Get Half-Life 25th Anniversary Version for Free

Valve offers a Half-Life 25th Anniversary Update discussing news related to Sunday's quarter-century anniversary of the launch of the classic first-person shooter. The headline is that the game is currently free, so on the off chance you don't own it already, you can download Half-Life for Windows, macOS, and Linux from Steam for keeps right now. This is an updated version, and this page has details on all that's changed. It now includes the integration of Half-Life Uplink, four new multiplayer maps, updated graphics settings, controller and Steam networking support, Steam Deck support, UI scaling, restored content, and content from an obscure 1999 disc called Half-Life Further Data. There are also new sprays, bugfixes, wallpapers, and more. Lastly, the previous version of the game is still accessible as a public beta branch. Here's a new Half-Life: 25th Anniversary Documentary, and here's word:
We launched Half-Life on November 19th, 1998. We are very proud of what we built back then and we remain extremely grateful for the community of players who have been enjoying it ever since. The game hasn't received as much attention in recent years as many other titles in our catalog, so we thought this milestone was a great opportunity to spruce up the player experience and add some fun new ways to play the game.

The same game you played in 1998 - restored, augmented, and revitalized

We created a new webpage to showcase all the updates in detail, but here's a quick rundown of the updates to the base game:

  • Updated graphics settings, including lighting fixes and an actual widescreen field of view
  • Controller and Steam Networking support
  • Steam Deck support - officially Verified!

Also including lots of cool new (or restored) content!

The 25th Anniversary Update includes added content from Half-Life Uplink as well as four (4!) new multiplayer maps. We've also restored some content for the true nostalgia-seekers, including original main menu artwork and some early prototype player models from the alpha builds of the game.

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35 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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35.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 19, 2023, 20:41
35.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 19, 2023, 20:41
Nov 19, 2023, 20:41
 
Happy Anniversary!!
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34.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 18, 2023, 16:37
34.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 18, 2023, 16:37
Nov 18, 2023, 16:37
 
Half-Life was and is a trascendental game and a work of art with the then existing tech capabilities.

Underlines the inexplicable and unforgivable disrespect to gamers of leaving the saga unfinished, when we paid for a masterpiece and 2 episodes more to then be left hanging forever.

If they thought they couldn't do it (brilliant Alyx proves otherwise), they could have chosen anytime the best available developers that would all die to advance the story.

So thanks Valve (you tripping Gabe), and GTFO too.

Avatar 58799
33.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 18, 2023, 11:06
33.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 18, 2023, 11:06
Nov 18, 2023, 11:06
 
El Pit wrote on Nov 18, 2023, 07:35:
"objectively" is not what you mean it is. Just objectively sayin'...
Ah, but more importantly do you agree Black Mesa is better than the original?
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
32.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 18, 2023, 11:01
32.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 18, 2023, 11:01
Nov 18, 2023, 11:01
 
I have to say that I'm on my second playthrough of Black Mesa, and never came across any game stopping bugs. 3080 back then, 4090 now. The reimagined Xen is a much better experience than the original.

I started their version of Blue Shift a while back, but then got sidetracked. Need to get back to it.

I mentioned it here before, but if you're interested in a look at the development of HL, the Anniversary dev commentary playthrough by Dario Casali is fascinating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naWgflzwwTc&list=PLk5gaNp4x_AVIJviyHueHizonrIhAAtdj

These guys were really pushing the boundaries of what a PC FPS could do back then. They had to invent all kinds of little tricks to get around the limitations of the engine.
"Turns out I’m 'woke.' All along, I thought I was just compassionate, kind, and good at history. "
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31.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 18, 2023, 10:33
31.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 18, 2023, 10:33
Nov 18, 2023, 10:33
 
Checked and I didn't actually have Half-Life in my library, just HL2. So, heck of a deal. Might even replay it soon..
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
30.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 18, 2023, 08:50
Prez
 
30.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 18, 2023, 08:50
Nov 18, 2023, 08:50
 Prez
 
El Pit wrote on Nov 18, 2023, 02:42:
Sorry, Prez, my bad.
----
Insert confusing message to alternate Blues News member here.
That's okay. I knew you didn't mean me, at least until WannaLog started gaslighting me.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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29.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 18, 2023, 07:35
El Pit
 
29.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 18, 2023, 07:35
Nov 18, 2023, 07:35
 El Pit
 
BicycleRepairMan wrote on Nov 18, 2023, 05:41:
Black Mesa is amazing, and its a lovely homage and tribute to Half-Life, and objectively a better and more polished game.

But, it's not the original, which is a good thing. To me, they are separate experiences and separate games. There is something about the original that cannot ,and should not , be captured by another game or a remake.

It's hard to express how far ahead of its time hl was in it's storytelling method that's been copied by almost every fps since , the way they playtested the heck out of it to make sure it felt natural when the player became part of a scripted sequence is amazing.

"objectively" is not what you mean it is. Just objectively sayin'...
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
Founder, president, and only member of the official "Grumpy Old Gamers Club". Please do not apply.
28.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 18, 2023, 05:41
28.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 18, 2023, 05:41
Nov 18, 2023, 05:41
 
Black Mesa is amazing, and its a lovely homage and tribute to Half-Life, and objectively a better and more polished game.

But, it's not the original, which is a good thing. To me, they are separate experiences and separate games. There is something about the original that cannot ,and should not , be captured by another game or a remake.

It's hard to express how far ahead of its time hl was in it's storytelling method that's been copied by almost every fps since , the way they playtested the heck out of it to make sure it felt natural when the player became part of a scripted sequence is amazing.
27.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 18, 2023, 03:55
27.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 18, 2023, 03:55
Nov 18, 2023, 03:55
 
Xero wrote on Nov 17, 2023, 17:36:
I respect the hell out of what the original revolutionized and gave gaming, but do yourself a favor and if you've never played Half Life or have the itch to try it again, do it the right way. Do it the Black Mesa way, lol. Honestly, Black Mesa shows the vision Valve really had for the game, but couldn't quite achieve back then. Probably top 3 greatest FPS single player experiences I've played.
I bought it when it was finally released and just couldn't get into it. Feels completely different vibe compared to the original Valve version. I have played the original multiple times and love it. The atmosphere and the flow are perfect. BM looks amazing graphically but that is about it. Anyways, absolutely love the intro. Probably the best intro ever made of any game so far.
26.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 18, 2023, 03:41
26.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 18, 2023, 03:41
Nov 18, 2023, 03:41
 
Played it today with some friends, and I'm glad that some of the bugs we reported to Valve were addressed. I heard rumors about new maps but I was not expecting so many changes like the Menu being similar to the CD original now or Steam P2P networking built in. There's definitely stuff that still needs addressing (I hear there might even be another update tomorrow), but this is a pretty good start. Valve got this one right in my eyes.
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25.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 18, 2023, 02:42
El Pit
 
25.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 18, 2023, 02:42
Nov 18, 2023, 02:42
 El Pit
 
Sorry, Prez, my bad.
----
Insert confusing message to alternate Blues News member here.
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
Founder, president, and only member of the official "Grumpy Old Gamers Club". Please do not apply.
24.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 17, 2023, 23:16
24.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 17, 2023, 23:16
Nov 17, 2023, 23:16
 
I still have my original box and disk. Where's the patch for the disk version?
"You can either want something to be true, or you can want the truth. Pick one." - Mr. Diety
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23.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 17, 2023, 21:28
23.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 17, 2023, 21:28
Nov 17, 2023, 21:28
 
Imagine if Starfield could have even 1 (one) world so alien, eerie and extensive to explore like Black Mesa's Xen is (and the sounds).
Its acceptance would have been so much higher.
Avatar 58799
22.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 17, 2023, 21:01
22.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 17, 2023, 21:01
Nov 17, 2023, 21:01
 
RedEye9 wrote on Nov 17, 2023, 20:29:
As for bugs in Black Mesa, i haven't experienced any with the final builds and it runs fine on my 3060 equipped laptop. shrug

Same. I beat the game twice on two different PC builds and had zero bugs encountered. It was rock solid. Now that I think of it, you can say 2 1/2 playthroughs. Even when prior to Xen being completed or that they introduced the new lighting effects. I believe all that came out when Xen dropped. Not one problem in any of the playthroughs. Let's not forget, the soundtrack was killer. Totally blows away the original. Whenever the music hit, it gave you the feels.
Avatar 16605
21.
 
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary
Nov 17, 2023, 20:29
21.
Re: Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary Nov 17, 2023, 20:29
Nov 17, 2023, 20:29
 
As for bugs in Black Mesa, i haven't experienced any with the final builds and it runs fine on my 3060 equipped laptop. shrug
"I expect death to be nothingness and by removing from me all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism." Isaac Asimov
Avatar 58135
20.
 
Re: ☃️Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary❄️
Nov 17, 2023, 20:07
20.
Re: ☃️Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary❄️ Nov 17, 2023, 20:07
Nov 17, 2023, 20:07
 
Thanks RedEye9, I love when you are right ! Scholar
Will savour Blue Shift when complete, let hunger grow meanwhile.

----
Prez, El Pit said the post was yours, own it man.
Avatar 58799
19.
 
Re: ☃️Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary❄️
Nov 17, 2023, 19:42
19.
Re: ☃️Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary❄️ Nov 17, 2023, 19:42
Nov 17, 2023, 19:42
 
WannaLogAlready wrote on Nov 17, 2023, 19:11:
There you have it Prez, a 2 times personal experience, no less.
Now don't bother El Pit anymore Beadyeyes

----
RedEye9, of your kindness, I recall you mentioned going to play Black Mesa some months ago.
How did it go for you ? (if bad, please disregard this question).
Love the game. I was an Early Access backer and played all the builds, Including the original Black Mesa Source release back in 2012 - https://www.bluesnews.com/s/135183/black-mesa-released Like I'm sure most here did.
And celebrated when the decades of vaporware finally evaporated.

If you have not played HECU Collective’s Black Mesa: Blue Shift mod for Black Mesa, what are you waiting for??1!?
https://www.moddb.com/mods/black-mesa-blue-shift-remake
Available from the workshop https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2424633574
With Chapter 5 on the way
"I expect death to be nothingness and by removing from me all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism." Isaac Asimov
Avatar 58135
18.
 
Re: ☃️Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary❄️
Nov 17, 2023, 19:37
Prez
 
18.
Re: ☃️Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary❄️ Nov 17, 2023, 19:37
Nov 17, 2023, 19:37
 Prez
 
WannaLogAlready wrote on Nov 17, 2023, 19:11:
There you have it Prez, a 2 times personal experience, no less.
Now don't bother El Pit anymore Beadyeyes

----
RedEye9, of your kindness, I recall you mentioned going to play Black Mesa some months ago.
How did it go for you ? (if bad, please disregard this question).

Wait... I DIDN'T SAY THAT. I would only claim something not mine if it was very intelligent or insightful and prophetic.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Avatar 17185
17.
 
Re: ☃️Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary❄️
Nov 17, 2023, 19:11
17.
Re: ☃️Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary❄️ Nov 17, 2023, 19:11
Nov 17, 2023, 19:11
 
There you have it Prez, a 2 times personal experience, no less.
Now don't bother El Pit anymore Beadyeyes

----
RedEye9, of your kindness, I recall you mentioned going to play Black Mesa some months ago.
How did it go for you ? (if bad, please disregard this question).
Avatar 58799
16.
 
Re: ☃️Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary❄️
Nov 17, 2023, 19:02
El Pit
 
16.
Re: ☃️Half-Life Free for 25th Anniversary❄️ Nov 17, 2023, 19:02
Nov 17, 2023, 19:02
 El Pit
 
WannaLogAlready wrote on Nov 17, 2023, 18:13:
El Pit wrote on Nov 17, 2023, 17:43:
... ...
Black Mesa is unfortunately still very buggy. Just last month, I fired it up on Geforce Now (so not on my local machine) and even then it bugged out. This remake has great ideas but still needs a lot of work. I think Half-Life 25th Anniversary is stable and will therefore be my choice for another replay maybe around Christmas.
To not discourage any interested:
Seems something recent and not at all widespread:
Can't find mention of bugs in the shown last 30 days reviews (93% 1,410 gamers).

Though there are a very few reports (some 3?) in Discussions of the Community Hub. There are guides there for best installs and fixes if needed.

Hope they resolve them and you can finally play it.
Do you have installed Visual C++ Redistributable Runtimes All-in-One Nov 2023 ?
( I played it twice with zero bugs or problems, a joyful experience ).

-----
Prez, a language bully, tsk.

Prez, as now in bold and underlined: I played it on Geforce Now and even Nvidia's ubermachines could not handle it. And I guess they installed it correctly on their hardware because pretty much everything else is rock solid on Geforce Now. I also played it locally about 2 years ago and by the time I had reached Xen, the bugs made is unplayable for me (then locally installed on my machine). So, two different hardware and software solutions lead to the same bugfest. I still think that the remake itself is great but unfortunately technically still a bit of a mess.
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
Founder, president, and only member of the official "Grumpy Old Gamers Club". Please do not apply.
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