Steam Gaming


The Beginning
Developed by VALVe software, Half-Life was their first title, released
in 1998 after years of hard work and one complete overhaul late in production. Running
on a heavily modified Quake engine, it put the players in the position of Gordon
Freeman, a young scientist who finds himself in the middle of an extra
invasion of aliens after a failed experiment and allows them to experience firsthand
the horror the Black Mesa Research Facility becomes when aliens invade, government
cover up teams arrive and a mysterious, seemingly omnipotent figure watches their
every move.

Half-Life can be, without exaggerating, named as one of the games that revolutionised
the first person shooter genre, as while maintaining simple mechanics it presented
an interesting plot, allies that can help the player on his way as well as innovative
gameplay and storytelling methods, where the plot and backstory weren't spoon-fed
to the player, instead with it's elements presented to the player in their raw form
and required him to use his head to understand it, just like Gordon Freeman would
have to.

The player, as Gordon Freeman, during the course of the game will explore large
parts of the Black Mesa Research Facility, witnessing the destruction and death
the incident and the subsequent alien invasion caused, as well as experience the
viciousness of the Xen invaders themselves, eventually gaining the opportunity to
strike back and hard against them in their own alien world. But of course it isn't
as easy as it sounds - in addition to alien invaders, Dr Freeman will face the elite
troopers of the Hazardous Environment Combat Unit and their mighty military ordnance,
including M1 Abrams MBTs, M2 Bradley IFVs, AH-64 Apache gunships, fixed mount cannons,
numerous traps, minefields and fortifications.

Our scientist is not defenceless however, and shows an uncanny affinity for firearms
of all sizes and types, ranging from a 9mm Glock 17 through the Franchi SPAS-12
shotgun and a Heckler & Koch MP5N submachinegun in 9mm to experimental weapons such
as the Gauss gun firing U-235 rods at extreme speeds or the alien Hornet gun, an
arm-mounted biological weapon. Gordon's fragile human flesh is protected by a special
Hazardous EnVironment (HEV) suit, which he acquires before the incident, as mandatory
protection from environmental hazards the experiment might pose and proves itself
quite effective at protecting the wearer from all manner of hazards the designers
propably didn't have in mind, such as bullets, explosives, corrosive alien acid
or alien hornets.

Community Response
Half-Life met with unanimously positive response, receiving numerous game of the
year awards and high marks from reviewers and game critics, who praised it's atmosphere,
storytelling and style. The game engine's structure and generall flexibility led
to the birth of an extremely active modding community, which spawned numerous memorable
single player experiences, such as Peaces Like Us, Azure Sheep, Long Night or Chemical
Existence as well as multiplayer modifications, the most famous of which is Counter-Strike,
eventually remade by VALVe for the Source engine.

By today's standards, Half-Life may look old and not fun. But beyond the now-simple
graphics lies a rollercoaster, which features one hell of a ride.

Yes. Half-Life aged well.
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