound channels from 8 → 32.
    • Elevated most restrict of sentences within the sentences.txt file from 1536 → 2048.
    • Elevated most variety of entities (MAX_EDICTS) from 900 → 1200.
    • Elevated MAX_PACKET_ENTITIES from 256 → 1024.
    • Elevated MAX_GLTEXTURES from 4800 → 10000.
    • Elevated software program renderer geometry limits: max spans 3000 → 6000, max surfaces 2000 → 4000, and max edges 7200 → 14400.
    • Cycler and func_button entities can now be the entity goal for scripted_sentence entities, and are allowed to talk in multiplayer.
    • Included func_vehicle entity help from Counter-Strike, for mod-makers to make use of. Full SDK replace will come later, however stage designers can use it now.
  • Native Linux Buiild
    • Added help for the software program renderer.
    • Improved font rendering.
    • Many stability and habits fixes.
  • Different
    • Localization recordsdata up to date.
    • Miscellaneous safety fixes.
  • Notes
    • The earlier model of the sport has been archived to a publicly seen Beta department named “steam_legacy”, with the outline “Pre-Twenty fifth Anniversary Construct.” If a mod or characteristic is behaving in an surprising manner, you might must run this archived construct till the difficulty is resolved within the default construct.
    • We now contemplate this anniversary model of Half Life to be the definitive model, and the one we’ll proceed to help going ahead. Due to this fact, we’ll be decreasing the visibility of Half Life: Supply on the Steam Retailer. We all know Half-Life: Supply’s property are nonetheless being utilized by the Supply engine group, so it will stay accessible, however we’ll be encouraging new Half-Life gamers to play this model as a substitute.

Taylor is a Reporter at IGN. You may observe her on Twitter @TayNixster.



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