Steam Gaming

The official demo for Half-Life. Whereas most video games take their content entirely from the full product, Half-Life: Uplink is notable in that the areas and events portrayed are not part of the actual game. The demos for Opposing Force and Half-Life 2 are solely composed of areas from their respective games.

In Uplink, the player as Gordon Freeman is dispatched by a group of science team survivors to send a message to the USNRC using a transmitter located near the Lambda Core. The player faces many of the staple Half-Life enemies, both Xenian and Human, ultimately gaining access to the Lambda Complex before coming face to face with a rampaging Gargantua. The outcome of this encounter is not recorded as the demo ends as the Gargantua attacks.

Uplink is not considered to be canonical. Taking place 48 hours after the resonance cascade and starring Gordon Freeman, there is no possible way that the events it portrayed could have happened within Freeman's Half-Life adventure (which occurs over a period of four or more days). Furthermore, the undetailed beginning and ending to the experience correspond to no specific area in Half-Life and its story lacks a conclusion. Nonetheless, it is believed by some that the Uplink maps were in Half-Life in some form prior to release. This is certainly a possibility, as large quantities of content were cut from the game in its final year of development.

If Uplink was indeed once a part of the Half-Life storyline, it may be asked why it was removed. One possible explanation is that, whilst internally its content is sound, the maps that preceded and followed it were not and the entire section had to be dropped. Another possibility is that 'Uplink' presented a pacing problem, and that simply granting access to the Lambda Complex the player has already fought so hard to get to would be preferable to having them go on yet another errand to open another door.
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