An insight into the marvelous game universe created by Valve
When you talk about games that forever changed gaming and the way people look at genre boundaries, it's hard to ignore Half-Life. In 1998, Valve set a new threshold for shooters of the era (Quake and Unreal), releasing a science-fiction FPS that will not only challenge the player, but will also offer him a lot of action and the occasional terrifying moments. Critics hailed Half Life's unique presentation and the game's numerous scripted sequences...
Half-Life won over 50 PC Game of the Year awards. Its gameplay influenced first-person shooters for years to come, and it has since been regarded as one of the greatest games of all time.
Latest Half-Life News!
Valve: "We're not done with Gordon Freeman."
After several years of silence, Half Life's developer finally seems to have come out of the shadows asking fans not to lose hope and to "hang in there". A new Half Life game is to be expected in the future, although Valve didn't provide any clues if it will be "Episode 3" or an entirely new Half Life game. So don't lose hope crowbar fans; we'll keep you updated!
I remember playing Half-Life was a frightening experience... The Half Life Story unfolds simply, with no cutscenes whatsoever and placing the player firmly in the shoes of Dr. Gordon Freeman, a recent graduate theoretical physicist who must fight his way out of a secret underground research facility. Freeman is most likely the must successful personification of faceless heroism in videogames. Valve wanted more, so it allowed the player to emerge into an almost seamless world and gave him a experience like no other games had succeeded providing before.
Players protected the security guard for as long as they could, tried in vain to catch the enigmatic G-Man and jumped scared in their chairs at the horrors lurking through the ventilation shafts. In a game where the entire world was hostile, where the ceiling comes down on your head, people found themselves incredibly alone, and in that loneliness they formed bonds that would remain forever into their memories. Even if some people will categorize Valve's Half Life as an FPS with retarded graphics, we can assure you this FPS will not insult your intelligence and that you will have fun playing it - fun with a capital 'F'.
The following constitutes a summary of Valve's Half Life. Do not read it, unless you already played Half-Life and you are looking for some insight. We strongly encourage you to purchase the game from Steam for just 8 EUR before continuing. Here's the Half Life story summary.
PART I: EXODUS The truth... You can never know the truth...
This part of the Half Life story is revealed only later in the highly anticipated sequel of the game (Half-Life 2) and it's intended to provide some insight as to why the aliens came into our world. At the beginning, the Combine Empire invades and seize control of the Vortigaunts' homeworld in an attempt to enslave them, along with their leader, Nihilanth.
A long struggle ensues, as the Vortigaunts flee from planet to planet, battling and evading the Combine forces. Stranded, they finally reach to the border world Xen, where they wait their demise. Xen is some sort of hyperspace node used by Vortigaunts to cross dimensions.
However, these aliens are not native from Xen; they were brought here from all over the universe. The Combine attempts to hybridize the dominant species of the planet (which is the Vortigaunts) with their own technology in order to create super-soldiers adapted to Xen's environment.
As we follow through the story, meanwhile, on Earth, Gordon Freeman is studying for his doctorate at MIT. In New Mexico, at Black Mesa compound , teleportation experiments are being conducted full-time with the help of some mysterious crystalline artifacts retrieved from the alien world Xen.
Black Mesa's competitor for government funding, Aperture Science, also develops its own Portal technology, parallel to Black Mesa. (Hint: For more information on this subject, Google for Half-Life Portal.)
Don't Miss Out!
Set 48 hours after the containment failure at the Black Mesa Lab, the official Half-Life demo, Half-Life: Uplink finds Gordon Freeman attempting to manually adjust the uplink tower so he and some scientists can reach the lower level of the compound. Not surprisingly, along the way, he faces all sorts of horrors...
HALF-LIFE REISSUES MOD
Reissues is a compilation of 30 single player Valve Half Life levels by a mix of various designers. Each one has created their own unique, self-contained chapter. You will crawl through ancient Egyptian tombs, scale mile-high cliff sides, and fight your way through several clever re-imagined Black Mesa - among other exciting scenarios.
PART II: UNFORSEEN CONSEQUENCES The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.
G-Man, a mysterious figure at Black Mesa, whose motives seem to be independent of both humans and of the Combine throughout the entire Half Life story, triggers a resonance cascade within the Anomalous Materials sector of the Black Mesa complex. His selection of a specific, and hazardous, test sample, is masked by a system crash, to cut out formal communication between scientists.
The resonance cascade rips open space-time and forms a portal between Earth and Xen. Nihilanth's race sees the dimensional seams as a possible escape from the Combine. Of course, headcrabs and other hostile life forms from Xen decide to hitch a ride to Earth, just for the fun of it.
After discovering only a handful of survivors, Freeman quickly learns that communications with the outside world are completely cut, and decides to make his way to the surface in order to find help for the injured. Soon enough, Gordon discovers that he is caught between two sides: the aggressive aliens and a United States Marine Corps division brought in to cover up the incident by eliminating the aliens and all survivors.
Meanwhile, the so called resonance cascade becomes so powerful that the Combine Empire notices it, suddenly turning their interest to what is happening on Earth. Again, this does not influence directly the course of this quick Half Life Walkthrough and it's meant to be informative.
One man in a HEV suit becomes of great interest to G-Man during the incident. Freeman, a newly assigned scientist in the Anomalous Materials Lab, shows exceptional skill in dealing with Xen creatures and the US troopers.
G-Man's interest peaks as Freeman navigates through Xen. The aliens believe that Gordon is just as much of an enemy as the Combine is and do their best to defend the Nihilanth (the creature who was maintaining the rift from Xen's side).
Eventually, Black Mesa is destroyed by nuclear detonation (noted in Opposing Force, a Half-Life expansion pack in which you play as Barney, the security guard). Several survivors exist, including Wallace Breen, Black Mesa's former administrator, Barney Calhoun, Dr. Issac Kleiner, Dr. Arne Magnusson, Dr. Eli Vance and his daughter Alyx, who is of particular interest to G-Man as well.
At the end of Half-Life G-Man, impressed by Gordon's work, gives him a choice between death or working for him. Half-Life 2 assumes he chose life over death and so you have to play it to see what happens next, because we only covered the story behind the original Half-Life here. The Half Life Walkthrough has an alternative ending as well: before you are given *the choice*, save the game and wait for the portal to close. You will then see what happens if you decline G-Man's proposal. It's not pretty, we give you that much!
Thanks Valve for designing a game that will forever remain in our hearts as one of the top shooters ever created. With a gripping story, interesting scripted events and an inspired multi-player, Half Life remains the undisputable kind of the FPS games of the 90s.
Black Mesa - A remake of Half-Life with the Source Engine
Thank you for reading. Have a very safe and productive day! ;)