Before it became the purveyor of all things PC gaming, Valve was the developer then, later, publisher of one of the first-person shooting’s greatest games: Half-Life. Released on November 8, 1998, the game redefined the first-person perspective story-driven shooter genre.
How to Download Half-Life
You can download Half-Life from Steam. To start downloading the game, click on the link below the review.
The Game Review
You’re probably familiar with Half-Life, if for anything other than the vaporware that is its third installment. But that involves Half-Life 2 and, as a consequence, the first title often gets overshadowed a bit.
In case you wonder what I actually meant, let me rephrase it: you’ve probably heard of Half-Life (the original game) even if you’ve only heard about it in passing (people discussing the mysterious Half-Life 3). It means that the unreleased sequel has become more well known than the game it is based on because it is famous for not being released (vaporware) as opposed to being famous for being a great game (the original). OK, let’s continue.
And that shouldn’t be the case because Half-Life not only introduces many of the iconic mechanics that gamers associate with the series but also it offers a ton of deep lore that really fleshes out what happens in the sequel.
Coming at a time when first-person shooters were either of the DOOM clone variety or something irreverent like the Duke Nukem series, Half-Life told a mature, serious story worthy of Hollywood and it did it all with absolutely no tongue-in-cheek references to “well this is all a video game, after all!”
First-person shooters were often derided for their depictions of violence and the perception by many that they encouraged gamers that played them to participate in acts of violence. Half-Life turned this notion on its head by offering an earnest effort that not only mirrored other media as well but also thoroughly discarded the notion that it needed to present itself unmistakably as a video game.
Each of the games released in the initial wave of Half-Life titles focuses on a character from the main story that somehow complements the others released.
As Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist who is also completely silent during the game, players find themselves within an advanced research laboratory called Black Mesa Research Facility. Think of it as a kind of hadron collider lab of the video game world. Research being conducted at the facility goes awry and opens an interdimensional portal that allows for an alien invasion of the facility and the Earth itself.
A game that demonstrates that storytelling need not limit good gameplay, Half-Life is a title for the ages and one that every serious gamer should experience at some point. It launched one of the most influential development houses in all of gaming and single-handedly changed the way narratives in FPS’s are crafted.
- Awesome first-person shooter action with a gripping story
- An epic tale with layers of story and lore
- Everything holds up well all these years later
- It is an older game at this point
- Some things are distinctly 1990s (Aliens, conspiracies, pseudo-science)
- Where is Half-Life 3?